See it in theaters: 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings'
Marvel's latest foray into the movies is its first with a majority Asian cast and an Asian director, Destin Daniel Cretton—who also co-wrote the script with David Callaham and Andrew Lanham. Simu Liu plays the titular Shang-Chi, a martial artist and former assassin who's settled into parking cars in San Francisco for a living, alongside his friend and hotel valet Katy, played by Awkwafina. The rub is he's getting pulled back into his past life, the shadowy world of the Ten Rings organization. Based on the Marvel character that first appeared in the pages of Special Marvel Edition #15 in 1973, Shang-Chi's relatively lesser-known status in the Marvel Universe affords director Cretton an unusual amount of creative freedom—and by the looks of it, he's taken full advantage.
In theaters and on Amazon Prime: 'Cinderella'
That's right folks, Cinderella is back—in live-action romantic musical comedy form. This time around the venerable fairy tale gets a fresh makeover from the agile comedic mind of Kay Cannon, who wrote and directed, with a little help on the initial storyline from producer James Corden. Starring a long list of notables, including Camila Cabello as the damsel in question—in this version an aspiring fashion designer hoping to showcase her work at the ball—along with Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter and Pierce Brosnan. This newest Cinderella got us thinking—what are some of our favorite movie incarnations of the enduring story? Check out our official, all-Cinderella list right here.
In theaters and streaming VOD: 'The Gateway'
Accomplished music video director Michele Civetta (Lou Reed, Sparklehorse) helms this stylish crime thriller starring Shea Whigham as a drunken but very well-meaning social worker trying mightily to protect an embattled client, Dahlia (Olivia Mann). Things get especially tricky when Dahlia's violent ex-husband, played by Zach Avery, is released from prison—and the situation is worsened further by the presence of her raging Vietnam-vet father, played with aplomb by the indomitable Bruce Dern.
PLUS: Speaking of Bruce Dern, he stopped by A.frame the other day to contribute a truly wonderful piece on the Five Performances I Couldn't Have Given.
In theaters and VOD: 'Mogul Mowgli'
Named one of Filmmaker's "25 New Faces of Independent Film" a few years back, director Bassam Tariq tackles his debut narrative feature in Mogul Mowgli. The film centers on Zed—played by Oscar nominee, Academy member and co-writer Riz Ahmed—a British-Pakistani rapper who's diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder on the cusp of his first international tour. Returning to his family in London, Zed is forced to reckon with his health and career amid a complicated cultural and family dynamic. Also stars Aiysha Hart, Alyy Khan and Sudha Bhuchar.
Pick it up on Blu-ray: 'The Clockmaker of St. Paul'
Venerated French director—and longtime Academy member—Bertrand Tavernier passed away a few months ago at the age of 79, leaving behind a distinguished catalog of films marked by both his facility in the crime and mystery genres as well as his keen social conscience. Tavernier's first picture, The Clockmaker of St. Paul, was just re-released on Blu-ray, and it's well worth picking up. Adapted from a novel by Georges Simenon, the film stars Philippe Noiret as an unassuming watchmaker whose life takes a bewildering, tragic turn after his son is accused of murder. Winner of the Berlin Silver Bear in 1974.