CRITICS. Mel Gibson against the storm, Eastwood Jr. against the Taliban and more streaming premieres

Everything seems to indicate that the few rooms that had decided to reopen their doors have had to back down due to the new and alarming outbreak of the Covid-19, and at least here in California, the same venues will not be available throughout this weekend. week due to provisions promulgated by the state governor.

This makes the possibility of watching movies in the cinema during the celebrations of July 4 practically impossible, which returns us to the safety of home and justifies more than ever the analytical list of direct releases of movies in streaming that they We have been offering weekly since the arrival of the pandemic in the United States.

This time, the virtual card brings us back to Mel Gibson, who seems immune not to the virus, but to the consequences of the countless scandals he has gotten himself into; find the son of a screen icon in a large war title; and it is completed with four independent proposals of undoubted interest. Voilà!

THE OUTPOST

Director: Rod Lurie

Reparto: Scott Eastwood, Orlando Bloom, Caleb Landry Jones

Genre: War / Action

Despite the prestige of his surname, Scott Eastwood, the actor son of the legendary Clint, has not yet managed to stand out in a particularly relevant way within his discipline. But that may change with the release of “The Outpost”, an ambitious war production of proven merits in which it occupies a stellar role.

Released on VOD, the film reconstructs the true story of a small group of soldiers who faced a vast contingent of Taliban enemies in a fierce battle during the post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan, as well as Eastwood. , who plays Sergeant Clint Romesha, has the leading role of Orlando Bloom, star of the “Lord of the Rings” film saga, who plays Lieutenant Benjamin D. Keating.

Directed by Rod Lurie, responsible for the interesting “remake” of “Straw Dogs” that was released in 2011, the film constantly surprises for its visual skills, using an almost permanent camera in hand to put us in the point of view of the soldiers American and sound design that makes us feel the bullets whistling around us.

This makes her completely worth seeing and in fact makes her one of the most explosive launches of the year, although her eagerness to celebrate the heroism of those involved and the complacent gaze towards the actions of the ‘visiting’ army make her feel uncomfortably patriotic, despite the veiled questioning he makes of government decisions and his complete absence of triumphalism.

FORCE OF NATURE

Director: Michael Polish

Reparto: Mel Gibson, Emile Hersch, Stephanie Cayo

Genre: Thriller / Action

Although this film, which was released on VOD and in homemade formats on Tuesday of this week, is being ‘sold’ essentially as a work by Mel Gibson, its true protagonists are Emile Hersch (“Into the Wild”) and Stephanie Cayo (“ Club de Cuervos ”), who play two Puerto Rico police officers whose attempts to evict residents of an apartment building before the arrival of a dangerous hurricane are complicated by the arrival of very malicious criminals.

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Curiously, the film’s production notes overlook Cayo, despite the fact that the Peruvian plays a most dignified role and faces Gibson (who plays a former police officer) with solvency in one of the few dialogue scenes more or less developed. In any case, the level of the performances is extremely decent, while the action (all filmed on the Island of Enchantment) does its job.

The same cannot be said of the story that is told, loaded with clichés, unsurprising twists and a reinforcement of stereotypes that do not seem exactly adequate for the times we live in, and that end up irremediably affecting the entire viewing. Did we already tell you that the three main characters are police officers?

JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE

Directora: Dawn Porter

Genre: Documentary

The most relevant film of the week in conjunctural and historical terms is undoubtedly this documentary, which puts John Lewis, a legendary African-American congressman, at the age of 80, who is seriously afflicted with cancer, is still fighting. for the rights of your community and all minorities in the United States.

But this work, already available on VOD, does not only show him at public events, he is decisively involved in political campaigns in favor of progressive causes and with energy and passion intact despite his age and health problems, but rather analyzes also his combative past through the use of archival material and interviews with people who knew him in his youth and who deeply respect him today, as is the case of the Latin congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In this way, the courage of this true national hero comes to the surface since he is seriously beaten by the police during the Selma march organized by Martin Luther King in the mid-1960s, in a fact that almost ended his life. and whose images refer us immediately – and in an absolutely regrettable way – to recent events, while the relevance of his activism is proved in view of the decisive role he played in obtaining the black vote. The documentary could have a more vibrant tone, yes, but that does not disqualify anything it presents; and this approach goes hand in hand with the absolutely pacifist ideology of its protagonist.

HOMEWRECKER

Director: Zach Gayne

Reparto: Precious Chong, Alex Essoe, Zach Gayne

Genre: Horror

Nothing like a good irreverent horror movie to relax during quarantine, right? If you are one of ours, your answer will be affirmative; and if not, you should know anyway that, in the midst of its generous doses of ‘gore’, “Homewrecker” (which premieres today in drive-ins and next Tuesday on VOD) has enough humor and extravagance quotas to do not generate any kind of trauma in an adult audience.

In this Canadian series B production, Michelle (Alex Essoe) is an innocent young interior designer who agrees to visit the home of Linda (Precious Chong), an older woman she has just met and who offers her a job. Once there, Michelle discovers that she should not have taken her potential client’s already demonstrated symptoms of mental instability lightly, and engages her in a peculiar game of cat and mouse.

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The hilarious references to pop culture of the ’80s and the lack of a specific agenda (despite the fact that almost all the footage is dedicated to two women) are part of the charms of a work that could be tremendously benefited by more visual management. creative, but always entertaining and also featuring a memorable performance by Precious Chong, daughter of the legendary ‘stoner’ Tommy Chong.

DENISE HO: BECOMING THE SONG

Director: Sue Williams

Genre: Documentary

At a time when street protests in the United States have highlighted the importance of civic resistance to inequalities, this documentary, which is available through the Virtual Cinemas modality, acquires a particular interest and serves as a step to demonstrate that demonstrations of this type can take place in the midst of all kinds of political systems.

That is not all, of course, because this week, Hong Kong is again in the eye of the storm due to the massive uprisings that are taking place in the semi-autonomous country as a rejection of new restrictive policies by China, in what It constitutes an extension of the 2018 mobilizations that become the main basis of the title analyzed here.

But “Becoming the Song” is actually an account of the experiences of Hong Kong music star Denise Ho, who started out making love songs and gradually transformed into an artist fully involved with the revolts and, furthermore, with the LGBTQ movement, especially after his ‘out of the closet’, which has cost him the ban on showing up in China and a constant boycott in his own country. On the other hand, this work is a valuable and passionate portrait of a brave woman, although the lack of interest in the branch of pop that she interprets prevented us from really connecting with the proposal.

BROWSE

Director: Mike Testin

Reparto: Lukas Haas, Jocelin Donahue, Chloe Bridges

Genre: Thriller

Without being a big movie star, Lukas Haas has become an efficient supporting actor whose face is recognized in such far-reaching titles as “Inception” and “First Man”, and that in the new movie “Browse” -available in VOD from July 7th – gets a stellar role that definitely deserves to be seen, despite the finally unsatisfactory results of the promising project.

Here, Haas is Richard, an introverted guy who has a lousy office job and who, after signing up for an online romantic dating show, begins to suspect that his identity has been stolen, making him increasingly alarming in a spiral of confusion and dangers that end up affecting his mental health.

Haas stupendously fulfills the role of a disenchanted subject who has to make superhuman efforts to face what is happening to him, and although the staging is not always inspired, director Mike Testin (“Dementia”) manages to get us efficiently into the environment of paranoia and instability that the story required. Unfortunately, the outcome of all this does not really make sense, unless something very important happened to us while we were watching the tape.