Movie Review Weekly Roundup: July 4 – July 10, 2021

A Quiet Place Part II (2020) is directed by John Krasinski and stars Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe.

The following is part of a weekly compilation of movie reviews from The Buzz Track staff. These movies were watched in the previous week, and the reviews were originally posted on Letterboxd.

A Quiet Place Part II (2020)

DIRECTOR: John Krasinski.
WRITERS: John Krasinski.
GENRES: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction.
LENGTH: 1h 37min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: July 4, 2021.

This sequel is a true continuation of the first movie. I thought it was going to be a prequel story based upon the promotional videos I had seen. Nope, I was wrong. If you have not seen either movie yet, make sure to watch them in order. And also back-to-back viewings, if possible. I really enjoyed this movie. It is an emotional story that hit me in the feels on several occasions throughout its entire run. It is definitely worth my time to watch both movies several more times.

In the Heights (2021)

WRITERS: Quiara Alegría Hudes (screenplay), Lin-Manuel Miranda (music).
GENRES: Drama, Musical.
LENGTH: 2h 23min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or HBO Max.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: July 5, 2021.

The movie is fun with upbeat, catchy music and tons of dance numbers. The vibes reminded me of West Side Story, but without the Romeo & Juliet plotline. I honestly wish I could have seen this at a movie theater with a good sound system.

The Hook (1963)

DIRECTOR: George Seaton.
WRITERS: Henry Denker (screenplay), Vahé Katcha (book).
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama, War.
LENGTH: 1h 38min.
LANGUAGE: English, Korean.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: July 7, 2021.

Kirk Douglas strikes again! Here is another solid movie where he portrays a dirt bag character with an evolving story arc. He sure had a knack for diving right into these sorts of roles. And I appreciate every moment of it! Due to the confined location of the story, a huge portion of it reminds me of a stage play. It is all about a cast of military soldiers living on a chartered boat during the tail end of the Korean War. I loved the story and the story arcs for the main characters. I would love to watch it a few more times.

The Awakening (2011)

DIRECTOR: Nick Murphy.
WRITERS: Stephen Volk, Nick Murphy.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Horror, Thriller, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 42min.
LANGUAGE: English, Latin.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: July 9, 2021.

The movie feels more like a drama than a horror story. The scare factor with all the ghosts and jump scares is par for the course. The routine plot points in this movie have been seen numerous times before and after it was released. Bonus points for casting Rebecca Hall in the leading role. I think she’s cute and will never get tired of seeing her in more movies.

The Paper Tigers (2020)

DIRECTOR: Quoc Bao Tran.
WRITERS: Quoc Bao Tran.
GENRES: Action, Comedy, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 48min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: July 9, 2021.

This movie is a fun watch! I really enjoyed it. I could only describe it as a family-friendly martial arts action-comedy story. It reminds me a bit of the Karate Kid series, but with grownups in the leading roles. I definitely will want to watch The Paper Tigers a few more times. Maybe I will even purchase a copy of it for my video collection.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One (2021)

DIRECTOR: Chris Palmer.
WRITERS: Tim Sheridan (screenplay), Jeph Loeb (book).
MPAA RATING: PG-13 – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Animation, Action, Crime.
LENGTH: 1h 26min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: July 10, 2021.

Boy, oh boy! I sure miss the 2D animated Batman series from the 90s. This movie is a nostalgic reminder of that show’s awesomeness. It is only part one of a two-part adaptation of the classic comic book series by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. It features several appearances by recognizable characters from the Batman universe. And I enjoyed every minute of the movie. I cannot wait to watch Part Two when it is released.

Black Widow (2021)

DIRECTOR: Cate Shortland.
WRITERS: Eric Pearson (screenplay), Jac Schaeffer & Ned Benson (story).
GENRES: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction.
LENGTH: 2h 13min.
LANGUAGE: English, Russian.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Disney Plus.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: July 10, 2021.

The release of this movie feels like a few years too late when compared to the other Marvel movies that have been theatrically released over the last ten years. Thor already had a couple of standalone movies released during that time period as one particular example. Black Widow is a good action movie on its own merit. It is not my favorite one from the MCU collection. But it is still a fun popcorn flick for a weekend afternoon. I would have to say Florence Pugh is my favorite part of the entire production. She gives a wonderful acting performance for an action flick.

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