Streaming and in theaters
SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED)
In the summer of 1969 in a public park in the middle of Harlem, just 100 miles and a week apart from Woodstock, one of the greatest music festivals in the world was held.
And hardly anyone outside of Harlem ever heard about it.
Fortunately, after over 50 years, vintage footage of the six-week festival was found, dusted off and edited into one of the greatest documentaries ever made.
Opening with a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder performing in the rain to thousands of Harlem residents, this two-hour documentary combines music, history, politics and a plea for Black lives mattering that is as relevant today than it was 50 plus years ago.
Performances were interspersed with footage of other historic events of the era, including assassinations, riots, the Vietnam War and America landing on the moon.
Reference is being made to the moon landing, which received national attention, and the Harlem festival, which went unnoticed.
There are so many highlights in the documentary, but the appearance of Mavis Staples with Mahalia Jackson singing the gospel favorite “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” leads the list.
I enjoyed the Fifth Dimension, only to learn that many Black folks thought they sounded too white.
There are many interesting facts scattered throughout the movie, plus some beautiful close-up shots of the young singers that contrast with their appearances today as they comment on their performances.
You have your choice of where to see this movie – it’s streaming on Hulu and playing at both the Showcase and the Avon. I chose the Avon, where a predominately older white audience clapped loudly at the ending.
This three-season Australian sci-fi series is pretty dark and bizarre.
It opens with seven people of different ages and times of death emerging naked from their graves at the same time.
The local policeman is baffled as his dead wife of two years is one of them. To further complicate the situation, he has married her best friend … and she is pregnant.
Why are they back?
What do they have in common?
Does it have anything to do with the local chemical research facility?
Although the series is very dark and a bit outrageous, there is some humor to break the tension.
Each character has a backstory and two more arrive to further complicate things. Lots of people die as “the rules of the universe are broken.”
This one is a bit too much to binge-watch, but it will keep your interest and has a fairly satisfying ending. KATLA
This Icelandic series is also dark and bizarre and deals with dead people who have returned to a remote part of the island nation that has seen extreme weather changes due to volcanic activity.
Most people have left the dreary area, as falling ash has made it difficult to breath.
Scientists are there to study the volcano and glacier, mixing with the few remaining locals and their duplicate “changelings” who arrive.
Why have they come back?
Is this an omen?
It all comes together at the end of the series. At the Warwick Showcase
F9: THE FAST SAGA
(Eighth sequel to action movie)< I can’t believe that I have sat through eight of these, watching Vin Diesel grow 20 years older and a bit heavier.
Joyce decided to sit this one out. She has seen more car crashes than on Interstate 95, and besides, Paul Walker has gone to the great car graveyard in the sky.
If you are still a fan, and have seen most if not all of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, you could care less what I have to say.
If you are new to the series, let me at least clue you in on what to expect.
Dom (Diesel) has retired to the ranch.
His old gang visits him for that infamous “one last job.”
After a little backstory, they head out for some God-forsaken place in Central America with their hastily collected battalion of cars, trucks and tanks to battle an army 10 times their size and escape unscathed.
There is some clever humor among the mayhem as the characters muse over the fact that they have never had a scratch after all of their incredible battles.
John Cena plays Jacob, Dom’s little brother, who is a big pain in the neck. Many parties are after a half of a globe-like article that somehow could destroy the Earth, all leading to some of the most unbelievable, exciting chase scenes ever imagined.
There are new characters introduced and old characters, thought to be dead, reappearing.
One minute they are in Japan, then they are in Italy, and then they even battle in outer space before this marathon comes to an end after over 2½ hours.
But wait. After the credits, another character appears and we get a teaser of what will be No. 10 in this never-ending series.
“F9” is the ultimate in the genre. Fans should be pleased with their favorite characters and the technology that creates unbelievable action.
If you want escapism, “F9” is the ultimate.
Rated PG-13 for violence and profanity.
And I left my hearing aids home.