What to Watch in the Theater:
The Darkest Minds (PG13) is in theaters now. This dystopian film, based on a YA book series, features a good assortment of characters, led by talented teen Amanda Stenberg. There’s a virus that wipes out the majority of children. Those who survive have varying degrees of powers, which adults feel is threatening, so the kids are either executed or confined to camps, depending on their power level. The story follows a group of children trying to find a place to live freely, never knowing who to trust. It’s an entertaining film, but the theme seems a little played out, as evidenced by its lack of interest at the box office.
Our rating: 3.67 out of 5
Crazy Rich Asians (PG13) is in theaters now. This fish out of water comedy features an all-Asian cast, portraying the insanely rich family and friends of lead Nick Young, and his girlfriend, Rachel, who’s meeting them for the first time, after just learning that Nick’s family is wealthy. It’s a fun romp, including some standout comedic moments from Awkwafina and Ken Jeong. It’s interesting to see how the different family members deal with each other, and feel threatened by a level-headed, non-wealthy outsider. It’s great to see so much talent from the Asian community dominate in this highly entertaining film.
Our rating: 4.83 out of 5
What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
To the Beat! (TVPG) is streaming on Netflix. This is director Jillian Claire’s debut, with a story about twin sisters vying against their neighbor/arch nemesis, to be backup dancers in a pop star’s music video. It’s a sweet teen story about family and integrity. Although flawed, it isn’t a bad first effort, and we’re glad to see Netflix is giving lower budget indie films a chance.
Our rating: 3.17 out of 5
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (TV14) is a Netflix original, based on the recent novel of the same name. Teen Lara Jean is horrified to learn that the private love letters she penned to a handful of boys as a sort of diary, were actually mailed to the boys. The aftermath has her entering into a fake relationship with one of the guys, while she tries to figure out her feelings for another. While it may be a bit predictable, the journey is enjoyable, and sure to get teen hearts fluttering. Lara Jean’s family is Asian-American, highlighting again that talented acting community that we don’t see often enough.
Our rating: 4.17 out of 5
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