I finally got to see Sorry to Bother You the other week since I am, temporarily at least, a Hulu subscriber again, and that’s where it’s currently streaming. It’s a great movie with a tough political viewpoint that feels all its own, at least among (arguably) mainstream films. It’s all the more impressive considering that it’s the debut feature from Boots Riley.
One thing I particularly appreciated was, after the fact, getting to read some of Riley’s writing offering insight into how he saw his characters and why his movie was crafted the way it was. So often, stories are left out there like singular, pristinely drawn objects that could only ever have existed one way. In a (since deleted) note on Twitter, Riley spoke to other ways the screenplay could have been crafted and why he landed on certain characterizations and events.
If you’ve seen the film already, it’s worth a read. His note offers a great look into some of his thinking behind the movie, and it’s one of the most useful responses to viewer criticism that I’ve ever seen — not rejecting something and moving on, but explaining out his point of view and acknowledging the challenges he faced pointing things in different directions.
Check out seven trailers from this week below.
There’s no series Verge staffers are more passionate about than Fast & Furious, and the next entry looks like yet another two-or-so hours of truly ridiculous nonstop action with occasional pauses for platitudes about family. Aka, it seems perfect. The film comes out May 22nd. And yes, apparently F9 is the full name for this one.
This movie looks gorgeously shot, intensely moody, and extremely uncomfortable. Swallow is a thriller about a pregnant woman who begins to harm herself through means suggested by the film’s title. The trailer has me extremely unsure of how this all plays out (the film seems to be extremely cold and cruel to its main character), but I’ve seen multiple reviews referring to it as a “feminist thriller,” so perhaps the trailer is just misleading. The film comes out March 6th.
The showrunner of HBO’s Big Little Lies teams up with Nicole Kidman again for a new short series about a woman who starts to fall apart after a killing. Hugh Grant and Donald Sutherland make appearances, too. The series starts in May.
Forest Whitaker stars as a reverend who befriends a white supremacist in 1996 South Carolina in this film, which is apparently based on real events. The story looks a bit Green Book-y, but it also looks like the movie has a great role for Whitaker. It comes out February 28th.
The Plot Against America
David Simon’s latest HBO series is a Philip Roth adaptation with a great cast, including Winona Ryder and John Turturro. The series is about an alternate-history America where FDR loses the election and the country sees a rise in anti-Semitism and fascism. It starts March 16th.
Beastie Boys Story
Apple TV Plus is getting a documentary on the Beastie Boys, and it’s directed by their longtime collaborator Spike Jonze, who goes back to the group’s video for “Sabotage.” This brief teaser doesn’t offer too much detail on what it’s all about, other than to say it exists and is coming out April 24th.
The Burnt Orange Heresy
Mick Jagger plays a kind of sinister and very charismatic art dealer in The Burnt Orange Heresy. I’m really not sure what this movie is about beyond that, but that’s also all that matters. The film opens in limited release on March 6th.