Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Meryl Streep musical “The Prom” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in the crime drama “I’m Your Woman” (Amazon Prime Video), the COVID thriller “Songbird” (Premium VOD) and the comedy “Yes, God, Yes” (VOD).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Meryl Streep musical “The Prom” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in the crime drama “I’m Your Woman” (Amazon Prime Video), the COVID thriller “Songbird” (Premium VOD) and the comedy “Yes, God, Yes” (VOD).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including Meryl Streep musical “The Prom” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in the crime drama “I’m Your Woman” (Amazon Prime Video) and the COVID thriller “Songbird” (Premium VOD).
“Songbird,” a new film produced by Michael Bay and now on premium VOD, feels ripped from the headlines.
Like, today’s headlines.
The first film to shoot in Los Angeles during the lockdown details life during COVID.
Set in 2024, during the fourth year of pandemic, COVID has mutated, leaving the United States under martial law were infected citizens are forcibly removed from their homes. Treated like walking, talking biohazards they are housed in concentration camps called Q-Zones.
Meanwhile, motorcycle courier Nico (KJ Apa) is immune. A recovered COVID patient, he has the antibodies to fight off the disease. When his locked-down girlfriend Sarah (Sofia Carson) is suspected of contracting the virus, Nico springs into action to save her from being taken away.
There are side characters galore, like Bradley Whitford’s sex-crazed record producer, a lovelorn veteran played by Paul Walter Hauser, Demi Moore’s protective mom and an over-the-top Peter Stormare as the evil head of the Los Angeles’ “sanitation” department–but most of them exist only to heighten the grim desperation of the situation.
“Songbird” isn’t a politicized screed about masks or the virus’ origin. Instead, it’s a star-crossed style romance—”You’ve never been in the same room,” says Sara’s mother, “but he loves you.”—set against the backdrop of the worst world event in decades.
It would be one thing if “Songbird” had something to add the conversation about COVID, but it doesn’t. Instead, it plays off our worst collective fears in clumsy and exploitative ways.
It’s likely to appeal to conspiracy enthusiasts who may finger their tinfoil hats in excitement at the mention of bracelets for “munies”—the immune—an unchecked department of sanitation who arrest at will, apps that will report you if your temperature is above normal and ever-present surveillance.
For those not inclined toward dystopian extremes, “Songbird” is a crass reminder of the real-life death, sickness, unemployment and heartache COVID has wrought. It feels tone deaf, and worse, it’s a bad movie.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are producers on “22 Jump Street,” which, I guess, explains the large number of jokes about how much everything cost. At one point Hill actually says, “It’s way more expensive for no reason at all.”
I don’t know how much the movie cost to make, but the self-aware jokes did make me laugh even though “22” is essentially a remake of the first film, with a few more Laurel and Hardy slapstick gags and amped up explosions.
The “21 Jump Street” high school undercover cops Schmidt and Jenko (Hill and Tatum) are back, but this time they’re narco cops. That is until they botch an investigation into drug lord Ghost’s (Peter Stormare) operation. Their failure gets them demoted back to the 22 Jump Street (they moved across the road) program.
Jump Street’s Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) sends them undercover as unlikely brothers Brad and Doug McQuaid, to college to arrest the supplier of a drug named WHYPHY (WiFi). The bumbling, but self-confident duo infiltrates the college, but campus life—frat house parties, football and girls—threaten to blow apart their partnership. “Maybe we should investigate other people,” says Jenko, “sow our cop oats.”
“22 Jump Street’s” end credit sequence, which maps out the next sequels from number 3 to installment 43—they go to Beauty and Magic School among other places of higher learning— is probably the funniest part of the movie. Co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller—they also made “The Lego Movie”—expertly parody Hollywood’s obsession with grinding a good thing into the ground and grab a few laughs while they do it.
The stuff that comes before is amiable, relying on the Mutt and Jeff chemistry of the neurotic Hill and all-American Tatum for laughs. It’s boisterous and aims to please, but best of all are the self-referential jokes. By clowning around about the difficulty in making the sequel better than the original they’re winking at the audience, acknowledging that this is basically a spoof of Hollywood sequels. It’s meta and kind of brilliant.
It isn’t, however, a laugh a minute. Ill-timed jokes about Maya Angelou and Tracy Morgan are sore thumbs, while the bromance between Schmidt and Jenko is played out until it begins to feel like the punch line to a bad, politically incorrect gag.
Better are Tatum’s malapropisms. The dim-witted cop says, “I thought we had Cate Blanchett on this assignment,” when he means “carte blanche,” and confuses “anal” and “annal.” They’re easy jokes, but Channing milks laughs out of them.
There will likely be a “23 Jump Street”—the film shows us an under-construction condo at that address—which will hopefully have the same subversive sense of fun, but more actual jokes.