The star of “Deadpool” and the director of “Night at the Museum” team up and the results are just what you’d expect. “Free Guy” is a visually elaborate comic fantasy with a snarky PG-13 edge. Ryan Reynolds plays a background character in a violent video game who doesn’t know he isn’t real. Things get tricky when he achieves artificial intelligence and tries to break out and exert some self-control. Reynolds’ charisma and a buoyant tone help make up for some over-the-top silliness. “Free Guy” will seem a lot better if you see it for free.
“CODA” was the big winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Emilia Jones plays a teenager, the only hearing member of a deaf family, who runs into resistance when she pursues a scholarship to a music school. Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin plays her confused but empathetic mom. While it’s predictable and a bit earthy for a PG-13 movie, “CODA” is a sweet natured and touching drama with terrific performances. By the way, “CODA” stands for Children of Deaf Adults.
John David Washington again shows his leading man mettle in the Hitchcock-like thriller, “Beckett.” Washington plays an American tourist in Greece who experiences a tragic accident. He goes on the run after a series of coincidences puts him deep in a political conspiracy and in the crosshairs of the police and criminals. “Beckett” stretches credibility to the limit but is an entertaining and zippy action flick.
The 21st annual Kansas City Jewish Film Festival is taking place through August 21st in virtual formats, that is, any electronic device with a wi-fi connection. The eclectic lineup includes a number of intriguing titles including nine award-winning films from around the world. More information is available at www.kcjff.org.
Your local art house theaters are offering online viewing options for a number of intriguing movie titles. More information is available at nelson-atkins.org, Screenland.com, and fineartsgroup.com.