“The Suicide Squad” is a reboot and reimagining of the disappointing 2016 DC Comics movie “Suicide Squad,” about super villains manipulated into serving a shady government agency. Writer/director James Gunn of “Guardians of the Galaxy” fame gives this decadent R-rated action flick a wacky, comedic grindhouse edge. Some of the stars from the first film return to their roles, including Margot Robbie in her third go-round as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Col. Rick Flag and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, the head of the government’s shadowy Task Force X program. New to the cast are Idris Elba, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone and Kansas City’s own David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man. The movie’s tone and execution are much different…and much better this time around. Irreverent and funny in a midnight movie way, “Suicide Squad” is a shameless guilty pleasure.
Actor Winston Duke may be best known for his roles in the comic book movie “Black Panther” and the horror entry “Us.” Duke gives a powerhouse performance in the offbeat supernatural arthouse entry, “Nine Days.” He plays a conflicted gatekeeper who decides which souls are granted a chance for life on Earth. The thorny philosophical questions that these candidates are faced with are intriguing and provocative. The notable cast also includes Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale, and Bill Skarsgard. While it’s slow moving and its reach exceeds its grasp, “Nine Days” is nonetheless a thought-provoking film about the value of life’s individual moments. It marks an impressive feature film debut for Brazilian writer/director Edson Oda.
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.