What if the Beatles never existed but you knew all of their songs? That’s the high-concept behind the comic romantic fantasy, “Yesterday.” Himesh Patel plays a wannabe singer who, mystically, is the only person who remembers the songs of the Fab Four and becomes an overnight sensation. An appealing cast, sharp direction and great music help overcome some of the story’s corny elements. As for me, I believe in “Yesterday.”
And speaking of high-concept, how about re-telling “Hamlet” from Ophelia’s point of view? That’s the feminist approach to the involving drama, “Ophelia.” Daisy Ridley plays the tragic heroine who is smarter and more resourceful than Shakespeare would ever have envisioned. Some elements of this revision are downright silly and will no doubt outrage Shakespearian purists. Still, “Ophelia” is an interesting experiment in fan-fiction conjecture.
“Annabelle Comes Home” is the eighth film in the “Conjuring” horror universe. This time out, an unsuspecting teen releases the demonically-possessed doll from her case and evil spirits begin to wreak havoc. It plays like a compendium of horror clichés. “Annabelle Comes Home” is a little too subdued for its own good, but “Conjuring” fans should like it.
“The Last Black Man in San Francisco” won a special jury prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. This critical darling focuses on class struggles and gentrification as a young man tries to save the Victorian house built by his grandfather. Jimmy Fails plays himself in an adaptation of his own story. This arty, slowly-paced film requires patient viewing, but has occasional flashes of brilliance.
Also opening this week, “The Last Whistle” is a drama about s controversial high school coach’s reaction to the death of one of his football players after an intense practice. “The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith” is a faith-based Mormon sequel.