SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — It's been difficult to escape the current news cycle long enough to disappear into somewhere else a little less real. Here are a few titles I've watched recently that are now playing in theaters, streaming or both.
Liam Neeson stars as Jim, an Arizona rancher, who attempts to shepherd a young Mexican boy fleeing the cartel to his family in Illinois. "The Marksman" is mostly a prototypical Liam Neeson action film that leans heavily on classic Western tropes. What sets it apart is that Jim is an incredibly interesting character who is filled with internal conflict. Neeson makes you like him (much in the same way that Bill Murray makes you like his character in "On the Rocks"), but his flaws make you question if you should trust him. I spoke to Neeson briefly this week. He told me that it was the immigration aspects of the film that drew him into the story. (Full Review)
Where to watch: Theaters
One Night in Miami
Imagine the conversation that Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke might have had in a hotel room following the fight that saw Clay defeat Sonny Liston in February of 1964. The four iconic men were at crossroads in their professional and spiritual lives. Adapted by Kemp Powers from his stage play, "One Night in Miami" is a tremendous piece of intimate cinema featuring fantastic performances from Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Eli Goree as Cassius Clay, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown and Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke. It also marks the arrival of Regina King as a director. With "One Night in Miami" King has retained the closeness and energy of a stage performance while also making a film that feels cinematic. "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" did this extremely well. "One Night in Miami" does it better.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Theaters
Disney+ released the first two episodes from their new Marvel Studios series "WandaVision" and I imagine there will be a lot of people who are utterly confused by the program's 1950s sitcom setting and where this could possibly fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Well, like "Doctor Strange," "WandaVision" is taking us into corners of the universe that were previously unexplored. Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) might not seem like the ideal characters to build a charming satire around (and next week's episode suggests that the light, comedic touch might not last forever) but the absurdity of it works incredibly well. It starts out as "Bewitched" meets "The Twilight Zone," where it ends is anyone's guess. I'm excited to see where this insanity leads us. (Full Review)
Where to watch: Disney+
News of the World
Tom Hanks reteams with director Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips") for this post-Civil War western that sees Captain Kidd (Hanks) traveling from town to town reading the headlines from the local papers. On his way he becomes the guardian to a young blonde-haired girl who was kidnapped by Kiowa people years before. The film was in theaters. It is now available on demand for those who are unable to see it in theaters. If you like Hanks, Westerns or simply want to explore the tension that existed in America (particularly the South) following the Civil War, I highly recommend "News of the World." (Full Review)
Where to watch: Theaters, On Demand