CHICAGO - Whether you’re in a theater or streaming at home, movie choices exist in abundance, with more arriving every week. Here’s our take on what’s new, free, fun or all of the above.
"Sonic the Hedgehog 2": Bigger and more boring than the original
"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" follows the classic sequel strategy of providing more of the pleasures (or flaws, depending on your perspective) found in its predecessor. That obviously means more Sonic (sassily voiced by Ben Schwartz) and more of his mad scientist arch-nemesis Dr. Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey, whose wacky facial expressions might grace the big screen for the last time if his stated intention to retire from the film industry holds true.
The sequel is a half-hour longer than the first and separates the ensemble across the entire globe, from Hawaii to Siberia. Yet, Sonic’s quest still can’t support an entire film, no matter how extravagant or action-packed it might be.
WATCH FREE ON TUBI: Five seasons of "Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog"
"Ambulance": Wow, this is stupid — but oh boy, is it fun
(from left) Danny Sharp (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) in Ambulance, directed by Michael Bay.
In the stupidest "wow, what a coincidence" moment in cinema since Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent realized their mothers have the same name, Michael Bay would really like to blow your mind with the fact that you can’t spell "ambulance" without LA. Did you know that LA is also a place more formally known as Los Angeles? And that this movie is set there? Don’t worry — if you forget, Bay will remind you.
"Stupid," in this case, is both a complaint and a compliment. "Ambulance" — sorry, "AmbuLAnce" — is a patently absurd feast of spectacle and camp, a bifurcated mess that can’t decide what kind of movie it wants to be and so chooses instead to be several movies at once. None of those movies are good, exactly, but none of them are boring either, and thrown together this way, they fuse into a Frankenstein’s monster of explosions and nonsense, pathos and plot holes. Yet in spite of (or perhaps because of) its myriad flaws, it’s impossible to resist the film’s siren song.
That’s probably because there are so many sirens in it, but it’s true all the same.
"Everything Everywhere All At Once": A transcendently singular film
After opening in limited release in March, "Everything Everywhere All At Once" expands nationwide on April 8. So what can you expect? Well, the title says it all, really. Michelle Yeoh stars as an everyday woman who suddenly discovers access to a multiverse of worlds where other versions of herself exist as chefs, movie stars, martial arts masters and even cartoon characters. This trippy movie is the long-awaited sophomore feature for "Daniels" (directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), who made a major splash with 2016’s "Swiss Army Man" a.k.a. the Daniel Radcliffe farting corpse movie. And in her review of "Everything Everywhere All At Once," FOX film critic Caroline Siede calls it "a transcendently singular film that remixes familiar genre tropes into something that feels wholly new and quietly revolutionary."
More new (and new-ish) movies
Left: "Morbius," "Tomy Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off." Center: "Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood." Right: "You Won't Be Alone," "Metal Lords."
- "Morbius" (in theaters April 1): Jared Leto’s superhero/vampire movie doesn’t have much of a pulse. As our critic put it, it "often conjures-up those forgettable latter day X-Men films like "Dark Phoenix" or "The New Mutants" — movies that barely seem to have existed at all. Innocuous at best and laughable at worst, "Morbius" has no legs — or wings — to stand on." (Rated PG-13. 108 minutes. Dir: Daniel Espinosa. Featuring: Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Al Madrigal, Michael Keaton.)
- "You Won’t Be Alone" (in theaters April 1): For scares of a very different sort, consider this evocative witch story, which was one of the buzzier titles to come out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Our reviewer called itan "entrancing, frustrating, mesmerizing, baffling film." (Rated R. 109 minutes. Dir: Goran Stolevski. Language: Macedonian. Featuring: Sara Klimoska, Anamaria Marinca, Alice Englert, Felix Maritaud, Carloto Cotta, Noomi Rapace.)
- "Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood" (streaming on Netflix April 1): Director Richard Linklater’s rose-tinted, rotoscoped reflection on childhood during the space race might not be all that substantial, but its sweetness is worth savoring. As our critic put it, "Linklater and his collaborators clearly have an immense fondness for a time when science class felt like current events." (Rated PG-13. 98 minutes. Dir: Richard Linklater. Featuring the voices of: Milo Coy, Jack Black, Glen Powell, Zachary Levi, Josh Wiggins, Lee Eddy, Bill Wise.)
- "Memoria" (in theaters April 1): For something really off the beaten path, check out this abstract Tilda Swintondrama which will permanently forgo a DVD or streaming release and instead play on a "never-ending" theatrical tour starting April 1. (The full schedule can be found on the film’s website.) Our critic wrote that the film "demands attention as Swinton moves in real-time through spaces, places, and even time." (Not rated. 136 minutes. Dir: Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Language: English, Spanish. Featuring: Tilda Swinton, Elkin Díaz, Jeanne Balibar, Juan Pablo Urrego, Daniel Giménez Cacho.)
- Plus: "All Old Knives" (in theaters and on Amazon Prime Video April 8) pairs Chris Pine with Thandiwe Newton as spies and ex-lovers who meet over dinner to hash out a mission gone wrong; "Choose or Die" (Netflix, April 8) turns a 1980s computer game into contemporary horror; two teenage misfits decide to become heavy metal musicians in "Metal Lords" (Netflix, April 8); Tony Hawk takes to the half-pipe in "Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off" (HBO Max, April 5); SpaceX takes to the sky in "Return to Space" (Netflix, April 7); and arthouse director Andrea Arnold takes to the farmyard in "Cow" (in theaters and VOD April 8), a multi-year look at the life of a humble dairy cow named Luma.
- From last week: Judd Apatow hunkers down for the meta Covid comedy "The Bubble" (on Netflix April 1); a 13-year-old dreams of treading the boards on the Great White Way in the family-friendly "Better Nate Than Ever" (Disney+, April 1); and Omar Epps tries to stay out of trouble in "The Devil You Know" (in theaters April 1)
- Also still in theaters: Clever mob drama "The Outfit"; subversive slasher "X"; Robert Pattinson as "The Batman"; a total of two Tom Hollands and four Spider-Men across "Uncharted" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home"; adventure-rom-com "The Lost City" and more.
WATCH FREE ON TUBI: "With Great Power: the Stan Lee Story"
Now streaming: "The Night House" (HBO Max)
Rebecca Hall in the film THE NIGHT HOUSE. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2021 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved
Rebecca Hall gives one of 2021’s best performances in this top-notch chiller, which is now available to stream for the first time. Critic Roxana Hadadi called the film "exceptionally unsettling," adding that the "suggestive dreaminess of "The Night House" is its strongest quality, and Hall’s prickly, down-to-earth performance serves as a necessarily grounding counterweight. Hall has a couple of standout performances under her belt in the films "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" and "Christine," and her work in "The Night House" is equally compelling."
WATCH FREE ON TUBI: Rebecca Hall in the indie horror film "The Awakening"
The best movie of the month (so far): "Everything Everywhere All At Once"
Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All At Once." Photo: A24.
The best movie of the year (so far): "The Worst Person in the World" (February)
Make-your-own double feature with these gems, streaming (for free!) on Tubi
10 Truths About Love (2022): Camilla Belle stars as Carina Franklin, a thriving romance columnist who has her own love life totally figured out — at least until her longtime boyfriend dumps her. Even worse, her editor insists on giving her column a "male perspective" and hires a writer named Liam (David Lafontain) to balance her out. When the two new co-workers clash, Liam sets out to demonstrate that his tactics work by helping Carina win back her ex. Of course, in trying to prove each other wrong, Liam and Carina might just realize how right they really are for each other. "10 Truths About Love" is a Tubi Original. Rated TV-14. 90 minutes. Dir: Brian K. Roberts. Featuring: Camilla Belle, David Lafontaine, Jennifer De Lucia, Karn Kalra, Paula Rivera, David Keeley.
B.A.P.S. (1997): This cult classic comedy from screenwriter and actress Troy Byer stars Halle Berry and Natalie Desselleas two friends who dream of opening the world’s first hair salon/soul food restaurant combo. The leads’ lively, charming performances are perfectly complemented in memorability by the film’s iconic costuming, hairstyling, makeup and production design. One-of-a-kind. Rated PG-13. 92 minutes. Dir: Robert Townsend. Also featuring Martin Landau, Ian Richardson, Troy Byer, Bernie Mac.
Dead Ant (2017): It’s a tale as old as time: a one-hit-wonder ‘80s glam rock outfit has a shot at a big comeback, but their trip to Coachella is derailed by a peyote-fueled stop in the desert and some bloodthirsty ants. Not quite as well known as Sean Astin’s other road movie where a band of travelers face untold dangers in pursuit of a vital goal, but here he’s facing ants, not ents. Rated TV-MA. 97 minutes. Dir: Ron Carlson. Also featuring Tom Arnold, Jake Busey, Natasha Blasick.
About Tubi: Tubi has more than 35,000 movies and television series from over 250 content partners, including every major studio, in addition to the largest offering of free live local and national news channels in streaming. The platform gives fans of entertainment, news and sports an easy way to discover new content that is available completely free.
Tubi is available on Android and iOS mobile devices, Amazon Echo Show, Google Nest Hub Max, Comcast Xfinity X1, Cox Contour, and on OTT devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Vizio TVs, Sony TVs, Samsung TVs, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S, and soon on Hisense TVs globally. Consumers can also watch Tubi content on the web at http://www.tubi.tv/.
Tubi and this television station are both owned by the FOX Corporation.