Peele’s bloody, startling, totally bonkers horror movie.
“Us” — a shocking, bonkers, often funny horror movie about doppelgängers, starring Lupita Nyong’o — is writer/director Jordan Peele’s follow-up to his enormously popular “Get Out.” While this film isn’t likely to have the same cultural impact, it’s still quite good. It’s also very scary and violent. There are jump-scares, plus many attacks and killings with blood and gore. Characters use blunt objects on doppelgängers, and doppelgängers slice and stab people with sharp scissors. A woman is handcuffed, and children are sometimes in peril. Language is also strong, with many uses of “f---” and “s---.” The n-word is heard in a song (“F--- tha Police” by N.W.A.), and a boy uses the word “bulls---.” A man kisses his wife and makes silly comments and gestures to indicate that he’d like to have sex, but it doesn’t go any further. Secondary characters are seen drinking heavily in a comic way, without consequences. (116 minutes)
Afghan women cyclists train despite death threats.
“Afghan Cycles” highlights the obstacles young Afghan female cyclists face and threats they endure just for the privilege of training, competing and even riding. Strict adherents to the most conservative sects of Islam see women outside the home as violators of religious law, making them subject to retaliatory murder if they stray from proper dress and demeanor. The movie follows brave young women and girls who take their lives into their hands every time they go out to train and compete in their beloved sport. Included in this documentary are descriptions of explosions, and specifically violent attacks against women — burnings and “honor killings.” (89 minutes)
Available on demand via iTunes, Microsoft, Google Play, Vudu and Amazon streaming.
True story of teen who contends with a spinal cord injury.
“Walk. Ride. Rodeo.” is an inspirational tale based on true-life events. Teen Amberley Snyder (played in the movie by Spencer Locke), a promising rodeo competitor, suffered a severe spinal cord injury in an auto accident. The movie portrays her recovery, both physical and emotional, as well as her journey back to participation in the sport she loves. In a stunning turn, the real Amberley fully took part in the making of this movie, including doing all of the stunt riding herself. The auto accident is depicted graphically — repeated in flashback — and includes the rollover, the vehicle airborne, some bloody injuries and depictions of severe pain. The scenes of the teen’s rehabilitation are intense as she struggles to make her body work again. Language is limited to “hell,” and there’s kissing. Lots of encouraging messages are incorporated into the movie about holding fast to goals, acceptance of adversity and the value of committed parental involvement. (99 minutes)
Available via Netflix streaming.
Supernatural teen drama blends genres well, is entertaining.
“The Order” is a fantasy series/college drama hybrid aimed at older teens and young adults. It involves witches, werewolves and other magical creatures. Violence is rampant, and even when it takes place off-screen, the bloody aftermath is shown. Sex plays less of a role than in a typical college drama, though simulated sex is sometimes briefly shown (no nudity). Characters use profanity frequently, including “f---,” “s--- and “a--hole.” Essentially a coming-of-age story, “The Order” shows its main character, Jack (Jake Manley), dealing with ethical and moral questions — while also fighting monsters and warlocks. (13 approximately 43-minute episodes)
Available via Netflix streaming.
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