Sean Means Movie Reviews for June 18th, 2020

My Darling Vivian – documentary on Johnny Cash’s first wife – VOD rental, virtual cinemas (SLFS@Home) – 3 stars

In 1951, Catholic schoolgirl Vivian Liberto meets handsome Air Force cadet Johnny Cash at her local San Antonio, Texas skating rink. Their whirlwind summer romance lays the foundation for a feverish three-year-long correspondence while Johnny is stationed in Germany. Thousands of letters later, the two marry upon his return in 1954. Within a year, a career blossoms and a family is started. By 1961, Johnny Cash is a household name, number one on the music charts, and perpetually on tour. Meanwhile, only two weeks postpartum, Vivian settles into their custom-built home in Casitas Springs, California with their four young daughters. Read More

Director: Matt Riddlehoover

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, Ginnifer Goodwin

You Should Have Left – haunted house horror with Kevin Bacon – VOD rental, most platforms – 3 stars

Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) is a successful middle-aged man whose marriage to his much younger actress wife, Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) is shredding at the seams, frayed by her secretiveness, his jealousy, and the shadow of his past. In an effort to repair their relationship, Theo and Susanna book a vacation at a stunning, remote modern home in the Welsh countryside for themselves and their six-year-old daughter, Ella (Avery Essex). What at first seems like a perfect retreat distorts into a perfect nightmare when Theo’s grasp on reality begins to unravel and he suspects that a sinister force within the house knows more than he or Susanna have revealed, even to each other. Read More

Director: David Koepp

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Kevin Bacon, Avery Tiiu Essex

Miss Juneteenth – up-from-poverty drama with pageant theme – VOD rental, virtual cinemas (SLFS@Home) – 3 1/2 stars

Turquoise Jones is a single mom who holds down a household, a rebellious teenager, and pretty much everything that goes down at Wayman’s BBQ & Lounge. Turquoise is also a bona fide beauty queen–she was once crowned Miss Juneteenth, a title commemorating the day slaves in Texas were freed–two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Life didn’t turn out as beautifully as the title promised, but Turquoise, determined to right her wrongs, is cultivating her daughter, Kai, to become Miss Juneteenth, even if Kai wants something else. Read More

Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples

Starring: Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze

7500 – hijacking thriller with Joseph Gordon-Levitt – streaming on Amazon Prime – 3 1/2 stars

It looks like a routine day at work for Tobias, a soft-spoken young American co-pilot on a flight from Berlin to Paris as he runs through the preflight checklist with Michael, the pilot, and chats with Gökce, his flight-attendant girlfriend. But shortly after takeoff, terrorists armed with makeshift knives suddenly storm the cockpit, seriously wounding Michael and slashing Tobias’ arm. Temporarily managing to fend off the attackers, a terrified Tobias contacts ground control to plan an emergency landing. But when the hijackers kill a passenger and threaten to murder more innocent people if he doesn’t let them back into the cockpit, this ordinary man faces an excruciating test. Read More

Director: Patrick Vollrath

Starring: Passar Hariky, Omid Memar, Hicham Sebiai

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