Wes's TV Corner: Movies
I hope you are staying safe and well.
Here's an update an some capsule reviews of recent films I watched while in quarantine during the pandemic.
A Secret Love
Unrated, 86 minutes
This lovely Netflix documentary explores the relationship between Pat Henschel and Terry Donahue (one of the female baseball players who inspired the movie A League of Their Own), who kept their relationship from their families for many years. Touching, warm and bittersweet, it's a sweet tribute to the power of love, and yes, you'll need tissues at the end. My new movie recommendation for the week.
All Day and a Night
Rated R, 121 minutes
Brutal and occasionally powerful, All Day and a Night is a coming-of-age drama about a young man (Ashton Sanders) who finds himself in the same prison as his father (Westworld's Jeffrey Wright). Written and directed by Black Panther writer Joe Robert Cole, it's stylishly and heavily violent, yet doesn't deeply explore the many themes it brings up. Well-acted by Wright and Sanders, but we've seen this before, and done better.
Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story
Unrated, 98 minutes
Murder to Mercy is the new documentary from Netflix that examines the story of Cyntoia Brown, who who was freed from prison after serving many years for murdering someone who was soliciting sex from her as a teen. Directed by Daniel Birman, it's an uneven, occasionally uplifting true tale of someone who genuinely turned their life around following a tragic mistake. The problem with Murder to Mercy is that isn't exactly revelatory, and essentially rehashes Birman’s 2011 documentary of Brown; it misses the mark most by ending abruptly and not giving a current update of Brown, who has stated that this was done without her direct involvement.
Unrated, 104 minutes
Uncorked is the new dramedy that centers around a young man (newcomer Mamoudou Athie) who has a passion to become the next great sommelier, with support of his Mom (the charming Niecey Nash) to the behest of his opinionated father (Emmy-winner Courtney B. Vance), who is expecting him to take over the family barbecue restaurant. Enjoyable, funny and touching, this comes from first-time director Prentice Penny; it isn't Earth-shattering, but it is a sweet look at supporting your loved ones. Athie is serviceable in the lead role, though he's upstaged by Vance and especially Nash at every turn. Uncorked also comes recommended.