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CinemaScopes: February 2021

| February 5, 2021

Denzel Washington in “The Little Things’

CinemaScopes – Dinner & A Movie Month!

February is traditionally the month for relationship movies, given Valentine’s Day is on the 14th and dinner and a movie is a perfect date night for many couples. Theaters in the Chicago area are open, but with most of us still avoiding public places, streaming and VOD releases are a fantastic option. While a good serious love story is great, I personally like a bit of mystery and suspense with my hearts and flowers. You’ll have to figure out your own dinner, but here are some movies for your viewing pleasure!

The Little Things
Directed by John Lee Hancock
Rated R – January 29 – HBO Max until Feb. 28 & In Theaters

Academy Award winners Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto star in the psychological crime thriller directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks) from his own original screenplay. Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon (Washington) is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a killer who is terrorizing the city. Leading the hunt, L.A. Sheriff Department Sergeant Jim Baxter (Malek), impressed with Deke’s cop instincts, unofficially engages his help. But as they track the killer, Baxter is unaware that the investigation is dredging up echoes of Deke’s past, uncovering disturbing secrets that could threaten more than his case.

Malcolm And Marie
Directed by Sam Levinson
Rated R – February 5 on Netflix
This black and white romantic drama written and directed by Sam Levinson (Euphoria) is the first feature to be entirely financed, written, and filmed during the pandemic. John David Washington and Zendaya (both producers on the film) star as a director and his girlfriend, whose relationship is tested on the night of his latest film’s premiere. As they return from the event, they begin to discuss past relationships, which ultimately tests the couple’s love.

Little Fish
Directed by Chad Hartigan
Rated NR – February 5 – In Theaters & VOD

This sci-fi romance is set in a near-future Seattle teetering on the brink of calamity caused by a viral outbreak called Neuroinflammatory Affliction, a severe and rapid Alzheimer’s-like condition in which people’s memories disappear. Couple Jude and Emma are grappling with the realities of NIA, interspersed with glimpses from the past as the two meet and fall in love. But as NIA’s grip on society tightens, blurring the lines between the past and the present, it becomes more and more difficult to know what’s true and what’s false.

Directed by Mike Cahill
Rated R – February 5 – Amazon Prime

In this sci-fi romance, an unfulfilled man (Owen Wilson) and a mysterious woman (Salma Hayek) believe they are living in a simulated reality. Still, when their newfound ‘Bliss’ world begins to bleed into the ‘ugly’ world, they must decide what’s real and where they truly belong.

Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar
Directed by Josh Greenbaum
Rated PG-13 — February 12 – In Theaters & VOD

Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo reunite for this raucous comedy about two lifelong friends who decide to leave their small, Midwestern town for the adventure of a lifetime in Vista Del Mar, Florida. They soon find themselves tangled up in adventure, love, and a villain’s plot to kill everyone in town. It also stars Jamie Dornan, Damon Wayans Jr., Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Michael Hitchcock.

French Exit
Directed by Azazel Jacobs
Rated R – February 12 – In Theaters
“My plan was to die before the money ran out,” says 60-year-old penniless Manhattan socialite Frances Price (Michelle Pfeiffer), but things didn’t go as planned. Her husband Franklin has been dead for 12 years. With his vast inheritance gone, she cashes in the last of her possessions and resolves to live out her twilight days anonymously in a borrowed apartment in Paris, accompanied by her directionless son Malcolm (Lucas Hedges) and a cat named Small Frank—who may or may not embody the spirit of Frances’s dead husband.

– Lori Vernon

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