On DVD & Blu-Ray: September 11, 2018

Very early in this spin-off of director Steven Soderbergh's trilogy of movies about George Clooney's ultra-smooth, ultra-smart thief we are introduced to what is and arguably always has been the most fascinating thing about these movies not to mention heist and/or crime dramas in general. This being the fact that the type of people who find themselves in such scenarios have enough self-confidence and charisma to be able to pull-off whatever facade they wish to carry. It's not about what you may or may not be hiding on the inside or what you know about yourself that you believe everyone who sees you immediately assumes as well, but more it is utilizing your appearance, age, and swagger (or lack thereof) to allow those who see you to make those first, quick assumptions only for you to then deliver upon them so as they don't think about you again. It is an awareness of sorts that Clooney's character never fully utilized, he was always the cool guy in the nice suit, but it is almost immediately that his sister, Debbie Ocean, as played by Sandra Bullock utilizes this tool. And then she uses it again. And again. Hell, if her character's tastes weren't so expensive she could make a fine enough living as a salesperson given the way she is able to adapt to and go with whatever environment she finds herself in and with whatever people she finds herself in front of, but this is a movie that is meant to both continue the Ocean's legacy while expanding on the diversification of those gender and ethnic gaps that are being actively addressed in Hollywood as of late. Whether you are in support of this or moronically opposed for one reason or another this agenda doesn't really factor into the execution of the film save for one very pointed line of dialogue that is delivered in such a fashion so as to provide reasoning if not necessarily a justification for this movie's existence. Whether this was an Ocean's movie or not though, what gives the film its pulse is this throughline idea of knowing how to interact with people by scanning them upon meeting them and figuring out what type of person they want in their life and immediately becoming that person. Bullock and a few of her co-stars are able to explore this in a few different ways, but it is mostly Bullock who presents a surprisingly layered approach to this train of thought as we see her Debbie battle with how long such a lifestyle can remain exciting as masked by intentions of justice and vengeance. It's a shame the movie itself doesn't follow through on these instincts as the movie Bullock presents us with and allows us to assume Ocean's 8 might become is far more fascinating than the fun, but ultimately derivative one it ends up being. Full review here. C

This re-make of the 1972 flick, Superfly, sees Director X (a long-time music video director) adapting the story of a successful young drug dealer who sets up one last big job in the hopes of retiring afterward, while dealing with trigger-happy colleagues and police. Starring relative unknown Trevor Jackson in the lead with supporting appearances from Straight Outta Compton's Jason Mitchell and The Wire's Michael Kenneth Williams I was somewhat intrigued by the film this past summer, but given it came out the same week as both Incredibles II and TAG as well as the weekend I left for a family vacation it just wasn't in the cards to catch this one during its theatrical run and now that so much time has passed and reviews weren't exactly inspiring I'm finding it difficult to muster any interest in the movie, but maybe one day...when it shows up on Netflix or Prime.

Hearts Beat Loud stars Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons (DOPE, Neighbors 2) in this story about a father and daughter who form an unlikely songwriting duo the summer before Clemons' character leaves for college. This had the feeling of one of the break-out indie hits of the summer a la The Way, Way Back or Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, but Eighth Grade and Sorry to Bother You kind of beat it to the punch this year with the fact it was picked up by a smaller distributor like Gunpowder & Sky not helping much either. The movie didn't even play at the small, local art house theater where I live, but I'll definitely be checking this one out as soon as possible.

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