What’s new to theatres and streaming this weekend: June 3-5, 2022

This weekend's options include David Cronenberg's return in Crimes Of The Future, queer comedy Fire Island and mob coming-of-ager A Chiara

David Cronenberg's Crimes Of The Future is covered in our weekend movie reviews
Courtesy of Sphere Films

Crimes Of The Future

(David Cronenberg)

Earlier this Spring, David Cronenberg auctioned off his passed kidney stones as NFTs, which was a savvy way to market his new body horror movie and respond to where we’re all headed. Crimes Of The Future is a knowing return to the Cronenberg of eXistenZ, Crash and Dead Ringers. There are several call backs to those past titles in this dusted off script about an evolution in the human body.

There are people in the future sprouting new organs. One of them is a performance artist played by Cronenberg muse Viggo Mortensen who, along with his comely partner (Léa Seydoux), surgically remove each new organ in public.

As a captivated fan, Kristen Stewart delivers the movie’s thesis: “Surgery is the new sex.” The line is an updated take on Videodrome’s “long live the new flesh,” which is fitting because at its best, Crimes Of The Future is simply adapting Cronenberg’s old fixations, on the need to feel pain and its erotic potential, to a new era with an evolved society and a different body (politic).

The ideas exceed the execution. You can see the missed thriller potential that Cronenberg may have realized with the kind of budgets, time and energy that fellow Canadian Denis Villeneuve now enjoys. That too is a familiar story for Cronenberg. 107 min. Now playing in theatres everywhere. NNN (Radheyan Simonpillai)

A scene from Fire Island, with Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Chang, which we cover in this weekend's movie reviews
Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

Fire Island

(Andrew Ahn)

Fire Island won’t replace Clueless as the sharpest romantic comedy inspired by a Jane Austen book. But its novel setting, completely queer creative team and – for a movie that’s streaming (in Canada) on Disney+ – refreshingly candid gay sex scenes make it terrific Pride Month viewing.

While staying at the eponymous queer summer Mecca, besties Noah (writer Joel Kim Booster) and Howie (SNL’s Bowen Yang) meet their Darcy and Bingleys, here named Will (Conrad Ricamora) and Charlie (James Scully). Howie and Charlie form an adorkable bond, but Noah overhears the wealthy, hot Will say something that puts a damper on that relationship – not to mention Noah’s interest in Will.

What follows is a charming, if awkwardly paced, series of misunderstandings, social gaffes and revelations, proving that finding a partner is the same as it was in Regency England, except that on Fire Island underwear parties, party drugs and engaging in back room bar sex also enter the equation.
Kim Booster’s script could have used another pass or two, and Ahn is no Amy Heckerling. But there are some great visual gags and campy pop culture references. And it’s hella refreshing to see some hot Gaysian actors, and other POCs, burning up the screen and challenging the buff white circuit party stereotype. Read full review here. 105 min. Now streaming on Disney+. NNN (Glenn Sumi)

A scene from A Chiara
Courtesy of Elevation Pictures

A Chiara

(Jonas Carpignano)

Remember the college episode of The Sopranos, when Tony’s daughter Meadow confronts dad about his mob antics? Imagine that story as a low-key, tender coming-of-age story. Fifteen-year-old Chiara (played by captivating non-actor Swamy Rotolo) finds out from news headlines that her doting dad is a suspected mafioso, which sends her spiralling out on a rebellious streak while trying to find the truth. Italian-American filmmaker Carpignano delivers a fascinating take and perspective in familiar territory, focusing on how a crime family’s fallout affects a young girl’s sense of self. If her whole life has been about family, how do these revelations fracture her identity? Capignano wisely sticks close to his star, who has a firm grip on the material even as the story around her comes loose in the end. 121 min. Now playing at Imagine Cinemas Carlton. NNN (RS)

Also opening theatrically this week

Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story

Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Katy Perry and Earth, Wind & Fire; Directed by Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern

The Righteous

Mark O’Brien, Mimi Kuzyk, Henry Czerny; Directed by Mark O’Brien

Streaming guides

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