Focus Features Releases ‘Boogie’ From Eddie Huang; ‘My Salinger Year’ And ‘Boss Level’ Debut – Specialty Preview

Courtesy of Focus Features

Even though it’s moving at a slower pace than many would like, the vaccine rollout is starting to gain some traction and in turn, moviegoers are going to start setting foot in theaters — safely of course. That said, the specialty box office space might be hearing some more coin drop into its piggy bank in the forthcoming months. It’s been quite a journey, but we’ll get there slowly yet surely.

Eddie Huang, who is best known for writing the best-selling Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir which was the inspiration for the popular ABC sitcom, makes his feature directorial debut with Boogie which Focus Features releases in theaters today.

The story follows Alfred Chin (Taylor Takahashi) who goes by the name “Boogie”. He is a basketball phenom living in Queens, New York and dreams of one day playing in the NBA. However, his parents have other plans for him. They want him to put all of his focus on earning a scholarship to an elite college. Through it all, Boogie must find a way to navigate a new girlfriend, high school, on-court rivals and the burden of expectation.

Boogie joins Raya and the Last Dragon this weekend in terms of Asian-led narratives in the film space — but both are very different kinds of films. One seems as though it is cut from the same cloth of the classic Love and Basketball while the other is about a badass heroine living in a fantastical Southeast Asian land of dragons and mythological lore. Both films bolster Asian-led films in Hollywood, providing not one, but two stories showing that Asian narratives do not come from a monolith.

Huang wrote the screenplay for Boogie which also stars Taylour Paige, Pamelyn Chee, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Alexa Mareka, Mike Moh, Perry Yung, and Pop Smoke. Producers are Josh Bratman of Immersive Pictures, Josh McLaughlin of Wink Productions, and Michael Tadross. Rafael Martinez is an executive producer.

Watch the trailer below.

In Philippe Falardeau’s My Salinger Year, Margaret Qualley plays young aspiring writer Joanna Rakoff who lands a job on the desk of the iconic author J. D. Salinger’s literary agent played by Sigourney Weaver. IFC Films releases the film in theaters and on demand today.

Based on the real-life Joanna Rakoff’s memoir of the same name and adapted for the screen by Falardeau, the film follows Joanna as she is tasked with handling the bags of fan mail received for Salinger. She is supposed to give stock replies to all these letters, but she throws all of this out the window and starts writing her own responses using a voice inspired by Salinger leading her to discover her own as a writer and herself.

My Salinger Year opened the 70th Berlin Film Festival over a year ago pre-Covid lockdown. The film also stars Douglas Booth.

Watch the trailer below.

Frank Grillo is continuing his reign as a Charles Bronson-level gruff action star in Boss Level which drops on Hulu today.

In the action pic directed by Joe Carnahan who co-wrote it with Chris Borey & Eddie Borey, the Marvel alum plays Roy Pulver, a special forces agent who is trapped in a time loop of the day he was murdered. While reliving the day, he uncovers clues about a secret government project that could unlock the mystery behind his death.

In a race against the clock, he must hunt down Colonel Ventor (Mel Gibson), the powerful head of the government program, while outrunning skilled ruthless assassins determined to keep him from the truth in order to break out of the loop and save his ex-wife (Naomi Watts).

Boss Level also stars Annabelle Wallis, Ken Jeong, Will Sasso, Selina Lo, Meadow Williams and Michelle Yeoh. Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski and MMA heavyweights Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson also appear in guest-starring roles.

Watch the trailer below.

For some horrific thrills this weekend, might I recommend Son?

Written and directed by Ivan Kavanagh, Son follows Laura (Andi Matichak) and her eight-year-old son David (Luke David Blumm) as they leave their town after a mysterious group of individuals broke into their home to kidnap David.

While searching for safety,  David becomes extremely ill, suffering from increasingly sporadic psychosis and convulsions…which isn’t good, obviously. Following her maternal instincts to save him, Laura commits unspeakable acts to keep him alive, but soon, she must decide how far she is willing to go to save her son.

Emile Hirsch also stars in the horror pic which will be released in theaters and on demand by RLJE Films and Shudder.

If kidnappings and psychotic eight-year-olds aren’t your thing then Samuel Goldwyn Films has another type of horror with Dreamcatcher.

Travis Burns plays Dylan who is known to his fans as DJ Dreamcatcher… which is an interesting choice of a DJ name. Nonetheless, he is on the brink of global stardom but on the night of the underground music festival Cataclysm, things take a turn.

Dylan meets  two estranged sisters and their friends and after a drug fueled gruesome event, things begin to spiral into a 48-hour whirlwind of violence and mayhem — which is the exact opposite of a dream. It’s more like a nightmare.

Dreamcatcher is written and directed by Jacob Johnston. The film also stars Niki Koss, Zachary Gordon, Blaine Kern III, Olivia Sui, Emrhys Cooper, Elizabeth Posey, Nazanin Mandi, Adrienne Wilkinson and Lou Ferrigno Jr. The film hits theaters and on demand today.

Kate Taverna and Alan Adelson’s documentary The People vs. Agent Orange isn’t about that orange creature that inhabited the White House from 2016-2020. It’s about something just as deadly and toxic.

Agent Orange is a toxic defoliant that came to prominence during the Vietnam War where it was used in herbicidal warfare. Today, it still exists all over the world as it is being used to control weeds in farming, forestry, parks, even on children’s playgrounds. If it was used during war, then perhaps it isn’t the greatest idea to use it these areas.

The deadly chemical wreaks havoc on the human genome and has caused deformed births and deadly cancers. After personal losses, two women are leading a worldwide movement to end the plague and hold the manufacturers accountable. In France, Tran To Nga is suing the American chemical industry for poisoning her in Vietnam. In America, Carol Van Strum exposes the continuing use of toxic herbicides in the Pacific Northwest.

The People vs. Agent Orange opens virtually in New York, Los Angeles and other select cities starting today.

If you’re a lover of dogs, then you will probably will go on an emotional journey with Elizabeth Lo’s documentary Stray which Magnolia Pictures releases in theaters and on demand today.

Stray follows three stray dogs as they go on a journey to find companionship on the streets of Turkey. There’s Zeytin, fiercely independent, embarks on adventures through the city at night; Nazar, nurturing and protective, easily befriends the humans around her; while Kartal, a shy puppy living on the outskirts of a construction site, finds companions in the security guards who care for her.

If this movie doesn’t make you love dogs, I don’t know what will.

Also opening this weekend in select theateres and on VOD is Vertical Entertainment’s Appalachian country coal mine thrillerThe Devil Below directed by Bradley Parker. Jill Li’s riveting documentary Lost Course which chronicles a democratic movement in the southern Chinese village of Wukan.

Last and certainly not least is Lionsgate and Grindstone Entertainment Group’s thriller Adverse directed by Brian A. Metcalf which will hit on-demand and digital on March 9. The movie follows struggling ride share driver Ethan (Thomas Nicholas) whose sister goes missing after being in debt to a drug dealer. Ethan learns that crime boss Kaden (Mickey Rourke) is behind all of this and as a result, Ethan makes a plan to get closer to him by taking a job as his driver. One by one Ethan hunts down members of Kaden’s crew to wreak bloody vengeance as he prepares to confront Kaden himself. The cast also includes Penelope Ann Miller, Sean Astin and Lou Diamond Phillips.

This article was printed from