Despite the bitchiness and anguish inherent in the material, Netflix's new streaming version of The Boys in the Band is one of the very few releases of the last six months that feels absolutely suffused with joy. You won't necessarily find it in the characters, and certainly not in most of the things they say and do. But as a filmed reunion for the cast and director of Broadway's 2018 Tony Award winner – a revival of playwright Matt Crowley's iconic examination of urban gay life in 1968 – there's so much love baked into the presentation that you might find yourself grinning even when situations are at their most dire, and they frequently are.

Although Andrew Cohn's indie dramedy takes a more intriguing turn than you may initially expect, his film is almost pure formula, and formula you're likely familiar with: it's Chico & the Man; it's Superior Donuts; it's every entertainment in which a cranky (white) senior and a sassy upstart (of color) bicker and banter their way to mutual acceptance. But it stars Richard Jenkins, and that alone makes it more worthwhile than this well-meaning diversion might've otherwise been.

The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were presented last night in a relatively lively, primarily virtual ceremony featuring riotous highs (you are a national treasure, Mr. Letterman), only a few dismal lows (poor Anthony Anderson), some great surprises (thank you Jennifer, Courtney, and Lisa for the half-reunion of Friends), and, in a wonderful change of pace, loads of truly deserving victors. (My favorite comedy series, drama series, and limited series all won! Who woulda thunk it?!)

No matter how many Thin Red Lines or Person of Interests Jim Caviezel makes, he's always going to be identified as He Who Was Jesus in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ – which makes his casting in this political thriller so on-the-nose it may as well be a nostril.

Movie Mike chats with Zane Satre about the predictable but fun The Broken Hearts Gallery and the insane yet fasinating I'm Thinking of Ending Things, and the pair also preview the thriller Infidel and Netflix drama The Devil All the Time.

 

I should preface by saying that I'm terrible at predicting Emmy Award winners. Seriously: I'm terrible.

Screening as the final presentation in River Action's 2020 QC Environmental Film Series, the award-winning 2018 documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch plays at the Blue Grass Drive-in on September 27, an acclaimed work that Rotten Tomatoes' Critics Consensus described as “a sobering – and visually ravishing – look at the horrific ecological damage wrought by modern human civilization.”

As contemporary romantic comedies go, The Broken Hearts Gallery is like something you'd create from a kit. The instructions are easy to follow, every expected piece is dutifully included, and there's no veering from the manual – what you wind up getting looks remarkably similar to what's pictured on the box. (Or, in this case, the poster.) But a pandemic-era lack of cineplex options can make you inordinately grateful for simple, much-appreciated qualities such as charm and wit and personality, all of which writer/director Natalie Krinsky's debut feature has in abundance.

Making history this past winter as the first movie to ever receive Academy Award nominations for both Best International Feature Film and Best Documentary Feature, directors Tama Kotevska's and Ljubomir Stefanov's critically acclaimed Honeyland, from North Macedonia, enjoys a September 20 screening at the Blue Grass Drive-in as a fall presentation in River Action's 2020 QC Environmental Film Series.

Presented as part of the Quad City Engineering and Science Council's “Teacher's Night Out Series,” the first episode of Ken Burns' new documentary series The Gene: An Intimate History will be screened at the Blue Grass Drive-in on September 17 – a free event co-hosted by the Quad Cities' PBS station WQPT-TV, and the introduction to an acclaimed four-hour work that the U.K.'s The Telegraph awarded four stars and called “serious-minded, informative, and knowledgeable.”

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