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New streaming, on-demand highlights April 1-7, 2024

{p}(L to R) Justice Smith as "Aren", David Alan Grier as "Roger" and Aisha Hinds as "Gabbard" in writer/director Kobi Libii's THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MAGICAL NEGROES, a Focus Features release. (Photo: Tobin Yelland/Focus Features){/p}

(L to R) Justice Smith as "Aren", David Alan Grier as "Roger" and Aisha Hinds as "Gabbard" in writer/director Kobi Libii's THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MAGICAL NEGROES, a Focus Features release. (Photo: Tobin Yelland/Focus Features)

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It’s a quiet week for releases headlined by Focus Feature’s “The American Society of Magical Negroes.” I saw the film at the Sundance Film Festival. I didn’t dislike the film. I did, however, feel that it was all a little too pleasant and not nearly as critical or insightful as I expected. Critic reviews have mostly been middling. Audiences seem to have decided to hate the film out of an undefined principle. It’s far better than its 2.4/10 IMDB rating suggests. As much as it pains me to say it, you’d probably be best served by waiting for this to come to Peacock later in the year.

“Kumuko: The Treasure Hunter” is highly recommended. I saw this at the Sundance Film Festival as well (a decade ago, it would seem). Essentially you have a protagonist who believes that “Fargo” was more of a documentary than it was a work of fiction, and she is determined to locate the gold that was left undiscovered at the end of the film. I should revisit it.

The Blu-ray and DVD releases are scant. I remember loving the soundtrack to “Stigmata.” My feelings about the film itself aren’t particularly clear.

The American Society of Magical Negroes

Studio Synopsis: A fresh, satirical comedy about a young man, Aren, who is recruited into a secret society of magical Black people who dedicate their lives to a cause of utmost importance: making white people’s lives easier.

Baby Assassins 2

Studio Synopsis: After being suspended from their agency due to a rules violation, two highly skilled teenage assassins are forced to get 'real' jobs to make ends meet. But while the elite duo is forbidden from executing targets or enemies under any circumstances, two aspiring rival hitmen decide to eliminate the competition while they’re vulnerable—leading to a lightning-fast showdown between trained killers.
Also available on: Blu-ray

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Studio Synopsis: A Tokyo office worker (Rinko Kikuchi) finds a battered VHS tape of a fictional film and becomes convinced the movie’s lost satchel of money is real. Believing she solved the mystery of the buried fortune, she abandons everything and embarks on a quest to frozen Minnesota in search of the mythical treasure, discovering the line between reality and fantasy may be be even harder to locate.

Snack Shack

Studio Synopsis: Nebraska City, summer of 1991—Inseparable best friends AJ and Moose seize the opportunity to run the local pool's rundown snack shack after their plan to gamble on dog races and sell home-brewed beer goes down the drain. Dreaming of striking it rich, things take an unexpected turn when they meet Brooke, an effortlessly cool lifeguard who puts their big summer plans and their friendship at risk.

You Have No Idea

Studio Synopsis: When Beth’s son Evan James was diagnosed with Autism in the early 90s, treatment options were limited. Doctors offered no practical advice for daily living and advised Beth to limit his social interactions. Rejecting these notions, Beth sets out to provide her son with a life filled with purpose and friendship. This heartfelt film is a sweet testament to the power of love and community by following a determined mom advocating for her son.

Blu-ray & DVD Highlights

Four Daughters

Studio Synopsis: This riveting exploration of rebellion, memory, and sisterhood reconstructs the story of Olfa Hamrouni and her four daughters, unpacking a complex family history through intimate interviews and performances to examine how the Tunisian woman’s two eldest were radicalized. Casting professional actresses as the missing daughters, along with acclaimed Egyptian-Tunisian actress Hend Sabri as Olfa, Oscar-nominated director Kaouther Ben Hania ("The Man Who Sold His Skin") restages pivotal moments in the family’s life. These scenes are interwoven with confessions and reflections from Olfa and her younger daughters, offering the women agency to tell their own story and capturing moments of joy, loss, violence, and heartache. Winner of four prizes including L’Oeil d'Or (Best Documentary) when it screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, "Four Daughters" is a compelling portrait of five women and a unique and ambitious work of nonfiction storytelling that explores the nature of memory, the weight of inherited trauma, and the ties that bind mothers and daughters.

La haine - Criterion Collection 4K UHD

Studio Synopsis: Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with "La haine," a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts. Aimlessly passing their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé), and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui)—Jewish, African, and Arab, respectively—give human faces to France’s immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their marginalization slowly simmering until it reaches a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, "La haine" is a landmark of 1990s French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis.

Major League 4K UHD SteelBook

Studio Synopsis: She's beautiful, smart, goal-oriented, and she just inherited the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately, she wants to move the franchise to Miami, and a losing season is her only ticket to Florida. So she signs the wildest gang of screwballs that ever spit tobacco. They're handsome, but they're hopeless! Her catcher (Tom Berenger) is a washed-up womanizer who struck out in life. Her ace pitcher (Charlie Sheen) is a punked-out crazy who struck out with the law. And her third baseman (Corbin Bernsen) is more concerned with fielding endorsements than grounders.


Studio Synopsis: A lost soul has just received the wounds of Christ and a shocking message that will alter history. Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette) has absolutely no faith in God. All of that changes when she suddenly begins to suffer the stigmata – the living wounds of the crucified Christ. Frankie’s miraculous bleeding comes to the attention of the Vatican’s top investigator, Father Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne). But when Cardinal Houseman (Jonathan Pryce), discovers that Frankie is actually channeling an extraordinary and provocative message that could destroy the Church, he's convinced that she – and the force possessing her – must be forever silenced. Determined to stop this deadly conspiracy, Kiernan risks his faith – and his life – to save her and the message that will change the destiny of mankind forever.

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