Wondering what to watch? The new month brings many cinematic highlights available on streaming, such as the South London-based rom-com Rye Lane, landing on Disney + after its brief theatrical run.
Elsewhere, NOW and Sky Cinema offer a new rom-com with Ticket to Paradise, the reunion of George Clooney and Julia Roberts in the kind of low-budget film where their star power shines.
Read more: Everything new on Netflix in May
This is also the week of the cinematic release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, to go with that, the first Guardians of the Galaxy film has been made available to watch on BBC iPlayer, while Prime Video adds its DC film The Suicide Squad.
Note that subscription may be required to view.
Rye Lane (2023) | Disney+ (pick of the week)
In what feels as much like a love letter to the contours of South London as it does to the stagnant traditions of the romantic comedy, Rye Lane by Raine Anne-Miller stands out due to several kinds of scarcity: first of all, a general lack of black-. directed films that are not dramas about historical injustice. Second, lack of romantic comedies that aren’t going straight to streaming.
It’s also a pretty funny, easy time – again, which feels all too rare for black-led films. After meeting by chance in a bathroom, two Londoners, Dom and Yes, mend their respective breakups, so Rye Lane takes a sort of “one crazy evening”, watching the two as they encourage their together to do things that are always ill-advised. to proceed. And, of course, they fall for each other at the same time.
Read more: Everything new on Disney + in May
The script can feel like it’s going through the motions a bit – sticking closely to traditional genre patterns – but it’s happily meandering along.
Watch: Raine Anne-Miller talks to Yahoo about Rye Lane
The odd choice of an extremely present angle lens is initially an odd aesthetic choice, but becomes more appropriate over time, filling the space with vibrant color.
The high point – apart from an out-of-the-field cameo from another British rom-com lover – is a very uncomfortable restaurant meeting between Dom and his insufferable ex-girlfriend, who’s hooking up with his doofus school best friend. : a sort of parlay that goes completely wrong.
Rye Lane was just coasts past this point, but it’s pleasing to the eye and bolstered by an enjoyable cast of oddballs.
Also new on Disney+: Peter Pan and Wendy (2023), The Insider (1999)
Ticket to Paradise (2022) | NOW with Sky Cinema Membership
Speaking of the slow death of romcoms, Ticket to Paradise is another film that shows the rise of this underrated nexus of mid-budget cinema. New on Sky Cinema this week, this 2022 film is a throwaway romcom directed by Ol Parker (aka Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again) but more importantly, it stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts, coming together again after a series of great films together. , including 11 the monument Ocean.
Read more: All new on NOW in May
That lingering chemistry keeps Ticket to Paradise afloat, the two playing a divorced couple scheming to sabotage their daughter’s wedding in Bali, thinking she’s screwing things up. Unlike the defining characteristics of Rye Lane, Ticket to Paradise isn’t particularly well-made or well-written, but it does have that crucial element of such a film: two bonafide movie stars throwing their glamor and charisma around .
Also new on NOW: The Old Way (2023)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) | BBC iPlayer
2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy – which started an upward career trajectory for many of its cast and crew – is a highlight in Marvel Studios’ growing library. At the time, considered too niche and weird to translate to audiences, this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy is now one of the most famous teams in the Marvel comics department as well.
Read more: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 reviews: A heartfelt finale
Aside from the (small) surprise of its success – it was a real litmus test of what source material Kevin Feige could mine in his mission to print money – Guardians of the Galaxy works because it’s genuinely invested in an emotional arc its strange and standoffish foreigners. After all, the most tragic figure in the series is a mouthy raccoon, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and his best friend, the talking tree Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) is his heart.
Rather than just going after the Guardians as edgy outlaws, Gunn lays out his own dysfunctional backstory and explores what made the likes of Star-Lord and his companions this way (mostly daddy issues – it’s movies these are superheroes after all) and why they might find a relationship in each other. There are, however, some frustrations that come with many such films: an over-reliance on MacGuffins, as well as the obligations of the MCU’s aggressive world-building, with inserted cameos from the great Thanos of the future and an almost literal story. slideshow explanation of Infinity Stones as a setup for his ten-year Avengers arc.
However, it is one of several MCU films that can be called really soulful with such an actual emotional investment in its characters, Marvel films too often treat them like action figures and shrink away from earnestness, shield yourself with quips.
With Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn showed that it’s even better to give a damn.
Also on iPlayer: Apocalypse Now (1979), Moana (2016), Booksmart (2019)
The Suicide Squad (2021) | Video Prime
Although less notable than Gunn’s own Guardians of the Galaxy film, the circumstances that led to The Suicide Squad are extremely touching. Due to the success of 2014’s quippy Guardians, DC released its own film about an anti-hero team of super-criminals: 2016’s Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer, was a critical flop, but hit a billion dollars.
Later, Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 over some historically ill-judged tweets (he eventually landed back in the driver’s seat). Sensing an opportunity, DC stepped in, and Gunn was hired to make The Suicide Squad, a soft reboot sequel that has been more warmly received. Gunn now heads DC Studios as their very own Kevin Feige – a far cry from his life as a low-budget animator.
Read more: Everything new on Prime Video in May
Anyway, Suicide Squad is a lot of fun, even if Gunn’s schtick feels a bit more played out here with no producer notes coming his way. It goes from gleefully anarchic to a little too young, but there are easily worse cape films out there. there – and it’s fun to see a big shark man in shorts brutally stumble his way through a set of action.
Not nihilism and (slightly dicey) reflections on the bad foreign intervention of US intelligence agencies, because it even gets the Gunn angle on the Guardians of the Galaxy, uniting its super-criminals through shared parental traumas.
Also new on Prime: One True Loves (2023), Beautiful Disaster (2023)