New Movies to Watch This Week: Treat Yourself to ‘The Forty-Year-Old Version’ or Adam Sandler’s Latest Trick

Halloween and politics are just two of the main screen themes of the month, with a flurry of brand new movies on streaming services and VoD. October, of course, brings its share of pre-Halloween horror films, even when the cinemas are closed (and also a Netflix Halloween-themed comedy, "Hubie Halloween"). Hulu released the Clive Barker adaptation "Books of Blood", which contains new entries based on the popular short story anthology of the Scaremaster, and Amazon Prime launches Welcome to the Blumhouse for theaters attending a streaming event . The program starts this week with "Black Box" and "The Lie".
However, this is not just any October. Weeks before an important presidential election, politically active filmmakers rush to influence indecisive voters. This explains the surprising publication by Alex Gibney and the company's Totally Under Control investigating the failure of the US government's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Two liberal-minded Sundance documents - "Aggie" on the "Art for Justice" fund by philanthropist Agnes Gund and "Luis, Siempre" on Lin Manuel Miranda's immigrant father - are also canceled this weekend, while "Pray: The Story of Patrick Peyton, "reports Faith-Based Audiences an Option.
Also premiering is "Yellow Rose," the story of a Texas teenager whose undocumented mother was arrested and returned to the Philippines. The young woman who is just beginning to realize her dreams as a country singer has to set up her own business in the US Meanwhile, Radha Blank's hilarious (yet poignant) "The Forty-Year-Old Version" focuses on a woman in Manhattan whose career as a playwright has stalled, motivating her to unlock rap music instead. Where the young people take throw-away free time, they have lived enough to have perspective and are not afraid to express it.
Here is an overview of the films Variety opened this week, as well as links on where to watch them. More movies and TV shows to stream can be found here.
New releases in cinemas
A Rainy Day in New York (Woody Allen)
Distributor: Signature Entertainment
Where to find it: In selected cinemas now
Despite some of the best actors of their respective generations, this feels like a movie born of profound creative exhaustion. It's a makeover of the territory Allen covered extensively before, but while the same can be said of almost all of his late-stage career work, the gears have rarely grinded this loud, and never has writing felt so chronically incongruous with the -phase with the Era it represents. The protagonists are bright young generation Y / Z people who live in what appears to be a contemporary America, but they model behaviors that would be quite out of date in the late 1950s, late 1950s. - Jessica Kiang
Read the full review
Time (Garrett Bradley)
Dealer: Amazon
Where to find it: In theaters now, October 16 on Amazon Prime
Sixty years. That was how long a judge in Louisiana sentenced Rob Richardson to an armed bank robbery. Garrett Bradley covers more than a third of that term in Time, and the cumulative impact - summed up in an open-minded and deeply empathetic 81 minutes - will almost certainly rewire Americans' views of the prison industrial complex. Bradley weaves the daily struggle of Rob's seemingly indefatigable wife, Fox Rich, into the present day with nearly two decades of home videos that Rich recorded over the period of her husband's imprisonment that define the unconventionally structured outcome. - Peter Debruge
Read the full review
Totally under control (Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan, Suzanne Hillinger)
Dealer: Neon
Where to Find It: In Drive-Ins Now With Virtual Theaters On October 13th And Hulu On October 20th
That timing tells you everything about what Gibney wants to achieve: the goal is not to be final, but to be influential without jeopardizing the facts that Trump took an extraordinarily long time to cover up. It looks like the biggest obstacle wasn't the virus, but Trump. Rick Bright, former federal vaccine chief, says, "It's not easy to get involved in this government." Therein lies the problem of following a documentary like this quickly, as so many of the inside watchers who would be willing to record if Trump is removed from office are initially plagued by fears of repercussions. - Peter Debruge
Read the full review
Yellow Rose (Diane Paragas)
Distributor: Sony Pictures, Stage 6 Films
Where to find it: Now in theaters
Watching this story of a Texas-based Filipino teen who craves country music underscores that there are many colors we don't see in films about the Lone Star State, most of which are on the white end of the spectrum focus. Like Andrew Ahn's "Driveways" earlier this year, "Yellow Rose" is ultimately a film about kindness. The world can be cruel, but the movie's characters usually aren't. Group those films with Sundance Award winner Minari and audiences have three great reasons growing up Asian in America - though that's the only one that puts the experience on music. - Peter Debruge
Read the full review
New releases on demand and in selected cinemas
The Wolf of the Snow Cave (Jim Cummings)
Dealer: Orion Classics
Where to find it: Available in theaters and upon request
Someone - or something - kills young women in the sleepy town of Snow Hollow. The situation is actually worse: the insidious lupine attacker tears off his limbs, severing his heads, leaving a gaping hole where their most intimate parts should be. As terrible as it sounds, "The Wolf of Snow Hollow" treats these murders as a joke. Specifically, they're treated as a setup for a uniquely awkward sitcom that is less about solving the case and more about showcasing the strange mix of characters charged with investigating the crimes. - Peter Debruge
Read the full review
Exclusive to Amazon Prime
The Lie (Veena Sud)
Where to find it: Amazon Prime
In movies and on television, covering up a crime, even one as drastic as murder, is as common as sneezing. "The Lie" is about a cover-up, but Jay (Peter Sarsgaard) and his 15-year-old daughter Kayla (Joey King) are hiding a crime that doesn't feel like a crime. You're hiding a freak accident like it's a crime. And so it becomes one. "The Lie" is one of eight Blumhouse-produced films to be released this year on Amazon Prime as a collection under the title "Welcome to the Blumhouse". But these films are not horror roller coasters. They are low key thrillers, linked together by family themes and the variety of talents behind them. - Owen Gleiberman
Read the full review
Black Box (Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr.)
Where to find it: Amazon Prime
Available from HBO max
Charm City Kings (Angel Manuel Soto)
Where to find it: HBO max
"Charm City Kings" is a serious coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old Baltimore named Mouse (Jahi Di'Allo Winston) who was torn between joining the Midnight Clique, an extreme dirt bike gang in Stormtrooper-esque, shiny white breastplate or veterinarian. While this setup might make your eyes roll, it's inspired by the 2013 documentary "12 O'Clock Boys," in which a real kid wrestled with the same options. The really ridiculous plot choices of the film - the wrong twists and turns of leaving the theater like you've inhaled a tank of carbon monoxide - are an invention of their own, screwed onto a personable, if formulaic, charmer. - Amy Nicholson
Read the full review
Siempre, Luis (John James)
Where to find it: HBO max
All you have to do is read the most potted biographies to know that Luis Miranda is an accomplished man: a brave Puerto Rican immigrant who came to New York as a teenager and rose to be a major political advisor. A devoted, foggy documentary portrait of the 66-year-old “Siempre, Luis” covers all of this in brief, but is also aware that most consider the most remarkable achievement in his field to be the father of a particular actor, composer, and playwright named Lin-Manuel. Within 94 minutes, “Siempre, Luis” tries to take both perceptions into account, even if one slightly undermines the other. - Guy Lodge
Read the full review
Exclusively for Hulu
Books of Blood (Brannon Braga)
Where to find it: Hulu
When it comes to low-budget horror films, even the good guys tend to go unnoticed, which probably explains why "Salem" creators Brannon Braga and Adam Simon were drawn to a brand name like Clive Barker's Books of Blood, to wrap up their otherwise generic Hulu horror anthology. This three-part scare-fest is less of a convenient feature than the backup pilot for an unlimited number of future installments. It uses the flesh-flinging title chapter in Barker's short story omnibus “The Book of Blood” from 1984 to design two smaller entries without reference to the beloved pulp collection. - Peter Debruge
Read the full review
Exclusive to Netflix
The 40 year old version (Radha Blank) CRITIC'S PICK
Where to find it: Netflix
Is the world ready for the 40 year old version? Judging from writer and director Blank's mic-drop debut, the answer is sure to be positive. It's positive too, but not watered down or submissive. Shot in expressionist black and white, as in earlier indies "She's Gotta Have It" or "Go Fish", Blank's first feature is a serious, honest, often comical testimony to a talented writer (the off Broadway piece "Seed" brought her one Shot one while working with Spike Lee) on what it means for someone in their position to reinvent themselves. The pregnancy may have been long, but alleluia, a star is being born! - Peter Debruge
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Hubie Halloween (Steven Brill)
Where to find it: Netflix
Existing fans only have to apply: Sandler's work for Netflix has developed to an industry and critical-safe level. However, the broad reach of “Hubie Halloween” suggests that the fan base spans several generations. Essentially, throwaway family entertainment with as many faint sexual innuendos as it can fit under a PG-13 blanket, the movie features Sanders' mandatory gross gimmicks in a mandatory fashion. Nobody breaks a sweat here, but even with the autopilot, Sandler's heist is exhaustively impressive in itself. - Guy Lodge
Read the full review
More from the diversity
How "The Lie" editor Phillip Fowler created tension in the Blumhouse thriller
"Totally Under Control" review: Coronavirus Doc before the election cuts through the chaos and shows a reckless endangerment at the top
'Hubie Halloween' Review: Adam Sandler Does His Undeniable Cause In A Single-Use October Capsule
Best of variety
The best horror movies you can currently see on Netflix
What's coming to Disney Plus in October 2020?
Everything comes to Netflix in October
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