Is 'Raya' a new Disney classic?
What to know
Springsteen is bringing his Broadway show back June 26… Broadway isn’t coming back till September, but Bruce is saying ‘eff that,’ and returning to the Great White Way this month! Interestingly, audience members will have to provide proof of vaccination. I wonder if that will be the case when the rest of B’way comes back? 🎸
Netflix renews Shadow and Bone for season 2… Excellent news! In addition to the renewal announcement, Netflix revealed that 55 million households watched the fantasy series in its first month. Here’s my recommendation of the first season, if you missed it ☀️
A Central Park mega concert will celebrate reopening… live music is back y’all 🎵
You can now watch the first 8 minutes of In the Heights… all of a sudden I really want some piragua 🌉
Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan will play the NYT reporters who exposed Harvey Weinstein… sounds like an awards season contender to me 📝
Watch the trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s next flick No Sudden Move… welcome back to the heist genre, Mr. Soderbergh! 🚘
A video game based on Hitchcock’s Vertigo is on the way… umm OK? 🎮
New Disney+ series will go behind the scenes of famous attractions… we’ll finally learn if anyone actually died in the Haunted Mansion 🏰
Rob Zombie is going to direct a new Munsters movie… makes sense 🧟♂️
Dropping this week:
Loki s1 premiere — June 9 on Disney+ | Marvel series | No RT
Awake — June 9 on Netflix | Gina Rodriguez thriller | No RT
Fresh, Fried, and Crispy s1 — June 9 on Netflix | Food series w Daym Drops
Infinite — June 10 on Paramount+ | Mark Wahlberg sci-fi thriller | No RT
In the Heights — June 11 on HBO Max & in theaters | Musical | 96% RT
Kevin Can F**k Himself s1 premiere — June 13 on AMC | Drama series | No RT
Season 2 premieres: Love, Victor (Hulu 6/11), Lupin (Netflix 6/11), Betty (HBO Max 6/11), Tuca and Bertie (Adult Swim 6/12)
What to watch
Raya and the Last Dragon, now available for free with Disney+, is far from perfect. It doesn’t soar to the heights of recent Disney Animation studio films like Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, or even Big Hero 6, but it does come with enough Disney magic to delight on a Saturday afternoon, let‘s say. This pan Asian-inspired fantasy adventure packs tons of stunning design, eye-popping visuals, and heart-pulsing action sequences. Its all Asian-American voice cast sparkles, led by the grounded and emotional Kelly Marie Tran and the zany Awkwafina, who seems to be channelling Robin Williams’ Genie in some ways. While some of the pacing feels off and a few emotional beats are missing (maybe due to Disney finishing the movie remotely?), Raya makes up for it with meaningful morality. Behind all the shrine robbing and dragon dancing, the magic orbs and flexible swords, Raya and the Last Dragon teaches us that kindness and peace will always win out over hostility and division. You know, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. It’s an important message to hear right now and it comes in an enjoyable, colorful package. Raya and the Last Dragon might not be an instant Disney Animation classic, but it’s another formidable entry in its modern era.
For all past ‘what to watch’ recommendations, see the full list here!