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What to watch this weekend: Pixar’s ‘Luca’ on Disney+, Kevin Hart’s ‘Fatherhood’ on Netflix

  • June 17, 2021

theaters back up and running for the summer season and new films still streaming at home to entertain you and your family. 

This weekend, the latest animated Pixar charmer (about two Italian kid sea monsters) drops on Disney+; a Kevin Hart dramedy debuts on Netflix; Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson reteam for an action-comedy sequel (add Salma Hayek for good measure); and new documentaries focus on EGOT legend Rita Moreno and a classic art-pop band you may not know well but totally should.

Here’s a guide to what’s out there that’ll satisfy every cinematic taste, whether you want to mask up for a trip to the nearest big screen or if you’re just fine hunkering down on the couch:

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If you’re desperate for a summer vacation: ‘Luca’

Two young sea monsters hit up a town on the Italian Riviera for gelato, pasta and a heartwarming story of friendship and acceptance. Shy Luca (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) and swaggering Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) appear as human boys out of the water, and in the scenic town of Portorosso the new best buds bond with a quirky girl (Emma Berman), take on the local bully, train for a triathlon and tackle their own fears and insecurities in very Pixar fashion.

Where to watch: Disney+

If you want a Father’s Day weekend flick: ‘Fatherhood’

Director Paul Weitz did so well with 2002’s “About a Boy,” a coming-of-age film centered on a father figure, that it’s extra disappointing that this dramedy is such a mess. Hart plays an ill-prepared new dad whose wife dies after the birth of their daughter Maddy,  and he struggles to figure out the balance between work and family while moving on with his life. The tonal whiplash is striking between the broad comedy and more serious subject matter, and it’s hard to believe any prospective parent is this much of a disaster, although the charismatic pairing of Hart and Melody Hurd (as kindergarten-age Maddy) is a win.

Where to watch: Netflix

‘Fatherhood’:Kevin Hart says he can relate to diaper disasters, crying babies in new dramedy

If you need a new favorite band: ‘The Sparks Brothers’

In his first documentary, Edgar Wright directs a dazzling and thoughtful career retrospective of musical siblings Ron and Russell Mael. And those who’ve never heard of their art-pop group Sparks are the perfect audience for this fantastic deep dive. The movie tracks the brothers’ many ups and downs over the past 50-plus years as an influential (if underrated) act, as Wright brings their stories and sonic reinventions to life through animation.  Famous fans (Mike Myers, Flea, Beck) are interviewed, along with a woman who once stage-dived to hug Ron.

Where to watch: In theaters

If you want to see a legend get real: ‘Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It’

Director Mariem Pérez Riera’s fascinating documentary examines Moreno’s trailblazing and influential career, but more importantly lets the iconic performer loose as one heck of a storyteller. Moreno explains her journey to America from Puerto Rico at age 5, talks honestly about a sexual assault, attempted suicide and an affair with Marlon Brando and examines her career, from being typecast as sex objects and minority characters to finally owning the screen as a Latina woman in “West Side Story.”

Where to watch: In theaters

‘Right now, I’m terrific’:Rita Moreno opens up about her controlling marriage, trailblazing career and Marlon Brando

If you’re a Salma Hayek completist: ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’

Hayek out-swears curse king Jackson and is game for tons of action, but she’s the only positive you can wring out of this dud of a sequel to the not-great 2017 original action comedy. Antonio Banderas plays a Greek billionaire planning to take out Europe (the “how” of it isn’t that important, really), and Interpol has to rely on an insecure bodyguard (Reynolds) reteamed with a hitman frenemy (Jackson) and his unstable, unpredictable spouse (Hayek) to save the world. 

Where to watch: In theaters

If you’re ready for some football: ’12 Mighty Orphans’

They could have called this throwback underdog drama “12 Sports Movie Cliches,” but that would have been a mighty understatement. Set in the Great Depression and based on a true story, a World War I veteran (Luke Wilson) battling PTSD is hired to coach undersized football players at a Texas orphanage. No one takes them seriously, of course, and the new coach inspires his Mighty Mites, throws in an innovative new passing offense and turns them into winners and a national phenomenon.

Where to watch: In theaters

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