BY SUSAN HORNIK
This summer’s menu of delicious new blockbusters has something for every appetite.
–Brother, starring Lamar Johnson and Aaron Pierre, is a heart-bending tale that follows the “sons of Caribbean immigrants, Francis and Michael, as they face questions of masculinity, identity, and family amid the pulsing beat of Toronto’s early hip-hop scene.” Premieres August 4.
–For a breath of fresh air and spoonful of original, check out the hilarious Problemista, the latest from writer/comedian/producer Julio Torres, starring Tilda Swinton, Isabella Rossellini, Greta Lee, and Larry Owens. The film follows an aspiring toy designer who’s struggling to bring his quirky ideas to life in New York City. It’s been described as having an Everything Everywhere All at Once flair to it. August 4.
–For the speed hungry: checkout Gran Turismo, based on the fascinating true story of Jann Marden borough, the teenage Gran Turismo player who eventually became a professional race car driver.
Premieres August 11.
Author Abigail Hing Wen can’t wait until Paramount+ exclusively premieres the new young adult film Love In Taipei, based on her New York Times best-selling novel Loveboat, Taipei. In the HarperCollins book, a young American woman is sent by her parents to a cultural immersion program in Taipei. The tale was inspired by a real-world program that’s attended by thousands of Chinese and Taiwanese diaspora youth. “The film ends in a different place than the first book and will definitely leave audiences wanting more,” explained Hing Wen. “I would love for audiences to get to see the rest of the characters’ journeys play out on screen. But in the meantime, Loveboat Reunion, which follows [characters]Sophie and Xavier, is out in the world, and Loveboat Forever comes to shelves this November.” The film was shot on location in Taipei and will premiere in August. It stars Ashley Liao, Ross Butler, and Nico Hiraga.
Turner Classic Movies recently released But Have You Read the Book?, described as an essential guide to 52 cinema classics. “Fans who love movies and books will be so excited to dive into this partnership between me and TCM,” said pop culture essayist/author Kristen Lopez. “I discuss the way books are adapted to film, what ends up on screen, and what ends up on the cutting room floor. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll find some new books to love from some of your favorite films.” Some films, like the ‘90scomedy classic Clueless and Amy Heckerling’s interpretation of Jane Austen’s Emma, are wildly different from the original source material, while others, such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, shift the perspective to create a different angle within the same story. Additional fan favorite films/books explored by Lopez include Little Women, Children of Men, The Color Purple, Crazy Rich Asians, Dr. No, Dune, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
In-person charity events had a tough ride during the pandemic, but actress Holly Robinson Peete’s Holly Rod Foundation, a nonprofit that helps raise funding for autism and Parkinson’s disease, has managed to keep going. “Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Holly Rod Foundation fills my heart with immense gratitude and pride,” said Peete, who is married to former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete. “I’d like to thank our donors, volunteers, and everyone on this journey with us for their unwavering support of our mission.” At their annual Design Care Gala, Holly Rod will be honoring Naomi Campbell with the inaugural Jacqueline Avant Holly Rod Humanitarian Award this year. The event will additionally honor Nicole Ari Parker (And Just Like That) and Boris Kodjoe with the Muhammad Ali Trailblazer Award.
SUN AND STARS
Want to vacation like a celebrity? Vidanta, a lavish Mexican and Latin American hotel and entertainment destination, recently debuted a campaign with a few familiar faces: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mark Wahlberg, and Mexican actor Jaime Camil (Jane The Virgin). In the video, the three stars showcase Vidanta’s lush golf courses, upscale swimming pools, cuisine, customer ser-vice, and ultra-luxurious accommodations. “Only when we travel do we discover the best version of ourselves, ready to break free and experience the extraordinary,” said Zeta-Jones.
“Vidanta is like my very own paradise, where I can simply relax and indulge, and it was a plea-sure to be a part of this project.” With six destinations throughout Mexico, including Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Maya, and Los Cabos, the company has large golf courses and will soon open an 830-acre theme park. “As an avid golfer who can’t get enough of Mexico, I’ve loved get-ting to know Vidanta’s world-class golf facilities, breathtaking settings, and the gracious Mexican hospitality for which Vidanta is famous,” said Wahlberg.