John Boyega steals spotlight in ‘Naked Singularity’

Rick's Reviews

John Boyega plays a troubled lawyer in “Naked Singularity.” (Photo courtesy of Screen Media)

Two new films dealing with dark subject matter are extremely entertaining.

“Naked Singularity” Grade 3 ½ stars: Credit John Boyega for making this heist film – opening in select theaters and On Demand – work so well. The general practice of movies in this genre is to have the person at the center of the heist either a suave crook or a cold-blood thief. He’s a great exception to that rule.

Boyega shows that even a person with a strong grasp on moral issues can be lured by the promise of great wealth. It’s his natural charm and ability to play a character with great innocence that makes this unique take on a familiar subject so strong.

He plays a promising young NYC public defender whose idealism is tested by the weight of the daily injustices of the very justice system he’s trying to make right. The lawyer is pulled into a high-stakes drug heist by a former client (Olivia Cooke) to beat the broken system at its own game.

The film is based on the prize-winning novel A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava, a former Manhattan District Attorney with first-hand knowledge of the everyday travesties of justice in city courtrooms. All the quirks of the courts are on full display her. Combine that with Boyega’s performance and the result is a hit.

“Batman: Long Halloween Part Two” Grade 3 ½ stars: This second part of the direct-to-video offering is not quite as strong as the first part but the initial half set a super high bar. Even coming up a little short of Part One makes the conclusion of the tale of Batman’s efforts to stop a killer who commits murders on holidays strong from writing to animation.

The production was inspired by the mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale who put together a compelling story of theHoliday Killer. No end to the killing spree is in sight because Bruce Wayne (Jensen Ackles) is under the spell of the venomous Poison Ivy (Katee Sackhoff). With an assist from Catwoman (Naya Rivera), Batman finally gets to solve the case at the same time an infamous villain comes to life.

“Part Two” is another example of how the comic book world has grown to a place for sophisticated stories told through stunning animation rival any live-action comic book inspired film.

“Finding You” Grade 3 stars: Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre), a major motion picture star who travels to Ireland to shoot his latest dungeons-and-dragons epic. In this new video release, he arrives at the same time Finley Sinclair (Rose Reid) is headed to the same small town in Ireland where she is looking for musical inspiration after a failed audition at a prestigious New York music conservatory. They both end up staying in the same bed-and-breakfast.

It is based on the book There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones, a prolific, award-winning author of more than a dozen popular YA mysteries and romances. This is the first work by Jones to be turned into a movie.

The relationship the very likable lead actors form makes “Finding You” a 21st Century answer to “Notting Hill.”

New on DVD and Blu-ray as of Aug. 10

“Till Death”: Megan Fox stars in this tale of a romantic anniversary evening that goes horribly wrong.

“You Will Die at Twenty”: Woman is haunted by the prediction of a sheikh that her child will die at the age of 20. 

“Victim of Love”: Charly is looking for his American girlfriend who disappeared under mysterious circumstances during a vacation stay at a hotel in Copenhagen.

“Profile”:  An undercover British journalist looks to expose a terrorist recruiter through social media.

“Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island”: Dinosaur siblings Buddy, Tiny, Shiny and Don go on a very important mission of discovery.

“The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2”: Neighbors join forces to battle a pimp who may or may not be an actual vampire.

“Occupation: Rainfall”: Humans and aliens collide in the race to save mankind.

Available through digital platforms

“Whelm”: Two estranged brothers get tangled in a rivalry between a bank robber and an eccentric at the height of the Great Depression before learning they are a part of a larger historic scheme. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.