Heavy metal has always made a home for outcasts, even when they’re hopelessly uncool.
That’s certainly the case with “Metal Lords,” the messy, gritty, but ultimately heartwarming story of three teenagers brought together by heavy metal music. Although it’s more “School of Rock” than a heavy metal song, it’s both fun and sweet to watch these clumsy, isolated children find their power. If you need more metal, there are also a ton of guest spots that deeper level fans will recognize and appreciate.
The film opens with two teenagers trying to start a heavy metal band. They need a bassist, but since they’re the only metal fans in their school, it’s been a challenge. When Kevin (Jaeden Martell) approaches a girl who plays the kind of bass meant for an orchestra, the three teenagers must learn what it really means to be metal.
Martell, along with teammates Adrien Greensmith and Isis Hainsworth, are all incredibly goofy in their own way. Although they all face challenges, the film makes sure they are never too dark. After all, heavy metal is here to save them.
Saved by Ruby
If you love dog movies, you have to watch “Rescued by Ruby.”
Based on a true story, the movie ticks almost every box on the ultimate dog movie list. An opening that finds the dog unadoptable, putting his future in jeopardy until the right owner comes to save him. A powerful bond between dog and owner where they see each other. A glorious triumph that proves just how special the dog really is.
Better yet, the dog lives.
The film moves the story to Canada, where Grant Gustin is a policeman who dreams of joining the special detection team. This means he needs a dog to train with, and since the team doesn’t have the budget for more, he has to find his own. Enter Ruby, Canada’s most untrainable dog.
The film follows a very specific formula, but it’s a smooth, satisfying formula that unfolds smoothly. There’s a good balance of humor and dramatic moments, just enough to keep you hooked until the very end. There’s even a nice twist that I won’t spoil that gives the whole thing a bit more depth.
All in all, it’s exactly the kind of movie dog lovers have been waiting for.
Apollo 10 1/2: A Childhood in the Space Age
Childhood is always more relaxing after leaving it.
“Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood,” Richard Linklater’s latest, delivers that journey with a slightly fantastical feel. It takes audiences back to the summer of 1969, where a young boy experiences a sweetly mundane summer while training for a secret mission to the moon. The rotoscoped animation style seamlessly blends real and fantasy elements, and the lyrical tone feels like the sweetest kind of memoir.
Despite the spatial plot, the film mainly focuses on capturing the time-specific childhood experience. That means there’s not much going on in terms of the story, but the recreation can create a warm nostalgia even if you’ve never lived back in time. Details are vivid, turning regular and impossible moments into their own kind of poetry.
Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning film critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or email her at [email protected].