Rubado column: It's time for a movie dump

The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.

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Jared Rubado

I got the privilege to start this weekly column over a year ago, near the beginning of the pandemic, and I'm running into some good problems.

The initial goal was to write a weekly opinion piece about what you can find on the various streaming services while you're stuck at home. It was challenging at times because there wasn't much new content being pushed out, and it was hard to find new films to review.

Now, we're on the home stretch, and movies are back in theaters. The best problem I'm running into is that there isn't enough time to review every film worth mentioning in this column. Not to say that every movie that doesn't get a full review isn't good, but I prioritize more appealing films to the casual moviegoer.

I'm going to start doing what I will call movie dumps. I think it's an excellent way to touch base on three or four different movies in one column that could gain your interest.

'In the Heights'

I love musicals, and it was good to see another good idea get made. "In the Heights" is the story of a bodega owner who is contemplating retirement and moving back to his home country.


It's a challenge to make a good musical, but I thought Jon M. Chu did an excellent job with this one. The songs were solid, and Anthony Ramos is good enough to star in a leading role.

I did think it was too long, at nearly two and a half hours. Musicals that run this long tend to feel exhausting. While I didn't get fatigued from "In the Heights," it probably could have been better at the two-hour mark that musicals tend to stick around. I gave "In the Heights" an 85/100.

'The Tomorrow War'

This was one of the biggest surprise movies of the year so far. I saw the trailer for "The Tomorrow War" and thought it would be a steaming pile of garbage. But Amazon Prime pumped a lot of advertising revenue into promoting this film for a good reason.

Chris Pratt stars in a movie where time travelers recruit him to fight aliens. It sounds stupid, it's kind of stupid, but it's also a lot of fun.

Amazon has a decent slate of original content, but this took a different approach to their typical niche, and it wasn't awful. Don't expect any deep, thought-provoking plot. Shut your brain off and have a good time with this one. I gave "The Tomorrow War" a 68/100.

'F9' and 'The Forever Purge'

I haven't seen either of these movies yet, but both are running franchises that produce copy-paste movies.

I've never been a fan of the Fast and Furious saga. I don't have any interest in cars, and the movies never gripped me. I can get into a good action flick. A well-done action franchise is truly rare in Hollywood. I understand why people love these movies, but it's not for me.

"F9" is currently the highest-grossing movie at the box office. It's turned into a cult-classic franchise with loyal fans. I would suggest waiting a week to see Marvel's "Black Widow" if you're itching to get to the theater, but I've read that "F9" is a ton of fun for people who enjoy the series.


On the other hand, there's no need to see "The Forever Purge." I don't hate the Purge saga just because the idea of the series is interesting. What would you do if all crime was legal for 12 hours? It's a hypothetical that's been drawn out into four movies and a television show.

I don't plan on seeing "The Forever Purge." I think this franchise ran its course two movies ago, and the trailers are utterly cringeworthy. Spend your money elsewhere.

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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