Rihanna fever 

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - ride the wave Oceans 8 opens this week, featuring an A-list cast of actresses.
  • photo submitted
  • ride the wave Oceans 8 opens this week, featuring an A-list cast of actresses.

This may not end well.

I'm buried alone in my bed with a hoodie and a toque on, losing to a fever that keeps pushing upwards of 102º Fahrenheit. Cause: unknown. Symptoms: all. My guts (the ones I haven't flushed) keep trying to convince me I'm patient zero of some zombie rage virus that will harken the end of days.

Delirium: imminent.

But the show must go on ... and, fever or not, I'm nowhere near the hottest thing in the column this week. Because Rihanna has a new movie out, and nothin's got more sizzle than Rihanna.

For the eunuchs and the shut-ins who just don't know, Rihanna is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, a 30-year-old singer/actress/businesswoman/badass originally from Barbados who rose to fame over a decade ago under the tutelage of hip hop mogul Jay-Z (and one would assume, the queen of life itself: Beyoncé).

Rihanna has eight albums (and a Grammy), a cosmetics line with 40 different foundation colours (so everyone can find what they need) and, recently and with much fanfare, a lingerie line with sizes up to 3X and 44DD (again, because everyone deserves good shit and I hope other companies are paying attention to the better world Rihanna is creating, one pair of panties and lip gloss at a time).

Anecdotal evidence unscientifically collected earlier this week suggests that over 86 per cent of people polled would leave their spouses for a single weekend with Rihanna. And the spouses say the same thing. There's just not enough Rihanna to go around, but the good news is Rihanna is one of the stars of Oceans 8, a killer heist flick opening this week at the Whistler Village 8.

The Oceans franchise dates back to the Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin/ Rat Pack era (a time when music and movie stars were often one and the same), with Clooney/Pitt/Matt Damon teossed into the more recent incarnations. This time out it's all women and the fact that I've been gushing on about Rihanna so much is a bit of a red herring because the cast of Oceans 8 is stacked with some of the top actresses of our time.

Sandra Bullock stars as Danny Ocean's sister (Danny was played by Sinatra then Clooney. The Oceans are the greatest robbers ever), with Cate Blanchett (the best friend), Helena Bonham Carter (the wildcard), Mindy Kaling (the rookie/forger), Awkwafina (the professional thief) and Sarah Paulson (soccer mom/voice of reason) rounding out the gang. And Rihanna, who plays the hot nerd tech genius. Anne Hathaway (a brutally underrated actress) and Dakota Fanning are in the mix as well.

The plot involves a heist at the MET Gala, but expect twists galore. There were no pre-screeners for this one because only a goddamn fool offers pre-screeners of a heist movie.

And Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Magic Mike) is no fool. Instead he's notorious for making killer films outside the Hollywood norms and this time he's producing, with writing and directing credit falling to Gary Ross (Big, The Hunger Games, The Flintstones). Those guys don't need pre-screeners, they have Rihanna and Oceans 8 is the date movie of the year. Turn up the air conditioning Village 8, this one is gonna be hot.

The other new flick at the always-excellent Village 8 is Hereditary, starring Toni Collette (Muriel's Wedding, Little Miss Sunshine) as a woman dealing with the recent death of her mother, a woman with secrets of her own. As the days progress, life gets weirder until all hell starts breaking loose within the dead woman's family. And no one can believe who is to blame.

The inaugural effort from writer/director Ari Aster, this one is gathering comparisons to everything from The Exorcist to The Witch. It looks pretty kick ass and early word is Aster deserves praise for the way he depicts a family unraveling and for trying something new with his camera work.

It's not always perfect, but Hereditary forges a new path for much of the picture and is worth checking out if you like flicks that make you afraid to put your feet on the floor.

Speaking of horror, on the small screen this time, we're well into season two of The Handmaid's Tale and it is some of the most disheartening and grim television you will ever watch. But you gotta watch it anyhow, as a cautionary tale, so we can all work to build the kind of future Rihanna would approve of.


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