Release Radar – April 21st, 2023

It isn’t quite the first weekend of summer just yet, but you wouldn’t know it by the release calendar this week. After being sick for the past couple of release weekends, I will be out of town for this one so at some point I am going to find myself buried under a mountain of releases.

New In Theaters

*Beau is Afraid (Expands) – Editor’s Pick*

Written & Directed by: Ari Aster

Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Nathan Lane

Of all the movies that I could have seen before the week started, I’m glad this was the one because it was an experience. Hilarious, horrifying, daring, ridiculous, manic, and utterly insane, Ari Aster’s latest is certainly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I am definitely on Team Beau. I want to say more, but this isn’t the time.


Director: Stephen Williams | Writer(s): Stefani Robinson

Stars: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Lucy Boyton, Samara Weaving

If it weren’t for Beau this would be my go-to this week. I have been completely exhausted over the past few years of all the period dramas of this era. Sure, it’s a great excuse to make some great costumes but the stories just weren’t that compelling to me. There were some outliers but, for the most part, I passed on a large amount of em. However, those movies didn’t have Kelvin Harrison Jr. or the kind of music I have heard here. I am more excited about this one than I had ever expected and I will be finding a way to watch it before next weekend.

(Guy Ritchie’s) The Covenant

Director: Guy Ritchie | Writer(s): Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies, Guy Ritchie

Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Antony Starr, Dar Salim

Guy Ritchie is off to a hot start in 2023 and will have a strong argument for my Director of the Year award. Operation Fortune closed out an unofficial gangster trilogy, and now his new war film even has his name slapped on the front end. I’m guessing that’s because he wants people to know that he isn’t a one-trick pony…even if that one trick is very good. I am not jumping out of my seat excitedly, but I am 100% seeing this movie.

Evil Dead Rise

Written & Directed by: Lee Cronin

Stars: Mirabai Pease, Richard Crouchley, Anna-Maree Thomas

What I have learned from running a film club online is that I am in the minority when it comes to being underwhelmed by the 2013 Evil Dead remake. Sure, it was bloody and such, but I was laughing inappropriately far more than I should have. That said, I still want to see this new one, I’m just not amped for it in the way that some people are. I think I will revisit the 2013 one on the plane and horrify whoever is sitting next to me.

Limited Release

To Catch a Killer

Director: Damián Szifron | Writer(s): Damián Szifron, Jonathan Wakeham

Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Raplh Ineson

I initially thought this was a remake of the TV movie about John Wayne Gacy, but this is something completely different. There are actually a bunch of shows and movies with the same title, so make sure you look for the 2023 version. Anyway, hunting down a serial sniper seems like an interesting challenge, and some of the visuals in the trailer give off some The Dark Knight vibes. That’s a good thing. I’ll check this one out.


Director: Benjamin Millepied

Writer(s): Loïc Barrere, Alexander Dinelaris, Lisa Loomer

Stars: Paul Mescal, Melissa Barrera, Elsa Pataky

Paul Mescal has parlayed the success of Aftersun into top billing in this remake/adaptation, but this is really Melissa Barrera’s year. Somehow she didn’t get top billing despite already having Scream VI under her belt with this and one more on the way in 2023 and playing the titular role. I will be curious to see how much “musical” is in this version because the trailer makes it look like zero.

Plan 75

Director: Chie Hayakawa | Writer(s): Jason Gray, Chie Hayakawa

Stars: Chieko Baisho, Hayato Isomura, Stefanie Arianne

Euthanasia for the elderly over 75 years old seems like a much more American idea than a Japanese one so I am very curious to see the how and why behind this story. The elderly are valued in Japan, at least in my understanding, and to see that notion challenged in this way is very interesting.

The Tank

Written & Directed by: Scott Walker

Stars: Luciane Buchanan, Matt Whelan, Mark Mitchinson

Okay, this looked like an awesome B-movie kind of idea, but I don’t think it actually is that kid’s lizard that goes wild and eats everyone. You never know, but it didn’t look that way. Seclusion, darkness, secret passages and such. All the elements are lined up, so it just has to deliver.

Somewhere in Queens

Director: Ray Romano | Writer(s): Ray Romano, Mark Stegemann

Stars: Ray Romano, Laurie Metcalf, Jennifer Esposito

Ray Romano is a good writer and I’m sure since he is directing and starring in this one too, he’ll know exactly what he wants to get out of this. In a vacuum, it’s not the most interesting idea though. Family drama with some humor and hopefully it exceeds those confines.

Two Sinners and a Mule

Director: Raliegh Wilson | Writer(s): Beau Hillard

Stars: Cam Giganget, Chantelle Abers, Hannah James

I do enjoy Westerns and seeing one where a pair of sex workers are run out of town and forced to team up with a wounded bounty hunter seems like it could be fruitful. However, the tone seems to be more of a light-hearted adventure featuring those characters than a character study. Maybe that’s just the trailer, but I can’t make this one a priority this week.


Director: Marny Eng, E.J. Foerster | Writer(s): Patrick Hasburgh

Stars: Judy Greer, Roselyn Sanchez, Steve Zahn

I like Steve Zahn and Judy Greer, so I would be a lot more inclined to check this out than otherwise. It looks like a story about finding yourself, at different stages of life, and a connection away from home. So, it’s not my go-to but I think I would probably end up liking it.

Other People’s Children

Written & Directed by: Rebecca Zlotowski

Stars: Virginie Efira, Roschdy Zem, Chiara Mastroianni

Life is not often clean and perfect, and the older you get the more complex relationships tend to get. When kids are involved, that equation is even more complicated so I am really glad to see a film that tackles that specifically and how to love your partner when they already have a child with someone else.


Director(s): Jennifer Peedom, Joseph Nizeti

Writer(s): Robert Macfarlane, Joseph Nizeti, Jennifer Peedom

Stars: Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe narrates with sparkling visuals in a nature documentary…I’m listening. There is an interesting commentary about man vs nature and subjugation here as well. That’s really the point anyway. It has some good positives but the odds of me seeing this in theaters are small.

Little Richard: I Am Everything (Theaters + VOD)

Director: Lisa Cortes

Stars: Little Richard (archive), Billy Porter, John Waters, Mick Jagger

With as many music docs that have come out over the course of the past 5 years or so, I am a little surprised that this is the only one I can recall on Little Richard. It seems like, despite his popularity, his name isn’t echoed in the way it should be so I am very interested to see this.

War of the Worlds: The Attack (Theaters + VOD)

Director: Junaid Syed | Writer(s): Junaid Syed, Tom Jolliffe

Stars: Sam Gittins, Vincent Regan

This is a sequel to War of the Worlds or perhaps just another reimagining, but the sound and look are a little too familiar to be a coincidence. This is very much up my alley and I can’t pretend that the ease of access on VOD isn’t a bonus.

The Best Man (Theaters + VOD)

Director: Shane Dax Taylor | Writer(s): C. Alec Rossel, Shane Dax Taylor, Daniel Zirilli

Stars: Brendan Fehr, Nicky Whelan, Scout Taylor-Compton, Luke Wilson

When I hear the name The Best Man this is not the image that comes to mind, but it reminds me of a couple of other resort heist-type movies. There are bad guys with guns and guests trying to fight back. If done right, it could be fun to see Dolph Lundgren and Luke Wilson in this, but they are both buried in the billing so I am guessing they aren’t as involved as I would hope for.

Streaming & Digital

The Reaper Man (VOD/Digital April 18th)

Written & Directed by: Jaron Lockridge

Stars: Harlee Lowder, Kenon Walker, K.J. Baker

The idea behind summoning the spirit of your dead, but loving, husband doesn’t seem like it could go that wrong. Right? Well, it goes very wrong. This trailer isn’t great so I hope the movie itself will be better, but I will pass on it.

Andy Somebody (VOD/Digital April 18th)

Director: Jesse David Ing | Writer(s): Jeremy M. Evans, Jesse David Ing

Stars: Nicole I. Butler, Becky Wu, Marissa Heart

I like the idea of this guy robbing his corrupt plastic surgeon boss and going on the run to be hunted down by some eccentrics. My expectations aren’t high, but it looks funny and like the kind of thing that isn’t meant to be taken all that seriously to begin with.

Longest Third Date (Netflix April 18th)

Director: Brent Hodge

Stars: Kahni Lee, Matt Robertson

When I saw the title of this Netflix movie, I didn’t think it was a documentary. That changes my perspective on this quite a bit because the psychological pressure of being stuck together through the start of Covid while only on your third date is really something immense. Couch watch bonus points too.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always (Netflix April 19th)

Director: Charlie Haskell | Writer(s): Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale

Stars: Walter Jones, Steve Cardenas, Catherine Sutherland

Of all the reunion remakes you could have made, this one is very surprising. The original Power Rangers are back…well, kinda. David Yost and Walter Jones are back and so are some others, so it’s more of a Power Rangers All-Stars situation. I don’t expect it to be anything other than a quick cash-grab idea, and that’s fine for what this is.

Quasi (Hulu April 20th)

Director: Kevin Heffernan

Writer(s): Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme

Stars: Adrianne Palicki, Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan

The Broken Lizard guys have never let me down and they get Brian Cox to be the narrator here. It looks completely over the top and ridiculous in all the ways I would expect and want, and it’s on Hulu. I think I’ll queue this one up for my flight this weekend.

A Tourist’s Guide to Love (Netflix)

Director: Stephen K. Tsuchida | Writer(s): Eirene Donohue

Stars: Rachel Leigh Cook, Scott Ly, Ben Feldman

I like Rachel Leigh Cook, but who am I kidding? I couldn’t even pay attention to the trailer so this movie is going to be ice skating up hill with me. I you are in the mood for a rom-com, this is here for you.

Chokehold (Netflix)

Director: Onur Saylak | Writer(s): Hakan Gunday

Stars: Kivanç Tatlitug, Funda Eryigit, Gürgen Öz

I like the original title of Boga Boga much better, but Chokehold has a nice ring to it. I have watched the trailer many times and I still don’t know exactly what is going on but it looks intense.

One More Time (Netflix)

Director: Jonatan Etzler | Writer(s): Sofie Forsman, Tove Forsman, Mikael Ljung

Stars: Hedda Stiernstedt, Evelyn Mok, Vanna Rosenberg

A 40-year old gets run over by a truck and gets start over as a teenager. We have seen this kind of Freaky Friday and number of times in a number of different ways, but this time it’s Groundhog day too! Meh. These kinds of movies are so played out in the states that this one is Swedish.

Judy Blume Forever (Amazon Prime Video)

Director: Davina Pardo & Leah Wolchok

Stars: Judy Blume, Molly Ringwald, Tayari Jones

The timing on this documentary is perfect with Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret big screen adaptation scheduled to release next week. It was a revolutionary kind of writing that spoke to a whole new audience and being able to see behind the curtain will be interesting and make for a good double feature.

Ghosted (Apple TV+)

Director: Dexter Fletcher | Writer(s): Chris McKenna, Rhett Reese, Erik Sommers

Stars: Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Adrien Brody

Apple has inevitably arrived at the point in their original film trajectory where they have basically turned over the Netflix leaf. That’s either good or bad depending on how you look at it, but the spy-thriller cheeky rom-com with A-list talent seems like the kind of stuff Apple TV+ wanted to avoid.

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