No Sudden Move (HBO Max)
A group of criminals, comprised of an absolutely loaded cast, must work together to figure out why they’ve all been brought together. It’s Soderbergh, so you can expect a good amount of humor along the road of twists and turns. Ed Solomon wrote the Now You See Me movies, so expect a lot of misdirection and a fun adventure in solving that puzzle. This probably would have been one of Warner’s more-hyped theatrical releases had they not pivoted to a co-streaming model for 2021. I love the actors attached to this and saving me a trip to the theaters doesn’t go unnoticed.
Starring: Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, and Brendan Fraser
Fear Street: Part One 1994 (Netflix)
Netflix is testing out a new formula, releasing a trilogy of films one week apart on their platform. The set of films is based on the Fear Street books by R.L. Stine who’s most well-known for penning Goosebumps. Leigh Janiak’s introductory movie is a bit of a 90s period piece as the concept of a cursed town is introduced in connection with a series of grizzly murders. The subsequent films then cover different time periods as well. It’s an interesting decision by Netflix since they are looking to expand on regular film releases, but especially because they committed to R-rated storytelling. It could fail horribly, but my interest is piqued.
Starring: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, and Benjamin Flores Jr.
First Date (Theaters + VOD)
Mike is shy, but when he scores a date with his crush he scrambles to get his hands on a car. The ’65 Chrysler he ends up comes with some unexpected cargo and a lot of baggage to go along with it. This one is a little out of left field but this movie by Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp has the potential to be something unique. The main character seems to be pretty quiet, an observer in his own story almost, but some of the characters and situation just appear to be batshit crazy and I’m here for it.
Starring: Tyson Brown, Shleby Duclos, and Jesse Janzen
Summer of Soul (Theaters + Hulu)
The year of documentaries continues with this dive into the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The celebration of Black music, art, and culture took place just a few months before Woodstock but the footage was seldom seen and never released until now. The Festival had some of the biggest acts in the world performing on stage and Questlove directed this documentary using to shine a light on the importance of the festival at the time and the connections it has with today. I can’t wait to check this one out.
Starring: Chris Rock, Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson, and many more
What Else is New…
The Forever Purge (Theaters)
Director: Everardo Gout, Writer: James DeMonaco
Starring: Ana de la Reguera, Josh Lucas, and Will Patton
It’s that time of the year again. Purge Time! Either get to killin’ or get to hidin’ because it’s going to be a long night…or so you thought. The newest release in the Purge franchise sees the most ruthless and insatiable of the killers band together to overthrow the country and keep the Purge going year-round. Clearly, there is no connection to any of the things that have happened in the US over the past few years. I’m going to pass on this but if these movies are your thing, have a blast!
The Tomorrow War (Amazon)
Director: Chris McKay, Writer: Zach Dean
Starring: Chris Pratt, J.K. Simmons, and Yvonne Strahovski
It’s tough to tell what to make of this movie. Sci-Fi movies are typically in my wheelhouse and time travel stories are usually near the top of the genre for me. There’s just a feeling I get from the trailer that isn’t doing it for me. Chris Pratt is great as Starlord in the M.C.U. and usually good when he gets to utilize his sense of humor, but the performance I’m seeing in the preview looks incredibly flat. Plus, some of his other high-profile roles outside of Marvel may have left a bad taste in my mouth. Nearest I can tell, the comedic aspect of the film falls to Sam Richardson (who is great). I love J.K. Simmons and since the movie is streaming on Amazon, I’m more inclined to give it a chance. My Sheisty Sense is tingling though. I hope I’m wrong.
Boss Baby: Family Business (Theaters + Peacock)
Director: Tom McGrath, Writer: Michael McCullers
Starring: Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, and Amy Sedaris
Dreamworks animation is trying to keep pace with the Disney-Pixar juggernaut by adding another piece to their Boss Baby empire that already had a TV show and a short film to go along with the original. This feature sequel finds the Templeton brothers as adults, so of course there’s some potion to turn everyone into babies in order to find that particular type of motivation that comes with infancy. It could very well be entertaining, but I’ll pass.
The God Committee (Theaters + VOD)
Written & Directed by: Austin Stark
Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Janeane Garofalo, and Julia Stiles
Based on the play by Mark St. Germain, this film has the potential to be very compelling. When a patient dies on the operating table before she could receive a heart transplant, the doctors and hospital staff race to find a suitable recipient so the heart doesn’t go to waste. Medical dramas have an extensive history on television, but this was another trailer that didn’t seem to make the most engaging pitch for the audience. The idea is interesting and I’m curious to see the performances from Kelsey Grammer and Janeane Garofalo. The early word on the film is positive and had the trailer been better, I’d have included it up top.
Till Death (Theaters + VOD)
Director: S.K. Dale, Writer: Jason Carvey
Starring: Megan Fox, Lili Rich, and Callan Mullway
This one could be the most interesting movie of the bunch this week as Megan Fox returns to horror as woman who wakes up handcuffed to her dead husband as some bizarre piece of payback. For what? We don’t know just yet, but there’s likely a pile of money or something at the end of this bloody rainbow. Fox was at her best in Jennifer’s Body so hopefully we’ll get to see an inspired performance. It’s the first feature film for director S.K. Dale and the second for writer Jason Carvey so, there could be some rough patches ahead but it’s a visceral kind of horror that seems like it might worst best with a minimalist approach.
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