Release Radar – March 29th, 2024

While you may see some repeats from last week because no two lists I use can seem to agree on what the actual release date of something is, there’s also a good amount of for-sure new movies hitting screens this weekend for your viewing pleasure…or displeasure.


New In Theaters


Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Director(s): Adam Wingard | Writer(s): Terry Rossio, Simon Barrett, Jeremy Slater, Jeremy Slater

Stars: Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens

As a massive Godzilla fan, my expectations were pretty low for this one after Godzilla Vs Kong underwhelmed me. However, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is almost completely unserious and much better for it. Director Adam Wingard understood the assignment and let ‘er rip. I legitimately LOL’d several times during this movie. Big, fun, colorful, with a surprising 80s vibe at times, this is a great example of the other end of the Godzilla spectrum compared to something like Minus One.

In the Land of Saints and Sinners

Director(s): Robert Lorenz | Writer(s): Mark Michael McNally, Terry Loans

Stars: Liam Neeson, Kerry Condon, Desmond Eastwood

Has anyone been more typecast in the modern era than Liam Neeson? This is what happens when Taken has run its course all the way to Ireland and smack dab into The Banshees of Inisherin. While it isn’t a top priority, it’s gotta be better than Marlowe.

A Cat’s Life

Director(s): Guillaume Maidatchevsky | Writer(s): Guillaume Maidatchevsky, Michaël Souhaité, Maurice Genevoix

Stars: Capucine Sainson-Fabresse, Croiine Masiero, Lucie Laurent

I totally thought this was a documentary, and was very interested in that. This is just a cat version of A Dog’s Life. Seems like it’s more suited for the Hallmark Channel.


Limited Release


*DogMan – Editor’s Pick*

Written & Directed by: Luc Besson

Stars: Caleb Landry Jones, Jojo T. Gibbs, Christopher Denham

This is one of those movies that was on the radar last week because it was listed somewhere, and now it’s here again. However, it’s a blessing in disguise because I was going to give it my Editor’s Pick last week and now that I have seen it, I can endorse that position full-heartedly. Caleb Landry Jones is incredible and Luc Besson’s penchant for color and flair is on full display. It does feel like it drags on a bit long at points, but the things I love about it are more than enough to compensate. The critical scores are cold, but that just means I may get to have it for Bad Movies We Love someday.

Asphalt City

Director(s): Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire | Writer(s): Ben Mac Brown, Shannon Burke, Ryan King

Stars: Sean Penn, Tye Sheridan, Gbenga Akinnagbe

This is the kind of intensity I like with films. Great cast with Sean Penn, Tye Sheridan, Michael Pitt, and Fire Captain Mike Tyson! Say no more.

The Listener

Director(s): Steve Buscemi | Writer(s): Alessandro Camon

Stars: Tessa Thompson, Logan Marshall-Green, Derek Cecil

Steve Buscemi has only directed five films, so I’m inclined to take advantage of this. Technically, this movie was finished in 2022 but it was still 15 years between this and his previous film. Plus, Tessa Thompson is good and I like the self-contained, almost stage-like, nature of this. I’m in.

La Chimera

Director(s): Alice Rohrwacher | Writer(s): Alice Rohrwacher, Carmeal Covino, Marco Pettenello

Stars: Josh O’Connor, Carol Duarte, Vincenzo Nemolato

I’m not sure what to make of this one, but I am intrigued. It appears to have a sense of humor that I jive with, but the style of music that accompanies the trailer made it a little difficult for me to lock in on the tone. I’m interested though.

Light

Written & Directed by: Matt Woolard

Stars: Christine Roche, Gia Lily, Anna Swan

Conceptually and thematically, this is the kind of sci-fi that I like. The CGI doesn’t look that good from what is shown here but that’s probably why most of the movie is shot in the dark. I’d be willing to roll the dice on this at some point if I have seen everything else that ranks higher on the to-do-list.

Lousy Carter

Written & Directed by: Bobby Byington

Stars: David Krumholtz, Martin Starr, Olivia Thirlby

Krumholtz! Having read a lot of what David Krumholtz has said on Twitter recently, I am more interested in seeing him in this. It seems like the kind of quirky indie comedy I’ve seen before and enjoyed, with maybe a splash of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Wicked Little Letters

Director(s): Thea Sharrock | Writer(s): Johnny Sweet

Stars: Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Jason Watkins

This is mostly a vehicle for Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley to let loose and have some vulgar fun, and it succeeds at that. I got to see this at one of those early mystery movies and enjoyed it along with the rest of the audience, save for one pair who left. It touches on some themes that could have made the film deeper and more fulfilling than it was, but it still worked.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2

Director(s): Rhys Frake-Waterfield | Writer(s): Rhys Frake-Waterfield, Matt Leslie, A.A. Milne

Stars: Scott Chambers, Tallulah Evans, Ryan Oliva

I haven’t seen the first one and I know people hate it, but now I am more intrigued to see how bad could it really be. I feel like I have to start with the first one and not hop into this one straight away.

Hate to Love: Nickelback

Director(s): Leigh Brooks

Stars: Daniel Adair, Chad Kroeger, Mike Kroeger

Aww, man! I wanted to love to hate Nickelback. I kid. I don’t know enough about them to have an opinion one way or the other. They have a few songs that I know but they aren’t a band that I ever voluntarily listened to or avoided intentionally. It’s a good time for music docs and this one looks interesting. I’d probably be surprised by how many songs of theirs I actually enjoyed.

Bag of Lies

Director(s): David James | Writer(s): David Andrew James, Nick Laughlin, Joe Zappa

Stars: John Wells, Madison Pullins, Patrick Taft

This looks like a straight-to-video horror flick, but it’s the kind that I would totally watch if it were streaming this weekend. It’s not just yet but it will be available on digital soon.

Mind Body & Soul

Written & Directed by: Robert Lang

Stars: Conr Kinman, Melissa Bergland, Eric Wu

L.O.L. This would make a great pairing with Ultrachrist. This looks completely ridiculous in the best possible way. I’m very much in for this one.

The Windigo

Director(s): Gabe Torres | Writer(s): Brent Jordan

Stars: Marco Fuller, Fivel Stewart, Tonantzin Carmelo

Found footage is a tricky genre, to begin with. Trying to cut that down into an effective trailer is even tougher. I could have sworn I covered this one already a couple of months ago, but maybe it was something of a similar name. Damn these lists.

With Love and a Major Organ

Director(s): Kim Albright | Writer(s): Julia Lederer

Stars: Anna Maguire, Hamza Haq, Veena Sood

I like the metaphorical approach not being disguised here and if I hadn’t already given the Editor’s Pick to DogMan, this would be a strong contender. I don’t want to spoil anything that the trailer didn’t explicitly divulge, but I am into it.


Streaming & Digital


Snow Valley (VOD/Digital March 26th)

Written & Directed by: Brandon Murphy

Stars: Barabra Crampton, Rachel Michiko Whitney, Cooper van Grotel

Did I just see a guy throw another guy a gun, barrel first? I know Barbara Crampton is a horror legend…but this looks like some B-movie garbage.

STEVE! (Martin): A Documentary in 2 Pieces (Apple TV+)

Stars: Tina Fet, Lorne Michaels, Carl Gottlieb

How can you not love Steve Martin? I count myself very lucky to still be able to see him working, so I will definitely be watching. I know it’s technically a series…but it’s two 90-minute-plus documentary halves, so I’ll allow it.

The Wages of Fear (Netflix)

Director(s): Julien Leclercq | Writer(s): Hamid Hiloua, Julien Leclercq

Stars: Sofiane Zermani, Alban Lenoir, Joseph Beddelem

I wasn’t sure at first, but this is definitely a remake of the 1950s film of the same name. I just saw Sorcerer for the first time not that long ago, and it’s really good. So, in the right hands I don’t see why this wouldn’t be solid. It is modernized, which could change things a bit, but I might check it out.

Heart of the Hunter (Netflix)

Director(s): Mandla Dube | Writer(s): Deon Meyer, Willem Grobler

Stars: Bonk Khoza, Connie Ferguson, Masasa Mbangeni

Netflix has received plenty of justified scrutiny, but being a place for international films to incubate and be seen is a good thing because we get stuff like this that likely wouldn’t get picked up for theatrical distribution and then get buried in VOD.

The Beautiful Game (Netflix)

Director(s): Thea Sharrock | Writer(s): Frank Cottrell Boyce

Stars: Michael Ward, Bill Nighy, Beckett Handley

Thea Sharrock is having a week with this and Wicked Little Letters both out. I wasn’t going to rush to see this in limited release last week, but now that it’s available at home I’m more receptive.

Madu (Disney+)

Director(s): Matthew Ogans, Joel Kachi Benson

This is the kind of inspirational documentary filmmaking that can make a big impact on young minds. I’m intrigued.

Breaking Olympia: The Phil Heath Story (VOD/Digital)

Written & Directed by: Brett Harvey

Stars: Phil Heath, Dwayne Johnson, Kai Greene, Ronnie Coleman

We won’t be getting Magazine Dreams but in that vacuum we may get something better in this documentary feature that really gets into the bodybuilding business. I’ll probably wait for streaming, but I am curious.

The Legend of Lake Hollow (VOD/Digital)

Director(s): Chris Hollo | Writer(s): Jerry Robbins

Stars: James David West, Kyle Rankin, Brendan Bald

Cabin in the woods B-movie horror. Familiar, consistent, usually not all that great. I would pass on this one unless I were a hardcore horror fanatic.

Polar Rescue (VOD/Digital)

Written & Directed by: Chi-Leung Law

Stars: Donnie Yen, Cecelia Han, Bing Jai

I’d watch Donnie Yen do anything and survival horror is always compelling for me. I’m in.

The Lie: The Murder of Grace Millane (VOD/Digital)

Director(s): Helena Coan | Writer(s): Tom Blackwell, Nic Guttridge, Matthew Metcalfe

I’m unfamiliar with the story itself, but I have watched a bunch of this kind of stuff on streaming over the years. I’ll wait for it to stream, but I would likely be captivated.


Thanks for reading! Word of mouth is still the best way to help. So, if you enjoy what I’m doing, please tell somebody. And if you have a comment, I’d love to hear it! Liking, subscribing, and sharing go a long way too. As usual, be well, be safe, and have fun no matter how you get your movies!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.