Release Radar – May 5th, 2023

Between traveling a couple of weekends ago, getting Covid in the wake of traveling, and dealing with a lot of other stuff in between, I haven’t been able to see much of anything of the past two weekends and that trend is likely going to continue this weekend as well. My watchlist is going to be massive by the time I get back into the swing of things, so let’s take a look at what’s on deck to officially kick off the summer season.

New In Theaters

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (+ IMAX)

Director(s): James Gunn | Writer(s): James Gunn, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning

Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista

There was a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes and in the MCU that took a serious chunk of momentum away from this entry. Knowing that James Gunn is leaving to helm the new DCEU makes this movie feel like it is more obligation than anything else. Guardians 2 had already not worked as well as the first one and now it has been six years since that sequel. My expectations aren’t particularly high, given the circumstances but I am curious to see the High Evolutionary and Adam Warlock get some screen time.

Love Again

Director(s): Jim Strouse | Writer(s): Jim Strouse, Sofie Cramer, Andrea Wilson

Stars: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan, Celia Imrie

Let me guess, new guy with the dead guy’s phone ultimately comes clean and there’s a brief spat but then they ultimately wind up together in the end? Someone who watches it can let me know if I am wrong. The new music from Celine Dion and strategic release in time for Mother’s Day will probably give it some legs.

Chile ’76 

Director(s): Manuela Martelli | Writer(s): Maunela Martelli, Alejandra Moffat

Stars: Aline Küppenheim, Nicolás Sepúlveda, Hugo Medina

I am unfamiliar with Chile’s history, but I get the feeling I am going to learn a bit watching this one. The trailer is pretty intense and the period specifics actually interest me more.

Limited Release

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Director(s): Shekhar Kapur | Writer(s): Jemima Khan

Stars: Mim Shaikh, Iman Boujelouah, Lily James

Not to be confused with the awesome 1993 movie about Tina Turner, here we have another rom-com that pokes fun at the Pakistani system of arranged marriage. There seem to be some hints that would follow the typical rom-com path, but the trailer pulls up at the last minute to avoid the reveal. Maybe it will surprise me, but I won’t be making it a priority as I play catch-up.


Written & Directed by: Cyril Schäublin

Stars: Clara Gostynski, Valentin Merz, Alexei Evstratov

This appears to be a methodical film but I have a weird soft spot for watch-making. I have watched YouTube videos on the craft and even looked into the DIY sets, so maybe it speaks to me more than it does to others. It also looks like the film has a lot more subtext when it comes to the practice and why it’s set at a particular time in 19th-century Switzerland. I’m intrigued.

Slava Ukraini

Written & Directed by: Bernard-Henri Lévy

Stars: Gilles Hertzog, Bernard-Henri Lévy

There isn’t a lot to take from the trailer itself because it’s only a 45-second teaser, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. This is the second documentary about this particular conflict from Bernard-Henry Lévy so I can imagine it’s going to be a lot.

Double Life

Director(s): Martin Wood | Writer(s): Michael Hurst, Chris Sivertson

Stars: Javicia Leslie, John Casini, Vincent Gale

A widow and her late husband’s mistress team up to uncover the deadly secret behind the death of the man they unknowingly shared. I am going to have a very hard time suspending my disbelief for this one. But hey it’s the movies, right?

Johnny & Clyde (+ VOD)

Director(s): Tom DeNucci | Writer(s): Tom DeNucci, Nick Principe

Stars: Avan Jogia, Megan Fox, Ajani Russell

I love the way this movie looks in the trailer. The color and the style are fantastic and Megan Fox as a ruthless crime boss in a purple pants-suit looks like a good bit of fun.

One Ranger (+ VOD)

Written & Directed by: Jesse V. Johnson

Stars: John Malkovich, Thomas Jane, Dominique Tipper

A British Intelligence officer enlists the Texas Rangers to track down a criminal in Mexico. Wait, did I get that right? I like Thomas Jane and John Malkovich enough to entertain the idea even though it comes across as pretty generic action fodder.

Streaming & Digital

Land of Gold (HBO Max)

Written & Directed by: Nardeep Khurmi

Stars: Karen David, Tina Parker, Dhruv Uday Singh

A trucker discovers a young girl inside a shipping container he’s hauling and sets out to reunite her with her family at his own expense. HBO originals are pretty solid so I am in for this one, especially since I can watch it from home as I recover.

Transmutators (VOD May 2nd)

Director(s): Mark A. Reyes

Stars: Ryan Bondoc, Will M. Herrera, Richard Campos

This is the kind of bad movie that embraces its brand. A very obvious rip-off of Transformers in its poster marketing, I am surprised they could get away with this. Maybe it’s being billed as the new entry in that franchise overseas. It actually looks more like Power Rangers meets Mech Warrior. There is a time in my life where I would have loved this, and maybe i can tap back into that.

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar (VOD May 2nd)

Director(s): Garo Setian | Writer(s): Joe Knetter, Garo Setian

Stars: Michael Paré, Olivier Gruner, Sarah French

On a slightly more serious sci-fi note, we get this. It looks the part of a low-budget sci-fi TV show, but it’s going to come down to tone. If it wants to be serious, then good luck.

The Ancestral (VOD May 2nd)

Director(s): Le-Van Kiet | Writer(s): Vo Nguyen Dan, Le-Van Kiet

Stars: Lam Thanh My, Quang Tuan, Mai Cát Vi

Vietnamese horror is not something I am very familiar with, but I am curious to see what cultural particulars are brought to the table.

*On the Edge (VOD May 2nd) – Editor’s Pick*

Written & Directed by: Giordano Gederlini

Stars: Antonio de la Torre, Marine Vacth, Olivier Gourmet

This is my kind of intense and personal. A train driver runs over a young man who intentionally jumped onto the tracks and is haunted by the why of it all. The more he pulls at the thread, the deeper the rabbit hole goes.

Secret Space UFOs: Fastwalkers (VOD May 2nd)

Written & Directed by: Darcy Weir

Stars: James Fox, Richard Doty, Darcy Weir

The latest entry into the Secret Space UFOs documentary franchise brings experts together to talk about UFO activity and our relationship to that information. If this was on streaming, I would likely watch the heck out of it. So, I’ll probably wait for that.

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