Six films to look for in movie houses
Miranda July returns to the director’s chair for her third feature-length film, Kajillionaire, with Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Debra Winger, and Richard Jenkins.
August 26, 2020
With movie theaters now suddenly looking at options for reopening before the end of the year, I figured we’d take a look at some of the movies that could be hitting screens in the next few weeks if movie houses start filling seats again.
Some of these titles will be going straight to VOD, but some will play at the 1,400 or so theaters (out of about 6,000 in North America) that will be opening this weekend.
The question is: Will people go to the theaters again already? And, aside from some of the titles below, what are the theaters going to play? Should be interesting, right?
Well, the experiment is about to begin, and here are some of the titles that could/should be available:
Jazz On a Summer’s Day
Featuring Louis Armstrong, Chuck Berry, Mahalia Jackson, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, and other luminaries of the era, this documentary was filmed in 1958 at the Newport Jazz Festival by Bert Stern and Aram Avakian.
Released in 1959 to rave reviews, the film has been restored and will receive a second life thanks for Kino Lorber. A must-see for fans of American music. (Screening in select cities)
Currently streaming on Apple TV+ and playing at select theaters, Boys State is getting some of the best reviews of 2020 so far. The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey even called it the best film of 2020 so far.
The flick, directed by Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss, follows four 17-year-old boys who are part of an annual political experiment in which 1,000 young men gather in Texas and build a government from the ground up. Can’t wait to see this one. (Screening in select cities and available via Apple TV+)
Ric Roman Waugh (Angel Has Fallen, Shot Caller) directs Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, and Hope Davis in this disaster film about an estranged family attempting to survive an extinction-level event.
As much as I hate Gerard Butler as an actor, I do love a good End-of-the-World action-thriller. Is that the kind of movie we need right now? Probably not. Will that stop STX Entertainment from trying to make Greenland one of the “comeback” films as theaters reopen? I don’t think so. I’ll wait for this one to hit streaming services. (Screening in select cities)
Finally, nine years after her sophomore film, the underrated The Future, and 15 years after her classic debut, Me and You and Everyone We Know, Miranda July returns with her third feature-length film, Kajillionaire, starring Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Debra Winger, and Richard Jenkins.
I miss this kind of film, with a great cast, a unique, original, buzzed-about script, and an arthouse writer-director taking the next step and making a more “proper,” commercial film. Movies like Kajillionaire were more common during the indie boom of the 1990s.
Watch the trailer for this super-stylized dramedy heist flick about a family of con artists who run into new obstacles when they add an outsider to their gang. One of my most anticipated films of 2020, easily. (Sept. 18)
Writer/director Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) returns with an Oscar-friendly thriller starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon.
Set in the 1980s, The Nest tells the story of a family that moves from suburban America to England, only to see their lives unravel. In the interest of keeping the details of this promising new flick a secret, I’m not going to say anything more.
The pandemic is allowing films like The Nest to get more attention than it would have otherwise received due to studios not dominating with their franchise flicks. I like that quite a bit, to be honest. I do not miss all the flicks in which adults run around playing Fight in Tights. Not at all. (Sept. 18)
The War with Grandpa
How about an epic family comedy starring maybe the greatest screen actor of all-time? Despite being directed by one of the least-loved filmmakers of the current era, Tim Hill, I can’t help but be intrigued by this Robert De Niro comedy about a recently widowed man who moves in with his daughter (Uma Thurman), then goes to war with his grandson over who gets the extra bedroom.
Wholesome, I believe, is the word.
Co-starring Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Rob Riggle, and Cheech Marin, this flick was shot in mid-2017 and shelved in 2018 due to the whole Harvey Weinstein thing. I think this is the sort of movie we’re going to get as theaters test out reopening — movies with low stakes, that is. I don’t expect this to be a great film, but it sounds like a fun, sweet time at the theater, and something tells me people want that very thing right now. (Oct. 9)
Looking forward to films
Seeing Miranda July’s long-awaited Kajillionaire at a theater sounds like a dream-come-true right about now. Here’s hoping it becomes safe to properly open our movie theaters soon. For now, I’m still staying home.
If you’re someone who is ready to get back out into the world, keep an eye out for these releases: Wonder Woman 1984, Candyman, Let Him Go, No Time to Die, Soul, and Misbehaviour.
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