Monday, March 23, 2020

13 Movies Available On Demand Early

The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way most of us have to live our lives. Without that ability to go out to the theaters or work or a friend’s house or the library – or wherever else you usually go – it’s easy to start feeling claustrophobic and depressed.

Right now, essential personnel are working to save our bodies while teachers are online trying to save our minds. Those are very important things, but our emotions need tending to as well. Everywhere we look numbers are rising and the news just serves to induce panic. In this time, we turn to entertainment more than ever to help us stay sane.

Trust the Dice will still be doing reviews, but not as many. For the time being, we’re going to be restructuring a little. We want to bring you ideas and sources on how to keep yourself, and the people you love, entertained. We’re going to collect resources that can be used for distraction, education, hope, and anything else we can think of.

People have asked us to do lists of isolation or outbreak films, and we may do one or two of those, but we’re going to concentrate more on sources that guide minds away from our current situation.

Our Top 20 for next month will be replaced by a list of new movies being released online in April. We also have plans to draw your attention to newer TV shows, various YouTube genres, comedy specials, free educational video games, silly games available on Steam, games you can play online with your friends, we may go into stuff like anime, books, Japanese game shows, or TikTok. We’ve even compiled a list of board games that can be played solo.

Check back throughout the week. We will have our normal Mon/Wed/Fri schedule, but we may post extra here and there as time and sources allow.

For today, we are going to talk about movies that were already released in theaters and are about to, or have, become available to us at home early. Keep in mind, not all of these films will be available for free.

I’ll be separating them by service. There won’t be any of these movies showing up on Netflix, at least not at first.  


Onward (2020) – April 3 – Free with Subscription

Onward was the last film I got to see in theaters before I had to lockdown with my family. I absolutely adored it. Despite a slow start, it really picked up and I feel like I am able to place it among the Pixar greats in my mind. If you have Disney+, it’s worth looking out for.

However, since this is the only movie I know of that’s being released early on Disney+ I don’t think it’s enough for me to recommend getting a new subscription to the service.


Zombieland: Double Tap – April 3 – Free with subscriptions including Starz attachment

Granted, this one was probably closer to hitting the streaming services than the majority of the other films on this list, but I thought it fit here anyway.

I loved Zombieland (2009), but I never got the chance to see the sequel. Believe me, it was not by choice. I’ve heard good and bad things, but I have to appreciate the comedy/horror mash up even more in these upsetting times. Anything that gives us permission to laugh while the world burns around us is going to draw my attention more than usual.

I am thinking of adding Starz to my Hulu subscription for this one, but I’ll have to see what else is included.

Parasite – April 8 – Free with subscription

There’s no doubt that the awards won by Parasite make it more intriguing to audiences that haven’t seen it yet. It’s not often that a foreign film captures the interest of people in the US the way this one has.

I think the difference in social classes is becoming more obvious in our society, especially with the virus being a factor. Parasite really touches on those differences. It’s an interesting watch. There’s a lot of comedy woven into the creepiness and thrills. It definitely deserved to be a part of the award season. My own vote was for 1917 (2020) to win (which can be found on Amazon Prime), but I can understand why it went to Parasite.

Amazon Prime Video

Cats – Available Now – $19.99 to Buy

I almost didn’t even bother to put this on the list.

I expressed concerns about the trailer for Cats back in December when it came out. I worried that the CGI would be awful and… well… it was. If you’ve been curious about how bad, now may still not be the time to take a look. It actually costs more to watch on Prime Video than it did to see it in theaters. I can’t recommend it, by any stretch of the imagination. Still, it’s there. You have that information now. On to more worthy films.

Emma – Available Now - $19.99 to Rent

This is definitely a few steps up from the previous movie. Still, there are some things to consider.

I’m not going to speak to the quality of the film. I did see it, but it’s not the type of flick I enjoy regardless of quality. I feel it would almost be unethical for me to include my personal feelings on it here. That said, what I WOULD consider is that the price listed on Prime Video is higher than what one would have spent to see it in theaters, and that’s just the price to rent. I understand that production companies are trying to make back their money, but the price listed is a little ridiculous and I think that’s going to be the case for the majority of what’s coming out.

The Hunt – Available Now - $19.99 to Rent

Ok, so I rented this one. I had to. I was DYING to see it. After all that controversy back when it was supposed to come out, my interest was through the roof. I had my ticket in hand, ready to go. The theaters just closed before I had a chance to see it. So, yeah, I spent extra money to see it on demand.

The question here is whether or not I regret it. I don’t, for the most part. Seeing the film eased my curiosity. In the end, that’s really what I was paying for. If I knew what the movie actually was beforehand, I likely would not have spent this much to see it. It’s decent. I’m not saying it’s a bad film. I’m just saying it’s not worth THAT much. That said, if you’re as curious as I was, go for it.

The Gentlemen – March 24 - $14.99 to Preorder

I really wanted to see this one in theaters, but never got the chance. I like Guy Ritchie and the trailer looks pretty solid.

There’s a great cast involved in The Gentlemen and it’s got some incredibly high reviews from both audiences and critics. Of the films being released to video on demand early, this is the one I’m most likely to go for. The price is fair, I have the interest, and the promos are great. This might be the right kind of comedic adventure to get your mind off of things for a couple of hours.

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – March 24 - $19.99 to Preorder

There’s been a lot of shit-talking where Birds of Prey is concerned. The best thing I can say about my personal experience with it is that I saw it once on a free ticket… and then I saw it two other times in the theater and I was happy to pay for it. Simply put, I really loved this film.

I love Harley Quinn. I thought this movie paid a beautiful homage to her comic books and I think Margot Robbie is perfect as the titular character. It has its minor flaws, but for the most part Birds of Prey gives you the best perspective of the batshit crazy main character while remaining intensely fun. If the price is how much it would cost to buy the film, I will likely pay it. If it’s just the rent price, however, I’d wait a little. It’ll still be just as good in a few months and there are plenty of other options at the moment.

The Way Back – March 24 - $19.99 to Preorder

This was on my schedule to see in theaters after The Hunt (2020). Unfortunately, both tickets went unused as the coronavirus spread and theaters in my area shut down.

I’ve heard some very good things about The Way Back. Not the least of which is that it’s a return to form for Ben Affleck. Judging from the plot and trailer, I’d imagine Affleck related to this role a little more than some of his more recent parts. If that’s the case, then this could be one of his best works. It sounds a bit like an 80s sports movie on first look, but most of the reviewers I follow say that’s not how it is. I’d really love a chance to find out for myself.

Bloodshot – March 24 - $19.99 to Preorder

Bloodshot isn’t getting the best reviews from critics… but audiences are another story.

If I had to take a guess, from the scores I’ve been seeing on Rotten Tomatoes, Bloodshot isn’t reinventing any wheels. There’s not likely a whole lot that makes it stand out from all the other violent action films out there. Aside from that, it has to be – at the very least – a hell of a fun movie. It has a 78% from audience members. That means that there’s either impressive fight choreography, or great acting, or some really amazing effects. It’s possible there’s a mix of those involved. Either way, on paper, it looks like a great distraction film.

Dolittle – March 24 - $19.99 to Preorder

I had a free ticket to Dolittle and opted not to use it. I decided I’d rather watch other movies that came out around that time. The truth is, I had the ending spoiled for me, and I was not impressed with what I heard.

Because I hate spoilers, I’m not going to divulge what I was told and I’m not going to judge anything about the film, because I have a bias against it. That said, I still think it’s important for me to let you guys know that it’s going to be out and available. If you have kids running around your house that are bored and driving you nuts during this lockdown, it might be worth it to rent Dolittle just to give yourself a couple of hours of silence.

I Still Believe – March 27 - $19.99 to Preorder

This is another film that isn’t really my ‘type’. I just don’t tend to gravitate toward faith-based films. Some catch my attention; this wasn’t one of them.

That said, faith is important right now. Whether you put your faith in science or god or something else, doesn’t matter. When fear is so wide-spread, it’s important that there’s something to have faith in. So, if this is your thing – just know it’s available. Still expensive, but available.

Sonic the Hedgehog – March 31 - $19.99 to Preorder

I really liked Sonic the Hedgehog. That’s not even because I grew up with a Sega instead of a Nintendo, either. It was just a genuinely good film.

This would be a great movie to use to occupy your kids for an hour and a half, especially if you intend to watch with them. It wouldn’t be a tough watch for parents. It’s something decent to rent for the whole family. Maybe, by then, the people in charge will realize that the prices they’re putting these movies up for is a little steep.

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