Monday, June 1, 2020

Top 20 New Movies With Internet Releases In June (2020)

According to: Selina

20 – Mr. Jones (6/19) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Film Produkcja, Crab Apple Films,, Kinorob, Studio Orka, Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej, Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe, Ukrainian State Film Agency, Future Film, Condor Entertainment, Giggly Box, Happinet, Kino Swiat, Shaw Organisation, Spentzos Films, Outsider Films, PVR Pictures, Rialto Distribution, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Signature Entertainment
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Writer: Andrea Chalupa
Actors: James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, Peter Sarsgaard, Joseph Mawie, Kenneth Cranham, Celyn Jones, Krzysztof Pieczynski, Beata Pozniak, Fenella Woolgar, Martin Bishop, John Edmondson, Michalina Olszanska, Martin Hugh Henley, Olena Leonenko, Edward Wolstenholme, Marcin Czarnik, Barry Mulkerns, Marcin Latallo, Patricia Volny, Alksandr Pazharskiy, Oleg Drach
Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller
Rated: Not Rated
Length: 141 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A Welsh journalist breaks the news in the western media of the famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.

There’s still a much smaller list of releases than we are used to working with for the Top 20, and we are still only considering films being released digitally as we do not believe going to the theater is the best idea just yet. That’s most likely why this movie made the list.

This looks like the kind of historical/biographical film that deserves to be told on the big screen. The trailer is high quality and the event it’s based off of is full of deception and intrigue.

Although there’s a lot of potential in it, I find myself perpetually zoning out by the middle of the trailer. I had to watch it several times to get the full effect of it because of the attention issue. Admittedly, that’s my problem. The movie itself looks fine. I think it could be a great option for someone more interested in this type of flick.

19 – Sniper: Assassin’s End (6/16) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Destination Films, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA)
Director: Kaare Andrews
Writer: Oliver Thompson
Actors: Chad Michael Collins, Tom Berenger, Sayaka Akimoto, Ryan Robbins, Lochlyn Munro, Michael Jonsson, C. Ernst Harth, Sean Kohnke, Sasha Piltsin
Genre: Action
Rated: R
Length: 90 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Legendary sniper Thomas Beckett and his son, Special Ops Sniper Brandon Beckett, are on the run from the CIA, Russian Mercenaries, and a Yakuza-trained assassin with sniper skills that rival both legendary sharp shooters.

We’ve seen this plot about a thousand times. Still, the action looks decent. There are even a few minor additions that may help elevate the film.

Either way, it looks like it could be a pretty good ‘shut your brain off’ movie. Right now, I think we could all use that.

18 – The Short History of the Long Road (6/16) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Bicephaly Pictures, Astute Films, Hua Wen Movie Group, Relic Pictures, Eggplant Picture & Sound, Lunacy, Reverse Osmosis Films
Director: Ani Simon-Kennedy      
Writer: Ani Simon-Kennedy
Actors: Danny Trejo, Maggie Siff, Steven Ogg, Sabrina Carpenter, Rusty Schwimmer, Jean Effron, Esodie Geiger, Bob Jesser, Dani Payne, Jashaun St. John, James Cady, Kyle T. Cowan
Genre: Drama
Rated: Not Rated
Length: 90 minutes

IMDb Blurb: For teenage Nola (Sabrina Carpenter), home is the open road. Her self-reliant father (Steven Ogg) is her anchor in a life of transience. The pair crisscross the United States in a lovingly refurbished RV, relishing their independence and making ends meet by doing odd jobs. A shocking rupture, though, casts Nola out on her own. She makes her way to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in search of a mother she never knew. When her motorhome unexpectedly breaks down, she forges a bond with an auto body shop owner (Danny Trejo), and senses the possibility of mooring her ship in this storm.

Who doesn’t occasionally think about just packing up the people they love and just driving the hell out of town? That’s why road trips with our friends are so exciting. Most of us tend to just hang back for our families, jobs, and homes… but it’s fascinating to contemplate that ‘what if’ scenario. Not worrying about rent, student loans, mowing the lawn, etc.

This movie is a look into that lifestyle with a drama-based story and a decent cast.

The only problem is that plots like this can be tricky. If they’re too fast, they tend to burn out halfway through the film, making the second half nearly pointless. If they’re too slow, they wind up putting audience to sleep. Getting that perfect balance is difficult.

17 – Jungle Beat: The Movie (6/26) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Sandcastle Studios, Sunrise Productions, Timeless Films
Director: Brent Dawes
Writer: Brent Dawes, Sam Wilson
Actors: David Menkin, David Rintoul, Gavin Peter, Florrie Wilkinson, Adam Neill, Jason Pennycooke, Robert G. Slade, Emma Lungiswa De Wet, Claire Johnston
Genre: Animation
Rated: G
Length: 88 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A homesick alien crash-lands his spaceship near the colorful African Jungle. His new animal friends need to get him back to his ship and teach him about friendship and fun before his Space-Conqueror father can take over the planet.

Although I have a toddler, Jungle Beat (2003- ) is not one of the shows she’s latched on to. As a result, I’m not familiar with the show this movie is coming from.

Taken on its own account, though, Jungle Beat: The Movie looks adorable. You have the benefit of the cute animals and clean animation with a plot that will undoubtedly go into accepting the differences in people. Honestly, that’s the kind of thing I really like for kid’s films.

Do I think adults will enjoy it as much as kids? I doubt it. It looks like it’ll have a humor that’s geared almost exclusively toward kids. I didn’t see anything that indicated there’d be anything for the parents, even subtly. Still, if you need a moment to breath, it might not hurt to let your kids have a movie night.

16 – The Clearing (6/4) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Lexicon Entertainment, Core Vision Films, The PanOptic Group, Room In The Sky Films, Alpha Studios (II), Crackle Plus
Director: David Matalon
Writer: David Matalon
Actors: Liam McIntyre, Aundrea Smith, Steven Swadling, Sydelle Noel, Linda Kessler, Hayden Currie
Genre: Horror
Rated: Not Rated
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: A father must battle his way through the zombie apocalypse to save his daughter.

I know the genre is over saturated. I know there’s very little different from film to film. Still, zombies are my weakness. I do not know why I love them so much. Maybe it’s because the first few zomb movies I saw affected me so deeply, or maybe there’s some other weird psychological reason.

Whatever the case, chances are that most films featuring the walking dead will make my list.

In this case, it’s lower because I don’t see a whole lot that suggests there’ll be anything to set this one apart from all the others. For instance, we saw Little Monsters (2019) recently, which was injected with such a level of comedy that you couldn’t take your eyes away from it. Then we saw Blood Quantum (2019), which took the idea of zombies and added the condition that most animals were affected and a whole group of humans weren’t. See, those films took the basic idea and brought out a new shade of it.

The Clearing seeks to elevate the idea by adding a missing child. Now, I can think of many ways where that addition could work. However, we’ve have seen it before. Most notably in The Walking Dead’s (2010- ) Season Two when Carol’s daughter was lost.

It’s all going to be won or lost in the delivery. Which I’m not going to be able to comment on, until I see the film. I hope they make it work, though.

15 – American Woman (6/30) – VOD

Production/Distribution: AW Canada Films, First Generation Films, Killer Films, Level Forward, Ontario Creates, Téléfilm Canada, Elevation Pictures
Director: Semi Chellas
Writer: Semi Chellas, Susan Choi
Actors: Hong Chau, Ellen Burstyn, David Cubitt, Sarash Gadon, John Gallagher Jr., Matt Gordon, Dylan House, Lola Kirke, Jordan Pettle, Alicia Richardson, David Tompa, Dru Viergever, Richard Walters
Genre: Drama
Rated: Not Rated
Length: 85 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Inspired by the headline-dominating kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst in 1974, this atmospheric drama is a fictionalized re-imagining of her time in hiding, from the perspective of Jenny, a political activist assigned to take care of her.

This movie is inspired by the kidnapping of Patty Hearst. The event was a huge story when it happened in the 70s. It was so big, and widely discussed, that I knew about it by the start of my teenage years even though I wasn’t born until 1983.

It’s a fascinating story and I think a movie based on it could be awesome. There are some reviews from festival showings that make me think it doesn’t fully live up to its potential, though. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing it.

14 – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (6/26) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Gary Sanchez Productions, Netflix, Truenorth Productions
Director: David Dobkin
Writer: Will Ferrell, Andrew Steele
Actors: Natasia Demetriou, Rachel McAdams, Will Ferrell, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, Jamie Demetriou, Demi Lovato, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir, Melissanthi Mahut, Tómas Lemarquis, Bobby Lockwood, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Hélène Cardona, Elena Saurel, Milan van Weelden, Kajsa Mohammar
Genre: Comedy, Music
Rated: PG-13
Length: 120 minutes

IMDb Blurb: When aspiring musicians Lars and Sigrit are given the opportunity to represent their country at the world's biggest song competition, they finally have a chance to prove that any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.

The trailer doesn’t tell us much and I am not a Will Ferrell fan. So, why bother putting this film on my list?

Ferrell has no draw for me, but I’d be an idiot to not recognize that I have the unpopular opinion. Most people love Will Ferrell (Downhill, Zeroville, The Lego Movie). As a result, he is a giant in the field of comedy. That means I cannot ignore this film. Especially since he considers it a passion project.

He’s working with some great performers, too. Pierce Brosnan (I.T., Final Score, The Son), Rachel McAdams (Doctor Strange, Disobedience, Southpaw), Dan Stevens (The Call of the Wild, Lucky in the Sky, Kill Switch) and Demi Lovato (Charming, Will & Grace, Zoolander 2) are some big draws for a film like this.

Unfortunately, all the trailer tells us is that’s it’s a spoof of a Swedish singing competition. That’s all we get. It’s a shame, because I feel like it could have attracted a lot more viewers with a more in-depth coming attraction.

If you like Ferrell’s work, this will undoubtedly be the kind of film that bring out the best in him – simply because it comes from a place of real love. That said, I really don’t know anything about it, otherwise it’d be higher.

13 – The Last Days of American Crime (6/5) – Netflix

Production/Distribution: Radical Studios, Mandalay Pictures, Radical Pictures, Netflix
Director: Olivier Megaton
Writer: Karl Gajdusek, Greg Tocchini, Rick Remender
Actors: Michael Pitt, Edgar Ramírez, Sharlto Copley, Anna Brewster, Jay Anstey, Inge Beckmann, Sean Cameron Michael, Tamer Burjaq, Robert Hobbs, Daniel Fox, Carel Nel, Nathan Lynn, DeVille Vannik, Clayton Boyd, Shoko Yoshimura, Alonso Grandío, James Richard Marshall, Grant Ross, Johann Vermaak, Candice Weber, Matt Newman
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Rated: Not Rated
Length: 148 minutes

IMDb Blurb: In the not-too-distant future, as a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts.

This is just another heist flick, or is it?

There seems to be a sci-fi twist to this one.

There are several films about a futuristic world where crime isn’t really a thing anymore. The first that comes to mind is really Minority Report (2002). Instead of starting in the middle of the new world like that, this film takes place at the beginning. I think that could add an interesting perspective to the situation.

The thing is that even if the sci-fi aspect doesn’t work in The Last Days of American Crime, it’s still primarily an action film that takes place in our world, not too long from now. So, it could still wind up being a good ‘turn your brain off film’. That means that there are two roads the script can take to make the movie watchable.

I’d say the odds are in this film’s favor.

12 – 2 Minutes of Fame (6/16) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Codeblack Entertainment, Lionsgate, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Director: Leslie Small
Writer: Devon Shepard, Yamara Taylor
Actors: Andy Allo, Keke Palmer, Kimrie Lewis, RonReaco Lee, Katt Williams, Deon Cole, Jay Pharoah, Valery M. Ortiz, Madeleine Byrne, Jim Wise, Johnny Berryman, Nena Za
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 97 minutes

IMDb Blurb: An up-and-coming stand-up comic moves to L.A. to pursue a film career after video clips of his act make him an online sensation.

I was first taken by Jay Pharoah’s (Unsane, White Famous, Ride Along) impressions. They were really good and made me think of Robin Williams (The Face of Love, Happy Feet Two, World’s Greatest Dad). He was animated and the voices were seriously so spot on that you have to picture the face of the person he’s emulating. Your brain just gives you no choice.

The plot is a little more basic. Guy following his dreams has to decide between his new life and his family. At least, that’s what the trailer is representing it as. I hope there’s more to it, though. Because if Pharoah’s acting is as amazing as his impressions, he deserves better than that.

I’m all for giving it a chance.

11 – Infamous (6/12) – VOD

Production/Distribution: SSS Entertainment, El Ride Productions, Lucidity Entertainment, Beer Money Worldwide, SSS Film Capital, Vertical Entertainment
Director: Joshua Caldwell
Writer: Joshua Caldwell
Actors: Bella Thorne, Jake Manley, Marisa Coughlan, Amber Riley, Billy Blair, Robert Peters, Michael Sirow, Paul T. Taylor, Kyle Jacob Henry, Jennifer Rader, Madi Bready, Joey Oglesby, Aaliyah Muhammad, Damon Carney, Rose Lane Sanfilippo, Mike Page
Genre: Crime
Rated: Not Rated
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: Two young lovers rob their way across the southland, posting their exploits to social media, and gaining fame and followers as a result.

Here we have a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde story. Not the most original thing in the world, but the trailer makes it feel intriguing again. There’s a social media aspect that deepens the story and updates it.

Bella Thorne (Speechless, Ride, I Still See You) looks perfect for the part she plays. She could have been born for it. I’m less familiar with Jake Manley (A Dog’s Journey, Brotherhood, The Order) – but I can say that casting was spot-on with Thorne.

10 – Shirley (6/5) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF), Killer Films, Mechanism Digital, Neon, September Film, Madman Entertainment
Director: Josephine Decker
Writer: Sarah Gubbins, Susan Scarf Merrell
Actors: Elisabeth Moss, Logan Lerman, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young, Steve Vinovich, Ryan Spahn, Adelind Horan, Molly Fahey, Ava Langford, Allen McCullough, Edward O’ Blenis, Alexandria Sherman
Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 107 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A famous horror writer finds inspiration for her next book after she and her husband take in a young couple.

This trailer is creepy as all hell. I don’t know what the hell is going on in it, but I want to find out. I imagine there’ll be a lot of psychological thrill in it, which I absolutely adore.

Elisabeth Moss (The Invisible Man, Us, Light of My Life) is also one of the best actresses that have been rising in the past few years. I’m probably going to single out everything she does. Her being in the film immediately makes the whole damn thing worth watching. She’s also backed up by some great supporting actors like Logan Lerman (Hunters, Fury, Noah) and Odessa Young (The Stand, Assassination Nation, The Giant).

As a momentary digression, there’s some dialogue shown that I just really like. When someone asks the main character what she’s writing now and she says, “a little novella I’m calling ‘None of your Goddamn Business’,” oh man can I relate to that. I don’t like to talk about my projects while they’re in the works, I also prefer not to have people read them before they’re done and ready for editing. It’s just the way I work. It doesn’t matter, people always have this idea that they have the rights to what you’re doing – especially if they’re family. They’ll ask how the book is coming and then snicker or get super offended that you won’t give them a copy of what you have so far. I roll my eyes a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised if that shit is what drives the main character crazy.

Whatever the deepest parts of the plot are, I can be sure that there’s going to be some kind of twist that makes watching Shirley a necessity.

9 – Outback (6/9) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Outback The Movie, Story Posse, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Bonsai Films
Director: Mike Green
Writer: Mike Green, Brien Kelly
Actors: Kym Cramp, Brendan Donoghue, Lauren Lofberg, Taylor Wiese, Jim Winton Porter
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 86 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Down Under for an adventure-filled vacation, a young American couple quickly find themselves stranded in the unforgiving Australian outback.

Survival films are almost always – at the very least – interesting. You get a few humans, put them in an impossible situation and watch how they try to fight their way to safety. There’s no real ‘enemy’ except for the land that they’re up against.

The Australian Outback is notoriously dangerous and inhospitable – especially to people who are as inexperienced as this trailer makes the main characters seem. I’m very interested in seeing just what direction the story takes.

I don’t know the urban legend this movie is based on, but because that is what inspired this story, I expect a dark outcome. Most urban legends, in my experience, end very poorly for the people involved. I tend to appreciate a dark ending, so I’m even looking forward to that.

8 – The Last Tree (6/26) - VOD

Production/Distribution: Prodigal Film & TV, Privateer Pictures, British Film Institute, Picturehouse Entertainment, ArtMattan Productions, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Destiny Distribution, Picturehouse Cinemas
Director: Shola Amoo
Writer: Shola Amoo
Actors: Nicholas Pinnock, Denise Black, Tuwaine Barrett, Samuel Adewunmi, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Ibrahim Jammal, Layo-Christina Akinlude, Ruthxjiah Bellenea, Jayden Elijah, Demmy Ladipo, Tai Golding, John Akanmu, Ameen Mustapha, Rasaq Kukoyi, Shaqai White, Jack Chadwick, Yazzmin Newell, Sofia Chilvers, Yvan Zahui
Genre: Drama
Rated: Not Rated
Length: 98 minutes

IMDb Blurb: After a happy childhood in the countryside, a teenager moves to London, where he must navigate an unfamiliar environment on his road to adulthood.

This film is truly terrifying, even though it’s not a horror. It follows a boy who is raised by a woman who loves him and is then pulled away to live in a completely different situation out of nowhere. I imagine it’s a foster child situation where the mother becomes able to care for him after a while – at least that’s what I’m getting from the trailer.

It’s terrifying because I can’t imagine what that would be like. Living with one very good mother and then being torn away by another. However, it’s hard to fault a mother for wanting her child back after a time of separation.

There are very few single-genre dramas that draw me in like this one. I think it will be fascinating to see what comes of the main character and his situation.

Keep tissues nearby. I foresee some ugly crying.

7 – The King of Staten Island (6/12) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Apatow Productions, Perfect World Pictures, Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE), United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Judd Apatow
Writer: Judd Apatow, Pete Davidson, Dave Sirus
Actors: Pete Davidson, Bel Powley, Ricky Velez, Lou Wilson, Moises Arias, Carly Aquilino, Marisa Tomei, Maude Apatow, Robert Vidal Iii, Pauline Chalamet, Lynne Koplitz, Joseph Paul Kennedy, Kevin Corrigan, Bill Burr, Steve Buscemi, Jay Rodriguez
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 136 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Scott has been a case of arrested development since his firefighter dad died. He spends his days smoking weed and dreaming of being a tattoo artist until events force him to grapple with his grief and take his first steps forward in life.

I know that Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live, Set it Up, Trainwreck) is hit or miss with people. Even for me, he has his good and his bad moments. That said, I do tend to enjoy his comedy – at least when he gets personal. When Davidson delves into his personal life, he feels easier to relate to and it shows how much heart is behind the dark jokes.

This looks like a film that’s going to delve into those parts of his comedy that really bring out who he is as a person. Honestly? I’m really here for it. I want to see what he does with his story.

The trailer tells you all you really need to know. Davidson lost his father at an early age and it sent him spiraling. That’s a story a lot of people can relate to. In The King of Staten Island I imagine that we’ll get to see how Davidson was finally able to pick himself up. I love stories like that. They offer hope to people who have hit rock bottom.

So, aside from the fact that I’m looking forward to learning more about Pete and watching how his outstanding comedic timing factors in, I also enjoy the kind of plot featured in general. Regardless of who’s involved.

I think this will be worth a watch.

6 – Irresistible (6/26) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Busboy Productions, Plan B Entertainment, Focus Features
Director: Jon Stewart
Writer: Jon Stewart
Actors: Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, Mackenzie Davis, Natasha Lyonne, Topher Grace, Chris Cooper, Debra Messing, Will Sasso, Brent Sexton, Eve Gordon, Alan Aisenberg, Jason Davis, C.J. Wilson, Andrea Frankle
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: A Democratic strategist helps a retired veteran run for mayor in a small, conservative Midwest town.

I originally wanted to skip this because of how overly political it is… but I just can’t. I mean, it’s a comedy written and directed by Jon Stewart (Rosewater, The Daily Show, Real Mature) that stars Steve Carell (Space Force, Welcome to Marwen, Vice). I couldn’t dream of a more perfect pairing.

I’m 100% here for this film. It looks hilarious. If you lean right in US politics, you might need to put your put your feelings in your back pocket to enjoy the film, but otherwise I think most people will be fine.

The trailer just looks hilarious, but I’d never expect less from that pairing.

5 – Becky (6/5) – VOD

Production/Distribution: Yale Productions, BondIt Media Capital, BoulderLight Pictures, Buffalo 8 Productions, SSS Entertainment, SSS Film Capital, United Talent Agency (UTA), Quiver Distribution
Director: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Writer: Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye
Actors: Joel McHale, Kevin James, Lulu Wilson, Amanda Brugel, Robert Maillet, Ryan McDonald, Mike Dara, Chandra Michaels, James McDougall, Gage Graham-Arbuthnot, John D. Hickman, Isaiah Rockcliffe, Andrew Siwik, Charles Boyland, Marksu Radan
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 100 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A teenager's weekend at a lake house with her father takes a turn for the worse when a group of convicts wreaks havoc on their lives.

Kevin James (Little Boy, Kevin Can Wait, Sandy Wexler) is normally very typecast. In fact, I think he’s played the same character 18 times, just with different names. That means I’m VERY excited to see him play something completely different. He didn’t just step away from his type a little, he broke the fuck out of it. You can barely recognize him in the trailer.

Even if the trailer or the plot looked boring, I’d have put it on the list just because I’m dying to see Kevin James play the nazi ex-con villain. But that’s not the case. The trailer looks bad ass and the plot feels a little like what would happen if Home Alone (1990) was a thriller.

Whether the end result is good or bad, I’m in this one for the trip.

4 – Greyhound (6/12) – Apple TV+ (This film has been postponed until July. It will be eligible for the July Top 20.)

Production/Distribution: Columbia Pictures, Stage 6 Films, Zhengfu Pictures, BRON Studios, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Creative Wealth Media Finance, FilmNation Entertainment, Playtone, Sycamore Pictures, Apple TV+, China Film Group Corporation, Sony Pictures Releasing, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Aaron Schneider
Writer: C.S. Forester, Tom Hanks
Actors: Tom Hanks, Elisabeth Shue, Stephen Graham, Karl Glusman, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Lee Norris, Tom Brittney, Devin Druid, Rob Morgan, Grayson Russell, Maximilian Osinski, David Maldonado, Michael Benz, Matthew Zuk, Dave Davis, Craig Tate, Ian James Corlett, Casey Bond, Matt Helm, Narendra Singh Dhami, Ian Pala, Jeff Adler
Genre: Action, Drama, History
Rated: PG-13
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: Early in World War II, an inexperienced U.S. Navy captain must lead an Allied convoy being stalked by Nazi U-boat wolfpacks.

I’m excited to see Tom Hanks (The Post, Toy Story 4, Sully). Likely, any film he appeared in would have made this list, especially if he had a hand in writing it, but Greyhound is up at #4 on its own merits as well.

I picked up Apple TV+ specifically for this film.

It’s one of the two movies on this list that gives us another perspective of World War II – a subject that I am particularly interested in. Instead of showing us the battlefield for the umpteenth time, Greyhound takes a look into how our forces got there to begin with.

You can see a hell of a lot of action in the trailer. Enough to speak to even those of us that don’t tend to go for historical films. And there’s the added thrilling claustrophobia of the submarine and the twist of the inexperienced main character going through a trial by fire (sometimes literally).

I believe this movie has the ability to really speak to audiences and become a favorite of many – if it was done right.

3 – Da 5 Bloods (6/12) – Netflix

Production/Distribution: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Netflix
Director: Spike Lee
Writer: Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
Actors: Chadwick Boseman, Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Jonathan Majors, Norm Lewis, Jean Reno, Paul Walter Hauser, Van Veronica Ngo, Mélanie Thierry, Jasper Pääkkönen, Rick Shuster, Mav Kang, Casey Clark, Alexander Winters, Andrey Kasushkin, Devin Rumer
Genre: Drama, War
Rated: R
Length: 154 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Four African American vets battle the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen Squad Leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide.

Spike Lee (She’s Gotta Have It, BlacKkKlansman, Chi-Raq), Delroy Lindo (Malcolm X, The Good Fight, Malicious) and Chadwick Boseman (21 Bridges, Black Panther, Message from the King) are really reason enough, but there are so many other reasons to be looking forward to Da 5 Bloods.

Watching the trailer, you’re transported back to a time of war and uncertainty in some scenes, while in others you’re looking at the story of some former soldiers going back to where they served. There’s this back and forth that makes me think there’s going to be some serious story telling involved.

On top of that, we don’t really get many movies like this. Sure, we’ve revisited the Vietnam war and the soldiers that fought in it many times, but not like this. Rarely ever are the soldiers we see on screen (from that war) black.

With Spike Lee you’re always bound to get something outstandingly original. With this film, you’re also going to get a perspective that Hollywood simply doesn’t delve into enough.

We’ll be reviewing this one shortly after it comes out.

2 – SHEPHERD: The Story of a Jewish Dog (6/29) – VOD

Production/Distribution: FocusFox Studio, JDOG Films, Signature Entertainment
Director: Lynn Roth
Writer: Asher Kravitz, Lynn Roth
Actors: Ayelet Zurer, Ken Duken, August Maturo, Levente Molnár, Peter Linka, Lois Robbins, Rebeka Rea, Hans Peterson, Peter Schueller, Viktor Dénes, Bálint Antal, Bernadett Jobbágy, Jacqueline Moellendorf, Viktória Stefanovszky, Balázs Veres
Genre: Family
Rated: Not Rated
Length: 93 minutes

IMDb Blurb: SHEPHERD is based on the award-winning and bestselling Israeli novel, "The Jewish Dog," by Asher Kravitz. Kaleb, a beloved German Shepherd, is separated from his Jewish family when the Nuremberg Laws are enacted in WWII Berlin. He is adopted by an SS Officer who trains him to attack and round up Jews at a concentration camp. Kaleb is well cared for and good at his job until one day when he is distracted by a familiar scent. His original master, a young boy named Joshua, has arrived as a prisoner of the camp.

For all my research into World War II and the holocaust, I never considered what happened to the pets of Jews. I see dogs as such a force of light and good that I have trouble picturing them even living during that time. This film goes into the life of one of those dogs.

Just from the trailer, I get a really good idea of the story. Dog is taken from a Jewish family and trained to work with the Nazis. Jewish family is taken to a concentration camp. Dogs are the most loyal beings in the entire world and this one recognizes its original family. Dog and little boy escape into the wilderness.

The trailer is catchy and heartbreaking. Personally, though, I would have gone for the movie either way. The holocaust is a subject that I will always feel is important to learn about and remember. This film is based on a book that is tells the true story of a dog that actually existed. A dog that helped a little Jewish boy escape.

I don’t see an MPAA rating for this one, but judging from the ‘Family’ genre it’s listed on IMDb as being a part of, I feel like the ending probably won’t be the worst possible outcome. Then again, it is based on something that actually happened… so the ending could be something straight out of left field that is bleak as hell. (I’m not familiar with the book, though the movie could take the ending in a different direction anyway.)

This is another movie that will require a box of tissues nearby.

1 – Artemis Fowl (6/12) – Disney+

Production/Distribution: Marzano Films, Tribeca Productions, Walt Disney Pictures, Disney+, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Eoin Colfer, Michael Goldenberg, Adam Kline, Conor McPherson
Actors: Colin Farrell, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, Ferdia Shaw, Hong Chau, Miranda Raison, Grace Molony, Nonso Anozie, Adrian Scarborough, Simone Kirby, Nikesh Patel, Taylor James, Gerard Horan, Joshua McGuire, Lara McDonnell, Jimmy Vee, Tamara Smart, Jake Davies, Conor MacNeill
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Rated: PG
Length: 115 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Artemis Fowl, a young criminal prodigy, hunts down a secret society of fairies to find his missing father.

Artemis Fowl was always destined for my Top 20. Theaters open or not.

I’m beyond surprised that Disney opted to release it on Disney+ instead of waiting for theaters to open, but I’m also really happy about it.

This is a series based on books that are usually recommended to people who enjoyed the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson book series’. I’ve been waiting for the movie to come out since I heard it was happening.

The trailer does not disappoint.

There’s a lot of the fantastic in it and Disney has the funds to pull that kind of thing off brilliantly. That makes me think that we didn’t just get the best scenes in the trailer with nothing left to watch in the film. Something that can easily happen with a movie like this.

Also, the cast is nothing to sneeze at. Ferdia Shaw, the boy playing the titular character, is a newcomer. However, he’s performing alongside Dame Judi Dench (Victoria & Abdul, Red Joan, All is True), Colin Farrell (In Bruges, The Gentlemen, Dumbo), and Josh Gad (Frozen II, Little Monsters, The Angry Birds Movie). He couldn’t have asked for a better way to build his acting experience.

Of course I'm looking forward to this.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

Jungle Beat: The Movie .20
Lost Bullet .19
Tainted .18
Mr. Jones .17
The King of Staten Island .16
Irresistible .15
Becky .14
Shirley .13
Da 5 Bloods .12
A Whisker Away .11
The Clearing .10
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga .9
Outback .8
Sniper: Assassin’s End .7
The Last Days of American Crime .6
Greyhound .5
Infamous .4
Force of Nature .3
SHEPHERD: The Story of a Jewish Dog .2
Artemis Fowl .1


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