Friday, April 30, 2021

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In May (2021)

 According to: Cat

20 - 5-25-77 (5/25)

Production/Distribution: Filmio, Moonwatcher Inc., MVD Entertainment
Director: Patrick Read Johnson
Writer: Patrick Read Johnson
Actors: John Francis Daley, Austin Pendleton, Colleen Camp, Neil Flynn, Steve Coulter, Emmi Chen, Katie Jeep, Justin Mentell, Gwen Kmiec, Mark Lorenz, Christopher McLinden, Caitlin Barlow, Ema Tuennerman, Eddie Kunz, Eric Miles, Tim Beringer, Yasmin Golan, William Holmes, Michael Pawlak, Kenneth Mitchell, Kevin J. Stephens, Nick Harden, Michelle Higgins, Patrick Read Johnson, Gunner Jone, Jordan Keller, Al Leinonen, Charlie Talbert
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 113 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Alienated, hopeful-filmmaker Pat Johnson's epic story growing up in rural Illinois, falling in love, and becoming the first fan of the movie that changed everything.
Star Wars (1977) will always hold a special place in my heart as well as importance in my personal cinematic landscape. Aside from E.T. (1982), the first Star Wars trilogy were the very first movies I remember attending as a child. I also love knowing a little bit of behind-the-scenes knowledge about a film before I see it. I’m not talking spoilers, though.
Let me explain. Here we have the autobiographical story of how the writer/director of 5-25-77 came to be one of the first to view the Star Wars movie outside of its production team. Further, this film has been in steady production since around 2007, when its first rough cut was shown at the 30-year anniversary celebration ‘convention.’ They’ve tweaked a little here and there and given fans another limited release taste on the 40th anniversary of Star Wars’ release.
That’s enough to catch my attention and push me to see how all this came to be. I am dying to know how the young director got that exclusive privilege. Then, you factor in everything shown in the trailer and his story just becomes that much more fascinating.
This movie looks like a love letter to film geeks and fans everywhere. My inner fangirl approves. 
19 - The Djinn (5/14)

Production/Distribution: Mad Descent, Kinogo Pictures, IFC Midnight
Directors: David Charbonier, Justin Powell
Writers: David Charbonier, Justin Powell
Actors: Ezra Dewey, Rob Brownstein, Tevy Poe, John Erickson, Donald Pitts, Jilbert Daniel, Isaiah Dell, Collin Joe, Omaryus Luckett
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 82 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A mute boy is trapped in his apartment with a sinister monster when he makes a wish to fulfill his heart's greatest desire.

First of all, this movie should not be confused with Jinn (2014). The plots look entirely different, even if they use the same flavor of folklore as the basis of their respective movie’s monster. I certainly hope that this film turns out better than the 2014 one. I was disappointed a bit back then. I’ll admit that I really only got excited about it because they created what a modern-day Firebird would look like – long past the closure of the Pontiac manufacturer and lack of actual new production models. I digress…
I have a bit more hope for The Djinn. Not only is the supernatural creature’s name spelled more correctly in the title, it seems to give a more ‘traditional’ approach to the folklore. I confess that a lot of what I know about these critters comes from my D&D background so please don’t roast me if it differs from the actual lore history. From what I understand, this is the sort of entity that the legend of genies was derived from. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how a young, impressionable, and seemingly desperate boy would think that this super-powerful being would grant him wishes if he called on it.
I am intrigued to see how this story plays out – and whether or not any wish-fulfillment happens or is teased to the child. There is no shiny magic lamp here, though, and certainly no singing blue-skinned goofball. The trailer made that pretty clear.
For any that watched Selina and I stream our trailer-watching session, you might have heard us mention then -- but I feel the need to reiterate that films are that much more frightening when a horrifying circumstance is happening to a child who has to deal with it alone.
18 - Initiation (5/7)

Production/Distribution: Shatterproof Films, Shaw Organisation, Splendid Film, Falcon Films, Saban Films, XYZ Films
Director: John Berardo
Writers: John Berardo, Brian Frager, Lindsay LaVanchy
Actors: Froy Gutierrez, Lochlyn Munro, Yancy Butler, Jon Huertas, Gattlin Griffith, Isabella Gomez, Bart Johnson, Patrick R. Walker, Nick Ballard, Kent Faulcon, Shalini Bathina, Mel Fair, Debra De Liso, David M Sandoval Jr., Betsy Hume, Lindsay LaVanchy, Adin Kolansky, Shireen Lai, Maxwell Hamilton, Brian Frager, James Berardo, Corey Crandall
Genre: Crime, Horror, Mystery
Rated: R
Length: 96 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Whiton University unravels the night a star-athlete is murdered, kicking off a spree of social media slayings that force students to uncover the truth behind the school's hidden secrets and the horrifying meaning of an exclamation point.
Those that have followed us for a while will know that I am quite the 80s’ baby. I am a huge fan of 80s slasher films, even if I couldn’t always watch those when released. (Silly ratings age restrictions, right?) Part of it is a nostalgia thing, but the camp and structure of them are generally fun, too.
Initiation is definitely not set in that era, as it leans into modern social media as a tool for the killer to exploit. However, the trailer seriously gave off vibes that the story seems to pay homage to the genre while painting a satirical picture of the college Greek experience, social media addiction, and perhaps a bit of a message about cyber-bullying thrown in.
I have a few questions in the wake of the trailer that I’m hoping the movie clears up, but otherwise, it looks like a bloody romp and a good time for horror fans.
17 – Here Today (5/7)

Production/Distribution: Astute Films, Big Head Productions, Crystal's Face Productions, Stage 6 Films, Front Row Filmed Entertainment
Director: Billy Crystal
Writers: Billy Crystal, Alan Zweibel
Actors: Billy Crystal, Tiffany Haddish, Sharon Stone, Penn Badgley, Laura Benanti, Kevin Kline, Barry Levinson, Louisa Krause, Shiloh Verrico, Anna Deavere Smith, Susan Pourfar, Nyambi Nyambi, Alex Brightman, Bob Costas, Matthew Broussard, Grayson Eddey, Brandon Uranowitz, Tony Naumovski, Gianmarco Soresi, Steven Castillo, Max Gordon Moore, Justin Linville, Audrey Hsieh, Andrew Durand, Drew Levy, Michael Jones
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 117 minutes
IMDb Blurb: When veteran comedy writer Charlie Burnz meets New York street singer Emma Payge, they form an unlikely yet hilarious and touching friendship that kicks the generation gap aside and redefines the meaning of love and trust.
Have I mentioned before that I love Billy Crystal (Howl's Moving Castle, Tooth Fairy, Monsters University)? Not only is he a comedy legend, but he stole my heart with his performance of Miracle Max in The Princess Bride (1987).  I use quotes from that movie on pretty much a daily basis. Aside from that, I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything I’ve seen him in since then.
One of the things I really appreciated, as I watched the trailer, is that this movie promises to be an interesting mashup of ‘old guard’ comedians with new. I really liked the screen chemistry between Crystal and Tiffany Haddish (The Kitchen, Like a Boss, The Last O.G.). Their banter was wonderful, and this story bridging the generation gap looks really hilarious and heartfelt at the same time.
I’m so happy to see another theatrical example of how platonic friendship love can be shared with people of the opposite sex without a sexually intimate relationship forming. Some of my best friends throughout my life have been guys. There was no ‘friend zone’ going on because neither of us were trying to be in any other sort of ‘zone.’ This has been better represented in media in recent years but there should still be more of it.
I’m also down to see a younger person befriending an older person without there being a question of one being a ‘gold digger’ or taking advantage of them. It looks pretty clear by the trailer that nothing of that sort is going on in this story, in spite of what others around the characters might assume.
I’m really glad that this trailer was released just in time to be in consideration for this month’s list.
16 - Paper Spiders (5/7)

Production/Distribution: Cranium Entertainment, Idiot Savant Pictures, Particular Crowd, Entertainment Squad
Director: Inon Shampanier
Writers: Inon Shampanier, Natalie Shampanier
Actors: Peyton List, Lili Taylor, Max Casella, David Rasche, Stefania LaVie Owen, Ian Nelson, Jennifer Cody, Tom Papa, Michael Cyril Creighton, Hunter Foster, Sheri Fairchild, Fiona Horrigan, Deanna McKinney, ArthurMk, Oliver Comstock Reynolds, Kevin A. Wall, Lori Franzese, James W. Meagher, Jack E. Jones
Genre: Drama
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 109 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A bittersweet story about coming of age in the shadow of mental illness.
I have a feeling that this movie is going to be hard to watch for me.  My relationship with my mom has always been on a bit of a rollercoaster. Mental illness overshadowed so much of our interactions – from both of our ends with depression and undiagnosed ADHD. Don’t get me wrong, though, I love my mom and I have plenty of happy memories that outweigh the bad. My mom and I have a better relationship now. Things just get a little hairy when people that are a lot alike have executive function issues compounding other stuff and butt heads. I digress.
I appreciate that cinema is addressing mental health issues more honestly and openly these days in effort to peel back some of the stigma that’s always haunted them.
While my mom’s issues weren’t anything like what the character in this story experiences, I can still relate to the daughter’s position. In these pandemic times, with mental health crises on the rise, this will likely resonate with many. This has the potential of being an important watch.
One of the critic quotes in the trailer indicated that the movie promises to tear you down and build you back up again. I have a feeling that tissues will be required for this one. I’m probably going to be watching this one at home, alone…so no one can see me ugly-cry.
15 - Finding You (5/14)

Production/Distribution: Nook Lane Entertainment, Red Sky Studios, MK1 Productions, Roadside Attractions, The Searchers
Director: Brian Baugh
Writer: Brian Baugh
Actors: Katherine McNamara, Tom Everett Scott, Vanessa Redgrave, Judith Hoag, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Jedidiah Goodacre, Patrick Bergin, Rose Reid, Natalie Britton, Fiona Bell, Trevor Kaneswaran, Anabel Sweeney, Marion O'Dwyer, Gwynne McElveen, Ken Carpenter, Bryan Quinn, Dairíne Ní Dhonnchú, Eva-Jane Gaffney, Meg O'Brien, Ciaran McMahon, Helen Roche, Michelle Hlongwane, Frank McGovern
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rated: PG
Length: 115 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Finley, a talented aspiring violinist, meets Beckett, a famous young movie star, on the way to her college semester abroad program in a small coastal village in Ireland. An unexpected romance emerges as the heartthrob Beckett leads the uptight Finley on an adventurous reawakening, and she emboldens him to take charge of his future, until the pressures of his stardom get in the way.
I am jealous. Seriously. When things go wrong in my life I want to run off to Ireland to make it all better.
My bucket list dreams aside, this looks like a cute romance movie. It has star-crossed lovers, the backdrop of Ireland and lovely Irish people, and the added bonus of the meta movie-filming-within-a-movie fantasy flick one of the main characters is involved in. Even more of a bonus, there promises to be some really awesome music. I will have to contain myself to not try and jig in the middle of the film.
In my book, this film has everything going for it. I don’t even care if there are cheesy bits in the middle and a predictable recipe. I can’t wait to watch.
14 - Profile (5/14)

Production/Distribution: Bazelevs Entertainment, TABBAK, Focus Features, Universal Pictures
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Writers: Britt Poulton, Olga Kharina, Timur Bekmambetov, Anna Érelle
Actors: Valene Kane, Shazad Latif, Christine Adams, Amir Rahimzadeh, Morgan Watkins, Emma Cater, Therica Wilson-Read
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 105 minutes
IMDb Blurb: An undercover British journalist infiltrates the online propaganda channels of the so-called Islamic State, only to be sucked in by her recruiter.
Catfishing is a dangerous game – regardless if one is doing it as part of a job. It’s emotionally dangerous as well as potentially physically so. You never know if someone is going to figure you out and take being upset to an extreme level.  There are some very smart and dangerously crazy people out there. Just saying.
While this story involves a journalist trying to bust a terrorist cell, or something of that nature, it just raises the stakes on the danger quotient.
All the same, I’m looking forward to seeing Shazad Latif (Penny Dreadful, The Commuter, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) in a different sort of role than his character in Star Trek: Discovery (2017-).
Profile looks like it’ll keep you on the edge of your seat as the story unfolds on the screens of the characters involved. I’m curious to see if things move away from the online aspect and deal with the physical world more. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out all the same.
13 - The Woman in the Window (5/14)

Production/Distribution: 20th Century Studios, Fox 2000 Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions, Netflix, Ukrainian Film Distribution
Director: Joe Wright
Writers: A.J. Finn, Tracy Letts
Actors: Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Donat Balaj, Fred Hechinger, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Julianne Moore, Jeanine Serralles, Mariah Bozeman, Liza Colón-Zayas, Anna Cameron, Ben Davis, Rand Guerrero, Amanda Rabinowitz, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tracy Letts
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery 
Rated: R
Length: 100 minutes
IMDb Blurb: An agoraphobic woman living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbors, only to witness a disturbing act of violence.
Imagine witnessing a crime – and the culprit knows that you know – and exactly where you are. That seems terrifying enough before you add the fact that the witness in this story is agoraphobic and petrified about going outside. With that knowledge, it might allow a dangerous criminal to play a diabolical and potentially deadly game of cat and mouse.
In today’s digital age, it’s easier for shut-ins to navigate the world without having to leave their homes. Everyone had to experience a touch of this when the world locked down for the Coronavirus pandemic, after all. All the various delivery services ensure that everything can come to you.
I’m dying to know how this story turns out. The trailer effectively left me wanting more. I want to know if Amy Adams’ (Enchanted, Arrival, Sharp Objects) character is able to prevail over her crippling fear.
Speaking of the cast – it’s an all-star lineup here. Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Space Between Us, Mank) is outright terrifying when he plays a bad guy. Then you have Anthony Mackie (Miss Bala, Synchronic, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars, Suburbicon, Bel Canto), and Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Machinist, The Hateful Eight, Twin Peaks) among others in the cast as well.
I can’t wait to watch this one on Netflix when it comes out.
12 - The Water Man (5/7)

Production/Distribution: Harpo Films, ShivHans Pictures, Yoruba Saxon Productions, RLJE Films, Netflix
Director: David Oyelowo
Writer: Emma Needell
Actors: Maria Bello, Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina, David Oyelowo, Amiah Miller, Lonnie Chavis, Ted Rooney, John Henry Whitaker, Adam Dunlap, Brianne Huggins, Jeremy Moore
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 92 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A boy sets out on a quest to save his ill mother by searching for a mythic figure said to have magical healing powers.
The trailer for The Water Man gave serious Bridge to Terabithia (2007) vibes. I am hoping that it offers a slightly more upbeat climax than the tear-jerking moments of Terabithia, though. With a story about a son questing for a miracle cure for his potentially dying mother, however, all bets are off when it comes to whether or not tissues will be required.
The story looks touching and full of heart and adventure. Of course, there’s also a great cast involved. Not only is this David Oyelowo’s (Come Away, The Midnight Sky, Chaos Walking) directing debut, but he also is one of the stars of this film opposite Rosario Dawson (Unforgettable, Luke Cage, Zombieland: Double Tap). I think that’s a combination sure to win.
I am fascinated by this folk-tale of The Water Man that inspires a young boy to set off with only a new friend and a katana. I tried to dig up any info to see if there was an actual basis for this story. It looks like it’s generally original but loosely similar to a Water Man folk tale passed in the oral tradition, recorded in the 1930s sometime, and attributed to Czech lore.
With Oprah Winfrey (The Hundred Foot Journey, Oprah's Master Class, Queen Sugar) as an executive producer, it’s a good bet that we’re in for an emotional ride of substance with this movie and I can’t wait to check it out.
11 - When Today Ends (5/14)

Production/Distribution: An 11:11 Experience, Kandoo Releasing
Director: Michael Leoni
Writer: Michael Leoni
Actors: Gavin Leatherwood, Kenny Johnston, Jacqi Vene, Jennifer Christopher, Decker Sadowski, Matt Hoffman, Heidi Kaufman, Logan Garretson, Zack Kozlow, Troy Clevenger, Carrie Madsen, Gregory DePetro, Liam Donafee, David Aaron Evans, Derick Breezee, Howard Campbell, Angel Guadalupe, Ben Gust, Deborah Vancelette, Isaac Anderson, Kristina St. Peter, Quinn Von Hoene, Joey Sabo, Jacob Nichols, Galassia Grassetto, Tyler Tanner, Jackson Mankowski
Genre: Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 97 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Four teenagers post their personal stories online using the hashtag, #WhenTodayEnds. With no filter and complete abandon, Jenna, Nick, Megan and James all share their deepest, darkest secrets only to fall eerily down the same path.
This movie is another that hits perhaps a little too close to home, but its importance lands it solidly on this list. I think it will be important to watch, however. The trailer gives the distinct impression that this movie deals with the mental health crisis that a handful of teens are going through – and the aftermath of each. It looks like it gives a brutal perspective on the victims of bullying and the emotional wreckage that it can cause.
My daughter was bullied mercilessly. It got really bad in middle school. It triggered her genetic predisposition for depression (which, unfortunately, runs in the family) and it sent her into a seriously dark spiral that we’re still trying to dig out of, and she’s almost 18.
Bullying is a serious and severe issue. It’s always been around, but in the digital age it can be so much more brutal and invasive than when I was a kid (and bullied myself). Zero tolerance policies in schools don’t work the majority of the time because the faculty turns a blind eye or simply don’t enforce them.
If you are prone to motion sickness, you might take measures before viewing. The trailer alone had a lot of shaky-cam involved, and given the way this appears to have been filmed, it’s probably pervasive throughout the whole movie.

10 - Equal Standard (5/7)

Production/Distribution: First Born Productiono, Digital Seven, Mutiny Pictures, Safier Entertainment, levelFILM
Director: Brendan Kyle Cochrane
Writer: Taheim Bryan
Actors: Ice-T, Robert Clohessy, Marc John Jefferies, Jules Willcox, Hassan Johnson, Fredro Starr, Tobias Truvillion, Maurice Benard, Chris Kerson, Jermaine Hopkins, Anthony 'Treach' Criss, Myles Clohessy, Hilary Barraford, Jermel Howard, Sal Rendino, Kresh Novakovic, Josh Berresford, Matthew Muzio, Audrey Labarthe, Byron Clohessy, Taheim Bryan, Bill Weeden, James Doherty, James Parris, Syleena Johnson, Reggie Talley, Gerard Cordero, Brad Fleischer, Hwalan Shub, Erin Sanderson, Jim Thalman, Roger Brenner, Ameerah Briggs, Pamela Macey, La Rivers, Korleon King, Courtney Silveira-Freeman, MeeWha Alana Lee, Carly Blake Sebouhian, Samuel Shurtleff, Vincent Minutella, Darlene Dues, Vincent Veloso, Vin Scialla, Victor Girone, Kareem Green, Gabriella Terrero, Terrence Glenn Thomas, Jayson Evans, Mary Round, Kenyon Phillips, Gregory Dickson, Nehassaiu de Gannes, vin Palmer, Angela Lewis, Tyler Merell, Anthony Clark, Rob Minutoli, Madison Bryan, Daniel Boyd Yahraes, David Perez-Ribada, Lucano Atitola, George Cruz, Yoneiry Taveras, Jose A Dominguez, Mark Adams
Genre: Action, Crime
Rated: Unrated
Length: 101 minutes
IMDb Blurb: New York City police officers lives collide in interweaving stories of race, rank, loss, and betrayal.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police, and the ensuing global outcry, and on the heels of Derek Chauvin’s conviction, it’s clear that eyes are beginning to open regarding the injustice in the system of our country.
Stories like this remain important. Black. Lives. Matter.
I don’t want to hear ‘all lives matter.’ That’s not the point here. When you say that, you only illustrate how blinded you are to the real issues at hand. The news is littered almost daily with incidents similar to what happened to Mr. Floyd. The deaths are senseless. The violence is uncalled for. The profiling is real.
The message is so important that it really could place this film at #1 on my list.
However, as this is list is generally comprised of films considered for their entertainment quality, it realistically, isn’t going to be the most entertaining thing coming out this month. (Hey, it could be, though, with notables among the cast such as Ice-T (Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn, Ugly Dolls, Law & Order: SVU).)
With that in mind, I wanted to place this in a prominent location on the list and where its poster and the trailer could jump out and remind you that it’s here – smack in the middle.
Go about your lives and live every day to the fullest – but remember to open your eyes and be vigilant. Social and racial injustice is everywhere. If you see it happen, say something – DO something. Stand up and make your voice be heard.
9 - Riders of Justice (5/14)

Production/Distribution: Zentropa Entertainment, Film i Väst, Zentropa International Sweden, Danish Film Institute, FilmFyn, Nordisk Film- & TV-Fond, Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film Distribution, TV2 Danmark, Sveriges Television, Yleisradio, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Magnet Releasing, The Klockworx, Vertigo Média Kft., La Aventura, Koch Media, Mongrel Media, Rosebud, Synapse, Virtual Cinema, Watcha
Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
Writers: Nikolaj Arcel, Anders Thomas Jensen
Actors: Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Andrea Heick Gadeberg, Lars Brygmann, Nicolas Bro, Gustav Lindh, Roland Møller, Albert Rudbeck Lindhardt, Anne Birgitte Lind, Omar Shargawi, Jacob Lohmann, Henrik Noël Olesen, Gustav Dyekjær Giese, Christian Hornhof, Johanne Dal-Lewkovitch, Veronica Verdugo
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 116 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Markus, who has to go home to his teenage daughter, Mathilde, when his wife dies in a tragic train accident. It seems like an accident until a mathematics geek, who was also a fellow passenger on the train, and his two colleagues show up.
Here we have a movie with subtitles. I just wanted to throw that out there right away so that we could get past it. Not a lot of foreign language films make our list. Sometimes it can be a chore to read a movie at the same time you watch it – unless the story is engrossing enough.
In the case of Riders of Justice, it’s an action film with Mads Mikkelsen (Polar, Another Round, Chaos Walking) as a man with revenge on his mind. Mikkelsen is a serious badass in an action movie. He’s enough of a reason for me to watch this one, and I’m quite sure that I won’t even notice the words flashing at the bottom of the screen. I’m hoping you won’t either.
I’ve been excitedly waiting to watch this movie ever since we saw the trailer. If you love the action genre, you’ll probably want to give this one a chance.
8 - Those Who Wish Me Dead (5/14)

Production/Distribution: BRON Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Film Rites, New Line Cinema, Universal Pictures International, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Singapore, HBO Max
Director: Taylor Sheridan
Writers: Michael Koryta, Charles Leavitt, Taylor Sheridan
Actors: Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Finn Little, Jon Bernthal, Aidan Gillen, Tyler Perry, Jake Weber, Tory Kittles, James Jordan, Lora Martinez-Cunningham, Laura Niemi, Dylan Kenin, Medina Senghore, Howard Ferguson Jr., Matt Medrano, Gabe Baca
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 100 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A teenage murder witness finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert tasked with protecting him -- and a forest fire threatening to consume them all.
When you see a cast includes names such as Angelina Jolie (By the Sea, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Come Away), Nicholas Hoult (Sand Castle, Tolkien, Crossing Swords), Jon Bernthal (Baby Driver, The Punisher, Ford v. Ferrari), and Tyler Perry (Brain on Fire, A Madea Family Funeral, A Fall from Grace) the movie is going to grab your attention immediately.
The story and actors involved in this film reeled me in right away.
I like the fact that this is a little different than other roles Jolie has played, as well as it flips the script on Hoult’s usual ‘good guy’ image. Bernthal as an officer rather than someone acting outside the law is a role he hasn’t visited in quite a while. Of course Perry can do anything and is a genius at it.
Once this movie gets going, I have a feeling that it’ll be a white-knuckle ride to the end, and I can’t wait to watch it when it hits HBO Max.
7 - Wrath of Man (5/7)

Production/Distribution: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Miramax, CAA Media Finance, Flic Films UK, Toff Guy Films, United Artists Releasing, VVS Films, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, DeAPlaneta, Digicine, Eagle Films, Encore Films, Golden Village Pictures, JL Vision Film, Joyncontents Group, Leone Film Group, Lionsgate UK, Lionsgate, Metropolitan Filmexport, Movie Cloud, StudioCanal Germany, StudioCanal, The Klockworx, The Searchers, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures International, Vertical Entertainment, Volga Film Ukraine, Volga, Remain In Light, The Filmbridge, The Searchers
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Nicolas Boukhrief, Éric Besnard, Guy Ritchie, Marn Davies, Ivan Atkinson
Actors: Jason Statham, Holt McCallany, Josh Hartnett, Rocci Williams, Jeffrey Donovan, Scott Eastwood, Andy Garcia, Deobia Oparei, Laz Alonso, Raúl Castillo, Chris Reilly, Eddie Marsan, Niamh Algar, Tadhg Murphy, Alessandro Babalola, Mark Arnold, Gerald Tyler, Alex Ferns, Josh Cowdery, Jason Wong, Rob Delaney, Eli Brown, Cameron Jack, Darrell D'Silva, Babs Olusanmokun, Thomas Dominique, Lyne Renée, Rebecca Calder, Eve Macklin, Mark Cotone, Montana Manning
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 118 minutes
IMDb Blurb: The plot follows H, a cold and mysterious character working at a cash truck company responsible for moving hundreds of millions of dollars around Los Angeles each week.
Wrath of Man combines two…okay 4… of my cinematic faves into an action extravaganza. I said two originally because it’s Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Gentlemen) directing Jason Statham (Homefront, Mechanic: Resurrection, The Meg) again. I can’t leave out Josh Hartnett (The Ottoman Lieutenant, Inherit the Viper, Most Wanted) and Scott Eastwood (Fury, Pacific Rim: Uprising, The Outpost), though. They are great, but Statham and Ritchie are who really get me excited about this film.
I am a huge fan of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), which were the first two movies that Statham and Ritchie did together – and it was magic.
We’ve been waiting for this to release for months now (thanks pandemic), and were disappointed when it kept getting pushed back. I was elated when the official trailer was finally released, and it promises one hell of an action ride. I expect quite the bloodbath as Statham inhabits the role of a man on a mission of revenge. (That seems to be one of the themes this month shared by several movies on the list.)
I haven’t seen the French film Cash Truck (2004), which this movie is remaking as an English version, so I’m afraid I can’t attest to how closely this would follow the story of that movie. I would think most watching this aren’t really going to be looking for those comparisons, however.
Unfortunately, I have to wait a bit before I can enjoy this one, as it seems to be a theaters-only release, and I generally have to catch something streaming. However, if you’re able to safely venture out to a theater near you, I encourage you to give this one a shot.
6 - The Paper Tigers (5/7)

Production/Distribution: Beimo Films, Persistence of Vision Films, Well Go USA Entertainment, Entermode, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Odeon
Director: Quoc Bao Tran
Writer: Quoc Bao Tran
Actors: Yuji Okumoto, Ron Yuan, Jae Suh Park, Peter Adrian Sudarso, Yoshi Sudarso, Alain Uy, Matthew Page, Roger Yuan, Gui DaSilva-Greene, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Brian Le, La'Tevin Alexander, Raymond Ma, Andy Le, Annette Toutonghi, Ray Hopper, Kieran Tamondong, Phillip Dang, Joziah Lagonoy, Mark Poletti, Malakai James
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 108 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Three Kung Fu prodigies have grown into washed-up, middle-aged men, now one kick away from pulling their hamstrings. But when their master is murdered, they must juggle their dead-end jobs, dad duties, and old grudges to avenge his death.
Now this movie didn’t catch my attention because of the cast, but its premise. I am a sucker for martial arts comedy movies. Okay, martial arts movies in general – but they’re even better when there’s a little levity involved, too. (Maybe I’ve seen too many Jackie Chan (Police Story: Lockdown, Rush Hour 3, Kung Fu Yoga) movies? On the other hand, nah – there’s no such thing.)
The Paper Tigers doesn’t appear to be your typical martial arts action film, either. I like the concept that the story follows former ace students who grew up and went separate ways in their lives and have to come back together as out-of-practice adults. The training to ‘remember’ their past skills should offer up a lot of comedy gold, as the trailer seems to indicate.
The mystery aspect of the plot has me intrigued. Couple that with what I’ve already mentioned, and there’s a winning combination in my book. Honestly, The Paper Tigers and Wrath of Man were in a toss-up for this spot on my list. This movie won out because the concept felt fresher than your standard shoot-em-up & kick-ass action film – even if just barely.
I wish I knew this cast better than ‘oh, it’s that guy!’ I have a feeling I’ll be paying far closer attention to these actors after this.
5 – Spiral (5/14)

Production/Distribution: Twisted Pictures, Serendipity Productions, Dahlstar, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Lionsgate, Lionsgate UK, 01 Distribution, ACME, BF Distribution, Belga Films, Bir Film, CatchPlay, Central Partnership, Corazón Films, DeAPlaneta, Eagle Films, Forum Film Slovakia, Independent Films, Leone Film Group, Meloman, Metropolitan Filmexport, Mongrel Media, Monolith Films, Paris Filmes, Shaw Organisation, StudioCanal, Ukrainian Film Distribution, Vertical Entertainment
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Writers: Josh Stolberg, Pete Goldfinger
Actors: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan David Jones, Ali Johnson, Dan Petronijevic, Edie Inksetter, Leila Leigh, Max Minghella, Christopher Tai, John Tokatlidis, Genelle Williams, K.C. Collins, Marisol Nichols, Nazneen Contractor, Frank Licari, Zoie Palmer, Richard Zeppieri
Genre: Crime, Horror, Mystery
Rated: R
Length: 93 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw.
I was slow to get into the Saw (2004) franchise. I can’t remember why I hesitated at first, but I’ve seen them all now. I love the intellectual aspect of all the little mind games just as much as the thrill factor the movies bring with them.
Honestly, though, when you say Chris Rock (Nobody's Fool, Dolemite Is My Name, Fargo) and Samuel L. Jackson (The Last Full Measure, The Banker, Death to 2020) are in a movie together, sign me up. I don’t care what it is – I need to see it. It will be interesting seeing Chris Rock in more serious work, since I know him best for his comedy. Saw movies are definitely no laughing matter. I think his expression on the poster says it all.
I’m glad I’ll be watching this one at home, though. I might just make a game out of how many times Samuel L. Jackson uses his usual expletive catchphrase. I digress.
Not only is Chris Rock starring in this next Saw installment, but he’s executive producing and writing for this project after bringing the idea to Lionsgate. When a film is someone’s pet project, there’s often a lot of passion involved in it so I expect to see him at the top of his game here.
Do you really need more of a reason to watch?
4 - Psycho Goreman (5/20)

Production/Distribution: Dystopia Films, Raven Banner Entertainment, RLJE Films, Koch Films, La Aventura, Shudder, Umbrella Entertainment
Director: Steven Kostanski
Writer: Steven Kostanski
Actors: Nita-Josee Hanna, Owen Myre, Matthew Ninaber, Steven Vlahos, Adam Brooks, Alexis Kara Hancey, Kristen MacCulloch, Anna Tierney, Roxine Latoya Plummer, Alex Chung, Scout Flint, Robert Homer, Conor Sweeney, Matthew Kennedy, Rick Amsbury, Jayson Alexander, Kenneth Welsh, Asuka Kurosawa, Timothy Paul McCarthy, Stacie Gagnon, Rich Evans, Stuart Wellington, William O'Donnell, Jeff Derushie
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: Unrated
Length: 95 minutes
IMDb Blurb: After unearthing a gem that controls an evil monster looking to destroy the Universe, a young girl and her brother use it to make him do their bidding.
The entire premise of this movie is absolutely bonkers, and I am absolutely here for it.
The combination of Sci-Fi with comedy and horror is pretty much a dream come true for me – provided that they pull it off well. Now, I’ll take some of this with a grain of salt considering the trailer gave me flashbacks to the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1996) and a dash of Mars Attacks! (1996) with the creature effects I saw.
Honestly, if the comedy is well done – the rest is window dressing in this case. I’m pretty confident that there shouldn’t be a problem there, considering the trailer alone had me laughing and it was hard to pull back from that to keep watching others during our stream.
There’s just something about the innocence of a kid controlling or befriending a horrifying monster that draws me in. Maybe I have a soft spot for the premise that brings me back to The Monster Squad (1987). Who knows?
In this case, it’s definitely control. The creature that could end the universe must abide by the whims of a little girl and her friends. It makes for a bananas story. It’ll be easy to get into, and there’s even the promise of some action.
Considering kids are involved, though, I’m wondering how far into horror Psycho Goreman actually goes. The trailer reveals that the titular monster talks a big game about death and destruction and can be explicit about that – but is that where it ends? Do the fights with other monsters get nasty? Is it just because of the brain-things? I’ve got to know.
I can’t wait to check this out on Shudder and give everyone a review.

3 - Cruella (5/28)

Production/Distribution: Gunn Films, Marc Platt Productions, TSG Entertainment, Walt Disney Pictures, Disney+, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Argentina
Director: Craig Gillespie
Writers: Dana Fox, Tony McNamara, Aline Brosh McKenna, Kelly Marcel, Steve Zissis, Dodie Smith
Actors: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Mark Strong, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, Joel Fry, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Jamie Demetriou, Haruka Abe, John McCrea, Ed Birch, Tipper Seifert-Cleveland, Abraham Popoola, Sid Sagar, Billie Gadsdon
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Rated: PG-13
Length: 134 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil.
I am loving the trailer for Cruella. It’s hard to love the actual character, however, since she’s one of Disney’s most despicable. She wants to flay puppies to make a coat!
I want to know what makes the evil woman tick, but at the same time, I am not looking forward to feeling any sympathy towards her. Unfortunately, it piques my curiosity to such a degree that I absolutely have to watch it in order to be satisfied. Why is she the way she is? Did something happen to her to make her bonkers or was she always like that?
Even though it’s a movie highlighting a villain, sometimes that’s fun. It’s also a Disney character and there’s plenty of draw in that, too.
I love Emma Stone (The Favourite, Maniac, The Croods: A New Age). It was hard to envision her as this character until I saw the first trailer. I got chills. She absolutely nailed it. She even seems to have modified her voice for the character, as well as flawlessly mirroring the mannerisms of Cruella from the cartoon – right down to her movements as she drives.
Of course, the noteworthy cast doesn’t stop with her. Among the notables, Dame Emma Thompson (Beauty and the Beast, Late Night, Last Christmas), Mark Strong (The Brothers Grimsby, Shazam!, 1917), and Emily Beecham (Hail, Caesar!, Into the Badlands, Outside the Wire) are involved with the production.
I can’t say that I’m willing to pay the premium price on Disney+ to watch this right at it releases, but I will stream it the moment that it drops into regular subscription rotation. If you can safely make it to a theater, this one is sure to be a lot of bang for your entertainment budget buck.
2 - Army of the Dead (5/21)

Production/Distribution: The Stone Quarry, Netflix
Director: Zack Snyder
Writers: Zack Snyder, Shay Hatten, Joby Harold
Actors: Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Ana de la Reguera, Hiroyuki Sanada, Garret Dillahunt, Nora Arnezeder, Tig Notaro, Samantha Win, Michael Cassidy, Theo Rossi, Omari Hardwick, Matthias Schweighöfer, Lyon Beckwith, Sarah Minnich, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi, Lora Martinez-Cunningham, Richard Cetrone, Chelsea Edmundson, Athena Perample, Colby Lemmo, Jeffrey Mowery, Debbie Lay, Marisilda Garcia, Wayne Dalglish, Colin Jones, Steve Corona, Janice LaFlam
Genre: Action, Crime, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 148 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.
This follow-up to Dawn of the Dead (2004) looks absolutely amazing.
It’s a heist-action movie blended with a zombie flick. What’s more to love? But wait, there IS more.
These aren’t your typical zombies. It appears that this pet project of writer/director Zach Snyder (Watchmen, Sucker Punch, Zach Snyder’s Justice League) only loosely follows the groundwork laid in the 2004 movie. Instead of world-wide zombies, this time they’re contained to only Las Vegas. I’m hoping that will be explained or even touched on briefly in the movie, but I won’t hold my breath. It’s a minor detail.
Not only that, but these zombies have evolved. They have different quirks and apparently a caste system now, considering one of them looks to be the ‘zombie queen.’ Thinking zombies are more terrifying than the fast-moving mobs like you see in World War Z (2013). If they can outwit you, you’re dead. You never know how much they can actually reason until it’s too late. I am already on the edge of my seat anticipating the different variations and what they’ll bring to the story.
Then, of course, you have an amazing cast. I could rattle off all of them but it’s really beside the point. This is going to be one hell of a ride and I’m already on board and waiting for it to get started. You can bet I’ll be watching this the moment it drops on Netflix.
1 - A Quiet Place: Part II (5/28)

Production/Distribution: Buffalo FilmWorks, Paramount Pictures, Platinum Dunes, Sunday Night, CJ CGV Viet Nam, Eagle Pictures, Paramount Pictures International, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures International, Paramount+
Director: John Krasinski
Writers: Scott Beck, John Krasinski, Bryan Woods
Actors: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou, John Krasinski, Lauren-Ashley, Zachary Golinger, Chad Corbi, Wayne Duvall
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13
Length: 97 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.
Do I really need to give you a reason to watch this movie? Fans of A Quiet Place (2018) are most definitely going to want to watch this.
We get to know what happens next to the little family we got attached to in the first movie, and how they navigate the world now that events have unfolded. The trailer indicates that they run into the biggest wild card of all since the apocalypse – other people. The murderous freaky creatures are still out there too.
The trailer also indicates that we also get a few flashbacks to establish how the whole thing started.
That bus scene. My pulse pounds and my anxiety flares every time I see that part in the trailer. You can bet I’ll be white-knuckling through that section of the movie.
Can’t wait. You shouldn’t either. If you can’t make it to a theater for this release, it should be appearing on Paramount+ within 30-45 days of the date it drops into cinemas, May 28th. If you haven’t watched the first movie yet, you have a little less than a month to get that out of the way before watching this one.
Movies to Look Out For
According to: Selina
5-25-77 .20
Initiation .19
The Woman in the Window .18
Here Today .17
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit .16
Confinement .15
When Today Ends .14
The Water Man .13
Riders of Justice .12
The Paper Tigers .11
The Unthinkable .10
Profile .9
Wrath of Man .8
PG: Psycho Goreman .7
Equal Standard .6
Those Who Wish Me Dead .5
Spiral .4
Army of the Dead .3
Cruella .2
A Quiet Place: Part II .1 

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