Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In March (2023)

 According to Cat

20 - We Lost Our Human (3/21)

Production/Distribution: Netflix Animation, Taco Gucci, Netflix
Director: Curtis Lelash
Writers: Rikke Asbjoern, Chris Garbutt
Actors: Ben Schwartz, Ayo Edebiri, Lauren Tom, Henry Rollins, Matty Cardarople, Jon Glaser, Lucas Grabeel, Adrienne C. Moore
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation
Rated: TV-Y7
Length: 1h 43min

IMDb Blurb: There's been a glitch all the humans are gone. Can you help pampered pet siblings Pud and Ham journey to the center of the universe to fix it?

I have to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the animation style used in We Lost Our Human. What draws me to this particular Netflix project is the fact that it is an interactive experience. 

I’ve always been a sucker for a choose-your-own-adventure type of story. I had a lot of fun playing along with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018), which followed a similar framework. Of course, Black Mirror (2011-2019) is for mature audiences. We Lost Our Human brings this experience to the younger crowd. 

The fact that Henry Rollins (The Last Heist, Con Man, Masters of the Universe: Revelation) is involved with the production also intrigues me.

19 - A Good Person (3/24)

Production/Distribution: Killer Films, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Elevation Films, Elevation Pictures, United Artists Releasing
Director: Zach Braff
Writer: Zach Braff
Actors: Florence Pugh, Morgan Freeman, Celeste O'Connor, Molly Shannon, Chinaza Uche, Zoe Lister-Jones, Nichelle Hines, Toby Onwumere, Ignacio Diaz-Silverio, Oli Green, Brian Rojas, Ryann Redmond, Sydney Morton, Alex Wolff, Jackie Hoffman, Soojeong Son, Victor Cruz, Emilia Suárez, Anthony Cedeño
Genre: Drama
Rated: R
Length: 2h 9min

RottenTomatoes Blurb: Daniel (Morgan Freeman) is brought together with Allison (Florence Pugh), the once thriving young woman with a bright future who was involved in an unimaginable tragedy that took his daughter's life. As grief-stricken Daniel navigates raising his teenage granddaughter and Allison seeks redemption, they discover that friendship, forgiveness, and hope can flourish in unlikely places. 

Lately, I haven’t been in much of a mood to watch straight-genre dramas. Things have just been so bleak and stressful for the last few years. Movies are an escape into a world of entertainment. When there’s something heavy on screen, it’s less of a respite. 

A Good Person is one of the few films marketed as a single-genre drama that I wouldn’t mind watching - even though  I know I’ll need some tissues on hand to do so. 

Why? That’s simple. Morgan Freeman (Angel Has Fallen, The Comeback Trail, Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard) makes it worthwhile. In addition to listening to his unique and soothing voice, he tends to lace a bit of wry humor into his roles. I appreciate that greatly. 

The trailer for A Good Person did seem to hint that there’s an attempt at bringing some levity into the story occasionally. That should help lighten the proverbial load of the heavy dramatic weight of this tale of loss, grief, and recovery. Molly Shannon (Promising Young Woman, The White Lotus, Spin Me Round) was also an excellentnt casting choice for that reason, as well. 

I also nearly didn’t recognize Florence Pugh (Midsommar, Black Widow, Don't Worry Darling) while I was watching the trailer, which tells me that she’s thrown herself into the transformation of this role. I expect great things. 

A Good Person is set for a theater release. Digital on-demand and streaming information are unavailable at this time.

18 - Righteous Thieves (3/10)

Production/Distribution: Broken English Productions, Gravitas Ventures, Lionsgate
Director: Anthony Nardolillo
Writer: Michael Corcoran
Actors: Brian Cousins, Cam Gigandet, Carlos Miranda, Danube R. Hermosillo, Jaina Lee Ortiz, James Crittenden, Jason Scott Jenkins, Lisa Vidal, Melissa Marty, Michael Fairman, Tiago Roberts
Genre: Thriller, Action, Crime
Rated: R
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: The head of a secret organization assembles a crew to steal back artwork plundered by Nazis during World War II.

While I don’t expect anything really groundbreaking from Righteous Thieves, I do feel that this may be a sleeper this month for a decent action-heist movie. I love a good caper now and again - and who doesn’t love stories of punishing nazis for their misdeeds and war crimes? 

The trailer left a solid impression of a popcorn movie you can turn your brain off for a while to enjoy - have a few laughs, take in some action, and watch as everything goes pear-shaped then comes back together. It’s a simple recipe, but it works.

Righteous Thieves will have a limited theatrical release and will also become available for digital on-demand rental the same day. 

17 - Supercell (3/17)

Production/Distribution: Thomasville Pictures, Bay Point Media, Buffalo 8 Productions, Short Porch Pictures, Streamline Global Group, Volition Media Partners, Saban Films
Director: Herbert James Winterstern
Writer: Anna Elizabeth James, Herbert James Winterstern
Actors: Anne Heche, Skeet Ulrich, Alec Baldwin, Anjul Nigam, Daniel Diemer, Johnny Wactor, Jordan Kristine Seamón, Praya Lundberg, Richard Gunn, Tyler W. Gaisford
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 40min

IMDb Blurb: A teenage boy runs away to follow his fathers footsteps, legendary storm chaser Bill Brody.

I have a confession to make. I might have mentioned it before, but ADHD brain happens so it’s worth mentioning again. I am terrified of tornadoes. We’re talking cold sweat, stomach in knots, and the whole shebang. I had vivid nightmares of them as a child, even. For that reason, I also have a morbid fascination with them. I set out to learn as much as I could (without becoming a meteorologist, mind you) about them so that I could get a grip on managing the internal panic when a warning gets issued. Considering I live at the foot of Tornado Alley and the beginning of Dixie Alley, it’s not an uncommon occurrence.

That being said, I am viscerally drawn to any movie that looks like it’s reasonably depicting this sort of weather phenomenon ever since I white-knuckled my way through Twister (1996). I’ve seen most of them to date, as well as the storm chasing shows on Discovery and History channels, and the IMAX movie one of those shows helped create. 

Supercell is right up my alley for that reason. I get that not everyone would have the same fascination that I do, however. There are other reasons to give Supercell a shot. 

This is one of the final projects that Anne Heche (Chicago P.D., The Vanished, What Remains) worked on before her untimely passing. She had been in a prior tornado-themed movie, 13 Minutes (2021), as well so I wonder if it was the theme that drew her to another one or if it was the production team. She’s worked with Alec Baldwin (Framing John DeLorean, Motherless Brooklyn, Chick Fight) in the past, after all. I’m not going to get into the controversy swirling around Baldwin. One undeniable fact, though, is when he’s dialed into a part, it’s phenomenal. 

Skeet Ulrich (Escape Room, Riverdale, Scream) is also a big draw to this production for me. He’s often under-appreciated in Hollywood, but I have enjoyed every role I’ve seen him in. 

Last, but certainly not least, I am all for the message that even the trailer put out there. Storm chasing shouldn’t be a recreational activity. It’s extremely dangerous and even professionals have been killed in that line of work while doing meteorological study. 

Supercell will have a limited theatrical release and will also become available for digital on-demand rental the same day.

16 - Boston Strangler (3/17)

Production/Distribution: 20th Century Studios, Langley Park Productions, LuckyChap Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Warner Bros., Hulu
Director: Matt Ruskin
Writer: Matt Ruskin
Actors: Keira Knightley, Carrie Coon, Chris Cooper, David Dastmalchian, Alessandro Nivola, Ivan Martin, Jon Lindstrom, Kris Sidberry, Mellanie Hubert, Morgan Spector, Owen Burke, Robert John Burke, Rory Cochrane
Genre: History, Drama, Crime
Rated: R
Length: 1h 52min

IMDb Blurb: Loretta McLaughlin was the reporter who first connected the murders and broke the story of the Boston Strangler. She and Jean Cole challenged the sexism of the early 1960s to report on the city's most notorious serial killer.

The Boston Strangler isn’t one of the true crime stories that gets told a lot. We see a lot about Dahmer or Manson and the like, but there’s rarely any coverage of this harrowing time in history. I appreciate this movie for that reason, as well as the fact that it was an important moment in fighting sexism in journalism - or the professional landscape on the whole. 

I think HULU’s production of The Boston Strangler has an excellent cast to get this story told well. Keira Knightley (Collateral Beauty, Misbehaviour, Silent Night) and Carrie Coon (Avengers: Infinity War, Widows, Ghostbusters: Afterlife) are a great duo to bring the journalists that broke the story to the screen. Chris Cooper (Coming Through the Rye, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Little Women) can be counted on for a powerful performance as the newspaper editor, as well. Another stand-out among this cast would be David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad, Dune, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story). While I’m not exactly sure his character’s role in this narrative, he always picks interesting characters. 

The Boston Strangler will be releasing as a HULU original. 

15 - Tetris (3/31)

Production/Distribution: AI-Film, Apple TV+, Marv Films, Unigram
Director: Jon S. Baird
Writer: Noah Pink
Actors: Taron Egerton, Toby Jones, Anthony Boyle, Ben Miles, Greg Kolpakchi, Ieva Andrejevaite, Matthew Marsh, Mezi Atwood, Moyo Akandé, Rick Yune, Roger Allam, Sofya Lebedeva
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Rated: R
Length: 2h

IMDb Blurb: The story of how one of the world's most popular video games found its way to players around the globe. Businessman Henk Rogers and Tetris inventor Alexey Pajitnov join forces in the USSR, risking it all to bring Tetris to the masses.

OK so who hasn’t heard of the game Tetris? It’s literally the building blocks that most matching puzzle games of today were built on. So we all know Tetris - but what we don’t know is the story of how it came to be. It’s not something you would consider would be very exciting, right? Someone pitched the game to the distributor companies and voila? Apparently not. 

I had no idea that there was so much involved in getting the rights for Tetris into Nintendo’s hands to have it marketed with the GameBoy. When I first heard about this movie, I chuckled and figured we were about to watch something along the lines of a stodgy documentary. That is evidently far from the case. 

Tetris apparently plays out like a spy thriller, and I am absolutely here for it. Especially with the likes of Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Sing, Rocketman), Toby Jones (A Boy Called Christmas, Empire of Light, The Pale Blue Eye), and Ben Miles (The Catcher Was a Spy, The Crown, Andor) among the cast. 

Tetris is releasing on AppleTV+.

14 - The Magician's Elephant (3/17)

Production/Distribution: Animal Logic, Netflix Animation, Netflix Studios, Village Roadshow Pictures, Netflix
Director: Wendy Rogers
Writers: Kate DiCamillo, Martin Hynes
Actors: Noah Jupe, Brian Tyree Henry, Natasia Demetriou, Mandy Patinkin, Benedict Wong, Miranda Richardson, Cree Summer, Lorraine Toussaint, Sian Clifford, Dawn French, Aasif Mandvi, Pixie Davies, Stephen Kearin, Caitlin McKenna
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family, Fantasy
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 39min

IMDb Blurb: An orphaned boy is told by a fortune teller that an elephant will help him find his lost sister.

The Magician's Elephant looks like it’s going to be cute, heartwarming, and funny. In a sea of more adult-oriented releases, this seems like a solid pick for younger audiences in March. 

Of course, there’s also the crazy awesome cast including Mandy Patinkin (The Wind Rises, Life Itself, Homeland), Benedict Wong (Annihilation, Deadly Class, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law), Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place, Ford v. Ferrari, No Sudden Move), Brian Tyree Henry (Hotel Artemis, Godzilla vs. Kong, Bullet Train), and Lorraine Toussaint (Into the Badlands, Concrete Cowboy, The Equalizer). 

The Magician’s Elephant is also a book adaptation from the same author that penned the stories movies Flora & Ulysses (2021) and The Tale of Despereaux (2008) were based on. I have a good feeling about this one. 

The Magician’s Elephant is releasing as a Netflix original.

13 - Moving On (3/17)

Production/Distribution: Boies Schiller Entertainment, Buffalo 8 Productions, Depth of Field, Limelight, Roadside Attractions
Director: Paul Weitz
Writer: Paul Weitz
Actors: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Malcolm McDowell, Carol Herman, Catherine Dent, Eddie Martinez, Jeremiah King, Marcel Nahapetian, Nancy De Mayo, Richard Roundtree, Sawyer Holt
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 25min

IMDb Blurb: Two old friends reconnect at a funeral and decide to revenge on the widower who messed with them decades before.

Moving On gives us the treat of another movie this year with Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie, Book Club, Luck) and Lily Tomlin (The Magic School Bus Rides Again, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Grace and Frankie) giving us #FriendshipGoals. This dark revenge-comedy’s trailer had me in stitches. Both veteran actresses are forces to be reckoned with in their own right, and they make magic when they come together on-screen. 

I will admit I do have a special fondness for Tomlin beyond her movies. I was first introduced to her work through Sesame Street (1969-) as her character Edith Ann sitting in that giant chair. Watching her on screen always feels like a big hug of nostalgia. I digress…

Of course, we can’t forget Malcolm McDowell (Castlevania, Father Stu, Son of a Critch) as the target of their machinations. He can always be counted on to play an excellent villain. 

Moving On will have a limited theatrical release. Digital and streaming information is not available at this time. 

12 - Creed III (3/3)

Production/Distribution: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Chartoff-Winkler Productions, Glickmania, Outlier Society, Proximity Media, United Artists Releasing, Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Michael B. Jordan
Writers: Keenan Coogler, Zach Baylin, Ryan Coogler
Actors: Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Majors, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Ann Najjar, Canelo Álvarez, Florian Munteanu, Jacob 'Stitch' Duran, Michelle Davidson, Mila Davis-Kent, Patrice Harris, Selenis Leyva, Spence Moore II, Teófimo López, Terence Crawford, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Tony Bellew, Wood Harris, Yahya McClain
Genre: Drama, Sport
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 56min

IMDb Blurb: Adonis has been thriving in both his career and family life, but when a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy resurfaces, the face-off is more than just a fight.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the biggest sports movie fan. I’ll end up watching them and enjoying the productions in spite of myself. I just don’t go seeking them out. For that reason, I haven’t seen the Creed (2015) movies leading up to this point. It’s nothing against the films, themselves. It’s just that I’m not that into boxing. 

I do have a nostalgic connection with this particular Rocky-verse, however, as Rocky IV (1985) was the first R-rated movie I ever watched. I snuck in and watched it with a friend’s brother. (He was also underage but his mom bought the ticket. I was supposed to be watching something else.) When I watched the trailer for Creed III I felt like it was true to that world that Sylvester Stallone (The Suicide Squad, Samaritan, Tulsa King) built starting with Rocky (1976). This will be the first in that franchise, or franchise-adjacent films that Stallone will not be appearing in. He is still attached to the project as a producer, however. I think it’s fitting that the torch has been passed and the training wheels are off. Creed doesn’t need Rocky Balboa around anymore. 

Michael B. Jordan (Without Remorse, A Journal for Jordan, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) is also making his directorial debut with Creed III. He and Jonathan Majors (The Harder They Fall, Devotion, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania) are cinema powerhouses and excellent for these roles. 

Creed III will have a theatrical release, making good use of the “3” theme. At this time there are no official dates for digital on-demand rental or streaming release. Though, with Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, Amazon Prime Video would be a good place to look for this movie after the 45 day window.

11 - Unseen (3/7)

Production/Distribution: Blumhouse Television
Director: Yoko Okumura
Writers: Salvatore Cardoni, Brian Rawlins
Actors: Anthony Belevtsov, Brett Baker, Jolene Purdy, Michael Patrick Lane, Midori Francis, Missi Pyle, Nicholas X. Parsons, Rajko Scarabin, Ren Hanami, Scott Macdonald
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 16min

IMDb Blurb: Sam, receives a call from Emily a nearly blind woman who is running from her murderous ex in the woods. She must survive the ordeal with Sam being her eyes using video call.

Unseen, at first blush, feels a lot like a movie we’ve recently reviewed called See for Me (2022). This is, however, quite a different story. Rather than connecting to a visual aid app, the person in need of assistance, played by Midori Francis (Good Boys, Afterlife of the Party, Grey's Anatomy), calls a random wrong number instead of 911. This puts a new twist on that situation. The lady who answers the call, played by Jolene Purdy (Orange is the New Black, The Magicians, WandaVision) gets put in a difficult situation on multiple fronts as a result. 

I enjoyed the dual stories playing out together and the mayhem that ensued in the trailer for Unseen. I laughed and cringed, and I genuinely want to know what happens and whether or not the caller made it out of her harrowing situation alive. I also adored the addition of Missi Pyle’s (The Great North, Bring It On: Cheer or Die, I Believe in Santa) character in the madness. 

Unseen seems to be releasing directly to digital on-demand rental without a theatre release.

10 - Unicorn Wars (3/10)

Production/Distribution: UniKo, Abano Producions, Autour de Minuit Productions, Schmuby Productions, ADV Studios, GKIDS
Director: Alberto Vázquez
Writer: Alberto Vázquez
Actors: Itxaso Quintana, Jaione Insausti, Jon Goiri, Kepa Cueto, Manu Heras, Maribel Legarreta, Ramón Barea
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Animation, Comedy, Horror
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 20min

IMDb Blurb: War-hungry teddy bears journey from bootcamp to the psychedelic terrors of the Magic Forest in this darkly beautiful horror animation.

This is one of those movies that earned a “holy crap!” exclamation as I watched the trailer. 

I need to stress upfront that, while Unicorn Wars is full of teddy bears, unicorns, and a colorful magical forest, this is absolutely not a kids’ movie. (I mean, unless you’re looking to scar them for life in the way that Watership Down (1978) is a cute animated movie about bunnies that’s really a harrowing rabbit bloodbath.) There will be blood and parts of bears and unicorns flying everywhere. 

Ultimately, Unicorn Wars is a cautionary tale about systemic war. It’s a horror movie in pastel disguise. I was relieved to see there’s a bit of comedy laced here and there throughout; otherwise, this would be a bit harder to watch. (I mean who really wants to watch teddy bears and unicorns die in gruesome, graphic ways?) But the same could be said if this were a war film depicting real humans. War is just horrific. Period.

Unicorn Wars originated in Spain and therefore is in that particular dialect of Spanish, but subtitles are available. This movie will be released as an on-demand rental so check for it on digital rental services on its release date.

9 - Unwelcome (3/10)

Production/Distribution: Tempo Productions Limited, Ingenious Media, Rococo Films, Warner Bros. Pictures, Well Go USA Entertainment
Director: Jon Wright
Writer: Mark Stay, Jon Wright
Actors: Hannah John-Kamen, Colm Meaney, Douglas Booth, Jon Wright, Kristian Nairn, Niamh Cusack, Jamie-Lee O'Donnell, Finbar Lynch, Rick Warden, Lalor Roddy, Paul Blackwell, Caskey Brown, Mark Desvaux, Sarah Madigan, Ania Marson, Bradley Turner, Paul Warren, Richard Cave, Duncan Moyse
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 44min

IMDb Blurb: Married couple Maya and Jamie escape their urban nightmare to the tranquility of rural Ireland only to discover malevolent and murderous goblins lurking in the gnarled, ancient wood at the foot of their new garden.

It’s the month of St. Patrick’s Day, and let me tell you I’m excited that we’ve got an Irish movie coming out in March. There was another movie about a16th century Irish pirate queen but that trailer made me mad. (Seriously, it’s an act of will not to go on a tirade here.) 

Unwelcome, however, seems to be just the ticket for some harrowing fey-folk fun. 

Let’s talk about the cast first. Unwelcome has one of the most internationally recognizable Irish actors, Colm Meaney (Pixie, Save the Cinema, Marlowe) playing what seems to be a local contractor with questionable intent. I was also glad to see Kristian Nairn (Mythica: The Godslayer, Robin Hood: The Rebellion, Our Flag Means Death) in the trailer. This would be the first production I’ve seen him in since his heartbreaking story arc on Game of Thrones (2011-2019). (He’s been in more productions, I just haven’t kept up.)

Of course, the other main characters aside from Meaney’s role are played by Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp, Killjoys, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City) and Douglas Booth (The Limehouse Golem, Loving Vincent, The Dirt). I’ve enjoyed their work so far and am interested to see how they fare in this sort of story. 

The whole English vs. Irish thing goes back quite a while, so we have a dual front that this young couple faces in Unwelcome. They are the English interlopers in this little Irish community and at the same time they garner the unwanted attention of the local fae, which happen to be redcaps. This is an actual creature from Celtic folklore, though this film seems to blend the Irish and Scottish versions a bit. I digress… It will be interesting to see how they’re portrayed and the quality of the effects utilized for them. 

Unwelcome will have a limited theatrical release and will become available for digital rental on the 14th of March. 

8 - 65 (3/10)
Production/Distribution: Beck Woods, Bron Creative, Columbia Pictures, Raimi Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)
Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
Writers: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
Actors: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Brian Dare, Chloe Coleman, Nika King
Genre: Sci-fi, Adventure, Action, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 33min

IMDb Blurb: An astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet only to discover he's not alone.

Potentially questionable dialogue aside, 65 is an upcoming movie that makes my sci-fi heart happy. Not only will we get space travel and a crash-landing on an “alien” world, but there’s some sort of time travel anomaly involved. Oh, and we can’t forget the dinosaurs!

I’m curious, honestly, how these big thunder-lizards stack up against the effects caliber of the Jurassic World (2015) movies. This is, after all, the writing and directing team that brought us A Quiet Place (2018) and its sequel; so I do believe they have the potential to be up for the task. These time-stranded characters should be in good hands, portrayed by Adam Driver (The Dead Don't Die, The Last Duel, House of Gucci) and Ariana Greenblatt (Love and Monsters, Awake, In the Heights).

I plan to just turn my brain off and enjoy the visual spectacle that will be 65

65 is set for a wide theatrical release. It’s release date has been bumped around a little and was previously set for the 17th of March, but now it appears to be coming out on March 10th. Digital on-demand and streaming dates are not available at this time.

7 - Murder Mystery 2 (3/31)

Production/Distribution: Echo Films, Endgame Entertainment, Happy Madison Productions, Mythology Entertainment, Netflix, Splashprod, Vinson Film
Director: Jeremy Garelick
Writer: James Vanderbilt
Actors: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Mark Strong, Jillian Bell, Adeel Akhtar, Annie Mumolo, Carlos Ponce, Dany Boon, Jodie Turner-Smith, John Kani, Mélanie Laurent, Myo Leong, Tony Goldwyn, Zurin Villanueva
Genre: Comedy, Action, Mystery
Rated: PG-13
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: Full-time detectives Nick and Audrey are struggling to get their private eye agency off the ground. They find themselves at the center of international abduction when their friend Maharaja, is kidnapped at his own lavish wedding.

We reviewed the first Murder Mystery (2019) and generally enjoyed it. Both Selina and I were absolutely up for a sequel. Now here we are, and Murder Mystery 2 is releasing this March. 

Adam Sandler (Hotel Transylvania, Uncut Gems, Hustle), Jennifer Aniston (We're the Millers, Storks, The Morning Show), Adeel Akhtar (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, Killing Eve, Enola Holmes 2), and John Kani (Coriolanus, Black Panther, The Lion King) are all reprising their roles. 

I’m crossing my fingers that I like Sandler’s character better in this sequel, but I’m not holding my breath. Part of the comedy inherent to the first movie was the comparison between his character and Aniston’s character. Her common sense balances the insane things that come out of his mouth. 

In this sequel we also get to see Mark Strong (Shazam!, Cruella, Nocebo) in the sort of role he excels in, as well. There seems to be a lot more action this time around, and I’m here for it. 

Murder Mystery 2 will be releasing on Netflix.

6 - Inside (3/17)

Production/Distribution: A Private View, Bord Cadre Films, Heretic, Schiwago Film, Sovereign Films, Focus Features, Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Vasilis Katsoupis
Writers: Ben Hopkins, Vasilis Katsoupis
Actors: Willem Dafoe, Andrew Blumenthal, Ava von Voigt, Cornelia Buch, Daniel White, Eliza Stuyck, Gene Bervoets, Josia Krug, Vincent Eaton, Youl Samare
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 45min

IMDb Blurb: Nemo, a high-end art thief, is trapped in a New York penthouse after his heist doesn't go as planned. Locked inside with nothing but priceless works of art, he must use all his cunning and invention to survive.

Willem DaFoe (The French Dispatch, Nightmare Alley, The Northman) was the perfect choice to pull off this foiled thief that gets trapped inside what appears to be a boobytrapped penthouse. 

This claustrophobic thriller promises some rather squirmy moments. It might be a slow burn, but it’ll likely keep me at the edge of my seat. 

Inside will have a wide theatrical release. No information on digital rental or streaming services is available at this time. 

5 - Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (3/31)

Production/Distribution: Paramount Pictures, Entertainment One, Allspark Pictures, Hasbro Studios, Hasbro
Directors: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Writers: Michael Gilio, John Francis Daley, Chris McKay, Jonathan Goldstein
Actors: Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, Rege-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Alexis Rodney, Bryan Larkin, Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head, Dan Poole, Edgar Abram, Jason Wong, Kenneth Collard, Lati Gbaja, Nicholas Blane, Sophia Eleni, Spencer Wilding
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: Unrated
Length: 2h 14min

IMDb Blurb: A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers embark on an epic quest to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people.

I have been significantly torn regarding the release of the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves movie. 

On the one hand, Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast made a big booboo by the wonkiness surrounding the open licensing issue in recent months. They backpedaled and it would seem the issue was corrected. Still, the whole situation killed, or at the very least severely damaged, the loyalty and trust of a lot of their customers and fanbase. It makes it hard for me to justify paying for a movie ticket in a theater. 

At the same time, I have been excited for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves to hit screens ever since I saw the first trailer what seems like ages ago. This cast is amazing and the story blows out of the water all the Dungeons & Dragons movies that have come out before this reboot. I wanted it to do well and succeed so that there could be more of them. 

While the notion of sequels might currently still be up in the air, it’s not the production team’s fault that the big toy company made the oopsie. So many people put their work into these films and I don’t really feel right jumping on the boycott bandwagon for that reason. 

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves looks like it will be a lot of fun. No other D&D movie has tackled creatures like mimics, gelatinous cubes, owlbears, and the variations of dragons. You usually see a generic dragon type that breathes fire. In D&D, however, there are many types with varying breath weapons. My inner table-top game geek is having a happy dance, let me tell you. 

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves will have a wide theatre release. Digital rental and streaming release information is not available at this time.

4 - Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba - To the Swordsmith Village (3/3)

Production/Distribution: Ufotable, Aniplex America, Aniplex, Toho
Director: Haruo Sotozaki 
Writer: Koyoharu Gotouge
Actors: Zach Aguilar, Kira Buckland, Griffin Burns, Ray Chase, Greg Chun, Lucien Dodge, Stephen Fu, Toshio Furukawa, Natsuki Hanae, Kana Hanazawa, Akira Ishida, Kengo Kawanishi, Akari Kitô, Katsuyuki Konishi, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Brandon McInnis, Mamoru Miyano, Ryôtarô Okiayu, Bryce Papenbrook, Miyuki Sawashiro, Toshihiko Seki, Hiro Shimono, Kôsuke Toriumi, Abby Trott, Ryôta Ôsaka
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Action, Anime
Rated: R
Length: 1h 50min

IMDb Blurb: All the Upper Rank Demons assemble at the Infinity Castle after Upper Six Demons' defeat.

If you’re a fan of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019-) anime series, this movie release should have you lining up for a ticket - or bouncing at the edge of your seat for the next season release info. (The movies tend to combine the story which gets broken into individual episodes when released for streaming.)

If you haven’t seen this series yet, and you’re a fan of anime - you have time to watch the previous 2 seasons leading up to this movie event. You definitely want to have watched what has come before in order to appreciate the next season. Otherwise, the girl with the bamboo in her mouth and the guy wearing a boar’s head will make no sense to you - at the very least. 

The Swordsmith Village arc of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba will release initially in theaters and then will become available on Crunchyroll in April.

3 - Scream VI (3/10)

Production/Distribution: Paramount Pictures, Project X Entertainment, Radio Silence Productions, Spyglass Entertainment
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Writers: James Vanderbilt, Guy Busick, Kevin Williamson
Actors: Courteney Cox, Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere, Dermot Mulroney, Samara Weaving, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Anthony Quinonez, Devyn Nekoda, Henry Czerny, Jack Champion, Josh Segarra, Liana Liberato, Roger Jackson, Tony Revolori
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 2h 3min

IMDb Blurb: In the next installment, the survivors of the Ghostface killings leave Woodsboro behind and start a fresh chapter in New York City.

The Scream (1996) franchise has been one of my favorite guilty pleasures since it began. I look forward to each new sequel with eager anticipation. I don’t care that they probably should have stopped a long time ago - they can keep going as long as they want to in my book. Well, as long as the production teams continue to keep the meta nature and the general voice of the films’ cores intact. 

That being said, we’ve had a bit of a torch-passing happen in the 5th installment released in 2022. Some of the staple characters of yesteryear are not moving forward in the franchise - some due to contract issues and others for story purposes. I think that the Scream franchise moving forward is in good hands with the sisters played by Melissa Barrera (In the Heights, Keep Breathing, Bed Rest) and Jenna Ortega (American Carnage, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, Wednesday), and whichever of their friends survive. Though, it has been noted that those that departed for non-story reasons are welcome to return in the future. We only hope that they propose a better offer next time. I digress. 

In addition to Courteney Cox’s (Cougar Town, Mothers and Daughters, Shining Vale) Gale Weathers, another returning character will be Kirby from Scream 4 (2011), played by Hayden Panettiere (Hoodwinked 2: Hood vs. Evil, The Forger, Nashville). I’m curious as to how they work her into the story, given events from that film. 

I am also intrigued by modern scream queen Samara Weaving (Ready or Not, Guns Akimbo, The Babysitter: Killer Queen) joining the cast. I can’t wait to find out what her role will be in this madness. 

New York was an excellent choice to bring the Scream franchise forward out of Woodsboro. There are so many possibilities the change of scenery opens up - such as the scene from the subway shown in the trailer. 

Scream VI is set for a wide theatrical release. Digital rental and streaming information is not available at this time, however, look for it on Paramount+ when the 45 days are up, since that’s where the last movie is currently streaming.

2 - Shazam! Fury of the Gods (3/17)

Production/Distribution: New Line Cinema, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros.
Director: David F. Sandberg
Writers: Henry Gayden, Chris Morgan, Bill Parker, C.C. Beck
Actors: Adam Brody, Asher Angel, Derek Russo, Diedrich Bader, Djimon Hounsou, D.J. Cotrona, Faithe Herman, Grace Fulton, Helen Mirren, Jack Grazer, Jovan Armand, Lucy Liu, Marta Milans, Meagan Good, Rachel Zegler, Ross Butler, Zachary Levi
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 2h 10min

TMDB Blurb: Billy Batson and his foster siblings, who transform into superheroes by saying "Shazam!", are forced to get back into action and fight the Daughters of Atlas, who they must stop from using a weapon that could destroy the world.

I love a good superhero movie, and I absolutely adored the first Shazam! (2019). The core characters are coming back for this sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, along with the new Daughters of Atlas characters played by Dame Helen Mirren (The Good Liar, F9: The Fast Saga, 1923) and Lucy Liu (Elementary, Why Women Kill, Strange World). 

I also appreciate the sort of cognitive disconnect that Billy Batson is going through as Shazam. He has the weight of his powers and appearing as an adult superhero, while at the same time in his mind he is still a kid and his life has been turned upside down. I wonder how many of his foster siblings also share that issue and if it will be addressed in the story. It’s great that movies are allowing stories about mental health to be brought forward without stigma. 

While DC might have issues with quite a lot of their live-action movies, I just enjoy Shazam because it’s fun. It’s the embodiment of what we all wanted as comic fan kids - to be given superpowers someday. It’s also a great ‘be careful what you wish for’ story. 

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set for wide theatrical release. Digital rental and streaming dates are not available at this time. 

1 - John Wick: Chapter 4 (3/24)

Production/Distribution: 87Eleven Entertainment, Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, Thunder Road Pictures, STARZ
Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Shay Hatten, Michael Finch, Derek Kolstad
Actors: Bill Skarsgård, Clancy Brown, Donnie Yen, Hiroyuki Sanada, George Georgiou, Ian McShane, Keanu Reeves, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Shamier Anderson
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 2h 49min

IMDb Blurb: John Wick uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes.

This is one of those movies that fits in the “duh” category - which is closely related to the “shut up and take my money” reaction to an upcoming movie. I have loved every single John Wick movie that has been released, and I’m quite positive that this one will not be an exception. 

The action is always on point and the characters, along with the world they live in, are interesting. I’ve enjoyed the intrigue surrounding the “High Table.” 

Of course, then we also have to talk about the cast. Seriously, John Wick: Chapter 4 is stacked with talent. First of all, Keanu Reeves (Replicas, Always Be My Maybe, DC League of Super-Pets) is an awesome human being in addition to commanding the screen. Then add powerhouses such as Bill Skarsgård (Castle Rock, The Devil All the Time, Barbarian), Laurence Fishburne (Black-ish, The Ice Road, The School for Good and Evil), Hiroyuki Sanada (Helix, The Catcher Was a Spy, Bullet Train), Ian McShane (Deadwood: The Movie, American Gods, My Father's Dragon) into the mix. Finally, far from the least, there’s the action magic that martial arts masters Donnie Yen (xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Mulan, The Monkey King: The Legend Begins) and Scott Adkins (American Assassin, Day Shift, Accident Man: Hitman's Holiday) bring to the table. 

I could keep going but I’ll spare you. John Wick: Chapter 4 is definitely worth the price of a ticket. There is no information at this time regarding availability for On-Demand rental, but there is a date set for this latest John Wick installment to hit streaming. Disney+ will have John Wick: Chapter 4 available as of July 8th, 2023.

Movies to Look out For
According to Selina

 Cram .20
  Murder Mystery 2 .19
  Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game .18
 Unseen .17
65 .16
 Spinning Gold .15
  Tetris .14
  ReBroken .13
  A Thousand and One .12
  A Good Person .11
 Scream VI .10
Shazam! Fury of the Gods .9
 The Magician's Elephant .8
 Unwelcome .7
 The Tutor .6
We Lost Our Human .5
Creed III .4
   Inside  .3
 Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves .2
 John Wick: Chapter 4 .1


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