Monday, May 1, 2023

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

  According to Cat

20 - STILL: A Michael J Fox Movie (5/12)

Production/Distribution: Concordia Studio, Apple Original Films, Apple TV+
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Writer: Not Available
Actors: Michael J. Fox, Tracy Pollan, Andrew Barber, Susan Bressman, David Diamond, Annabelle Fox, Aquinnah Fox, Sam Fox, Schuyler Fox, Hannah Galway, Danny Irizarry, Allison Klause, Brandon Mindel, Siobhan Murphy, Ryan Order, Bradley Peters
Genre: Documentary, Biography
Rated: R
Length: 1h 35min

IMDb Blurb: Follows the life of beloved actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, exploring his personal and professional triumphs and travails, and what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease.

Michael J. Fox (The Michael J. Fox Show, Designated Survivor, See You Yesterday) is one of my favorite actors of all time. I’ve been watching him on screens big and small for most of my life. I first met him as his character on Family Ties (1982-1989) and couldn’t get enough of the Back to the Future (1985) trilogy. (I still can’t. Love those movies.) He was the original Teen Wolf (1985). He even voiced beloved animated characters in Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) and the Stuart Little (1999) movies. He’s sprinkled throughout the more modern small screen sit-coms and the like with shows such as Spin City (1996-2001) and beyond. 

I haven’t met many people who don’t know who Michael J. Fox is. 

These days he’s a vocal supporter of Parkinson’s disease research and runs his own foundation. He champions the cause because it’s the disease that impacted his own life in a big way, and he refuses to let it win. 

Normally we don’t often list documentaries in our Top 20 lists. They tend to be rather dry and not as enjoyable as mainstream cinema. That’s at the core of what we’re about, really,  – highlighting what is going to be an entertaining and fun experience in the month ahead. We offer a list of productions we can’t wait to see and share with our friends and family. 

STILL: A Michael J Fox Movie is one of those rare exceptions where a documentary looks like it will transcend the normal perceptions of that genre and will be both entertaining and informative. Fox’s journey with Parkinsons also hits close to home because of my own… let’s call it an adventure… with Multiple Sclerosis. His issues began with a twitchy finger… mine began with numb feet. While the diseases are vastly different, they both impact the neurological system in a big way. 

The trailer for STILL: A Michael J Fox Movie also showed that this production will have some behind-the-scenes footage and the like of the movies and shows that Fox has worked on through the years. I’m fascinated by those peeks behind the camera. I am all about hearing from Fox’s own perspective what this ride has been like throughout his career both before and after his diagnosis. 

STILL: A Michael J Fox Movie will be available on AppleTV+.

19 - Book Club: The Next Chapter (5/12)

Production/Distribution: Apartment Story, Fifth Season, Focus Features, Makeready, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures International
Director: Bill Holderman
Writers: Bill Holderman, Erin Simms
Actors: Andy Garcia, Candice Bergen, Craig T. Nelson, Diane Keaton, Don Johnson, Giancarlo Giannini, Hugh Quarshie, Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen, Vincent Riotta
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 47min

IMDb Blurb: Follows the new journey of four best friends as they take their book club to Italy for the fun girls trip they never had.

I’ll be honest. My excitement about Book Club: The Next Chapter is about nostalgia for the cast. It’s all about seing some beloved faces on the screen that remind me of shows and movies from the past that I love. The story from the movie is really secondary to me here. 

I’m jazzed about seeing Candace Bergen (Let Them All Talk, The Conners, As They Made Us), whom will be Murphy Brown (1988-2018) to me forever; along with Craig T. Nelson (The Incredibles, Parenthood, Young Sheldon) who likewise forever will be Coach (1989-1997) as well as the dad in the horror movie that had me distrusting closets for most of my life - none other than Poltergeist (1982). Then there’s Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie, Luck, 80 for Brady) whose storied career also spans many decades and brought us gems like Barbarella (1968) and 9 to 5 (1980). I could keep going but I think you get the drift. 

The trailer was funny, even though I haven’t managed to watch the first Book Club (2018) yet. I think anyone that’s seen the first movie will get a lot more out of this sequel but it looked entertaining enough I might even consider watching these productions out of order. (Probably not - but I’m tempted!) 

Considering that the first Book Club movie is currently on HBOMax, it’s entirely possible that the sequel will follow suit after its theatrical run. Just keep your eyes peeled after 40 days or so if you want to catch this streaming rather than on the big screen.

18 - One Ranger (5/5)

Production/Distribution: BondIt Media Capital, Lionsgate, Renegade Entertainment
Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Writer: Jesse V. Johnson
Actors: Dean S. Jagger, Dominique Tipper, Freddie Joe Farnsworth, Gary Cairns, Gregory Zaragoza, James Oliver Wheatley, Jess Liaudin, John Malkovich, Thomas Jane, Tom Bennett
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 35min

IMDb Blurb: It follows a Texas Ranger ([Thomas] Jane) as he is recruited by British Intelligence to track down a dangerous terrorist and stop him from attacking London.

I have to admit that the trailer for One Ranger had me giggling in a few places because of the thick and over-the-top “Texas accent” employed by Thomas Jane (Into the Grizzly Maze, 1922, The Vanished) in this movie. 

There’s no doubt that Jane is good in both serious and action roles, though. He played the titular character of The Punisher (2004), afterall - not to mention many other movies that had quite a lot of physical demands. 

I’m giddy that he’s sharing the screen again with fellow alum of The Expanse (2015-2022), Dominique Tipper (Vampire Academy, The Girl with All the Gifts, Monday). The icing on the proverbial cinematic cake is that John John Malkovich (Rogue Hostage, White Elephant, Mindcage) is also involved. Malkovich is known for his quirky characters and interesting film choices. The role he’s playing here seems fairly straight-laced in comparison to some. Regardless of that, his delivery in the glimpses we got in the trailer had me snickering. 

I love it when there’s a bit of levity woven into a story that would otherwise be heavy or grim. One Ranger seems like it’s going to be a serious shoot-em-up action flick but with just enough humor (the intentional kind aside from the accent) that the edge-of-seat thriller component should be well-balanced. I’m hoping so, at least. 

One Ranger is getting a limited theatrical release and will simultaneously be available for rental On Demand. Look for further availability starting around June 13th, 2023. I’ve seen several online sources cite that as the tentative “physical media” release date. It seems a bit early for Blu Ray and DVD release, but stranger things have happened.

17 - Kandahar (5/26)

Production/Distribution: Thunder Road Pictures, G-BASE, Capstone Studios, MBC Studios, Open Road Films
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Writer: Mitchell LaFortune
Actors: Bahador Foladi, Gerard Butler, Hakeem Jomah, Nina Toussaint-White, Olivia-Mai Barrett, Ray Haratian, Rebecca Calder, Ross Berkeley Simpson, Tom Rhys Harries, Vassilis Koukalani
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: Not Available

RottenTomatoes Blurb: An undercover CIA operative gets stuck in hostile territory in Afghanistan after his mission is exposed. Accompanied by his translator, he must fight enemy combatants as he tries to reach an extraction point in Kandahar.
I love a good Gerard Butler (Hunter Killer, Copshop, Plane) action movie now and again. I’m just getting a little burned out on the special ops teams in the desert sub-genre of movies. The trailer painted a great picture to sum up Kandahar and it looks intense and exciting the way you want an action movie to be. I’m sure Butler will certainly deliver. He’s also worked with this director before on multiple productions. 

Burnout aside, I think this is definitely going to be a decent popcorn movie, and I’m hoping there’s a bit more to it than meets the eye. 

Kandahar is set for an exclusive theatrical release. Details for On Demand and streaming are not available at this time. 

16 - Double Life (5/5)

Production/Distribution: Lighthouse Pictures, Motion Pictures Association of America members, Lionsgate
Director: Martin Wood
Writers: Michael Hurst, Chris Sivertson
Actors: Aaron Douglas, BJ Harrison, Carmen Moore, Javicia Leslie, John Cassini, Kaaren de Zilva, Niall Matter, Pascale Hutton, Vincent Gale, William MacDonald
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
Rated: PG-13 / R*
Length: 1h 29min

IMDb Blurb: Follows a widow who finds out from her late husband's mistress that his death was not an accident. Both women work together to unmask the truth behind the man they both loved.

When we watched the trailer for Double Life, we were intrigued by the direction this story seems to be taking with the wife and mistress teaming up on relatively good terms. Generally when you see a narrative about a cheating spouse, the other party is portrayed in a different light - or the deceived spouse and the “other woman” (as the case usually is) team up for revenge against the cheater. 

I suppose it is hard to get revenge against a deceased person, so the plot direction tracks. The best thing they can do for closure is to figure out what happened. 

I’m curious to see how the pair of women navigate the intrigue that seems, on the surface, slightly out of their depth. I liked the fact that the pair seems balanced and neither is whiny, utterly bitchy, or helpless. 

Double Life is slated to have a limited theatrical release and will be simultaneously available for On-Demand rental. Streaming details are unavailable at this time. 

*Double Life has been listed across multiple sources as PG-13 for “violence, language, and some sexual content.” I have also seen it listed as Rated R with sources, including IMDb. The trailers seem to indicate PG-13 at the end, but just keep this discrepancy in mind when deciding whether or not to allow minors to watch.

15 - Master Gardener (5/19)

Production/Distribution: Curmudgeon Films, Kojo Studios, Ottocento Films, Magnolia Pictures
Director: Paul Schrader
Writer: Paul Schrader
Actors: Amy Le, Eduardo Losan, Erika Ashley, Esai Morales, Joel Edgerton, Quintessa Swindell, Rick Cosnett, Samuel Ali, Sigourney Weaver, Victoria Hill
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 47min

Metacritic Blurb: Narvel Roth (Joel Edgerton) is the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens. He is as much devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate, to pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill (Sigourney Weaver). When Mrs. Haverhill demands that he take on her wayward and troubled great-niece Maya (Quintessa Swindell) as a new apprentice, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence, unlocking dark secrets from a buried violent past that threaten them all.

The trailer for Master Gardener gave me vibes a bit like The Equalizer (2014). With Paul Schrader (Cat People, The Taxi Driver, The Card Counter) as writer/director for this dramatic thriller, and the cast including Joel Edgerton (Bright, The Green Knight, Thirteen Lives) and Sigourney Weaver (The Defenders, Call Jane, Avatar: The Way of Water) on board, I’m expecting good things.

I’m also interested to see Quintessa Swindell (Voyagers, In Treatment, Black Adam) in the role of the niece here. She’s definitely an up-and-comer to keep an eye on. 

I really liked Equalizer and it seems like this story goes a little more in depth into the main character’s background, packing in more dramatic narrative along with the action thrills. The dynamics between the aunt and niece with this gardener are also… intriguing to say the least. 

Master Gardener is getting a limited theatrical release. Digital on-demand and streaming information are not known at this time.

14 - Consecration (5/19)

Production/Distribution: AGC Studios, Bigscope Films, Moonriver, IFC Midnight, Shudder, Central Partnership
Director: Christopher Smith
Writers: Christopher Smith, Laurie Cook
Actors: Angela White, Charlotte Palmer, Danny Huston, Eilidh Fisher, Ian Pirie, Janet Suzman, Jena Malone, Steffan Cennydd, Thoren Ferguson, Victoria Donovan
Genre: Thriller, Horror  
Rated: R
Length: 1h 31min

IMDb Blurb: After the alleged suicide of her priest brother, Grace travels to the remote Scottish convent where he fell to his death. Distrusting the Church's account, she uncovers murder, sacrilege and a disturbing truth about herself.

There’s quite a lot to like about Consecration - from the cast including Jena Malone (The Neon Demon, Nocturnal Animals, Stardust) and Danny Huston (Wonder Woman, Succession, Marlowe) to the fascinating tale behind the sisters of the Scottish convent central to the story. Then, of course, there’s a mystery afoot. 

I’m curious how much of the shenanigans transpiring in this film are human-based and how much is supernatural, if any. 
I was drawn in by the trailer and I’m admittedly a sucker for Scottish accents. Given the setting of the story, I’m really hoping that there were Scottish actors cast so I can hear the lovely brogue. I digress…

Also, I want to find out what’s up with the “peek-a-boo” nun that pops up throughout the trailer. Is she as much of a central character in this narrative as she seems, or is she just sprinkled in to creepily startle the audience now and then? 

Consecration will be available to stream on Shudder, and I’m happy to advise that we will be providing a review for this movie in May, as well. 

13 - Rally Road Racers (5/12)

Production/Distribution: Riverstone Pictures, Kintop Pictures, Vanguard Films and Animation, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, Viva Kids, Viva Pictures
Director: Ross Venokur
Writer: Ross Venokur
Actors: Chloe Bennet, J.K. Simmons, Sharon Horgan, John Cleese, Catherine Tate, Jimmy O. Yang, Lisa Lu
Genre: Family, Comedy, Adventure, Animation
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 33min

IMDb Blurb: Racers compete in a high-stakes rally along the famous Silk Road trade route.

Rally Road Racers looks seriously cute. This should be a great pre-summer movie for kids of most ages. It’s got cute characters, a heartwarming story, laughs, and lots of action. 

Of course, my personal primary draw to Rally Road Racers is the cast. The production is stacked with great actors, though John Cleese (Monty Python's Flying Circus, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Father Christmas is Back), Catherine Tate (Doctor Who, DuckTales, The Nan Movie), and J.K. Simmons (Spider Man: No Way Home, Glorious, One Day as a Lion) are the ones that caught my attention immediately. I’d watch just about anything with Cleese in it, if I’m honest. 

Rally Road Racers will have a limited theatrical release and will abe available right away for digital on-demand rental. Streaming details are unavailable at this time. 

12 - About My Father (5/26)

Production/Distribution: Depth of Field, Lionsgate, Cineplex Pictures, The Searchers
Director: Laura Terruso
Writers: Austen Earl, Sebastian Maniscalco
Actors: nders Holm, Brett Dier, David Rasche, Deborah Tucker, Kim Cattrall, Laura Ault, Leslie Bibb, Michael Stuart, Robert De Niro, Sebastian Maniscalco
Genre: Comedy
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 29min

Metacritic Blurb: Sebastian (Sebastian Maniscalco) is encouraged by his fiancée (Leslie Bibb) to bring his immigrant, hairdresser father, Salvo (Robert De Niro), to a weekend get-together with her super-rich and exceedingly eccentric family (Kim Cattrall, Anders Holm, Brett Dier, David Rasche). The weekend develops into what can only be described as a culture clash, leaving Sebastian and Salvo to discover that the great thing about family is everything about family.

I was getting some serious Meet the Fockers (2004) feels from the trailer for About My Father. Even though this doesn’t seem to be the most original story that Hollywood has to offer these days, I still laughed (and cringed) quite a bit during the peek into this funny culture clash story.

While I don’t generally follow Sebastian Maniscalco's (The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, Green Book, The Super Mario Bros. Movie) I’m interested in seeing him as a comedic lead, as I’ve only seen him in supporting roles thusfar. 

Of course, my main draw to About My Father is Robert De Niro (The Irishman, The Comeback Trail, Amsterdam). The man is a legend and his comedic timing is excellent. Kim Cattrall (Big Trouble in Little China, Sex and the City, How I Met Your Father) and Leslie Bibb (Tag, Running with the Devil, The Babysitter: Killer Queen) are also great additions to this ensemble cast. 

Sometimes I’m just not as much in the mood for cringe-comedy, and this production looks like it has quite a bit. That really is the only reason it has appeared this “low” on my list for this May. 

About My Father is receiving a wide theatrical release and will be available for digital on-demand rental. Streaming service information is not available at this time. 

11 - The Mother (5/12)

Production/Distribution: Nuyorican Productions, Vertigo Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Niki Caro
Writers: Andrea Berloff, Peter Craig, Misha Green
Actors: Fahim Fazli, Gael García Bernal, Jennifer Lopez, Jesse Garcia, Joseph Fiennes, Leslie Lluvet, Lucy Paez, Michael Karl Richards, Omari Hardwick, Paul Raci, Saif Mohsen, Yvonne Senat Jones
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 55min

IMDb Blurb: While fleeing from dangerous assailants, an assassin comes out of hiding to protect her daughter she left earlier in life.

When we watched the trailer for The Mother, it was hard not to draw comparisons to a previous Netflix release - namely, Lou (2022). There are some significant changes to the overall plot, but the theme is strikingly similar. 

That being said, I really enjoy watching Jennifer Lopez (Second Act, Hustlers, Marry Me) perform - whether it’s musically, dance, or in movies. I don’t think people take her as seriously as she should be. She’s got a phenomenal range and is pretty badass. 

If that wasn’t enough of a draw to The Mother, there are some serious heavy hitters in the cast with Lopez. Omari Hardwick (Nobody's Fool, Power, Army of the Dead) appears to play some sort of friend or colleague of Lopez’s character; while Gael García Bernal (The Accused, Old, Werewolf by Night) and Joseph Fiennes (Strangerland, Risen, The Handmaid's Tale) are the story’s lead villains. I’m always down to watch a production that includes one of the Fiennes brothers. 

The action looks great and the story is one hell of a rollercoaster ride. I couldn’t even imagine the pain of being forced to give up a child in such an impossible situation. 

The Mother is releasing as a Netflix Original. 

10 - Love Again (5/12)

Production/Distribution: Screen Gems, 2.0 Entertainment, Thunder Road Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Pictures Releasing International, Sony Pictures Releasing, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures International
Director: Jim Strouse
Writers: Jim Strouse, Sofie Cramer, Andrea Willson, Malte Welding, Karoline Herfurth, Sophie Kluge, Anika Decker
Actors: Alana Greszata, Arinzé Kene, Celia Imrie, Céline Dion, Lydia West, Nick Jonas, Omid Djalili, Priyanka Chopra, Russell Tovey, Sam Heughan, Sofia Barclay, Steve Oram
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 44min

IMDb Blurb: A young woman tries to ease the pain of her fiancé's death by sending romantic texts to his old cell phone number, and forms a connection with the man the number has been reassigned to.

There are so many reasons to watch Love Again this month. For one, Céline Dion (Quest for Camelot, Céline Dion: My Heart Will Go On, Muppets Most Wanted) is making a rare acting appearance in something other than her music videos or live performances. That is rare in and of itself. She has, however, also created new songs just for this movie. Her voice is legendary, and I’m all about her playing a version of herself in this rom-com. 

We have to talk about the leads for Love Again

Sam Heughan (The Spy Who Dumped Me, SAS: Red Notice, Outlander) has inherited the title of my favorite Scottish actor. He can do it all. I’ve even enjoyed his reality series where he and a fellow Scotsman colleague travel around Scotland together on an informative and funny road trip. Of course, he may be best known these days for his Outlander role as Jamie Fraser. He practically stepped from the pages of those books into reality. I digress…

I also adore Priyanka Chopra Jonas (We Can Be Heroes, The Matrix Resurrections, Citadel). She has excellent range as an actor and has successfully bridged into US mainstream cinema as well as having a solid career in her native language movies. The on-screen chemistry with Heughan looks great and the story is sad but adorable and full of hope. I had a giggle as the trailer showed one of her failed attempts at dating featured her real-life husband, Nick Jonas (Midway, Jumanji: The Next Level, Chaos Walking). 

Love Again is receiving a wide theatrical release and will also be available for digital on-demand rental. Streaming service information is not available at this time. 

9 - Blood & Gold (5/26)

Production/Distribution: Rat Pack Filmproduktion, Netflix
Director: Peter Thorwarth
Writer: Stefan Barth
Actors: Jördis Triebel, Alexander Scheer, Robert Maaser, Marie Hacke, Roy McCrerey, Nele Kiper, Stephan Grossmann, Florian Schmidtke, David Burnell IV, Jared Lorenzo, Juri Senft, Petra Zieser, Simson Bubbel, Gisela Aderhold, Tomas Karel, Andreas Bichler, Christian Schneeweiß, Simon Rupp, Heiko Schaffartzik
Genre: Action, Drama, War, Comedy
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 1h 40min

IMDb Blurb: At the end of World War II, a German soldier is looking for his daughter while an SS troop is looking for a Jewish treasure.

Who wouldn’t want to watch a village fighting back against plundering Nazis? I adored the comedic element laced into the trailer and really do hope that the whole of the movie matches that tone. 

Blood & Gold is releasing as a Netflix Original.

8 - Hypnotic (5/12)

Production/Distribution: Double R Productions, Hoosegow Productions, Ingenious Media, Solstice Studios, Studio 8, Ketchup Entertainment, Elevation Pictures
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writers: Robert Rodriguez, Max Borenstein
Actors: Alice Braga, Ben Affleck, Bonnie Discepolo, Dayo Okeniyi, Derek Russo, Hala Finley, J.D. Pardo, Jeff Fahey, Kelly Frye, William Fichtner
Genre: Action, Mystery, Thriller, Crime
Rated: R
Length: 1h 32min

IMDb Blurb: A detective investigates a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program.

I have to say, I am definitely a fan of director Robert Rodriguez’s (Alita: Battle Angel, We Can Be Heroes, The Book of Boba Fett) work. I don’t think it’s going to be any different for this movie. 

Hypnotic has a fascinating premise. The concept that someone so skilled at hypnotic suggestion could manipulate people and events to the degree hinted at in the trailer for this movie is actually pretty chilling. I don’t know whether it falls in the realm of plausibility or if it’s pure fantasy… but what if it could happen? 

I’m floored that this project was roughly 20 years in the making as a passion project for Rodriguez. I also think it’s really cool that this also became a family project with a lot of the production team coming from the Rodriguez clan. 

There’s a great cast stacked up for this mind-bending project with Ben Affleck (The Way Back, The Last Duel, Clerks III) and Alice Braga (Soul, Queen of the South, The Suicide Squad) at the head of the protagonist’s side. I’m also a big fan of William Fichtner (Blades of Glory, 12 Strong, The Company You Keep). I love his unique delivery. One of my favorite roles of his was in the movie Drive Angry (2011) as “The Accountant.” It might not have been the best movie of all time, but that character with his wry performance had me in stitches. I am looking forward to seeing what he does in this antagonist role. 

Hypnotic is set for a wide theatrical release. Streaming and on-demand rental information is not available at this time.

7 - The Machine (5/26)

Production/Distribution: Shaken Not Stirred, Balkanic Media, Legendary Entertainment, Sony Pictures Releasing
Director: Peter Atencio
Writers: Kevin Biegel, Scotty Landes
Actors: Amelie Child Villiers, Bert Kreischer, Brian Caspe, Iva Babic, Jess Gabor, Jimmy Tatro, Mark Hamill, Martyn Ford, Mercedes De La Cruz, Robert Maaser, Set Sjöstrand, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Tea Wagner
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 1h 52min

IMDb Blurb: Bert's drunken past catches up with him 20 years down the road when he and his father are kidnapped by those Bert wronged 20 years ago while drunk on a college semester abroad in Russia.

I remember watching the Bert Kreischer (The Cabin with Bert Kreischer, Go-Big Show, Bert Kreischer: Razzle Dazzle) Netflix comedy special where he told the story The Machine expands on. It was hilarious then, and remains so. You have to wonder what the aftermath of something like that could be - and this new movie gives us a ‘what if’ scenario of exactly that. 

Add to that the fact that Mark Hamill (Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker, Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Invincible) is playnig Bert’s doubtnig dad who gets thrust into the middle of the international shenanigans, and this is instantly something I want to see, ASAP. 

The Machine is set to have a wide theatrical release. Details for on-demand rental and streaming are not available at this time.

6 - Knights of the Zodiac (5/12)

Production/Distribution: Stage 6 Films, Toei Animation, Convergence Entertainment, Hero Squared, Sola Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Takz Film, Toei Company, Sony Pictures Releasing International, Sony Pictures Releasing, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures International
Director: Tomasz Baginski
Writers: Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken, Kiel Murray, Masami Kurumada
Actors: Sean Bean, Famke Janssen, Madison Iseman, Mark Dacascos, Nick Stahl, Mackenyu, Diego Tinoco, David Torok
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: PG=13
Length: 1h 52min

IMDb Blurb: When a goddess of war reincarnates in the body of a young girl, street orphan Seiya discovers that he is destined to protect her and save the world. But only if he can face his own past and become a Knight of the Zodiac.

I feel I need to confess upfront that I am only loosely aware of the Saint Seiya franchise that currently exists via manga and the productions derived from it. This movie is the newest adaptation from that source material. That being said, I couldn’t begin to tell you if it looks like things will line up with the source material or not. 

What I can tell you is that Knights of the Zodiac looks really cool if the trailer is a good example of what we’ll see on the screen for the finished product. The effects look spectacular and the cast is really outstanding. 

Famke Janssen (The Poison Rose, The Vault, Redeeming Love) plays a phenomenal antagonist and Madison Iseman (Jumanji: The Next Level, Fear of Rain, I Know What You Did Last Summer) feels like a good fit for the reincarnated Athena. Mark Dacascos (John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, Batman: Soul of the Dragon, Run & Gun) pops up all over the place in seriously badass roles, and so I expect nothing less here. Mackenyu (Pacific Rim: Uprising, Rurouni Kenshin: Final Chapter Part I - The Final, Fullmetal Alchemist: Final Transmutation), whom will be playing Seiya in this movie, is old hat at this point for live-action manga adaptations and I’ve enjoyed his performances thusfar in the productions I’ve seen him in. 

Finally, we come to Sean Bean (Wolfwalkers, Mummies, Snowpiercer). Will his character survive this movie or will it follow the meme where he always dies? The only way to find out is to watch. (We’re blissfully ignoring the fact that internet spoilers exist for the purpose of this article.)

As of now, Knights of the Zodiac is set for wide theatrical release. On-demand and streaming information is unclear as of this time. I’ve seen information that it will land on Disney+ but also HBO, and have been unable to confirm either, so we’ll just have to wait and see as that time draws closer. 

5 - Fool's Paradise (5/12)

Production/Distribution: Wrigley Pictures, Armory Films, Saks Picture Company,  Roadside Attractions, Eagle Films, Grindstone Entertainment Group, Lionsgate
Director: Charlie Day
Writer: Charlie Day
Actors: Adrien Brody, Charlie Day, Dean Norris, Edie Falco, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Jillian Bell, Jimmi Simpson, John Malkovich, Kate Beckinsale, Katherine McNamara, Ken Geong, Ray Liotta, Travis Fimmel
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 37min

RottenTomatoes Blurb: A satirical comedy about a down-on-his-luck publicist (Ken Jeong) who discovers a recently released mental health patient (Charlie Day) who looks just like a misbehaving movie star. The publicist subs him into a film, creating a new star. But fame and fortune are not all they are cracked up to be.  

The trailer for Fool’s Paradise showcased a movie that looks bonkers in all the best ways. I’m excited that this is writer/director Charlie Day’s (Fist Fight, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) directorial debut, as well. 

If I were to list off all of the cast members I’m excited to see in Fool’s Paradise, I’d be here a long time, and you’d be stuck reading a long list and wishing for a TL;DR - so I’ll try to keep it as simple as I can. The top 5 I’m looking forward to seeing in Fool’s Paradise are Kate Beckinsale (Absolutely Anything, The Widow, Jolt), Travis Fimmel (Vikings, Die in a Gunfight, Raised by Wolves), Ken Jeong (Occupation: Rainfall, The Masked Singer, My Little Pony: A New Generation), Katherine McNamara (Shadowhunters, The Stand, Walker Independence), and John Malkovich (Space Force, Mindcage, One Ranger). Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is one of Ray Liotta’s (Shades of Blue, No Sudden Move, Cocaine Bear) final appearances before his untimely death. 

This crazy story of mistaken identity and the insanity of the Hollywood machine looks like quite the fun escape and a great popcorn movie. 

Fool’s Paradise is getting a limited theatrical release. Digital on-demand rental and streaming service information is not available at this time.

4 - Crater (5/12)

Production/Distribution: 21 Laps Entertainment, Truenorth Productions, Walt Disney Pictures, ABC Television, Disney XD, Disney+
Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Writer: John Griffin
Actors: Ashlan Rowan, Billy Barratt, Brady Noon, Carson Minniear, Hero Hunter, Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Jermaine McTizic, Mckenna Grace, Orson Hong, Piper Rubio
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Drama, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 45min

IMDb Blurb: After the death of his father, a boy growing up on a lunar mining colony takes a trip to explore a legendary crater, along with his four best friends, prior to being permanently relocated to another planet.

Crater looks like a genuine feel-good family movie that takes the ‘kisd with bikes’ ensemble concept to a whole new level - out of this world, in fact. The trailer gave feels in the spirt of the productions that have come before such as The Goonies (1985) and Stranger Things (2016-) as far as the bond between the young friend-group goes and their penchant for adventure. 

I’m curious to see what lies in the titular crater that the kids set out to explore before their cadre is divided by different worlds. 

Crater is releasing directly to Disney+.

3 - The Little Mermaid (5/26)

Production/Distribution: Walt Disney Pictures, Lucamar Production, Marc Platt Productions, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Disney+, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Director: Rob Marshall
Writers: David Magee, Rob Marshall, John DeLuca, Hans Christian Andersen, Ron Clements, John Musker
Actors: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Jude Akuwudike, Noma Dumezweni, Kajsa Mohammar, Lorena Andrea, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Simone Ashley, Jessica Alexander, Martina Laird, Art Malik, John Dagleish, Emily Coates, Russell Balogh, Sienna King, Karolina Conchet, Nathalie Sorrell
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Adventure, Family, Musical
Rated: PG
Length: 2h 15min

IMDb Blurb: A young mermaid makes a deal with a sea witch to trade her beautiful voice for human legs so she can discover the world above water and impress a prince.

The Little Mermaid (1989) is one of my favorite movies of all time. I used to listen to my soundtrack cassette before going to sleep every night for a very long time. (Of course, I did a lot of singing and little sleeping until I flipped the tape over to the orchestral score side that didn’t have words.)

Like quite a few people, I gave the notion of a live-action update to this classic tale a bit of side-eye. There’s really no stopping the Disney machine once they are locked on to do something, though, so the best I could hope for was that they execute this remake with care and respect for the millions of fans that love the original. 

So far, from what I’ve seen in the trailers, they’re doing a decent job of exactly that. If I close my eyes and listen to the new Ariel sing, I could swear she could pass for the vocal performance in the original. 

While some of the animated CGI creatures still feel like they are of questionable design, the movie on the whole looks like it will turn out fairly good. I am excited to see this new version and see how it stacks up. 

The Little Mermaid will be getting a wide theatrical release. It is unclear when it will be available for on-demand rental, however it will eventually appear on Disney+ for streaming after the prerequisite theater run. 

2 - Fast X (5/19)

Production/Distribution: Universal Pictures, One Race Films, Original Film, Perfect Storm Entertainment, Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, Sony Pictures Releasing International, United International Pictures
Director: Louis Leterrier
Writers: Dan Mazeau, Justin Lin, Gary Scott Thompson
Actors: Alan Ritchson, Brie Larson, Charlize Theron, Daniela Melchior, Helen Mirren, Jason Momoa, Jason Statham, John West Jr., Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, Michael Rooker, Michelle Rodriguez, Nathalie Emmanuel, Rita Moreno, Scott Eastwood, Sung Kang, Trevon Days, Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Rated: PG-13
Length: 2h 21min

IMDb Blurb: Dom Toretto and his family are targeted by the vengeful son of drug kingpin Hernan Reyes.

Fast X answers one of the questions I’ve had in the past during this epic franchise of action movies. What happened in all the places where chaos and destruction followed the Toretto familia? Would there be any consequences coming to them in the future from these capers? 

The answer we now know is yes. 

I adore this film series and have watched every movie so far - and some of them multiple times. 

The addition of Jason Momoa (Dune, Slumberland, The Last Manhunt) as the antagonist out for revenge in Fast X is really icing on the cake. I can’t wait for the edge-of-the-seat action sequences that get ramped up with every new installment in the franchise. 

Fast X is set for a theatrical release and available for digital on-demand rental. This penultimate Fast Saga movie will reportedly land on Disney+ on July 8th, 2023.

1 - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (5/5)

Production/Distribution: Marvel Studios, Marvel Entertainment, Troll Court Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, Disney+
Director: James Gunn
Writers: James Gunn, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Actors: Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Chukwudi Iwuji, Daniela Melchior, Dave Bautista, Elizabeth Debicki, Karen Gillan, Maria Bakalova, Michael Rosenbaum, Nico Santos, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Vin Diesel, Will Poulter, Zoe Saldana
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 2h 30min

IMDb Blurb: Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their own - a mission that could mean the end of the Guardians if not successful.

Shut up and take my money. 

Seriously, though, I’m chomping at the proverbial bit to watch the latest escapades of the Guardians. I adore Groot and Rocket Raccoon and am happy to see that we get a bit more of Rocket’s backstory here. The rest is just icing on the cake. 

I’m also curious about the direction Marvel is going with this next arc - how this 3rd Guardians movie wraps up the group’s plot and how it builds bridges to the next stories in the future with Phase 5. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will have a wide theatrical release. Though there will definitely be a period where this movie will be available for digital rental on-demand prior to its eventual landing on Disney+ for streaming subscribers, the exact dates are unclear at this time.

Movies to Look out For
According to Selina

White Men Can’t Jump .20
Book Club: The Next Chapter .19
Rally Road Racers .18
Double Life .17
Consecration .16
Blood & Gold .15
What’s Love Got to Do With It .14
The Mother .13
Love Again .12
Hypnotic .11
About My Father .10
The Master Gardener .9
  Kandahar .8
 Fast X .7
Fool’s Paradise .6
Crater .5
The Machine .4
Knights of the Zodiac .3
The Little Mermaid .2
 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 .1


No comments:

Post a Comment