With very few exceptions, we’re now moving away from 2020 holdovers into 2021 releases, even if they are just rescheduled 2020 releases. We hit the ground running with a pair of teen romance films, a silly 90s throwback comedy, and one of the big Oscar contenders of this extended awards season.
Judas & The Black Messiah
HBOMax and Theatres
Directed by Shaka King, written by King & Will Berson, starring Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemmons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, and Martin Sheen. I’ve been eagerly waiting for this one, as a big fan of the cast and creative team, as well as a follower of the subject matter, Fred Hampton, the titular Black Messiah. I’ve seen some early reviews about it saying it squares the narrative on the Judas, the informant, Lakeith Stanfield’s character, as opposed to Daniel Kaluuya’s Hampton, and if true, a valid complaint. But it appears this film is more about shining a cinematic light on the COINTELPRO, which is just as important a story to tell. And perhaps anything that directs people to Hampton is a win.
To All The Boys: Always & Forever
Directed by Michael Fimognari, written by Katie Lovejoy, starring Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Jordan Fisher, Anna Cathcart, Janel Parrish, Ross Butler, Madeleine Arthur, Emilija Baranac, and Trezzo Mahoro. I saw the charms in the first one, even though it’s not quite my cup of tea. It’s a solid feel good franchise that comes to a close with its final installment.
Directed by Alain Darborg, written by Alain Darborg & Per Dickson, Johannes Kuhnke, Nanna Blondell, Anastasios Soulis, Kalled Mustonen and Tomas Bergström. This looks like a crazy fun survival thriller. I’m excited to fire it up this weekend.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
Directed by Ian Samuels, written by Lev Grossman, starring Kathryn Newton, Kyle Allen, Jermaine Harris, Anna Mikami, Josh Hamilton, Cleo Fraser, and Jorja Fox. Time loops are hot right now, and I’m a sucker for them, but this just vibes like a teen drama version of last year’s Palm Springs.
Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar
Directed by Josh Greenbaum, written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, starring Wiig, Mumolo, Jamie Dornan, Fortune Feimster, Vanessa Bayer, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Damon Wayans Jr. Barb & Star looks like a perfectly silly escapist comedy, ripped right out of the 90s.
Directed by Kevin Lewis, written by G. O. Parsons, starring Cage, Emily Tosta, Ric Reitz, Chris Warner, Kai Kadlec, Christian Delgrosso, Caylee Cowan, Terayle Hill, Jonathan Mercedes, David Sheftell, and Beth Grant. Nic Cage overacting in a B-horror movie? I’ll check it out.