The first month of the typically historic “Summer Blockbuster” season is in the books. Obviously Covid made it look rather low key as opposed to past years, but we are back in theaters. Like every industry, Hollywood is doing everything possible to catch up. I still believe we are a few years away from complete normalcy. Forget the virus, over a year of the world economy shut down takes time to recover from. Still, there are movies to see as the second half of the year approaches. Several action, sci-fi, comedy, and drama’s with a lot of potential are coming. There is also some pure popcorn movies on the way. Here are 10 Upcoming Movies I am Excited To See at the Movies In 2021.
10. “Black Widow” (July 9):
While the movies are still not great, I have softened up on the Marvel franchise over the years. It is a studio that has turned into a monster so as a critic, adapt or die… The superheroes have five adventures for audiences this year, including “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”, “Eternals”, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Five Rings”, and “Spider-Man: No Way Home”. The one that intrigues me the most is definitely “Black Widow”. Scarlet Johansson is one of the O.G. members of the Avengers crew and she finally gets her own solo act. Unlike the other Marvel movies where everyone has super powers, “Black Widow” looks to be more of an espionage action thriller. Should be entertaining.
9. “Space Jam: A New Legacy” (July 16):
LeBron James continues to try and surpass the G.O.A.T. that is Michael Jordan that he is even trying to one-up him on the big screen. Give it up LeBron, you’ll never get there. Still, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” looks like a ton of fun for the entire family just like the first one. A new generation of kids will once again be introduced to the all-time great Looney Tunes crew. A bit of a different story line than what MJ went through in the first movie, Bron’s kid is kidnapped and it is up to him and his cartoon friends to win a basketball game to get the boy back. The problem, choosing a team out of the band of cartoon misfits. With the help of Bugs Bunny there is a winning team there, at least we hope.
8. “Last Night in Soho” (October 22):
After the huge success of his previous film “Baby Driver” director Edgar Wright is at it again with a total mind twister. “Last Night in Soho” reveals little from the trailers other than it looks to be a surreal travel through time. Up-and-comer Thomasin McKenzie is a girl lost in life and some how finds a path into the past. The glamour of the 60’s draw her in and her doppelgänger played by Anya-Taylor Joy is the perfect beauty McKenzie has always wanted to be. Beyond that, I have no idea what is going to go down. The film appears very Lynchian which can be a good or a bad thing depending on the film. Either way, color me intrigued.
7. “Candyman” (August 27):
The original “Candyman” from 1992 was part of that whole stupid slasher craze from the 80’s and 90’s. Other than Tony Todd as the titular character it was totally forgettable. Apparently not for Jordan Peele as he is producing a remake that looks nothing like the original. Newcomer Yahya Abdul-Mateen II plays a young photographer who wants to prove the existence of the “Candyman”. The twist with this version is that the connection to the demonic killer is some type of connection to the ghetto. Tony Todd reprises his role and this new version look to amp up the scares in a much more realistic way.
6. “No Time To Die” (October 8):
The longest running franchise in film history is back. “No Time To Die” will be Daniel Craig’s last go as James Bond (although he has said that before). “True Detective” director Cary Fukunaga is at the helm here with 007 coming out of retirement for his next mission. Oscar winner Rami Malek will play an undisclosed villain looking to take Bond down. The action will be epic I am sure, but will it live up to the better films in the franchise or will it be a forgettable entry? We’ll see…
5. “The French Dispatch” (October 22):
Wes Anderson’s crazy meticulous ass brings us another cooky tale with his latest ensemble piece “The French Dispatch”. Timothee Chalamet leads a cast of A-List stars too long to name. Initially reported as a musical, the film centers around multiple stories created by a magazine writer living in France. Critics have called it ‘an ode to journalism’. Wes Anderson is one of those directors where each one of his films is definitively a Wes Anderson film. I expect this one to be as unique as the rest of his work.
4. “Stillwater” (July 30):
Director Tom McCarthy was at the helm of the Oscar winning film “Spotlight”. He’s back with another political thriller. Matt Damon stars as an Oklahoma Oil-Rig man who is desperate to save his daughter. While vacationing in Marseille, France the young girl is accused of a murder that she claims she did not commit. Damon will stop at nothing to get his daughter back, even if it includes facing small time gangsters or a system that is not friendly towards Americans. Can the Midwestern man get back the person he cares most about in the world?
3. “The Matrix 4” (December 22):
“The Matrix”, the original, was the movie that made me fall in love with movies. Every film fanatic has one. While in high school I thought the sequels were amazing too. Time has not been kind to the other two, specifically with “Revolutions” being pretty bad in hindsight. But the original is still amazing. I’m not sure how there can be a new entry in the series as Neo appeared to die. I don’t care. I will never not be excited to re-enter this world, and “The Matrix 4” is no exception.
2. “In the Heights” (June 11):
Man, could we use some happiness and joy in our lives right now. What could be more fun than a production created by Lin-Manuel Miranda? “In the Heights” launched Miranda’s career when it swept the Tony awards. Now it is finally coming to the big screen. Films adapted from Broadway usually do not work. I’m pretty sure this one will. The story is about reclaiming ones heritage, centering mainly on New York’s Latino community. If you don’t like musicals, I don’t know what to say other than open your mind. “In the Heights” looks to be a celebration of life that I cannot wait to partake in.
1. “Dune” (October 1):
I am not a big reader, but “Dune” is one of the few books I have read and it is an absolute masterpiece. From start to finish I was enthralled at the complexities of this world. This is not like “The Lord of the Rings” (also great) in terms of being fairly straight forward. That is why I have always said “Dune” is an un-filmable book. I am truly hoping director Denis Villenue can pull it off. If he can this will be an all timer in sci-fi cinema. The cast is stacked and the production design looks extraordinary. But can they capture all of the nuances and themes the book has instead of just being a big budget action piece? There is no middle ground here I am guessing. This is either going to be amazing or terrible. We shall see.