Coming Soon: August 13th, 2021

Welcome to this week’s edition of Back Lot 605’s Coming Soon column! Here’s what coming soon for the week of August 13th, 2021:

Featured Title: Free Guy

As we continue to work our way through the blockbuster movies that are finally being released due to COVID delays, we can’t help but encounter those movies that we’ve seemingly been hearing about for forever. To me, Free Guy is one of those movies… as its first trailer dropped way back on December 7th, 2019, touting a July 3rd, 2020 theatrical release date. (I distinctly remember watching said trailer on my phone during a break in my theatrical double feature of Jojo Rabbit and Parasite… just to give you an idea of how long it’s been.) The second trailer premiered in October of 2020, back when Disney was still pretending it was coming out that December… and I happen to remember that trailer because it featured a cameo by Alex Trebek, just weeks before his tragic passing. And after all the fits and starts, it’s finally here this weekend… and it’s especially notable because it’s the first truly exclusive theatrical release by the Walt Disney corporation in 2021, with no Disney+ Premier Access to support it. As such, it will be intriguing to see how it fares with audiences, who may still be reluctant to trot out to see this due to the Delta variant… and who may honest think that this movie came out already. 🙂

But, onto the movie itself… and it’s the latest attempt to video-game-ify the box office, in the wake of such hits as Ready Player One, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and even last month’s Space Jam: A New Legacy. Ryan Reynolds stars as Guy, a bank teller who realizes that he’s a NPC (non-playable character) in an action-packed open-world video game. Spurred on by Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer), the online avatar of a video game developer who’s trying to find in-game evidence that her boss (Taika Waititi) stole her game code, Guy decides to break out of his fixed game role and tries to change his city forever. The movie also stars Joe Keery (Steve from “Stranger Things”), Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and several other big-name surprise cameos. Directed by Shawn Levy, who’s given us such blockbusters as the Night at the Museum trilogy, Real Steel, and Date Night… as well as producing Stranger Things (hence the presence of Mr. Keery). (Opens Friday, August 13th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD, the Century East at Dawley Farm, and the West Mall 7 in Sioux Falls, with preview showings beginning at 6PM on Thursday, August 12th.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cttnRmcr_ME

Opening in Theaters

Don’t Breathe 2

2016’s Sam Raimi-produced Don’t Breathe was a tremendous suspense movie, and paid off dividends at the box office… so it’s no surprise that Raimi and his crew (including original director/co-writer Fede Alvarez, and co-writer Rodo Sayagues, who helms this sequel) decided to find a way to give us more of Stephen Lang’s chilling “The Blind Man”. But if you watch the trailer below, this movie paints a decidedly different picture of Lang’s character: He’s now raising a young orphaned girl (?!?!?!), and he seems to be positioned as the hero (?!?!?!?!) of this movie, as he takes on yet another crew of home invaders who have no idea what they’re in for. It’s the kind of creative choice that could go very wrong very quickly… but given the high quality of the first movie, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. (Opens Friday, August 13th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD and the Century East at Dawley Farm in Sioux Falls, with preview showings beginning at 7PM on Thursday, August 12th.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRbG2tjHYCA

Respect

The last major theatrical release of the weekend is a nearly 2.5-hour music biopic starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin, covering from her early church-choir days to the 1972 recording of her Amazing Grace album… which you may know from 2019’s acclaimed concert documentary of the same name. (But don’t confused this movie with National Geographic’s miniseries Genius: Aretha from earlier this year, which starred Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul!) Also starring Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Tate Donovan, and Mary J. Blige; directed by Liesl Tommy. (Opens Friday, August 13th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD and the Century East at Dawley Farm in Sioux Falls, with preview showings beginning at 6PM on Thursday, August 12th.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTtxoz3OIlU

New to Streaming and VOD

CODA

This year’s big winner at Sundance (netting 4 prizes) is finally making its debut on Apple TV+ this weekend, after Apple paid $25 million for this at the aforementioned film festival. This is a crowdpleasing comedy-drama about a 17-year-old (Emilia Jones) who’s the only hearing member of her deaf family, and who has to decide between staying to help run the family fishing business, or setting off to achieve her musical dreams by attending a prestigious music academy. Also starring Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, and Eugenio Derbez; written and directed by Sian Heder. (Premieres Friday, August 13th on Apple TV+.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pmfrE1YL4I

Beckett

Netflix is offering up a thriller produced by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, 2018’s Suspiria), and directed by his longtime second-unit director, Ferdinando Cito Filomarino. While vacationing in Greece with his girlfriend, a man (John David Washington) gets in a car accident, and finds himself on the run from the police… and must find a way to the U.S. Embassy in Athens. Also starring Boyd Holbrook, Vicky Krieps, and Alicia Vikander. (Premieres Friday, August 13th on Netflix.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPT_PNucTWE

The Kissing Booth 3

In addition, Netflix is finishing up its second hit teen rom-com trilogy this year, following the end of their To All the Boys, I Still Love You series. Like that trilogy, Netflix filmed The Kissing Booth parts 2 and 3 in South Africa in the summer of 2019. In this threequel, it’s the summer after Elle (Joey King) has graduated high school… and she must make a fateful college choice: Does she attend Berkeley with her lifelong best friend Lee (Joel Courtney), or does she go to Harvard with her boyfriend Noah (Jacob Elordi) instead? Also starring Taylor Zakhar Perez, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, and Molly Ringwald. (Premieres Wednesday, August 11th on Netflix.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fKn0Dhj64w

What If…?

Since I’ve covered Disney+’s previous Marvel Cinematic Universe TV series in this column, I figured I’d throw in this “one shot” animated spin-off as well, which ties into various MCU movies, and even brings in dozens of actors from those movies to lend their voices! In each episode, The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright), who’s monitoring the MCU multiverse, guides us through an alternate-universe version of classic Marvel stories. For example, in today’s premiere, the show posits a world where Peggy Carter (voiced once again by Hayley Atwell) took the super serum instead of Steve Rogers, and becomes “Captain Carter”! Other returning actors include – deep breath! – Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Paul Bettany, Josh Brolin, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Jon Favreau, Karen Gillan, Jeff Goldblum, Clark Gregg, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael B. Jordan, Evangeline Lilly, Natalie Portman, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Kurt Russell, Andy Serkis, Tilda Swinton, Taika Waititi, and – in his final performance as Black Panther – Chadwick Boseman, whose episode sees him teaming up with Michael Rooker’s Yondu! (Premieres Wednesday, August 11th on Disney+, with a new episode each Wednesday through October 6th.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9D0uUKJ5KI

John and the Hole

Wrapping up the streaming releases for this week is a movie that actually debuted on VOD last Friday, but somehow eluded my research. However, I’m putting it in this week’s article, because it looks creepy as heck! This Cannes 2020 and Sundance 2021 selection follows John (Charlie Shotwell), a sinister 13-year-old who, for reasons unknown, decides to put his family (including dad Michael C. Hall, mom Jennifer Ehle, and sister Taissa Farmiga) in a giant hole in their backyard. Directed by Spanish visual artist Pascual Sisto, in his feature film debut. (Premiered Friday, August 6th on VOD services.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uddPHOuQh7E

Returning to Theaters

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

This week’s Fathom Events throwback screening is a TCM 50th anniversary presentation of the 1971 Gene Wilder family classic, which was just released for the first time on 4K Blu-ray! Get your golden ticket for one of these screenings right away! (Showing Sunday, August 15th and Wednesday, August 18th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD and the Century East at Dawley Farm in Sioux Falls.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63rbpu6fJsA

Rifftrax Live: Hobgoblins

Rifftrax is back with their first theatrical simulcast live event in two full years: This screening of the MST3K 1988 bad-movie favorite Hobgoblins, full of new jokes and riffs! These Rifftrax events have always brought out a strong turnout of Sioux Falls fans over the years… so don’t delay in getting your tickets! (Showing Sunday, August 17th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD in Sioux Falls.)

https://youtube.com/watch?v=LbwFwUn0Mlw

Nosebleeds Film Festival Returns!

The monthly Nosebleeds Film Festival (formerly known as the Dancing Spider Film Festival) returns with its second installment at its regular home, the White Wall Studios at Last Stop CD Shop! This month’s festival will be on Saturday, August 14th at 7PM. For more information in the lead-up to Saturday’s event, follow Nosebleeds on Facebook!

Showing at the State!

Pig

For the first time since the one-two February punch of Nomadland and Minari, the State is bringing in a brand-new 2021 release! Nicolas Cage plays a truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregon woods… but when his beloved truffle pig is kidnapped, he must head to Portland to find it, where he has to confront his mysterious past as an elite chef. Also starring Alex Wolff and Adam Arkin; directed and co-written by Michael Sarnoski, in his feature film debut. (Showing Thursday, August 12th, Saturday, August 14th, and Sunday, August 15th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i-_CRKdh4Y

School of Rock

This week’s entry in the State’s ongoing summer music series is Richard Linklater’s 2003 family comedy, starring Jack Black as a rock-band reject who schemes his way into a substitute teacher job at a highbrow private school, ultimately forming a new band with his students. Also starring Joan Cusack, Sarah Silverman, Mike White (who also wrote the movie), and, in her feature film debut, a pre-iCarly Miranda Cosgrove. (Showing Friday, August 13th and Sunday, August 15th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_ngIv5kFNY

Friday the 13th

Late Night at the State returns this weekend with a fitting selection: the original Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th! As the State was the original home of Friday the 13th when it first opened in May of 1980, this will be a fun homecoming for the horror classic that kicked off the long-lasting franchise! As of this writing, only a handful of single seats remain… so if you’re still interested, get your seat now! (Showing one night only, Friday, August 13th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAzkW7HFh5U

Napoleon Dynamite

Break out the tater tots, feed your pet liger, and brush up on all your skills, because 2004’s endlessly quotable cult comedy is rounding out the State’s lineup! Jon Heder stars in his breakout role as oddball Idaho high schooler Napoleon Dynamite, GOSH! 🙂 Also starring Efren Ramirez as Pedro, Tina Majorino as Deb, Jon Gries as Uncle Rico, and Diedrich Bader as Rex Kwon Do! Directed and co-written by Jared Hess (who went on to make Nacho Libre and Gentlemen Broncos). (Showing Saturday, August 14th and Sunday, August 15th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHDi_AnqwN4

Moonlight Movies: Wonder Woman!

Fawick Park’s Moonlight Movies series continues its month of superheroes with Gal Gadot’s first solo vehicle as Wonder Woman, from 2017! The movie begins at dusk this Saturday, August 14th; for more info, check out the event page on the Downtown Sioux Falls web site!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q8fG0TtVAY

New This Week to Blu-ray and 4K

  • Finding You (2021)
  • Profile (2021)
  • Till Death (2021)
  • Queen Bees (2021)

Older Movies New to Streaming

Netflix:

  • Walk of Shame (2014) (premieres Monday, August 16th)

Hulu:

  • Held (2021) (premieres Thursday, August 12th)
  • Homeroom (2021) (premieres Thursday, August 12th)
  • The Virtuoso (2021) (premieres Thursday, August 12th)
  • Silo (2021) (premieres Sunday, August 15th)
  • The Hate U Give (2018) (premieres Sunday, August 15th)
  • The Skeleton Twins (2014) (premieres Tuesday, August 17th)
  • The Marijuana Conspiracy (2021) (premieres Wednesday, August 18th)
  • Unsane (2018) (premieres Wednesday, August 18th)

Amazon Prime:

  • Evan Almighty (2007) (premieres Monday, August 16th)
  • In Bruges (2008) (premieres Monday, August 16th)
  • La La Land (2016) (premieres Monday, August 16th)
  • The Skeleton Twins (2014) (premieres Tuesday, August 17th)

Shudder:

  • A Field in England (2013) (premieres Monday, August 16th)
  • Borgman (2013) (premieres Monday, August 16th)
  • Dave Made a Maze (2017) (premieres Tuesday, August 17th)
  • Anguish (1987) (premieres Tuesday, August 17th)

Disney+:

  • Aquamarine (2006) (premieres Friday, August 13th)

HBO Max:

  • Jurassic Park (1993) (premieres Saturday, August 14th)
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) (premieres Saturday, August 14th)
  • Jurassic Park III (2001) (premieres Saturday, August 14th)
  • Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) (premieres Tuesday, August 17th)

Peacock:

  • The House (2017) (premieres Tuesday, August 17th)

Paramount+:

  • No movies premiering on Paramount+ this week. Sorry!

The Criterion Channel:

  • Thursday, August 12th: Three Dimensions: Three by Mani Kaul: Poet of Parallel Cinema: Our Daily Bread (1970), One Day Before the Rainy Season (1971), Duvidha (1973)
  • Friday, August 13th: Double Feature: Through the Looking Glass: Alice (1988), Black Moon (1975)
  • Saturday, August 14th: Saturday Matinee: The Secret of NIMH (1982)
  • Monday, August 16th: Exclusive Streaming Premiere: To the Ends of the Earth (2019)
  • Tuesday, August 17th: Short + Feature: Bureaucratic for the People: Sticker (2019), Sorry We Missed You (2019)
  • Wednesday, August 18th: Women Filmmakers: Three by Lynn Hershman Leeson: Conceiving Ada (1997), Teknolust (2002), Strange Culture (2007)

The Shameless Plugs

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About the Author
Derrick Veurink has been consuming anything and everything movie-related since he was 5, and is an encyclopedic fount of random movie information. He is an avid physical media supporter, and sees nearly every major theatrical release. (Yes, even "Playmobil: The Movie".)
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