Coming Soon: December 10th, 2021

Welcome to this week’s edition of Back Lot 605’s Coming Soon column! As the Christmas movie season begins to rev up, we’ve got the latest Spielberg movie to discuss, along with a handful of other offerings! Here’s what coming soon for the week of December 10th, 2021:

Featured Title: West Side Story

In his storied, 50-year-plus career, Steven Spielberg always had one desire: to make a full-blown movie musical. Sure, he had flirted with the genre before – most notably, the “Anything Goes” number that opens Temple of Doom – but this weekend, his dream comes true in the grandest way possible: with this splashy and energetic remake of the legendary Broadway musical from Jerome Robbins and the late Stephen Sondheim, which most people now know from the 1961 Natalie Wood film version, which won a slew of Oscars including Best Picture. And while there was definitely a mixed reaction to the announcement of Spielberg remaking such a beloved musical, the initial critical response coming out of press screenings has been nothing less than ecstatic… so I’m super-excited!

I’m sure you know the plot of West Side Story: a quasi-riff on Romeo + Juliet, juxtaposed against the rivalry between New York City gangs the Jets and the Sharks. Ansel Elgort stars as Tony, with YouTube newcomer Rachel Zegler in a star-making performance as Maria, Other cast members include Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Maddie Ziegler, Corey Stoll, Brian D’Arcy James… and Rita Moreno, who returns to West Side Story after winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the 1961 version! (Opens Friday, December 10th 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 5PM on Thursday, December 9th.)

Opening in Theaters

Don’t Look Up

Once again, our local theaters are getting a new Netflix movie on the big screen prior to its streaming debut… and this time, it’s one of Netflix’s buzziest awards titles: the latest seriocomic play from Adam McKay, who won an Oscar for his screenplay for 2015’s The Big Short, and then followed it up with the divisive 2018 Dick Cheney portrait Vice. This new movie steers McKay back into the more of the comedy world… but not on the level of his Will Ferrell comedies like Anchorman and Step Brothers, mind you. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play two astronomers who are recruited by the President (Meryl Streep) to go on a press tour to inform the nation of a comet that’s heading towards Earth. The all-star cast includes Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothee Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi), and Cate Blanchett! (Opens Friday, December 10th in Cinemark theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD in Sioux Falls.)

New to Streaming and VOD

The Unforgivable

Sandra Bullock is no stranger to the Netflix fold, as the star of one of the streaming service’s biggest movie hits, 2018’s Black Box! Now, she returns in a performance that’s geared towards the awards fold! She plays a woman newly released from prison, who tries to re-enter society and find the sister she left behind. Also starring Jon Bernthal, Vincent D’Onofrio, Viola Davis, and Rob Morgan. (Premieres Friday, December 10th on Netflix.)

Encounter

Last week, we covered the early theatrical release of Amazon’s new Riz Ahmed movie… and now we’re taking a look at its official streaming release! Ahmed (returning to the Amazon Prime fold after his Schmuckie-winning turn in last year’s Sound of Metal) plays a Marine who sets out on the road with his two young boys to protect them from an alien threat. Also starring Octavia Spencer and Rory Cochrane; directed by Michael Pearce (2017’s Beast). (Premieres Friday, December 10th on Amazon Prime Video.)

Back to the Outback

For the family, Netflix brings us this Australian computer-animated effort, about a group of animals who escape their Australian zoo to head, uhh, back to the Outback! With the voices of Isla Fisher, Eric Bana, Guy Pearce, Keith Urban, and Jacki Weaver. (Premieres Friday, December 10th on Netflix.)

Death Valley

Finally, we have this week’s Shudder premiere: two professionals recruited to retrieve a scientist from a secret facility are chased by an unknown creature! Written and directed by Matthew Ninaber, who’s probably best known for playing the title role in the instant cult classic Psycho Goremanand be sure to listen to our recent interview with Ninaber to promote this movie! (Premieres Thursday, December 9th on Shudder.)

Returning to Theaters

The Matrix

To get people excited for December 22nd’s already-highly-anticipated release of The Matrix Resurrections, the Wachowski sisters’ seminal 1999 sci-fi flick is returning to the big screen for a limited 2-day engagement! Winner of 4 Oscars, it stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano. (Showing Saturday, December 11th and Sunday, December 12th in theaters nationwide, including the Century East at Dawley Farm in Sioux Falls.)

On Golden Pond

For their last TCM-presented movie of 2021, Fathom Events brings us this 40th anniversary screening of the Oscar-winning inter-generational drama starring Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn (who won Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively), Jane Fonda, and Dabney Coleman. (Showing Sunday, December 12th and Wednesday, December 15th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD and the Century East at Dawley Farm in Sioux Falls.)

Showing at the State!

Gremlins

This week’s collection of holiday classics at the State begins with an offbeat pick, to be sure… but one that will please many! It’s director Joe Dante’s blockbuster 1984 horror-comedy about a teen (Zach Galligan) who receives a “Mogwai” named Gizmo (voiced by Howie Mandel) for Christmas. However, when the infamous three rules of a Mogwai are broken – don’t expose them to light; don’t get them wet; and don’t feed them after midnight! – a horde of dangerous creatures are unleashed upon his small town! Also starring Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, and Dick Miller. (Showing Wednesday, December 8th, Friday, December 10th, and Saturday, December 11th at the Sioux Falls State Theatre.)

White Christmas

Last December, the 1954 musical classic White Christmas had the esteemed honor of being the first movie to play to the public at the newly-reopened State Theatre. And this year, the holiday perennial is returning to light up the State’s screen once more! Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen. Directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood). (Showing Thursday, December 9th, Saturday, December 11th, and Sunday, December 12th at the Sioux Falls State Theatre.)

 

C’mon, C’mon

Next up is the State’s latest brand-new theatrical release: This poignant comedy-drama from writer/director Mike Mills (20th Century Women). Joaquin Phoenix stars as Johnny, a radio journalist who’s asked by his sister (Gaby Hoffmann) to take care of her son Jesse (Woody Norman). Before long, Johnny and Jesse end up traveling the country from Jesse’s home in L.A. to Johnny’s residence in New York. Also starring Scoot McNairy. (Showing Friday, December 10th, Saturday, December 11th, Sunday, December 12th, Thursday, December 16th, and Friday, December 17th at the Sioux Falls State Theatre.)

Dial Code Santa Claus

For the first time since Halloween, Late Night at the State returns! And this time, they’re bringing some Christmas cheer of a different kind… with the 1989 French cult classic about a child who defends his home on Christmas Eve when a maniacal killer in a Santa Claus suit shows up! You may be thinking, “Hmm… this sounds awfully like Home Alone!”… and there have always been longstanding rumors as to whether John Hughes was actually inspired by this movie or not! There’s only one way to decide for yourself, though… and that’s by hitting up the State for this one-time screening! (Showing one night only, Friday, December 10th at the Sioux Falls State Theatre.)

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Speaking of Home Alone… 🙂 Last December, when the State reopened, the original 1990 comedy hit Home Alone was part of the State’s opening weekend lineup. This year, to keep the momentum going, the State is bringing in its beloved 1992 sequel, in which Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself all alone in New York for Christmas, thanks to a mix-up at O’Hare Airport! There, he tries to outwit the Plaza Hotel staff (including Tim Curry and Rob Schneider), meets Central Park’s infamous Pigeon Lady (Brenda Fricker)… and once again faces off against his mortal enemies Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern)! Also starring Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, and Eddie Bracken. Directed by Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire), and written by John Hughes. (Showing Saturday, December 11th and Sunday, December 12th at the Sioux Falls State Theatre.)

New This Week to Blu-ray and 4K UHD

  • Ron’s Gone Wrong (2021)
  • Dear Evan Hansen (2021)
  • Cry Macho (2021)
  • Copshop (2021)
  • The Jesus Music (2021)
  • Werewolves Within (2021)
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) (new to 4K UHD!)
  • Krampus: Naughty Cut (2015) (new to 4K UHD, in an extended cut with material originally cut to receive a PG-13 rating!)
  • The Karate Kid Collection (1984-1989) (a box set with the first 3 Karate Kid movies… with the sequels making their 4K UHD debut!)
  • Hard Target (1993) (new to 4K UHD!)

Older Movies New to Streaming

Netflix:

  • Bathtubs Over Broadway (2018) (premieres Thursday, December 9th)
  • The Shack (2017) (premieres Friday, December 10th)
  • Fast Color (2018) (premieres Saturday, December 11th)
  • Eye in the Sky (2016) (premieres Monday, December 13th)
  • The Giver (2014) (premieres Wednesday, December 15th)

Hulu:

  • Rising Wolf (2021) (premieres Wednesday, December 15th)

Amazon Prime:

  • No additional movies on Amazon Prime this week. Sorry!

Shudder:

  • Hail to the Deadites (2020) (premieres Thursday, December 9th)
  • All the Colors of Giallo (2019) (premieres Monday, December 13th)
  • Orgasmo (1969) (premieres Monday, December 13th)
  • Knife of Ice (1972) (premieres Monday, December 13th)
  • So Sweet… So Perverse (1969) (premieres Monday, December 13th)
  • A Quiet Place to Kill (1970) (premieres Monday, December 13th)
  • All the Creatures Were Stirring (2018) (premieres Monday, December 13th)
  • Rose Plays Julie (2019) (premieres Tuesday, December 14th)
  • My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To (2020) (premieres Tuesday, December 14th)

Disney+:

  • Tron: Legacy (2010) (premieres Friday, December 10th)
  • Ron’s Gone Wrong (2021) (premieres Wednesday, December 15th)

HBO Max:

  • Ron’s Gone Wrong (2021) (premieres Wednesday, December 15th)

Peacock:

  • No additional movies on Peacock this week. Sorry!

Paramount+:

  • Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) (premieres Thursday, December 9th)

The Criterion Channel:

  • Thursday, December 9th: Observations on Film Art No. 45: CinemaScope in Contempt (1963)
  • Friday, December 10th: Double Feature: Kills for Thrills: Rope (1948), Swoon (1992)
  • Saturday, December 11th: Saturday Matinee: The Little Princess (1939)
  • Monday, December 13th: True Stories: The Hard Stop (2015)
  • Tuesday, December 14th: Short + Feature: Holiday Affairs: Gasman (1998), Tuesday, After Christmas (2010)
  • Wednesday, December 15th: Women Filmmakers: The Gold Diggers (1983)

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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