Coming Soon: December 11th, 2020

Welcome to this week’s edition of Back Lot 605’s Coming Soon column! We’ve got the usual batch of streaming and theatrical premieres for you to learn about… and on the eve of the State Theatre reopening, we’re also introducing a new section devoted to the theater’s weekly programming! Here’s what’s coming soon for the week of December 11th, 2020:

Featured Title: The Prom

Every year at around this time, there’s usually some big and splashy musical hitting theaters, with the objective of cashing in on awards attention. Last year, that movie was, umm, Cats… and the year before that, it was Mary Poppins Returns. This year, Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story was supposed to be that movie… but that’s been delayed to next December. Fortunately, Netflix is making up for its absence with this all-star musical, brought to the screen by producer/director Ryan Murphy. You probably know Murphy best as the TV-series wunderkind that brought us Glee, American Horror Story, and nip/tuck... but he’s also given us such movies as Running with Scissors, Eat Pray Love, and the HBO adaptation of The Normal Heart. Now that Murphy has an extensive production deal with Netflix, he’s using his clout to finally return to the director’s chair.

This movie is based on the hit musical that premiered on Broadway in 2018… and judging from the super-energetic trailer, this particular story is very much in Murphy’s Glee wheelhouse! It follows 4 Broadway actors (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, and Andrew Rannells) who travel to a small town in Indiana to support a lesbian student who was banned from taking her girlfriend to her high school prom. Keegan-Michael Key, Kerry Washington, Jo Ellen Perlman, and Ariana DeBose also star. (Premieres Friday, December 11th on Netflix.)

https://youtu.be/Zt9v3f35l5Y

Opening in Theaters

The Midnight Sky

So this may be hard to believe, but George Clooney has not acted in a movie in almost 5 years… his last role being the Jodie Foster-directed thriller Money Monster, which came out way back in May 2016. Since then, he’s stuck mostly to directing, helming 2017’s disastrous Suburbicon and a couple episodes of his Hulu Catch-22 miniseries. But now, Clooney has returned with a new post-apocalyptic movie that he is both starring in and directing!

Set in 2049, in the aftermath of a global catastrophe that leaves most of the Earth’s air contaminated, Clooney plays an Arctic scientist who tries to stop a team of astronauts (led by Felicity Jones) from returning to Earth. Of special note: This Netflix-produced movie is premiering in Cinemark theaters 2 weeks prior to its December 23rd streaming debut… thanks in part to a breakthrough agreement between Cinemark and Netflix that would have seemed impossible in the pre-COVID era. Also starring David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Demian Bichir, and Tiffany Boone. (Opening Thursday, December 10th in Cinemark theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 in Sioux Falls.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXUUqr3AFKs

Wild Mountain Thyme

Also in Sioux Falls theaters this week (and on VOD): the new film from John Patrick Stanley, the Oscar-winning writer of Moonstruck (and the non-Oscar-winning Congo), who also wrote and directed Doubt and Joe Versus the Volcano. This particular movie is a romance set in Ireland, as it follows a farmer (Emily Blunt) who tries to win her neighbor’s (Jamie Dornan) love, while her dad (Christopher Walken) plans to sell the family farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm). But I encourage you to watch the trailer below, if only to witness Walken attempt an Irish accent! It’s, uhh… something else. 🙂 (Premieres Friday, December 11th on VOD services and in select theaters, including the West Mall 7 in Sioux Falls.)

https://youtu.be/kadUgcIxODM

New to Streaming and VOD

Songbird

Do you want to watch a pandemic-themed thriller during the peak of our actual pandemic? Of course not! But unfortunately, producer Michael Bay thinks you do! His company Platinum Dunes rushed this movie into production this July, becoming the first movie to film in Los Angeles since the March shutdown. Set in a future where the highly-advanced “COVID-23” has led to a four-year (and counting) lockdown, the movie follows an immune courier (KJ Apa, aka Archie from Riverdale) who tries to save his girlfriend (Sofia Carson) from being sent to a quarantine camp. Also starring Demi Moore, Bradley Whitford, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Walter Hauser, Craig Robinson, and – as the villain, natch – Peter Stormare! (Premieres Friday, December 11th on VOD services.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgxXSfto6Vo

Let Them All Talk

For those of you keeping score, here’s the second Meryl Streep movie debuting this week… and she’s re-teaming with director Steven Soderbergh, following her controversial turn in Soderbergh’s The Laundromat. Meryl plays a famed author who goes on a cruise with her old friends (Candice Bergen and Dianne Wiest) and her nephew (Lucas Hedges), in order to find inspiration for her new book. (Premieres Thursday, December 11th on HBO Max.)

https://youtu.be/Q6DHWEii8eo

I’m Your Woman

Next up, Amazon Prime is bringing us this 1970s-set crime drama starring one of Amazon’s biggest stars, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s Rachel Brosnahan. She plays a woman who goes on the run with her baby when her husband’s latest business deal goes south. Also starring Frankie Faison, this is co-written and directed by Julia Hart, whose last movie was 2018’s unconventional superhero movie Fast Color. (Premieres Friday, December 11th on Amazon Prime Video.)

https://youtu.be/fAveuCPBYSw

Safety

It’s been a while since we’ve had a classic Disney Inspirational Sports Movie… but Disney+ is closing that gap, with this drama based on the true story of Ray-Ray McElrathbey, a Clemson football player who secretly raised his younger brother on campus after it became too dangerous for him to live at home. Starring Jay Reeves stars as Ray-Ray, as well as James Badge Dale as his coach. Directed by Reginald Hudson (House Party, Boomerang). (Premieres Friday, December 11th on Disney+.)

https://youtu.be/m0j8O2swT5o

The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee

And now, probably the most bizarre title we’ll cover this week: a comedy about the fictional modern-day life of Paul Hogan, best known as the star of the Crocodile Dundee trilogy. Now retired and living in L.A., he travels to England in order to be knighted by the Queen… only to have his reputation completely destroyed in the process. And if that wasn’t weird enough, check out the list of cameos in this movie: John Cleese, Olivia Newton-John, Chevy Chase, Wayne Knight, Luke Hemsworth, Jim Jeffries, and original Crocodile Dundee co-star Reginald VelJohnson! (Premieres Friday, December 11th on VOD services.)

https://youtu.be/FsebsYtyCTs

Returning to Theaters and Video

The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone

If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that director Francis Ford Coppola has recently been on a roll with re-editing his old movies. Last year alone, he gave us Apocalypse Now: Final Cut to achieve a runtime in-between his 1979 theatrical cut and his 2001 Apocalypse Now Redux… and he also gave us The Cotton Club Encore, which was intended to give the movie’s black performers more prominent screen time versus the original 1984 theatrical cut.

Now, Coppola has revisited his much-maligned threequel The Godfather Part III, which had an extremely rushed editing and post-production process in order to make its Christmas Day 1990 release date. To fix his issues with the movie’s pacing, he’s now shortened it down to just 158 minutes, with a new opening sequence and other edits, trims, and re-ordered sequences. It also carries the new title The Death of Michael Corleone, which was Coppola’s original title for this movie before Paramount executives mandated that it be called The Godfather Part III. (Premieres Tuesday, December 8th on VOD and Blu-ray.)

https://youtu.be/zi2MK9K1hxc

Fiddler on the Roof

Fathom Events continues to bring back at least one old movie to theaters each week! This weekend, they’re presenting the classic 1971 musical starring Topol, and directed by Norman Jewison, featuring such beloved songs as “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Tradition”. (Playing Sunday, December 13th and Monday, December 14th in select theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 and Century East in Sioux Falls.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_IBMrRZk-w

Showing at the State!

If you’ve been privy to our social media, or our recent podcast episodes, you probably know that we’re super-excited that the Sioux Falls State Theatre is finally re-opening this weekend after a 30-year absence! Since the State’s mission is to provide a refreshing alternative to the usual cinematic fare in town, we’re going to provide a weekly spotlight on the movies that the State will be showing each weekend. For more information, as well as to purchase tickets, be sure to check out the Sioux Falls State Theater web site! And now, onto their opening weekend lineup…

White Christmas

Just in time for the holidays, the State’s inaugural movie will be this 1954 Christmas musical classic! Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney (y’know, George’s mom!), and Vera-Ellen star. Of special note: this movie had its original Sioux Falls theatrical run at the State, back in February of 1955! Directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood). (Showing Friday, December 11th through Sunday, December 13th at the State Theatre; tickets are sold out as of press time.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K2C0gcEV3Q

Home Alone

White Christmas isn’t the only holiday classic on tap this weekend! For their 11:00 AM weekend matinees, the State is brining back the beloved 1990 smash-hit comedy that made Macaulay Culkin a child superstar! From director Chris Columbus and writer-producer John Hughes; also starring Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard and an uncredited John Candy. (Showing Saturday, December 12th and Sunday, December 13th at the State Theatre; tickets are sold out as of press time.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEDaVHmw7r4

Cinema Paradiso

Finally, what better way to welcome back the State than by showing cinema’s greatest love letter to movie theaters! That’s right, the Oscar-winning 1988 drama from writer/director Giuseppe Tornatore (with a tremendous and heart-tugging score by the late Ennio Morricone) is adorning the State’s silver screen this weekend. The 124-minute theatrical cut will be shown in its original Italian language (with English subtitles). (Showing Saturday, December 12th and Sunday, December 13th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stLekU5BnbI

New This Week to Blu-ray and 4K

  • Possessor: Uncut (2020) (also available on 4K!)
  • Smiley Face Killers (2020)
  • Total Recall (1990) (new to 4K Blu-ray!)
  • Collateral (2004) (new to 4K Blu-ray!)
  • Cinema Paradiso (1988) (new to 4K Blu-ray from Arrow!)
  • The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (1990)

Older Movies New to Streaming

Netflix:

  • The Professor and the Madman (2019) (premieres Tuesday, December 15th)
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013) (premieres Wednesday, December 16th)
  • Nocturnal Animals (2016) (premieres Wednesday, December 16th)

Hulu:

  • Out Stealing Horses (2019) (premieres Thursday, December 10th)
  • Rent-A-Pal (2020) (premieres Friday, December 11th)
  • Spy Cat (2020) (premieres Friday, December 11th)
  • Endless (2020) (premieres Saturday, December 12th)
  • Dirt Music (2019) (premieres Tuesday, December 15th)
  • Hitman: Agent 47 (2015) (premieres Tuesday, December 15th)

Amazon Prime:

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

Shudder:

  • A Good Woman is Hard to Find (2019) (premieres Monday, December 14th)
  • Let Us Prey (2014) (premieres Monday, December 14th)

Disney+:

  • Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) (premieres Friday, December 11th)

HBO Max:

  • The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (2020) (premieres Saturday, December 11th)

The Criterion Channel:

  • Thursday, December 10th: Observations on Film Art #40: Telling Details in Hunger (2008)
  • Friday, December 11th: Double Feature: Against the Grain – Days of Heaven (1996), The Reflecting Sky (2015)
  • Saturday, December 12th: Saturday Matinee – The Railway Children (1944)
  • Sunday, December 13th: Art-House America: The Doris Duke – The Sand Island Story (1981), Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2005), Stones (2009), Out of State (2017), August at Akiko’s (2018), Like a Mighty Wave (2019), Kapaemahu (2020), Standing Above the Clouds (2020)
  • Monday, December 14th: Documentares by Alan Berliner: The Family Album (1988), Intimate Stranger (1991), Nobody’s Business (1996), The Sweetest Sound (2001)
  • Tuesday, December 15th: Short + Feature: Bad Santas – Santa, the Fascist Years (2019), The Silent Partner (2014)
  • Wednesday, December 16th: Films by Marie Losier – The Passion of Joan Arc (2002), The Touch Retouched (2002), Bird, Bath and Beyond (2003), Electrocute Your Stars (2004), Eat My Makeup! (2005), The Ontological Cowboy (2005), Flying Saucey! (2006), Manuelle Labor (2007), Tony Conrad, DreaMinimalist (2008), Papal Broken-Dance (2009), Cet Air La (2010), The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye (2011), Buyn, objet trouvĂ© (2012), Alan Vega: Just a Million Dreams (2013), Bim, Bam, Boom, Las Luchas Morenas (2014), Draw Me Now (2018), Cassandro, the Exotico! (2018)

The Shameless Plugs

Check out the Back Lot 605 Podcast Network on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, and YouTube. Follow us on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check out our movie friends Fat Dude Digs Flicks and Somewhat Random Movie Collection for some awesome reviews and movie insights! Check out every episode of the Back Lot 605 Podcast and the Killer Countdown!

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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