Welcome to this week’s special Christmas edition of Back Lot 605’s Coming Soon column! This week, the studios are releasing a half-dozen new nationwide releases into theaters… including huge sequels, awards contenders and family films! And not to be outdone, Netflix is dropping its most star-studded movie of the year as well! Here’s what coming soon for the week of December 24th, 2021:
Featured Title: The Matrix Resurrections
It may be hard to believe, but we’re finally returning to the world of the Matrix, for the first time since 2003’s one-two punch of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions! Warner Bros. has been trying to revive the Wachowski sisters’ breakout franchise for many years now… and for this fourquel, only Lana Wachowski is returning, where she’s serving as director and co-writer. Also returning are Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss… although it seems like they sort of aren’t playing Neo and Trinity? They’re joined by new cast members such as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (who seems to be playing a young version of Morpheus?), Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, and – from the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer days – Christina Ricci! Of note: This is the final movie in Warner Bros.’ ambitious year-long HBO Max dual release plan… so enjoy it while you can! (Opens Wednesday, December 22nd in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD, the Century East at Dawley Farm, and the West Mall 7 in Sioux Falls, and also streaming on HBO Max.)
Opening in Theaters
The King’s Man
For those keeping score, the very first trailer for The King’s Man was released online on July 15th, 2019… and in the nearly two-and-a-half-years since, we’ve been subjected to who-knows-how-many other trailers, TV spots, and other marketing videos for this movie… so you’re forgiven if you thought that this movie had already come out! 🙂 But yes, the long-delayed prequel to the Kingsman franchise is finally here, showing the organization’s origins during World War I. Matthew Vaughn returns to the franchise as director and co-writer… and instead of Colin Firth filling our “dapper English gentleman” quota, we have Ralph Fiennes this time around, which I’m super-excited for! Other cast members include Harris Dickinson, Gemma Arterton, Djimon Hounsou, Rhys Ifans (as Rasputin!), Tom Hollander (in three roles!), and Charles Dance. (Opens Wednesday, December 22nd in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD and the Century East at Dawley Farm in Sioux Falls, with preview showings beginning at 4PM on Tuesday, December 21st.)
It wouldn’t be a Christmas movie season without a huge tentpole animated movie for the entire family… and this year, it’s the sequel to Illumination’s 2016 animated jukebox karaoke musical! Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) and his singers try to mount a stage extravaganza in a Las-Vegash-ish entertainment mecca called Redshore City… but they have to convince a reclusive rock star lion (Bono) to participate in their show! Other returning cast members include Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Nick Kroll, Taron Egerton, and Tori Kelly… and they’re joined by Bobby Cannavale, Pharrell Williams, Letitia Wright, Eric Andre and Chelsea Peretti. Garth Jennings (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Son of Rambow) returns as director. (Opens Wednesday, December 22nd in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD, the Century East at Dawley Farm, and the West Mall 7 in Sioux Falls.)
Breathe easily, Sioux Falls, because the most anticipated Movie Buff Movie of the season will indeed be in town this Christmas weekend: The new film from Paul Thomas Anderson, who returns to the 1970s San Fernando Valley local of his breakout 1997 hit Boogie Nights. This romantic dramedy stars Cooper Hoffman (the son of frequent PTA collaborator Philip Seymour Hoffman) as a child actor who begins a friendship with a photographer’s assistant (Alana Haim, of the rock band Haim). Other cast members include Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Benny Safdie, and Bradley Cooper as infamous producer Jon Peters! (Opens Saturday, December 25th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD in Sioux Falls, with preview showings beginning at 4PM on Friday, December 24th.)
Zachary Levi is Kurt Warner, in the second faith-based football movie from The Erwin Brothers (I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe) following 2015’s Woodlawn. Watch as Kurt Warner makes the improbable journey from HyVee stocker to Super Bowl MVP! (For more details, be sure to read Casey’s full-length advance review of the movie!) Also starring Anna Paquin, Dennis Quaid, Adam Baldwin, and Bruce McGill. (Opens Saturday, December 25th 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 2PM on Friday, December 24th.)
A Journal for Jordan
The last wide theatrical release of the weekend is Denzel Washington’s latest trip to the director’s chair… his first since 2016’s Fences. Based on a true story, it follows First Sgt. Charles Monroe King (Michel B. Jordan), who fell in love with journalist Dana Canedy (Chanté Adams) and began penning a journal of life lessons for their newborn son, which he wrote in until he was killed by a bomb in Iraq in 2006. (Opens Saturday, December 25th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD and the Century East at Dawley Farm in Sioux Falls, with preview showings beginning at 2PM on Friday, December 24th.)
New to Streaming and VOD
Don’t Look Up
There’s only one new streaming movie to discuss this week, but it’s a big one: A star-studded end-of-the-world satire from director/co-writer Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers), continuing his seriocomic run of movies that includes The Big Short (which he won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for!) and Vice. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play two astronomers who are recruited by the President (Meryl Streep) to go on a nationwide press tour to inform America of a comet that’s going to collide with Earth in six months! The all-star cast includes Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothee Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, and Cate Blanchett. (Premieres Friday, December 24th on Netflix.)
Showing at the State!
The Sound of Music
The hills are alive at the State this holiday weekend, as they’re screening an incredible 4K restoration of one of the most beloved movie musicals of all time! Julie Andrews stars as Maria, who is hired by Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) to become the governess for his seven children. This 1965 film won 5 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director (Robert Wise)! (Showing Saturday, December 25th, Sunday, December 26th, and Tuesday, December 28th at the Sioux Falls State Theatre.)
The French Dispatch
Back in May, the State brought a five-week Wes Anderson director’s series to town, showing such awesome movies as The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom to Anderson fans in the Sioux Falls area. As a special holiday treat, they’re bringing back Anderson’s latest flick to the big screen, for those who missed it during its brief November run at the Century 14! This anthology film about the final issue of a New Yorker-esque publication stars Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Benicio del Toro, Lea Seydoux, Adrien Brody, Frances McDormand, Timothee Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, and many, many more! (Showing Saturday, December 25th, Sunday, December 26th, and Monday, December 27th at the Sioux Falls State Theatre.)
For some vintage comedy fun, the State is screening their first movie starring the Marx Brothers… which first played at the State back in December of 1933! Come see Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo in the hilarious rivalry between the countries of Freedonia and Sylvania… also presented in 4K! Also starring Margaret Dumont; directed by Leo McCarey (Going My Way, The Bells of St. Mary’s, An Affair to Remember). (Showing Sunday, December 26th and Monday, December 27th at the Sioux Falls State Theatre.)
Last Christmas, the State screened their first Billy Wilder comedy, Some Like It Hot… and this holiday season, they’re continuing the trend by showing this 1960 romantic comedy about a insurance clerk (Jack Lemmon) who lets his superiors use his apartment for their affairs… while falling in love with his office’s elevator operator (Shirley Maclaine), who’s having an affair with Lemmon’s boss (Fred MacMurray). Like The Sound of Music, this won 5 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay! (Showing Tuesday, December 28th, Wednesday, December 29th, and Saturday, January 1st at the Sioux Falls State Theatre.)
The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales
Finally, the State offers this 2017 animated movie (from the makers of 2012’s Ernest & Celestine), which is a comic anthology with a trio of tales involving farm animals. While this movie originates from France, this presentation will be the English-dubbed version, which features a variety of British comedians. (Showing Wednesday, December 29th, Thursday, December 30th, and Friday, December 31st at the Sioux Falls State Theatre.)
New This Week to Blu-ray and 4K UHD
- No Time to Die (2021)
- The Many Saints of Newark (2021)
- Blue Bayou (2021)
- Demon Slayer: The Movie (2021)
Older Movies New to Streaming
- No additional movies on Netflix this week. Sorry!
- No additional movies on Hulu this week. Sorry!
- No additional movies on Amazon Prime this week. Sorry!
- No additional movies on Shudder this week. Sorry!
- Encanto (2021) (premieres Friday, December 24th)
- The Suicide Squad (2021) (premieres Thursday, December 23rd)
- Monster Hunt 2 (2018) (premieres Sunday, December 26th)
- No additional movies on Paramount+ this week. Sorry!
The Criterion Channel:
- Friday, December 24th: Double Feature: Seeing Double: Vertigo (1958), Phoenix (2014)
- Saturday, December 25th: Saturday Matinee: Scrooge (1970)
- Monday, December 27th: True Stories: The Beaches of Agnès (2008)
- Tuesday, December 28th: Short Film Programs: Stop-Motion Short Films by Niki Lindroth von Bahr (4 shorts)
- Wednesday, December 29th: Women Filmmakers: High Art (1998)
The Shameless Plugs
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