Coming Soon: February 5th, 2021

Welcome to this week’s edition of Back Lot 605’s Coming Soon column! With the Super Bowl on many people’s minds this weekend, the slate of new movies is fairly sparse. (But don’t worry… next week’s article is jam-packed, with at least a dozen new movies on tap so far!) Here’s what’s coming soon for the week of February 5th, 2021:

Featured Title: Malcolm & Marie

Netflix’s new movie for this weekend is the new movie from writer/director Sam Levinson (Assassination Nation, HBO’s Euphoria), which he wrote in 6 days during lockdown and filmed in secret in June… one of a myriad of pandemic projects that he’s knocked out in quick succession, which also includes two special scaled-down episodes of Euphoria. The movie, filmed on striking black-and-white film, follows one long night at the home of a filmmaker (John David Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya) as they return from his latest film’s premiere. While they wait for reviews of his movie to come in, the couple’s conversations ultimately lead to their relationship being tested. (Premieres Friday, February 5th on Netflix.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGZmwsK58M8

New to Streaming and VOD

Earwig and the Witch

For fans of animation, Studio Ghibli is finally returning this weekend, with their first new movie in 4 years! However, this is also their first film that is entirely CGI-animated… and Ghibli fans have been fairly split in terms of whether or not they embrace this stylistic experiment for the studio. Also of note is that this movie is basically going straight to HBO Max, as per Studio Ghibli’s deal with the streaming service… although it will also get a 5-day Fathom Events theatrical run, to cash in on audiences who have loved attending Fathom’s Ghibli Fest presentations in past years.

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro (and animated predominantly by freelancers, and not Studio Ghibli’s regular animation team), this follows a 10-year-old orphaned girl in 1990s England, who learns that her mom was actually a witch. As is par for the course with Ghibli movies, this will be released in both its original Japanese soundtrack and in an English dub… and the voice cast for the English version includes Richard E. Grant, Kacey Musgraves and Dan Stevens. (Premieres Friday, February 5th on HBO Max; also showing in theaters via Fathom Events, starting Wednesday, February 3rd.)

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

Bliss

So, what if The Matrix was an Owen Wilson vehicle? That’s sort of the impression that I get from this trailer, which shows a family man (Owen Wilson) meeting a mysterious woman (Salma Hayek) who tells him he’s living in an elaborate simulation. And if that weren’t enough, Bill Nye the Science Guy – hot off of his surprise appearance in Mank, of all things! – shows up to provide what appears to be some expository dialogue. Written and directed by Mike Cahill (Another Earth, I Origins) (Premieres Friday, February 5th on Amazon Prime Video.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHtPm8v-yNw

Falling

A lot of notable actors and creatives seem to be making their directorial debuts these days… and you’ll read about a number of those in next week’s edition of Coming Soon. This week, we have one such high-profile directing newbie: Viggo Mortensen! He plays a California man who brings his father (Lance Henriksen!!!), a farmer in the early stages of dementia, to L.A. to live with him. The film is inspired by Mortensen’s parents, who both suffered from dementia as well… and not only did Viggo write the script for this film, but he also wrote the movie’s original score! Also making brief appearances in this film are Laura Linney and Viggo’s frequent collaborator David Cronenberg. (He’s playing… wait for it… a proctologist.) 🙂 (Premieres Friday, February 5th on VOD services.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvE0ReOrPn0

A Nightmare Wakes

Finally, we have this week’s Shudder premiere: a Gothic horror-tinged portrayal of how Mary Shelley (Alex Wilton Regan) wrote Frankenstein, while embarking in an affair with the then-married Percy Shelley (Giullian Yao Gioiello). Written and directed by Nora Unkel, in her feature film debut. (Premieres Thursday, February 4th on Shudder.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV8B0egYHAE

Showing at the State!

The Thing

Of this week’s four feature films showing at the State, the undisputed highlight – at least within the Back Lot group – is a one-night-only late-night Saturday showing of John Carpenter’s 1982 horror milestone! Kurt Russell stars as MacReady, one of a team of Antarctic researchers who takes on a deadly shape-shifting alien… triggering doubts among the group as to whether one of them is actually the titular thing. This is an official event of this weekend’s Sioux Falls Winter Carnival… and it will certainly get you in the winter spirit! Also starring Keith David, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, and Richard Dysart. (Showing Saturday, February 6th at the State Theatre.)

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

Dirty Dancing

The 1987 romance starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, featuring the Oscar-winning song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, is the anchor movie at the State this weekend, with three showings between Friday and Sunday. Relive the magic as Baby (Grey) and her family vacation at a Catskills resort in the early 1960s… where she meets the resort’s sexy dance instructor, Johnny (Swayze). Also starring Cynthia Rhodes, Jerry Orbach, and Wayne Knight; directed by Emile Ardolino (Sister Act, Three Men and a Little Lady). (Showing Friday, February 5th, Saturday, February 6th, and Sunday, February 7th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIcmQNy9FsM

MLK/FBI

The State is also bringing in its first official 2021 movie this weekend: an IFC documentary about how our government surveilled and harassed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (The FBI will also factor similarly into next weekend’s big theatrical/HBO Max release, Judas and the Black Messiah.) Directed by Sam Pollard. (Showing Thursday, February 4th and Saturday, February 6th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvfxzht9KUA

Cool Runnings

Finally, as part of Midco’s recurring family matinee series, the State is offering another tie-in to both the Winter Carnival and Black History Month. This is the beloved 1993 Disney comedy based on the true story of the Jamaican bobsledding team that competed in the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Leon, Doug E. Doug, Malik Yoba, and Rawle D. Lewis play the bobsledders, and John Candy plays their disgraced coach. Directed by Jon Turtletaub (National Treasure 1 & 2, While You Were Sleeping, Phenomenon). (Showing Saturday, February 6th and Sunday, February 7h at the State Theatre.)

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

New This Week to Blu-ray and 4K

  • Let Him Go (2020)
  • Host (2020)
  • Wild Mountain Thyme (2020)
  • Do the Right Thing (1989 – now available on 4K!)

Older Movies New to Streaming

Netflix:

  • War Dogs (2016) (premieres Monday, February 8th)
  • The World We Make (2019) (premieres Wednesday, February 10th)

Hulu:

  • 12 Hour Shift (2020) (premieres Friday, February 5th)
  • Antebellum (2020) (premieres Friday, February 5th)

Amazon Prime:

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

Shudder:

  • Night Tide (1977) (premieres Monday, February 8th)
  • Whispering Corridors (1998) (premieres Monday, February 8th)
  • Memento Mori (1999) (premieres Monday, February 8th)
  • Wishing Stairs (2003) (premieres Monday, February 8th)
  • Carmilla (2019) (premieres Tuesday, February 9th)
  • The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2013) (premieres Tuesday, February 9th)

Disney+:

  • No new movies on Disney+ this week. Sorry!

HBO Max:

  • Aquaman (2018) (premieres Friday, February 5th)
  • Irresistible (2020) (premieres Saturday, February 6th)
  • We Bare Bears: The Movie (2020) (premieres Sunday, February 7th)

The Criterion Channel:

  • Thursday, February 4th: Directed by Gordon Parks – The Learning Tree (1969), Leadbelly (1976), Solomon Northup’s Odyssey (1984), Moments Without Proper Names (1987)
  • Friday, February 5th: Double Feature: Come On Pilgrim – A Canterbury Tale (1944), The Ornithologist (2016)
  • Saturday, February 6th: Saturday Matinee – The Last Unicorn (1982)
  • Sunday, February 7th: Marlene Dietrich & Josef von Sternberg – The Blue Angel (1930), Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934), The Devil is a Woman (1935)
  • Monday, February 8th: Three Starring Lana Turner – The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), A Life of Her Own (1950), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
  • Tuesday, February 9th: Short + Feature: Fellini of the Spirits – The Rabbit Hunters (2020), 8 1/2 (1963)
  • Wednesday, February 10th: Stories We Tell (2012)

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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