Coming Soon: January 15th, 2021

Welcome to this week’s edition of Back Lot 605’s Coming Soon column! We have our first truly stacked slate of 2021 releases this week, with a new Liam Neeson theatrical release, lots of streaming debuts, another hearty State Theatre lineup… and even a TV series! (Gasp!) Here’s what’s coming soon for the week of January 15th, 2021:

Featured Title: WandaVision

Typically in Coming Soon, I have a hard rule not to discuss TV series… because, after all, we are specifically a movie site! But, when our biggest current movie franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, decides to officially enter the world of television, what am I supposed to do? 🙂 Thus, we have the MCU’s first original series, as part of their aggressive plan to bring Marvel heroics into your home… with other series following in quick succession. (Once WandaVision completes its 9-episode run, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will begin in March… and that in turn will be followed by the first season of Loki in May.)

And yet, it’s kind of wild that this first MCU series – not to mention the first piece of MCU content, period, since Spider-Man: Far from Home in July 2019 – has such an offbeat premise! As the title hints, this series features Vision (Paul Bettany) and Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)… and this series takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Wanda and Vision are now living in the suburbs… but slowly, they realize that their life eerily resembles a number of classic TV sitcoms, and they become determined to find out why.

The series also stars Kathryn Hahn as their nosy neighbor, and Debra Jo Rupp and Fred Melamed as another neighbor couple. In addition, Kat Dennings and Randall Park will also be reprising their prior MCU roles. Finally, Teyonah Parris will make her debut as the grown-up version of Monica Rambeau (who we saw as a kid in 2019’s Captain Marvel)… and she will also eventually be appearing in Captain Marvel 2 as well. The series is directed by TV veteran Matt Shakman, who knows his way around sitcoms: He’s directed an incredible 43 episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia! (Premieres Friday, January 15th on Disney+ with a two-episode premiere; a new episode will debut each following Friday.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj9J2ecsSpo

New to Theaters

The Marksman

You may recall that Liam Neeson was one of the first movie stars to return to the big screen back in October, with his action flick Honest Thief. However, that failed to light up the box office, only making $13 million. But, because Neeson has to crank out as many star vehicles as possible, he’s back in theaters yet again! Neeson plays an ex-Marine sharpshooter turned Arizona rancher, who ends up taking a migrant boy to his family in Chicago after his mother dies… while being chased by a dangerous cartel.

This movie is directed by Robert Lorenz, who’s worked on Clint Eastwood’s movies since the mid-1990s… including producing such movies as Mystic River and American Sniper. This is his second time directing a movie, following 2012’s Clint sports drama Trouble with the Curve. Also starring Teresa Ruiz, Juan Pablo Raba, and Kathryn Winnick. (Premieres Friday, January 15th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 and XD, Century East at Dawley Farm, and West Mall 7 in Sioux Falls.)

https://youtu.be/CURfgGd3ACw

New to Streaming and VOD

Locked Down

Because Songbird wasn’t enough, here’s yet another star-studded movie that uses the COVID-19 pandemic as part of its plot… although this one fortunately appears to be a little bit lighter than Michael Bay’s post-apocalyptic fare. Instead, this is a romantic heist movie from director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith), and it stars Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor as a couple who decides to break up. However, they do so just as London’s lockdown starts… and as a result, they’re forced to be stuck at home together. In the process, they then hatch a plan to steal diamonds from a major London department store. Also starring Stephen Merchant, Mindy Kaling, Ben Kingsley and Ben Stiller. (Premieres Thursday, January 14th on HBO Max.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mepeWor5JPk

One Night in Miami…

Next, we have Amazon’s big contender for this awards season… which is also the directorial debut of actress Regina King. This is a dramatized version of a real-life February 1964 hotel-room meet-up between Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown, which happened on the night following the fight where Ali became the heavyweight champion of the world. Starring Eli Goree, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge, Lance Reddick, and Beau Bridges. (Premieres Friday, January 15th on Amazon Prime.)

https://youtu.be/ZprXMxKg–w

Outside the Wire

Earlier this week, Netflix announced their ambitious plan to release at least one new movie a week during 2021… and this week’s contribution to that plan is an action/sci-fi mash-up. Taking place in “the near future”, this follows a drone pilot (Damson Idris) who teams up with an android (Anthony Mackie) to retrieve a doomsday device from a militarized zone. Directed by Mikael Håfström (1408, Escape Plan). (Premieres Friday, January 15th on Netflix.)

https://youtu.be/u8ZsUivELbs

The Ultimate Playlist of Noise

Next up, we have a cutesy YA movie about an audio-obsessed high schooler (Keean Johnson) who learns that he must have brain surgery, which will cause him to never hear again. So, he goes on a road trip with an aspiring singer (Madeline Brewer) to record all his favorite noises before he goes under the knife. (Premieres Friday, January 15th on Hulu.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi6jogV6pLg

Horizon Line

Next, we have a thriller from the writers of the brilliant 10 Cloverfield Lane… and believe it or not, this is their first produced movie since that 2016 hit came out. Allison Williams and Alexander Dreymon star as a pair of exes who board a single-engine plane to head to a wedding. But when the plane’s pilot (Keith David!) dies of a heart attack mid-flight, the couple must try to land the plane, all while a storm is brewing. (Premieres Tuesday, January 12th on VOD services.)

https://youtu.be/MFgihXtiWbE

Hunted

Finally, we have this week’s Shudder premiere: a French/Belgian modern-day take on Little Red Riding Hood! A woman meets a seemingly charming guy in a bar… only to find out he’s a psychopath. (Premieres Thursday, January 14th on Shudder.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjSSbgg4Lwo

Returning to Theaters

The Emperor’s New Groove

Boom, baby! Disney’s latest theatrical re-release is a bit of a surprise… but I’m certainly not complaining! Yes, this is the under-appreciated 2000 animated comedy about a cocky emperor (voiced by David Spade) who’s turned into… wait for it… a llama! Also starring John Goodman, Eartha Kitt and Patrick Warburton as Kronk. (Showing Friday, January 15th through Thursday, January 28th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 and XD and Century East at Dawley Farm in Sioux Falls.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppYOZ4eFU2M

Showing at the State!

Sound of Metal

Leading this week’s batch of movies at the Sioux Falls State Theatre is the new Amazon movie, which has just been nominated for 3 Schmuckies, including Best Film! Riz Ahmed (a Schmuckies nominee for Best Actor) stars as a metal drummer who has to adjust to a new life when he rapidly loses his hearing. Olivia Cooke (also nominated for Best Supporting Actress) plays his girlfriend. Directed and co-written by Darius Marder, based on a story that he hatched with his The Place Beyond the Pines collaborator Derek Cianfrance. (Showing Friday, January 15th through Sunday, January 17th at the State Theatre.)

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

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Last month, the State brought in the Frank Capra/James Stewart classic It’s a Wonderful Life… and now, just in time for next week’s inauguration, they’re bringing in another beloved Capra/Stewart team-up. Stewart stars as Boy Rangers leader Jefferson Smith, who’s suddenly appointed as his state’s new senator… where he has to contend with all forms of political corruption. (Showing Thursday, January 14th, Saturday, January 16th, and Sunday, January 17th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXoF7w6IWAc

Kubo and the Two Strings

Finally, the State’s latest kids’ matinee is the visually stunning 2016 stop-motion animated movie from Laika! It follows Kubo, a young boy who embarks on a journey to retrieve his missing father’s armor, with the help of a snow monkey (voiced by Charlize Theron) and a human-sized beetle (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) Also featuring the voices of Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, and George Takei. Directed by Travis Knight, who went on to direct 2018’s Bumblebee after this. (Showing Saturday, January 16th and Sunday, January 17th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZefKaANfe0

New This Week to Blu-ray and 4K

  • Spell (2020)
  • Ammonite (2020)
  • Skylines (2020)
  • Lupin III: The First (2019)
  • Crossroads (1986 – first time on Blu-ray!)
  • Buried Alive (1990 – first time on Blu-ray!)
  • Stretch (2014 – first time on Blu-ray!)

Older Movies New to Streaming

Netflix:

  • Hook (1991) (premieres Friday, January 15th)
  • Penguins of Madagascar (2014) (premieres Friday, January 15th)
  • A Monster Calls (2016) (premieres Saturday, January 16th)
  • Radium Girls (2020) (premieres Saturday, January 16th)
  • Homefront (2013) (premieres Monday, January 18th)
  • Sightless (2020) (premieres Wednesday, January 20th)

Hulu:

  • Alone (2020) (premieres Thursday, January 14th)
  • The Secrets We Keep (2020) (premieres Thursday, January 14th)
  • No Escape (2015) (premieres Sunday, January 17th)
  • I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011) (premieres Monday, January 18th)

Amazon Prime:

  • Alone (2020) (premieres Monday, January 18th)

Shudder:

  • And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973) (premieres Monday, January 18th)
  • Asylum (1972) (premieres Monday, January 18th)
  • The Beast Must Die (1974) (premieres Monday, January 18th)
  • The Flesh and the Fiends (1960) (premieres Monday, January 18th)
  • The Wolf House (2018) (premieres Tuesday, January 19th)

Disney+:

  • Dr. Dolittle 3 (2006) (premieres Friday, January 15th)
  • Isle of Dogs (2018) (premieres Friday, January 15th)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (2018) (premieres Friday, January 15th)

HBO Max:

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) (premieres Friday, January 15th)
  • Poltergeist (1982) (premieres Friday, January 15th)
  • Stephen King’s It (1990) (premieres Friday, January 15th)
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) (premieres Saturday, January 16th)
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) (premieres Saturday, January 16th)

The Criterion Channel:

  • Thursday, January 14th: Three by Raj Kapoor – Awaara (1951), Shree 420 (1955), Sangam (1964)
  • Friday, January 15th: Double Feature: Poe Goes Pop – The Masque of the Red Death (1964), Spirits of the Dead (1968)
  • Saturday, January 16th: Saturday Matinee – The Cameraman (1928)
  • Sunday, January 17th: Japanese Noir – Stray Dog (1949), Black River (1956), I Am Waiting (1957), Rusty Knife (1958), Stakeout (1958), The Bad Sleep Well (1960), Intimidation (1960), Take Aim at the Police Van (1960), Zero Focus (1961), Pigs and Battleships (1962), High and Low (1963), Youth of the Beast (1963), Cruel Gun Story (1964), Pale Flower (1964), Branded to Kill (1967), A Colt Is My Passport (1967)
  • Monday, January 18th: Documentaries by Julien Temple – Oil City Confidential (2009), Habeneros (2017)
  • Tuesday, January 19th: Short + Feature: Dangerous Encounters – Zoo (2020), Code Unknown (2000)
  • Wednesday, January 20th: Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis – Crocodile Conspiracy (1986), Cycles (1989), A Powerful Thang (1991), Mother of the River (1995), Compensation (1999)

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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