Coming Soon: March 5th, 2021

Welcome to this week’s edition of Back Lot 605’s Coming Soon column! This weekend is jam-packed with new movies, from a long-awaited comedy sequel to the newest Disney animated movie, and much, much more! Here’s what’s coming soon for the week of March 5th, 2021:

Featured Title: Coming 2 America

Growing up, I vividly remember that the original 1988 comedy Coming to America was a frequent presence on basic cable… a presence that it still maintains to this day. Now, building on the critical success of his 2019 comeback movie My Name is Dolemite, Eddie Murphy is continuing his career momentum by making a sequel, which was originally set to open in theaters this past December, before Paramount sold the movie to Amazon for an incredible $125 million!

As this movie begins, Murphy’s Prince Akeem is preparing to become King of Zamunda… but he then learns that he has a grown son (Jermaine Fowler) in Queens, stemming from his original trip to New York in the first film. So, Akeem and his loyal sidekick Semmi (Arsenio Hall) return to America to bring this son to Zamunda and groom him as the next prince. The cast includes a number of returnees from the 1988 movie, including James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, and John Amos… as well as all your favorite Eddie and Arsenio side characters! Also joining the cast this time around: Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, and Wesley Snipes. Taking over for John Landis as director is Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan), who also helmed the aforementioned Dolemite is My Name. (Premieres Friday, March 5th on Amazon Prime Video.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY8gUtyeAKE

New to Theaters

Raya and the Last Dragon

During the past pandemic year, we’ve had two high-profile animated movies from Pixar, in Onward and Soul… but Walt Disney Animation Studios has remained dormant. Until now, that is! ūüôā Even more intriguingly, this is Disney’s latest attempt at testing their Disney+ Premier Access program, where families can buy the movie to watch at home on Day 1 for $30. However, unlike last year’s Mulan remake, which was only available via Disney+, Raya will be simultaneously released in theaters nationwide… although some theater chains are refusing to show the movie due to Disney not giving theaters more favorable financial terms. Chief among those holdouts is Cinemark… which is why, in a rare occurrence, this new Disney movie will not be playing in any Sioux Falls theaters.

This original animated feature is set in a world where humans and dragons once lived in peace and harmony hundreds of years ago… until the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humans from a great evil. But when that great evil returns, a warrior named Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) sets out to find the last surviving dragon (voiced by¬†Awkwafina) to help her defeat it. Other voices include Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, and the new patron saint of Disney animation… Alan Tudyk! Co-directed by Don Hall (Big Hero 6) and Carlos L√≥pez Estrada (Blindspotting). (Opening Friday, March 5th in theaters nationwide, and also available for purchase that same day on Disney+ via Premier Access.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VIZ89FEjYI

Chaos Walking

After what seems like forever, this infamously troubled YA-novel adaptation from director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow) is finally coming out this weekend. To recap this movie’s history: It was originally filmed way back in 2017… but after seeing an initial cut, Lionsgate brass called the original version ‚Äúunreleasable‚ÄĚ. To fix this, Lionsgate recruited Fede Alvarez (2013’s Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe) to helm the reshoots. But those reshoots couldn’t happen until 2019, since its two young stars – Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland – were busy filming The Rise of Skywalker and Far from Home, respectively.

Ridley plays a mysterious girl who crash-lands on a planet where all women have disappeared. If that weren’t enough, the men living here have their thoughts audible and visible to everyone at all times. Ridley teams up with a young man (Holland) to stay alive in this dangerous world. The stacked supporting cast includes Mads Mikkelsen, Demian Bichir, Cynthia¬†Erivo, David¬†Oyelewo, Nick Jonas, and – yes, you’re reading this correctly – Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. (Opening Friday, March 5th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD and the Century East at Dawley Farm in Sioux Falls.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRf4ZgzHoVw

Boogie

Rounding out this weekend’s theatrical slate is the feature film writing/directing debut of Eddie Huang. (Huang is best known for writing the autobiography Fresh Off the Boat, which was subsequently adapted into the long-running ABC family sitcom.) This movie follows Albert “Boogie” Chin (Taylor Takahashi), a Chinese-American basketball phenom from Queens who wants to play in the NBA. Also starring Taylor Paige, Bashar “Pop Smoke” Jackson, Mike Moh (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood‘s Bruce Lee) and Domenick Lombardozzi. (Opening Friday, March 5th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD in Sioux Falls.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEpSdb_f1pE

New to Streaming and VOD

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

Now, you may be thinking, “Hey, didn’t this SpongeBob movie come out already?” Yes… but not in America! This was originally intended to be the third theatrical SpongeBob movie, which was supposed to debut in May 2020. But when COVID struck, it was pulled from the schedule… and when theaters reopened in August, it ended up opening exclusively in Canadian theaters. But here in the States, this movie has now become part of the Day One launch of Paramount+ (formerly known as CBS All Access)… although it will be available on premium VOD as well at the same time.

The plot is simple: Gary disappears… and SpongeBob and Patrick hit the road to find him! But it does have a number of splashy cameos, which you can see in the trailer below… including Keanu Reeves, Danny Trejo,¬†Awkwafina, and Tiffany Haddish. (Premieres Thursday, March 4th on Paramount+ and on VOD services.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2cowVH03Xo

Moxie

Two years ago, Netflix brought us Wine Country, the feature directorial debut of Amy Poehler… and now her sophomore helming effort is also premiering on the streaming service! It follows a teenage girl (Hadley Robinson) who, inspired by her mom’s (Poehler) rebellious youth, begins a movement to take down her high school’s sexist and misogynistic ways. Also starring Josephine Langford, Josie Totah, Nico Hiraga, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Ike¬†Barinholtz, Clark Gregg, and Marcia Gay Harden. (Premieres Wednesday, March 3rd on Netflix.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf34qI1hjKU

Boss Level

Guess what? We’ve got another time-loop movie to talk about! But unlike the quirky romances of Palm Springs and The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, or the horror-tinged tone of the Happy Death Day flicks, this week’s movie is all about ridiculously over-the-top action! Frank Grillo stars as an ex-Special Forces officer who’s stuck reliving the day he dies over and over again. Also starring Mel Gibson (once again playing a Big Bad), Naomi Watts, Michelle Yeoh, Ken Jeong, and Will Sasso; directed and co-written by Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin’ Aces, The Grey). (Premieres Friday, March 5th on Hulu.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGHD0bqjZWQ

The Mauritanian

Since this movie didn’t open in South Dakota theaters last month, I’ve decided to cover its VOD release… especially since Jodie Foster has just won a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for this movie! Foster and Shailene Woodley play a defense attorney and her assistant, respectively. They take on the uphill task of defending Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim), a man imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay who was considered to be one of the architects of 9/11. An awkwardly-accented Benedict Cumberbatch plays the military prosecutor on the other side of the case. Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play). (Premieres Tuesday, March 2nd on VOD services.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tmxxzZXLEM

Pixie

This Irish crime story is about a young woman (Olivia Cooke) who avenges her mom’s death by staging a heist with a couple of partners, while avoiding a gang of priests and nuns (led by Alec Baldwin). Also starring Ben Hardy, Daryl McCormack, and Colin Meaney; directed by Barnaby Thompson (the St. Trinian’s movies). (Premieres Friday, March 5th on VOD services.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA5jLSK4vi0

The World to Come

Here’s another movie that avoided local theaters last month, but is now hitting VOD. This 19th-century period-piece romance, set in the American Northeast, chronicles the growing attraction between a farmer’s wife (Katherine Waterston) and her new neighbor (Vanessa Kirby). Also starring Casey Affleck and Christopher Abbott; directed by Mona¬†Fastvold. (Premieres Tuesday, March 2nd on VOD services.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhQu4tcHLeU

Lucky

Finally, we have this week’s Shudder premiere: a self-help book author (Brea Grant, who also wrote this movie‚Äôs screenplay) is targeted every night by a mysterious man with murderous intentions. Directed by Natasha Kermani. (Premieres Thursday, March 4th on Shudder.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jqt5AwfSnzk

Showing at the State!

Vertigo

This week, the State is beginning its much-buzzed-about Alfred Hitchcock series, with a different Hitch classic playing every Thursday night! Kicking things off is arguably the Master of Suspense’s masterpiece: the 1958 classic about a former police detective (James Stewart) with the titular fear of heights, who becomes obsessed with a mystery woman (Kim Novak). This movie will be presented in its new 4K digital restoration (which also came out on 4K Blu-ray last September), so don’t pass this up! (Showing Thursday, March 4th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5jvQwwHQNY

The Wizard of Oz

Last weekend, you’ll recall, the State presented 1978’s The Wiz as its family matinee. This weekend, they’re staying in that vein by bringing in the beloved 1939 version of that tale! Judy Garland stars as Dorothy Gale, a Kansas farm girl who’s whisked away in a tornado to the magical land of Oz. Also starring Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Jack Haley as the Tin Man, and Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West. (Showing Friday, March 5th through Sunday, March 7th at the State Theatre.)

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

Singin’ in the Rain

Also coming this weekend: The show-stopping 1952 musical set during Hollywood’s transition from silent films to sound! The movie features such beloved songs as “Make ‘Em Laugh”, “Good Morning”, and the iconic title song. Starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds; co-directed by Stanley Donen (Charade; Two for the Road) and Kelly. (Showing Saturday, March 6th and Sunday, March 7th at the State Theatre.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_EVHeNEIJY

Sixteen Candles

Finally, the State continues its successful run of John Hughes comedies (which has also included The Breakfast Club and Home Alone). by bringing in the 1984 hit starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall! (Showing Saturday, March 6th and Sunday, March 7th at the State Theatre.)

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

New This Week to Blu-ray and 4K

  • Monster Hunter (2020)
  • Fatale (2020)
  • Half Brothers (2020)
  • All My Life (2020)
  • Zappa (2020)

Older Movies New to Streaming

Netflix:

  • No additional movies on Netflix this week. Sorry!

Hulu:

  • Ammonite (2020) (premieres Friday, March 5th)
  • Beirut (2018) (premieres Friday, March 5th)
  • Iron Mask (2019) (premieres Friday, March 5th)
  • Storks (2016) (premieres Saturday, March 6th)
  • Triggered (2020) (premieres Saturday, March 6th)
  • Proxima (2019) (premieres Sunday, March 7th)

Amazon Prime:

  • Still Alice (2015) (premieres Wednesday, March 3rd)
  • The Switch (2010) (premieres Wednesday, March 3rd)
  • Jack and Jill (2011) (premieres Wednesday, March 10th)

Shudder:

  • Sword of God (2018) (premieres Monday, March 8th)
  • Edge of the Axe (1998) (premieres Monday, March 8th)
  • Vampyres (1974) (premieres Monday, March 8th)
  • Prey (2019) (premieres Tuesday, March 9th)
  • Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker (1981) (premieres Tuesday, March 9th)

Disney+:

  • Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2006) (premieres Friday, March 5th)

HBO Max (all movies premiering Monday, March 1st, except where noted):

  • Rocky (1976) (premieres Saturday, March 6th)
  • Rocky II (1979) (premieres Saturday, March 6th)
  • Rocky III (1982) (premieres Saturday, March 6th)
  • Rocky IV (1985) (premieres Saturday, March 6th)
  • Rocky V (1990) (premieres Saturday, March 6th)
  • Rocky Balboa (2006) (premieres Saturday, March 6th)

The Criterion Channel:

  • Thursday, March 4th: Criterion Collection Edition #823 – The In-Laws (1979)
  • Thursday, March 4th: Criterion Collection Edition #976 – Let the Sunshine In (2017)
  • Friday, March 5th: Double Feature: Boys to Men – The Last Tree (2019), The 400 Blows (1959)
  • Saturday, March 6th: Saturday Matinee – The Steamroller and the Violin (1961)
  • Sunday, March 7th: Black Westerns – Sergeant Rutledge (1960), Duel at Diablo (1966), The Learning Tree (1969), El Condor (1970), Skin Game (1971), Black Rodeo (1972), Buck and the Preacher (1972), The Legend of Black Charley (1972), Thomasine and Bushrod (1974), Posse (1993), Buffalo Soldiers (1997), Rosewood (1997)
  • Monday, March 8th: Women Make Film (2018)
  • Tuesday, March 9th: Short + Feature: Life of a Salesman – Man Rots from the Head (2016), Salesman (1969)
  • Wednesday, March 10th: Boat People (1982)

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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