Cinephiles are going with the flow this holiday movie season, tracking ever changing release dates for what would normally be December blockbusters at the local multiplex. Look for these upcoming flicks intended for silver screen releases
BY LAURA D.C. KOLNOSKI
THE LITTLE THINGS
A jaded deputy sheri with a dark secret and a hotshot L.A. detective (Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, respectively), track a serial killer in this crime thriller written and directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side). Deke (Washington) is known for his keen observance of “the little things” as well as bending the rules, posing a dilemma for his new partner. Fellow Academy Award winner Jared Leto also stars, speculated as the suspected killer.
NEWS OF THE WORLD
DECEMBER 25 (UNRATED)
Get ready for a rollercoaster of emotions, danger, and thrills in post-Civil War America. In his first Western (portraying Woody in the Toy Story films doesn’t count), Tom Hanks is Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a veteran turned traveling storyteller. Following a chance encounter, he endeavors to bring a young girl captured six years earlier by Native Americans to her remaining relatives. Wilderness, nature, and bad guys stand between them and their goal.
FEBRUARY 5 (UNRATED)
In this modern live action musical version of the classic fairytale, Camila Cabello appears in her first film role as Cinderella, enchanted by interesting casting choice Billy Porter as her Fairy Godmother. Minnie Driver is Queen Beatrice, comedians John Mulaney and James Corden are Footmen/Mice, and Pierce Brosnan is rightly enthroned as the King, father to “Prince Charming” Nicholas Galitzine, a British actor best known for his role in the Netflix series Chambers.
JANUARY 22 (UNRATED)
This latest take on our potentially dystopian future, based on a popular book series by Patrick Ness, takes place on a hopeful planet called “New World” which experiences a strange, threatening sensory virus called “Noise.” Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) joins Viola Eade (Daisy Ridley) on a sci-fi action/adventure as they attempt to seek solutions while discovering the secrets of uncharted worlds and the truth about their pasts. The cast of the film, shot mostly in Quebec, also features Nick Jonas, Mads Mikkelsen, David Oyelowo, and Cynthia Erivo.
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON
MARCH 12 (UNRATED)
Ample buzz surrounds this animated flick, an action/ adventure tale with a fierce female warrior as the protagonist, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars). The action takes place in the fantasy world of Kumandra where humans and dragons coexisted in harmony until an evil force caused the dragons to suddenly begin sacrificing themselves. The evil returns 500 years later, spurring Raya to track down a legendary last dragon in an effort to save her world. Comedian/actress Awkwafina said it was “the thrill of a lifetime” to voice a Disney character (water dragon Sisu). Kumandra was inspired by Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
DECEMBER 11 (RATED PG 13)
The 2018 Matthew Sklar hit Broadway musical has been turned into a fi lm by Ryan Murphy, released first in select theaters before moving to Netflix. Nicole Kidman is Angie Dickinson, one of a group of enthusiastic (and hilariously self-obsessed) live theater performers (including Meryl Streep as a multi Tony Award winner!) who descend on a conservative Indiana town to support a high school lesbian couple trying to attend their prom amid local objections. The A list cast features Andrew Rannells, Kerry Washington, James Corden, Keegan Michael Key, Tracey Ullman, and Mary Kay Place. Soaring tunes and energetic production numbers one inside a mall are hallmarks of the tale.
AUGUST 2021 (UNRATED)
[Release moved from January as this issue went to press] The legendary “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin (1942 2018), personally handpicked Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson to portray her in this tuneful biopic chronicling Franklin’s rise to international superstardom from her early days as a choir singer at her father’s (Forest Whitaker) church. Audra McDonald costars as Franklin’s mother, while Mary J. Blige embodies fellow songstress Dinah Washington. Also starring Marlon Wayans and Tituss Burgess, the film was directed by Tony Award nominee Liesl Tommy. Get ready for stirring renditions of Franklin hits including “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Think,” and, of course, the iconic title tune.