As I put this post together, Sydney, Australia, where I live, has just, and I mean just entered a fortnight lockdown to combat the spread of the incredibly virulent Delta strain of COVID-19.
It’s exhausting to be back in another lockdown but what makes it worse is that there are so many movies opening in coming weeks that I likely won’t get to see in the cinema including Nine Days, Little Joe and The Black Widow (my get out of movie jail is it will be on Disney Plus; huge fee but still …) and possibly even Gunpowder Milkshake if it drags on which it could well do.
Granted I have a ton of films on streaming platforms so all is not lost, but I will miss seeing these films now (as well as likely the upcoming Scandinavian Film Festival) so in lieu of those lost films, here are some movies I am hoping I will be able to see as the cinema gods intended.
Fingers crossed …
Welcome to hell—a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out—even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn. Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Trekking through a jungle teeming with militant adversaries and guerrilla forces at every turn, the Squad is on a search-and-destroy mission with only Colonel Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave…and Amanda Waller’s government techies in their ears, tracking their every movement. And as always, one wrong move and they’re dead (whether at the hands of their opponents, a teammate, or Waller herself). If anyone’s laying down bets, the smart money is against them—all of them. (synopsis courtesy Coming Soon)
The Suicide Squad opens on 30 July 2021 in UK, 5 August in Australia and 6 August in USA.
The Duke is the true story of Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, who stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery’s history. Kempton sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly – he had long campaigned for pensioners to receive free television. What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later did the full story emerge – Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage – how and why he used the Duke to achieve that is a wonderfully uplifting tale. The Duke is directed by acclaimed British filmmaker Roger Michell, director of many other films including Persuasion, My Night with Reg, Titanic Town, Notting Hill, Changing Lanes, The Mother, Enduring Love, Venus, Morning Glory, Hyde Park on Hudson, Le Week-end, My Cousin Rachel, and last year’s Blackbird previously. (synopsis courtesy First Showing)
The Duke opens in UK on 3 September and in Australis on 26 December.
When outlaw Nat Love discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck is being released from prison he rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. Those riding with him in this assured, righteously new school Western include his former love Stagecoach Mary, his right and left hand men — hot-tempered Bill Pickett and fast drawing Jim Beckwourth—and a surprising adversary-turned-ally. Rufus Buck has his own fearsome crew, including “Treacherous” Trudy Smith and Cherokee Bill, and they are not a group that knows how to lose.
The Harder They Fall features an All-Star ensemble cast including Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country) as Nat Love, Idris Elba (The Suicide Squad) as Rufus Buck, Regina King (Watchmen) as Trudy Smith, LaKeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah) as Cherokee Bill, Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2) as Stagecoach Mary, and Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods) as Bass Reeves. It will also star Danielle Deadwyler, Edi Gathegi, R.J. Cyler, Damon Wayans Jr., and Deon Cole.
The film is directed and produced by Jeymes Samuel in his feature-length directorial debut from a screenplay he co-wrote with Boaz Yakin (Now You See Me). It is produced by Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z, James Lassiter, and Lawrence Bender. (synopsis courtesy Coming Soon)
The Harder They Fall releases on Netflix this coming northern fall.
Inspired by Charles Dickens’s iconic novel Oliver Twist, this action-fueled crime-thriller set in contemporary London follows the journey of Twist (Raff Law), a gifted graffiti artist trying to find his way after the loss of his mother. Lured into a street gang headed by the paternal Fagin (Oscar winner Michael Caine), Twist is attracted to the lifestyle — and to Red (Sophie Simnett), an alluring member of Fagin’s crew. But when an art theft goes wrong, Twist’s moral code is tested as he’s caught between Fagin, the police, and a loose-cannon enforcer (Lena Headey). (synopsis courtesy Flickering Myth)
Twist opened in UK earlier this year; dates for USA and Australia TBA.
Joe Bell tells the intimate and emotional true story of an Oregonian father who pays tribute to his gay teenage son Jadin, embarking on a self-reflective walk across America to speak his heart to heartland citizens about the real and terrifying costs of bullying. (synopsis courtesy Flickering Myth)
Joe Bell opens 23 July in USA; Australian release date TBA.
A fantasy adventure based on the Arthurian legend, The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic green-skinned stranger. The Green Knight is both written & directed by acclaimed American filmmaker / writer David Lowery, director of the films Deadroom, St. Nick, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story, and The Old Man & The Gun previously. He also edited this film (and many others previously). It’s produced by Toby Halbrooks, Tim Headington, James M. Johnston, and David Lowery. (synopsis courtesy First Showing)
The Green Knight opens 30 July in USA, 6 August in UK with Australian release date TBA.