Celebrity Deathmatch: Godzilla Vs. Kong edition
The last week of March ends with smorgasbord of huge announcements, with the news of Netflix’s The Witcher’s having wrapped filming on its second season, Knives Out 2 and 3 announced to release exclusively through Netflix, the release of new trailers for fifth season of Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty and the new Saw film starring Chris Rock, and the delay of Mortal Kombat by one week!
It’s a huge week for movie releases too, literally, what with the premiere of Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong on HBO Max and Wonder Woman 1984 on VOD. Concrete Cowboy starring Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin premiers this weekend on Netflix, as well as several other highly anticipated releases like the Tina Turner documentary Tina, Shiva Baby, and more. To help you get a handle on what’s new and available to watch, here are the movies you can watch on VOD this weekend.
Godzilla vs. Kong
Where to watch it: Stream on HBO Max
The capstone of Legendary Entertainment’s Monsterverse reimagining of Toho’s most famous Kaiju is finally here in Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong. In a fight between an ancient behemoth lizard that emits radiation and big ol’ ape with a heart of gold and palm full of sign language, who wins? The answer’s obvious: we do! From our review,
Godzilla vs. Kong is a 113-minute argument for movies projected on giant screens in front of crowds of people. It’s a smooth-brained good time. Depending on local pandemic recovery progress and restrictions, it will either triumphantly welcome moviegoers back into theaters with tremendous spectacle, or make the wait hurt that much more, as they watch it on HBO Max instead. I watched it at home, on my 55-inch TV, absolutely furious that I couldn’t see it in a theater, or at the very least, project it on the side of my apartment building. But I couldn’t stay mad for long, because I was too busy cheering out loud at the spectacle in front of me.
Where to watch it: Stream on Netflix
Stranger Things’ Caleb McLaughlin stars in Ricky Staub’s (Snow White and the Huntsman) Concrete Cowboy as Cole, an errant teenager from Detroit who after being sent to live with his estranged father Harp (Idris Elba), the leader of a local group of urban cowboys in North Philadelphia. From our review,
All of Concrete Cowboy’s performances are solid, with McLaughlin carrying the story emotionally, and Jerome balancing vulnerability and pride as charming, tempting Smush. Orange Is the New Black star Lorraine Toussaint is also a standout as Nessie, the stables’ tough-love matriarch. In addition to the professional actors, the cast also includes members of the Fletcher Street Stables community. Newcomers Ivannah Mercedes and Jamil “Mil” Prattis add warmth and authenticity through their comfort around the horses and in the stable stalls. Fletcher Street members also serve as a type of Greek chorus, commenting on Cole’s acclimation to working in the stables.
Wonder Woman 1984
Gal Gadot is returns as the Amazonian Demigoddess Diana of Themyscira in Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman 1984 (sans ancient lamentation music)! When a power-hungry businessman (Pedro Pascal) and a former colleague (Kristen Wiig) plot to conquer humanity using a mysterious ancient artifact that grants wishes, Diana must once again don her indestructible bracelets, golden tiara, and multicolored leotard to once again rescue the world as Wonder Woman. From our review,
Wonder Woman is a heroine who lifts us up, who brings her compassion and light to every fight she faces, who was once willing to lose the Lasso of Truth in the comics for the sake of saving a single Amazon warrior. This version of Diana is more selfish, curdled by her own grief, and limited by her own choices. She mirrors Minerva, who has been limited by society, in all things save one: she still loves the world enough to be capable of sacrifice. The current DC movie universe is always dark, but it seems that with a movie drenched in the neon aesthetic of the ’80s, they’ve finally found a way to dim even Wonder Woman’s light.
Rachel Sennott executive produces and stars in Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby as Max, a bisexual college senior who runs into her sugar daddy and ex-girlfriend at a Jewish funeral service with her parents. Jude Dry’s review for Indiewire describes the film as, “claustrophobic Jewish humor with a sexy premise” which, from the looks of the trailer, totally seems to track.
Where to watch it: Stream on HBO Max
Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s eponymous documentary Tina on the Grammy Award-winning artist Tina Turner is an exhaustive and salient survey into the the euphoric life and tumultuous trials of the one and only “Queen of Rock ‘n Roll.” Featuring extensive archival footage of Turner’s lifelong career and interviews with the singer herself, Tina charts its subject’s improbable rise to stardom and her enduring legacy as one of rock and soul music’s indelible trailblazers.
Every Breath You Take
Vaughn Stein’s psychological thriller Every Breath You Take stars Academy Award winner Casey Affleck as Phillip, a psychiatrist whose career is jeopardized in the wake of his patient’s suicide. Inviting his patient’s surviving brother (Sam Clafin) into his home, Phillip soon finds the life he has built with his wife Grace (Michelle Monaghan) and their daughter Lucy (India Eisley) thrust into a perilous tailspin of deceit and manipulation.
And here’s what dropped last Friday:
Where to watch it: Stream on Netflix
“What if Punk’d was a feature-length comedy, but instead of Ashton Kutcher, it starred comedian Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery (Get Out)?” That’s the short and sweet description of Bad Trip, the new dark comedy drama from director Kitao Sakurai (The Eric Andre Show) about two lifelong best friends who embark on a road trip from Florida to New York City so that one of them can confess their love to their high school sweetheart. Although originally slated to release in theaters last year via Orion Pictures, the film was one of the many indefinitely delayed with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Since then, Netflix has picked it up and it’s finally available to watch via streaming.
Olivia Colman (The Crown) stars in director Florian Zeller’s drama The Father as Anne, a woman attempting to care for her father Anthony, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, as his experiences with the onset of dementia have caused him to become more belligerent, disoriented, and distrustful. Based on Zeller’s critically acclaimed 2012 play of the same name and scored by virtuosic composer Ludovico Einaudi, the film has already earned Hopkins and Colman Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Supporting Actor respectively for this year’s 93rd Academy Awards.
Shoplifters of the World
How much do you love your favorite band? Enough to hold a radio station DJ at gunpoint and force him to play that band’s entire discography for your entire boring hometown to listen to? That’s what happens in Stephen Kijak’s Shoplifters of the World, “based on true intentions” of a now-debunked urban legend of a young Smiths fan who purportedly attempted such an act of brazen youthful stupidity in 1987, but who in reality lost his nerve and turned himself into the police. Kijak’s film takes this premise and transforms it into a young adult drama of a rebellious group of four friends who chafe under the stultifying boredom of their sleepy British hometown. Aside from its cast of performers including Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike), Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), Helena Howard (Madeline’s Madeline), and Elena Kampouris (Before I Fall), what’s got most audiences and critics talking about Shoplifters of the World is its soundtrack boasting over 20 tracks by of The Smiths.
The Seventh Day
Guy Pearce stars as Father Peter, a renowned exorcist who mentors a young priest (Vadhir Derbez) in the dangerous art of exorcising demons in Justin P. Lange’s supernatural horror thriller The Seventh Day. As they match wits with an evil unlike anything Peter has ever faced before, the lines between good and evil are blurred and the pair are forced to confront their own inner demons in their battle to vanquish another’s. Think The Conjuring series meets 2005’s Constantine, except not “based on a true story” or a beloved cult Vertigo comic book series.