Happy May Day! If you want to celebrate the new month on your couch, you’ve come to the right blog. Trailers for this month’s movies are ready and waiting.
Streaming now on Netflix:
Nothing new, but plenty of note: The Back to the Future trilogy is (back?) on the service. My favorite is the second! Scarface, Never Back Down (I’m an elder Millennial!), Notting Hill (the only neighborhood in London I know anything about!), and The Land Before Time and The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure are also streaming today. I have no idea if The Land Before Time holds up but I intend to find out.
Coming to theaters May 7:
The Paper Tigers is an action-comedy about three childhood friends who avenge the murder of their kung fu master. Former prodigies and now “washed up” they “juggle their dead-end jobs, dad duties, and overcome old grudges.” I hope my dad rents this, he’s going to love it.
Wrath of Man stars Jason Statham (so it’s an action movie) and Josh Hartnett in a film directed by Guy Ritchie. Statham is “a cold and mysterious character working at a cash truck company responsible for moving hundreds of millions of dollars around Los Angeles each week.”
The Human Factor is a documentary about Peace In The Middle East (™) through the eyes of U.S. diplomats. I was alive in the ‘90s so I’m going to pass on this one. The reviews are positive!
The Water Man is a kids movie? David Oyelowo is a mean dad (AGAIN!) and Rosario Dawson is his wife. A little boy goes into the woods to find a mythical man in an effort to heal his mother. Geez.
White People Money is a comedy about a couple who comes into a large sum of money and tries to keep their families from finding out. I too, would tell no one is I came into a large sum of money. I’d just move out of my apartment into a vacant apartment downstairs and find a money manager.
Here Today stars Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish as two people who “form an unlikely friendship.” Crystal, who wrote and directed the film, asked Haddish to star after he saw her host SNL. I hate heartwarming but I’m so down for this movie.
Mainstream, written, directed, and starring Gia Coppola, follows three people who form an “eccentric love triangle” in the “digital age.” Andrew Garfield, Maya Hawke, Nat Wolff, Johnny Knoxville, and Jason Schwartzman also star.
Coming to Netflix May 7:
Milestone, an Indian film about a veteran truck driver; an English-language trailer was not available at press time.
Monster is an adaptation of the 1999 novel by Walter Dean Myers. Kelvin Harrison Jr. stars as Steve, a teenager on trial for murder. The film also stars Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, Tim Blake Nelson, Rakim “A$AP Rocky” Mayers, and John David Washington. The film is directed by Anthony Mandler and the screenplay is by Radha Blank, Cole Wiley, and Janece Shaffer. Do they still teach Monster in school? I bought my copy at the Scholastic book fair (so I’m crying already).
Streaming May 12:
Dance of the Forty One is a (highly-fictionalized) Mexican drama about an early-20th century society scandal during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz. (I can’t believe in the four years during Trump’s reign of terror no one made a highly-fictionalized Oscar-contender about the Teapot Dome scandal and instead I had to suffer through the Dick Cheney biopic instead.) An illegal raid in 1901 in a private home uncovered a dance attended by men, 19 of which were wearing dresses. One of the men was rumored to be the son-in-law of the president; the film suggests that the president’s son-in-law was closeted. I think this sounds like the beginnings of a great film, but based solely on the disdain on Wikipedia we may have a Stonewall (2015) on our hands.
Oxygen is a sci-fi thriller about “a woman running out of time and oxygen.” Hard pass!
Coming to Amazon Prime Video:
The Boy From Medellín, a documentary about J Balvin “as he prepares for the most important concert of his career.”
Coming to theaters May 14:
Finding You is a romance movie about a young violinist who finds love with a hunky actor, and Vanessa Redgrave and Saoirse-Monica Jackson are in it, too!
Those Who Wish Me Dead is a thriller starring Angelina Jolie and is directed by Taylor Sheridan (so all your Bernie Bros and aspiring screenwriters are very excited). Based on the novel by Michael Koryta, a fire warden and survival expert offers a boy shelter in her lookout tower, only to find the tower–and the national forest around it–engulfed in flames by two assassins hoping to assassinate the boy, who witnessed a murder. Seems like a national forest fire would be a bad way to cover up a crime. The film will also stream on HBO Max, and I will watch this, even though I hate when Mayor Carcetti is an openly-bad guy (as opposed to a bumbling bad guy modeled on Martin O’Malley).
Us Kids is a documentary about the March For Our Lives Movement. Marjorie Taylor Greene is not invited.
RK/RKAY, a Hindi film, is written, directed, and stars Rajat Kapoor, “the godfather of independent film in India.” Kapoor plays an factory, writer, and director in a film that is a tribute to 1960s cinema. This looks super charming.
The Perfect Candidate is a Saudi Arabian drama from 2019. A female doctor is the town’s first political candidate; she’s forced to run because she wants to get a road paved. This is so depressing, but if things were different, I’d totally go see it in the middle of a week day.
Spiral stars Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson as two cops investigating…a killer in the Saw franchise. I went to enough bars and parties in my early 20s to know I don’t want to finish this scary trailer. Good luck, Saw fans! The buzz is positive.
Profile, a thriller in 2018, is getting its international release. A journalist creates a fake Facebook profile to investigate the recruitment of European women by ISIS and falls in love with her recruiter. The plot makes me “I CAN’T” so hard that I won’t even delve into how I am personally offended by the use of Phoebe Bridgers and her brilliant “Garden Song” in the trailer.
Mission: Impossible will be getting a 25th Anniversary re-release on May 16. In a pandemic. In the panopticon, you can’t keep people away from Tom Cruise.
Coming to Netflix:
Ferry is a drama about the early years of a notorious Amsterdam drug lord, Ferry Bouman, who made a lucrative deal with Netflix to make this film.
I Am All Girls is a South African thriller: “A special crimes investigator forms an unlikely bond with a serial killer to bring down a global child sex trafficking syndicate.”
The Strange House is an Austrian horror film. Two brothers, and their friends, investigate the “menacing mystery” in their home. At press time, the only trailers online were for the unrelated 2015 Japanese film.
The Woman in the Window, a drama hot on the heels on 2016’s The Girl On the Train, stars Amy Adams as an agoraphobic psychologist and unreliable narrator. I spoiled the ending when this film was announced. Between that and it starring Gary Oldman, and directed by the insufferable Joe Wright (I’ll never forget Atonement) we can probably skip this one, even if Brian Tyree Henry Julianne Moore, and Jennifer Jason Leigh also star.
Streaming May 18:
Sardar Ka Grandson is an Indian comedy about a man trying to fulfill his grandmother’s wishes against all odds. (An English-language trailer was not available at press time.)
Coming to theaters May 21:
(Nazi movies! Two of them!)
Counter Column is a Christian movie. My eyes glazed over when I read “inner-city drug dealer,” which we don’t say anymore. Wow, you know what the problem is with grinding poverty? Not enough education about Jesus. If we brought Jesus to more people, we wouldn’t have gangs. Or any crime! Make sure everyone joins the military, too.
Bad Tales, called “horribly compelling” by The Guardian, is Italian-Swiss drama about “group dysfunction” in the suburbs. This film is so polarizing that the bad reviews came up before the film’s plot in an internet search.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a German children’s film based on the book by (and life of) Judith Kerr, who wrote a series of novels in response to The Sound of Music.
Final Account is a German-language documentary about the last living generation of “German participants” (what a weird way to say Nazis) in the Third Reich.
The Dry, an adaptation of the 2016 novel by Jane Harper, stars Eric Bana as a federal agent who reluctantly investigates the circumstances of a crime involving his childhood friend.
New on Prime Video:
P!nk: All I Know So Far, a documentary about singer P!nk. This “behind-the-scenes look” coincides with her album of the same name and includes footage from her 2019 tour.
Coming to theaters May 28:
Moby Doc is a documentary about the electronic artist Moby, who I adored, once. The artist’s album Reprise will be released the same day. After the gross stuff about his memoir…I don’t know. I miss TeaNY and “Porcelain” makes me feel a way a lot of music doesn’t, but…ick.
Cruella, the 101 Dalmatians villainess, gets a Maleficent-esque origin story and stars Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. Aline Brosh McKenna has a story credit, so the film should be fun, though this trailer certainly builds to bad people are the fault of complicated women, and at what point will I be allowed to put myself first? The film will simultaneously premiere on Disney+.
A Quiet Place II, originally scheduled for release in March 2020, is the sequel to the 2018 sci-fi thriller A Quiet Place. The original cast returns and so does its director: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, and John Krasinski. Djimon Hounsou and Cillian Murphy are new to the cast.
Streaming on Netflix:
Army of the Dead is a mixed bag. The new zombie movie written and directed by Zack Snyder stars Dave Bautista, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi and Garret Dillahunt. Personally, I find Bautista and Snyder’s oeuvre unwatchable. However, I’d love to watch Notaro kill zombies, have a fondness for Dillahunt, and the trailer feels a lot like “movie I’d have watched with glee with a best friend in the middle of a hot summer day,” and that’s the sort of joy I find I am chasing, especially right now. The plot is ridiculous: A group of mercenaries plan a heist in spite of an ongoing (hey wait a second) zombie outbreak; the way the Sanada’s character has set this up (an Asian man likely to be the “true” villain, in a Las Vegas setting) is ickier than a reanimated tiger (which I’m interested in, though expect we don’t get to find out how the virus works, huh). Speaking of Vegas: We’ve had enough mass shootings that we’re OK with a desiccated Las Vegas now?
Streaming May 26
Baggio: The Divine Ponytail is an Italian biographical drama about soccer star Roberto Baggio, “a man who inspired entire generations to play football.”
Available May 27
Blue Miracle is a feel-good movie about a washed up boat captain who enters a fishing competition with an orphanage custodian in hopes of winning and “saving” the orphanage. The film is based on a true story, but because it stars Dennis Quaid, who is also a producer, I don’t trust it. Jesus is going to show up somewhere uninvited and there’s going to be liberties with the facts.
Available May 28 on Hulu:
Plan B, a “teen quest movie” directed by Natalie Morales. Two teens go on a Superbad type quest to get Plan B from South Dakota’s only Planned Parenthood. (You can direct your Amazon Smile to the state’s only Planned Parenthood. I know because I’ve done that.) I love this so much that I’m crying again. It would likely pair well with the drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always, the comedy Unpregnant (both appear to be streaming on HBOMax), and the comedy Obvious Child (on Hulu). Make it a film festival! Of note, those films feature white women, and Plan B stars women of color who are disproportionately affected by inadequate access to health care. Find my Instagram for my unpaid not-a-Ted Talk!