After a 2020 summer movie season that was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, studio executives are waiting to see whether audiences head back to the theaters with bated breath.
So far, early signs are promising. John Krasinski’s horror-thriller sequel “A Quiet Place Part II” is poised to top $100 million domestically after this weekend. Its horror sequel brethren “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” earned a solid $24.1 million in its first weekend.
Even the hybrid streaming/theater option favored by some studios is still bearing fruit: “Cruella,” Disney’s live-action “101 Dalmatians” origin story starring Emma Stone, has topped $44 million in theaters despite also being available to rent at home on streaming service Disney Plus. The same is true for the animated “Raya and the Last Dragon,” which has earned more than $53 million in theaters as well as an unspecified amount via home rental.
Through Labor Day, moviegoers will have plenty of new movies to choose from every single weekend, whether in theaters or at home. This weekend, the Mark Wahlberg action film “Infinite” is skipping theaters and heading to Paramount+, while the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “In the Heights” will be exclusive to cinemas. The following weekend, it’s the Ryan Reynolds action/comedy “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” in theaters, while Pixar’s latest “Luca” and the Kevin Hart, Boston-filmed drama “Fatherhood” are streaming on Disney Plus and Netflix, respectively.
Here’s your official 2021 summer movie preview, featuring the best films to watch in a theater or at home over the next three months.
1. The Suicide Squad (August 6th, 2021)
The early reviews for Suicide Squad are in, and it’s looking like DC has themselves a winner. Maybe I shouldn’t speak too soon, since Wonder Woman 1984 started out certified fresh, but then a whole second wave of reviews hit, and now the film stands at 59% on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, the odds are pretty good, with a 96% rating for The Suicide Squad 2 Missione suicida, a score built on the basis of 92 reviews at the time of this writing.
Most of the reviews are praising James Gunn’s madcap vision, which suits the zany and vicious world of Suicide Squad. Gunn, whose previous work includes the two Guardians of the Galaxy films, knows how to deal with characters who are misfits, and doesn’t hold back in this very R-rated display of anti-heroes. Familiar faces like Rick Flag, Harley Quinn, Amanda Waller will return, with new faces like Peacemaker, Bloodsport and so on – you won’t be able to keep track of them all, so do take notes — or not, since most of them are going to go boom anyway.
Check this one out in the cinema if you prefer your superhero movies to have a little more chaos.
2. Free Guy (August 13th, 2021)
It seems like we’ve been waiting for Free Guy for ages now. I even thought it might get sold to a streaming platform or something. But nope, it’s August 2021 and Free Guy – Eroe per gioco streaming ita is getting a theatrical release. The stacked cast is certainly reason to see it, with the likes of Ryan Reynold, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery and Taika Waititi.
In the film, a bank teller called Guy (hence the title) discovers he is actually a background player in an open world video game, and so he decides to become the hero of his own story, one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way. Kind of sounds like a mash-up of Ready Player One and The Lego Movie.
Will it be awesome? It’s hard to tell with video game films, but Reynolds did star in Detective Pikachu, which was a successful one, so maybe Free Guy will join its ranks too.
3. The Kissing Booth 3 (August 15th, 2021)
Like a scoop of vanilla ice cream atop scoops of chocolate and strawberry, “The Kissing Booth 3” rounds out the sugary teen trilogy with a fitting, if bland, finale. The story picks up after high school graduation, as Elle (Joey King) and her bestie, Lee (Joel Courtney), gear up for college. In “The Kissing Booth” extended universe, this means moving into an oceanfront mansion and spending days ticking items off an elaborate summer bucket list. (If Elle and Lee were on TikTok, Hype House would have some competition.)
As Elle’s ever-dreamy beau, Noah (Jacob Elordi), watches from the sidelines, she and Lee initiate a flash mob, splash down a waterslide and, in the movie’s most cartoonish set piece, organize a real-life Mario Kart-like competition with go-karts speeding around a racetrack. A medley of scheduling stresses, family angst and relationship triangles ignite minor growing pains. But among lengthy montages of fun in the sun, worries are brief.
As in the first two movies, wish fulfillment characterizes “The Kissing Booth 3 streaming ita,” which displays the ultimate aspirational teen lifestyle: adoring hunks, luxury pool parties, white-sand “California” beaches (all three movies were filmed in South Africa). But when it comes to gender dynamics, the director Vince Marcello makes significant strides. By the story’s conclusion, Elle breaks away from the surrounding men. She develops a sense of self and some career ambitions. Nobody would call it a seminal moment for feminism. But at least there’s not another kissing booth.
Check this one out in Netflix if you prefer your drama romance movies to have a little more love.
4. Reminiscence (August 20th, 2021)
Hugh Jackman plays Nick Bannister, a private investigator of the mind who navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. His life is forever changed when he takes on a new client, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson), who disappears. As Bannister fights to find the truth about Mae’s disappearance, he uncovers a violent conspiracy.
The most interesting fact here is that the film’s writer and director is Lisa Joy, wife of Jonathan Nolan, and the pair created HBO series Westworld together. It makes complete sense, since the film definitely draws inspiration from that, as well as Christopher Nolan’s Inception, with the incredible world-building, and its exploration of themes like memory and loss. Of all the films on this list, this is the one I’m most excited about, I guess because I know next to nothing about it (the trailer doesn’t reveal much).
With all the franchise films, as well as remakes/reboots that have littered our screens of late, it’s nice to see a blockbuster film that isn’t a part of that. Let’s hope Reminiscence delivers.
5. Candyman (August 27th, 2021)
The film follows visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris), who move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini. With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a former Cabrini resident (Colman Domingo) exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind Candyman. Anthony begins to explore these macabre details in his studio as a way to get more material for his paintings, which of course just leads to bad things.
This version of Candyman is a ‘spiritual sequel’ to the 1992 original movie, and will seemingly ignore the events of the previous two sequels (Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman: Day of the Dead). Candyman is produced by Jordan Peele, with Nia DaCosta in the director’s chair. DaCosta directed the fantastic Little Woods, which starred Tessa Thompson and Lily James (truly one of the underrated films of 2019, though it began the film festival circuit in 2018). Both Peele and DaCosta, along with Win Rosenfield, penned the script for the film.
The film was supposed to be released in June of 2020, but was delayed because of the pandemic. We’ve been waiting for a long time to see it, so let’s hope things stay status quo till then.