Hello Film Fans and Happy New Year!
This month in film, we are always subjected to the inevitable lists of “Best of” films from 2020. And the year 2020 has proven to be of one of the most unusual years in film history since the advent of talkies! Covid-19 has upended all major industries globally, and the film industry is one of the hardest hit. One of the latest victims is the Sundance Film Festival-they just announced that the in-person drive-in screenings in the Rose Bowl stadium were canceled for their 2021 Festival. The Festival is still set for Jan 28th through February 3rd.
The good news is that the Armchair Film Fest is still an ongoing presentation from 6 Degrees! Streaming films and recording them and downloading have proven to be the foolproof way to watch even new releases. This month, Turner Classic has a line-up that includes:
Happy Birthday to “The King”
There’s always the obligatory “Elvis Fest” in January to honor the King of Rock N’ Roll and his long career of making mostly Bad B’s. But some of the stand-outs are included here; Jailhouse Rock & Viva Las Vegas were two of his best to record.
The Armchair Film Fest
Cary Grant is always front and center for the Armchair Film Fest. This month, the Bachelor & the Bobby Soxer is shown, and this also includes one of our pioneers of #MeToo-Myrna Loy is the judge in this one, and she’s got some great lines playing opposite Grant and a teenage Shirley Temple.
Pioneers of #MeToo
This month, the strong and smart women of #MeToo are front and center in films like the Ghost & Mrs Muir with Gene Tierney as a young widow with Rex Harrison as the Ghost; and in Adam’s Rib with Katherine Hepburn as a lawyer opposite Spencer Tracy playing her husband and her opposing counsel. Audrey Hepburn plays an interpreter for the United Nations opposite Cary Grant in a predictable thriller Charade. But the movie is somewhat elevated by the two stars performance and the memorable musical score by Henry Mancini.
The Great Santini is shown on TCM, and this one is not seen often on television. It’s highly recommended for Armchair Film Buffs, as it’s one of Robert Duvall’s stand-out performances. The film is adapted from a book by the late great writer Pat Conroy. The original film version of Lord of the Flies is also shown this month, and this film was adapted from the book of the same name that is required reading for many a high-school English class.
6 Degrees of Film at the Movies Magazine
In 6 Degrees Magazine we have a piece that looks at the great horror films of the past-notably the year 1960. Plus there are reviews of Coco from Disney-Pixar and their newest film Soul. We also include a post from the David Bordwell site about the best films from…1930!
A little bit more contemporary offerings come from one of our favorites- the Forbes Critic Scott Mendelson. He writes about why Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the top grosser in 2019 AND 2020….There is a piece about the Bond Girls-past and present and finally, some of the best films of 2021 are recommended to watch for.
What’s Coming at the Movies in 2021
2021 will also be a challenging year for those of us who love film. Some of the movies we’re looking for include:
- Don’t Look Up– from the same writer of 2015’s Oscar winning The Big Short’s Adam McKay. Jennifer Lawrence and Leo DiCaprio star in this film about “two low-level astronomers who embark on a media tour to warn mankind about an approaching asteroid that will destroy the Earth”
- Oscar Winner Frances McDormand stars in Nomadland– the story of a woman who leaves her small-town life behind after losing her job. She sells off her belongings and sets out to travel around the country. The film centers on her nomadic lifestyle and her adapting to the survival mode in the course of her journey. A big winner at the Venice Film Festival, McDormand is an Oscar favorite for this performance.
- Coming 2 America: Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprise their roles in this sequel to the original 1988 comedy. The plot centers around Murphy discovering he has a long-lost son in America on the eve of his coronation as King of Zamunda.
- The Bond Movie: No Time to Die-with Daniel Craig in his final appearance as 007 is finally set to release in April.
- The Horror movie: A Quiet Place Part II is the sequel with Emily Blunt returning in this film as a widow who is still fighting to protect her children from the mysterious monsters who seek out sounds.
- Scarlet Johansson is starring in the long-awaited Black Widow film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a throwback set after the events of Captain America: Civil War where she grapples with a dark past
- A Sci-Fi Comedy with Ryan Reynolds called Free Guy is about a bank teller who suspects he is living in a world of a video game called “Free City” and the game is about to go offline!
- Emma Stone plays Cruella in this origin story about the legendary villainess Cruella De Vil.
- Lin Manuel Miranda’s first musical was called In the Heights-this musical about the New York City neighborhood where Miranda grew up is set to be released in June
- LeBron James will play in Space Jam: A New Legacy; a sequel to the 1996 Cult hit comedy, where James ends up in a digital world filled with Looney Tunes characters.
- The Horror film Candyman from Jordan Peele is a sequel to the 1992 horror classic.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue with The Eternals, starring Angelina Jolie and an ensemble cast that introduces a race of immortal aliens who live undercover among humans but are forced to come out of hiding to defend Earth from ancient enemies. Due out in November.
- The long-awaited Dune adaptation will show a Universe in which ‘ownership of planets is divided among noble families” which leads to lots of power struggles. Oscar Isaac and Timothee Chalamet star as a father and son duo who are set to protect their territory in the intergalactic battle
- West Side Story is the long-awaited remake of the classic musical from Steven Spielberg; set to be released in December of 2021.
- Wes Anderson has a new quirky comedy with Bill Murray returning along with Tilda Swinton and Owen Wilson in this fictional “Love Letter to Journalists” set in a fictional French city called The French Dispatch
That’s all folks! Hopefully by years ends we will be munching popcorn and watching films on the big screen. Until then there’s always Paris, there’s always streaming and on-demand for the Armchair Film Fest-goers….see you at the movies!-ML