TOPEKA (KSNT) – Typically one of Hollywood’s summer blockbuster bashes, the 4th of July weekend promises to live up to the hype in 2021 after a quiet pandemic year.
As the effects of COVID-19 wear off and theaters and production companies alike shake off the rust, one noteworthy difference is the number of films releasing straight to streaming platforms. Below is a selection of films to watch, and a host more available to see on the big screen or the home screen at the beginning of the holiday weekend.
- “No Sudden Move” – Coming out for limited theater showings but streaming everywhere, a 1950s group of criminals get hired to steal a document, but their plan goes wrong and suddenly they’re left to hunt down their employers. It features “Stranger Things” star David Harbour, along with actors Jon Hamm and Brendan Fraser. The movie has an 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
- “Audible” – Releasing for streaming platforms only, this documentary follows Maryland School for the Deaf athlete Amaree McKenstry’s coming of age. He feels the pressures of senior year as he braves the world of the hearing. The movie has yet to receive an audience score on RT as of Thursday.
- “The Boss Baby: Family Business” – While set for nationwide release Friday at the movies and on streaming platform Peacock. A sequel to 2017’s “The Boss Baby,” it features a grown-up cast from the original becoming babies again to stop an evil genius from turning the world’s toddlers into brats. The cast includes Alec Baldwin, Jeff Goldblum, Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow. The movie currently has a 50% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.
- “The Forever Purge” – A Texas family fights back as a gang of killers attacks, and the United States begins to disintegrate during the chaos of the annual Purge. The cast includes Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Josh Lucas and Cassidy Freeman, and the film holds a 50% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. This one is set for local Regal Cinemas, AMC Theatres and B&B Theatres.
- “The Tomorrow War” – An exclusive released to Amazon Prime Video, it features a group of time travelers to warn present-day Earth of a coming war with an alien species. They call on the people of Earth to travel to the future to join the battle. The cast features Chris Pratt of Guardians of the Galaxy and Parks & Rec fame, and it holds a 59% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.
- “The God Committee” – Coming to limited theaters but nationwide via streaming platforms, “The God Committee” depicts a New York hospital’s transplant committee debating within one hour to decide which of three patients will get the only life-saving heart to arrive. It currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 63%.
- “Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” – Coming to AMC Theatres in the region only, this documentary with an RT 98% Certified Fresh rating gives a historic look into the Harlem Cultural Festival, a six-week event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion simultaneously as Woodstock happened in the summer of 1969. Streamers can catch this doc on Hulu.
- “Till Death” – Another appearing for AMC Theatres only, a woman wakes to find herself handcuffed to her dead husband at a secluded lake house. Trapped in the dead of winter, she is forced to fight off hired killers from a plot by her late husband. With a 90% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and no streaming availability as of Thursday, this one is worth the venture to AMC.
- “Long Story Short” – A romantic comedy with a twist similar to 2006’s “Click,” a man wakes up after his wedding to find he’s jumping forward to the next year in his life every few minutes. With much less time than he thought, he fights to win back the woman he loves. It holds a 64% audience score on RT. Tickets have yet to be announced Thursday, but Fandango indicates they’ll go on sale Friday.
Through the week that ended June 27th, “F9,” the ninth film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, absolutely dominated ticket sales, earning a box office take of $70 million. The Associated Press reports that was the biggest opening for a film since the pandemic began. The film will have some new competition this weekend, with many of the above options letting viewers stay home to watch.