The last movie I saw before the shelter-in-place order took effect in California was “Bloodshot” starring Vin Diesel. With people already staying away from the movie theaters, two-dozen people watched the Saturday afternoon IMAX showing in their own row for proper social distancing. Since then I missed going out to the movies every weekend to break up the week-to-week grind. Every day in Silicon Valley is Christmas morning with few people walking about and cars on the street.
If only there was an alternative for watching movies at the movie theaters. Silicon Valley still has a drive-in movie theater called the Capitol Drive-In in San Jose. The chain that operates that location is West Wind Drive-In, which has its Sacramento, CA, and Glendale, AZ, locations open for business during the pandemic. Other regional drive-ins in the U.S. are also open for business.
Have you ever noticed how some reviewers post a review of a forthcoming movie just days before it opens to the general public? Yet they never disclose how they got free tickets to see a preview screening.
Are they sleeping with the teenagers behind the concession stand at the movie theater?
Do they know someone who is waiting tables to make it big in Hollywood?
Are they taking cash payments from the movie studios?
We are less than one week away from “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” coming out in the movie theaters. Disney issued a warning “that visuals and sustained flashing light” in the movie could affect those who are photosensitive. If this seems like a familiar problem, it is. Pixar, also owned by the House of Mouse, had to put out a similar warning for “The Incredibles 2” after it came out in theaters. A problem that Disney partially fixed when it came out on Blu-Ray. You would think that Disney wouldn’t have avoided making the same mistake twice.
The teaser trailer for “Black Widow” came out this week for the long-awaited origin movie of Marvel’s most famous kick-ass heroine. The movie, however, won’t come out until May 1, 2020. If you can’t wait until next year, you can watch “Anna” that came out this year. “Anna” is not a superhero movie but an old fashion KGB spy thriller. While she doesn’t fall through the air as everything explodes around her, Anna can her hold her own in an extended ass kicking contest.
With this year being the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 manned moon landing, it’s not surprising that movies about astronauts are coming out. First Man, a biopic about Neil Armstrong being the first man on the moon, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in August 2018 and went into general release in October 2018. First Man was a controversial movie because conservative politicians claimed that it didn’t show the astronauts planting the American flag on the moon. Never mind that the movie had plenty of flags, and the flag planting scene wasn’t relevant to the inner space of Neil Armstrong as an astronaut, husband and father. Another astronaut movie, Lucy in The Sky, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this year, and coming out in general release this month. Although the movie poster features the moon looming large in the background, the moon has nothing to do with the real-life event of a female astronaut losing her POOP on earth. While this made-for-TV movie is loosely based on the “astronaut love triangle” of 2007, the diaper scene was left on the cutting room floor.
Last week I saw a preview showing of Late Night, an R-rated movie about late night television, opening in limited release this weekend and wide release next weekend. Emma Thompson plays Katherine Newbury, a white, middle-aged English talk show host who never had a female writer on her all-male writing staff. Mindy Kaling, the writer and producer for Late Night, plays Molly Patel, a woman of color who becomes the first female writer for the show. What could possibly go wrong in this comedy-drama? Quite a bit.
Earlier this week I saw a preview showing of Disney’s Aladdin, the live action version of the 1992 animated version. Will Smith replaces Robin Williams as the blue-skinned Genie, providing not only the voice but also the physical presence on the big screen. I had my doubts on whether he could pull that off. Robin Williams was a legendary comedian and the Genie was one of his most iconic roles. Never mind that I’ve never seen the animated version of Disney’s Aladdin.
A new trailer for “Spider-Man: Far From Home” came this week. One of the big surprises was Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. replacing Tony Stark in the father figure role to a young Peter Parker. Since the story line for the new Spider-Man movie takes place just minutes after the ending of “The Avengers: Endgame,” that raises an interesting question. Who is the better spider-daddy, Tony Stark or Nick Fury?