Soul ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Soul – PG – 1 hr 40 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched on Disney+ Saturday December 26, 2020
Disney+ – Pierce County, Washington

Ironic that Pixar focused on death themes in 2020. Was this accidental or just the way these two films came about?

As the year comes to a close, it almost seems prophetic in hindsight, but we’ll tackle this more momentarily. First, what’s this movie about?

“Joe Gardner, where have you been?”

Band teacher and aspiring jazz musician, Gardner, finally gets the gig he’s been looking for, only to wind up in The Great Before, on the precipice of death. And thus begins Joe’s journey to return his soul to his body so he can live on earth again.

Not sure why Pixar dealt with death in both their films this year. Onward dealt with the aftermath of a dad who had passed on, his surviving children wanting to spend one last moment with him, and this film pokes the same depressing topic from another angle. Both films take a lighter tone to the subject matter, with Soul using music as the primary motivation of life. It’s not about what we have done in life, it’s what we do every day to live, what we can do — a not so subtle message that depression is in the mind, not in the soul.

Death isn’t a subject that animated movies target often. This one seems more for adults, or older children anyway, hence the rating, than Onward, one of the last two movies we saw in theaters in March 2020 before the pandemic first shut down theaters.

Kara preferred Onward over this one, but I liked this one better. However, she didn’t see all of it undistracted, as we watched part of this on Christmas morning, then went to celebrate Christmas with our children and grandchildren and watched the rest as background. I rewatched again completely today, Saturday 12/26/20. This is why I didn’t include a rating score for Kara below, because she really hasn’t seen the entire movie. I think she might enjoy it more if she watched the last third of the film undisturbed.

(Sidenote: this is the problem with streaming films at home. You are much more prone to distractions than in theaters. Not saying there can’t be distractions in theaters also, but a home environment can have more)

Typical Pixar attention to animation quality and design. Have mentioned in other reviews how much I like Pixar animation, it just has a certain signature quality to it. Their stories are often clever and original. Death has been, pardon the pun, done to death, and yet this story that blends a music teacher’s journey to playing the piano feels more alive than it should.

I was reminded in parts of the live action movie, Heaven Can Wait ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (see: Heavenly Movies – Warren Beatty in Heaven Can Wait). No idea if that formed any sort of inspiration for the filmmakers, but at times I felt like I was seeing an animated version of Warren Beatty wanting to get back into his body. That is a great part of the tension and what maintains viewer interest: can Joe get back to his body?

Joe Pendleton was the name of the main character in Heaven Can Wait. He played the clarinet — badly and was taken from life suddenly in a tunnel biking accident. Joe Gardner in Soul plays piano wonderfully and needs to “watch his step”, but must find the spark of life to be able to return as he mentors Number 22 (interesting number, to say the least). Is this all just creative coincidence?

The Great Before in Soul re-realized as a Way Station in Heaven Can Wait (1978)?

Anyway, good story, even if it was a copy of sorts of prior stories. In some sense, the best stories have already been told and new, great plots are going to be at least some combinations of past plotlines and characters put together in seemingly fresh ways. I would encourage anybody who has seen Soul and not seen Heaven Can Wait to go back and watch that movie. There are numerous comparisons that can be made about The Great Before, Soul and this movie that made me take away a star because it just wasn’t as inventive as I wanted it to be.

That said, Soul is good fun and well worth seeing. It’s the kind of movie that leaves you feeling good when you’re done watching and who can ever tire of those films? The subject matter is dark, yes, perhaps the reason it earned a PG rating, but the way it’s handled is good-natured.

It’s one of the better films put out in 2020, a year that has been far too much about doom and gloom. It’s nice to escape into this animated world, if only for an hour and a half. Recommended.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Todd)

Wonder Woman 1984 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wonder Woman 1984 – PG-13 – 2 hr 31 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched on HBO Max Friday December 25, 2020
HBO Max – Tacoma, Washington

A long-awaited Christmas 2020 present has arrived allowing HBO Max viewers, especially those of us who can’t see this in an open theater, to see this tentpole film.

Before getting to the plot, we would have both rather seen this in a theater, but didn’t want to wait. Is that what happened with you, too? Or are you waiting for theaters to open and plan to see it there?

Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is working in the 80s as a geologist when she meets shy, goofy Barbara Minerva. They analyze this artifact that Diana decodes the wording as being a dream granter, thinking of what her wish would be, sort of like a superhero version of the monkey’s paw. Meanwhile, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) attempts to be an oil tycoon are failing, so he steals the artifact and wishes to become the artifact, so he can grant wishes to the world.

First, we need to talk about the excess runtime. My goodness, this movie wasn’t complex enough plot-wise to require over 2 1/2 hours. Apparently, director Patty Jenkins pared back some of the scenes, but I’d argue some scenes were completely unnecessary. The opening Amazonian sequence was cool, but not very necessary. Steve Trevor’s involvement and love story seemed to be living more off a dream sequence than reality.

Where were the 80s? Yes, I recognized the mall backdrop from Commando which has been in a lot of movies, but with a movie set in the 80s, it needed more 80s references and nostalgia. Then again, maybe Wonder Woman stories belong in a World War II setting. The Nazis make such great villains.

Strengths? Maxwell Lord was more than just a cardboard villain, which was appreciated. The scenes with Cheetah vs. Wonder Woman were excellent and those alone make this film worth watching. Beyond Cheetah and Wonder Woman’s awesome gold armor, the movie was a bit flat and even draggy in spots.

The scale of the movie is grand. It was clearly made to be seen on the biggest screen possible. The sound effects and score are good. Watching Wonder Woman fling that golden lasso around flying from here to there — riding the lightning as seen in the previews! — or roping antagonists is exciting and fulfilling. Viewers will look forward to seeing these parts.

As the credits rolled, we felt like the story wasn’t as rewarding as some of the individual scenes. Was this the amazing movie I’ve waited over a year to see? Sometimes yes, mostly no. Scenes with Wonder Woman and Cheetah are great, but the rest is just kind of there. Like we’re being forced to wait for the good parts. At one dramatic arc in the movie, I wasn’t engaged or interested, I wanted to get to a different part of the movie. Not a good sign.

Unlike the first movie where Diana taking care of Steve while fighting evil kept viewers constantly engaged, this one just checked out at times. It’s still recommended, but the first movie, like all too many sequels, was significantly better. Not a lot of rewatch value here, except battle scenes which, again, were excellent.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Kara)

Freaky ⭐️½

Freaky – R – 1 hr 42 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday November 12, 2020
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
#44 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Descriptive title for this Vince Vaughn odd performance. It could also use “awkward” which would define several key scenes.

If you told me Vince Vaughn would play a Jason Vorhees like slasher and a Freaky Friday like switch role with a high school girl, I’d say “please, no” and yet here he it is. As we might guess, he does the comedy portion of the role good but struggles to be convincingly menacing when the role requires.

The story is fairly convoluted. Millie has a wino alcoholic mother and cop sister. She’s trying to fit in at school but isn’t one of the popular girls. As the school mascot she is ridiculed. One night she waits for her mom to pick her up, but she’s too drunk and passed out to care, leaving her victim to a psycho slasher (Vince Vaughn). As he goes to stab her with an enigmatic dagger lightning flashes and they swap bodies. Millie is now inside the slasher’s body and he’s inside hers.

From there the story runs a pretty familiar course for any other slasher with the only real change being the body swap gag. There is also a race against time subplot because if Millie can’t restab herself within 24 hours, she’ll be forever stuck in her new body.

Nevermind asking yourself why stabbing someone with an ancient Aztec dagger would cause a body swap, but the film can’t quite decide what its going to be about. Is it about Millie trying to gain revenge on those who wronged her? Is it the serial killer using the cover of the new body to commit more murders or is it the suspense of will or will not Millie get her body back?

Leaving the theater, we weren’t exactly torn on our feelings, but I happened to enjoy the quirkiness of this more than Kara, but it is still a pretty bad overall movie. She pretty much hated it.

If you’re looking for something that makes you feel more odd than entertained, this might be your fix, but we can’t recommend wasting any money seeing it in the theater.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️½ (Todd) ⭐️ (Kara)

True To The Game 2 ⭐️½

True To The Game 2 – R – 1 hr 29 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Friday November 6, 2020
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
#43 new movie seen in theater in 2020

This is Gena’s (Erica Peeples) story, as the first was her drug dealer fiance’s. She’s moved out of Philadelphia, trying to put the past behind her. Unfortunately, friends of her fiance have seized a rival dealer’s drugs and money, leaving that dealer on a hunt to find the people responsible. Gena is unwittingly drawn back in a story of false identity and intimidation.

Peeples is a stronger character in the sequel than the first movie, but the storyline in the first is more compelling. It’s the intensity of the first movie that’s missing here. This movie starts a year after the first one. Another plus is this movie starts one year after the first, which I liked for the sequel. You don’t really need to have watched the first film, but if you did — like us — then you’re apt to make comparisons. It’s the problem with all sequels that viewers will compare to the movie that started it all.

Gena aside, most of the characters in this film are unlikable, but even Gena isn’t as likeable here as she was in the first film. The only significant ally Gena has is a guy in California, but his placement in the story is framed too much like a cheap plot device instead of having something genuinely useful to the tale. Would have been nice to see him do more than be a brief friend in the story.

There is an implausible twist late in the film which tries to make everything a shock. Won’t get too into the specifics here, because this is a spoiler-freereview, but neither of us bought it. Again, if you’ve seen the first film, then you probably will feel the same about this.

Last, the first film tells a different type of story. That is about the drug dealer who meets Gena and wants to leave that life and spend it with her. A romance with dramatic consequences. This sequel is missing the romance and redemption angle and is replaced with an escape the past life type story, only Gena never was a drug dealer, she just fell in love with a man who was, so it doesn’t really fit. Stories about redemption are more engaging than a “trying to move on from the past” story, I guess.

Here’s how we felt just leaving the theater:

Bottom line: we don’t recommend seeing this movie in the theater. Maybe, just maybe, for those interested enough to find out what happens to Gena will want to check this out. The more interesting and entertaining story was already told and this didn’t really need a sequel.

That’s the danger with all sequels, really, was the original story enough. Am sure you can think of several standalone movies that filmmakers tried to make into franchises. Urban romance dramas don’t really lend themselves to franchises. I am interested in more stories about redemption and find the original story compelling, but the biggest problem with this story is Gena hasn’t moved onto anything more interesting than the first film.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️½ (Todd) ⭐️½ (Kara)

Let Him Go ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Let Him Go – R – 1 hr 54 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday November 5, 2020
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
#42 new movie seen in theater in 2020

It’s not often that we get to see a movie for grandparents, about grandparents and their strong, unbreakable love for their grandchildren, and yet this movie is even more than that. We’re treated to Kevin Costner and Diane Lane playing a rural Montana couple in the 60s and their chemistry is good.

Costner plays retired lawman George Blackledge. He’s kicking it on the farm with his adult son, James, his daughter in law Lorna (Kayley Carter), their grandson Jimmy, and strong-willed, loving wife Margaret. A tragedy on a horse leaves their son dead and Lorna moves onto another man, Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain). All seems to be well at first until Margaret spots something bad happening in town with Donnie, Lorna and their grandson Jimmy. The next thing we know, the family has moved on without even saying goodbye to the grandparents. This puts them into protection and separation from grandson mode. From there, we’re wondering what happened.

Burn Notice’s Jeffery Donovan has an oddly sinister part as one of the Weboy clan and Grandma Weboy (Lesly Manville) is, well, you have to see her in action to truly despise her cold, calculating demeanor. Perhaps the only less than great acting in this movie comes from Lorna, who we can never really get in favor of. She’s supposed to be a victim but there’s something untethered about her performance, likes she’s maybe some part accomplice.

This is all we can say about the story without spoilers. You can see our reactions as we came out of the theater and it’s all good. Going in before the movie I told Kara my suspicion is that we’d enjoy this movie and we sure did.

I have successfully managed to stay away from all other reviews before watching the movie and writing this review, so no idea if others enjoyed it as much as we did. I only have a couple minor complaints.

There were a few scenes that seemed to drag a bit and I felt like if they just cut like 10-15 minutes of the film it would have been even tighter. Also, the ending was entertaining but it felt like we needed an epilogue. At least some sort of coda. Maybe they should have cut the 15 minutes in some longer scenes, like trimmed some of the interplay with the young man who lived on the North Dakota border and added some sort of coda.

2020 hasn’t been a productive year at the theaters for great movies, but this one is very good. It’s almost Oscar bait, simply for the acting performances and the story which might seem pretty basic, but manages to expose a family love conflict we don’t often see on the big screen. Sure, if you watch a bunch of Lifetime you’ll run across stories like this, but they are more rare in wide theater release movies. And I might be somewhat biased, but Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as a couple are worth recommending alone. They could have been in this film reading cereal boxes and pulled it off with vim and vigor. Loved their performances.

Even if you’re not a grandparent or parent, this movie will grip you almost from the beginning and hook you in deeper and deeper as the dramatic tension increases. It’s like a vice on your heart pulling it tighter and tighter and you almost want to turn away but can’t. It’s done matter of factly at times and that caught me off guard. If you’re seeing anything in the theaters in your area, and you like a tense family drama in a western 60s setting, make sure you see this one ASAP.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (Kara – her highest rating of 2020 so far)

Come Play ⭐️⭐️

Come Play – R – 1 hr 36 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday October 29, 2020
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
#41 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Oliver is a young autistic boy that has trouble making friends. He uses a phone app to select words to be read aloud by the app, since he doesn’t speak. An app on his phone keeps recurring showing a story about an unusual monster named Larry. The creature wants to use his phone or other screens as a portal to Oliver’s world.

This story somewhat reminded me of Dweller by Jeff Strand. That’s a much better story and covers the whole pet monster idea from a position of truly scary horror. The main difference here is Oliver doesn’t want this pet monster to be his friend, so Larry is setup as an antagonist early on in the story.

Let’s talk about the name. As far as monster names go, Larry doesn’t cut it — at all. I mean, what’s scary about “Larry”? A monster name needs to sound scary. The Unusual Monster book that tells Larry’s story is kind of intriguing. It explains that Larry just wants to find a friend, but its idea of friendship is take his hand and he will pull you into his world.

Larry’s method of moving around between Oliver’s world and wherever it comes from is through screens and something to do with electricity. The film spends way too much time on the whole electrical disturbance part every time Larry is near. I mean, how many lightbulbs smashing and going dark do we need to see to have that point drilled home? It’s not like Larry is a poltergeist. The effect could have been a lot more effective if barely used instead of overused. That’s the signature of amateurish horror filmmaking: overdoing jumpscares, too many sudden, loud noises, the antagonist hiding too many times in the dark and so on. A little of this can set a good atmosphere.

Another knock: the trailer spoiled most of Larry’s appearance. One of the most gripping part of the movie is Larry moving around the house and we’ve already seen it. Don’t you hate it when trailers take the best parts of movies? That’s definitely the case here.

This movie is missing a good scary soundtrack. It needs something like John Carpenter would do to take this out of the amazing world of Steven Spielberg. I’m a Spielberg fan, but his movies — some (very) notable exceptions like Jaws aside — tend to be more fanciful, adventurous and fun than scary.

Bottom line: this movie is plagued with a genre identity problem. If it was trying to be scary, it mostly isn’t. It is better telling a dramatic story about a boy with autism and how he interacts with other children, his parents and the evolution of his social skills with the introduction of an ugly otherworldly character.

This isn’t a terrible movie, just mediocre. Kara couldn’t stand it, but she’s not very into horror, so her commentary above should keep that in mind. I’m a lifelong horror fan, but this missed the mark. It tried, and I could see where it was focusing — on the spookiness of Larry being able to come in and out of our world, but while the framework has potential, the execution is off.

Instead of recommending to see this, again, if you are a horror fan, and enjoy reading go check out Jeff Strand’s book mentioned above. It’s a fast, furious read. Sorry Larry, not recommending anybody play with you — and it’s not for the reasons the filmmakers intended.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️ (Kara)

Synchronic ⭐️⭐️

Synchronic – R – 1 hr 41 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Saturday October 24, 2020
AMC Southcenter 16 – Tukwila, Washington
#40 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Two paramedic friends, Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) encounter various people afflicted by a designer drug called synchronic. Dennis’ daughter Brianna takes the drug and disappears.

Steve finds out he’s dying and, upon an unexpected visit from the drug’s creator, learns synchronic can allow the user to travel back in time for seven minutes. Steve buys up all the synchronic in town and searches for Brianna.

The idea is somewhat fresh, which is always appreciated. Take a drug and travel back through time based on where you take the drug at? I was thinking sort of like Sound of Thunder without the machine or radical future change consequences

Time travel stories are often convoluted and difficult to parse logic-wise. This one tries to stay away from paradoxes but viewers can’t help pondering credibly how this would work. A sci-fi story needs plausible elements with the science to be more effective. Pretty much none of that exists here. Those that can get past that will probably find this more enjoyable.

The biggest problem is the most interesting parts are when Steve takes the drug, not much that’s happening in the mundane present time. The first 45 minutes of the movie are slow and difficult to get into. Kara had to bump me a few times because I was literally starting to nod off.

The last 45 minutes are significantly better, especially as Steve learns more about how synchronic works and his search for Brianna deepens. The ending, which won’t be spoiled here, is a bit on the predictable side, but it’s handled well.

There is a non sci-fi feel to the way the film is shot. Like it’s not as dark and dreary as the story. The sound effects are good and soundtrack, although a little understated is OK. The acting is nothing special, but that could be that it’s mostly Steve doing the one man show routine. He wasn’t bad, but we don’t find ourselves rooting for him quite the way we should.

Kara and I were a bit apart on this one in our just left the theater video review (see below).

Uneven pacing is what makes this one come up short and miss being recommended. It’s a compelling idea and with better execution, particularly the first half of the movie, it could have been a good movie. Alas, as presented it comes off as somewhere between bad and mediocre. Not recommended.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️ (Kara)

The Empty Man ⭐️

The Empty Man – R – 2 hr 17 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Friday October 23, 2020
AMC Kent Station 14 – Kent, Washington
#39 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Four young adults are hiking in the mountains and cross a bridge that we expect to collapse, sending them to their deaths, but that’s just a set piece for the moment. Instead, one walks away from the group and falls down a chamber inside the rocks.

His friend rappels down and finds him sitting cross legged and trance-like staring at this spooky-looking human-creature skeleton, telling his friend “touch me and you’ll die.”

Being a horror movie, of course he’s going to ignore this warning, helping him out of the cave and trying to carry down the mountain, only to get tired. With weather worsening, they stay in a lodge near the bridge. Inside there, they try to figure out what’s wrong with their friend.

That’s just the beginning and it is kind of intriguing but turns out this is just a prologue to the real story which is a retired police officer turned private eye investigating the disappearance of a young woman. There’s another bridge scene and viewers are treated to a cult-like fascination with bridges, death and a mythical creature known as The Empty Man.

Oddly, The Empty Man likes to pattern his ghostly behavior on Charles Manson’s penchant for leaving messages at crime scenes. Only they aren’t witchy, they are more obvious like, “The Empty Man was here!”

This movie suffers — badly — from way too much lore, exposition and backstory. While it’s based on a graphic novel — and no, I haven’t read it — this isn’t exactly Lord of the Rings. It also is a victim of excess runtime. The story isn’t as complex as it wants to be, and yet it’s approaching 2.5 hours?!? That’s too long for, once stripped down, a pretty basic horror story.

We never get to know any characters that well except for the detective and even his characterization is thin. Instead, we’re focused on who or what is The Empty Man. At some point viewer fatigue sets in with too much mystery without action. It doesn’t have to be a nonstop killathon, but we need plot twists, turns, something, besides, hey, that’s kind of weird behavior.

The biggest problem here is that it simply isn’t scary. It’s loud and has some very cliched jumpscares, but spooky lore and skeletons by themselves aren’t scary. Not that The Empty Man needed to go all Freddy Kruger or Jason Vorhees, but the shadowy figure doesn’t deliver enough of any personality to be scary. I guess that’s the point, it’s “empty” … but empty isn’t scary. Empty can be eerie, like go watch The Twilight Zone’s debut episode (see: TV SERIES Review: The Twilight Zone (1959) S1E1 – Where is Everybody?½ (#1 of 156)) but not even that level of awesomeness could hold a viewer beyond 30 minutes.

We were checking our clocks in the theater multiple times past the hourly mark, which had us contemplating leaving before it finished, but we pushed through and got to the end, which, unfortunately, didn’t redeem anything. The story is largely boring, not horrifying and neither of us could find much good to say, except that it wasn’t the worst horror movie we’ve seen in 2020.

Just leaving the theater, we discussed the horror of how bad it was versus it being horrifying. It’s a sad statement when Kara who generally dislikes horror films liked this more than me who loves all things horror. Loves good horror films, that is, which this one isn’t.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ½ (Todd) ⭐️ (Kara)

FIRST LOOK: 75+ Movies Coming To Theaters In 2020

Coming 2 America in December 2020
Wonder Woman 1984 coming in 2020
Bill & Ted’s Face The Music hits theaters in 2020
Daniel Craig’s last jaunt (?) as James Bond is coming in 2020
A horror remake of the hit TV show is on the way next year

Note: this post will be updated periodically to include links to new coverage as it is posted and becomes available throughout 2020.

UPDATE 4/11/2020: With the coronavirus pandemic, most theaters have closed and planned release dates have changed. Tiles from the end of March – ??? (unknown) have been pushed to new dates later in 2020 or 2021 or are TBA (To Be Announced). A strikethru on the release date and/or title indicates the planned date has changed.

The original source for this post in October 2019 was Cinemablend which at that time posted an incomplete list of movies coming in 2020. I’ve shortened to the month only since these dates are bound to change and move around anyway. More new movies will be added and others dropped, this remains a fluid document, with many changes to be made throughout 2020.

Again, this is a post to be bookmarked and return to for (sometimes) frequent changes.

Bolded title movies I’m looking most forward to seeing

FIRST LOOK – contains the first time a movie was looked at with the information at that time. As a monthly movies coming soon posts are released (typically 30-45 days before the new month to allow for studio release changes), it will be linked in the date heading and contain more information about the movies scheduled to come out during that month.

JANUARY 2020 (9 movies)

FEBRUARY 2020 (12 movies)

MARCH 2020 (10 movies)

APRIL 2020 (9 movies originally planned, 1 movie released on VOD)

  • The New MutantsFIRST LOOK (delayed & moved to TBA)
  • The Lovebirds FIRST LOOK (delayed, purchased by Netflix, release date unknown)
  • Trolls World Tour ⭐️⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (moved from April 17 to April 10, 2020 VOD)
  • Bad TripFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from February 2020, move #2 to TBA)
  • My SpyFIRST LOOK (delayed & move #1 from January 2020, move #2 from April, move #3 purchased by Amazon Prime Video no release date announced)
  • The Secret: Dare To Dream (delayed, no release date announced)
  • Monster Problems (delayed, move #1 from March 2020 to April 17, 2020, move #2 to Feb 21, 2020)
  • Promising Young Woman (delayed, no release date announced)
  • Antebellum (delayed, no release date announced)

MAY 2020 (11 movies originally planned, 1 wide release left scheduled)

  • Black WidowFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved to November 6, 2020)
  • The High NoteFIRST LOOK – (delayed, moved from May 8 to release on VOD May 29) [formerly titled “Covers”]
  • Legally Blonde 3 (delayed, no release date announced)
  • Scoob! ⭐️⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK – (delayed, VOD release May 15, 2020)
  • Spiral: From The Book of SawFIRST LOOK (delayed, no release date announced)
  • The Woman in the Window (delayed, no release date announced)
  • Fast & Furious 9 – (delayed, moved to 2021)
  • The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (delayed, moved to July 31, 2020)
  • Artemis Fowl (delayed, will be released June 12 on Disney+)
  • Run (delayed, move #1 from January 2020, move #2 release date unknown)
  • Irresistible FIRST LOOK – (delayed, move from May 29 to June 26 VOD)

JUNE 2020 (9 movies originally planned, 3 VOD, 0 wide theater releases)

  • The King of Staten Island – FIRST LOOK – (moved from June 19 to VOD on June 12)
  • Irresistible – FIRST LOOK – (delayed, move from May 29 to June 26 VOD)
  • Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [LIMITED?] – FIRST LOOK (June 30)

    • Wonder Woman 1984 FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from June 1 to Aug 24, 2020)
    • Candyman (delayed, moved from June 1 to September 25, 2020)
    • Greyhound (delayed, move #1 from May to June 12, 2020, move #2 to AppleTV release date “TBA 2020”)
    • Soul (delayed, moved from June 19 to November 20, 2020)
    • Fatale (moved AHEAD from Oct 20, 2020 to June 19, move #2 delayed to Oct 30, 2020)
    • In The Heights (delayed, moved from June 26, 2020 to June 18, 2021)
    • Top Gun 2: Maverick (delayed, moved from June 24 to December 23, 2020)

JULY 2020 (0 movies in theater, 1 streaming, 13 delayed/moved)


  • Greyhound ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (July 10) – FIRST LOOK – AppleTV+

    • Free Guy (delayed, moved from July 3 to December 11, 2020)
    • Minions: The Rise of Gru (delayed, moved from July 3, 2020 to July 2, 2021)
    • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (delayed, moved from July 10, 2020 to March 5, 2021)
    • The Forever Purge Movie (delayed, moved from July 10 to “TBA”)
    • Bob’s Burgers: The Movie (delayed, moved from July 17, 2020 to April 9, 2021)
    • MulanFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from March 27 to July 24, 2020, move #2 Augus 21)
    • Jungle Cruise (delayed, moved from July 24, 2020 to July 31, 2021)
    • TenetFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved to July 31, move #2 to August 12)
    • Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar [LIMITED] (delayed, moved from July 31, 2020 to July 16, 2021)
    • Rumble (delayed, moved from July 31, 2020 to January 29, 2021)
    • The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (delayed, moved from May 22 to July 31, 2020, movie #2 to August 7, 2020)
    • MorbiusFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from July 31, 2020 to March 19, 2021)
    • UnhingedFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from July 1 to July 31, move #2 to “August 2020 TBA”)

AUGUST 2020 (6 Movies)
(NOTE: started full text non-spoiler reviews of all watched theater films on

  • *Endless – FIRST LOOK – (August 14) – *Theater and premiere on VOD/PVOD
  • Unhinged ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from July 1 to July 31, move #2 to “August 2020 TBA”, move #3 to August 21, 2020)
  • The New Mutants ⭐️⭐️ – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from April 13 to TBA, move #2 to August 28, 2020)
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield ⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (August 28)
  • Cut Throat City ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (August 28)
  • *Hard Kill – FIRST LOOK (August 28) – *Theater and premiere on VOD/PVOD

  • An American Pickle ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK – (Aug 6) HBO Max
  • The Secret Garden – FIRST LOOK (moved up from August 14 to August 7 – premiere on streaming)
  • Boyz In The Wood – FIRST LOOK – (Aug 7) Amazon Prime Video
  • The Tax Collector – FIRST LOOK (Aug 7) VOD
  • Project Power ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – FIRST LOOK (Aug 14) Netflix
  • Magic Camp ⭐️⭐️- FIRST LOOK (Aug 14) Disney+
  • Endless – FIRST LOOK (Aug 14) VOD / also in theaters
  • Boy’s State (Aug 14) Apple TV+
  • The One and Only Ivan (Aug 21) Disney+
  • Chemical Hearts (Aug 21) Amazon Prime Video
  • Hard Kill – FIRST LOOK – (Aug 28) VOD / also in theaters

    • The Empty ManFIRST LOOK (delayed, August 7 to December 4, 2020)
    • The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the RunFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from May 22 to July 31, 2020, movie #2 to August 7, 2020, move #3 to 2021 VOD)
    • Let Him Go (delayed, move from August 21 to November 6)
    • Infinite (delayed from August 7, 2020 to May 28, 2021)
    • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (delayed, move #1 February 2020, move #2 from April to August 7, 2020, move #3 to January 15, 2021)
    • TenetFIRST LOOK (delayed, July 17 to July 31, move #2 to August 12, move #3 to “TBA”, move #4 September 4)
    • Bill & Ted Face The Music (delayed, August 14 to Sept 1, move #2 to Aug 28 theaters and VOD)
    • AntebellumFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from August 21 to September 18 VOD/PVOD)
    • MulanFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from March 27 to July 24, 2020, move #2 August 21, move #3 “TBA 2020”, move #4 to Sept 4 Disney+ $29.99 VOD)
    • Wonder Woman 1984FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from June 1 to Aug 24, 2020, move #2 to October 2)
    • The Courier (delayed, moved from August 28 to “TBA”)
    • Spell (delayed, moved from August 28 to “TBA”) [LIMITED]

SEPTEMBER 2020 (4 movies)

  • Tenet ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (delayed, July 17 to July 31, move #2 to August 12, move #3 to “TBA”, move #4 September 3)
  • The Broken Hearts Gallery ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (Sept 11)
  • Infidel ⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (Sept 18)
  • The Last Shift ½ – FIRST LOOK (Sept 25) [LIMITED]

  • Love, Guaranteed ⭐️⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (Sep 3) Netflix
  • Mulan – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from March 27 to July 24, 2020, move #2 August 21, move #3 “TBA 2020”, move #4 to Sept 4 Disney+ $29.99 VOD)
  • I’m Thinking Of Ending Things (Sep 4) Netflix
  • Cuties (Sept 9) Netflix
  • The Social Dilemma ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Sept 9) Netflix
  • Unpregnant ⭐️⭐️½ (Sept 10) HBO Max
  • Pets United (Sept 11) Netflix
  • Dad Wanted (Sept 11) Netflix
  • Antebellum – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from August 21 to September 18 VOD/PVOD)
  • Enola Holmes ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (Sept 23) Netflix
  • Welcome To Sudden Death ⭐️- FIRST LOOK (Sept 29) Netflix

    • Honest Thief (delayed, moved from Sept 4 to October 9)
    • A Quiet Place: Part II FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from March 20 to Sept 4, 2020, move #2 to April 23, 2021)
    • Monster Hunter (delayed, moved from September 4, 2020 to April 23, 2021)
    • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (delayed, Sept 11, 2020 to June 4, 2021)
    • 2 Hearts (delayed, Sept 11 to October 16)
    • The King’s Man (delayed, moved from March 2020 to Sept 18, move #2 to February 26, 2021)
    • Without Remorse (delayed, moved from September 18 to Oct 2)
    • Last Night in Soho (delayed, moved from September 25, 2020 to April 23, 2021)
    • The Many Saints of Newark (delayed, moved from September 25, 2020 to March 21, 2021)
    • Praise This (delayed, changed from September 25, 2020 to TBA 2020)
    • What About Love (delayed, moved from September 25, 2020 to February 12, 2021)
    • Candyman (delayed, moved from June 1 to September 25, move #2 to October 16, 2020)
    • Greenland (delayed, moved from Sept 25, 2020 to “TBA 2020”)

OCTOBER 2020 (7 movies)

  • The War With Grandpa ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (Oct 9)
  • Honest Thief ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from Sept 4 to Oct 9, move #2 to Oct 16)
  • 2 Hearts – FIRST LOOK (delayed, Sept 11 to October 16)
  • The Kid Detective ⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (Oct 16) [LIMITED]
  • The Empty Man ⭐️- FIRST LOOK (delayed, August 7 to December 4, 2020, move #2 to Oct 23, 2020)
  • Synchronic ⭐️⭐️ – FIRST LOOK (Oct 23) [LIMITED]
  • Come Play ⭐️⭐️ – FIRST LOOK (Oct 30) [LIMITED]

  • The Lie ⭐️⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (Oct 6) – Amazon Prime Video
  • Hubie Halloween ⭐️⭐️ – FIRST LOOK (Oct 7) – Netflix
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from Oct 9 to Oct 16 now streaming on Netflix)
  • Rebecca (Oct 21) – Netflix
  • The Witches (delayed, moved from October 16, 2020 to TBA 2021, move #2 to Oct 22, 2020 as HBO Max exclusive) based on Roald Dahl story, has potential

    • Wonder Woman 1984 FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from June 1 to Aug 24, 2020, move #2 to Oct 2, move #3 to December 25)
    • BIOS – (delayed, moved from October 2, 2020 to April 16, 2021) Tom Hanks
    • Venom 2 (delayed, moved from October 2, 2020 to TBA 2021, move #2 to June 25, 2021) Marvel MCU
    • Without Remorse (delayed, moved from September 18 to Oct 2, move #2 to Amazon Prime Video and “TBA 2020”)
    • Halloween Kills (delayed, moved from October 16, 2020 to Oct 15, 2021) Jamie Lee Curtis
    • Candyman (delayed, moved from June 1 to September 25, move #2 to Oct 16, move #3 to “TBA 2021”)
    • The Witches (delayed, moved from October 16, 2020 to TBA 2021) based on Roald Dahl story, has potential
    • Connected (delayed, moved from Oct 23 to “TBA 20202”)
    • Snake Eyes (delayed, moved from Oct 23 to Oct 22, 2021)
    • Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (delayed, moved from October 23, 2020 to January 22, 2021)
    • Death on the Nile (delayed, moved from Oct 9 to Oct 23, move #2 to Dec 18, 2020)
    • Fatale (moved AHEAD from Oct 20, 2020 to June 19, move #2 delayed to Oct 30, move #3 to “early 2021”)

NOVEMBER 2020 (6 movies)

  • Let Him Go ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – FIRST LOOK (delayed, move from August 21 to Nov 6)
  • True To The Game 2 ⭐️½ – FIRST LOOK (Nov 6) [LIMITED]
  • Freaky – FIRST LOOK (Friday the 13th, Nov 13)
  • Ammonite – FIRST LOOK (Nov 13)
  • The Croods: A New Age (Moved up from Dec 23 to November 25)
  • Happiest Season (Nov 25)

  • The Dark and The Wicked (Nov 6) – VOD/PVOD
  • Jingle Jangle (Nov 13) – Netflix
  • Run – FIRST LOOK (Nov 20) – Hulu
  • Christmas on the Square (Nov 23) – Netflix
  • Iron Mask – FIRST LOOK (Nov 24) – VOD/PVOD
  • Uncle Frank (Nov 25) – Amazon Prime Video
  • The Christmas Chronicles 2 – FIRST LOOK (Nov 25) – Netflix
  • Black Beauty (Nov 27) – Disney+

    • Stillwater (delayed, moved from Nov 6 to unannounced future date) [LIMITED] Matt Damon
    • Black WidowFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from May 1 to Nov 6, move #2 to May 7, 2021)
    • The Eternals (delayed, moved from Nov 6, 2020 to Feb 12, 2021)
    • Clifford The Big Red Dog (delayed, move from Nov 13 to Nov 5, 2021)
    • Red Notice (delayed, moved from Nov 13 to “TBA 2021”) – Netflix
    • Ron’s Gone Wrong (delayed, moved from November 6, 2020 to Feb 26, 2021)
    • Vivo (delayed, moved from November 6, 2020 to April 16, 2021, move #2 to June 4, 2021)
    • No Time To DieFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from April 10, 2020 to Nov 20, move #2 to April 2, 2021)
    • Godzilla vs. KongFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from March 13 to November 20, move #2 to May 21, 2021)
    • Soul (delayed, moved from June 19 to Nov 20, move #2 to December 25 via Disney+)
    • Voyagers (delayed, moved from Nov 25 to “TBA 2021”)
    • Raya And The Last Dragon (delayed, moved from Nov 25, 2020 to March 12, 2021)
    • King Richard (delayed, moved from November 25, 2020 to Nov 19, 2021) biopic on tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and their father

DECEMBER 2020 (5 movies)

  • All My Life – FIRST LOOK (Dec 4)
  • Wonder Woman 1984FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from June 1 to Aug 24, 2020, move #2 to Oct 2, move #3 to December 25)
  • News Of The World (Dec 25)
  • Promising Young Woman (Dec 25)
  • Monster Hunter (moved up four months from April 2021 to Dec 30)

  • Godmothered (Dec 4) – Disney+
  • Mank (Dec 4) – Netflix Original
  • The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee – FIRST LOOK (Dec 11) – VOD
  • Wander Darkly (Dec 11) – AppleTV+
  • I’m Your Woman (Dec 11) – Amazon Prime Video
  • Safety (Dec 11) – Disney+
  • The Prom (Dec 11) – Netflix
  • Canvas (Dec 11) – Netflix
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Dec 18) – Netflix
  • The Midnight Sky (Dec 23) – Netflix
  • One Night In Miami (Dec 25) – Amazon Prime Video
  • Sylvie’s Love (Dec 25) – Amazon Prime Video
  • Soul (Dec 25) – Disney+

    • Free Guy (delayed, moved from July 3 to Dec 11, move #2 to “TBA 2021”)
    • Death on the Nile (delayed, moved from Oct 9 to Oct 23, move #2 to Dec 18, 2020, move #2 to “TBA 2021”)
    • Uncharted (delayed, moved from December 18 to March 15, 2021, move #2 to Oct 8, move #3 to July 16, 2021)
    • West Side Story (delayed, moved from Dec 18 to Dec 10, 2021) – adaptation of famous Broadway musical directed by Steven Spielberg. Could have major interest.
    • Samaritan (delayed, moved from Dec 11 to June 4,2021)
    • Coming 2 America (delayed, moved from Dec 18, 2020 in theaters to March 2021 on Amazon) – Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall doing this again? Can’t wait to laugh at this one! Cast list includes Wesley Snipes, too? This should be fun. Clever sequel title!
    • Dune (delayed, moved from Dec 18 to Oct 1, 2021)
    • Top Gun 2: Maverick (delayed, moved from June 24 to Dec 23, move #2 to July 2, 2021)

What’s not coming in 2020?

James Cameron’s Avatar first sequel is not coming until December 2021 2022. So … those eager like myself, will need to wait another 2 years to see how that epic turns out.

If you look at all the strikethrus listed above, a bunch of other movies have been delayed to 2021 and beyond.

FIRST LOOK / Preview Coverage Throughout 2020

We’ll have extended FIRST LOOK and preview coverage as the 2020 films draw nearer. A new feature at the blog starting 1/17/2020 is FIRST LOOK Fridays, where coming soon to theater films will be posted. Due to the pandemic closing theaters, we also started offering previews of movies and TV shows premiering on VOD and streaming channels.

2020 Most Anticipated Movies

I am most excited and most looking forward to these 5 of 20 bolded titled above (in order of anticipation and interest):

  • Coming 2 America (Dec)
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (Oct)
  • Bill & Ted Face The Music (Aug)
  • Fantasy Island ⭐️⭐️ (Feb)
  • No Time To Die (Dec)

Three of the five are sequels, one is based on a popular TV show and the other is a franchise film. There are some original stories out of the other 15 that are of great interest, but admittedly, I tend to look most forward to the known over the unknown. Ironically, I tend to most like the unknown, so go figure.

2020 Marvel & DC & Other Superhero/Comics Movies by Month

Superhero and characters based on comics have been very popular. The following are all movies in 2020 based on comics and/or superheroes originally scheduled:

  1. Birds of Prey – DC – February 7, 2020
  2. Bloodshot – Valiant Comics – March 13, 2020
  3. The New Mutants – Marvel – April 3, 2020
  4. Black Widow – Marvel – May 1, 2020
  5. Wonder Woman 1984 – DC – June 5, 2020
  6. Morbius – Marvel – July 31, 2020
  7. Venom 2 – Marvel – October 2, 2020
  8. The Eternals – Marvel – November 6, 2020

What movies are YOU looking forward to seeing above?