FIRST LOOK: Raya and The Last Dragon

Disney isn’t done with their premium streaming experiment (see: The Disney+ Mulan Premium Digital Launch Fiasco). Raya and the Last Dragon will also cost $29.99 like Mulan, eventually to appear later with no premium charge to Disney+ subscribers.

Raya and the Last Dragon, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest theatrical feature, will cost the same $29.99 Premier Access fee on Disney+ as the live-action Mulan remake. The new animated fantasy epic will be the first such release on Disney+ since Mulan, appearing both on the streaming platform and in theaters on March 5. The film stars Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina as the two titular protagonists.

Raya & The Last Dragon Will Cost The Same On Disney+ As Mulan

Those interested don’t have to drop 30 bones to see it on Disney+, it will also be available in theaters.

Offical trailer:

Raya and The Last Dragon will be available in theaters and on Disney+ premium access on March 5, 2021.

FIRST LOOK: Tom and Jerry (2021)

Another day and date release in both theaters and on HBO Max is coming featuring animated characters from the past.

I rarely watched Tom and Jerry, so don’t know that much about the history of the cartoon.

One of the most beloved rivalries in history is reignited when Jerry moves into New York City’s finest hotel on the eve of “the wedding of the century,” forcing the event’s desperate planner to hire Tom to get rid of him, in director Tim Story’s “Tom & Jerry.” The ensuing cat and mouse battle threatens to destroy her career, the wedding and possibly the hotel itself. But soon, an even bigger problem arises: a diabolically ambitious staffer conspiring against all three of them.

Everything You Need to Know About Tom and Jerry Movie (2021)

These animated and live action blended movies are a mixed bag. Sometimes they are good, often they are mediocre. How will this be? The trailer looks promising.

Official trailer:

Are you looking forward to watching Tom and Jerry?

Tom and Jerry will be released in theaters and streaming on HBO Max on January 26, 2021.

FIRST LOOK: Land (2021)

Kara adamantly stated she doesn’t want to see this movie. We caught preview for it when seeing The Marksman.

I’ll admit it looks a little slow and not in our normal area of interest, but these are the kinds of films I sort of enjoy taking a chance on. I’ve been surprised by films that I thought would be boring on several occasions.

The poignant story of one woman’s search for meaning in the vast and harsh American wilderness. Edee (Wright), in the aftermath of an unfathomable event, finds herself unable to stay connected to the world she once knew and in the face of that uncertainty, retreats to the magnificent, but unforgiving, wilds of the Rockies. After a local hunter (Demián Bichir) brings her back from the brink of death, she must find a way to live again.

Everything You Need to Know About Land Movie (2021)

Official trailer:

Land opens in theaters on February 12, 2021.

FIRST LOOK: The Mauritanian (2021)

An intriguing and awkward to spell title — based on the North African country Mauritania — this movie has an all-too-common 2+ hour run time, so nervously wondering if this will be yet another way too long movie.

Then again, it starts Jodie Foster. I haven’t seen anything with her in it recently, so looking forward to her performance. She’s been in some great films (Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs). Caught an interesting interview from her on YouTube earlier today with Anthony Hopkins (see here).

By the time you read this, we will have already seen this movie, as we’ve got tickets to watch it on Thursday 2/11 and this is scheduled to be at 12:01am on 2/12. It was written before seeing the movie, however.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald and based on the NY Times best-selling memoir “Guantánamo Diary” by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, this is the inspiring true story of Slahi’s fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. Government for years. Alone and afraid, Slahi (Tahar Rahim) finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley) who battle the U.S. government in a fight for justice that tests their commitment to the law and their client at every turn. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by a formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), uncovers shocking truths and ultimately proves that the human spirit cannot be locked up.

The Mauritanian (2021) – Rotten Tomatoes

Jodie Foster as a spirited defense attorney is a potentially intriguing role for her to me. How will she do? Will have a full text review posted soon as well as our just left the theater video review.

Official trailer:

Are you planning on seeing this film in theaters? Waiting for it on streaming? Waiting to hear what critics are saying? Tell us about you enthusiasm — or lack thereof — in the comments below.

The Mauritanian opens in theaters on February 11, 2021.

FIRST LOOK: Judas And The Black Messiah Movie (2021)

Here comes #3 of 17 in the Warner Bros. strategy to release movies in both theaters and on HBO Max for the first month.

Chairman Fred Hampton was 21 years old when he was assassinated by the FBI, who coerced a petty criminal, William O’Neal, to betray him and the Black Panther Party. In 1968, Hampton became Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, who were fighting for freedom, the power to determine the destiny of the Black community, and an end to police brutality. Hampton was inspiring a generation, which put him directly in the line of fire of the FBI and Chicago PD. To destroy the revolution, they had to do it from both the outside and the inside. Facing prison, O’Neal is offered a deal by the FBI: if he will infiltrate the Black Panthers and provide intel on Hampton, he will walk free. O’Neal lives in fear that his treachery will be discovered even as he rises in the ranks. But as Hampton’s fiery message draws him in, he cannot escape the deadly trajectory of his betrayal.

Everything You Need to Know About Judas And The Black Messiah Movie (2021)

Official trailer:

Judas And The Black Messiah will be available in theaters and on HBO Max on February 12, 2021.

FIRST LOOK: Bliss (2021) – Amazon Prime Video

Owen Wilson films have been hit or miss with me. Some I’ve liked, some not, most are just OK. The idea for Bliss sounds encouraging.

Present day fantasy involving Twilight Zone like happenings are stories that are right up my alley.

Centers on a recently divorced man (Wilson) who meets a woman (Hayek) who lives on the streets and is convinced that the polluted, broken world around them is not real.

Everything You Need to Know About Bliss Movie (2021)

Official trailer:

Bliss is streaming on Amazon Prime Video as of February 5, 2021.

FIRST LOOK: The Dig (2021) – Netflix

Do you like movies based on true stories and real places? How about movies about excavating? I was sooo there when Geraldo dug into Al Capone’s vault looking for treasure.

This one sounds like the digging reveals something real.

An excavator and his team discover a wooden ship from the Dark Ages while digging up a burial ground on a woman’s estate.

The Dig (2021) – Rotten Tomatoes

Official Trailer:

The Dig is streaming on Netflix as of January 29, 2021.

FIRST LOOK: The Little Things

#2 of 17 movies WarnerMedia plans to release simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon (Washington) is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a killer who is terrorizing the city. Leading the hunt, L.A. Sheriff Department Sergeant Jim Baxter (Malek), impressed with Deke’s cop instincts, unofficially engages his help. But as they track the killer, Baxter is unaware that the investigation is dredging up echoes of Deke’s past, uncovering disturbing secrets that could threaten more than his case.

Everything You Need to Know About The Little Things Movie (2021)

Official trailer:

The Little Things opens in theaters and on HBO Max on January 29, 2021.

FIRST LOOK: Hunted (2020) – Shudder

Nothing like the forest and animal kingdom to be both adversary and friend in a catch, escape and pursuit horror tale. This Shudder original has a fitting title.

Eve meets what she thinks is a charming guy in a bar. Yet things go terribly wrong once she realizes she has come across a psychopath and his accomplice. They engage in a death chase until she decides to fight back with the forest as her only ally.

Hunted (2020) – IMDb

Official trailer:

It’s not often that I write these FIRST LOOK previews after watching some or all of the movie, but that’s the case here. Recently, we resubbed for Shudder’s whole 11 weeks of new horror movie + the Joe Bob Briggs Valentine’s special. This was their first movie, kicking off in mid January and it runs through until the end of March 2021. No idea how many more Shudder originals remain in 2021, but one a week is a good pace to start.

Hunted is available to stream on Shudder as of January 14, 2021.

FIRST LOOK: The Marksman

Yet another audience vs. (early) critics opposite opinion on Rotten Tomatoes, but not many reviews are in yet

We’re running a bit behind on our FIRST LOOK coverage for new movies in theaters — we’ll catch up — mostly because in our area right now there are still no theaters open. This has shifted our focus, interest and energy to the streaming services. Apparently, last weekend a new movie opened wide that we had previously believed to be opening this week wide. Must have been a change we didn’t catch, but it featured a well-known action star.

The Marksman, starring Liam Neeson, opened a week early in theaters with no other wide releases competing and it took the #1 spot at the box office, dethroning Wonder Woman 1984.

The box office is in a fallow period, but Liam Neeson prevails. He opened two films at #1 over the last four months; a few weeks ago, a decade-old Neeson title topped Netflix’s movie chart. Not bad for a 68-year-old actor who was Oscar nominated for “Schindler’s List” but is now one-man action/thriller brand.

Liam Neeson, Pandemic-Era Movie Star: The Marksman Is Another #1 | IndieWire

Official trailer:

Maybe the reason audiences are warming up to Liam Neeson being badass, is that’s the kind of escapism that’s needed in these troubled times. Living through Neeson’s eyes isn’t such a bad idea and certainly safe from an entertainment standpoint.

I don’t know if this will still be playing in theaters when we’re in Vegas in a few weeks, but if so, it very well could make our watchlist. There’s probably going to be too many movies for us to see in the time we have available down there. We have other things we want to do, but this is on our radar.

Did you watch this already? What did you think? No spoilers, please, in the comments area tell us whether or not you recommend.

The Marksman opened wide in theaters on January 15, 2021.