Theaters prepare for premieres; streaming serves fresh offerings


Will Ferrell as Lars Erickssong and Rachel McAdams as Sigrit Ericksdottir in “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” which is set to premiere on Netflix June 26. JOHN WILSON / NETFLIX IMAGE

Will Ferrell as Lars Erickssong and Rachel McAdams as Sigrit Ericksdottir in “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” which is set to premiere on Netflix June 26. JOHN WILSON / NETFLIX IMAGE

There have been a few silver screen holdout films that have not been given the green light to go to streaming and it looks like they will soon get their chance — albeit postponed — to finally come to a theater near you.

With theaters starting to open their doors there will be some movies coming out that you can’t find online just yet, just fewer of them as Hollywood has been shut down and many films set to premiere publicly have taken the stream-to-your-home route during the pandemic shutdown. Among the films set to actually hit the big screen are a few to get really excited about, including the new Bond film “No Time to Die” starring Daniel Craig, Bill and Ted’s long-awaited sequel “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” Disney’s live-action “Mulan,” Gal Gadot in “Wonder Woman 1984,” and Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited “Tenet.”

Whether or not they will do better than, say, “Trolls World Tour,” which has reportedly grossed more than $77 million in revenue — all with VOD as the only option — is yet to be seen. My guess is that, depending on their release dates (some of which are as soon as July 10), the half-capacity seating rule and some folks’ reluctance to reenter their favorite public screening venues might have studios rethinking their decision. Of course, I’ve been wrong before. Still, it is exciting to get off the couch again. I know I’m psyched. Many films are still premiering on your favorite digital platforms and are excellent viewing options if you are loving staying in and watching from home.



 “2 Minutes of Fame”

Jay Pharoah is the master comedic impressionist of all time, as he has shown over the years on “Saturday Night Live,” (2010–2016) with spot-on takes of Jay-Z, Chris Rock, Kanye West, Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, Shaq, Denzel Washington, Barack Obama (my personal favorite), Ben Carson and many more. Pharoah now stars in “2 Minutes of Fame” as Deandre, a comedian who heads to L.A. to make it in the stand-up world while trying to maintain a fatherly presence as he helps raise his young son with a girlfriend who doesn’t exactly share his enthusiasm for comedy. His character’s impressions of a comedian named Marques, played by Katt Williams, make him an online sensation in this comedy with a lot of heart, along with some great Jay Pharoah screen time which has been lacking the last four years. The Lionsgate Home Entertainment production also stars RonReaco Lee, Deon Cole, Keke Palmer, DC Young Fly and Jess Hilarious. R; 1h 37m.



 “Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn”

The documentary, now available to stream on HBO, tells the story of the life and death of infamous attorney and power broker Roy Cohn, who gained prominence prosecuting Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. It is told through the eyes of director Ivy Meeropol, who happens to be the granddaughter of the Rosenbergs and who saw the backstory with her own eyes during much of her life as things played out, while feeling repelled and fascinated by the man who prosecuted her grandparents — convicting them of spying on behalf of the Soviet Union and insisting on their executions. The film draws on extensive and newly unearthed archival materials never before seen. 1h 34m.



 “You Should Have Left”

Everyone is six-degrees separated from Kevin Bacon, it is said, and full disclosure — if you know me — you are only two away, as I played a tiny extra-role alongside him in the film “Stir of Echoes.” His latest film, just set to stream this week and also starring Amanda Seyfried, “You Should Have Left,” offers a similar horrific psychological thriller feel to that very 20-year-old film — and there is good reason. The screenplay, based on Daniel Kehlmann’s “Measuring the World,” was written and directed by mastermind David Koepp — who also did “Echoes.” The film’s couple, looking to repair relationship issues, books a vacation in a stunning home in the Welsh countryside, bringing along their six-year-old daughter (played by Avery Tiiu Essex in her first film). What begins as a vacation to the perfect retreat turns creepy, however, as reality seems to unravel and sinister forces within the house seem to know more than the couple has revealed to each other, refusing to let them leave. R; 1h 33m.



 “Creating a Character: The Moni Yakim Legacy”

Moni Yakim instructed many acting greats at Juilliard, NYC’s renowned performing arts school, including Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Patti LuPone and Alex Sharp, to name a few. The documentary “Creating a Character: The Moni Yakim Legacy,” directed by Rauzar Alexander, premiered at DOC NYC last November and has just released to stream. It also includes interviews with Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie and Kevin Kline, who agree on the genius of the master teacher as well as his love and passion in preparing for the next generation of actors. 1h 16m.


  “My Spy”

Dave Bautista had his come up into the movie and entertainment world through the WWE Universe decades ago, wrestling alongside the likes of Ric Flair and Triple H. Fast forward past his first silver screen performance alongside Vin Diesel in “Riddick” and subsequent performances alongside Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana through two volumes of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” in which he blossomed into the heroic, funny, loveable and sensitive Marvel character Drax. His latest film, “My Spy,” casts him alongside Sophie, a very precocious 9-year-old played by Chloe Coleman. He is the hardened muscle dude, a demoted CIA operative sent to spy on her family. She is on to his game. His gig gets discovered and he finds himself on the other end of her abilities to negotiate for spy lessons — as well as teaching him a thing or two about charm and wit. Also starring Parisa Fitz-Henley, Ken Jeong and Kristen Schaal, it is set to stream on Amazon Prime June 26. PG-13; 1h 39m.



 “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”

The latest from director David Dobkin is the hilarity of Will Ferrell’s newest comedy “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.” Originally scheduled for a May 2020 theatrical release, it is now set to premiere globally on Netflix June 26. Icelandic musicians Lars (Ferrell) and Sigrit (played by Rachel McAdams) get a chance to represent their country in the world’s biggest song competition, the Eurovision

Song Contest. It is kind of a reunion of sorts as the actors and director worked previously together in the comedy hit “Wedding Crashers” 15 years ago. Ferrell, who is well known after establishing a career on “Saturday Night Live” and in subsequent box office hits “Elf,” “Old School” and “Anchorman,” just to name a few, developed this project with Jessica Elbaum and Chris Henchy. Written by Farrell and Andrew Steele, the film is executive produced by Adam McKay and also stars Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens and Demi Lovato. PG-13; 2h 3m.




It is a small right-wing Wisconsin town where the Democratic National Committee’s top strategist, Gary, played by Steve Carrell, sees his party getting its ass kicked. He finds an opportunity to get a retired Marine colonel (Chris Cooper) to compete in a mayoral election. The RNC sends a brilliant nemesis played by Rose Byrne, and the town becomes a political tangle for the ages. From the writer and director Jon Stewart (“The Daily Show”), the Focus Features film is due for release to VOD on June 26. R; 1h 42m.




This may not have been an option worth considering, or just what you were waiting for when you spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway blockbuster sensation in NYC, or when it ventured into the town where you live. But now Disney+ is unveiling a full film of the Tony Award-winning musical, yes, including the performances from the entire original cast, including creator Miranda, of the real live story of one of America’s foremost founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. Thomas Kail, the show’s director, reportedly shot three live performances from the Richard Rodgers Theatre back then and Disney has paid $75 million for the global rights. Now quickened to streaming, the presentation to subscribers benefits all who are in love with this powerhouse musical. With or without theaters and Broadway shut down, you simply must not throw away your shot to see this, set to drop July 3 on Disney+.

— Eric Raddatz is the Presentation Editor at Florida Weekly, film guy and host of the indie film series T. G. I. M.





— Eric Raddatz is the Presentation Editor at Florida Weekly, film guy and host of the indie film series T. G. I. M.

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