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Saturday
January 22nd, 2022

cruella 2021 spotlight pageEmma Stone in the title role of the upcoming Disney film “Cruella” film, slated to be a big movie draw for this spring and summer. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

One of the things I missed during the COVID-19 pandemic was the occasional trip to the movie theatre in town, but with the pandemic at a point where movie theaters are starting to open back up, there are definitely movies I am excited about seeing this summer. 

 

Cruella

Set to be released May 28 in theaters and on the Disney+ streaming service, “Cruella” will focus on the backstory of the famously furr-ocious villain from “101 Dalmatians.” I saw the trailer for the movie shortly after it dropped and I was HOOKED. Emma Stone looks great in the title role, and with the rest of the cast featured in the trailer (including Emma Thompson and Mark Strong), the movie looks to be a solid hit ... as long as Disney doesn’t go the route of “Maleficent” and makes everyone just misunderstood. Come on, the lady was literally willing to skin dogs for a COAT, keep her evil!

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A Quiet Place, Part 2

The sequel to 2018’s surprise hit, set for a May release, will see the remaining Abbott family as they face the terrors of the outside world and continue to fight for survival in silence. I absolutely loved “A Quiet Place” the first time I saw it and was amazed at how those involved with the project were able to make everything work so. The ending of the movie definitely left open the opportunity for a sequel and I can’t wait to see the next part of the story. I watched the trailer on Twitter shortly after I saw it was trending (before the pandemic postponed it, of course) and I remember breathing only once throughout the whole time because that’s how struck I was by everything, so hopefully the finished movie will be worth the wait. This was actually on my anticipation list last year and like then, I can’t help but wonder why it’s not being released in the fall closer to Halloween?

 

Cinderella

Set to be released in July, this adaptation of the famous fairy tale will feature Camilla Cabello in the title role along with Broadway superstars Idina Menzel and Billy Porter in supporting roles. Admittedly, there have been more than enough “Cinderella” adaptations in movies and on TV (with my personal favorite being the 1997 version with Brandy and Whitney Houston), but with the level of talent in the cast, plus my overall love of musicals, this should be a fun movie to watch. With the release date so close, I’m also hoping there’s a trailer or something dropped soon. 

 

 Respect

Set for an August release, this Aretha Franklin will star Jennifer Hudson in the lead role. Hudson has more than enough talent to portray the late Queen of Soul, so this should be a great showcase of her talent. The cast also includes Audra McDonald and Mary J. Blige, so they should add in even more awesomeness to the movie. Also, Aretha Franklin has a pretty cool life story, so we’ll see how this movie ultimately ends up. 

 

In The Heights

This was another movie I was looking forward to last year before the pandemic hit, and it is now set to be released in early June. An adaptation of the hit Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, this movie will follow three days in the Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. I’ve listened to the show’s soundtrack a few times, and the music is great – and with the talent lined up for the movie (notably Anthony Ramos, who was in the original Broadway cast of “Hamilton”), the music and relevance to recent events should translate very well to the screen. The cinematography also looks fantastic and it sounds like the entire cast and crew put their entire heart and soul into making this work. Miranda himself was a big part of making this movie happen (which I know because I follow him on Twitter) and if everything comes together the way it should, this movie musical will be a powerhouse – which, after the horror flop of “Cats” back in 2019 (which I’m still questioning why that was even a thing) is what the movie musical genre needs. 

 

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Set for release in June, this installment of the “The Conjuring” franchise will see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren and will focus on a real case they investigated in which a murder suspect invoked demonic possession as a defense for his crimes. I was actually pretty impressed with the first “The Conjuring” movie (which my younger sister had actually recommended), so we’ll see if the quality of this film is any good. Like with “A Quiet Place 2,” however, I have to again question why this isn’t being released closer to Halloween. 

 

 The Beatles: Get Back

Set for release in August, this documentary from Peter Jackson will focus on the Beatles as they record their 1970 album “Let It Be,” as well as their performance on the rooftop of Apple Records in London. There’s been plenty of specials and other media done about the legendary band, so seeing some behind-the-scenes footage of  two of their more famous performances should be pretty cool for old fans and new alike. 

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