FIRST LOOK: The Informer

Released in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2019, it is finally receiving a limited screening in the United States in March 2020.

Reformed criminal and former special ops soldier Pete Koslow (Kinnaman), in order to free himself from jail and return to his wife (de Armas) and daughter, has been working undercover for crooked FBI handlers (Pike, Common and Owen) to infiltrate the Polish mob’s drug trade in New York. In a final step towards freedom, Koslow must return to the one place he’s fought so hard to leave, Bale Hill Prison, where his mission becomes a race against time when a drug deal goes wrong and threatens to identify him as a mole.

Movie Insider Story Info

These release in the United States months later movies are somewhat of a puzzler to me. China and the United States are the two biggest movie markets, yes? So, I’d think releasing there first makes a heck of a lot more sense than releasing in other countries first and seeing how it does for a foreign audience.

Personally, I think movies should open up the same day everywhere at the same time. There shouldn’t be any country that has some sort of screening priority. Exceptions make sense I suppose if it’s a regional interest movie, but it doesn’t seem that applies to this movie.

The Informer official trailer.

Am not all that excited by the trailer. I enjoy thrillers and action films and it seems like this sort of fits that bill. No real name brand actor assigned to it which makes me nervous.

It stars Joel Kinnaman who played in the lackluster Robocop reboot. Kinnaman was in Suicide Squad as Rick Flag, and is reprising his role for the upcoming sequel. He was also in a sequel to Easy Money. The third one? Didn’t even know there was a second Easy Money. Again, he hasn’t had that one defining action or thriller role that breaks him out in movies I’ve seen anyway. Can you recommend any good ones I need to watch?

Perhaps the studio doesn’t have that much faith and that’s why the US release date got moved and it’s only getting a LIMITED release. Guess we’ll find out next month, assuming it will screen near me anyway. LIMITED releases are a mixed bag, I’ve found. Some appear, but most do not in theaters in our area.

The Informer opens LIMITED — less than 2,000 screenings — in the United States theaters on March 13, 2020. Are you planning to watch?

FIRST LOOK: I Still Believe

Cue Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”.

Based on a true story of musician, Jeremy Camp, comes this romance tale exploring love, faith and music.

True life story of Christian music mega star Jeremy Camp. Jeremy’s remarkable journey of love and loss proves there is always hope in the midst of tragedy and that faith tested is the only faith worth sharing.

Movie Insider Story Info

I am not familiar with who Jeremy Camp was until seeing the info on this movie. This isn’t to impugn his work, it might be fantastic, but I don’t listen to Christian music. About the closest I’ve gotten to that was the band Stryper with a few songs. Musical preferences aside, the trailer looks pretty good.

Musician Jeremy Camp believes: do you?

Despite the love of Jeremy’s life being ill with ovarian cancer, Jeremy prays for his wife to be healed. Bring some tissues, this one looks like it could bring on a sniffling downpour. I have seen a few faith-based movies in the theater since August 2019 when this movie reviewing journey started — and enjoyed them, by the way.

Sometimes films like these outside my normal sphere of interest turn out to be more interesting.

I hope this turns out to be one and isn’t too sad. I’m not a huge fan of watching dramatic movies about people or animals dying. Especially as I grow older and face the realization that I’m on the downward 50 path (life after 50 years old).

I Still Believe opens wide in theaters on March 20, 2020.

Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories (2020) Returns to Apple TV on March 6 – Are You Interested?

Anthology shows are one of my favorite subgenres (see: Ranking Movie Genres – What are YOUR Favorite Genres?) and Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories in the 80s was a softer, more fantasy-based morality anthology show than the harder sci-fi of The Outer Limits and the deep, introspective, twisty, turny The Twilight Zone.

The 80s Amazing Stories featured stories by Richard Matheson, which also contributed to The Twilight Zone. I remember some episodes being a bit too overly-sentimental (Spielberg’s Achilles heel), but some were strong.

Subscribers to Apple TV+ can watch the rebooted Amazing Stories (2020) which has a 10 episode run starting on March 6.

The reboot the 1980s sci-fi anthology series kicks off its new trailer by teasing five different stories involving superheroes, aliens and weird anomalies in the sky. Scenes from the trailer are bracketed by the phrase, “The beloved series returns with five unique stories.” Amazing Stories also features the late Robert Forster’s final acting role.

Apple TV Drops Trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories

Shudder has the Creepshow reboot, Apple TV+ gets Amazing Stories and, yes, Steven Spielberg is executive producer, but haven’t seen if he’s actually directing any episodes. Spielberg got his directorial start with the episode “Eyes” on Rod Serling’s Night Gallery anthology show. Good episode, too, for those who haven’t seen.

Yes, Apple TV streaming channel is available on Roku

With Harley Quinn wrapping up its final episode of the season one this Friday, 2/21/2020 and Star Trek: Picard half-way through its first season run, I am contemplating whether or not to sign up for an Apple TV+ subscription. Based on the trailer and the strength of at least some of the original show, I’m interested.

The service itself doesn’t seem to offer anything else except originals, which is at least a unique way to launch a streaming channel. Good old Apple, doing things its way still, even in the absence of Steve Jobs. No other streaming movies or TV shows, only original content. Hmm, so you’re paying $4.99/month for access to how many shows? 9 at launch, according to this article.

One of the most noteworthy is The Morning Show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon launched on Apple TV+ its first season on November 1, 2019 with the first three episodes bingeable and then the remaining seven at one per week. The first season concluded on December 20, 2019.

Binge vs. Weekly Releases — Which one is better?

Call me a purist, but I’m more a fan of releasing new episodes weekly like TV has done vs. the Netflix binge model (all episodes in a season dropped at once). I enjoy looking forward to something new released each week. There are pros and cons to waiting, sure, but impatience isn’t generally considered a healthy trait. There is a good related discussion at the DC Universe community boards, see: Bingeing vs. weekly release

I looked around but didn’t see if Apple TV+ are going to binge drop the entire Amazing Stories (2020) season of 10 episodes or release a new one every Friday or do something in between like they did with The Morning Show. Anybody reading know yet? Looks to me like the first episode is all that’s dropping on March 6. That contains five stories, so it will be a pretty meaty episode vs. Creepshow which only had two stories each episode.

UPDATE 8:13am PST: Hollywood reporter article says the first five episodes are dropping, so, assuming this is accurate, each story is a standalone episode. They also indicate there is no idea when the other five episodes will drop.

The episodic anthology Amazing Stories is set to bow March 6 with its first five episodes, though there was no information about when the remainder of the series from executive producer Steven Spielberg will return.

Apple Solidifies Its Spring TV+ Slate

Anybody reading already have Apple TV+? They offered the first year to those who bought various Apple gadgets. Am sure that applies to some readers. What shows do you like on there? Tell us your experience with the service thus far it in the comments.

10 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in April 2020

NOTE: This post will continue to be updated until the end of April 2020, as movie release dates change, sometimes within weeks of the scheduled release date

The following are movie trailers and my early thoughts for all films tentatively scheduled coming to theaters in April 2020.

If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post will be updated throughout the year).

2020 Theater Releases
JAN | FEB | MAR | APRIL 2020

If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is being updated throughout the year). Most releases profiled below are WIDE screenings showing on 2,000+ theater screens in the United States. If the movie title has the word LIMITED following then it means it’s being released on less than 2,000 screenings in the United States.

All movie release dates unless otherwise indicated are for the United States, the release dates in other countries may vary.

April 2020 Movies

The New Mutants
[FIRST LOOK]

The New Mutants opens in theaters April 3, 2020

The trailer makes me think of this as a darker X-Men spinoff, which is what it seems to be.

Anticipation for The New Mutants: 6/10

The Lovebirds
[FIRST LOOK]

The Lovebirds opens in theaters April 3, 2020

“Take… the grease!” — the funny part of the trailer, but no comedy can survive on the humor of one joke. I’m worried about the comedic chemistry between this couple based on the trailer, as they don’t seem to be all that funny together, although the situations they are placed in look humorous. Will this be another Like a Boss on the humor scale? Could be. I’m interested though, because I enjoy comedies.

Anticipation for The Lovebirds: 5/10

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Peter Rabbit 2 official trailer – opening in theaters April 3, 2020

Haven’t seen the first Peter Rabbit film, but this seems like it’s in that middleworld between children-friendly and adults. Trailer isn’t making me super excited for the movie. Was surprised to see it grossed over $350 million, which explains the presence of this sequel less than two years later.

Anticipation for Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is: 2/10

No Time To Die
[FIRST LOOK]

No Time To Die opens wide in theaters on April 10, 2020

The last Bond film for Daniel Craig, will he go out with a whimper or roar? I’m voting on somewhere in the middle. He’s got Rami Malek as a villain and that could amp everything up. I hope Bond doesn’t go off the rails into something completely unnoticeable after this. Just get another Bond (a guy, sorry, I don’t think it should be a woman playing James Bond 007). Then again, there is a female 007 in this movie. We’ll find out soon.

Anticipation for No Time To Die: 9/10

The Secret: Dare To Dream

The Secret: Dare to Dream opens in theaters April 17, 2020

I remember seeing this book everywhere and wondering what the “Secret” was? In mid April I’ll find out. Could have always read the book, I suppose, but wasn’t that motivated. The teaser trailer is equally enigmatic and mostly just toting sales stats. While that’s impressive, I already knew it was popular. Guess I need to see a trailer showing something that actually happens in the movie to be excited.

Anticipation for The Secret: Dare To Dream: 3/10

Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman opens in theaters on April 17, 2020

This trailer makes it look like the woman is hunting men by setup. She pretends to be too drunk and waits for them to take advantage of them and then does … what to them? Revenge is called out, but we don’t actually see any taking place. I’m getting a black widow spider vibe to this tale. Somewhat eager to see it.

Anticipation for Promising Young Woman: 5/10

Trolls World Tour
[FIRST LOOK]

Trolls World Tour official trailer #1

And now the second trailer:

Troll World Tour final trailer — opens wide in theaters April 17, 2020

Our grandchildren are huge Trolls fans and must admit I like them, too. The sequel idea based on different tribes of trolls having a specific musical genre is sound, but I wonder why rock and roll always gets such a bad rap? It’s good music and I’d argue it’s better than some other types. Still, a troll tribe rolling around to the music of Ozzy Osbourne sounds like the making of a killer soundtrack at least. Looking forward to this.

Anticipation for Trolls World Tour: 7/10

Monster Problems — no trailer available to evaluate anticipation. Scheduled to open in theaters on April 17, 2020.

Antebellum

Antebellum opens in theaters on April 24, 2020

After a string of bad horror films starting off 2020, my anticipation for this one is reduced. Then again, maybe this will be better because it’s following the sequel to A Quiet Place. It seems to be some kind of evil force based on or originating from slave catching times? Sort of has a more vengeful Harriet vibe going, but that could be totally off.

I cheated a bit and peeked at the Wikipedia page.

Successful author Veronica Henley finds herself trapped in a nightmarish reality and must find a way to break free of the horrors at hand.

Wikipedia for Antebellum

So, is this more of a Nightmare on Elm Street meets Harriet?

Anticipation for Antebellum: 3/10

Bad Trip
RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Feb 28 to April 24, 2020

Bad Trip official trailer – opening in theaters February 24, 2020

Looks like reality TV gone wild. Sign me up! Will admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of reality TV, but there have been some shows (I liked Cops,The Osbournes and Gene Simmons Family Jewels and some others). The whole catch the audience real reactions to crazy scenes is often too gimmicky to hold my interest through a TV series, but in a movie maybe it will work. This one looks like it could be very funny, I just hope the trailer isn’t showing the best parts.

A little skeptical because they moved back the date. Most delayed films suggest production problems and/or negative initial screen testing. Haven’t heard that to be the case here, so we’ll see what kind of trip this is soon.

Anticipation for Bad Trip: 6/10

Ranking the April 2020 movies by anticipation (as of this writing)

  1. No Time To Die – 9/10
  2. Trolls World Tour – 7/10
  3. The New Mutants – 6/10
  4. Bad Trip – 6/10
  5. The Lovebirds – 5/10
  6. Promising Young Woman – 4/10
  7. Antebellum – 3/10
  8. The Secret: Dare To Dream – 3/10
  9. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway – 2/10
  10. Monster Problems – no rating / no trailer

What movies in April 2020 are you looking forward to seeing?

FIRST LOOK: The Hunt

Remember the movie in September 2019 that horrifically timed real events and President Trump seemingly squashed with a tweet?

It’s back on Friday the 13th in March, I guess because it was all just satire, the production money was spent, and it’s from Blumhouse that seems to have earned a lot of wide release movies by its box office track record.

The film — a satiric thriller that follows a group of liberal elites who try to track down and kill “red state” conservatives for sport — sparked controversy and was shelved in August following the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings. It also drew the ire of President Donald Trump, who (though he did not name the film) insinuated via Twitter that “the movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos.”

‘The Hunt’ Producer on the Film’s Release: – Variety

This is a recent drop-in title from Universal that was lingering in TBA status after being pulled last year. It was put back on the screening schedule Thursday, February 13 for a month later. A new trailer was added as well, embedded below.

The Hunt official trailer

Haven’t seen the original trailer?

The original extended trailer

Political controversy aside, we’ll soon find out if this movie is worth all the fuss it received last year. Clearly in the promotion blurbs the marketing team is pushing the controversy as even more reason to go see it.

The story of a bunch of people waking up to find out they’re being hunted could be interesting, but I’m hopeful it doesn’t try to be too political in its message and just focuses on telling an entertaining story. I’ve liked some of what Blumhouse has produced. I think they’re at their best when they are doing something original vs. remaking/rebooting films and this is an original.

The Hunt opens wide in theaters on March 13, 2020 — Friday the 13th!

FIRST LOOK: The Lovebirds (2020)

Rated R. Romantic comedy.

This film has been showing in previews at the theater for the last month. The title alone makes it worthwhile profiling on Valentine’s Day.

A couple (Issa Rae & Kumail Nanjiani) experiences a defining moment in their relationship when they are unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery. As their journey to clear their names takes them from one extreme — and hilarious — circumstance to the next, they must figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night.

The Lovebirds movie info via Rotten Tomatoes
The Lovebirds official trailer

Random Trailer Thoughts

  • Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is” to running over a person in a car is quite the contrast
  • “We have im-post-ers! Everybody unmask yourselves!”
  • Not sure what’s up with the Phantom of the Opera masks, but that looks funny
  • “Take … the grease!”
  • From the trailer I’m not sensing much romantic chemistry between the characters, but tough to show that in two minutes
  • They do seem like a decent comedy duo
  • Issa Rae starred in another romance, The Photograph⭐️⭐️½ released on Valentine’s Day, so she’s getting prominent acting roles in new wide release films. She strikes me more as a dramatic actress than fit for comedies, but we’ll see what chops she has here. Trailer doesn’t really tell me enough. Looks like she might be playing the straight comic role

The Lovebirds opens wide in theaters April 3, 2020.

FIRST LOOK: My Boyfriend's Meds (Las Pildoras de mi Novio)

Gotta love the kitty on the poster art alert!

Happy Valentine’s Day 2020 all romantic types everywhere!

On FIRST LOOK Friday let’s give some love to an odd, interesting foreign film — and romantic comedy — which opens next weekend showing what happens when a man goes without his meds.

The film follows Jess (Sandra Echeverria), a talented, high-powered marketing executive at an upscale tequila company who falls for Hank (Jaime Camil), a charismatic mattress store owner. However, Hank hasn’t been completely open with Jess – Hank suffers from a variety of issues for which he takes an endless assortment of medications. What is supposed to be a tropical “business and pleasure” trip begins to spiral out of control when Hank discovers that he left his meds behind and is no longer able hide his various symptoms, going from handsome charmer to an erratic loudmouth

My Boyfriend’s Meds Movie Info via Movie Insider
Las Pildoras De Mi Novio (My Boyfriend’s Meds) opens LIMITED in theaters 2/21/2020

Trailer thoughts:

  • Does Hank seem just a little bit creepy in the mattress store?
  • Is that Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander? (Yes!)
  • Kitty, kitty! Nice close-up on the pill bottle rolling under the bed … uh oh.
  • LOL on the hotel with “Shhh!” in the name

This movie looks funny. No idea when or even if we’ll get to see it in the theater. I checked local theaters for coming soon movies and it’s nowhere to be found. This close to the release date suggests a possibility of moving the date, but I can’t find anything that says the date is being moved. Even the independent theaters are coming up blank in the search.

There are very few foreign films that I look forward to seeing, but this is definitely one of them. It looks wild and wacky and the kind of rom-com that is perfect for the red heart month.

My Boyfriend’s Meds (Las Pildoras De Mi Novio) opens LIMITED in theaters 2/21/2020