FIRST LOOK: Sergio (2020) – Netflix

With a world premiere at Sundance on January 28, 2020 an 84% Rotten Tomatoes score on 95 reviews, comes a movie directed by Greg Barker (Manhunt, Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma) and screenplay by Craig Borten.

If you are saying, “who?” that’s OK, I’m with you.

Charismatic and complex, Sergio Vieira de Mello (Wagner Moura) has spent the majority of his storied career as a top UN diplomat working in the world’s most unstable regions, deftly navigating deals with presidents, revolutionaries, and war criminals for the sake of protecting the lives of ordinary people. But just as he readies himself for a simpler life with the woman he loves (Ana de Armas), Sergio takes one last assignment — in Baghdad, newly plunged into chaos following the US invasion. The assignment is meant to be brief, until a bomb blast causes the walls of the UN headquarters to come literally crashing down upon him, setting into motion a gripping life-or-death struggle.

Everything You Need to Know About Sergio Movie (2020)

The trailer:

Sergio official trailer

Sergio will be available for streaming on Netflix on Friday April 17, 2020.

FIRST LOOK: Never Rarely Sometimes Always (VOD)

The number of new(er) releases hitting VOD is multiplying and growing. Check out the list above in red with 8 of 9 titles released on various streaming channels.

As for the “limited” theater releases that I’ve remarked before are (too often) difficult to locate, maybe when the pandemic passes, we’ll be in a world where “limited” means that it is simultaneously available on VOD, preferably at a reasonable rental price.

But back to Never Rarely Sometimes Always.

Eliza Hittman’s “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” won prizes in Sundance and Berlin before Focus Features released it in early March — days before theaters closed nationwide. The Universal subsidiary is now following a strategy it applied to movies like “The Invisible Man” and “The Hunt” by pushing “Never Rarely” into VOD on Friday.

How the Producers of Never Rarely Sometimes Always Made Peace With VOD | IndieWire

I vaguely remember this movie, and it wasn’t part of our Coming to theaters in March 2020 list, so it was probably showing as a limited release.

Our coming soon lists are so jacked up right now. April 2020 is a real mess with maybe two of the proposed 11 movies actually being released as planned. I don’t know what the story is with My Spy, that movie has moved around multiple times and it’s showing at MovieInsider as still being released (somehow) in April, but that is probably inaccurate and it’s been delayed or moved again.

Bottom line, it’s not a good time to be covering movies released in theaters, because there are almost none being released. Out of necessity, I’m spending more time on streaming movies & TV, plus news, opinion and research posts where the information won’t change tomorrow, next week or month.

When theaters open again, we’ll go back to regular programming.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always will be available on VOD April 3, 2020.

FIRST LOOK: Vivarium

Billed as a sci-fi/horror hybrid, this one seems like right in my movie genre interest.

It originally screened at Cannes in 2019 and released in Ireland, UK and United States on March 27, 2020 (in what limited theaters are open, I guess) as well as VOD simultaneously(?) it seems.

It stars Imogen Poots as Gemma and Jesse Eisenberg as Tom, a young couple looking to purchase their first home. They’re just checking out a lot in ultraboring Yonder housing development when their creepy real estate agent disappears from the tour. Gemma and Tom get in their car to leave but every turn just leads them back to Number 9.

Vivarium Director Lorcan Finnegan on His Prescient Movie

Seems very ironic indeed bearing our current world situation where many people are under stay at home orders.

Titles are significant in drawing my initial interest in a movie. This title? The effective single word title, ah yes. I was thinking it was a twist on aquarium for some reason, but admittedly had to Google it for the full definition:

an enclosure, container, or structure adapted or prepared for keeping animals under seminatural conditions for observation or study or as pets; an aquarium or terrarium.

Definition of VIVARIUM via Google

The definition in my head was close and seems to match the subject matter.

This reminds me from the plot and trailer of the classic Twilight Zone episode “People are Alike All Over” — no idea if that’s where the story ultimately goes, as I haven’t seen it yet (but planning to soon), but I’m getting that feel. That was a good episode too.

Vivarium is available on VOD for rental or purchase as of March 27, 2020.

FIRST LOOK: Tales From The Loop (TV Series) – Amazon

Tales From The Loop (TV SERIES) is coming to Amazon Prime Video April 3, 2020

An anthology TV series based on paintings? My immediate thought was Rod Serling’s Night Gallery. No, this is not a reboot of that series (although I’d be in favor of that, someone, anyone), this is something else …

(Sidenote: this is the first FIRST LOOK on a TV Series and not a new movie coming to theaters. Yesterday, we looked at two new movies coming out as Netflix Originals. Until movie theaters open again, I’m going to mix in some other FIRST LOOK content)

Best described as an anthology series, Tales From the Loop from showrunner Nathaniel Halpern is perhaps the first television adaptation of paintings. In 2014, Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag published his online illustrations — a visual experiment of apocalyptic sci-fi harmlessly invading scenic rural Sweden — into a book, titled Tales From the Loop. The premise is that a giant central machine, called “The Loop,” lays at the center of town. For its residents, the Loop makes the impossible become possible.

‘Tales From the Loop’ review: Amazon’s best sci-fi yet is also its most emotional

The description of Simon Stålenhag’s art alone made me curious. Ever since seeing Night Gallery, I’ve thought paintings were stories within themselves, so I went to see what his art was about.

His website is located here: https://www.simonstalenhag.se/
His Twitter: https://twitter.com/simonstalenhag

The artwork is very interesting blending reality with a bizarre Twilight Zone edge. I particularly liked his picture of a sink with some alien sludge in it. Great stuff.

The world view all reminds me somewhat of the RPG game Gamma World from TSR (1978), from some of the same minds and creators of the original Dungeons & Dragons. Of course most of that is in my imagination, and that game was based on the post-apocalypse world. It doesn’t sound like the world described in this TV series is based on life after nuclear war.

Tales from the Loop official trailer (TV Series)

Season one according Wikipedia will have 8 episodes. I didn’t see if the entire first season will be available at launch or they will release new episodes at some other interval. Based on various sources saying to “binge watch it” my suspicion is we’ll get more than one episode at launch. If you know or have seen a source say definitely, please let me know in the comments area below.

Tales From The Loop (TV SERIES) will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video Friday April 3, 2020.

FIRST LOOK: The Willoughbys (2020) – Netflix

Netflix surprised me with the very good …

Klaus⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ … an animated film in December, and that wasn’t the only one in the can. Now, we get the hard to spell name and long-necked family known as The Willoughbys.

Convinced they’d be better off raising themselves, the Willoughby children hatch a sneaky plan to send their selfish parents on vacation. The siblings then embark on their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family.

The Willoughbys (2020) – Rotten Tomatoes

The trailer:

  • Digging the blue cat with the dry, baritone voice
  • Geeky girl with big ears, glasses and long hair … great voice match.
  • The hair animation is … unique. Looks like yarn! lol
  • Psychedelic 60s-70s vibe … lots of rainbow colors including the vomiting rainbow child(?!) lol

I don’t get very excited about animated films, but this one definitely catches my interest.

The Willoughbys will start streaming on Netflix Wednesday April 22, 2020.

FIRST LOOK: Coffee and Kareem (2020) – Netflix

With theaters shut down and many new Netflix Original movies being released in April 2020, we’re going to FIRST LOOK profile some of the original streaming releases in the interim.

First up: Coffee & Kareem.

While police officer James Coffee (Ed Helms) enjoys his new relationship with Vanessa Manning (Taraji P. Henson), her beloved 12-year-old son Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) plots their break-up. Attempting to scare away his mom’s boyfriend for good, Kareem tries to hire criminal fugitives to take him out but accidentally exposes a secret network of criminal activity, making his family its latest target. To protect Vanessa, Kareem teams up with Coffee – the partner he never wanted – for a dangerous chase across Detroit. From director Michael Dowse (Stuber, Goon), Coffee & Kareem is an action-comedy about forging unexpected bonds, one four-letter insult at a time. Co-starring Betty Gilpin, RonReaco Lee, Andrew Bachelor and David Alan Grier.

Coffee & Kareem (2020) – Rotten Tomatoes

The trailer:

Coffee & Kareem will be available on Netflix Friday April 3, 2020.

FIRST LOOK: Bad Trip

These reality movies where the camera is supposedly catching “real” reactions leave me a bit detached. I have a hard time believing in the reactions. They work better in a reality TV show format, I guess.

Not saying this movie won’t be hilarious, but this particular genre I have a hard time staying in the story and suspending my belief.

Given how scared so many people are due to global concerns I don’t need to mention, the sheer joys of seeing Eric Andre accidentally stick his hand in a blender or have his vacuum cleaner remove his clothes might just be what we need; assuming the theaters remain open and the release of the film is not delayed. We will all die, right?

Eric Andre Brings Real Jokes To Real People In Bad Trip Red Band Trailer – NewsDio

The trailer looks packed with fun.

As of this post — and very much subject to change in our current movie climate worldwide — Bad Trip is scheduled to open in theaters on April 17, 2020.