It’s a strange time for movies, as two of this year’s big releases — The New Mutants and Tenet — have opened in theaters in areas where moviegoing has been allowed. Though some big releases like Bill & Ted Face the Music and Mulan have shifted their release plans to include (or solely feature) in-home viewing, The New Mutants and Tenet are only in theaters, with no indication that they’ll be available on VOD soon.
If you’re living in an area where movie theaters have reopened and are considering going to see these new releases, we’ve put together a guide about going to the movies while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing.
That said, there are still a lot of movies still coming out on VOD. Here are the new movies you can watch at home this weekend.
Bill & Ted Face the Music
Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) return three decades after we last saw them. They’re stuck in a rut, but are shaken out of it by the revelation that they have just over an hour to compose the song that will save the universe. From our review:
Like its predecessors, Bill & Ted Face the Music is ultimately just friendly fluff, but Winter and Reeves are charming together, and the need for Bill and Ted to grow up a little helps give the film a backbone. It’s a slight movie, but a sweet way of revisiting the franchise, and easy enough to follow for audience members unfamiliar with the first two films. (Though some of the appeal might be lost on them.) More significantly, it seems like a send-off for Winter and Reeves. Bill and Ted are still the Wyld Stallyns, but they’ve aged out of being wild stallions, and Bill & Ted Face the Music is at its best when it focuses on what happens when they finally figure that out.
Megan Fox stars in Rogue as a mercenary whose latest job sends her to Africa. She and her squad are tasked with rescuing a group of hostages, but the mission soon goes awry, both with the gang of rebels they encounter, and with a pack of bloodthirsty lions who also arrive on the scene. It’s Megan Fox vs. lions. What more do you want?
Where to watch it: Streaming on Amazon
This black comedy tells the story of four boys who go on a character-building camping trip in the Scottish Highlands. Three of them initially see it as an excuse to goof off, while the last member of the group wants to take it seriously. Their awkward group dynamic is forced to coalesce when it becomes clear that something is hunting them through the wilderness.
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
The story at the center of You Cannot Kill David Arquette is a strange and compelling one. You may know the actor from his role in the Scream movies or in Never Been Kissed. You may not know that he’s also had a professional wrestling career. This documentary follows Arquette as he attempts to return to wrestling as his acting career stalls — and as he attempts to earn a little respect from the world.
The debut thriller from director Brendan Walsh traps a wife and husband in a car frozen solid. They have 12 days of rations and only prayers to guide them. Can they survive the physical and psychological test? Our review suggests that either way, viewers are in for something immersive and startling.
Though [the main character] Matt uses his swiss army knife to notch the dashboard, and Walsh provides time stamps, even the number of days runs away from the couple and the viewers. Soon, only deliberate pans across the suv’s dashboard and center console show the accumulation of ice and the passage of time. The makeup, when combined with the film’s later harsh lighting, displays their frostbite and weariness in stark relief. At first kinetic, to demonstrate the pair’s initial shock at their situation, Bradley J. Ross’ editing slows to a patiently paced crawl to exemplify the husband and wife’s dwindling endurance. In a film with a limited setting, storytelling through crafts rises to the occasion.
New on Netflix this weekend
- All Together Now, a teen drama starring Moana’s Auli’i Cravalho
- Documentary film Rising Phoenix
- The third season of Aggretsuko
- The first two seasons of Cobra Kai, ahead of the third season’s debut
And here’s what dropped last Friday:
Michael Almereyda’s biopic of the inventor Nikola Tesla eschews all the conventions of the genre, using anachronisms and breaks in the fourth wall to tell the cult figure’s story. Ethan Hawke stars as Tesla, with Kyle MacLachlan as Thomas Edison. From our review:
The film’s experimental nature makes it tougher to swallow than a conventional biopic, but also more interesting and rewarding to engage with. Great performances help keep the whole enterprise anchored — Hawke and MacLachlan are wonderful as men caught in conflict with each other — and the anachronisms provide food for thought long after the film has ended. Tesla’s eeriness is appropriate to the man who inspired it.
Where to watch it: Streaming on Amazon Prime Video
Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart stars in this adaptation of the Krystal Sutherland novel of the same name. When Henry (Austin Abrams) first meets new girl Grace (Reinhart), he doesn’t think much of her, but slowly begins to fall in love with her when they’re both chosen to edit the school newspaper.
Random Acts of Violence
Where to watch it: Streaming on Shudder
Random Acts of Violence, directed by Jay Baruchel, stars Jesse Williams as Todd, a comic book creator who discovers that a fan is using his creation “Slasherman” as inspiration for carrying out a series of murders. People at the convention Todd is attending start dropping like flies, and it looks like Todd might be next.
In Stage Mother, Jackie Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) stars as Maybelline, a conservative church choir director whose life is turned upside down when she inherits her late son’s drag club. As she struggles to save the club from bankruptcy, she begins to open up and find a new calling in life. The film also stars Lucy Liu as one of Maybelline’s son’s friends.