The coronavirus has changed the way a lot of businesses now have to conduct business to stay in business. For movie studios, it’s releasing (most of) their films on digital since movie theaters are closed indefinitely. Two weeks ago, straight-to-digital meant the kiss of death for a movie. That’s now no longer the case.
Movies that are already in theaters are being released early to digital, and an avalanche of movies that were slated to release in theaters are now going straight to digital. Most of these are independent titles or films with a lower budget, and many are worth your time.
A lot of great titles have already released on digital (The Hunt, The Invisible Man, Onward, Birds of Prey), and more are on the way. Here are this month’s highlighted digital releases.
Bad Boys for Life
There’s a new Hollywood trend where old, popular franchises are coming back because nostalgia is a beautiful thing and good money can be made. Some have failed. Some have had success. Halloween (2018, now a trilogy) and Star Wars were massive hits with fans and critics, with the latter spawning TV series and movie spinoffs. A new Matrix (yay!) and Ghostbusters are in the works. There’s always the anxiety that bringing back a beloved franchise will ruin their originals — the last two Star Wars movies polarized fans and critics, and there will always be a debate between the two.
That’s not the case with Bad Boys for Life. The banter and camaraderie between Mike (Will Smith) and Marcus (Martin Lawrence) haven’t changed, and the feel and atmosphere of the first two films are still there.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog caused an online stir when Paramount released the first trailer. Sonic the CGI’d character looked like a bad acid trip. The studio and its CGI team listened to the outcry of fans on social media and changed Sonic’s look drastically, which benefited the film considerably. Usually, it’s upsetting when a studio bows down to the cries of the internet, but in this case, it worked to its advantage.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
I have not seen this, but I am a huge fan of Eliza Hittman (Beach Rats, It Felt Like Love). She’s one of the best independent filmmakers out there, and I hate that her new movie that’s getting extreme praise won’t be able to play in theaters, but at least we will get to see it now.
Coffee & Kareem
This is a Netflix movie comedy starring Ed Helms (The Office) and Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), with Betty Gilpin, whom I have fallen in love with since watching The Hunt. (Please rent The Hunt now.) If you’re a fan of Ed Helms, this might be for you.