2021 Fall Preview: 10 Most Anticipated Movies

Dune

Are the movies back? Frankly, they never left, but movies haven’t felt special in over a year due to the challenges of the pandemic. Studios continue to push the dates back on films, which is the equivalent of punching me square in the face. I’m looking at you, Top Gun: Maverick and Mission Impossible 7.

However, the fall slate of upcoming movies looks very promising. It’s a great mix of tentpole blockbusters and Oscar contenders. In other words, movies made for me are coming out this Fall and for that, I salute you, Hollywood.

Below are my 10 most anticipated movies for Fall 2021. Studios, don’t you dare push these films back to 2022. We, the people, need these films!

No Time to Die

It’s the Bond swan song for Mr. Daniel Craig as he drinks his last martini in No Time to Die. The world has waited 6 years for 007 to return to the big screen, which is the longest wait between Bond films since the 6-year wait between 1989’s License to Kill and 1995’s Goldeneye. Craig’s films have been both critically acclaimed and box office hits, and this franchise will miss his presence. Before we start photoshopping Idris Elba into a tuxedo, let’s enjoy one last go-round with the baby blue spy.

No Time to Die will be released in theaters on October 8.

The Rescue

Ladies and gentlemen, the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature goes to The Rescue. Mark it down now because there’s no way this film loses in March. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the filmmaking duo behind the Oscar-winning Free Solo, return to direct The Rescue, the story of the Tham Luang cave rescue. For those who don’t remember, a soccer team of teenage boys and their coach were trapped in a cave back in 2018, and a rescue team of divers had to work to extract them before they ran out of food and air. Watching the trailer, my jaw hit the floor multiple times. How did they film this? I can’t wait to find out.

The Rescue will be released in select theaters on October 8.

The Last Duel

If there’s a list of things I like, The Last Duel checks off a lot of boxes.

  • Matt Damon: check.
  • Ben Affleck: check.
  • Damon and Affleck writing a film together: check.
  • Jodie Comer: check.
  • Adam Driver: check.
  • Ridley Scott: check.
  • Ridley Scott directing an action movie: check.

I’m sure there are going to be A LOT of think pieces surrounding this film because of its brutal subject matter. However, I’m still in for all the reasons above.

The Last Duel will be released in theaters on October 15.

Dune

You had me at “directed by Denis Villeneuve.” Find a better thriller and sci-fi director of the last 10 years than Villeneuve. Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049 are some of the best films of the 2010s. Throw in an all-star cast that would make the 2017 Warriors look like a CYO team and we’re cooking with gas. Dune is an incredibly hard book to adapt, and this film will be “Dune: Part I.” Why the film isn’t being publicly marketed like that makes me scratch my head. Regardless, early reviews of Dune have praised the cinematography but criticized the plot. I’m going to trust Villeneuve, who hasn’t let me down yet, to give me a satisfying film.

Dune will be released in theaters and HBO Max on October 22.

Eternals

The Marvel film I don’t know anything about is Eternals. The trailer looks like something Marvel has never done due to the little presence of CGI and a green screen. Imagine being Chloé Zhao right now. You won Best Picture and Best Director for Nomadland, and now you get to release a blockbuster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Right on, Chloé. If Eternals is a success, then it could lead to more indie and visual filmmakers entering the MCU, which will only benefit Marvel in the long run.

Eternals will be released in theaters on November 5.

House of Gucci

Father, son, and House of Gucci. Ridley Scott goes from an action thriller in The Last Duel to a crime film about the Gucci family, where Maurizio (Adam Driver) was murdered at the hands of his ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga). The trailer toes the line between serious biographical film and parody because of the over-the-top accents. I’m intrigued, and if any filmmaker could make two successful films in one year, it’s Ridley Scott.

House of Gucci will be released in theaters on November 24.

West Side Story

I’m probably in the minority, but I’m all the way in on West Side Story. The saga between the Sharks and the Jets is one of my favorite musicals of all time. Many were skeptical as to why anyone would reimagine West Side Story after the 1961 film adaptation was downright perfect. Once a little-known filmmaker named Steven Spielberg (ever heard of him?) signed on to direct, West Side Story had my attention. The visuals and wide shots in the trailer look spectacular. In a world where CGI dominates the movies of today, West Side Story is a much-needed change-up from the norm. I can’t wait to sing my heart out during “Jet Song.”

West Side Story will be released in theaters on December 10.

Nightmare Alley

Guillermo del Toro, welcome back. In his first film since The Shape of Water, del Toro crafts up a good ol’ fashioned psychological thriller with Nightmare Alley. Bradley Cooper stars as Stan Carlisle, a manipulative carny that teams up with a dangerous psychologist named Dr. Lilith Ritter, played by Cate Blanchett. If you’re confused, then that makes two of us. However, Cooper is one of “my guys” so I’m obligated to see everything he’s in. Luckily for me, Nightmare Alley looks right up my… don’t do it… don’t do it… alley.

Nightmare Alley will be released in theaters on December 17.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

You may not like Marvel, but its ability to dominate pop culture is unprecedented. Case in point, the trailer Spider-Man: No Way Home racked up 355.5 MILLION views over 24 hours across all online platforms, which set a world record previously held by Avengers: Endgame with 289 million views. The MCU is shifting, and No Way Home will play a huge part in explaining the multiverse. In my best Dave Bautista voice, “GIVE ME WHAT I WANT!”

Spider-Man: No Way Home will be released in theaters on December 17.

Don’t Look Up

  • Leonardo DiCaprio 
  • Jennifer Lawrence 
  • Rob Morgan 
  • Jonah Hill 
  • Mark Rylance 
  • Tyler Perry 
  • Ron Perlman
  • Timothée Chalamet 
  • Ariana Grande 
  • Scott Mescudi 
  • Cate Blanchett
  • Meryl Streep
  • Chris Evans

The last time Adam McKay had a cast this stacked, he won an Academy Award for The Big Short. Giddy up.

Don’t Look Up hits Netflix on December 24.

What is your most anticipated movie of the fall? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me, @danny_giro.

How Much Would You Pay To Watch A New Movie At Home?

Black widow

I miss movie theaters. As someone who hasn’t been inside a theater in well over a year (NYC theaters just opened a few weeks ago), I’m ready to sit on a creaky chair, ruin my posture, and snack on some salty popcorn. I even miss paying an absurd price for a ticket, which ranges from $13-$17 depending on the theater.

Let’s focus on price for a second. In most situations, theaters were closed due to the pandemic so studios either released straight to VOD or delayed the release. Because of this, many studios skipped the theatrical experience in favor of video on demand for a premium price of $19.99.

After I paid $19.99 to rent The King of Staten Island last June, my dad said, “$19.99? Expensive movie!” Is twenty dollars an absurd price to pay for a movie at home?

If you’re an average person, then you’re probably not shelling out the money to pay for a premium movie when there are hundreds of movies to choose from on services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, Hulu, etc. Throw in the fact that streaming services also provide binge-worthy TV shows like The Office and many moviegoers are passing on a $19.99 movie.

What if the movie was from Marvel or Star Wars? What if Leonardo DiCaprio says the hell with Apple TV+ and releases Killers of the Flower Moon straight to VOD for $24.99? What are you willing to pay for giant blockbusters with popular IP and star power?

This question will be put to the test with Black Widow, which will release in theaters July 9 and on Disney+ with Premier Access, which comes with a $30 rental fee. So in addition to a Disney+ subscription, subscribers will need to pay $30 to access Black Widow if they want to watch it at home. If not, then they can see it in a theater.

Will I pay $30 for Black Widow?

Probably not, but that’s because I will see it in a theater. However, if I want to watch the film with a group of friends or family members, I might elect to watch it on Disney+ since the $30 price split between a few people will be less than a movie ticket.

The Black Widow new got me thinking about the future of premium VOD and rentals. What would I be willing to spend to watch a movie I desperately wanted to see? Is there a price that’s too high?

To test this theory, I ran down some highly-anticipated movies that either just came out or will come out in the future and determined how much I would pay to watch them at home. Since I’m the only one answering, I’m paying full price for the movie and watching it alone for this hypothetical. I’m not factoring in the split cost of watching with other people.

Black Widow – $19.99

$19.99 might be expensive for indies or a mid-budget film, but for a Marvel movie with a rumored budget of $200m, $19.99 is a fair asking price for Black Widow. If theaters weren’t open, then I would pay the $30. In fact, if I could own Black Widow, I’d easily pay the $30. But since it’s only a rental, $30 is a bit steep for one guy.

Tenet – $19.99

There’s no test involved here because I bought Tenet for $19.99. Inversion!

Dune – $30

Let’s pretend you had to pay a premium price for Dune instead of watching on HBO Max. Dune is one of my most anticipated movies in 2021. With a stellar cast and Denis Villeneuve (one of my favorite directors) at the helm, I’m willing to pay at least $30 for this sci-fi epic. More worms, more money.

F9 – $50

It’s hard to put a price on your family, and Dominic Toretto is my brother. I’ve waited four years for my Fast & Furious family to return to theaters. I’d pay $50 right now to watch one of my favorite franchises tear up the (TV) screen.

No Time To Die – $100 or more

I lied. I pay $100 for No Time to Die. I need Bond back in my life. Also, shoutout to me for this analysis. Spot on?

How much money would you pay to watch a movie at home? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Year In Film: 2020 Sucks, But 2021 Could Be Spectacular

Dune and No Time to Die

In the film industry, 2020 was supposed to be the “Year of Dan.” If there was a checklist of franchises and actors I liked, 2020 was set to hit all the boxes. From Daniel Craig and Vin Diesel to Steven Spielberg and Zendaya, 2020 was oozing with star power.

Then, as we all know, the pandemic happened.

The first real “Oh shit” moment in the film industry happened when No Time To Die, the 25th installment in the James Bond franchise and Craig’s final film as the iconic character, pushed back its release date to November. Not even Nostradamus himself could have predicted the shitstorm that’s still occurring to this day.

Were you excited to watch Dominic Torretto drive off a cliff and somehow cross the ocean while attached to a steel chain? Unrealistic and kickass action sequences will have to wait since Fast Nine won’t be released until May 2021. Were you prepared to rejoin the Jets or the Sharks in West Side Story this December? Unfortunately, Christmas is canceled due to the fact Spielberg’s iteration of West Side Story was moved to Dec. 2021. If Timothée Hal Chalamet and Zendaya in the seems like a dream, then you need to keep dreaming since Dune moved from Dec. 2020 to Oct. 2021.

But wait, there’s more. The entire Marvel Cinematic Universe shifted, restructured, and besides WandaVision, punted entirely to 2021. Movies from Ridley Scott, Tom Cruise, Lin-Manuel Miranda were all delayed to 2021. Wonder Woman 1984 is holding out hope for Christmas 2020, but barring a miracle from Wonder Woman herself, it’s almost guaranteed to move. The only theatrical blockbuster that stuck around was Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, and I haven’t even seen it yet!

The only studio that’s thriving is Netflix. The streaming service has been a juggernaut, releasing new films every week including some critically acclaimed gems like Da 5 Bloods and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Unlike most studios, Netflix will have the strongest Oscar contenders with Mank, Hillbilly Elegy, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom coming later this year. Plus, streamers like Hulu had a strong year with Normal People, Devs, and Dave, three of my favorite shows of the year.

2020 has been terrible and frankly, we all need a break. However, as Bradley cooper said in Silver Linings Playbook, “You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining.”

Maybe finding a silver lining is a bunch of horse shit, but one can’t look at the film slate in 2021 and not be filled with excitement. From January to December, every week will provide a high profile release. Maybe MoviePass should make a comeback in 2021 because there’s a high chance I’m at the theater four times every month. This stretch from April through the beginning of June will make it tough to pay rent.

All of these dates could still change if cities like New York City and Los Angeles keep theaters closed. However, I’m choosing to stay positive for now.

If No Time to Die moves one more time, I’m out for blood.

What 2021 movie are you looking forward to the most? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Dune Trailer Promises A Revolutionary, Beautiful Sci-Fi Adventure

Timothée Chalamet in Dune

2020 may be the year of epic trailers. Thanks to the pandemic, many blockbusters such as No Time to Die and Fast 9 pushed back their release dates to late 2020 or 2021. Most of the country still hasn’t seen Tenet, but trailers for Christopher Nolan’s movie and Wonder Woman 1984 are keeping the excitement alive. After today, add Dune to 2020’s epic year of trailers.

Without knowing anything about Dune, it’s tough to watch that trailer and not be excited about a sci-fi adventure. Based on the 1965 book from Frank Herbert, Dune is known as the “grandfather of science fiction.” It inspired popular franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek. I have not read the book (I’m hoping to change that before the film comes out), but from the summaries I read, it’s a story about family, betrayal, and the most valuable resource in the world, “the spice.” Below is the official summary from Warner Bros.

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

There are many reasons as to why I’m excited for Dune. First of all, who doesn’t love a giant sci-fi epic? However, the people involved, most notably the director and cast, are why my excitement is through the roof. Denis Villeneuve serves as director, which makes my confidence skyrocket. There’s a case to be made that Villeneuve was the greatest director of the 2010s. From Prisoners to Blade Runner 2049, that’s an unbelievable five movie stretch. Villeneuve is a master of beautiful visuals, high-octane action sequences, and tension-building scenes. You can count on all of those three aspects to be included in Dune.

Then, there’s the cast. To say this cast is stacked would be an understatement. Is loaded a better word? Whatever adjective you use, multiply it by ten.

To be honest, you had me at “Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya.” But, if Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem play major roles in the film, I guess I’ll take that, too. Seriously, the 1994 Dream Team and Avengers have company in terms of the greatest cast of characters ever assembled.

Dune‘s text is considered sacred by fans, which is why it’s been such a difficult process adapting it to the screen. The most notable adaptation is 1984’s Dune from David Lynch. The film was a box office failure but has developed a cult following since. It’s a tough book to adapt because it’s hard to tell the entire story in one movie, which Villeneuve realized right away. In a panel with Stephen Colbert, Villeneuve said they will need to shoot two movies in order to cover the entire novel. The first Dune movie will only cover half of the novel.

Dune was scheduled to arrive in late December, but that’s up in the air since the trailer did not have a release date. In fact, Wonder Woman 1984 may move from its October release date to Dune‘s December date, which would push back the sci-fi epic to 2021. Whenever the film comes out, I’m all in. Take all of my Apple stock and convert it to Dune stock.

Are you excited about Dune? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.