First Glance: “F9: Fast & Furious 9”

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So this should more accurately be called a second, third, or fourth glance, but considering how COVID-19 hit the reset button on so many projects (including this one), I think we’ll let it slide. Despite still not knowing the exact title (is it “F9”, “Fast & Furious 9”, “The Fast Saga”, all of the above), I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen so far. Now Universal has dropped a new action-packed trailer in anticipation of its upcoming June release.

The family’s all back including some surprising old faces and a couple of new ones. The trailer gives us exactly what we expect from a “Fast & Furious” flick – fast cars, big set pieces, ridiculous over-the-top action, and Michelle Rodriguez yelling “DOM!!!”. John Cena (closely following the ‘How to Be the Next Dwayne Johnson’ playbook) enters the franchise as Vin Diesel’s pouty-faced brother and Charlize Theron returns as the bob-haired baddie with a score to settle. It also marks the return of director Justin Lin who last worked on the franchise in 2013. Big, loud, unabashedly silly – it’s a formula that has worked wonders for the series and with “F9” it looks like they are sticking with what works.

“F9: Fast & Furious 9” opens in theaters June 25th. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

First Glance: “Army of the Dead”

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Zack Snyder has been making entertainment headlines everywhere lately following the long awaited release of his epic “Justice League” director’s cut. But he has had another movie in the pipe, “Army of the Dead”. We got our first tease several weeks ago and now we get our first full look at this upcoming Netflix action-horror flick. Snyder directs, co-writes, and shoots what is a Las Vegas-set zombie heist movie and potential franchise launcher.

Dave Bautista leads a band of down-on-their-luck mercenaries who are hired to swipe $200 million sitting in a vault beneath the zombie-infested Las Vegas strip. The have a 32-hour window to grab the loot and get out of the city. “This should be a simple in-and-out,” they’re told by their employer (played by the always good Hiroyuki Sanada). Yea right. Turns out these aren’t your garden variety undead. They’re smart, agile, organized, and they have a ZOMBIE TIGER! The trailer shows Snyder swinging for the fences with this crazy, hyper-violent, self-aware romp. And it all plays out to Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”. I’m sold.

“Army of the Dead” opens May 21st in select theaters and streaming on Netflix. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

First Glance: “Things Heard & Seen”

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Fresh off of her recent Oscar nominee Amanda Seyfried and Netflix team up again in the upcoming horror thriller “Things Heard & Seen”. The movie is based on Elizabeth Brundage’s 2017 best-selling novel “All Things Cease to Appear”. The adaptation comes from the writer-director duo of Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman. The first trailer gives us a wickedly satisfying taste of what we can expect later this month.

Seyfried and James Norton play Catherine and George, a married couple relocating from Manhattan to a cozy yet soon to be hellish farmhouse nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley. But their sweet and bubbly romance soon shows cracks and what Netflix describes as “a sinister darkness” marks their new house and their relationship. Everyone seems to know what’s going on except for Catherine and the audience which adds to the suspense. Natalia Dyer, F. Murray Abraham, Rhea Seehorn, and Karen Allen make for interesting supporting players.

“Things Heard & Seen” premieres April 29th on Netflix. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

First Glance: “The Woman in the Window”

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It took a while, but the long-delayed psychological thriller “The Woman in the Window” is finally set to see the light of day. Originally owned by 20th Century Fox, the rights then went to Disney following their acquisition of Fox. Now Netflix is set to release the film next month. It’s directed by Joe Wright (“Atonement”, “Darkest Hour”) working from a screenplay by Tracy Letts. A new trailer dropped in anticipation showing off its star-studded cast and teasing what looks to be dark, gnarly, and claustrophobic story.

The movie follows Dr. Ana Fox (Amy Adams), a psychologist who never goes outside of her Manhattan brownstone due to a severe anxiety disorder. She begins keeping tabs on a family in the building across the street (think Jimmy Stewart from “Rear Window”). It leads to her connecting with and befriending the woman from the house played by Julianne Moore. But when her snooping leads to her witnessing a murder, the film’s chillingly twisty story kicks into overdrive. A terrific supporting cast featuring Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Brian Tyree Henry, and Jennifer Jason Leigh only adds to the appeal.

“The Woman in the Window” premieres May 14th on Netflix. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

First glance: “Percy vs Goliath” (2021)

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Fresh off of his 78th birthday, screen legend Christopher Walken is still working and has a new movie on the way. “Percy vs Goliath” is a biographical drama that actually came out in Canada late last year. Now, ahead of its upcoming US premiere, the film has dropped a new trailer and Walken fans have something to look forward to. The film is essentially an underdog story – a legal drama with some heart that also stars Christina Ricci, Zach Braff, and Adam Beach.

Walken plays a small town farmer who is taken to court by a large corporation accusing him of using patented seeds. But the truth is he’s been using the same method his family has used for generations – saving and harvesting their own seeds. “I get sued for doing the same thing my family’s been doing for hundreds of years,” he declares. I’m not well versed in this world but I do love a good underdog story and I’ll watch Walken in just about anything. This one has all the ingredients for a good compelling drama.

“Percy vs Goliath” opens April 30th in theaters and on VOD. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

First Glance: “Those Who Wish Me Dead”

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Seeing Taylor Sheridan attached was all I needed to be excited for the upcoming neo-western thriller “Those Who Wish Me Dead”. Since first jumping behind the camera in 2011, the 50-year-old Oscar-nominated Texan has written and/or directed several projects I have loved. He penned the two “Sicario” movies, 2016’s “Hell or High Water”, he wrote and directed 2017’s “Wind River”, and was co-creator of Paramount’s hit show “Yellowstone”. And he has Amazon’s “Without Remorse” starring Michael B. Jordan coming out this month. Sheridan’s latest dropped its first trailer and you can see his fingerprints all over it.

The film is based on Michael Koryta’s 2014 novel of the same name and stars Angelina Jolie as a guilt-ridden firefighter who mans an isolated fire tower in the Montana wilderness. When she steps in to help a lost 12-year-old boy (played by newcomer Finn Little) she finds herself caught between two deadly assassins and the wrath of nature itself. The film has a great batch of co-stars including Jon Bernthal, Nicholas Hoult, Aidan Gillen, and Tyler Perry. The fun cast along with Sheridan’s knack for great region-focused storytelling makes this a must-watch.

“Those Who Wish Me Dead” opens May 14th in theaters and on HBO Max. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.