This week's new streaming movies to watch together
Future of cinema is at home | Monday, February 8, 2021
Last summer before I got the idea to start this newsletter I wrote a quick blog post inspired by Disney's decision to release Mulan (their $200+ million blockbuster) directly to Disney+. That was a shocking event. Streaming was already popular and trampling over holy ground in Hollywood but this was different. This signaled that streaming video was becoming the premiere venue for new narrative films and that the theater was no longer the place to go to see new movies. Later in the year when Warner Brothers and Warner Media decided to release all their new movies to HBO Max and theaters simultaneously in 2021, it crystalized that idea further. The industry is still coming to terms with this new normal, but in that blog post I wanted to touch a bit on some of what was making this moment in the history of cinema possible. As I wrote wrote in the post...
"The technology available today has completely changed the power dynamic between movie studios, theater owners, and consumers. Today consumers can buy displays that provide the same or better image resolution (4K and 8K) and color quality (HDR) than is available at most cinemas. Devices like the Sonos Arc purports to provide a miniaturized implementation of best in class cinema surround sound in one easy to install package."
In short, most people now have near instant access to the best content with great quality. Large displays up to 85" can be found for less than $1500. Projectors that can throw an image spanning an entire living room wall can be found often for even less money than that. Affordable sound bars can deliver almost theater quality sound without the need for complex wiring and speaker installations. Month to month, people can mix and swap the streaming services that gives instant access to a catalog of thousands of old movies and the best new movies too. I write all this to say that a pristine cinematic experience is attainable now for most people. And that's incredibly exciting...because I remember a time when getting that experience at home was far more difficult and a lot more expensive. Are you taking advantage of the technology that's making movie watching better at home?
Here are the best new movies to watch together this week on streaming video.
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
Available Friday, February 12 on HBO Max
"At every turn, Judas and the Black Messiah doesn’t just allow the space to consider the motivations of both its primary characters, but actively seeks out those shades of gray." Kate Erbland of Indiewire wrote in her review of this film last week. Judas and the Black Messiah tells the story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party and his betrayal by an FBI informant in the 1960s. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya, LeKeith Stanfield, and Jesse Plemons and is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Check out this interview hosted by Brian Welk of The Wrap with director Shaka King and stars of the film and remember to catch the film before it leaves HBO Max 30 days after its release on Friday.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021)
Available Friday, February 12 on Prime Video
Valentines weekend is coming up and that means there are actually quite a few romance comedies and romance-romance films being released this week. Unfortunately, this is the only one that looked fun enough to put on the featured list. This film is a riff of the groundhog day trope. It's about two teens stuck in a time loop that has them live the same day repeatedly.
International films to watch together on streaming this week.
Layla Majnun (2021)
Available Thursday, February 11 on Netflix
Red Dot (2021)
Available Thursday, February 11 on Netflix
Other movies available this week
Dunkirk (2017) on HBO Max
2067 (2020) on Hulu
To All The Boys: Always and Forever (2021) on Netflix
El Inconveniente (2021) on HBO Max
Monsoon (2019) on Netflix
The Book of Eli (2010) HBO Max
Squared Love (2021) on Netflix
You're Next (2013) on Hulu
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Want to have a great experience watching movies at home? Check out this video.