February Newsletter | Streaming Wars, More News, and Preview of February’s Movies and TV Shows

Dear reader,

We hope you have enjoyed the changes so far—less puns, daily news, and more voices providing insights related to film and TV. We hope you do not merely have to agree with these voices. You can oppose statements that you disagree with in the comments section. Some readers have complained about the complexity of the comments submission process. We assure you that we are looking into it (Are we? could be PR). However, in the meantime you can air your opinions on our twitter and Instagram pages. We value the discussion that film generates as a community. So, what happened in January?

Streaming Wars

As mentioned (not promised) in the new year’s newsletter, you might ask yourself, “has there really been less Netflix content so far?” The unsurprising answer is N-O. Due to the ongoing pandemic, most of our reviewed content came and will still come from streaming services, with Netflix leading the race as a global company, boasting over 200 million subscribers in their latest earnings report. What a landmark! 

The folks in the legal department have had their hands full though, as they battled to remove explicit Bridgerton scenes from porn sites. And no, I don’t have the clips. In more exciting Big N news, we got first look images for the upcoming Shadow and Bone series, and cast announcement for The Sandman adaptation, which teases a reunion for two Game of Thrones cast members (Hint: Brienne of Tarth is one of them). Finally, our 2020 guilty please, Too Hot to Handle, can be expected to return for two more seasons.

Disney+ can only hope that WandaVision brings in more subscribers, as it marked the first MCU TV series on the ‘mickey-mouse’ platform. Have you started WandaVision yet? As at this publication date, we have had 3 episodes so far. If you are looking into starting the show or you are one of those waiting for all of the episodes before binging in one sitting, we published a brief recap of Wanda and Vision’s journey in the past Avengers movies. This brief essay should ease you into the new series as The Avengers took place like 10-20 years ago, am I right? Don’t blame me. You guessed right—it is the pandemic. Lastly, the mouse house released a new trailer for the upcoming animated movie, Raya and the Lost Dragon. We provided a breakdown which includes things you might have missed and definitely things you saw in the trailer.

Seems like we are moving in the order of relevance. So am I ranking HBO Max third in the streaming wars? Maybe. As announced late last year, Warner Media plans to release its 2021 movie slate in cinema and on the streaming blahblahblah concurrently which has angered some filmmakers, most especially, their honeypot, king of cinematic experience, Christopher Nolan (TENET, Inception). As announced in the released footage, we can look forward to seeing movies like Villeneuve’s Dune, live action Tom and Jerry, Sopranos prequel, and a lot more on HBO Max.

I blamed the pandemic earlier for my memory problems. I am not alone. There are thousands of others also pointing fingers at the pandemic. Yes, these people can be found in the film industry. Yes, it is because you are currently on a film blog. Looking at the future of cinema due to the effects of the pandemic and growth of streaming services, we published a 3-part essay as a way to introduce our new contributors. For those interested:

In Other January Film News a.k.a ICYMI…

  • Peaky Blinders season six will be the final showdown as production starts. However, viewers can be rest assured that the story won’t end here as there are plans for a movie that could lead to an even bigger universe of some sort.
  • The highly anticipated 007 movie No Time To Die was delayed for the 3rd time. Yikes! Fans can now look forward to seeing the movie in October. Or more like, the pandemic will decide and send a fax.
  • For those who still have memories of their childhood (if it has not been wiped away by the—you guessed it—pandemic), you can expect a remake of Spy Kids. It was reported that plans to resurrect the franchise is in development.
  • Ending on a darker side, Microsoft patented a piece of tech similar to one we have seen before in an episode of Black Mirror. I don’t need to remind you that it did not end well.

On News That We Couldn’t Cover…

  • On My Block is returning for a fourth and final season. After the third season’s shocker epilogue set in the future, we can only look forward to seeing how the tight-knit group of friends drift apart.
  • Lupin is returning for a part 2 in summer 2021. This is a Netflix French heist series, starring Omar Sy.
  • Bridgerton is Netflix’s biggest series ever with 82 million viewers in its first 28 days. Also, it made the top 10 list in each of its markets except from Japan and hit number one rank in 83 countries. It ranks ahead of The Witcher season one — 76 million and La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) season four — 65 million. Damn, Daniel Duke!
  • Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff are teaming up for a remake of Cheaper by the Dozen. The script for the movie was co-written by Kenya Barris (Grown-ish, Black-ish, Black AF) and will debut on Disney+ sometime in 2022.
  • Moving to Westeros, an animated Game of Thrones series is in early stages of development. Till it dries, baby!
  • A set photo from the production of new iCarly episodes was released by Paramount+. The returning stars are Miranda Cosgrove (Carly), Jerry Trainor (Spencer) and Nathan Kress (Freddie). I don’t know Sam’s location.
  • Last but not the least, we lost Cicely Tyson. She was aged 96. She was the first black woman to take on a main role in the TV drama East Side/West Side in the 1960s. May her soul rest in peace.

We reviewed the following movies:

Highlight of New Films and TV Series in February

  • Kid Cosmic: This is a Netflix animated superhero series created by the mind behind Powerpuff Girls.  It is to be released on February 2,2021.

Official synopsis: The KID, an imaginative and odd 9-year-old boy who lives with his free-spirited Grandpa in a sparsely populated town accidentally finds and activates 5 cosmic rings of power in a spaceship wreck, sending a signal out of the whereabouts of the most powerful and desirable artifacts in the cosmos. Now the Earth is about to be ground zero for an epic battle for ultimate power! The KID gives the rest of the powerful rings to locals who become the good guys… even though they’re bad at it.

Official poster. Via Netflix.
  • Malcom and Marie: One of the movies written and filmed during lockdown that doesn’t have a COVID related plotline. It stars John David Washington (TENET) and Zendaya (Euphoria) in a Sam Levinson-led movie. Film drops on Netflix on February 5, 2021.

Official synopsis: When filmmaker Malcolm (John David Washington) and his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya) return home from a movie premiere and await his film’s critical response, the evening takes a turn as revelations about their relationships begin to surface, testing the couple’s love.

  • The Equalizer: A female-led TV adaptation of the popular action movie. This CBS series will star Queen Latifah as the action star. The first season premieres on February 7, 2021.

Official synopsis: Robyn McCall, an enigmatic African American woman with a mysterious background, uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. McCall comes across to most as an average single mom who is quietly raising her teenage daughter. But to a trusted few, she is “The Equalizer” — an anonymous guardian angel and defender of the downtrodden, who’s also dogged in her pursuit of personal redemption.

Official poster. Via Warner Bros.
  • Judas and the black Messiah: starring Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and LaKeith Steinfeld (Atlanta, Knives Out), the biographical-drama movie retells the story of Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party. It can be enjoyed on HBO Max and in selected theatres from February 12, 2021.

Official synopsis: The story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O’Neal.

This poster contains the original date before the pandemic got real.
  • Namaste Wahala: this is a product of the two biggest movie industries in the world, Bollywood and Nollywood. Marking a first, all eyes are on the love story to be told on February 14, 2021, exclusively on Netflix.

Official synopsis: An interracial romance hits humorous and heart-wrenching hiccups as the couple’s parents fight tooth and nail against their relationship.

  • To All the Boys 3: Tagged To All the Boys: Always and Forever, this marks the 3rd installment in the trilogy starring Noah Centino as Peter Kavinsky and Lana Condor as Lara Jean. Set to be released on February 12, 2021, we can look forward to another romantic movie intent on melting our hearts during this period.

Official synopsis: Senior year of high school takes center stage as Lara Jean returns from a family trip to Korea and considers her college plans — with and without Peter.

Official poster for Nomadland. Via Searchlight Pictures.
  • Nomadland: Been generating Oscar buzz ever since its screenings at some festivals. The Chloé Zhao movie stars Frances McDormand (Fargo, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). You can watch it on Hulu and in selected theatres on February 19, 2021.

Official synopsis: Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.

Official poster. Via Warner Bros.
  • Tom and Jerry: a live action movie based on the popular frenemies that we can never get enough of. It stars Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass), Michael Peña (Ant-Man), Colin Jost (Saturday Night Live), Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2), Jordan Bolger (Peaky Blinders), Nicky Jam, Bobby Cannavale (The Irishman), Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), and Ken Jeong (The Hangover). In theatres and on HBO Max on February 26, 2021.

Official synopsis: One of the most beloved rivalries in history is reignited when Jerry moves into New York City’s finest hotel on the eve of “the wedding of the century,” forcing the event’s desperate planner to hire Tom to get rid of him, in director Tim Story’s “Tom and Jerry.” The ensuing cat and mouse battle threatens to destroy her career, the wedding and possibly the hotel itself. But soon, an even bigger problem arises: a diabolically ambitious staffer conspiring against all three of them.

Warner Bros.
Official poster. Via Apple TV+
  • Cherry: This marks the first film by the Russo Brothers ever since they helmed Avengers: Endgame. It features a script co-written by their sister, Angela Russo-Ostot. It stars a familiar face they have worked with, Tom Holland (Spider-Man) who plays a war veteran suffering from PTSD. The film is based on a novel of the same name by Nico Walker. It is scheduled to be released in theaters on February 26, 2021 and exclusively on Apple TV+ March 12.

Official synopsis: In an epic odyssey of romance, war, drug addiction, and crime, a young man (Tom Holland) struggles to find his place in the world.

Apple TV+
Official poster. Via Lionsgate/Sony Pictures Classic
  • The Father: A family drama generating Oscar buzz for Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of The Lambs), who stars as an aged man suffering from complications arising from mental conditions attached to old age. It is scheduled to be released in the United States on 26 February 2021.

Official synopsis: Anthony is 80, mischievous, living defiantly alone and rejecting the carers that his daughter, Anne, encouragingly introduces. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can’t make daily visits anymore and Anthony’s grip on reality is unravelling. As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her? The Father warmly embraces real life, through loving reflection upon the vibrant human condition; heart-breaking and uncompromisingly poignant – a movie that nestles in the truth of our own lives.

Sony Pictures Classic

Special mentions: Minari (Asian-American immigrant drama starring Steven Yeun), Tribes of Europa (German series from the creators of DARK), The Crew (a sitcom starring Kevin James), Minamata (Johnny Depp), News of the World (Tom Hanks), Space Sweepers (South Korean space film).

The following TV shows premiere and return in February: The Walking Dead (28.02), Snowfall (24.02), Superman & Lois (23.02), Queen Sugar (16.02), and Black Lightning (08.02).

You can read the reviews to a number of the mentioned films and TV series in February. So, keep an eye out. Subscribe to email notifications and follow us on our social media pages for frequent updates.

Which of the film(s) are you looking forward to the most?  Or did we forget a certain one? Let us know in the comments below

Bis bald,
Ikeade Oriade
(Managing Editor)

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