The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the film industry. Movie theaters continue to operate with enhanced health and safety measures, following CDC recommended COVID-19 safety guidelines. Some films are tentatively scheduled for big-screen releases while others will be available digitally via video on demand.
‘Grizzly II: Revenge’
- Genre: Horror
- Cast: George Clooney, Laura Dern, Charlie Sheen, Louise Fletcher, Steve Inwood, John Rhys-Davies, Deborah Raffin and Deborah Foreman.
- Director: André Szöts
- Not rated
A sequel to the 1976 film “Grizzly,” main scenes for this film were completed back in 1983. Funds evaporated before the special effect scenes involving an “electro-mechanical bear” could be added and the film was shelved — and, apparently, nearly forgotten. GBGB International finally completed the work in 2018 and licensed the film to Gravitas Ventures for distribution.
All hell breaks loose when a 15-foot grizzly bear, reacting to the slaughter of her cub by poachers, seeks revenge and kills anyone that gets in her way. In the three days before the major concert taking place in Yellowstone National Park, the gigantic grizzly has brutally attacked campers Ron (George Clooney), Tina (Laura Dern) and Lance (Charlie Sheen), poachers and a park ranger. The terror doesn’t end there as the giant grizzly bear finds its way to the concert grounds to go on a killing spree.
After a 38-year delay, the film is scheduled for release Jan. 8.
- Genre: Mystery, thriller and action
- Cast: Andy Garcia, Robert Knepper, Ernie Hudson, Gary Dourdan, Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri, Serinda Swan
- Director: Hicham Hajji
- Rated: R
After being awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during a firefight against ISIS, U.S. Marine Capt. Brad Paxton (Gary Dourdan) is suffering from the long-term effects of being in a war zone. In the care of his loving wife, Kate (Serinda Swan), Brad is trying to adjust to civilian life.
When Kate, a renowned archeologist, is given a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity in Morocco, Brad urges her to follow it. When Kate arrives, she is captured by a terrorist group who demands $10 million for her ransom. Brad rushes to Morocco where the U.S. ambassador (Andy Garcia) has ceased negotiating Kate's release after the deal jeopardizes United Nation's talks for future oil rights in the region. As the unusual circumstances of Kate's abduction are revealed, Brad is forced to use his military skills in a daring and deadly operation to find the men responsible and save the woman he loves.
The film is scheduled to be released Jan. 8 from Voltage Pictures.
- Genre: Dark comedy
- Cast: Engin Günaydın, Haluk Bilginer, and Binnur Kaya
- Directors: Durul Taylan and Yagmur Taylan
- Not rated
“Stuck Apart” depicts the story of Aziz, who is going through an existential crisis and is not happy with his work nor his private life, which has been hijacked by his sister and her family. His relationship with his girlfriend after four years is also not in the best place and he feels the desire to end that, too. He wants his long-gone freedom back and when he least expects it, he comes across a chance to rescue himself from the black hole he’s trapped in. However, he realizes this turns him into a pathological liar to a point there’s no turning back.
The film will launch Jan. 8 on Netflix.
‘Stars Fell on Alabama’
- Genre: Romantic comedy
- Cast: James Maslow, Ciara Hanna, Mike Bash, Lesa Wilson, Johnnie Mack, Justin Clark, and Taylor Hicks
- Director: VW Scheich
- Rated: PG-13
“Stars Fell on Alabama” is a romantic comedy about Bryce Dixon, a successful Hollywood agent who focuses on work and an extravagant L.A. lifestyle, and Madison Belle, a Hollywood starlet on the verge of becoming a true star, if she can just land the right role.
Bryce (James Masdow) moved from Alabama to California 15 years ago for college and to pursue his dreams, leaving his past behind. He does, however, keep up with a small circle of his best friends from high school. As Bryce prepares to return home for his 15-year high school reunion and realizes his high school classmates are judging him poorly because he isn’t married with children, he stretches the truth and tells them that Madison (Ciara Hanna) is his girlfriend.
Willow Springs, Alabama, is soon abuzz with news of the impending arrival of Bryce and his mystery starlet. Bryce tries to convince Madison to accompany him to his high school reunion in Alabama and pretend to be his girlfriend. Madison reluctantly accepts — if only to get out of LA for the weekend so she can avoid her ex-boyfriend, rock star Zane Thomas (Zebedee Row).
Bryce and Madison get to know each other better over the course of many pre-reunion events, often with Bryce’s small circle of high school friends and former classmates in tow.
During the reunion weekend, Zane shows up in Alabama to win Madison back, Madison gets the news that she has landed the role of a lifetime with Bryce’s help, and Bryce comes to the realization that he loves Madison, just as Zane takes a knee to propose to her. Bryce’s lie about being Madison’s boyfriend is revealed to everyone, and his apology leads to a final dance under the stars at the reunion.
The film is scheduled to be released Jan. 8 by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
‘If Not Now, When?’
- Genre: Drama
- Cast: Meagan Holder, Mekia Cox, Tamara Bass and Meagan Good
- Director: Meagan Good and Tamara Bass
- Not rated
Four friends, who met in high school and are bonded by an event, are suddenly forced back together when one of them suffers a crisis. It’s a story of love, forgiveness and the incredible bond between women.
The film is scheduled to be released Jan. 8 through Vertical Entertainment.
‘The Reason I Jump’
- Genre: Documentary
- Cast: Jordan O’Donegan
- Director: Jerry Rothwell
- Not rated
Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, “The Reason I Jump” is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida's revelatory insights into autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window for audiences into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe.
Moments in the lives of each of the characters are linked by the journey of a young Japanese boy through an epic landscape; narrated passages from Naoki’s writing reflect on what his autism means to him and others; how his perception of the world differs, and why he acts in the way he does — the reason he jumps. The film distills these elements into a sensually rich tapestry that leads us to Naoki’s core message: Not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say.
This film will be released on Jan. 8 in virtual cinemas.