Connect with us

Entertainment

The women who brought down Burger Records | Arts & Entertainment

becker blake

Published

on

[BC-MCT-ENTERTAINMENT-BJT] | Arts & Entertainment

LOS ANGELES — Casey Redd was 14 when she began going to shows put on by popular indie-rock label Burger Records. The concerts, featuring contemporary garage and punk bands, were often all-ages, and a swell of excited teenage girls would be in attendance.

Three years later when Redd was 17, she says Phil Salina, the then-29-year-old singer of the Portland-based goth-pop duo Love Cop, had sex with her in the back seat of her car. He told her to meet him at the far corner of the parking lot at the Burger Records store in Fullerton, she says, then instructed her to drive a few blocks away to a darkened neighborhood where she alleges the statutory rape took place. (The age of consent in California is 18.)

A few days later they again had sex outside of a house show in Pomona, she says.

“I felt confused and violated,” she says, adding that it took time, reflection and therapy to come to terms with what happened to her in 2013. “For years, many years, I didn’t really talk to anyone about it — I felt really ashamed — I felt like it was my fault for engaging with him in the first place.”

She did tell one of her close friends about her sexual encounters with Salina. That friend, who regularly attended Burger Records shows with Redd, corroborated Redd’s story to The Times in a phone interview.

Salina did not respond to multiple requests for comment by The Times.

The Times, however, reviewed texts that Salina sent to Redd after she went public with her accusations. In them, Salina apologizes and expresses remorse, writing, “I won’t ever be allowed to play music again and that is fair.” He also wrote that he didn’t think of their relationship as abusive at the time but that he now understands that it was wrong.

“I will be sorry until I die,” he wrote.

Redd went public with her experience last summer, sharing her story on her personal Instagram page and soon after on a page she created called Lured_By_Burger Records, which posted accusations about men in the Burger scene from other female fans and artists. The page quickly accumulated thousands of followers, spurring online outrage, national media coverage and public apologies from many of the accused musicians.

Within a week, the label ceased operations completely, prompting a long-overdue reckoning about the prevalence of sexual abuse in Southern California’s underground/DIY music scene.

One of Burger’s owners, Sean Bohrman, declined to be interviewed for this story. The other, Lee Rickard, did not respond to a request for comment. But Bohrman acknowledged in an interview with Seattle radio station KEXP after Burger’s collapse that the label — which published recordings by nearly 1,200 bands during its 13 years in existence, in addition to hosting concerts and festivals and running a record shop in Fullerton — did not scrutinize the personal behavior of the musicians with whom it worked. And it’s not clear that management was paying attention to the exploitative sexual dynamics of the scene Burger fostered.

As the allegations emerged, the label issued a statement that read in part: “We extend our deepest apologies to anyone who has suffered irreparable harm from any experience that occurred in the Burger and indie/DIY music scene.”

But the problems did not involve Burger musicians alone. The Times interviewed nearly two dozen women who detailed varying degrees of sexual abuse and harassment by musicians in Southern California’s indie rock scene during the past 15 years.

A number of women spoke on the record; others chose to remain anonymous, either because they feared reprisal or had already experienced it after posting their experiences online.

Their stories about what happened in and around the Burger scene illuminate a broader culture of sexual abuse in Southern California’s underground music world that — more than three years into the reckoning brought by the #metoo movement — has remained largely in the shadows.

Burger Records was founded in 2007 by Bohrman and Rickard, in part to release music from their own band at the time, Thee Makeout Party. Burger championed catchy, homemade power-pop, surf-rock and bubblegum punk. It opened a record shop in Fullerton in 2009 and Bohrman and Rickard lived there, washing their hair under a spigot in the alley and running the label out of the back. The shop soon became a popular gathering spot for music fans.

As Burger grew, the label hosted a slew of popular shows and festivals around Southern California including Burger-a-Go Go, which paid tribute to all-female-fronted bands, and the two-day Burgerama, which annually drew thousands of fans and featured eclectic lineups of dozens of underground garage bands and indie rock giants including Weezer, Ariel Pink, Fidlar, the Spits, Ty Segall, Roky Erickson and Gang of Four.

Burger’s reputation was burnished internationally in 2014 when fashion design house Yves Saint Laurent featured the label’s music in Paris runway shows.

An all-ages ethos was key to Burger’s identity. Young fans, including those in high school, often mingled with older fans and musicians. Many women interviewed by The Times described rampant drug and alcohol use, even at shows where alcohol was not for sale.

The label did not follow a traditional business model. It didn’t sign bands or negotiate contracts. It just reached out to bands it loved and released mostly limited-edition runs of cassette tapes, leaving it to other labels to court the musicians it championed. It also made money from the concerts and festivals that it convened.

Still, Burger’s output was prolific. It’s unusual for a label to release music in such abundance. That volume is partially how Bohrman explained the lack of oversight at Burger in a September 2019 interview with KEXP.

“When I find a band I really like, do I have to ask, ‘Have you raped anybody, and have you done this or that’,” he said. “And then how do you follow up on that and get the full story? That sounds like a nightmare, and that’s not why I got into music.”

At first, Redd felt at home among Burger fans and bands, and in the spaces they occupied. All-ages shows were held in warehouses, the record shop and a large venue called the Observatory in Santa Ana. The Fullerton store was painted a bright key-lime green and featured a highly cultivated sense of graphic design characterized by a zany, cut ‘n’ paste punk aesthetic in bold primary colors (Bohrman minored in graphic design and cranked out the labels’ merch). The store was filled with buttons (“I’m a Burger Girl,” was one), stickers and posters, many featuring vintage-inspired, punk-themed cartoons. There was a back room where musicians, staff and customers sometimes gathered. It felt, say many of the women who hung out there, like a high-school clubhouse.

“In their marketing, they described themselves as perma-teens,” recalls Redd of Burger Records.

Redd says she began to regularly receive messages from some of the men in bands whose accounts she had followed on social media.

When Love Cop’s Salina first reached out to Redd, she was 17. Salina was working as a mental-health counselor in Portland specializing in addiction. Redd’s family had a troubled history with drugs and addiction, and she came to trust Salina. She says they talked nearly every day.

“He knew the trauma that I carried and … my age and vulnerability. It was definitely a grooming relationship,” Redd says, recalling how lonely, depressed and anxious she was at that time. “We would talk about cats and music. He was one of the very few adults I felt seen by.”

Months later, Salina came to Orange County to play a Burger show and invited Redd. It was her first time driving on the freeway when she crossed county lines from her hometown of Corona to Fullerton where she says their first sexual encounter took place.

Afterward, Redd alleges, Salina messaged her often, asking for nudes and sexual photos. For the most part, she ignored him but sometimes she engaged with him, not fully understanding how inappropriate the situation was.

Redd stopped going to Burger shows when she was 18, but at that point she says she already knew several other underage teenage girls who had been abused by adult men in the scene.

“I idolized these people when I was a teenager. I wasn’t able to see things for what they really were,” she says. “It felt like a magical time that turned dark very quickly.”

Redd is now 24 years old. She is a longtime vegan and animal rights activist with a soft but firm voice and a thoughtful, straightforward way of speaking. She says that over the years, not a day went by that she didn’t think about the fact that she was not alone in her experience.

That fact became painfully clear during the summer on July 15 when Clementine Creevy, the frontwoman of Cherry Glazerr, which released its debut album through Burger, posted a statement on Instagram accusing Sean Redman, the bass player of another Burger-affiliated band called the Buttertones, of starting a sexual relationship with her when she was 14 and he was 20. That relationship, she wrote, was also emotionally abusive.

She emphasized, “I want to say with no conditionality whatsoever that THIS IS NOT ATYPICAL OF THE MUSIC SCENE.”

The Buttertones quickly cut ties with Redman, posting a statement on Instagram that read, “We do not condone Sean’s behavior and he is no longer a member of The Buttertones.” The band was still dropped by its label, Innovative Leisure. The Times was unable to reach Redman for comment.

Two days after Creevy’s disclosure, Redd also spoke up — posting on July 17 about her experience with Salina on her personal Instagram account. The following day, Burger Records turned off the comments on an Instagram post after women began writing about their traumatic experiences there. Redd saw Burger’s action as silencing victims, so she created the Lured_By_Burger_Records Instagram page.

Redd’s second post concluded, “If you’re going to sell tickets to children, check your creepy friends and don’t let them in.”

Another post, which a woman who wished to remain anonymous asked Redd to share, read, “I have personally had many poor and inappropriate relationships and interactions with adult men within these scenes when I was a very young teen.”

Similar stories from dozens of women soon began pouring into Redd’s direct message box, she says. Many of the accusations of rape, sexual assault, abuse, harassment and grooming were about Burger bands, and many were about the local underground music scene in general. Redd found herself spending up to 18 hours a day on the site, fielding comments, posts and allegations. She says the experience was emotionally and physically overwhelming.

As scrutiny of Burger intensified, other women spoke out and bands began to fall. Lydia Night, the singer of The Regrettes, accused SWMRS drummer Joey Armstrong (son of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong) of sexual misconduct and coercion, beginning when she was 16 and Armstrong was 22. SWMRS released music through a variety of labels, including Burger. Armstrong posted an apology on Instagram, adding that he didn’t agree with some of the things Night said about him, but that, “it’s important that she be allowed to say them and that she be supported for speaking out.”

Arrow de Wilde, lead singer of L.A. indie rock band Starcrawler, said she was sexually assaulted by a male stripper hired by the singer of the Growlers while the bands were on tour together in Australia. (The Growlers released music through Burger.) De Wilde did not name the stripper, instead focusing on the humiliation she says she experienced when members of the Growlers filmed the incident while laughing. Singer Brooks Nielsen issued an apology and two members left the band, although the Growlers recently listed three new tour dates for 2021.

The garage-rock musician Nobunny (Justin Champlin), who released numerous albums on Burger, admitted to a history of sexual misconduct and announced that he would no longer play music. “I f—ed up bad. I used my power and influence to take advantage of young women and teenage girls,” he wrote in a statement published by Pitchfork; and other, smaller bands, such as L.A.’s Mystic Braves, which released a cassette through Burger in collaboration with Lolipop Records, temporarily disbanded in late July after acknowledging that harm had been done by certain members.

Redd was not alone in posting the harrowing stories of others. A number of other anonymously run accounts cropped up, including empowerment.la, which supports victims of abuse in the region’s music scene.

Scanning the stories on these accounts is like navigating a landmine of trauma, sorrow and bravery. Chunks of text pop at the reader: “Gaslighting and manipulating me,” “he ignored any and all physical signs of me trying to escape,” “choked her near the point of unconsciousness,” “I was too scared to report it,” “I blacked out and woke up in a studio naked and was bleeding and felt sore.”

On July 21, Burger co-founder Lee Rickard stepped down from his role as label president and divested all interest in the label.

The label issued a statement that read in part that it was “deeply sorry for the role Burger has played in perpetuating a culture of toxic masculinity.”

Five days after Redd’s first Lured_By_Burger_Records post, Burger folded completely, taking with it the operation’s entire digital footprint. Bohrman capped his announcement of the company’s dissolution to a Pitchfork reporter with a Porky Pig GIF: “That’s all folks.”

Except it wasn’t. Not for the young women who had their lives turned upside down by the predation they say they experienced as naïve teenagers idolizing their rock gods. And not for the legions of girls and women of all ages suddenly confronting feelings about how all of this seemed eerily similar to their own experiences in the underground music scene, Burger-related or not.

Sexual abuse has long been part and parcel of the anything-goes, predominantly masculine rock ‘n’ roll ethos cultivated by the musical culture, the bands that populate it and the labels that traffic in it, say many of the women interviewed for this story by The Times.

Exploitation by male musicians is often met with widespread acceptance from a scene that supports sexual fetishization of women as passive vehicles for male pleasure. The abuses endemic to Burger Records, they say, are representative of the problem but far from unique.

Indeed, the sexual conquest of young women by older rock stars is often celebrated, says Michelle Butler, a psychologist who serves as executive director and co-founder of Polaris, a residential treatment center for teens. (Butler’s husband is also a music producer.)

“Many of these revered rock gods absolutely committed statutory rape. We all know it, it’s been well-documented, and somehow it’s been written off as part of the groupie culture,” Butler says. “So you take somebody who is like the David Bowie of their little scene, and you take somebody who is impressionable and maybe a little lost, and it’s a recipe for disaster.”

In film and television production, some safeguards have been erected in recent years to protect vulnerable artists including the use of intimacy coordinators on set and new channels for reporting abuse. The music scene, by comparison, says one young female musician with experience in TV, is a “dumpster fire” when it comes to protecting female musicians. Fans in clubs, other women say, are simply on their own.

Emily Langland began going to shows at the Smell, a cavernous, graffiti-laden, all-ages club housed in an old concrete storefront in downtown L.A.’s Historic Core, when she was in high school.

Langland soon met a number of older fans on the scene, and made the trek to another beloved all-ages venue, the Glass House in Pomona, to see Atlanta-based garage band Black Lips, which headlined Burgerama two years in a row. Burger also reissued four of the band’s albums on cassette.

Langland, then 17, was invited backstage by the opening band, and a few days later the singer of that band invited her to a house party in Echo Park.

It was there in 2011 that she met Cole Alexander, the guitarist for Black Lips, who recognized her from the show in Pomona.

Alexander, who was 29 at the time, soon began texting sexually inappropriate messages to Langland, she claims. She says he would text that he fantasized about her and that he liked being with submissive girls because he enjoyed holding the power in his relationships.

In one text that Langland shared with The Times, Alexander wrote that he wanted to try to have sex with her, using a more vulgar phrase.

“I like young people but that’s tabboo [sic]. But I don’t completely know why. I’m 29.”

Langland says she was a little put off by his advances, but that she still counted herself a fan of his music.

“I went along with the things he was sending me,” she says. “But I would try to change the conversation.”

Langland and Alexander eventually had a sexual relationship when he was 30 and she was 18.

Alexander, when reached, declined to comment for the story. But in recent texts Langland shared with The Times, Alexander wrote that he thought what happened between them was appropriate.

“You know I would never prey on anyone,” he wrote.

“The only thing I’m trying to get out of this is accountability from him,” Langland said. “I’m not trying to cancel him.”

Taylor Kourkos loved Burger bands and began going to all-ages shows when she was 16.

At the record shop, she says she was regularly invited into the back room and offered beer, alcohol and weed. Older guys from bands hung out there and Kourkos says they showered her with compliments.

Kourkos got into a band called Audacity, which released a 7″ record and a cassette through Burger. After posting photos she took at a show, the band’s lead singer, Matt Schmalfeld, flirted with her on social media.

Kourkos had to make a music video for her high school history class and asked Schmalfeld if he would be in it. To her surprise, he said yes. After that, they developed a closer relationship that she alleges soon turned sexual. Kourkos was 16, Schmalfeld was 21.

Kourkos says that Schmalfeld gave her alcohol, free tickets and backstage access. She says he made comments about how well-developed and mature she was for her age and told her they had to keep their relationship a secret.

“He told me that the band would break up, that he would go to jail and lose his job,” Kourkos says.

Their relationship continued for a year. They would meet and hook up, and Schmalfeld would avoid being seen with Kourkos in public, she says.

“Eventually he got a girlfriend and I was completely forgotten,” Kourkos says.

A friend of Kourkos, who used to go to Burger shows with her and took pictures of the bands, said in a telephone interview with The Times that Kourkos told him about her relationship with Schmalfeld at the time.

Schmalfeld declined to comment for this article.

When Kourkos was backstage at shows, she says there were usually other teenage girls. She says the guys in bands would offer them alcohol and drugs.

“There would be teenage girls passed out or freaking out on drugs at the shows, and they were always somehow being comforted by these older men, and not by their friends,” Kourkos says. “It was a very dangerous environment.”

One fan remembered hearing the men who frequented Burger shows referring to young fans as “Prosti-tots.”

“They were literally luring children backstage, at the shop, to their homes, and in their cars,” says Kourkos.

Charlotte Froom, 34, was once the bassist of the L.A.-based, Geffen-signed, all-female band The Like, and is now making music under the name Spiders & Hearts, which is signed to popular indie label Narnack Records.

When she was 22, Froom alleges she was sexually assaulted by Darren Rademaker, the vocalist and guitarist of L.A.-based psych-pop band The Tyde, which released a cassette titled “Darren 4” through Burger Records in 2016, and played several Burgerama festivals before that.

Froom says the incident happened after Rademaker drove her home from Little Joy, an Echo Park dive bar popular with musicians and artists in the area. The friends she came to the bar with had left and she found herself alone with Rademaker.

“I don’t know how many drinks I had, because he kept putting drinks in front of me,” Froom recalls. “My glass was never empty.”

When they got to her neighborhood, he wouldn’t let her out of the car in front of her apartment; instead, Froom says, he continued to drive around for almost 45 minutes until he could find street parking.

“I kept saying, ‘You said you’d drop me off, please drop me off,’ and he wouldn’t let me out of the car, and then he forced himself into my apartment,” Froom says.

Once he was inside he said they should have a nightcap. Froom says she was so drunk that she poured one, and after that she alleges that Rademaker raped her while she came in and out of consciousness.

Earlier in the evening, Froom said, “I was saying no to everything,” recalling how she repeatedly had asked Rademaker to drop her off and to leave. But by the end of the night, she said, she was too intoxicated to consent. “I didn’t feel I had any control of the situation.”

“I was just like a dead body,” she said. “There was fight, flight or freeze, and I was frozen.”

Rademaker, she says, was married at the time, and Froom knew his wife, which only added to her anxiety and sense of shame afterward. It was that shame, she says, that kept her from filing a police report or otherwise going public with her experience.

Rademaker did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

“In hindsight, it took me a lot of time to understand it wasn’t my fault,” Froom says. “I was too ashamed to tell my therapist because I was like, ‘I put myself in this position.'”

Froom eventually did tell her therapist who confirmed her story to The Times, as did her ex-husband, whom Froom told after they were married.

Froom’s story mirrors stories told by other women who at first blamed themselves for the sexual abuse inflicted by men they trusted, dated or otherwise befriended.

“It’s all controlled by men”The community of outcasts that comprise much of the DIY/underground music scene, say the women and girls who belonged to it, presents itself as liberal and inclusive, but it often betrays those who need it and trust it the most.

“They think they’re progressive because they’re artists, but it’s all controlled by men,” says music fan and artist Amanda Martin, who was heavily involved in the So Cal music scene from 2003 to 2015. She recalls experiencing various forms of harassment and emotional abuse. “They get to choose who plays the shows and which girl gets to be in a band. It’s easy for them to maintain power.”

Women who play music in the scene know all too well the challenges of making art in testosterone-driven environments where they have to constantly be on the look-out for situations that could quickly become risky, says May McDonough, 35, who now works as a film composer, but fronted the garage-punk band The May Company.

McDonough had music released on Burger compilations and played many shows with Burger bands. She recalls that men in the bands would say sexually derogatory things about women in front of her and that one band even encouraged female fans to physically fight in order to determine who would be taken home by the band that night.

“It’s already a ubiquitous part of our society,” McDonough says of sexual abuse and assault. “And then you get down to this myopic rock ‘n’ roll culture. If you’re a rock ‘n’ roller, if you’re creative, whatever impulse you have is supposed to be indulged.”

McDonough remembers an instance where she fell asleep alongside friends on the floor of the house where she was staying. When she woke, a man was spooning her with his hands down her pants. She said “no” three times, enough that she feared the situation could turn violent.

“I just wanted to be friends with other musicians,” says McDonough. “We were three girls in a band, hoping to be a part of a community, and the feedback was, ‘You will always be seen as this sexual component, and don’t complain about it, because this is how things are.'”

For her part, Casey Redd is heartened by the sisterhood and support she found after creating Lured_By_Burger_Records, and she hopes this reckoning will lead to lasting change in the scene. She’s still in shock that a once-thriving label — a label that used to play such a large role in her life — completely unraveled in less than a week, thanks to an Instagram page that gave voice to scores of women who had remained silent for too long.

“I wasn’t expecting that at all, for them to just completely remove all presence from the internet,” Redd says. “I still haven’t been able to process it.

Redd stopped posting to the account at the end of July, writing that she needed an extended period of rest and recovery.

She’s not sure what comes next. Healing, she says, is a lifelong journey.

(c)2021 the Los Angeles Times

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Entertainment

26 New Comedy Movies to Watch in 2021 — Best New Comedies

becker blake

Published

on

26 New Comedy Movies to Watch in 2021 — Best New Comedies

Could you use a good laugh right about now? We’ve got the perfect films to tickle your funny bone and make your worries disappear—at least for a few hours.

They say that laughter is the best medicine. Given that we are suffering through a global pandemic, a healthy and constant dose of new comedy movies could be just what the doctor ordered. Sure, rom-coms aren’t a cure-all and most of us would take the vaccine over a Ryan Reynolds romp or a silly sequel starring an SNL alum, but giggles, chortles, and smiles can add light to America’s “dark winter” in the meantime. Luckily, movie studios and streaming services are ready to provide an almost constant IV drip of funny films throughout 2021. This guide should help you plan your screen time for the next year. If you’re looking for something to watch with the kids this weekend, check out these funny family movies that will make everyone happy.

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

via amazon.com

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Watch Now

Further mining the hilarious, heartwarming, and often fickle world of female friendships, the brains behind Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, have created a new pair of big-screen besties. Lifelong inseparable pals and culottes devotees Barb and Star venture from their Midwestern bubble existence of hot dog soup and ceramic figurines for their first-ever out-of-state vacation. They land at the titular candy-colored, high-energy resort in Florida where everyone isn’t exactly what they seem and they may or may not unwittingly become involved in an evil plot to kill everyone in town. It’s surreal and goofy, and it features musical numbers, secret cameos, and an overqualified supporting cast that includes Wendi McLendon-Covey, Damon Wayans Jr., Phyllis Smith, Vanessa Bayer, Rose Abdoo, and Fortune Feimster. And if that isn’t enough to convince you to take the vicarious trip with them, how about a shirtless Jamie Dornan?

Coming 2 America Amazonvia amazon.com

Coming 2 America

Watch Now

What’s old is new again in this sequel to the 1980s comedy classic that reunites Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. This time, Prince Akeem is now the king of Zamunda, and he and his trusted advisor Semmi must return to America to find the heir he didn’t know he had produced on his first trip to find a queen in Queens. His son, along with his family (which includes Tracy Morgan and Leslie Jones), then head to Africa so that the new prince can get prepped to someday take the throne. The lost-in-translation moments, family politics, and a few wild animals are coming to Prime Video on March 5.

Marry Me

Learn More

Jennifer Lopez returns to the rom-com genre and theaters this May as Kat Valdez, a superstar singer who’s set to tie the knot with beau Bastian, himself a Latin music phenomenon (played by real-life Latin music chart-topper Maluma), during a concert and streamed social media event to promote their duet “Marry Me.” But seconds before the brand synergy stunt is set to take place, Kat learns that her groom has been cheating and his side piece is her assistant. Her public breakdown leads her to lock eyes with a math teacher (Owen Wilson) who was dragged to the show by his daughter, and to save face, she marries him instead. Will it develop from married at first sight to a real romance? This new comedy movie is a gift that keeps on giving, as it’s jam-packed with original songs by Maluma and J. Lo that are sure to dominate the radio all summer. In the mood for some straight-up romance? Check out our list of the 50 best romantic movies of all time.

Freeguy 20thcenturystudios.com

via 20thcenturystudios.com

Free Guy

Learn More

Day in and day out, bank teller Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is subjected to being yelled at, punched, run over, held hostage, and shot at—which he eventually realizes is because he’s an NPC (non-player character) in an incredibly violent open-world video game. (Think Fortnite or Grand Theft Auto.) That’s when Guy decides he doesn’t want to be that guy anymore. He wants to give being the hero a try. Jodie Comer helps him on his quest to make their digital world a better place, and she’s clearly picked up quite a few moves as an assassin on Killing Eve. Newly minted Oscar winner Taika Waititi plays the villain who stands in Guy’s way. In theaters May.

Jungle Cruise Movies.disney.comvia movies.disney.com

Jungle Cruise

Learn More

Missing Mickey Mouse, churros, parades, and rides during the pandemic? If so, you’ll probably be happy to hear that Disney is taking inspiration from yet another of its theme park attractions in hopes of scoring a Pirates of the Caribbean–sized hit. Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) goes in search of a legendary tree purported to have unparalleled medicinal properties hidden deep in the Amazon jungle. She hires a smart-aleck skipper (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) to take her and her brother downriver in his rundown boat. The journey is filled with dangerous curses, supernatural forces, creatures, restless natives, and dad jokes. While you wait for the film to set sail in theaters on July 30, learn these 23 fascinating facts about Disneyland and the Jungle Cruise ride, which the company just announced would be overhauled to correct its long-criticized portrayals of Indigenous people.

To All the Boys: Always and Forevervia netflix.com

To All the Boys: Always and Forever

Watch Now

Netflix’s rabidly popular YA trilogy, which essentially launched the careers of Noah Centineo and Lana Condor, is coming to a close this February. But there’s a silver lining: The third chapter is packed with plenty of charm. Seriously, it is chock-full of prom-posals, matching bowling shirts, senior trips, pastel pastries, photo booths, lovable dad talks with John Corbett, and sister bonding in South Korea. But as high school winds down and college comes calling, Lara Jean and Peter realize that adulting isn’t easy and that they have a lot of decisions to make about the future of their love life. Check out these other hit movies that were books first.

Minions: The Rise of Gruvia universalpictures.com

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Learn More

It’s the origin story Despicable Me fans have been longing for. The new installment in Universal’s Minions franchise will flashback to the fabulous 1970s when the future supervillain is a tween with a dream of world domination but has to follow the rules set forth by his self-absorbed mom (Julie Andrews). He and his yellow pals—including a never-before-seen one with braces—get their first taste of lair building, weapon designing, and mischievous missions. The crooked-nosed baddie does it all with the hope of impressing and then joining a supervillain supergroup called the Vicious 6 (voiced by Taraji P. Henson, Lucy Lawless, Alan Arkin, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Danny Trejo, and Dolph Lundgren). Unfortunately, when Gru finally gets a chance to audition, he upstages them and makes powerful new enemies. This beloved animated franchise returns to theaters July 2.

Thunder Force

Learn More

Not unlike any other big-budget action flick with caped crusaders, Netflix is keeping the plot details of this superhero comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer close to the bulletproof vest. Here’s what we do know: It was written and directed by McCarthy’s husband/frequent collaborator Ben Falcone, and it was filmed in Georgia. The ladies live in a world where supervillains are commonplace, and they play estranged childhood friends who team up to fight crime and clean up their city after one of them devises a treatment that gives them special powers. It also stars Bobby Cannavale, Melissa Leo, and Jason Bateman (supposedly in a role unlike any he’s tackled before). We also know that we love the inclusive message this new comedy movie sends—superheroes come in all shapes and sizes—and that it’s going to be hilarious.

Frenchexit Sonyclassics.com

via sonyclassics.com

French Exit

Learn More

Haughty, overbearing Manhattan socialite Frances Price has outlived her husband and her vast inheritance. Rather than face insolvency, she runs away to hide and sulk in a borrowed Parisian apartment with her rudderless son (Lucas Hedges) and a cat named Small Frank, who isn’t your average feline. Michelle Pfeiffer delivers a tour de force that somehow convinces the audience to relate to, and maybe even come to like, the off-putting holier-than-thou widow. Dialogue- and quip-heavy with oddball warmth, it has a Woody Allen/Wes Anderson feel, minus the overwrought, highly stylized set design or neurotic narrator. The new comedy opened in Los Angeles and New York in late February, but it won’t be in theaters nationwide until April.

Raya Disneyplus.com

via disneyplus.com

Raya and the Last Dragon

Watch Now

Facing a world-ending evil force and polarized tribes from the various fantastical lands that make up that threatened world, a young warrior gathers a “fellowship of butt-kickery” and embarks on a symbolic Lord of the Rings-style quest to find the last living dragon. Her hope? That the dragon will reunite the people and restore peace. But when that dragon is voiced by Awkwafina, you know it won’t be all business. If the trailer is any indication, she’s got jokes, and we’re sure this movie will make some great new contributions to this list of our favorite Disney quotes. Sandra Oh, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Gemma Chan, and Kelly Marie Tran round out the voice cast of this Disney film.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Thingsvia amazon.com

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

Watch Now

A mash-up of Groundhog Day, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Magicians (it’s based on a Lev Grossman short story), this film follows two witty and sarcastic teens, Mark and Margaret (Kyle Allen and Kathryn Newton, respectively), who find each other while both are stuck reliving the same day. Realizing they seem to be the only ones aware that they are in an endless time loop, they partner up to discover the little moments that make those 24 hours perfect while trying to figure out how to escape them. As their bond tightens, they begin to wonder if they should try to restart the clock, unable to know what it would mean for their connection.

I Care a Lotvia netflix.com

I Care a Lot

Watch Now

After making a mint defrauding helpless elderly marks, crooked legal guardian and self-proclaimed lioness Marla Grayson (the darkly delicious Rosamund Pike) may have finally met her match in Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest). It seems that dear old Jenny has been around the block and has friends in high places (including Peter Dinklage and Chris Messina). If Grayson doesn’t keep her usual cool and play her cards just right, there’s a good chance she’ll end up gone, girl.

Ghostbusters.comvia ghostbusters.com

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Learn More

Promising plenty of punch lines and paranormal activity, director/cowriter Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) dusts off the Ectomobile for a new chapter in the Ghostbusters franchise, the originals of which were directed by his dad. A broke single mom (Carrie Coon) transplants her city kids (Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace) to the middle of nowhere, where their dead grandfather left them a dilapidated old farmhouse. It isn’t long before the kids start to experience stranger things eerily similar to what happened in New York in the ’80s (did we just catch a glimpse of Slimer in the trailer?) and discover their pop-pop’s secret past with the help of cool teacher Paul Rudd. While we all know Ghostbusters‘ iconic line, everyone gets these 15 famous movie quotes wrong.

The French Dispatch

Learn More

The next addition to Wes Anderson’s unique, kooky, and twee oeuvre is being described as a “love letter to journalists.” It brings to life a series of travelogues written by fictional ex-pats for the last issue of the made-up titular American magazine published from an imaginary 20th-century town in France. Anderson once again calls on frequent collaborators like Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Owen Wilson, and Anjelica Huston while adding a few fresh faces to the mix, including Timothée Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, and Benicio Del Toro. Exciting, for sure—but don’t plan your social calendar around it. It was bumped from the 2020 slate, and Fox Searchlight is reserving the right to hold it again in order to wait out the pandemic and screen it at multiplexes.

Moxievia netflix.com

Moxie

Watch Now

Amy Poehler pulls double duty (actor-director) on this timely teen tale from Netflix that will remind you of the saying “If you aren’t mad, you aren’t paying attention.” After discovering her mom’s protest-packed punk past and watching the new girl stand up for herself against a harassing jock, a shy 16-year-old (Hadley Robinson) starts an anonymous zine to call out gender inequality, sexism, toxic masculinity, and institutional patriarchy. This subsequently riles up her classmates, makes the school’s faculty (played by Ike Barinholtz and Marcia Gay Harden) uncomfortable, and catches the eye of a cute woke boy. If the film inspires you or your kids to get involved and take a stand, read this guide on how to prep for a protest and stay safe and healthy in a big crowd.

Kingsman 20thcenturystudios.comvia 20thcenturystudios.com

The King’s Man

Learn More

Decades before Harry Hart (Colin Firth) plucked teen malcontent Eggsy (Taron Egerton) from the streets and taught him how to take down bad guys and gals with an umbrella and a perfectly tailored suit, a collection of well-dressed soldiers led by Ralph Fiennes teamed up to create the first independent intelligence agency, The Kingsman. Their goal? To stop history’s malevolent masterminds from joining forces to plot a global war. We’re guessing that this prequel will be just as explosive and entertaining for adult audiences as the 2014 and 2017 films based on The Secret Service comic books when it debuts in theaters next August.

Vacation Friends

Learn More

Vacations are for letting loose and trying new things. And that’s exactly what buttoned-up Marcus (Lil Rel Howery, who is having quite the moment in 2021, with at least six projects on the schedule) and Emily (Insecure‘s Yvonne Orji) do during their romantic retreat to Mexico after connecting with party animals Ron (Jon Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner). It turns out to be the temporary pressure release they had no idea they needed. But a few months later, after they’ve returned to their normal everyday lives, the crazy couple pops up suddenly and they fear they can’t run from the border debauchery they committed. Streaming on Hulu this spring.

Bad Tripvia netflix.com

Bad Trip

Learn More

Fans of Borat, Punk’d, and Jackass should immediately add this raunchy, foul-mouthed hidden-camera comedy to their Netflix queue. Eric André and Lil Rel Howery are on a staged road trip across America to reunite with a fake lost love, and along the way they brake for pranks that pull real people unwittingly into the uncomfortable and occasionally bloody action. Tiffany Haddish, the sister who busted out of jail only to find that they took her car without asking, is hot on their tail. Not for the faint of heart. (But then again if you get a kick out of dark humor, you could be a genius.)

Plan B

Learn More

If Unpregnant worked its way from your HBO Max queue to your heart last year, you might want to give Hulu’s Plan B a go when it lands on the streaming service this spring or summer. When straightlaced high schooler Lupe (Teen Wolf‘s Victoria Moroles) experiences a regrettable roll in the hay, she and her slacker sidekick have to jump through innumerable (and hilarious but also woefully realistic) hoops to hunt down a morning-after pill in America’s conservative heartland. Directed by Dead to Me actress Natalie Morales, this movie could be a great jumping-off point for parents who want to have “the talk” with their teens in a cool way.

Yes Dayvia netflix.com

Yes Day

Learn More

According to experts, toddlers hear the word no around 400 times a day. The parents at the center of this lighthearted Miguel Arteta–directed family film, Allison and Carlos (Edgar Ramirez and Jennifer Garner), usually rank above average in this category. That is, until they decide to give their three kids a day where they make the rules—well, most of them, anyway—and mom and dad are required to answer in the affirmative. The experiment sends them on a whirlwind adventure across Los Angeles and ultimately makes them a stronger family unit. Out March 12 on Netflix.

Tom & Jerry

Learn More

One of the longest rivalries in cartoon history is getting the Space Jam/Who Framed Roger Rabbit treatment, where old-school animation and live-action are combined to evolve the saga. Jerry has set up shop in a prestigious NYC luxury hotel on the eve of the wedding of the century and is quite enjoying his stint as a city mouse and all the martini olives, cheese wedges, and hot baths in a soap dish it entails. That is, until staffer Chloë Grace Moretz is charged with exterminating him and she hires Tom to help. The old cat-and-mouse game commences until the three of them realize they have an even more nefarious common enemy. Ever wondered why this franchise is called Looney Tunes not Looney Toons? We investigated.

Don’t Look Up

Learn More

Writer/director/producer Adam McKay has assembled the most star-studded ensemble to ever grace Netflix screens. In this story, two low-level astronomers (Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio) go on a press tour to warn the world about the approaching comet that will most likely cause a mass extinction event on Earth. Along the way, they orbit around Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Matthew Perry, Himesh Patel, Jonah Hill, Melanie Lynskey, and Kid Cudi. This film doesn’t have a release date yet but think it’s safe to assume lift-off will be closer to the next awards season.

The Boss Baby: Family Businessvia universalpictures.com

The Boss Baby: Family Business

Learn More

The OG Boss Baby Ted (Alex Baldwin) is all grown up and running a hedge fund. His brother Tim (James Marsden) is a married stay-at-home dad with two highly intelligent daughters of his own—Tabitha, a 7-year-old who idolizes her uncle and is at the top of her class at the Acorn Center for Advanced Childhood, and Tina, an infant and BabyCorp spy sent to expose skeletons in her sister’s school’s closet. Tina’s mission will bring the estranged brothers back together and inspire another revenue stream for the Templetons. Although tot-aged secret agents are a stretch, studies prove babies are smarter than you think. This new comedy is scheduled to hit theaters in September.

The Princess Switch 3via netflix.com

The Princess Switch 3

Netflix hopes to make your holidays merrier and brighter by releasing two new comedy movies set around the most wonderful time of year. In the first, Vanessa Hudgens returns for her third round in this trading-places romp as a baker/Belgravia duchess, and another look-alike character is introduced after a priceless relic is stolen. While you wait for the next installment, catch up on the first two movies on Netflix.

A Castle for Christmas

And now for Netflix’s princess comedy for the grown-up set. For this rom-com, you’ll head to Scotland. Brooke Shields plays a famous American author who goes home-hunting abroad and learns that the castle of her dreams is owned by a duke (Cary Elwes) who refuses to sell it to an outsider. Of course, shenanigans and romance ensue. If this puts you in the mood for the most wonderful time of the year, it might be time to watch a few of the best Christmas movies of all time. Why not?

Stars Fell on Alabamavia amazon.com

Stars Fell on Alabama

Watch Now

Bryce Dixon, a successful Hollywood agent, is going to find out if you can go home again. In this case, home is Alabama and the reason for travel is his 15-year high school reunion. But when he finds out he’s the only one of his friends who isn’t married with children and they are judging him for it, he convinces his up-and-coming starlet client Madison to go home with him and pretend to be his girlfriend. What could possibly go wrong? This rom-com from Samuel Goldwyn Films brings the small-town Southern charm of Sweet Home Alabama and the fake relationship element of another Patrick Dempsey classic, Can’t Buy Me Love, to VOD. Next, check out the most iconic movies set in every state.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Cars 2 is the best Cars movie and truly underrated Pixar

becker blake

Published

on

Cars 2 is the best Cars movie and truly underrated Pixar

This weekend marked the 78th Golden Globe Awards, an historic ceremony not only for it having been the first to take place in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but for those whose work was recognized. Chloé Zhao became the first Asian woman to win the Golden Globe for best director for the Frances McDormand-led drama Nomadland, Chadwick Boseman was posthumously rewarded Best Drama Performance for his role in George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari was rewarded with the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language film following the controversial (and frankly bizarre) odyssey in the lead up to its nomination.

Aside from the Awards however, there were a ton of movies and films available via streaming for the Polygon team to choose from. Here are a few of the movies we enjoyed over the weekend, and what you might enjoy watching throughout the week as well.


Cars 2

 

Finn McMissile, Mater, and Lightning McQueen in Cars 2

 

 

Photo: Pixar

 

I want to formally rescind every critical comment I’ve ever made on the behalf of Cars 2.

This weekend, I enjoyed a double feature of Cars and Cars 2. It’s been years since I’ve watched either of them, and I was pretty confident in my assessment that while the original Cars was Just Fine, Thank You Very Much, Cars 2 was just a bunch of dumb jokes that did not make canonical sense in the greater Cars mythos. But upon this rewatch, I learned that I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

The original Cars put me to sleep, but I found myself enthralled by Cars 2. The first Cars doesn’t quite work for me is because it is too rooted in reality. I found myself questioning every little world-building detail: If you are born a truck, is your destiny just to ferry cars around inside your body till the end of time? Why do cars lock themselves if their insides are their organs? Why are there restaurants and cafes if all they consume is oil?

But with Cars 2, there is so much chaos and unbelievable plot elements that I can safely just tuck all the aforementioned overarching world-building questions in the back of my mind and just relish in its absurdity. The setup of Cars 2 already lends itself to humor: after accompanying racer Lightning McQueen on an international racing tour, goofy Mater finds himself caught up in a James Bond-esque spy mission, where suave agent Finn McMissle believes Mater to be an American spy in deep, deep undercover. Cue the hijinks, cue the hilarity, cue the really cool action sequences.

It’s all the delight of a spy movie, but with the added fact of Oh right, they’re all cars! This means that Finn McMissile launches wires from his tires in order to suspend himself over a secret meeting on a far off oil rig! That the cars have giant guns built somewhere into their bodies! That the car chase sequences are honestly the best car chase sequences I’ve seen in action movies, because the stakes are so much higher! Yes, there is a Pope, which once again raises questions about the greater Cars universe, but Agent Holley Shiftwell just sprouted wings and a jet engine, so I’m more focused on how cool that is.

I am going on record to say that Cars 2 is the superior Cars movie. It might not make you think deeply like Pixar films often do, but it will help you embrace your inner child’s boundless imagination. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride (ha). —Petrana Radulovic

Cars 2 is streaming on Disney Plus.

And everything else we’re watching…


Blow Out

 

John Travolta as Jack in Brian De Palma and John G. Fox’s Blow Out

 

 

Photo: Filmways Pictures

 

Writer-director Brian De Palma replaces the curious eye of a swingin’ ‘60s fashion photographer for the tuned ear of a B-movie sound designer in this loose remake of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film, Blowup. The choice turns an average mystery it one of the essential thrillers of the 1980s.

With more in common with Klute and The Parallax View than the Hitchcockian riffs that De Palma became known for, Blow Out finds a young John Travolta in over his head when a night out with his microphone leads him to witness and record the assassination of a rumored presidential candidate. The police think the car wreck was an accident; proof on Travolta’s magnetic sound tape, which he plays and replays and reconstructs with meticulous strain, suggests a hidden gunman was behind the death. Teaming up with a prostitute who was in the car at the time, and while being hunted by the shadowy figure behind the murder, the sound engineer jumps through hoops to substantiate his sonic evidence. Through it all, De Palma uses long-360-degree camerawork, God’s eye views, split-diopter lenses, and eye-popping color to crank up the suspense. —Matt Patches

Blow Out is streaming on Showtime Anytime and available to rent on Amazon and Apple.


The Dark and the Wicked

 

Marin Ireland in “The Dark and the Wicked.”

 

 

Photo: RLJE Films/Shudder

 

The Dark and the Wicked is the latest release from Shudder and follows a family as an otherworldly evil takes over their farm and tries to take over their near-comatose father. It’s a pretty standard horror movie premise, but where The Dark and the Wicked really sets itself apart is in its relentless desire to scare you. This is a movie operating on a scares-per-minute quota that it always meets.

Unlike most normal possession movies, which would rely on careful set ups and long drawn out tension, The Dark and the Wicked starts its frights early and never slows down. There are haunting shapes lurking in dark shadows, loud sheep, glass bottle windchimes, a haunted diary, spiders, gore, and the actual devil. And that’s only the first half hour.

None of the movie’s scares are entirely unique, but that’s never really a problem. It feels more like director Bryan Bertino (The Strangers) is pulling them from a horror-movie thesaurus, but each one is perfect for its moment and is exceptionally well executed.

It’s hard to imagine a better pairing of streaming service and movie than this one too. Bertino is both mining the depths of horror-movie history, while actively working against the genre’s conventional pacing and rhythms, which makes it perfect for Shudder’s horror-movie paradise. The Dark and the Wicked isn’t the scariest movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s a great way to spend 90 minutes and exactly the kind of movie I come to Shudder for. —Austen Goslin

The Dark and the Wicked is currently streaming on Shudder and available to rent on Amazon.


Das Boot

 

Jürgen Prochnow as Capt.-Lt. Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock in 1981’s Das Boot

 

 

Photo: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

 

My twice-a-month friend movie club decided to stick with movies that came out in 1982 for this next round of picks, hence Das Boot, which none of us had seen. (It originally released in Germany in ‘81, and arrived in the States in ‘82.) The Director’s Cut comes in at 3.5 hours, so I was bracing for a bit of a slog.

But, as it turns out, I found it massively compelling and not remotely indulgent. The characters are well fleshed out, and by the end I was fully enraptured by their intense journey. If you’re into Band of Brothers, this is tonally very similar, and the 3.5 hours can easily be broken into three separate viewings for a more episodic delivery mechanism. It’s easily one of the best war movies I’ve seen. —Russ Frushtick

Das Boot is available for rent on Amazon and Apple.


The Eisenhorn Trilogy

 

Gregor Eisenhorn, in art for the Black Library book trilogy starring him.

 

 

Image: Black Library/Games Workshop

 

Back when they first came out in 2006, I gobbled up Dan Abnett’s Horus Heresy books with relish. They were my gateway into Games Workshop’s Black Library of Warhammer 40,000 novelizations, but I fell off of the series around Descent of Angels: Loyalty and Honour and began skipping around. That’s how I came to entirely miss the tremendous Eisenhorn trilogy.

Set during the 42nd millennium — effectively the current timeline of the 40K universe — there are three books in the series, titled Xenos, Malleus, and Hereticus. They tell the story of inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn and his colorful band of companions. Together, they show a completely different side of the 40K universe. Rather than focusing on tales of epic battles and planetary bombardments (although there are a few), Abnett focuses on a far more intimate storyline filled with intrigue, suspicion, and political machinations. It’s far from Shakespeare, but they’re excellent fun.

Rather than read them in paperback, for the last month or so I’ve been banging away at them via Audible, where they’re read by the excellent Toby Longworth. I’m not really accustomed to listening to audio books, but Longworth’s presentation made for some excellent long-distance drives and plenty of hobby time with the Warhammer 40,000 Indomitus boxed set.

It might be a good time to get caught up yourself, especially considering that Amazon has made it known they plan to produce a live-action television series based on these novels. Big Light Productions — the folks responsible for Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle — are signed on to the production. —Charlie Hall


The Man From Nowhere

 

Won Bin as widower-turned-vigilante Cha Tae-sik in 2010’s The Man From Nowhere

 

 

Photo: Well Go Entertainment

 

Lee Jeong-beom’s 2010 action thriller The Man From Nowhere feels like a direct spiritual precursor to Derek Kolstad’s John Wick series, albeit more subdued and emotionally driven. Won Bin plays Cha Tae-sik, a mysterious widower-turned-pawnshop keeper who despite living in self-imposed seclusion forms an unlikely bond with So-mi (Sae-ron Kim), a young girl who lives in the same apartment complex. When So-mi mother’s steals a package of heroin from a ruthless gang of human traffickers and she and her daughter are abducted in an attempt to recover it, Cha Tae-sik embarks on a bloody campaign to exact revenge on them and rescue So-Mi, all while a team of South Korean DEA agents attempts to unravel the mystery of his elusive past and bring both him and the traffickers to justice.

The film is a methodical slow burn that explosively culminates in one of the most breathtaking knife fight showdowns I’ve ever seen in an action film. Won Bin’s raw and terse performance is magnetic, drawing the audience through the screen while propelling the action forward. The fact that he has yet to appear in a single film since only adds to the allure and mystique of his presence here. Sae-ron Kim is terrific here as well, delivering a speech here towards the tail end of the first act that’s beautiful and devastating in its emotional appeal. Considering recent reports that John Wick director Chad Stahelski and Derek Kolstad are currently attached to develop a forthcoming American adaptation, now is the perfect time to check out Lee’s original if you haven’t seen it already. From its stirring performances, don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it action sequences, and engrossing score courtesy of Oldboy composer Hyun-jung Shim, The Man From Nowhere is a tremendously gratifying action flick for anyone hungering for a more emotionally driven thrill ride. —Toussaint Egan

The Man From Nowhere is streaming on Amazon.


In the Mood for Love

 

Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung as Su Li-zhen and Chow Mo-wan in Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love

 

 

Photo: The Criterion Collection

 

When you see one Wong Kar-wai film, you immediately want to see all of them, but not at once: They’re movies best enjoyed as chance encounters, like beguiling strangers you spend two hours with at a bar or on a train before continuing on your way. I can’t tell you how long I’ve had In the Mood for Love unwatched on my shelf for, but last Saturday was the evening we finally crossed paths. The movie is about neighbors Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-shen who begin to suspect their spouses are having an affair with each other, and slowly start to develop a relationship of their own. It’s an achingly beautiful movie, full of deep reds and tight, lonely spaces, one of those stories where nothing and everything happens all at once. Which is kind of how it goes, when two people begin to understand what they want only when they realize what they lack. —Joshua Rivera

In the Mood for Love is currently streaming on the Criterion Channel.


Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

New to Netflix in March 2021: Movies & TV Shows

becker blake

Published

on

New to Netflix in March 2021: Movies & TV Shows

 

If you’re wondering what’s new on Netflix this month, we’ve got you covered with the complete list of new movies, TV shows, and originals arriving on streaming in March 2021. Everyone knows Netflix is the reigning king of content right now, which means that whether you’re looking for old favorites or new shows to binge-watch, Netflix pretty much has you covered across the board.

Some of the March highlights include the Netflix original documentaries Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell, which chronicles the life of the great Notorious B.I.G., Murder Among the Mormons, and Last Chance U: Basketball. If true stories aren’t your thing, some new Netflix original films include the Eric Andre prank comedy/road trip comedy Bad Trip and the new family comedy Yes Day, starring Jennifer GarnerJenna Ortega, and Édgar Ramírez. March also brings the premiere of the new Pacific Rim anime Pacific Rim: The Black, along with some old favorites including Batman BeginsThe Dark KnightJason X (yes, that is a favorite), and Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Check out all the new movies and shows on Netflix this month below, and if you want to squeeze in some last-minute watching, head over to the full list of what’s leaving Netflix in March 2021.

RELATED: The Best New Movies on Netflix in February 2021

Avail. 3/1/21

Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Featuring rare footage and in-depth interviews, this documentary celebrates the life of The Notorious B.I.G. on his journey from hustler to rap king.

Batman Begins (2005)

Blanche Gardin: Bonne Nuit Blanche (2021)

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

Dances with Wolves (1990)

DC Super Hero Girls: Season 1

I Am Legend (2007)

Invictus (2009)

Jason X (2001)

Killing Gunther (2017)

LEGO Marvel Spider-Man: Vexed by Venom (2019)

Nights in Rodanthe (2008)

Power Rangers Beast Morphers: S2

Rain Man (1988)

Step Up: Revolution (2012)

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006)

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Training Day (2001)

Two Weeks Notice (2002)

Year One (2009)

Avail. 3/2/21

Black or White (2014)

Word Party: Season 5 — NETFLIX FAMILY

Party with animal babies Franny, Bailey, Kip, Lulu and Tilly as they learn new words and life lessons in English and Mandarin through song and dance!

Avail. 3/3/21

Moxie — NETFLIX FILM

Inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and a confident new friend, a shy 16-year-old publishes an anonymous zine calling out sexism at her school.

Murder Among the Mormons — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Salt Lake City, 1985. A series of pipe bombs kills two people and severely injures another, jolting the epicenter of the LDS Church. The murders send further shockwaves through the community when a trove of early Mormon letters and diaries are found destroyed in the vehicle of the third victim, Mark Hofmann, a renowned collector of rare documents, including the infamous White Salamander Letter — an artifact whose contents threatened to shake the very foundations of Mormonism. As Hofmann fights for his life, investigators race to uncover the truth. Directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and Tyler Measom (An Honest Liar), MURDER AMONG THE MORMONS is the first comprehensive look at one of the most shocking crimes to have ever taken place among the Mormon community and the criminal mastermind behind it all.

Parker (2013)

Safe Haven (2013)

Pacific Rim: The Black Image
Image via Netflix

Avail. 3/4/21

Pacific Rim: The Black — NETFLIX ANIME

After Kaiju ravages Australia, two siblings pilot a Jaeger to search for their parents, encountering new creatures, seedy characters and chance allies.

Avail. 3/5/21

City of Ghosts — NETFLIX FAMILY

Meet the Ghost Club! Their adventures take them all around Los Angeles as they interview ghosts, solve problems and learn about their city’s history.

Dogwashers — NETFLIX FILM

When a narco past his prime refuses to pay a debt to an upstart, only a secret stash of money can save his men. But guess what the gardener just found?

Nevenka: Breaking the Silence — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

This docuseries examines Spain’s historic 2001 lawsuit, in which city councilor Nevenka Fernández accused Mayor Ismael Álvarez of sexual harassment.

Pokémon Journeys: The Series: Part 4 — NETFLIX FAMILY

Battles and research continue as Ash and Goh travel the world. Along the way they find old friends, Legendary Pokémon, Team Rocket and more.

Sentinelle — NETFLIX FILM

Transferred home after a traumatizing combat mission, a highly trained French soldier uses her lethal skills to hunt down the man who hurt her sister.

Avail. 3/8/21

Bombay Begums — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

From boardrooms to society’s margins, five ambitious women from various walks of life navigate dreams, desires and disappointments in modern Mumbai.

Bombay Rose — NETFLIX FILM

Escaping from child marriage, a young club dancer living in the streets of Bombay, must choose between fending for her family and finding love with a boy orphaned by the militancy. Painted frame by frame and woven delicately through music, a red rose brings together three tales of impossible loves. Love between two dreamers tested by duty and religious divides. Love between two women. Love of an entire city for its Bollywood stars. Based on true events, the film, in documentary fashion, explores the ruthlessness of a society where the love and life that reigns on the big screen can crush you in its mean streets. Bombay Rose is directed by Gitanjali Rao and produced by Cinestaan Film Company/Les Films d’ici. An award-winning festival favorite, it was the first Indian animated film ever selected to open Venice Critics Week; it was also selected by the Toronto International Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival, and an award winner at the Chicago and Mumbai Film Festivals.

Avail. 3/9/21

The Houseboat — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Musicians and friends Fynn Kliemann and Olli Schulz spend two difficult years trying to restore the home of singer Gunter Gabriel to its former glory.

StarBeam: Season 3 — NETFLIX FAMILY

StarBeam is back with her family and favorite sidekicks to defend Somerset from all the wacky villains trying to stir up trouble and spoil the fun!

Avail. 3/10/21

Dealer — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Tensions erupt when two filmmakers infiltrate an area ruled by gangs to shoot a music video for a rapper in this gritty found-footage series.

Last Chance U: Basketball — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

From Greg Whiteley (Cheer) and the team behind Emmy-winning Last Chance U comes LAST CHANCE U: BASKETBALL, an honest, gritty look inside the world of community college basketball. Over the course of eight episodes, viewers will follow the East Los Angeles College Huskies (ELAC) in their high stakes chase to an unprecedented California state basketball championship. Led by passionate head coach John Mosley, the ELAC team is made up of former D1 recruits and powerhouse athletes hustling to prove themselves for a last chance to fulfill their dreams of playing at the next level. But the team is tested as the players battle adversity, inner demons, and emotions on and off the court.

Marriage or Mortgage — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

A wedding planner and a real estate agent compete to win the hearts and budgets of spouses-to-be. Will they pick fairy-tale nuptials or a dream home?

Related: The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

Avail. 3/11/21

The Block Island Sound (2020)

Coven of Sisters — NETFLIX FILM

Basque Country, 1609. To postpone their execution, a group of women accused of witchcraft lure their inquisitor into witnessing the witches’ Sabbath.

Avail. 3/12/21

Love Alarm: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Longing for resounding proof of her feelings, Jojo sets out to uninstall the shield and make the app ring for her one true love.

The One — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Love — and lies — spiral when a DNA researcher helps discover a way to find the perfect partner, and creates a bold new matchmaking service.

Paper Lives — NETFLIX FILM

In the streets of Istanbul, ailing waste warehouse worker Mehmet takes a small boy under his wing and must soon confront his own traumatic childhood.

Paradise PD: Part 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

The not-so-honorable police officers of Paradise engage in dog blackmail, sperm theft, doughnut shop intimidation and many more unspeakable crimes.

yes-day-netflix-jennifer-garner-edgar-ramirez-jenna-ortega-social-featured
Image via Netflix

YES DAY — NETFLIX FILM

Always feeling like they have to say NO to their kids and co-workers, Allison and Carlos decide to give their three kids a YES DAY — where for 24 hours the kids make the rules. Little did they know that they’d be going on a whirlwind adventure around Los Angeles, that would bring the family closer to each other than ever before.

Avail. 3/14/21

Audrey (2020)

Avail. 3/15/21

Bakugan: Armored Alliance

The BFG (2016)

The Last Blockbuster (2020)

The Lost Pirate Kingdom — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

The real-life pirates of the Caribbean violently plunder the world’s riches and form a surprisingly egalitarian republic in this documentary series.

Zero Chill — NETFLIX FAMILY

Talented teen figure skater Kayla is forced to leave everything behind when her family follows her twin brother, Mac, to a prestigious hockey academy.

Avail. 3/16/21

RebellComedy: Straight Outta the Zoo — NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIAL

The comics of RebellComedy take the stage and tackle topics including mistaken identities, being the “funny” kid and anatomically interesting starfish.

Savages (2012)

Waffles + Mochi — NETFLIX FAMILY

Curious puppet pals Waffles and Mochi travel the world exploring the wonders of food and culture while learning how to cook with fresh ingredients.

Avail. 3/17/21

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Reenactments drive this documentary investigating the mastermind behind a scam to sneak the kids of rich and famous families into top US universities.

Under Suspicion: Uncovering the Wesphael Case — NETFLIX ORIGINAL 🇧🇪

This true-crime series follows the high-profile court case of Belgian politician Bernard Wesphael, who was accused of murdering his wife in 2013.

Avail. 3/18/21

B: The Beginning Succession — NETFLIX ANIME

When Keith is abducted and a friend from Koku’s past resurfaces, Killer B returns and everyone is pulled into a conspiracy involving the crown.

Cabras da Peste — NETFLIX FILM

Two wildly mismatched cops from different Brazilian states are forced to work together to take on a gang operating in both of their homelands.

Deadly Illusions (2021)

The Fluffy Movie (2014)

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American — NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIAL

Tennessee-born comedian, actor, and podcast host Nate Bargatze is back with his second hour-long Netflix original comedy special, Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American. Nate reflects on being part of the Oregon Trail generation, meeting his wife while working at Applebee’s and the hilariously relatable moments of being a father and husband. Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American premieres globally on Netflix on March 18, 2021. The special is directed by Troy Miller, who also serves as Executive Producer alongside Alex Murray, Tim Sarkes and Bargatze.

Skylines (2020)

Avail. 3/19/21

Alien TV: Season 2 — NETFLIX FAMILY

Alien reporters Ixbee, Pixbee and Squee return to Earth, where they learn about more odd human customs and inventions like trains and fashion.

Country Comfort — NETFLIX FAMILY

An aspiring young country singer finds the band she’s been missing when she takes a job as a nanny for a musically talented family.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

During a shortened 2020 season, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and other top drivers pursue checkered flags as COVID-19 turns the world upside down.

Sky Rojo — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

On the run from their pimp and his henchmen, three women embark on a wild and crazy journey in search of freedom. From the creators of “Money Heist.”

RELATED: ‘The Adam Project’ Screenwriter Reveals New Details on His Ryan Reynolds Time Travel Netflix Movie

Avail. 3/20/21

Jiu Jitsu (2020)

Avail. 3/22/21

Navillera — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

A 70-year-old with a dream and a 23-year-old with a gift lift each other out of harsh realities and rise to the challenge of becoming ballerinos.

Philomena (2013)

Avail. 3/23/21

Loyiso Gola: Unlearning — NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIAL

South African comedian Loyiso Gola serves up practical philosophy and filter-free humor as he tackles topics like race, identity and world politics.

Avail. 3/24/21

Seaspiracy — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Passionate about ocean life, a filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species — and uncovers a sinister global conspiracy.

Who Killed Sara? — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

After 18 years in prison, Álex takes his revenge on the Lazcano family, who framed him for the murder of his sister Sara to save their reputation.

Avail. 3/25/21

Caught by a Wave — NETFLIX FILM

After falling in love at a beachside summer camp in Sicily, a painful truth inspires two teenage sailing enthusiasts to live their lives to the fullest.

DOTA: Dragon’s Blood — NETFLIX ANIME

After encounters with a dragon and a princess on her own mission, a Dragon Knight becomes embroiled in events larger than he could have ever imagined.

Millennials: Season 3

Secret Magic Control Agency — NETFLIX FAMILY

Hansel and Gretel of fairy tale fame — now acting as secret agents — must use magic, clever thinking and teamwork on a mission to find a missing king.

Avail. 3/26/21

A Week Away — NETFLIX FILM (Trailer)

Troubled teen Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn) has a run-in with the law that puts him at an important crossroad: go to juvenile detention or attend a Christian summer camp. At first a fish-out-of-water, Will opens his heart, discovers love with a camp regular (Bailee Madison), and sense of belonging in the last place he expected to find it.

bad-trip-poster-social
Image via Netflix

Bad Trip — NETFLIX FILM

In a hidden-camera comedy from the producer of “Bad Grandpa,” two pals embark on a road trip full of funny pranks that pull real people into the mayhem.

Big Time Rush: Seasons 1-4

Croupier (1998)

The Irregulars — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

In 19th-century London, a group of misfits works to solve supernatural crimes at the behest of Dr. Watson and his elusive partner, Sherlock Holmes.

Magic for Humans by Mago Pop — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Illusionist Mago Pop takes to the streets of Barcelona, where he amazes folks of all ages and walks of life with tricks that inspire delight and wonder.

Nailed It!: Double Trouble — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

When two clueless cake “artists” team up, the reveals are even more ridiculous. From best buds to brothers and sisters, these bakers are twice as bad.

Avail. 3/29/21

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)

Rainbow High: Season 1

Avail. 3/30/21

7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story (2020)

Octonauts & the Ring of Fire — NETFLIX FAMILY

When lava-spewing volcanoes start a chain reaction of disasters across the ocean, the Octonauts must work together to save their sea creature friends.

Avail. 3/31/21

At Eternity’s Gate (2018)

Haunted: Latin America — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Real people’s terrifying tales of the chilling, unexplained and paranormal come to life with dramatic reenactments in this reality series.

KEEP READING: The 85 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now

Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in Ozark Season 3
Robin Wright on Bringing Her Own Directing Style to ‘Ozark’ Season 4

“Is it possible that something could be darker than ‘House of Cards’? Yes, this one!”


About The Author

Continue Reading

Trending