'Candyman' director makes history
And Chris and Scarlett reunite
What to know
Candyman director Nia DaCosta becomes first Black woman to have a number one movie at the box office… It is absolutely insane that this has never happened before and unfortunate that it took a pandemic-skewed box office to even happen. That said, this is cause for celebration. It was only 30 years ago that a Black woman first released a movie nationwide. Candyman also exceeded its box office estimates, probably because it’s a horror movie and wasn’t released on streaming. 💰
Netflix officially picks up Manifest for 4th and final season… And thus concludes the latest chapter of “Netflix saves your favorite show.” I do wonder how often this will keep happening? It seems Netflix is more and more about building their own franchises rather than saving canceled ones. I think because Manifest was already a huge hit on their platform, making another season made sense — but I wouldn’t count on Netflix sweeping in like this much in the future. 🍿
Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans team for romantic adventure film at Apple… First, a big congratulations to all the Natasha/Steve shippers. This is a big day for you. Second, of course this landed at Apple. Johansson knows she won’t get nickel and dimed by the money t̶r̶e̶e̶ orchard that is Apple. 🍎
Jungle Cruise 2 is happening… Jungle Cruisier. 2 Jungle 2 Cruise. Jungle 2: Cruise Control. Seriously though, it will probably be called something like Jungle Cruise: Legend of Dark Falls 🐍
Expendables 4 is on the way with Stallone, Statham, and Megan Fox… but how expendable could they be if they were able to survive three movies? 🤔
Regé-Jean Page, Henry Cavill, and George MacKay in running for Bond… Ma-who? Oh, the guy from 1917… interesting 🇬🇧
Jon Stewart’s new Apple show premieres Sept 30… I’ve got no problem with The Problem 🍏
Ed Asner has died at 91… RIP to a true legend. Asner had over 400 film and TV credits and is beloved by multiple generations. Quite a legacy.
Dropping this week:
Only Murders in the Building — Aug 31 Hulu comedy series | RT 100%
Dug Days — Sept 1 Disney+ Pixar shorts
What We Do in the Shadows s3 premiere — Sept 2 FX/Hulu comedy series | RT
Shang-Chi — Sept 3 in theaters Marvel movie | RT 91%
Cinderella — Sept 3 Amazon musical feature | RT
Billions s5.2 premiere — Sept 5 Showtime drama series | RT 86%
What to watch
Have I mentioned lately that Apple has deep pockets? Case in point, the tech giant broke Sundance records in January when it purchased CODA for a cool $25 million. That might seem like a shocking amount to pay for an indie coming of age dramedy — but should you take the hour and fifty-one minutes required to breath in Sian Heder’s beautiful feature and you’ll get it.
Written by Heder, based on the French film La Famille Belier, CODA tells the story of unassuming high school senior Ruby, the only hearing daughter of an entirely deaf family, who dreams of studying singing in college. (CODA stands for “child of deaf adults, but doubles as a musical term here. Pretty clever.) Heder’s smartly plotted script takes a concept with inherent tension and lays down heaps of emotional groundwork. You root for Ruby to succeed, but you understand and empathize with her entire family. It then culminates in one of the most cathartic and powerful endings this genre has seen in a long time. Lead actress Emilia Jones shows she is destined for very big things, while Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur, and Daniel Durant turn in lovingly real depictions of a family making it through life together.
If Sound of Metal served as an entry point into the deaf experience last year, CODA is full immersion. By showcasing an entire family, the film has room for important nuance and variety in its depiction of being deaf. No one film can sum up the entire experience of a community, but CODA does a damn fine job of expressing various points of view among its deaf characters and how they meet the world. Its representation like this that will truly change the culture.
CODA is funny, warm, moving, and real. It will open your eyes to communities and experiences you might not have seen before, but will absolutely relate to. It proves that universality is found through the specific. Your family might not be exactly like the Rossis, but I would bet money your family has gone through similar struggles.
If CODA wins Best Picture, I would be completely satisfied — but honestly, the best compliment I can give CODA is that it’s the perfect companion piece to Ted Lasso. If you’re on Apple for Lasso this Friday night, stick around for CODA and lean into the feelings.
For all past ‘what to watch’ recommendations, see the full list here!