From ‘Eternals’ to ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘West Side Story,’ a lot is happening on the big screen
Fall feels a lot like summer when it comes to movies.
During more normal times, big comic book and sci-fi thrillers would land in theaters during the summer, but the pandemic has thrown off cinematic schedules.
The good news for fans is that big-screen excitement is continuing until the end of the year, as demonstrated during this weekend with Angelina Jolie starring in Marvel Studios’ “Eternals.” The movie is set after “Avengers: Endgame,” and there will be no plot spoilers.
There’ll be more Marvel fun when “Spider-Man: No Way Home” brings back Alfred Molina, who played Doctor Octopus in “Spider-Man II” (2004) starring Tobey Maguire, as the same villain.
Another big name in the film is Benedict Cumberbatch, whose Doctor Strange is helping Spider-Man (Tom Holland), maybe a little more than he should. The trailers make it clear that chaos will prevail, and it looks like it will be a fun ride.
Also coming up is “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” set in the original “Ghostbusters” universe, sort of a “Ghostbusters: The Next Generation.”
Another sci-fi franchise is back as well. Keanu Reeves stars in “The Matrix Resurrections.”
There are surprises too. This writer never thought anyone would try to remake “West Side Story,” the 1961 masterpiece from directors Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise. You’d have to be someone on the caliber of, say, Steven Spielberg to try something like that.
Well, Mr. Spielberg has done just that. He directed the new version, which features Rita Moreno from the 1961 film and a new cast in the roles that Ms. Moreno, Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblyn made immortal in the 1961 film.
Now it’s Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose and David Alvarez in those roles in this adaptation of the Broadway musical, inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet.”
Once again, it’s the story of forbidden love between two rival New York City gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, instead of Shakespeare’s Montagues and Capulets.
By the way, the remake is scheduled to be in theaters Dec. 10, the day before Ms. Moreno’s 90th birthday.
Here’s the schedule of movies for the rest of this year.
- “Belfast.” The talented Kenneth Branagh is the director and writer of this story about a young boy (Jude Hill as Buddy) and his family in the late 1960s. The cast includes the legendary Judi Dench.
- “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.” This is set in the original “Ghostbusters” universe, where a single mother and her kids discover their connection with the original band of four. The film stars Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace and Carrie Coon. And back for the ride are original stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson. The director is Jason Reitman, son of original “Ghostbusters” director and former Montecito resident Ivan Reitman.
- “King Richard.”
- “House of Gucci.” Lady Gaga stars in this story covering three decades of love, betrayal and murder. Directing is none other than Ridley Scott.
- “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.”
- “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Fans have waited a long time for some resolution to the cliff hanger from the last “Spider-Man” movie in which the world learned Spider-Man is Peter Parker. What’s next? Well, for one thing, Peter (Tom Holland) is talking to Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).
- “The Matrix Resurrections.” Keneau Reeves returns in the latest film in the long-running franchise that turns reality into a big puzzle.
- “The King’s Man.” Ralph Fiennes stars in this prequel to the spy franchise. This time the story’s set in the early 20th century when a world-saving agency of well-dressed, well-mannered spies is just beginning. Get out your umbrellas.
- “Sing 2.”
- “A Journal for Jordan.”
- “American Underdog.” Zachary Levi, who grew up in Ventura, stars as Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner. The cast also includes Anna Paquin and Dennis Quaid.