Catch it in theaters: 'Respect'
Jennifer Hudson, handpicked by the Queen of Soul herself, takes on the towering role of Aretha Franklin in this long-awaited biopic, directed by Broadway trailblazer Liesl Tommy—in her feature directorial debut. Bolstered by a strong cast, including Forest Whitaker, Mary J. Blige and Marc Maron, Respect is chock-full of great music, as one might expect, and there’s even a new song written by Hudson, with Jamie Hartman and Carole King—who also co-wrote one of Franklin’s greatest songs decades ago, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” In theaters now.
Also in theaters: 'Free Guy'
Ryan Reynolds plays Guy, a banker who stages a revolution inside a video game in Free Guy, the newest from director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Cheaper by the Dozen). Guy is destined to “live” out an insignificant digital life as an NPC (non-player character) in an open-world video game, until he finds a loophole and becomes the center of the action. Also featuring Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery and Taika Waititi—plus a host of big-time cameos, including Dwayne Johnson, Hugh Jackman, Tina Fey and even a posthumous appearance from the late, great Alex Trebek.
In theaters and streaming on Apple+: 'CODA'
Fresh off a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, CODA—the title is an acronym for “Child of Deaf Adults”—follows Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones), an alienated teenager born to deaf parents, on a journey to define herself as she chases the musical dreams that beckon her away from her blue-collar fishing community. Jones learned sign language for the film, with the excellent cast rounded out by Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo. Filmed in seaside New England, the setting echoes Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea—another Sundance standout that went on to big things at the Oscars a few years back.
Pick it up on Blu-ray: Friday the 13th Collection
Jason Voorhees fans, this is the blood-curdling box-set bonanza you’ve been waiting for. All 12 films in the Friday the 13th universe packaged in one beautiful, eerie-looking cube, 16 discs total, an avalanche of bonus features—it’s all here. Just some of the highlights: a brand-new 4K scan of the original negative from the 1980 classic that started it all, audio commentaries for every film, innumerable interviews, Alice Cooper’s “The Man Behind the Mask” music vid—and even a behind-the-scenes vid on the Alice Cooper vid! Jeepers, what doesn’t this thing have? You can pick it up starting today, which would be … let’s see … oh, Friday the 13th …