The Virus That Ate the Summer Multiplex

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The coronavirus has ravaged our world for the last six months, forcing unprecedented closures, quarantines and adjustments to our normal ways of living. And that’s been especially true when it comes to movies.

The big studios have repeatedly shifted opening dates for summer tentpole movies, each time hoping and believing the next date will really prove to be the one. But it’s starting to feel a bit like Lucy yanking the football grimly away every time poor Charlie Brown tries to kick it. Or maybe Groundhog Day—the same story over and over again. And so it is again this week.

AMC Theaters has announced yet another delay in opening its theaters nationwide, pushing back from a previously hoped-for July 30 reopening to August 12. But even if theaters do begin to open soon—a big if given surging COVID-19 infection rates in many of the country’s biggest cities—it’s unlikely they’re going to have many, if any, of this year’s most-anticipated popcorn munchers to attract cautious moviegoers.

Warner Bros. announced this week that Christopher Nolan’s new movie, Tenet, would be delayed indefinitely. And Disney followed suit, pushing Mulan’s release out to some undefined date in the future. Top Gun Maverick and A Quiet Place II? Well, those just got bumped to 2021. And that domino effect just shoved forthcoming Avatar and Star Wars sequels back another year, too.

We all want things to get back to normal. But alas, we’re just not there yet as far as movie releases and theatrical re-openings are concerned.

In the meantime, the online streaming world continues to explode—with new players like Peacock showing up to nab a piece of the at-home streaming action. And Plugged In is on the job, researching the biggest streaming releases each week that your family may be interested in. This week, for example, we’ve got new reviews of movies such as Animal Crackers, The Kissing Booth 2 (to be published later today), Radioactive, Ip Man 4: The Finale, The Larva Island Movie and Deany Bean is Dead. And last week we covered the new Peacock movie Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.

We’re also working hard at covering new TV shows on various outlets each week, such as Brave New World, Cursed, Little Voice, Where’s Waldo and United We Fall—to name just a few.

Normal life has been upended in so many ways by COVID-19. But our Plugged In team strives to give you all the information you need each week to make wise, discerning choices for your family as we all endure this strange season together.

And if your family is struggling in other ways during this difficult time, Focus on the Family is here with practical, encouraging content to help your family cope with the coronavirus crisis, as well as marriage and parenting resources if you’re experiencing challenges in those areas.

Hopefully someday relatively soon, we’ll be back to reviewing new movies in theaters each week. Until then, however, keep us bookmarked for the latest on the biggest movies and shows streaming online, as well as our weekly reviews of books, music and video games.

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Anonymous 14 days ago
And cops killing black people is sort of like Peter Gabriel's Biko or even Marvin Gaye's inner city blues with it's trigger happy policin come to life. Funny how sometimes books and music can teach us things about current events, huh?
Anonymous 14 days ago
In my opinion this whole Corona thing is sort of like Stephen King's the Stand or under the Dome come to life.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

At this point, it’s looking more and more likely that Sonic the Hedgehog will go down as my favorite movie of 2020, and I’m 100% ok with that.
seraph_unsung 17 days ago
I've been buying more Blu-Rays from Best Buy sales than normal to make up for not being able to go to theatres.
seraph_unsung 19 days ago
"We all want things to get back to normal. But alas, we’re just not there yet as far as movie releases and theatrical re-openings are concerned."

Then let's keep reminding people to wear masks and social distance, because too many people and too many churches aren't doing either.
Miss Priss 18 days ago
So much this. Where I live, wearing masks and social distancing is being framed as a "faith vs fear" issue. Since when did taking safety measures and being prudent become signs of living in fear? It's sad. 
J. Dent 16 days ago
I think we have reason to be concerned. One day, it's a mask, the next day it's a mark. It will happen, this is just the dress rehearsal. Mark my words, this is only the beginning of the end of Christianity in America, the end of America, and the end of the entire world. 
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seraph_unsung 16 days ago
Thank you. Also thanks @Sparklemuffin
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The Kenosha Kid 16 days ago
Amen. It's not about politics. It's about public health, science, and human decency. 
The Kenosha Kid 21 days ago
I have an idea. With new releases so scarce, why doesn't PI review some classic movies that are available for streaming? See how they stack up in terms of adult content, moral values and spirituality. Talk about how their themes are applicable to current events. It could introduce some fantastic movies to new audiences.
seraph_unsung 17 days ago
That's a really good idea, especially since content ratings and what they'll accept has changed so much over the years (especially in G-rated or "family" movies).