All Film Fests Are Canceled for the Year, but May We Offer Some Substitutions?

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You can make your own film festival at home with these suggestions.
The pandemic has affected almost all forms of business, but its impact on the entertainment industry has been particularly swift. Throughout the world, productions have been shut down, with major studios like Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. and Apple closing sets and sending crew members home. Many of the year’s most anticipated film festivals, including SXSW, Turner Classic Movies, Miami Film Festival and San Francisco International Film Festival, have been canceled.

Most notably, the entire theatrical experience has been shelved, with some titles going straight to VOD services. Completed films have been put on hold as a result of the coronavirus, and the future of their availability is unclear. Some releases have been moved to later dates, such as the newest James Bond film, No Time To Die, which was pushed from April to November, and the latest Fast and Furious film, F9, which has been shifted ahead an entire year, from this May to April 2021. Some films, such as Marvel Studios’ Black Widow and Disney’s live-action Mulan, were pulled from their expected releases with no new date even set.

There are certainly more important things to worry about than getting to see the latest studio blockbuster, but the upcoming months will undoubtedly be tough for cinephiles who were looking forward to this year’s lineup of summer movies. But, for those looking for a great selection of movies, fear not! The rise of streaming services provides a safe alternative to check out quality cinema. If you have a film you’ve been looking forward to, check out these alternatives that are streaming at your convenience.

If you were excited for Black Widow, check out Scarlett Johansson in Ghost World on Amazon Prime Video.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is undoubtedly the dominant movie franchise in the world right now, and fans have been clamoring for nearly a decade to see Scarlett Johansson’s Russian super spy take the lead role in her own movie. The delay is unfortunate, but fans looking to catch Johansson in another comic book role should check out the 2001 dark comedy Ghost World, in which a young Johansson stars alongside Thora Birch as a pair of cynical teenage girls who struggle to navigate their friendship after graduating high school. Based on a cult comic book from Daniel Clowes, it’s a hilarious romp that can help give some much needed laughs in trying times.

If you were looking forward to Mulan … check out the director’s earlier film McFarland, USA on Disney+.

The live-action remake of Mulan is considered to be a game changer for several reasons, most notably because director Niki Caro will become one of only two female directors in history to helm a Disney film with a budget over $100 million. It’s sad to see Caro’s breakthrough moment suffer from the surrounding circumstances, but she has been making great films for years. Her previous film with Disney was McFarland, USA, the true story of how coach Jim White (played by the always likable Kevin Costner) led a small Latino high school cross country team to the state championship in 1987. It’s a film that hits all the “inspirational sports story” beats, but Caro is skilled at elevating the cliché elements and making the characters feel real.

If you’re sad about missing The New Mutants … consider another claustrophobic horror flick with The Blackcoat’s Daughter on Netflix.
Poor The New Mutants. The X-Men spinoff has been the subject of a lot of bad luck; the film was initially planned for a release in April 2018, but 20th Century Fox pushed its release to 2019 in order to account for planned reshoots, reportedly to change the tone. Fox being bought by Disney only complicated the situation, and Disney set the release for this April, two years after it was initially scheduled. It appears as if The New Mutants will continue to sit on the shelf, as it was one of many Disney titles pulled out of coronavirus fears. Fate may be cruel to this film about a group of super powered young adults trapped in a secret facility, but the criminally underrated 2015 horror film The Blackcoat’s Daughter is there to fill that gap. The atmospheric thriller focuses on three girls who are trapped in a Catholic girls school over winter break, having to contend with a satanic cult. It stars Kiernan Shipka, Emma Roberts and Lucy Boynton.

Are you a Bond fanatic bummed about the No Time To Die delay? Make sure to catch the Bond classic Goldeneye on Netflix.
No Time To Die isn’t just another James Bond film; it's the last Bond flick that will star Daniel Craig, who has been often cited as the best 007 in history. Bondaholics will have to wait until November to catch the conclusion to Craig’s tenure, but thankfully Netflix is currently streaming all the Bond films that star Craig’s predecessor, Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan’s four films declined in quality as they went along, but his first outing in 1995’s Goldeneye still holds up as one of the slickest, sexiest and coolest Bond adventures. The film notably was the first to feature Judi Dench as Bond’s boss M, and also introduced Bond’s former partner turned villain 006 (Sean Bean). Bond completists can also check out Brosnan’s further adventures in Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day, which are all on Netflix.

You may be waiting for the new sci-fi horror sequel A Quiet Place: Part II. … But you’ve seen Aliens, right?
The buzz had been building behind A Quiet Place: Part II, with early reactions promising that it was the rare horror movie sequel that lived up to its predecessor. The first A Quiet Place was a surprise hit that drew comparisons to many sci-fi horror classics, including the original Alien, so while you’re killing time before seeing the further adventures of Emily Blunt and company, it’s essential to watch the sequel to Alien, 1986’s Aliens. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) may have made it past round one with the Xenomorph, but Aliens puts her back in the fray when she’s brought alongside a military task force to investigate a lunar base. Similar to A Quiet Place, Aliens is a breathless monster movie with strong themes of maternal instincts and parenthood.
Both Aliens and Alien are streaming for free on HBO Now and HBO Go.

Amy Adams could’ve been in the Oscar race for The Woman in the Window. But remember when she should’ve won for The Master?
Despite being one of the best living actresses today, Amy Adams has somehow never won an Academy Award, despite six nominations. Any new film starring Adams is seen as her potential bid to win an Oscar, and many saw her role in the highly anticipated literary adaptation The Woman in the Window as her winning ticket. The film's release has been postponed indefinitely, but fans of Adams shouldn’t forget her Oscar-nominated role as Peggy Dodd in The Master, in which she plays Lady Macbeth to Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s charismatic cult leader. The film, which is available on Netflix, of course, is one of the very best of the 21st century, and has enough abstract imagery and unnerving philosophical concepts to inspire many rewatches.

F9 won’t reunite the Toretto clan any time soon ... but you still have time to catch the original car chase classic The French Connection on Hulu.
The release date for the ninth (!) installment in the ever evolving The Fast and the Furious franchise was pushed nearly an entire year, but action fans can use this time to catch the 1971 neo-noir classic The French Connection, a landmark film that spawned countless imitators. Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider star as two tough-as-nails New York City cops who are hot on the trail of a ruthless drug dealer, leading to some of the most iconic car chases in film history. The film paved the way for a greater sense of realism in action films, and was awarded the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. An unmissable classic.