It started with No Time to Die. Then, over the past week, more and more tentpole titles have had their release dates pushed back due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. There’s A Quiet Place Part II, Mulan, Black Widow, Furious 9, all the way up to Minions: The Rise of Gru, which wasn’t even supposed to come out until July. Now? Who knows. There’s no replacing Kevin, Stuart, and Bob (I am serious about this), but below, I’ve provided at-home options for eight other delayed movies. All are available on streaming.
Black Widow (original release date: May 1)
Looking for: another movie from a Marvel director
What to watch instead: The easy answer would be to suggest another female-led superhero movie, but considering IMDb only lists eight of them, the pickings are slim. And, to be honest, not very good. I want to defend Catwoman, I really do, but I’m sorry, Halle Berry, I can’t. I will suggest another movie from Black Widow director Cate Shortland, however. It’s called Lore, and it’s about five German children on the run following World War II. A Marvel movie, it’s not, but with a stunning performance from Saskia Rosendahl, Lore shows that Shortland knows how to get the most from her actors. Not that ScarJo needs much help. She’s been playing Black Widow for 10 years.
F9 (original release date: May 22)
Looking for: something, anything with Vin Diesel
What to watch instead: Steven Spielberg thinks it’s a “crime of cinema” that Vin Diesel doesn’t direct more, and honestly? I’m not going to argue with the guy who gave us Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in the same year. Besides, he’s right. Diesel has only directed two films, the 1995 short Multi-Facial (which got him noticed by Spielberg, leading to a role in Saving Private Ryan) and 1997’s full-length Strays, and they’re both available online. Of the two, I’d recommend Multi-Facial, which follows a multi-racial actor (played by Diesel) and the struggles he faces, both personally and professionally.
Mulan (original release date: March 27)
Looking for: the best Disney live-action remake
What to watch instead: I’m cheating here. Sort of. Pete’s Dragon isn’t a Disney live-action remake, at least not in the same shot-for-shot way as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. You know what else Pete’s Dragon doesn’t have in common with those two? It’s a good movie. Directed by A Ghost Story‘s David Lowery, Pete’s Dragon wisely ditches the unmemorable songs from the original film; tells a sweet, simple story about a boy and his pet (that just so happens to be a dragon); and the forever-ruggedly handsome Robert Redford wears flannel, which is always appreciated. The Lion King made 10 times as much money, but Elliott the dragon is 10 times as adorable as… this.
Where to see it: Disney+
The New Mutants (original release date: April 3)
Looking for: a horror movie set in a psychiatric hospital
What to watch instead: The titular mutants, including Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy, are technically stuck in a “secret facility,” but based on the trailers, it sure looks like a psychiatric hospital, or whatever the X-Men version of a psychiatric hospital is. If you want another asylum/rehabilitation center/”secret facility”-set horror movie, there are numerous options — cult favorite Session 9, the too-long-but-visually-stunning A Cure for Wellness, David Cronenberg’s The Brood — but I gotta go with A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. What can I say? I’m a sucker for any movie where Freddy Krueger kills a wanna-be actress by slamming her face into a television while taunting, “Welcome to primetime, bitch.” It’s the simple pleasures in life, y’know?
Where to see it: Vudu
No Time to Die (original release date: April 10)
Looking for: Rami Malek acting weird
What to watch instead: After winning an Oscar for his lip sync-heavy performance in Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek signed up to play the villain in the latest James Bond movie, No Time to Die. Little is known about the character he’s playing, but safe to say, Safin is going to be weirdo. Malek is good at playing weirdos, as seen in Buster’s Mal Heart, where he plays a bearded mountain man who breaks into vacant cabins… and a concierge at a late-night hotel. It’s not a great movie (if you want to watch a great Rami Malek movie, check out Short Term 12, starring every famous person before they were famous ever), but it’s enticingly odd, and features a captivating performance from Malek. Turns out, he’s a pretty good actor when he’s not more teeth than man!
Where to see it: Netflix
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (original release date: April 3)
Looking for: an extremely British movie with talking animals
What to watch instead: Paddington 2. Just watch Paddington 2, a perfect movie.
A Quiet Place Part II (original release date: March 20)
Looking for: a terrifying movie with monsters that hunt by sound
What to watch instead: The less said about The Descent, the better. Just know that you should watch it the way I did: with the lights off and no one else in the apartment/house, which (considering our current situation) shouldn’t be too hard to pull off.
Where to see it: Hulu
Spiral: From The Book of Saw (original release date: May 15)
Looking for: a franchise
What to watch instead: Spiral: From The Book of Saw is the ridiculously-titled ninth movie in the Saw franchise, a franchise that has seen more ups (Saw, Saw II, uh, Saw VI is kinda good?) than downs (the rest). It doesn’t make for a great binge, unlike the Final Destination series. They’re all silly, stupid fun, except 2009’s The Final Destination, which is just stupid, and a great opportunity to play a “Take a Shot Every Time Someone Almost Dies” drinking game on Metastream, or any live-viewing extension of your choice. Best of all, there’s a new Final Destination coming, probably not starring Chris Rock, though.
Where to see it: Netflix