Well, this year's March is starting off a lot differently.
Not only are both of the aforementioned athletic diversions scheduled to go forward as planned, but there's a strange vitality returning to the cinematic landscape, as if someone was just waiting for the calendar to flip over to the new month.
And who knows, maybe they were. After all, it's finally really 2021, now that the deadline for 2020 Oscar consideration has finally passed. (We've already had the Golden Globes, too, where films that seem like genuine 2021 releases -- I Care a Lot and The United States vs. Billie Holiday -- have already taken home statues.)
But I'm not here to relitigate the choices (mistakes) made by various awards bodies in the past. I'm here to celebrate the symbolic turning of a fresh new page.
For some reason, there are a bunch of big new movies coming out this weekend. Movies that seem like actual Theatrical Releases from the Before Times.
Tonight I will be going to Chaos Walking, the new Doug Liman film that opens in Australia today. I haven't read too much about it, but the little I've sampled tells me this is high-concept sci-fi with big stars. Can you get bigger than Spider-Man and Rey? (That's Rey from Star Wars. Kind of annoying the character's name is generic enough that you need to qualify it, but I'm not going to refer to her as Rey Palpatine to make things easier.)
Also today a new Disney animated movie opens, that being Raya and the Last Dragon. It's coming to Disney+ for that premium rental fee, but at least here in Australia, you can see it in cinemas as well. Which is exactly what my family and I plan to do on Saturday night when we'll go to the drive-in, the perfect activity for a three-day holiday weekend. (It's Labour Day here on Monday.)
Also opening, but we'll have to wait until tomorrow, is Coming 2 America, the sequel to Coming to America, whose title will sound exactly the same if spoken aloud. That does not actually seem to be playing cinemas here, but I've got Amazon Prime, so I'll be watching it this weekend as well, probably Sunday, after a planned re-watch of the original on Friday night.
I'm guessing this is just a coincidental confluence of dates, but I'm overlooking that and just allowing it to put a little spring in my step, no questions asked.
I think the change is most noticeable to me from a reviewing standpoint. So far in 2021 there has been a lot of scrounging. Even Netflix has had a period where most of its new films have been foreign language niche movies. There's been a lot of reviewing of anonymous crap sent to us with streaming links by publicists. There have been a couple weeks when I think I only reviewed one new movie.
Now, though, I'm trying to figure out when I'll fit it all in. Netflix also debuted Amy Poehler's new directorial effort, Moxie, yesterday, and my review of that is going up tomorrow. That means the three other movies I've mentioned in this post will fight for a limited number of slots next week, which will be even more limited given that Monday is a holiday, and the conventional wisdom is not to post things you hope people will look at on days when they aren't trapped in front of their computer all day.
It's a good problem to have, and quite a different problem than the problem we've had for a year now.
So maybe a better March is a symbol of a return to normalcy, globally. I'll take, and optimistically interpret, any symbol I can get right now.