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Movies, Films and Flix Recommendations: Seven 2021 Films You Should Watch

August 3, 2021

Looking for some 2021 movies to watch? I put together a few movies, and also asked the MFF crew to recommend 2021 films that they love as well. The following list is quite ecclectic, and pretty great. We hope you enjoy some of these films!

Nobody This badass action film might be the most pleasant surprise of 2021. Sure, it was written by Derek Kolstad (who wrote John Wick and its sequels), and stars the always great Bob Odenkirk, however, I had no clue where it was going, and it’s neat how it subverts expectations, and brings the world some really cool brawls. Spoiling it would be criminal, just know that there are bus fights, warehouse fights, and house fights. Talking about this film on the MFF podcast will be a lot of fun because the Blu-ray is loaded with commentaries and extras that will be neat to explore (I make zero dollars by promoting the Blu-ray, I just love when directors/stars go out of their way to include commentaries).

Willy’s Wonderland Between Mandy, Willy’s Wonderland, and Pig, Nicolas Cage has been churning out some truly inventive and extremely memorable films. Willy’s Wonderland features him beating up evil animatronic puppets who reside inside a beaten down restaurant that he’s been hired to clean. The owners of Willy’s Wonderland think he’s just some rube who is going to be sacrificed to these evil monsters, however, once the attacks start, The Janitor (Cage) beats the ever living snot out of the jerky monsters, and causes chaos around the town as they are forced to deal with the aftermath of sending Nicolas Cage into a haunted restaurant. Willy’s Wonderland is pure joy, and I love every single choice that Cage makes. 

Summer of Soul – This documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival is lucky to exist, as the footage from the festival sat in a basement for close to 50 years, and could’ve been easily forgotten. What’s beautiful about this documentary directed by Ahmire “Questlove” Thompson, is how it blends epic musical performances, rich narration, and a welcome dose of history to create a thrilling experience. It totally deserved the Grand Jury and Audience Award at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Watch it on Hulu now!

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things – Don’t let the fact that it’s another time loop film scare you away, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is wildly pleasant and entertaining as the leads Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen prove themselves to be likable onscreen presences whom you immediately like. Based on a short story by Lev Grossman (Watch The Magicians now!), the movie focuses on two people who are stuck in a time loop, and eventually meet when after years of thinking they are alone, bump into each other and form an alliance. Together they start exploring their town for perfect moments. I don’t want to ruin the rest, just know that it’s very warm and likable. Watch it on Amazon Prime. 

Zanandi Botes (@Zanandi on Twitter) check out her stuff on Cracked – 

Werewolves Within – In many ways, probably the most delightful comedy horror of the year (so far). Forest ranger Finn Wheeler (played by the most excellent Sam Richardson who also produced the film) takes up station in the small town of Beaverfield filled with colorful characters in conflict over a proposed pipeline. The tension escalates when a blizzard hits the community, knocks out the town’s power, and forces everyone to take shelter in the town’s lodge. Oh, and there’s also a werewolf ripping people to shreds. The delight comes from how these diverse, eccentric, hilarious folks deal with every single problem thrown at them: From the cold and distant Environmentalist doctor who arguably freaks out more than anyone else, to Wheeler listening to self-help tapes and chanting about his genitals to get some kind of masculine confidence or whatever. It’s a hoot of a satire filled with great acting all around, and the clever ‘Who Is The Predator’ premise swings wildly between its characters just like the VR game it’s based on. With movies like Jim Cumming’s The Wolf of Snow Hollow and now Josh Ruben’s Werewolves Within, it definitely feels like the Werewolf genre is getting some fresh new takes. We’re here for it, howling for more.

Jonny Numb (@jonnyNumb on Twitter) – Check out The Crash Palace Podcast

Werewolves Within –  Horror-comedy is a precarious balancing act; for every film that pulls it off, there are just as many that miss the mark. Throw a third genre into the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster…unless you’re the horror-comedy-whodunit Werewolves Within, which exceeds expectations by offering delightful twists on shopworn tropes.

Megan Hofmeyer Check out the 2021 Mid-Year Ranom Awards Episode!

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar  – Why do I love this movie? Cue the Richard Cheese tunes…Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar is a charming, earnest and weird movie. I understand that the sense of humor may not be for everyone but this story really just lives on my wavelength…pun intended 🙂 What is not to love about a Florida beach caper comedy (yea you read that right, and it’s most definitely NOT filmed in Florida) that features beach ballads, two cool ladies that work in the hottest place in Soft Rock, and a super random gag with a horse saddle. Stars and writers, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo bring the laughs with their physical comedy (hello crazy dance party, rope gag and all things culottes) and sharp writing – this is a must see 2021 movie!

David Cross – (@ItsMeDavidCross on Twitter) Listen to the Award Wieners Movie Review Podcast 

Pig – Going into Michael Sarnoski’s “Pig” I was under the impression that I’d be watching Nicolas Cage’s version of “John Wick.” What I got, instead, was a bittersweet meditation on loss and a subdued Cage in a completely serious role. Flirting with multiple genres, including revenge and satire, “Pig” follows a recluse truffle hunter named Rob whose prize pig is stolen. With the help of his seller, Amir (Alex Wolff), Rob hunts through the skeezy underbelly of Portland’s culinary scene to find the animal. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Cage stretch his acting chops and “Pig” is a reminder that he’s an immense talent.

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