Hitting theaters this week is "The Batman," likely to be the biggest box office hit since fellow superhero movie "Spider-Man: No Way Home." Want to avoid the crowds at the cinema, or just not that interested in comic book films? Multiple movies that just recently premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival will also debut on streaming services, while one of Florida's biggest film fests kicks off this weekend with virtual as well as in-person screenings. Here are this week's highlights.
1. 'The Batman'
Robert Pattinson stars in this latest cinematic adaptation of the comic book caped crusader, early in his crime-fighting years as he contends with characters such as the Riddler (Paul Dano), Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) and Penguin (Colin Farrell.) With a talented cast and director Matt Reeves, who previously showed his skill at spectacle with films such as "War for the Planet of the Apes" and "Cloverfield," hopefully this will be a strong new addition to the Batman franchise, which has a solid overall track record when it comes to on-screen adaptations.
Where to watch: Theaters on Friday
2. 'After Yang'
Colin Farrell also stars in this meditative sci-fi drama from "Columbus" director Kogonada, set in a future with robot companions, as a father searching for a way to repair his daughter's beloved android Yang (Justin H. Min) when it malfunctions. "After Yang" initially premiered at last year's Cannes Film Festival before screening again at this year's Sundance, where it earned highly positive reviews and the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize for "an outstanding feature film about science or technology."
Where to watch: Limited release in theaters and on Showtime starting Friday
3. Miami Film Festival
This year's hybrid festival features in-person and online screenings, including multiple movies fresh off Sundance premieres. Those include the documentaries "2nd Chance" by Oscar nominee Ramin Bahrani, about bulletproof vest inventor Richard Davis, and "La Guerra Civil" by actress Eva Longoria Bastón, about boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Julio César Chávez. Notable narrative features include Sundance horror movies "Master," starring Regina Hall as a woman at a university built on the site of a Salem-era gallows hill, and "Hatching," a Finnish film about a mysterious egg a girl brings home.
Where to watch: Friday-March 13 at miamifilmfestival.com
This horror film and modern dating satire stars "Normal People" actress Daisy Edgar-Jones as a young woman disillusioned with dating apps who thinks she may have finally found a match with a man (Sebastian Stan) following a meet-cute at the grocery store, only to later discover he's harboring a dark secret. The feature film debut of director Mimi Cave, "Fresh" premiered earlier this year at Sundance in the Midnight section, where it received generally positive reviews.
Where to watch: Hulu on Friday
5. 'Lucy and Desi'
Amy Poehler directs this documentary about two other famed comedic performers: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the pioneering stars of the '50s sitcom "I Love Lucy," who played a married couple on television while they were also one in real life. "Lucy and Desi" premiered at this year's Sundance to favorable reviews and is being released on Prime Video, where it should serve as a fitting companion piece to "Being the Ricardos," the Oscar-nominated biopic about the pair that Amazon Studios also released.
Where to watch: Prime Video on Friday
Florida film note
A new documentary that should be of special interest to Sarasota viewers will have a local screening this week, when "Little Satchmo" screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center. Adapted from Sarasota resident Sharon Preston-Folta's 2012 memoir "Little Satchmo: Living in the Shadow of My Father, Louis Daniel Armstrong," the film tells the story of the late jazz great and the secret that Preston-Folta said she kept hidden for decades: that she is Armstrong's daughter.
The screening is $10 to attend, or $20 with a copy of the book, and will also include a Q&A. Can't make it? "Little Satchmo" is also set to screen as part of this year's virtual Through Women's Eyes International Film Festival, which starts March 10, and serve as the season seven premiere of PBS' "Reel South" on April 11.
Email entertainment reporter Jimmy Geurts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism by subscribing.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sarasota-Bradenton top 5 movie picks, March 3-9