What’s worth a watch or a play in May 2021?

"Resident Evil Village" features monsters like werewolves and vampires, but the nearly ten-foot-tall Lady Dimetrescu has dominated the conversation around the game. Photo Courtesy Capcom

May is hopefully the final slow month for movies, as the last week of the month kicks off a streak of weekly noteworthy films that runs into 2022. Games are also fairly quiet, with really not a lot on the horizon to heat things up while the industry continues to struggle to recover from the pandemic. As for TV, almost nothing is really new, though a handful of fan favorites are returning for new seasons this month.

"Star Wars: The Bad Batch" takes place immediately following "Star Wars Episode III," in the first days of the Empire. Photo Courtesy starwars.com

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Coming in understandably with less fanfare than the last Star Wars Disney+ offering, “The Mandalorian,” fans of the franchise shouldn’t write this animated series off when it premieres on May 4. “The Bad Batch'' is a sequel to the fan-favorite “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which ran from 2008-2013, then returned for a final seventh season in 2020. Set in the immediate aftermath of “Star Wars: Revenge of Sith,” and featuring a team of clone soldiers from the prequel era of “Star Wars'' struggling to find their place in the Empire, “The Bad Batch” promises a darker tone and plenty of returning characters. 

Resident Evil Village

The “Resident Evil” franchise fell out of the public’s favor for quite a while after the disastrous launch of “Resident Evil 6” in 2012. Fortunately, recent years have seen the franchise return to its horror roots, and the last three entries have been very strong. “Village,” releasing May 7, is a direct sequel to 2017’s “Resident Evil: Biohazard,” taking new protagonist Ethan Winters and putting him in a new awful situation. This time it’s a werewolf-infested village and a castle ruled by the nine and a half foot tall Lady Dimetrescu. Gameplay is first person, as players scrounge for supplies to fend off the monsters long enough to save their daughter. “Village” looks like another great horror experience from a franchise that has been churning out hits. 

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

“Mass Effect: Legendary Edition” is a remaster of all three games in the “Mass Effect” trilogy, originally released between 2007-2012, some of the greatest games of all time. Create your own Commander Shepard, and go on a unique adventure across all three games. Shepard’s appearance, choices and relationships are carried over from game to game in a way that has never been attempted before or since. The story and characters of “Mass Effect” are truly top-tier, and there’s never been a better time to get into the franchise, as developer BioWare just announced they’re finally returning to it. The package will be available May 14.

"A Quiet Place Part II" takes place immediately after the first movie, and is almost certainly going to explore the difficulties of raising a baby in a world where silence is paramount. Photo Courtesy Paramount

A Quiet Place Part II

The first “A Quiet Place” was a huge surprise when it was released in 2018. Directed by John Krasinski from “The Office,” and starring his wife, the first film was unique for its use of silence and imaginative monsters. Information on the sequel is fairly light ahead of its May 28 release, though the first film certainly left interesting places to go. It’s worth noting that while these films certainly have horror vibes, they ultimately aren’t horror films, and hew closer to thrillers. 

Film and TV Highlights

Jason Statham’s vehicle “Wrath of Man” releases May 7 and seems like a pretty solid action film. Director Guy Ritchie has a long past of making good movies that fail to find audiences. 

Mythic Quest'' originally released in 2020 on Apple TV+ to great reviews and a small audience (probably because it was on Apple TV+). A second season premieres May 7. The show seeks to capture the office comedy vibe but in a game development studio. 

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series'' or “HSM:TM:TS,  premiered alongside the launch of Disney+ in 2019. Lots of folks watched it simply because there wasn’t a lot of other original content released. The twist is that “HSM:TM:TS'' was way better than it should have been, bringing quick writing, a diverse cast and genuine heart to the most ridiculous title in streaming. Season 2 premieres on Disney+ May 14, and I’m stoked.

Streaming Highlights

Netflix doesn’t bring much heat this month, with the only noteworthy additions being “Zombieland” and the series finale of “Lucifer” on May 28, which I hear people have been waiting for.

HBO Max gives the people what they want with “Happy Feet” and “Happy Feet Two,” as well as “Mortal Kombat (1995),” for the large amount of their subscriber base that just watched “Mortal Kombat (2021).”

Hulu just kicked off a new season of their flagship series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and also brings several interesting genre films; “I Am Legend,” “The Iron Giant,” “Predator,” “Train to Busan” and “Skyfall.”

Peacock adds the “Hobbit” trilogy and the first three “Jason Bourne” films. For whoever is in the middle of that Venn diagram.