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Sky Cinema and NOW TV: Everything new in January 2021

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·10-min read
'Bad Boys for Life', 'Twist' and 'The Adventures of Paddington'. (Credit: Sky Cinema/NOW TV)
'Bad Boys for Life', 'Twist' and 'The Adventures of Paddington'. (Credit: Sky Cinema/NOW TV)

It might seem like 2020 has been relatively lacking in blockbuster entertainment given everything happening out in the real world. However, the latest crop of movie premieres on Sky Cinema and NOW TV shows that there was plenty there to chew on, including box office behemoth Bad Boys for Life and Judd Apatow comedy The King of Staten Island.

Sky is also starting the year with a one-two punch of original movies, with both Noel Coward adaptation Blithe Spirit and Dickens redux Twist set to debut on the streamer in the first month of 2021.

Read more: Rita Ora appears in first Twist trailer

There are also some great additions on the TV side, including the entirety of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and its brand new reunion special, as well as Westworld, A Discovery of Witches and brilliant cartoon The Adventures of Paddington.

Here is everything you’ll be able to watch...

New Premieres

Bad Boys for Life – 1 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprised their roles for this third entry in the action franchise, with Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah replacing Michael Bay as directors. It follows the duo as they investigate who was responsible for an attempt to kill Smith’s character. The movie received rave reviews from critics and audiences and it remains the highest-grossing English language film of 2020 at the box office given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Whole Truth – 2 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

Keanu Reeves in 'The Whole Truth'. (Credit: Lionsgate)
Keanu Reeves in 'The Whole Truth'. (Credit: Lionsgate)

This courtroom thriller was released way back in 2016, but flew under the radar and remains little seen. John Wick star Keanu Reeves — with incongruously short hair — plays an attorney defending a teenager charged with murdering his father. Renée Zellweger and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are also in the cast.

She's in Portland – 5 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

'She's in Portland'. (Credit: Freestyle Releasing)
'She's in Portland'. (Credit: Freestyle Releasing)

This road trip comedy follows a pair of 30-something college buddies who have grown to envy each other’s lives. They embark on a road trip in order to find a woman who one of them believes to be “the one that got away” in his romantic life.

Blindfire – 7 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

'Blindfire'. (Credit: Kandoo Films)
'Blindfire'. (Credit: Kandoo Films)

In a year dominated by headlines surrounding police brutality and the Black Lives Matter protests, the story of Blindfire is a complex one. It follows a police officer who finds himself facing charges after a Black suspect dies during a hostage situation. In examining the case, the cop suspects he may have been set up.

Greed – 8 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

Steve Coogan donned an industrial quantity of fake tan and a pair of massive, white teeth to take on the role of a cartoonish retail billionaire in this satire of the modern fashion industry and its exploitation of workers. Those involved made little secret of the fact Coogan’s character was in many ways based on Topshop proprietor Sir Philip Green.

The High Note – 9 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

Nisha Ganatra followed up Late Night with another tale of an under-appreciated woman in a male-dominated industry. The film features Tracee Ellis Ross as a Black singer struggling with racism and sexism in the business, as well as focusing on her assistant — portrayed by Dakota Johnson. Praise must also go to Kelvin Harrison Jr., who plays a young musician with serious charisma.

Miss Juneteenth – 10 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

This intriguing drama follows a former beauty queen, hoping to assist her daughter in winning the same crown. With the victory comes scholarships to college and the potential for success, even though that success never really came to her. It’s a powerful and poignant depiction of the ways in which American society has little room for Black people to break free of stereotypes and poverty.

Magical Adventures in the Forbidden City – 11 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

'Magical Adventures in the Forbidden City'. (Credit: 4Digital Media)
'Magical Adventures in the Forbidden City'. (Credit: 4Digital Media)

This strange Russian steampunk tale follows a young woman discovering magical powers within the confines of a walled city kept isolated in order to protect inhabitants from a mysterious disease. British character actor Eddie Marsan is part of the cast.

Blithe Spirit – 15 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

Judi Dench stars as an eccentric medium hired to conduct a seance for a novelist short on ideas in this adaptation of a 1940s play by Noël Coward. Originally scheduled for a cinema release in May 2020, it has since been picked up by Sky Cinema as one of their originals. Dan Stevens, Leslie Mann and Isla Fisher also appear.

Volition – 19 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

'Volition'. (Credit: Giant Pictures)
'Volition'. (Credit: Giant Pictures)

What would you do if you saw your own murder coming? That’s the premise of Tony Dean Smith’s Canadian sci-fi thriller, in which a clairvoyant man has a vision of his own violent death and seeks to change events however he can.

The King of Staten Island – 22 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson makes the most of his first movie lead role in telling a very personal tale. The actor, who lost his firefighter father on 9/11, plays a 20-something layabout reeling from his father’s death. He struggles to cope when his mother, played by Marisa Tomei, begins a romance with another fireman.

The Swerve – 28 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

'The Swerve'. (Credit: Spark Chamber)
'The Swerve'. (Credit: Spark Chamber)

Azura Skye takes the lead in this intimate thriller following a woman who appears to have it all, but is struggling with insomnia and may have something else very wrong happening to her.

Twist – 29 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

'Twist'. (Credit: Sky Cinema)
'Twist'. (Credit: Sky Cinema)

The classic Charles Dickens story Oliver Twist gets a modern spin, with Rafferty Law playing Oliver as a streetwise artist who joins a gang of grifters hunting down a valuable painting in a lucrative heist. Michael Caine is Fagin, while Rita Ora and Lena Headey play gender-swapped versions of the Artful Dodger and Bill Sikes respectively.

Irresistible – 30 January on Sky Cinema and the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV

Released with little fanfare at the height of the first lockdown, this is the sophomore feature from former Daily Show presenter Jon Stewart. Unsurprisingly, it has a political bent, with Steve Carell’s campaign strategist persuading a blue collar man (Chris Cooper) to run for the Democrats in a right-wing Wisconsin town. Rose Byrne, always dependable in a comedy, plays Carell’s opposite number from the Republican Party.

TV

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (full boxset) – Available to stream via Sky and the Entertainment Pass on NOW TV from January and reunion special available from 1 January

'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'. (Credit: Warner Bros/Sky)
'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'. (Credit: Warner Bros/Sky)

Will Smith’s classic sitcom will be available on Sky in its entirety in the New Year, along with the reunion special which premiered via HBO Max in the United States back in November. For a nostalgia watch, it doesn’t get much better than this.

The Adventures of Paddington – Available to stream via Sky and the Kids Pass on NOW TV from January

Given the gloom of 2020, a visit from the world’s most adorable and polite bear seems like the ideal way to shake off the cobwebs and move into 2021. This delightful animated series sees Ben Whishaw return to the role he has voiced in two excellent movies for a series of charming, low-key adventures. While the wait for Paddington 3 continues, this is a great way to bridge the gap.

A Discovery of Witches (S2) – Available to stream via Sky and the Entertainment Pass on NOW TV from 8 January

'A Discovery of Witches'. (Credit: Sky)
'A Discovery of Witches'. (Credit: Sky)

After its successful first series in 2018, this adaptation of Deborah Harkness’s fantasy novels has been renewed for a second and third run. The second is arriving in January, with 10 more episodes exploring the adventures of Teresa Palmer’s witch and Matthew Goode’s vampire.

Ant Middleton and Rebel Wilson: Straight Talking – Available to stream via Sky and the Entertainment Pass on NOW TV from 14 January

'Ant Middleton and Rebel Wilson: Straight Talking'. (Credit: Sky)
'Ant Middleton and Rebel Wilson: Straight Talking'. (Credit: Sky)

Celebrity-fronted documentaries love to throw up unusual combinations of people. With that in mind, here’s a show starring Pitch Perfect actor Rebel Wilson — fresh from Cats, of course — and chief instructor of SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ant Middleton. It features the duo travelling across Mexico on what is being described as a journey of self-discovery.

Westworld (S1-3) – Available to stream via Sky and the Entertainment Pass on NOW TV from 15 January

'Westworld'. (Credit: HBO/Sky)
'Westworld'. (Credit: HBO/Sky)

Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s twisty take on Michael Crichton’s theme park story has been the talk of the internet ever since its mysteries first debuted back in 2016. Now, all three seasons to date are able to stream, for those who want to take another watch in order to piece it all together.

Bulletproof: South Africa – Available to stream via Sky and the Entertainment Pass on NOW TV from 20 January

'Bulletproof: South Africa'. (Credit: Sky)
'Bulletproof: South Africa'. (Credit: Sky)

The British crime series, created by and starring Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters, returns for a three-part special in which the National Crime Agency detectives travel to South Africa. As always, they’re on the hunt for some of the world’s most dangerous criminals.

Euphoria Special - Part Two: Jules – Available to stream via Sky and the Entertainment Pass on NOW TV from 25 January

'Euphoria'. (Credit: Sky)
'Euphoria'. (Credit: Sky)

Zendaya leads this drama series, exploring the lives of high school students as they navigate relationships and trauma. The rest of the show is available to stream ahead of the debut of this latest special episode.

Tom Gates – Available to stream via Sky and the Kids Pass on NOW TV from 25 January

'Tom Gates' author Liz Pichon attends The British Book Awards on May 8, 2017. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
'Tom Gates' author Liz Pichon attends The British Book Awards on May 8, 2017. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Writer and illustrator Liz Pichon has sold more than eight million books worldwide in her Tom Gates series, following the titular schoolkid — described as a “master of excuses”. This series takes the form of 2D animation, stop-motion and live-action as it explores the character’s world and provides plenty of interactive opportunities for kids.

Collections

Sky Cinema Feel Good – on Sky Cinema and Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV 4 January to 21 January

Taron Egerton as Elton John in 'Rocketman'. (Credit: Paramount)
Taron Egerton as Elton John in 'Rocketman'. (Credit: Paramount)

Given the misery of 2020, it’s great to see a selection of terrific feel-good hits, from the Oscar calibre of Rocketman and A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood all the way to the likes of classic musical Grease and the timeless Back to the Future.

Highlights: Jojo Rabbit, Last Christmas, Little Women, Rocketman (2019), A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood, Bridget Jones's Diary, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, About Time, Clueless, Footloose (1984), Matilda, Grease, Back To The Future, Top Gun

Sky Cinema Must See – on Sky Cinema and Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV 4 January to 21 January

'Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'. (Credit: New Line Cinema)
'Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'. (Credit: New Line Cinema)

Every movie fan has a list as long as their arm of movies they should have seen, but have just never got around to settling down and watching. this collection from Sky should be very helpful in plugging a couple of those gaps.

Highlights: Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Big Lebowski, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb, The Godfather, The Goonies, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.