Inspired by Love and Loss

overcomer

What to Watch in the Theater:
Overcomer (PG) is in theaters now. This faith-based film has inspiring messages about finding your place in this world, as you (obviously) overcome issues in your past. The story follows young Hannah, a runner with asthma, who lost her parents at an early age. Her new coach, John, has issues of his own, as he transitions from coaching a basketball team to a single runner. When a stranger with serious health problems enters their lives, their lives are changed forever. Full of heart, plot twists and a lot of prayer, this film is not as subtle with its preaching as other recent ones in this genre.
Our rating: 3.5 out of 5

it2

It: Chapter Two (R) is in theaters now. This sequel brings the Losers Club back to Derry, only they’re all grown up. It’s 27 years after the events of the first movie, and bad things are happening to children again. Yes, Pennywise is back, and the group must be strong enough to resist his evil shenanigans and put an end to his reign of terror. That’s tough to do, when you can’t tell what’s real. We get flashbacks with the original kid cast, to fill in any plot holes. The adult cast is pretty compelling, especially since we get to peek into each of their psyches, and see how they transitioned from children to adults, with their individual issues carried along.  The effects are just as scary as in the first one, with some more adult drama thrown in. Perhaps the first was a bit more terrifying because they were a group of kids dealing with a whole lot of evil.
Our rating: 4.75 out of 5 

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Falling Inn Love (TVPG) is streaming exclusively on Netflix. This is one of those romcoms that could’ve been made for Lifetime or Hallmark. American architect Gabby is looking for a fresh start. She wins a New Zealand inn, and embarks on an adventure away from home. As she renovates the inn, to become her dream eco project, she bonds with the townsfolk and – of course, it’s in the title – falls in love. The story is completely predictable, with the requisite fish out of water element and bumps along the road to romance – but it’s a fun journey nonetheless. Plus it was actually filmed in New Zealand with Kiwis rounding out the cast nicely.
Our rating: 3.33 out of 5

The Professor (R) is available for rental. This is a depressing Johnny Depp vehicle, about a college professor who finds out he has stage 4 cancer and decides to hide that fact from almost everyone and just live his live as best he can. He goes off the rails at first – all that practice acting drunk in the Pirates movies pays off here – before making some realizations about what his legacy could be. It’s nice to see Depp in a variety of roles, and although this one was a bit of a downer, he did take us on an interesting journey.
Our rating: 3.5 out of 5

Plus box office results, movie news, and what’s new on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Saving Those You Care About

angel

What to Watch in the Theater:
Angel Has Fallen (R) is in theaters now. This sequel finds Mike Banner in an awkward position, in more ways than one. When everyone in the president’s security detail is killed, except him, he must go on the run to track down the hit squad that’s framing him, before they succeed in another assassination attempt. Connections from his past may help or hinder, as Mike once again proves he’s one tough cookie who’s very dedicated to his job. The body count is high here, but the twists and turns prove very satisfying.
Our rating: 4.17 out of 5

dontlet

Don’t Let Go (R) is in theaters now. This BH Tilt movie has a very interesting premise. Jack is an LA cop who’s very devoted to his young niece, and provides some stability for her during family issues. When his brother’s family is murdered, Jack starts receiving calls from his dead niece. In her world, the murders haven’t happened yet, so Jack has to figure out how to keep her safe and unaware of what’s to come, as the clock ticks down, details change, and he struggles to solve the murders, before they even happen. This is a thrilling, violent ride full of twists and turns.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (TVPG) is streaming exclusively on Netflix. This prequel to the 1982 Jim Henson movie introduces a variety of characters from different Gelfling tribes. Each has their place in Thra, and their spiritual leader has entrusted the Skeksis with responsibility over the Crystal of Truth. When a Gelfling discovers the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, he must spread the news and recruit allies for a rebellion, in order to save the planet. The puppetry is excellent, not only in the main characters, but in a vast supporting cast of enchanting creatures, as only the Henson magic could create. The story is enthralling (although there’s so much packed into the first episode, we were almost overwhelmed) and we can’t wait to watch all 10 episodes.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

13 Reasons Why: Season 3 (TVMA) is streaming exclusively on Netflix. This season delves into the aftermath of Season 1’s tragedies and Season 2’s trial and revelations. A new character, Ani, narrates this season, offering a new perspective. We see how past actions and consequences have affected students, and how their allegiances shift as there’s a new mystery to solve. As always, we don’t know who’s telling the truth and what new details will come to light as the season progresses. The story shift and new narrator is dividing the audience a bit, but we’re reserving judgement on this one.
Not rating until we finish the season.

Plus box office results, movie news, and what’s new on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Theme Park Attractions Based on Movies

scary

What to Watch in the Theater:
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (PG13) is in theaters now. A group of teens goes exploring where they shouldn’t, upsetting the ghost of a misunderstood young girl. As everyone involved is either killed, terrorized or disappears under very unusual circumstances, our young protagonists must figure out a way to save themselves from a similar fate. Lots of good jump scares here, plus some creepy monsters and disturbing images. Not for the faint of heart, but not overly gory either.
Our rating: 4.75 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Jim Gaffigan: Quality Time (TV14) is an Amazon Prime exclusive. There are some laugh out loud moments here, as Jim does his usual self-deprecating schtick. The jokes are new, and there’s nothing political or foul – just good clean making fun of friends and family. And maybe one or two horse jokes…
Our rating: 4.17 out of 5

Plus box office results,  what’s new on DVD and Blu-Ray, news from D23 Expo and our experiences with Galaxy’s Edge (Disneyland) and the Emotional Whirlwind (Disney California Adventure).

Violence and Disappointment Wherever You Look

Bern

What to Watch in the Theater:
Where’d You Go, Bernadette (PG13) is in theaters now. Bernadette is a brilliant former architect, who left the field suddenly and devoted her entire life to raising her daughter. Now that her daughter is going away to school, she has to figure out what to do with her life, given that her only other connection is to a virtual assistant.
Our rating: 4.17 out of 5

readyornot

Ready or Not (R) opens today. New bride, Grace, discovers on her wedding night that she’s married into a very eccentric family, that fears they will die if they don’t kill her that night. She can’t escape, but that doesn’t mean she won’t fight – and fight she does. It’s a super violent adventure, with quite a bit of humor, one powerful female protagonist – and one all-purpose wedding dress.
Our rating: 4 out of 5 

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Guava Island (TVMA) is streaming on Amazon Prime. This short film is about a small island nation with rich natural resources and the dictator-like figure who controls the economy. It’s also a big music video for actor Donald Glover (aka singer Childish Gambino). Rihanna has a non-singing role as his love interest. It’s an interesting project, full of political statements and music, but maybe a little too thin on storyline.
Our rating: 2.17 out of 5

Seven in Heaven (PG13) is available for rental and streaming on Netflix. Although this is a Blumhouse production, it’s more of a time paradox film than horror. Two teens emerge from the closet after a party game, only to discover that the people they know are quite different and that their alternate selves lead different lives as well. The new timeline is much more violent and they have to determine how to get back to their own time.
Our rating: 3.33 out of 5

Plus box office results, movie news, and what’s new on DVD and Blu-Ray.