What to Watch in the Theater:
Judy (PG13) is in theaters now. This film about the last year of Judy Garland’s life is loosely based on a play that had nothing to do with her. It does feature actual events and many of the real people in her life, although some of the dates don’t match up. It’s an interesting look at the beloved star, during a difficult period of her life, battling addictions she’d had seen the movie studios inflicted them on her in her teens. There was more stigma associated with addiction in her day, so her struggles were more private, and ultimately consumed her. The public still loved her, and when the spotlight caught her, she never failed to shine. Renee Zellweger is an Oscar contender with this one.
Our rating: 4.17 out of 5
Gemini Man (PG13) opens today. Will Smith plays double duty in this film, as a spy who wants to retire, and the super recruit sent to kill him. For the most part, although a bit creepy, the effects do work, most of the time. Will still seems comfortable and performs well in the action role. Mary Elizabeth Winstead makes a great female protagonist, and their chemistry works well. The story’s a bit predictable, but there’s enough meat in the action scenes to keep it entertaining.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5
What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
After (PG13) is available for rental. This movie is popular with teenagers, even though it’s, thankfully, about college students rather than high schoolers. Good girl, Tessa, falls for bad boy, Hardin, despite the better judgment of every adult in the audience. It would be a very short movie (and book series) if she just focused on her studies, as she originally intended. There are some interesting moments and potential lessons buried in the teen angst plot somewhere. And yes, there’s a sequel in the works.
Our rating: 1.67 out of 5
In the Tall Grass (TVMA) is streaming exclusively on Netflix. This Stephen King short story takes out of his New England comfort zone, and into a field somewhere in the midwest. A brother and sister are moving to San Diego, after her boyfriend rejects her and his unborn child. They venture into a field to save a family that has become lost, but – of course – all is not as it seems. Time and space are somehow bent in the tall grass, and some creepy stuff happens, making escape impossible. It’s a freaky story with some interesting twists, and although Patrick Wilson is at his horror movie finest here, the rest of the cast is not as compelling.
Our rating: 3.5 out of 5
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