Many Things in Need of Rescue

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What to Watch in the Theater:
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (PG13) opens today. This sequel (and 5th in the franchise) picks up 3 years after the first JW – Isla Nubla is about to be destroyed by a volcano, and John Hammond’s original partner wants to save the dinosaurs. Claire and Owen join forces, along with a techie and a dino veterinarian, but all is not what it seems. Everything is larger than life here – from the action-packed island destruction sequences, to the evil villains and plot twists. The dinosaurs are spectacular, as always, with many more species than we’ve previously seen. And yes, Claire finally wears boots! The story is bookended by Ian Malcolm, and there’s a cute kid in the mix. It’s an exciting journey that blends action/adventure with elements of horror and some homages to the original Jurassic Park.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Tag (R) is in theaters now. Five guys have been playing the same game of tag for 30 years. Every month of May they reconnect, showing up in disguise or at major life events to continue the game. One of the friends, Jerry, has never been tagged, and wants to retire from the game. The other four try to finally get him, without completely ruining his wedding in the process. It’s a funny premise based on a true story, which actually works as a movie. The camaraderie makes the slapstick come together with a good dose of heart, and an important message about friendship. This one’s rated R for some seriously adult language, but otherwise it’s just great fun.
Our rating: 4.33 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
I Kill Giants (not rated) is on DVD and streaming on Hulu. Based on a graphic novel, this movie fell prey to some bad marketing. It’s not an action adventure, and it isn’t full of magic and special effects. It’s a story about a girl who feels she needs to save her town from giants. She’s clearly going through something, and we learn more as the story builds. Barbara is seen as a strange girl, and she’s bullied, but stands strong. She has a purpose, and she dedicates herself to it with her entire being. When she meets a new friend and a school psychologist, her life gets even more complicated, and we finally get a glimpse at the real giant she’s battling. It’s an important, emotional journey, that should be seen for what it is, and not belittled for what it isn’t.
Our rating: 4 out of 5

Lost in Space Season 1 (TVPG) is a Netflix series based on the beloved SciFi classic. If you’re a fan of the original, like we are, it may take some time to adjust to this retelling. The Robinsons are now a blended family, Dr. Smith is a woman, the robot is scary, and our little group is marooned along with other families from the same colony. Of course the special effects and scenery are superb. Although we miss the camp of the original, once we adjusted to this being a dramatic series, we were pulled in to the storyline of our castaways, and can’t wait to see what perils they face in Season 2. Loving the strong female characters – Maureen, Judy and Penny have come a long way from tending to household duties and being damsels in distress – and Dr. Smith is pure evil, in a seriously unhinged kind of way.
Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

Plus box office results, movie news, what’s out on DVD & Blu-Ray, what’s leaving Netflix and more!

Teamwork Makes Things Super

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What to Watch in the Theater:
Incredibles 2 (PG) opens today. It was worth the 14-year wait for this sequel, which gives Elastigirl a chance to save the day, and Bob the opportunity to be a stay-at-home dad. It’s an interesting story with lots of layers, some new super heroes, and one of our old favorites – Edna Mode. The kids each have their own situations going on, including Jack Jack’s fascinating new powers. It’s a super family movie, just in time for summer!
Our rating: 5 out of 5

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Ocean’s 8 (PG13) is in theaters now. This movie meets – and in some ways beats – the George Clooney franchise of Ocean’s movies. It’s a continuation of sorts, and the all-female cast carries the story to perfection. It’s great to see women working together toward their goals, even if they are criminal ones. There are some great twists and turns here, and we’re hoping for a sequel (and maybe even a prequel).
Our rating: 5 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Wonderstruck (PG) is on DVD. There are parallel stories here, taking place in 1927 and 1977. Some great design choices make it easy to keep the two apart. It’s a little slow to develop, although the payoff is great, when we finally learn how the stories are connected. Some dark scenes were hard to follow, but the story is an interesting one.
Our rating: 3.67 out of 5

Arrested Development Season 5 (TVPG) is a Netflix semi-original. The story picks up right where Season 4 left off, with a batch of 10 episodes currently available. Most of the original cast assembled for most of the episodes, which is a great improvement over the mess they made with Season 4. The quirky plot developments keep coming,  and we can’t wait to see what’s next for the Bluths.
Our rating: 4 out of 5

Plus box office results, movie news, what’s out on DVD & Blu-Ray and more!

Using Your Talents to Help Others

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What to Watch in the Theater:
Show Dogs (PG) is in theaters now. Yes, it’s a talking dog movie, but this one’s got more pizazz than the puppies you’re accustomed to. It’s fish out of water buddy cop movie about a police dog (Ludacris) and an FBI agent (Will Arnett) forced to work undercover at a dog show in Las Vegas. With a great voice cast and some fun characters, this movie does it’s best to distract you from the fact that it’s a talking dog movie. It’s the only PG movie currently in theaters, plus it’s got the cutest baby panda of all time.
Our rating: 3.83 out of 5

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Book Club (PG13) is in theaters now. This is a chick flick for a more mature audience. Not mature as in R-rated, but mature in age. It was quite funny, though a bit of an awkward watch with my 80-year-old mother. Four longtime friends who hold a monthly book club decide to read the Shades of Grey books, and that inspires change in each of their lives. Great cast, LOTS of innuendo but only good clean fun of the PG13 variety (some language, and did I mention innuendo?). There are some great messages here about being open to new experiences and allowing yourself to be happy.
Our rating: 3.75 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
November Criminals (PG13) is on DVD. With the pairing of Ansel Elgort and Chloe Grace Moretz in this teen thriller, we had high hopes. Those were quickly dashed as this less than 90-minute film dragged  along. There was little plot or action to save the cast from this boring, pointless film.
Our rating: 1.67 out of 5

13 Reasons Why Season 2 (TVMA) is a Netflix original. The second season of this controversial series took a little longer to draw us in, as the narration shifted from Hannah Baker to a different character for each episode. New plot details are revealed through courtroom testimony, with serious twists that had us scrambling to review the timeline from season 1. Warning: there are heavy topics and disturbing images here. As they attempt to keep kids safe, are parents and schools in the dark or just turning a blind eye? As uncomfortable as it may be, we feel this is a story that must be told, in an effort to keep it from happening again and again.
Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

Plus box office results, movie news, what’s new to Netflix, what’s out on DVD & Blu-Ray and more!

Of Mercenaries and Smugglers

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What to Watch in the Theater:
Deadpool 2 (R) is in theaters now. There’s no ramping up into the ultra violence here – it begins even before the opening credits. PLEASE, do not take your little ones to the theater for this one! That being said, Deadpool continues to be a fun, incredibly foul-mouthed anti-hero, played to the hilt by Ryan Reynolds. A great supporting cast and a lot of teamwork round out the action here, as we watch DP try to make sure his heart’s in the right place. This one’s a keeper!
Our rating: 4.67 out of 5

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Solo: A Star Wars Story (PG13) opens today. This long-awaited standalone film in the Star Wars universe brings us the origin story of everyone’s favorite galactic smuggler. Donald Glover steals the show as Lando Calrissian. Alden Ehrenreich makes Han Solo his own, and makes it work for him (and us), while the rest of the cast provide an intriguing assortment of characters. The connection to the SW timeline was a little hard to place, with this one falling just before Rogue One. We wanted just a little more – something – but otherwise it’s a fun ride on the Millennium Falcon.
Our rating: 4.75 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Porco Rosso (PG) is on DVD. Keep your eyes peeled for the next GhibliFest in theaters (June 17-20), as this is a great way to see your favorite Studio Ghibli classics, or catch up with ones you haven’t seen. This 1992 anime is about a 1930s seaplane smuggler, who (under a curse of unknown origin) lives as an anthropomorphic pig. The historical setting blends well with the fantasy elements. Add a bit of romance, strong females, and quirky side characters, and it’s no wonder this one’s a classic!
Our rating: 4.33 out of 5

The Kissing Booth (TV14) is a Netflix original. This coming of age story features Joey King as Elle, who blossoms over a high school summer, and doesn’t know what to do with new attention at school. The carnival kissing booth she runs with male best friend, Lee, opens up new worlds for both of them. Unfortunately, her new love is Lee’s older brother, and Elle struggles with breaking rule #9 of their friendship. There’s teen drama aplenty, but the characters are likable, so it’s not a bad watch.
Our rating: 3.67 out of 5

Plus box office results, movie news, what’s leaving Netflix, what’s out on DVD & Blu-Ray and more!