Hearts Warmed, Lessons Learned

wonder

What to Watch in the Theater:
Wonder (PG) is in theaters now. This heartwarming story is full of lessons about acceptance, but it’s refreshingly told in a way that offers multiple perspectives. Not only do you see Auggie’s struggles, dealing with people reacting to his facial deformity, but you also see what his friends and family bring to the table, and how their backstories play into that. Love, heartache, joy, sadness – prepare yourself for some tears!
Our rating: 4.83 out of 5

TMWIC

The Man Who Invented Christmas (PG) is in theaters now. This is an interesting and entertaining look at the creative process behind Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Fast-paced and well-cast, this film shows how Dickens overcame a slump in his career and came up with a story that continues to inspire kindness and joy in Christmas celebrations..
Our rating: 4.75 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
The Book of Henry (PG13) This family film about a quirky boy genius turns into a sad tale and then becomes a crime drama. Henry’s mom relies on him for everything, and then has to figure out how to live without him and make him proud. It’s an interesting movie, full of wonderful performances and plot twists.
Our rating: 3.83 out of 5

Wish Upon (PG13) It’s a nice change to find a teen horror/thriller that’s not chock full of sex, gore and bad language. There’s something familiar about this story of a girl who’s given 7 wishes, only to figure out later that every wish has come at a terrible cost. It’s interesting to watch her struggle with that realization and her desire to continue wishing. A good watch, and a great role for Joey King.
Our rating: 4 out of 5

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No Turkeys in This Flock

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What to Watch in the Theater:
 Daddy’s Home 2 (PG13) is in theaters now. This sequel is just as fun and almost as funny as the original. When Dusty’s and Brad’s dads join the co-family for the holidays, hilarity ensues, with a side dish of heartwarming. Adding the older generation worked a bit better for these guys than it did for the Bad Moms crew. Plus, this one is an entertaining sleigh ride for the WHOLE family, not just the grownups.
Our rating: 4.17 out of 5

star

The Star (PG) is in theaters now. An entertaining new take on the Christmas story, full of fun characters – mostly animals! Hey, who doesn’t like familiar stories told from the perspective of animals? (At least they’re animated and not talking live action ones!) The soundtrack is nice, and kids are sure to enjoy the animals. It may not work as well for older teens and young adults, but parents will enjoy while watching with younger kids.
Our rating: 3.67 out of 5

coco

Coco (PG) is in theaters now. Pixar has done it again, and this time they’re using humans (alive and dead) to tug on our heartstrings. It’s about young Miguel, going against his family to pursue his love of music, while he unknowingly unravels a mystery from his past. The wonderful soundtrack enhances this journey through a beautiful cultural experience. Max rated this one a 6, and he doesn’t think Pixar should do movies about humans.
Our rating: 4.67 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Future Man (TVMA) This Hulu original series follows a janitor, who excels at video games, tasked with helping to save the world. A time-traveling duo from the future brings the ultimate adventure into his life, and they learn a lot from each other as they jump back and forth in time. This fun series is definitely for adults. Keep an eye out for homages to Back to the Future, the ultimate time travel movie.
Not rating this one until we see more episodes

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Ensembles Take Back the Holidays

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What to Watch in the Theater:
 A Bad Moms Christmas (R) is in theaters now. This raunchy romp adds another generation to the mix – the Moms’ moms are on hand for the holidays – adding even more stress, as the original Mom’s vow to take back Christmas. It’s a fun film, with a superbly cast ensemble, but pales a bit in comparison to the original.
Our rating: 3.83 out of 5

justice

Justice League (PG13) opens today. Wonder Woman proves she’s got the chops to be a leader, as we mourn a fallen hero and get to know some new ones. Ben Affleck’s Batman is growly and bedraggled, but he’s shouldering a heavy burden in this film. We look forward to seeing what’s next for this ensemble, and each of the individual heroes.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
All We Had (NR) Katie Holmes shows her range in this depressing but hopeful story about a homeless mom and daughter, and their devotion to each other as they strive for a better life. An interesting collection of characters adds to the drama, showing that it really does matter who you choose to have in your life.
Our rating: 3.17 out of 5

Their Finest (R) This film, about a woman taking on a new role in WWII, shows the ups and downs those at home encountered while doing their part during wartime. Behind the scenes at the Ministry of Information, it’s a rollercoaster of triumph and tragedy, with some splendid performances and a lot of heart.
Our rating: 4 out of 5

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Entertaining Literary Works on Film

thorimax3

What to Watch in the Theater:
Thor: Ragnarok (PG13) is in theaters now. The element of humor really boosts the entertainment value of the latest (#17) chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The combination of characters in this story is a real winner, with different scenarios and locales blending together perfectly to make multiple storylines merge seamlessly. Make sure you stay all the way through to the very end of the credits!
Our rating: 4.83 out of 5

MOTOE

Murder on the Orient Express (PG13) opens today. This remake of the Agatha Christie classic does not disappoint. Some of the characters may be a little over the top, but that lightens the pace of the film. Even though the story may be well-known, the casting, scenery and other details breathe new life into a familiar plot.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Undercover Grandpa (PG13) This obviously Canadian production features James Caan as the titular character, who seems to be losing his faculties, based on the outrageous stories he tells his family. His real-life special ops experience comes in handy when he needs to gather his cronies for one last mission – to save his grandson’s girlfriend from kidnappers. Not the best, but not a bad watch on Netflix, as far as family espionage movies go.
Our rating: 3.17 out of 5

Stephen King’s It (TV14) Watching this 1990 version for the first time makes us even more curious about the next installment of the 2017 version. An amazing late 80s/early 90s cast makes this a fun watch. The way the story is told, in flashbacks, is an interesting way to lay out the details. Look for it on cable TV, as it’s not currently available for rental or streaming. When you find it, it’s worth fast forwarding through the commercials, even if it is 4 hours long!
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

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