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.

The Last Kid-Friendly Titles of Summer

dora

What to Watch in the Theater:
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (PG) is in theaters now. Unlike the TV series, this is not aimed at preschoolers or young kids, as the story follows a 16-year-old Dora (not a 6-year-old one). Being unfamiliar with the show was not a drawback for us. The movie is fun and campy, quickly moving from a fish out of water story with Dora in the big city, back to a jungle adventure, with some new companions who are now out of THEIR element. Of course Backpack and Boots the monkey are part of the action, but there are also some new friends and foes. The kids in our audience enjoyed the heck out of the slapstick, plus nude and poo gags. While we enjoyed the movie in general, we couldn’t help wondering about the intended audience for a teen Dora film.
Our rating: 4 out of 5

ab2

The Angry Birds Movie 2 (PG) is in theaters now. Red is enjoying his hero status on Bird Island, until the Pigs want to call a truce on the prank war. There’s another island that’s threatening both of them, and the former enemies have to learn to work together against the Eagles. This one might be even better than the first – it’s rife with pop culture references and innuendo, plus tons of celebrity voices. Standout newcomers include Leslie Jones, Tiffany Haddish and Awkwafina. This is more than just a movie based on a game, as we learn more about the characters and their families. There are Lots of laugh out loud moments here  – it’s a fun watch.
Our rating: 4.25 out of 5 

blinded

Blinded by the Light (PG13) opens today. Based on a true story, this music-infused coming of age story follows Javed, a Pakistani teen trying to navigate life in 1987 England. As economic woes hit his family, they are also targeted by bigots and hate groups. Javed is struggling to be part of his traditional family, but still grow as a person, and he grapples with father/son issues. When he discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen, he finds a new light (and love) in his life, which makes the struggle even more intense. This is an enlightening film from a historical perspective. It also strikes a chord with anyone who has struggled to become their own person, in the face of family or societal pressures. And if you love movies that take place in the 80s (including all the music, hair and wardrobe), here’s one to add to the list.
Our rating: 4 out of 5 

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Teen Spirit (PG13) is available for rental. This is the story of Violet, who enters a singing competition in an attempt to get out of her small town on the Isle of Wight (UK). It’s a bit weird to us that an older man, a veritable stranger to her, becomes her manager/guardian for the purposes of the competition, but his skill set does come in handy. Elle Fanning’s vocals are good, and it’s interesting to see the process of the contest and how fame affects the character. It’s a bit of a strange film but it has its moments.
Our rating: 3.5 out of 5

Plus box office results, movie news, the latest DVD and Blu-Ray releases, and more.

Check out our interviews at 2019 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports here.