When Does a New Version Work?


What to Watch in the Theater:
Dumbo (PG) is in theaters now. This live action reimagining of the story of the big-eared baby elephant who can fly, comes from the mind of Tim Burton. He assembles a cast of quirky characters (played by some of his regulars) and gives it a darker look, especially with the addition of Michael Keaton’s villain and his Dreamland amusement park. This story is NOT a retelling of the classic Disney animated film we all grew up with. Instead, it centers more on the humans in Dumbo’s life, who become his family. There are no talking animals, no friendship with a mouse. The separation of Dumbo from his mom is still a devastating key element, and Dumbo is still mocked for being different. But this time, he’s got some human’s on his side. It’s a heartwarming, fantasy tale that should be, like all Disney live action remakes, taken on its own merit.
Our rating: 3.92 out of 5


Shazam! (PG13) opens today. This superhero movie combines a lot of elements – a villain backstory, supernatural beings, a group of foster kids, an unlikely hero, and some great homages to the movie Big. Teen Billy Batson finds himself in the body of a grown dude with powers, and he’s like a kid in a candy store. As he learns about his powers, he’s also trying to fit in to a new foster group home. Unbeknownst to him, he has an arch nemesis set on destroying the world, and only Billy has the power to defeat him – he just has to figure out how to use it. This is a funny, action-packed film, with some great messages about family. There’s one violent scene that was a little jarring, but not gory. The humor really is key here, and Zachary Levi is perfect in the role of reluctant superhero who’s really just a kid inside.
Our rating: 4.83 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Pick of the Litter (not rated) is now available on DVD. This documentary follows a litter of puppies in training to be guide dogs for the blind. We watch them go through the different stages, starting with being puppy raised in various homes (and sometimes re-homed, based on their performance). We learned a lot about what goes into this process, and how few make it all the way through. We were really rooting for all the puppies and the humans who were doing their best to help them make it through the process.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Archer (TVMA) is available on Hulu. Season 10 is coming soon  to FXX. It’s titled Archer 1999, and we got to watch the first episode at a WonderCon panel featuring the actors from the series. You’ll find no spoilers here, but we’ll be tuning in. If you’d like to catch up on the series, you can find seasons 1-9 streaming on Hulu.
We recommend this series

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