Familiar Stories Get Tweaked


What to Watch in the Theater:
Robin Hood (PG13) is in theaters now. This big-budget retelling of the well-known Robin Hood story features some compelling stars, like Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx, with lavish costumes and scenery. It’s a dark story with modern styling – the costumes and weapons technology are amazing, and the fight choreography is brilliant. Some of us are not big fans of this historical time period in general, and most of us only have the comedy and animated versions of this story to compare. It’s a fun actioner with a bit heavier emphasis on political messages. We think audiences should give this new version of the classic story a chance.
Our rating: 4.33 out of 5


The Possession of Hannah Grace (R) is in theaters now. This movie – about a former police officer and recovering addict who takes a night shift job at the morgue – has all the jump scares you need. But wait, there’s so much more. This is a seriously creepy movie, with an undead corpse that’s possessed by a demon. As if working at the morgue all alone, at night, isn’t bad enough? Megan, played by Shay Mitchell, meets challenges head on, even while doubting herself and trying to prove to herself and others that she can overcome her backstory. Strong female protagonist versus strong female (seriously creepy) antagonist equals a winner – not for the faint of heart!
Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Life-Size 2 (TV14) is available on FreeForm and Hulu. Tyra Banks put her heart and soul into this long-awaited sequel, but took at G-rated movie and made it definitely not for kids. Fans of the original will love it or hate it, depending a lot on their age. The Eve doll character, played by Banks, is still fun and alternatingly clueless and deep, but with a more adult sensibility this time around. We’ve left the original storyline behind, so no Lindsay Lohan, and a different (now grown-up) girl brings the Eve doll to life. Of course this is a redemption movie, with Grace beginning the story as a spoiled party girl who can’t take responsibility for her own life, let alone run her mother’s company. It’s predictable, and there are some fun moments, but overall we just can’t get over going from squeaky-clean-fun to OMG-did-they-just-say-that? TV14 is a bit of a stretch here.
Our rating: 2.33 out of 5

Christmas Wonderland (TVG) is a Hallmark movie. This holiday film stars Emily Osment as Heidi, who left her hometown, and high school boyfriend, to pursue a career as a painter in the big city. She ended up working in a gallery, but not using her own art talents. When she returns to her small town as a favor to her sister, and gets stuck there for a while, she and the old boyfriend have to work together to throw the best Snow Ball dance ever. Of course they clash, and then rekindle, and she re-discovers her passion for painting. Oops – spoilers? Nah – it’s formulaic. You know the story already, the names, places and exact circumstances have just been tweaked to create yet another version of the same tale. And yet, it works. This is what Hallmark excels at – feel-good movies, at Christmas or any time of year.
Our rating: 3.5 out of 5

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