What to Watch in the Theater:
Mortal Engines (PG13) is in theaters now. We can see this dystopian film’s similarity to many others, ranging from Howl’s Moving Castle and Mad Max, to even Star Wars. The story shows a future where humans have blown the earth into a barren wasteland, and most of mankind live on moving cities and small towns. When the big city of London swallows up a small town that contains Hester Shaw, she now has an opportunity to avenge her mother’s death. The murderer has set his sights on an even greater evil purpose, and Hester teams up with steampunk aviators to try to foil him. It’s not a bad movie, actually, it just suffers from a Peter Jackson-size budget.
Our rating: 3.83 out of 5
Mary Poppins Returns (PG) is in theaters now. Everyone’s favorite nanny is back, with a similar storyline set 25 years after the original. Michael Banks has 3 kids of his own, his wife has passed away, and he’s on the verge of losing that oh-so-familiar family home. Mary Poppins to the rescue! As before, she brings a sense of order, while embracing the whimsy in life, taking the Banks children on singing, dancing and animated adventures. The magic is the same, but different, with new characters in place of old. The homages are many, and this film not only stands well on its own feet, but also serves as a reminder that the original will always be that, and that the story can continue without detracting from our love for the past. Well done, Disney! We’re reserving a spot on our shelf for this one now, right next to the original Mary Poppins, where they’ll both live in practically perfect harmony.
Our rating: 4.83 out of 5
What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Searching (PG13) is on DVD. This “desktop movie” shows the story unfolding as if it’s being watching on a computer – through video chats, emails, online videos, texts, web sites, etc. The story deals with a father desperately trying to find his missing teenage daughter. As he works with police to retrace her steps, he learns he and his daughter have been more disconnected than he thought, since his wife/her mother passed away recently. We see the good and bad of social media in this situation, and learn that all is not what it may seem. It’s a riveting story told from an interesting point of view.
Our rating: 4 out of 5
Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable (not rated) is streaming exclusively on Netflix. This hourlong special is Ellen’s return to standup comedy after 15 years of daytime television. Her material truly lives up to the name – the fun is genuine, combining the best of self deprecating comedy with some personal insights. The jokes are fresh and the laughs come easy. There’s nothing shocking, political or nasty – and we enjoyed every minute of it. There is some language, so this may not be for the youngest family members.
Our rating: 4.67 out of 5
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