What to Watch in the Theater:
Captain Marvel (PG13) is in theaters now. This is the long-awaited backstory for the most powerful Marvel hero AND the first standalone female superhero movie in the MCU. Those are big shoes to fill, but this movie does not disappoint. We get not only a new character, but possibly (hopefully) a savior for the Avengers. Carol Danvers (or Vers, as she’s known for most of the film) is incredibly strong but also flawed, trying to piece together her memories and gradually make sense of the last six years of her life. This movie pairs 90s style with pop culture references, gives us a glimpse of the past for familiar characters, and provides a whole lot of action. Questions are suitably asked and answered, and we can’t wait to see how Captain America fits in with the rest of the Avengers. Don’t miss the opening credits homage to Stan Lee, and OF COURSE, stay till the very end of the credits for clues to the continuation of the story.
Our rating: 4.33 out of 5
Wonder Park (PG) opens today. This heartwarming animated film follows June, whose vivid imagination takes over her childhood – and home – when she joins with her mother to design an amusement park and populate it with fun characters. When her mom gets sick and has to leave home for treatment, June turns her back on the project, removing all reminders of that happiness from her life. June comes across a real Wonderland in the woods, where the characters are in danger and the park is in disrepair, and she helps them bring the place back to life. The park is full of fun characters, and the journey helps June cope with her mom’s absence. This is great family-friendly entertainment that shares a message about the important role wonder plays in our lives.
Our rating: 4.75 out of 5
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (PG) opens today. This modern re-telling of the first Nancy Drew book has a very different aesthetic is very different from the 2007 Emma Roberts vehicle. Nancy is younger and perhaps more relatable in this one, but doesn’t face the consequences for her crimes (pranking, picking locks, etc.). Although she IS helping people with her sleuthing, this gives a mixed message when she’s so easily excused and thus comes across as irresponsible. Nancy is always an inspiring character, using her brain to follow clues and help people along the way. This would make a good TV series (reboot), with each story wrapping up in less time.
Our rating: 3.67 out of 5
What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Benji (TV-PG) is streaming exclusively on Netflix. Joe Camp, creator of the much-loved 1974 original and all its sequels, teams up with his son and Jason Blum (that was a surprise!) to bring back the furry friend we didn’t know we’d been missing. While it will be nostalgic for parents who grew up with the original, this movie stands in its own right, because the tale of connection between kids and dogs is timeless. There are no talking dogs here, just an incredibly talented Benji, who springs into action to save the kids who took him in. He fills a void in the family’s life with love and devotion, and keeps the audience engaged with good clean family entertainment.
Our rating: 4 out of 5
Plus box office results and our interview with Matt Johnson, Visual Effects Supervisor for Mary Poppins Returns (available now on digital and out on DVD/Blu-Ray/4K Ultra HD March 19th).