What to Watch in the Theater:
UglyDolls (PG) is in theaters now. Moxy is living her best life in Uglyville, looking forward to the day she finally gets to belong to a child. When she and her friends try to find the wide world, they end up at the Institute of Perfection, which is led by the evil Lou. They are bullied and made to feel that they don’t belong anywhere, but make some new friends who can see that their differences are what makes them unique. There are great messages about loving yourself and embracing your uniqueness, though they are sometimes overshadowed by the emphasis on achieving perfection. The messages are mixed, with the positivity fighting its way through, possibly a little late for young attention spans. Talented voice cast and catchy music add to the bright visuals, for an overall enjoyable ride, with a few bumps along the way.
Our rating: 4 out of 5
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (PG) opens today. After Tim learns his estranged father has passed away, he meets up with Pikachu, who can actually converse with him! Pikachu is certain his partner (Tim’s dad) is alive, so he and Tim do some sleuthing, along with a young reporter who’s been sniffing around. Their adventure includes danger, a whole lot of Pokemon characters, and some twisty-ness. We were concerned about our lack of Pokemon knowledge at the start, but were still able to connect with and enjoy the story. Plus Pikachu is just so darn cute! This one’s got everything – action, humor and heart. (Our rating would have been higher if we were Pokemon fans. Pikachu is the only one we know, so the representation of other characters is really lost on us. True fans at the screening seemed very excited about seeing their favorites on screen.)
Our rating: 4 out of 5
What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (R) is available on DVD and streaming on Amazon Prime. This story, about a young writer who disappears after finding early success, started a bit slowly, and was a little confusing because it’s told in flashback over three time periods. Once we figured that out, it became more compelling, as major plot points and surprises were revealed. Logan Lerman plays the title character well at different ages, with a strong supporting cast.
Our rating: 3.67 out of 5
The Last Summer (TV14) is streaming exclusively on Netflix. This movie is about a bunch of high schoolers during their summer between high school and college. They’re a likable bunch, whose paths intertwine through relationships and the parties they attend. Of course, their actions don’t always make sense, but they make the best choices they can. It’s an entertaining story, following several plot lines over a short period of time. Popular “teen” actors, like Maia Mitchell, KJ Apa, Tyler Posey, Jacob Latimore, and Halston Sage are part of the cast.
Our rating: 3.33 out of 5
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