What to Watch in the Theater:
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PG) opens today. This is not a biopic or documentary about Mr. Rogers, but rather a glimpse into a portion of his life and work, that shows the effect he had on others. This film takes us on a journey of the unlikely development of a friendship between Fred Rogers, and the Esquire Magazine writer sent to profile him. Joel is skeptical about the saintly children’s TV host, and although he’s been assigned to do a puff piece, he wants to do his customary digging up dirt. As he delves deeper into the man’s world, Joel learns more about himself than he expected. This is a beautiful, heartwarming film full of hopeful messages, and Tom Hanks is extraordinary in the role of Mr. Rogers.
Our rating: 4.75 out of 5
Knives Out (PG13) opens on the 27th. This comedic murder mystery, with a large cast of (mostly) family suspects, calls to mind quite a few past ensemble mysteries – from Agatha Christie to Clue. When rich Harlan Thrombey appears to take his own life, famous detective Benoit Blanc finds everyone had something to gain from his death. Of course there are the stereotypical hangers-on in the family, and everyone has secrets, which are revealed in comical fashion. This film gives us much to laugh about but not too much to ponder over. It’s an entertaining ride, but the reveal could’ve come later and the twists could’ve been twisty-er.
Our rating: 4 out of 5
What to Watch at Home (Or Not):
Lady and the Tramp (PG) is streaming exclusively on Disney+. This live action remake of the beloved animated classic brings up the common question these days – did we really need a new version of this story? It’s not a bad movie, and the human cast is good (especially the relentless dog catcher), but the “live action” (at times too heavy on the CGI) animals talk, which is not our cup of tea. Although it follows the original’s storyline pretty well, this one includes some race and gender changes, to make the story more current. Some of the updates work (Jock) and some don’t (cats), we’d just rather stick with the original.
Our rating: 1.83 out of 5
Klaus (PG) is streaming exclusively on Netflix. This animated film is a fresh new take on the Santa Claus origin story. Jesper is the lazy, entitled son of the Postmaster, who assigns him to the post office in Smeerensburg, an icy remote island where the inhabitants are constantly feuding. There he meets toymaker, Klaus, and comes up with a scheme to generate letters, so he can fulfill his duty and return home. Of course, things don’t go quite the way he planned. This is a fun and heartwarming story that will make a nice addition to your holiday family entertainment.
Our rating: 4.17 out of 5
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