Fantasy

[6.0] The children from It: Chapter One are all grown up when Chapter Two begins with an eye-witness sighting of Pennywise (Bill SkarsgĂ„rd) finishing off the victim of a hate crime. Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) summons the group back to Derry, Maine, twenty-seven years after they first vanquished the evil clown creature in the caverns beneath the Derry Lake. But fear gets the better of one …

[5.0] After being part of an ensemble in The Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie returns in the role of Harley Quinn — a character that really isn’t built to carry her own movie. She’s a former psychiatrist who fell in love with the Joker and turned to the dark side. In other words, she’s nuts and dangerous. She can only function as a funny, charismatic villain, …

[7.0] It’s best to go into The Rise of Skywalker knowing that this third Star Wars trilogy has never had a strong guiding hand. It’s not the result of a carefully premeditated creative effort. Creator George Lucas was not there watching over everything for these three films — and for good and for bad, it shows. Episode 9 is the result of a studio panicking …

[8.0] Ewan McGregor stars as the grown-up version of Danny Torrance from The Shining. Doctor Sleep is a sequel to that horror classic, both films based on books by the premiere horror writer of our time — Stephen King. Danny is known as ‘Doctor Sleep’ by patients of a hospice facility, where he uses his ‘shining’ ability to provide comfort to people as they transition …

[8.0] Movies like The Lighthouse sure don’t hit the multiplex very often. Hot off his astounding debut feature, The Witch, writer/director Robert Eggers’ sophomore effort is a horrifically surreal pitch-black comedy about two men going mad in a remote lighthouse in the 1890s. Robert Pattinson, distancing himself from Twilight fame with increasingly remarkable performances, plays the younger of the two sea dogs. His character is …

[6.0] Tom Holland is far and away the best reason to ever see a Spider-Man movie these days. He’s charming, charismatic, funny and incredibly watchable. So as long as he’s our Spidey/Peter Parker, I guess I’ll keep watching these spider flicks. What else is good about Far From Home? It’s nice to see parts of Venice and Prague. Some of Peter Parker’s friends have cute …

[3.0] Maybe Alice Sebold’s novel is a different and more worthwhile experience. But not having read it, I’m pondering what the hell I’m supposed to take away from Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Lovely Bones. The movie is about a dead 14-year-old (Saoirse Ronan) who is stuck in some sort of purgatory where she can look in on her grieving family, as well as …

[5.5] Himesh Patel stars as a struggling singer/songwriter who wakes up from a street accident to learn the world is just a wee bit different than it was before he blacked out — The Beatles no longer exist. There are other changes, too, but Patel’s character decides to make the most of everyone’s collective amnesia and starts performing The Beatles’ songs. Before long, he’s a …

[4.0] The Darling children — Wendy, Michael, and John — take a magical trip to Neverland with a hero only children can see or believe in: Peter Pan. Once there, they meet Pan’s Lost Boys, visit the mermaids, pow-wow with the Indians, and have a couple of entanglements with the dastardly Captain Hook. Peter Pan is not one of my favorite Disney animated ‘classics’. I …

[6.5] This American/Japanese animated venture would be the first feature-length movie journey into J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Produced by Rankin/Bass (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Last Unicorn) and animated by the studio that would later become Studio Ghibli, The Hobbit is a brisk 77-minute adaptation that features many folksy songs and a notable voice cast led by John Huston as Gandalf. While it may be …

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