Illumination Entertainment brings Dr. Seuss’ beloved story to the modern age with 3D animation and the vocal talent of Benedict Cumberbatch. The Grinch hates Christmas and plans to thwart the festivities of the Christmas-loving denizens of nearby Whoville, but after donning the Santa Claus outfit to steal their presents away, has to confront the wishes of a young girl who needs Santa’s help.
Mackenzie Foy stars as Clara, suffering through grief with her father and two siblings during their first holiday without her recently deceased mother, Marie. Clara receives an enigmatic and ornate Christmas gift, the last from her mother, a metallic contraption shaped like an egg with an elaborate keyhole that came with no key that might fit accompanying it. She is despondent that she cannot open it without ruining it, and it causes her to be depressed during the big holiday gala put on by her godfather, Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman). who, it turns out, had created the egg for her mother. During the events of the evening at Drosselmeyer’s mansion, she follows a string that will lead to Drosselmeyer’s own gift to her, way out from the party and into another dimension, to a mystical and magic-fueled world called the Four Realms.
BULLITT COUNTY is a small-scale dramatic thriller set in the late 1970s, where a bachelor party trip to Kentucky Bourbon country could prove lucrative when the quatrtet of friends decide to head off the beaten path to search for a cache of buried treasure on Bullitt family private property. Written, directed and co-starring David McCracken, the film echoes bits and pieces of ’70s character-driven thrillers mixed with more modern film-making takes from the likes of Tarantino and the Coen Brothers.
Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode in this sequel that ignores all others in the franchise after John Carpenter’s 1978 original HALLOWEEN. Michael Myers breaks from his prison existence to return to where it all started, in Haddonfield, IL, during Halloween. Esteemed filmmaker David Gordon Green directs and co-scripts this intriguing return to look at trauma-survivor Strode and the inevitability that predator and prey will once again battle it out for survival, even forty years later.
Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder star as bickering travelers who just so happen to be going to the same destination: a wedding of her ex, and his half-brother, who neither of them particularly hopes is happy. Two unhappy people surrounded by mirth leads to a toxic concoction of feelings, but the two unlucky lovers find a bond in their despair that may be just as strong as that of initial attraction. “Mad About You” producer Victor Levin directs this anti-romantic comedy.
The Marvel Comics villain gets the antihero treatment in this Spiderman-less origin story filled with grotesque body horror and lots of crazy CGI-infused action. Tom Hardy stars as reporter Eddie Brock, who finds himself the host of an alien symbiote he discovers within a hi-tech laboratory he’s investigating. That alien needs live organs to feast upon, which means Eddie’s if he can’t find other things for “Venom”, which is what the symbiote calls himself, to ravenously consume. Michelle Williams stars as Brock’s ex-fiance, and Riz Ahmed is the head of the corporate lab out to experiment on the living in order for humans to try to survive on other planets when this one is no longer, inevitably, inhabitable. Zombieland’s Ruben Fleischer directs.
Set in a small town called New Zebedee, in Michigan during the mid 1950s, we follow the adventures of a ten-year-old orphan named Lewis Barnavelt, mourning the recent loss of his parents to a fatal car accident, staying in the rickety and seemingly haunted Victorian mansion of his uncle, Jonathan. Jonathan is an eccentric warlock often visited by his neighbor, a witch named Mrs. Zimmerman, and the mansion he resides in is anything but mundane. A new home also means a new school for Lewis, who is immediately labeled as a square by his peers and subsequently picked on as he tries in vain to make a friend. School isn’t the only place of learning for the boy, as Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman begin to teach him the ways of the warlocks, whose acts are spurred on by visions of his dead mother, while they mysteriously spend their time looking for a fabled clock hidden within the walls of the mansion. Jack Black and Cate Blanchett co-star in this PG-rated film by Eli Roth.
Shane Black tries to do what no one has done thus far, and that’s to make a good follow-up to John McTiernan’s 1997 action classic, PREDATOR. Here, the Predators are back searching for their old technology, and possibly taking over the Earth, having to confront a rag-tag group of disgrace military vets in their way. Boyd Holdbrook, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes and Jacob Tremblay also appear.
John Cho stars as a widower father whose life gets turned upside down when his teenage daughter goes missing. As he goes online to search for clues to her whereabouts, he discovers that the close relationship he thought he had with her may not have been as tight-knit as he was led to believe. Debra Messing co-stars as the missing-persons detective on the beat in this nifty thriller that sets all of its actions on the screens of a variety of computer devices.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? examines the life and work of Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers, who was the creator and star of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” on public television (PBS) from the years 1968 to 2001. He invited children to come into his home, sing them a song, make them feel safe as he imparted life lessons, then whisked them off to the Land of Make-Believe to further explore metaphors of understanding before he saw them off to the rest of their day. Rogers followed the career path to television as an alternative to pursing his Presbyterian ministry, primarily because he perceived that the level of silly and, to some degree, harmful entertainment that feeds the minds of youth on television was contributing to a culture of uncaring and self-centered youth who were seen as only vessels to toward whom to sell consumer products. Rogers felt that television could also be used as a medium in which he could do the most good if he were to use it as an educational and inspirational tool, especially in entertainment that he felt would best shape the minds of future generations to come.