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.
In this puppet/human effort directed by Brian Henson, son of Muppets creator Jim Henson, Bill Barretta voices the top puppet character known as disgraced burnout Los Angeles-based private investigator Phil Phillips, who has to get to the bottom of a series of murders among the stars of a decades-old television show with a puppet cast of actors called, “The Happytime Gang”. Melissa McCarthy gets the top human role, playing police detective Connie Edwards, Phil’s former, now estranged, partner in crime-fighting from his days on the force, who joins in to reluctantly assist. Even if the characters look like Muppets, it’s a very raunchy, ultra-violent effort not meant for children.