Warning: this post contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
A new season of a beloved television series always brings out feelings of excitement and questions about where the narrative will go.
The trailer for the 3rd season of The Mandalorian was released earlier this week. After breaking the #1 rule in Mandalore of removing his helmet, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) has to redeem himself. Traveling the galaxy with Grogu (otherwise known as Baby Yoda), politics mingles with meeting up with old associates and new foes.
As usual, the details are being kept close to the vest, which is perfectly fine with me. I would rather wait to know what happens rather than be spoiled.
Am I looking forward to it? Absolutely?
Season 3 of The Mandalorian premieres on DisneyPlus on 3/1/23.
The American flag (or the flag of any nation) is much more than the cloth that is used to make it. It represents everything that the country stands for.
The new National Geographic/DisneyPlusdocumentary, The Flagmakers, is the story of the Eder Flag company in Wisconsin. Among the employees who create and ship out millions of flags every year are immigrants, refugees, and Americans who have lived in the area for years. Though they are all different, they have one thing in common: they truly believe in their work and the product they are making.
I enjoyed the film. It was a reminder that America is the world’s melting pot. Despite our different familial origins, religious beliefs, or skin color, it is possible to get along. The question is, do we take the opportunity to get to know someone, or do we judge them based on external factors?
Do I recommend it? Yes.
The Flagmakers is available for streaming on DisneyPlus.
Ridley Road: This PBS/Masterpiece program is based on the book of the same name by Jo Bloom. It tells the story of a young woman of Jewish descent in the 1960s who goes undercover to stop a Neo-Nazi group from destroying the UK.
Elvis: Austin Butler transforms himself into Elvis Presley, adding new layers to the music icon.
Call Jane: Elizabeth Banks plays a housewife whose pregnancy is not going well in the days before Roe v. Wade. Denied an abortion by the local hospital, she finds an underground group and soon joins them in their mission to help women.
Hocus Pocus 2: After 29 years, the Sanderson sisters are back. It has enough of its predecessor while holding its own in the best way possible.
Mr. Malcolm’s List: Based on the book of the same name by Suzanne Allain, Mr. Malcolm is the most coveted bachelor in this Jane Austen-inspired narrative. In order to fend off marriageable young ladies and their match-making mamas, he creates a list of qualities that his wife should have. Little does he know that it will soon be moot.
Downton Abbey: A New Era: This second film in the franchise opens the door to new stories while closing old ones in perfect fashion.
Most fairy tales end with the words “happily ever after”. While this is certainly a satisfying conclusion, there is always room for more.
The new DisneyPlus movie, Disenchanted, was released last weekend. The sequel to Enchanted, it has been fifteen years since the first film ended. Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and Giselle (Amy Adams) are happily married and have a baby girl of their own. Robert’s daughter Morgan (played by Gabriella Baldacchino) from his previous marriage is now a teenager and dealing with what we all went through at that age.
The gift they bestow leads Giselle to make a wish for her previous fairy tale life. As usually happens when this kind of yearning, it all goes to h*ll in a handbasket. It is up to Giselle and Morgan to save the day and return their world to what it was before.
I loved the movie. It was entertaining, funny, and the perfect follow-up to its predecessor. The easter eggs are fast and furious in the best way possible. As with Enchanted, Disney is lovingly mocking itself while recreating a narrative that fans know and love. My favorite character is Malvina. Rudolph is clearly having fun with the role, hamming it up to the nth degree.
All in all, it was a blast to watch and well worth the fifteen-year wait.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely. I would also not be surprised if it was on any top ten lists at the end of next month.
Disenchanted is available for streaming on DisneyPlus.
This time it is Becca (Whitney Peak) and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo) who light the black flame candle. The only way to stop the witches is with the help of their friend, Cassie (Lilia Buckingham), who has been spending all of her free time with her boyfriend. Working with the sister’s fanboy Gilbert (Sam Richardson), they know that Winifred, Mary, and Sarah must be stopped for good this time.
I could not help but smile during the film. The wait was worth it. It is as if the last 29 years have not existed. Midler, Najimy, and Parker slipped back into their roles as one would put on a beloved piece of clothing. The narrative is an organic continuation of the 1993 movie, taking the story in new directions in regard to the main characters.
The new characters also work well and are a nice extension of the original teenage protagonists. Becca, Izzy, and Cassie are an interesting mirror image of Winifred, Mary, and Sarah. For his part, Gilbert represents the myth of the witches that have grown within this world and within the fanbase.
It is a fun, exciting ride that takes the audience on a ride and ends in a manner that is lovely and unexpected.
The only thing that would have made it better would have been cameos from the original kid actors.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Hocus Pocus 2 is available for streaming on DisneyPlus.
There are two arguments when it comes to a prequel. One is that it allows a formerly minor character to get a little bit of time in the narrative spotlight. The other is that it is a cheap copout by the studio. Instead of giving voice to new stories, they are relying on a known (and perhaps too reliable) IP.
Andor premiered last Wednesday on DisneyPlus. In short, it is a prequel of a prequel. Five years before the events of A New Hope, it follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as he becomes the rebel that we know him to be in Rogue One.
While getting on the bad side of bureaucrat Syril Karn (Kyler Soller), he joins the rebellions by way of Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) and Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona).
So far, the first three episodes have been released. The connective tissue between the boy he was and the man he has become is starting to come together in a way that feels right for the character.
My favorite character so far is Maarva Andor (Fiona Shaw), Cassian’s adopted mother. She is not blind to what is happening and though she does not appear to have one, she has a spine made of steel.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
New episodes of Andor are released every Wednesday on DisneyPlus.
Within every fairy tale is a morality tale. The purpose is to teach our children (and our adults) how to behave.
The new film, Pinocchio is a live-actionreboot of the 1940 film of the same name. Based on the story by Carlo Collodi, Geppetto (Tom Hanks) has one wish: for a child of his own. He gets his wish when the Blue Fairy (Cynthia Erivo) brings Geppetto’s newest creation, a puppet to life. Named Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), he wants nothing more than to be a real boy and make his father proud.
But like any child, temptation pulls him in other directions. Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) tries to guide his charge to do the right thing, but he can only do so much. Will this puppet become a real child or is his fate to be just pieces of wood that only slightly resembles a human?
There is a nice balance of updating the narrative for our time while remaining true to the original cartoon. As usual, Hanks is the MVP, playing a complete 180 from his last film.
I noticed a couple of things that I obviously would not have seen as a child. The first is praying to a higher power or the universe (whichever one believes in), may actually bring in the desired results. The second is that you have to work for what you want. Pinocchio was not automatically turned into a human being, he had to earn it.
I haven’t seen the 1940 film in decades, but the message came through loud and clear. Though the story could be seen as slightly moralistic, the idea of listening to your gut applies to anyone of any age.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Pinocchio is available for streaming on DisneyPlus.
When we think of films or TV shows, we often think of the boldface names at the top of the credits: the director, the actors, the producers, the screenwriter(s), etc. For every name that is in large letters, there are many others whose work is important, but unknown by the audience.
Over the decades, ILM would not just become the pioneer for special effects. The company would also be behind the success of some of the biggest movies of our era, creating visual imagery that has caused multiple generations of fans to ask “how did they do that?”.
I enjoyed this documentary. It proves that determination, creativity, diligence, and coloring outside the box can change the world.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Light & Magic is available for streaming on Disneyplus.
Summer vacations, in their many forms, should be simple. A chance to get away from the every day, see something else, and generally take a breather. But anyone who has ever gone away will tell you that it can be far from simple.
Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation recently dropped on DisneyPlus. In this 45-minute kid-friendly film, Finn (voiced by Omar Miller) is more than excited to get away with his friends for a little while. But then they all scatter and Finn is left to wonder if his expectations were just a little too far from reality.
This movie is so much fun. it is adorable and fans of all ages will love it. The humor is mostly directed at a younger audience. However, there are a few easter eggs that the adults will recognize and get a chuckle out of.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation is available for streaming on DisneyPlus.
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