With a full week off for Thanksgiving, I wanted to make sure I watched as many movies as I could. And with several new releases in theaters and on streaming services, it wasn’t tough to see a movie nearly every day. Here’s what I saw, with brief reviews of each.
- A Christmas Story Christmas (HBO Max): Ralphie is married with two kids and is a struggling writer when his father dies right before Christmas. Ralphie throws his family in the car and drives home to be with his mom, and from there the film is patterned after the original. Bullies? Check. Triple dog dare ya? Check. Active imagination fantasies at possible outcomes? Check. Was this a movie I’ll come back to every Christmas? Probably not. But it was a nice way to spend a Friday night.
2. Spirited (Apple TV+): Watching the opening credits and seeing that Pasek and Paul did the music for this Christmas Carol-inspired film, I knew I’d cry at least once. Something about their lyrics and music just hits me (see: Lala Land, The Greatest Showman). This film has Ryan Reynolds doing Ryan Reynolds things and Will Ferrell being genuine a la Elf and Stranger Than Fiction. So many surprises in this one that I refuse to give away, so I’ll just say this: it’s worth your time, and I cried twice.
3. Sidney (Apple TV +): I’m a sucker for a celebrity documentary, and this one about the life of Sidney Poitier did not disappoint. Interviews with his children, friends, actors and directors inspired by him–and Poitier himself–give varied perspectives on how his film career intersected with working for civil rights in the U.S. As I get older, I feel more passionate about preserving stories from the past that inform the present. Sidney is one of those films that I wish could be required viewing.
4. Glass Onion (in theaters now, on Netflix in December): Here’s all I want to say about this one. I want everyone I know and love to see this movie in its purest form, void of opinions, details, or spoilers.
5. The Fabelmans (in theaters): Steven Spielberg has such a prolific career that a vanity project was inevitable, hence, The Fabelmans. It’s a semi-autobiographical film that he wrote with Tony Kushner (whose work I adore). It has typical Spielberg markers, along with a couple of really cool Spielberg-centric Easter eggs, but its 168 minute run time feels long—I looked at my watch twice to approximate how much time was left. If you’re a Spielberg fan and want to learn more about his life, I recommend watching the HBO documentary Spielberg first, and then The Fabelmans.
6. Disenchanted (Disney+): This sequel to “Enchanted” had a very “Into the Woods” vibe to it. What happens when you get happily ever after? Gisele realizes that, try as she might, a fairy tale life just isn’t real. I enjoyed the songs and big production numbers, and just like Spielberg did in The Fabelmans, there’s some Easter eggs for long-time Disney consumers.
There are still movies I didn’t get to that are still on my list. It was nice to be back in the theaters for the first time since July, so I just need to get back to making that part of my life. From the previews I saw in just two films, there’s plenty of content coming out soon.
See any good movies lately?