Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for the latest offerings from a pair of iconic franchises: The Peanuts Movie and Spectre.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
First up: Hapless Charlie Brown tries to reinvent himself in The Peanuts Movie.
As animation goes, The Peanuts Movie is classically cartoonish, nothing revolutionary. If you pay to see it in 3D, you've probably wasted your money; you'd do better to put the extra two bucks towards a second 2D screening. That out of the way, The Peanuts Movie is otherwise PERFECT. The story is classic Peanuts: luckless Charlie Brown attempts to impress the Little Red-Haired Girl.
That sounds pretty thin, but the film--even including an Ice Age short--is barely longer than your average TV special, and the main storyline is spelled by chapters of the WWI Flying Ace's never-ending battle with the Red Baron, so it holds up just fine. There's nothing in the movie that requires viewers to have previous Peanuts knowledge, but if you're a fan...boy are you going to be happy.
This movie has absolutely everything a Peanuts lover could want...Vince Guaraldi's musical themes, Lucy's "Psychiatric Help" booth, Schroeder's Beethoven obsession, and "Sirs" and "Blockheads" to spare...hell, even Marcie and Franklin get a decent amount of screen time! Nostalgia is laid on good and thick, but not in a patronizing way that detracts from what's overall a delightful film for the entire family. The Peanuts Movie also bears a lesson about self-worth that's important, but never overbearing. My theatre gave the movie an enthusiastic round of applause as the end-credits rolled.
The Peanuts Movie runs 93 minutes and is rated G.
When classic properties are remade or rebooted, the Internet is fond of saying: "Childhood: ruined;" however, in the case of The Peanuts Movie, it's more like Childhood: regained.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, The Peanuts Movie gets eight.
Next on the agenda, James Bond's latest outing: Spectre.
Bond's past haunts his present as he tries to derail a sinister foe's dastardly plan.
Dear Internet Blurbs: Spectre is no Skyfall, we get it. It's still pretty great, though, eh? Well, at least I thought so.
Spectre is looooooong...like, almost-two-and-a-half-hours long. I'm always the first to cast the stinkeye at any runtime that exceeds two hours, but in this case it would be an unfair complaint; I'm sure the movie could have been trimmed here or there, but it never feels like it should have been.
The spectacular opening scene--beautifully set in Mexico City during a Dia de los Muertos celebration--sets the tone for what follows: a sexy, funny, sometimes cheesy (in the best way), fast-paced thriller that does the 007 franchise proud. Craig's Bond is on point as both super-spy and ladies' man, with a healthy dose of "haunted by the past" thrown in for good measure.
The supporting cast is terrific, though the always-wonderful Christoph Waltz is MIA for most of the first hour, and I'd hoped for a bit more Ben Whishaw. *sigh* Well-placed humor lightens the tone amid frenetic action sequences, all set against the backdrop of some of the world's most beautiful locations.
Spectre clocks in at 148 minutes and is rated PG13 for "intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality, and language."
Spectre may be a less perfect outing than its predecessor, but it's still a lot of fun.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Spectre gets seven and a half.
Until next time...