‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’ on Netflix and Hulu

A town gets a buffet line for a weather system in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009), a colorful animated feature based on a children’s storybook tale. Director/writer team Phil Lord and Chris Miller cobble a story around the storybook’s premise but it’s the whimsical imagery of raining hamburgers, a Jell-O mold castle, an […]

‘My Neighbor Totoro’ on HBO Max

Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan’s living treasures, a beloved filmmaker whose animated films number among the most beautiful and most enchanting productions ever drawn by hand. In this day of CGI productions, the aging artist still personally draws his key frames and defining characters, with a love and craft that comes through every frame. […]

Johnny Depp is a lizard in the old West in ‘Rango’ on Netflix

Johnny Depp taps into his inner lizard for the animated adventure Rango (2011). He provides the voice of a pet chameleon with thespian ambitions who gets lost in the desert and takes the role of sheriff in a desert town, only find that what he thought was on old Hollywood oater is actually a spaghetti […]

Paul Reubens is Pee-wee Herman in 'Pee-wee's Big Adventure.'

‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’ on HBO Max

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) is the big screen debut for both the Paul Reubens alter ego Pee-wee Herman, the children’s TV show character he originally created in a live comedy revue, and director Tim Burton, and it was a perfect melding of sensibilities. Pee-wee, the spastic child with a neat, out-of-date preppie suit and a […]

'Back to the Future' and its sequels with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd

‘Back to the Future’ trilogy on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

“The future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.” Michael J. Fox goes backwards, forwards, and sideways through time as Marty McFly in a souped-up DeLorean for the first time in Back to the Future (1985), where he jaunts back to 1955, meets his parents (Crispin Glover and Lea Thompson), and […]

What to stream: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ on HBO Max, ‘Soul’ on Disney+, ‘Midnight Sky’ and ‘Bridgerton’ on Netflix

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Gal Gadot returns as the screen’s greatest Amazon warrior in “Wonder Woman 1984” (2020, PG-13), living quietly among humans in Washington DC until she’s roused to action by a magical ancient artifact […]

Tom Hanks is ‘Big’ on Disney+

Big (1988) arrived in theaters amidst a spate of films about adults and children swapping bodies. There’s no swap involved in this story—an adolescent boy named Josh makes a wish that he was big on a midway fortune-telling machine and wakes up in the body of Tom Hanks—but this warm-hearted comedy was by far the […]

Henry Thomas and friend in Steven Spielberg's beloved science fiction fantasy

‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ on Peacock

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Steven Spielberg’s suburban fairy tale for kids who think they are too hip to believe in fairies, is as glorious as ever decades after its debut. Henry Thomas is Elliot, an emotionally bruised kid suffering under his parents’ separation who finds another lonely, lost soul, a benevolent alien left behind when […]

‘Ponyo’ – Hayao Miyaki’s ‘Little Mermaid’ fable on HBO Max

Part Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, part ecological fable, and part children’s fantasy come to life, Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo (Japan, 2008) is a gentle storybook film, a simple, sweet tale animated with a delicacy unique to animated features. Ponyo is a water sprite, a curious undersea creature and daughter of the sea gods who […]

‘Big Hero 6’ on Disney+

Big Hero 6 (2014) is an adaptation of a Marvel Comics title but the filmmakers thoroughly transform it into a Disney feature, complete with issues of loss and family at the center of the creation of a student superhero team, with the spark of Pixar in its visual invention and knowing wit. The comic book […]