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 Pee-wee, the spastic child with a neat, out-of-date preppie suit and a […]

David Bradley stars in the 1969 drama by Ken Loach

‘Kes’ – a boy and his kestrel on Amazon Prime

The story of a boy and his bird, Kes (1969) is something of a small cinematic treasure in Britain. Set and shot in the North of England and cast overwhelming with non-professional locals from the area, it cast its lens on the dreary life and hopeless future of a scrawny, fatherless teenager, Billy Casper (David […]

Gene Wilder is Willy Wonka in the musical adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel

The original ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ – a world of pure imagination

“Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.” Gene Wilder is the weird, wonderful, slightly sinister candy bar king who invites five children into his factory kingdom in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), a musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s fantasy. It is a rare breed: an imaginative live-action […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

Eight Classic Christmas Movies to Stream in 2020

It’s 2020 and there are more streaming services than ever offering up Christmas movies, so many that you may not be able to sort through all the modern Christmas comedies, Hallmark holiday romances, and Netflix originals to find the classics of yesteryear. Here’s our guide to finding eight Hollywood Christmas classics, from the obvious to […]

‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ – a musical for all seasons on HBO Max

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Vincent Minelli’s first Technicolor film, is the ultimate in Hollywood Americana and a masterful musical that turned Judy Garland into a true leading lady. A celebration of old fashioned values in song, dance, and family melodrama in turn-of-the-century St. Louis, the glowingly nostalgic tale follows a year in the […]

Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, and Natalie Wood star, George Seaton directs

The original ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ on Disney+

Is there a more warmhearted celebration of Christmas cheer amid the urban reality of modern America than the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947)? It’s a Wonderful Life may be the cult film of the Christmas season, a holiday noir that slips into nightmare before pulling out its happy ending. But the idealized small town […]