‘Up’ – a wondrous animated odyssey on Disney+

The fantastical adventure from Pixar is a film of whimsy and wonder, mixing Jules Verne imagination with the bubble-gum colors of a children’s picture book and Pixar’s trademark bouncy humor, all stirred with memories of childhood dreams.

Last chance: The United States of ‘Zombieland’ on Netflix

The zombie comedy was hardly fresh territory when Zombieland (2009) came along (and really, will anyone top Shaun of the Dead?) but it nonetheless does a fine job of mining the humor inherent in the end of the world. Jesse Eisenberg is the loner college geek who finds that his obsessive-compulsive instincts are just what […]

‘Whip It’ – grrrl power on the roller derby rink on Hulu

Whip It (2009), the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore, is a grrrl power movie on wheels. Set in the funky DIY world of local roller derby leagues, it stars Elliot Page in their best role since Juno. Bliss Cavendar is neither as smart-ass nor as confident as the sardonic Juno MacGuff. This restless girl in […]

John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the Euro-action film from producer Luc Besson and director Pierre Morel

‘From Paris With Love’ – Euro-action on Hulu

From Paris With Love (2009), starring John Travolta as a cowboy of an American agent and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as an ambitious but untrained low-level agent assigned to assist, is another of Luc Besson’s English language Euro-action films, the contemporary equivalent to the drive-in action movie of decades past. Besson has perfected the formula in […]

‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’ on IMDbTV

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 […]

Last chance: Morgan Freeman is Nelson Mandella in ‘Invictus’ on Netflix

Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandella as the newly-elected President of South Africa in Invictus (2009), Clint Eastwood’s reverent tribute to Nelson Mandella’s efforts to unite post-apartheid South Africa. This isn’t a biography of Mandella. Audiences come to the film with the understanding that Nelson Mandella spent 24 years in prison for protesting South Africa’s apartheid […]