LIGHTYEAR – Review by T.J. Callahan

Lightyear: Come with a Buzz and you’ll leave with a smile. Lightyear is a prequel, of sorts, to Toy Story. Think of it as the movie Andy watched that made Buzz Lightyear his hero and inspired hia favorite doll. This is NOT a Toy Story movie. Even though they are animated, the characters in the film aren’t toys, but Space Rangers trying to get back to their planet after a mission mishap that took them to infinity and beyond.

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FREE GUY – Review by Susan Granger

If you missed Ryan Reynolds’ adventure/comedy Free Guy at theaters, it’s streaming on Disney+. Reynolds plays Guy, a mild-mannered bank teller who discovers he’s actually a background player in a popular, mayhem-filled video game called ‘Free City.’ When he falls in love with Molotov Girl, a spunky, sunglass-wearing, leather-clad biker-chick, he faces an existential crisis and decides to reinvent himself as a hero.

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THE SUICIDE SQUAD – Review by Susan Granger

The action/adventure/comedy The Suicide Squad is perhaps a quasi-sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, as writer/director James Gunn ventures into the DC Extended Universe, totally re-envisioning the super-villain franchise. Problem is: with little exposition and no character development, there’s no emotional resonance, making it more of a grotesque, R-rated comic-book-turned-video game than a movie.

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THE MANDALORIAN – Review by Susan Granger

The second season of Jon Favreau’s blockbuster live-action Disney+ series, a sci-fi spin-off from George Lucas’ Star Wars, is set five years after Return of the Jedi – meaning the Empire has fallen and the New Republic is in its ascendancy – this intergalactic adventure revolves around the mysterious, perpetually helmeted bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), an orphan who was rescued and raised by Mandalorian warriors.

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JOJO RABBIT – Review by Brandy McDonnell

Set in Germany during the waning days of WWII, the New Zealand filmmaker’s adaptation of Christine Leunen’s novel “Caging Skies” follows 10-year-old Jojo (wonderful newcomer Roman Griffin Davis), a new Hitler Youth recruit who so fancies himself a Nazi zealot that his imaginary friend is a clownish version of Adolf Hitler (Waititi, brilliantly eccentric).

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JOJO RABBIT – Review by Diane Carson

Some people consider satirizing the bigoted high and mighty unproductive. Others feel satire offers an effective way to bare and undermine evil, knowing laughter may be both therapeutic and effective, even politically empowering. Based on director Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, I’m in the latter camp, and all for more ridicule of depraved individuals.

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Feb. 9-15: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

Opening Feb. 13, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is What We Do in the Shadows, the hilarious vampire mockumentary from the New Zealand creators of the hit TV comedy Flight of the Conchords. Read on…

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