This live-action reworking of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid is devoid of social or political undercurrents and untethered from recognizable reality – precisely the kind of fantasy film that should appease moviegoers critical of how the Marvel universe or the Star Wars series get too close to reality.
The atmosphere of mourning in Deepak Rauniyar’s wistful White Sun isn’t just the result of the sudden death of the revered former leader of a remote mountain village. Nepal, as the remaining elders once knew it, died when the monarchy was overthrown after a decade of civil war.
Director Barnet Bain aims for Milton’s Secret to be a soothing balm for scary times. The film captures the slow release of relief that comforts Milton Adams (William Ainscough) as his 12th birthday nears, and a visit from his grandfather (Donald Sutherland) makes all the difference.
The ever-so-slightly fractured fairy tale Room on the Broom is pure delight, like the bubbly laugh of the witch who collects a menagerie of unlikely traveling companions. With a dash of drollery, Simon Pegg crisply narrates the text of Julia Donaldson’s picture book.
When widower J.T. O’Neil (Steve Lemme) moves 10-year-old daughter Chandler (Rylie Jo Behr) and their dog Shakey from Toledo to Chicago, they go from congenial Mud Hens country to a status-obsessed city with two MLB teams. J.T. is also joining the big leagues, preparing cuisine