A wide selection of TV shows and movies for your weekend entertainment viewing have just been released.
“Lightyear” Grade C+: The film provides the backstory for the Buzz Lightyear toy that Andy loved so much in the “Toy Story” offerings. The toy is based on a science fiction movie that was supposedly released when Andy was a child. “Lightyear” is that movie.
The film has problems including Chris Evans providing the voice for Buzz in “Lightyear.” Evans brings the heroic tone needed for the character but it would have made more sense for Tim Allen to reprise the role as he spoke for Buzz in all those “Toy Story” movies.
Under Angus MacLane’s direction, “Lightyear” hits enough key points to make the film work as long as you can overlook the writing gaffes.
“The White Lotus” Grade A-: Be careful if you decide to watch one episode of this series about a group of visitors facing a wild array of problems while at a Hawaiian resort. It is highly addictive.
What draws you in is the smart writing by Mike White and superb performances by the entire cast but especially by Murray Bartlett.
“Where the Crawdads Sing” Grade C: The drama is based on the best-selling novel by Delia Owens. The loyal fans of the book will be at a great advantage over those who have not read the work because the big-screen adaptation by director Olivia Newman and Lucy Alibar fails to find a distinct tone and cohesive storyline.
The way the film is structured, it is as if Alibar opted to skip every other page of the book. There are gaps, huge questions and missed writing opportunities from the first moments in the South Carolina swamps (that were actually filmed in Louisiana).
“Where the Crawdads Sing” has some positive elements especially the work of Daisy Edgar-Jones and David Strathairn. The basic story idea is there but never finds the kind of fluidity – be it romantic or criminal – needed to carry the uninformed to a satisfying ending.
“Elvis” Grade B: The portrayal of Elvis Presley by Austin Butler is so good it often looks like the film from Baz Luhrmann has slipped in real footage. It is Butler’s performance that makes this look at the King work.
The same can’t be said for Tim Hanks as Col. Tom Parker. Unlike Butler who transforms himself into Elvis, Hanks never becomes Parker and that hurts the overall illusion.
“Lucifer: The Sixth and Final Season” Grade A-: It is sad to know this will be the last season to watch Tom Ellis have so much fun playing this devilish role. But, the series does wrap up in a satisfying way.
The series based on the comic book created by Neil Gaiman is both a fun mystery tale and a slightly weird love story. Both work because of Ellis.
Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of Sept. 13
“Flowers in the Attic: The Origin”: The family history that eventually leads to the young children being locked away is revealed.
“George A. Romero’s Amusement Park”: Elderly man who finds himself increasingly isolated sees the pains of aging manifested through roller coasters and chaotic crowds.
“Deus”: A crew is sent to investigate a mysterious black sphere discovered in the orbit of Mars.
“Sniper: The White Raven”: After suffering a tragedy at the hand of invading soldiers in the Donbas region in 2014, a former Ukrainian physics teacher renounces his peaceful way of life and seeks revenge.
“Bloom Up”: Portrait of a relationship that gives equal weight to the mundane and the logistics of organizing sex parties.
“Cobra Kai: Season 4”: Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang dojos join forces to take down Cobra Kai at the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament.
“The Legend of Hawes”: The lone survivor of a deadly attack hires a dangerous Gunman to help her track and exact revenge on the marauders.
“Cave Rescue”: When rising floodwaters trap a soccer team in a cave system in Thailand, an Irish cave diver (Jim Warny) joins the massive effort to save them.
Available on digital platforms
“Carp-E Diem”: Two drifters steal the identities of drug dealers.
“The Domain”: Landowner’s independence and happiness are threatened by conflicting political forces and family dysfunction.