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OVER THE GARDEN WALL spins the tale of brothers Wirt (yes, his name is Wirt) and Greg hopelessly lost in a strange forest.

Clocking in at a mere 110 minutes (Ten 11 minute episodes), this Cartoon Network mini-series from 2014 is the perfect length and format for the story it tells. The show is a perfect mix of cute and creepy - the animation style is evocative of 30s and 40s cartoon art, which lends itself so well to the bizarre (and sometimes disturbing) characters Greg and Wirt encounter.

The Emmy-winning series was created by Patrick McHale, who's best known for his work on ADVENTURE TIME and the upcoming Guillermo del Toro's adapation of PINNOCCHIO, and stars Elijah Wood as older brother Wirt. If you're looking for a low-commitment show to watch that will have you smiling as you watch it but may also give you nightmares, OVER THE GARDEN WALL is for you. OVER THE GARDEN WALL is available to stream on HBO Max.

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Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman stars in this family drama about an elderly London man, slowly losing his mind and self to dementia, while his daughter does her best to care for him. Remarkable, even Oscar-worthy performances from these two fine actors, along with stylish directing from Florian Zeller, who wrote the original stage play, have a hard time overcoming an all-to-familiar story.

All the tropes of dementia are present – the growing confusion and memory loss, the increasing hallucinations and, of course, the wild mood swings. Zeller does a fine job of ‘gaslighting’ the viewing audience to better experience what Hopkin’s character of Anthony is going through. But that effect grows weary and the slow pacing and moody camera work make for a dreary experience where this fine movie fails to break out of its source material confinements.

Ultimately, THE FATHER, stunning in its lead performances, is hampered by a familiar story and stage play staging.

In Theaters on Feb. 26, 2021 in limited release.

Want a second opinion on THE FATHER - check out Aaron's review here.

BREAKING NEWS: NEWS OF THE WORLD fails to hitch its wagon to a compelling ride worthy of the $20 admission price.

Director Paul Greengrass is known for his shaky camera work, yet he surprisingly adapts to fit the techniques of the western without completely losing his signature style. It helps that he’s re-teaming with Tom Hanks. The two previously worked together on the superior CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.

This timely episodic tale has hints of relevance with “fake news” moments and the anger spewing racism it creates. However, the film is more focused on Hanks’s relationship with 10 year old newcomer, Helena Zengel. Their scenes together are dynamic, however it’s not enough to carry the weight of the movie’s theme where both characters are learning that “to move forward, they must remember first.”

What stuck with me most from NEWS OF THE WORLD is Hanks’s rendition of Captain Kidd, a truth teller in a post civil war world that is not ready to hear the truth.

The TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read) per my friend, “NEWS OF THE WORLD is CASTAWAY, with Johanna playing the part of Wilson.”

It is available on all VOD (Video on Demand) services.


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