1. Spectre (Sony/Columbia, 3,929 Theaters, 148 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 62% Fresh [147 Reviews]): Okay, this is a James Bond film. By this point and time, you should not only know what to expect from a Bond film, but also know what to expect from a Daniel Craig Bond film. No matter what I say will not sway you from your decision to either see this film or skip it. But I have to write something here, so here it goes.
This time around, Bond stumbles on a secret group of evildoers named Spectre. His hunt for them is complicated when talk begins of decommissioning MI6, putting Bond and his cohorts out of a job.
Early word from Bond fans has been positive, even if the film has been greeted lukewarmly by the critics. Take that as you will.
2. The Peanuts Movie (Fox, 3,897 Theaters, 93 Minutes, Rated G, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 85% Fresh [61 Reviews]): I was a peanuts kid, and if you are my age, you probably were too. The comic strip, the cartoons, the merchandise and the other ephemera made Charles Schulz’s creation an indelible part of my life. I somehow got my hands on a hardcover version of Sandlot Peanuts as a kid, and I read it until its dust cover disintegrated. The strip’s magic was in the way it went from sweet and sanguine to bizarre and esoteric in the span of a year’s worth of strips.
Having said all that, I expected that I would hate this film and all it stands for. However, when I saw the first trailer for the film, I was filled with an anger at how they destroyed an icon of my childhood. Instead, I felt how I felt when I was six. I felt a sense of joy, wonder and happiness. And I couldn’t wait to take my six-year old daughter, whose experience with Charlie Brown and the gang has been limited, and experience the film with her.
The reviews are reassuring and reinforce my initial feelings. Hopefully, the next generation will get to know these characters as I got to know them and not just as commercial pitchmen and parade balloons.