First Dark Universe monster movie is violent, uneven.
“The Mummy” is a monster-movie reboot starting Tom Cruise. It has very little to do with either the 1932 Boris Karloff version or the 1999 Brendan Fraser take on the story. Rather, it’s the first in Universal’s new “Dark Universe” series, which is planned to be an interconnected franchise much like the DC and Marvel superhero movies. Expect fairly strong fantasy/action violence, with some blood spatters, guns and shooting, stabbings, fighting and punching, crashes and explosions, jump scares, zombies and a lab full of gross things. There are several mildly suggestive sexual references, too, including partly naked and/or obscured male and female bodies, kissing, a couple shown in bed together and sensuality. Language is infrequent but includes “a--hole” and “son of a bitch,” as well as “hell” and “damn.” The main character, who’s presented as a hard drinker, quickly downs several glasses of liquor in more than one scene, with no effect. This film marks the first Universal Mummy movie to have the central monster played by a woman. (110 minutes)
Poignant, earnest drama about a Marine and her war dog.
“Megan Leavey” is an inspiring, poignant drama based on the true story of a young Marine corporal who worked with a bomb-sniffing combat dog to keep their fellow soldiers safe during the war in Iraq. Megan (Kate Mara), like her dog, Rex, is initially considered aggressive and unpredictable, but together they work effectively and are touchingly close. The movie has several scenes of war, including tense, violent moments set in Iraq in which IEDs explode. Megan and Rex are injured during a mission, and a supporting character dies while deployed. The language is occasionally strong and includes “s---,” “piss,” “crap,” goddamn” and one “f---.” Civilian and military adults drink, in one case so much that the person throws up. Late in the film, a relationship between Megan and another soldier turns romantic, and there are a few scenes of making out on a bed (he’s shirtless) that make it clear they’ve had sex. Viewers will learn a lot about the Marines’ war dogs and their handlers and will come away with strong messages about teamwork, perseverance, communication and courage. (116 minutes)
Strong, complicated woman anchors intense mystery tale.
“My Cousin Rachel” is a period drama based on a novel by Daphne du Maurier and starring Rachel Weisz. It has more sex and violence than many movies set in similar eras. There’s a moment of sexual violence in which a man holds a woman’s arms and demands “kiss me!” while she says forcefully to stop and let her go; he briefly chokes her. Another disturbing scene shows the aftermath of a woman and a horse falling off a cliff; viewers see her dead and facedown, and while the horse is initially still moving, it’s soon shot (off-screen) and then lies still. A couple has sex on the ground with their clothes on; the man thrusts and moans while the woman looks stoic. After they’re finished, she borrows his handkerchief and, turning away from the camera, raises her skirt to clean up. A man is briefly visibly naked from behind when he jumps into the water. Language is mostly clean, but there is one “f---ing,” as well as a “s---” and a “damn.” A character smokes a pipe, and party and dinner guests drink liquor and wine; one character gets drunk and sloppy while waiting for a picnic to start. (106 minutes)
Kid scientist can see real dinos in fun educational series.
“Dino Dana” is a continuation of the series “Dino Dan.” But this time a young female paleontologist acquires a special field guide that allows her to see dinosaurs in her everyday life. The show’s blend of its live-action setting and the CGI animation that brings the dinosaurs to life will appeal to the imaginations of preschoolers, who see Dana learn by observing the creatures’ behavior and applying what she discovers to a problem she’s facing. Kids will learn dinosaurs’ names, as well as pick up information on their general appearance, eating habits, defense mechanisms, and more. Also noteworthy is Dana’s close relationship with her older sister. (14 22-minute episodes)
Via Amazon Prime video.
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