Profound, poignant biography of an extraordinary, kind man.
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is a poignant biographical documentary about Fred Rogers, the creator of public television’s iconic “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Mixing footage from the show and interviews with Rogers’s widow, children, colleagues and friends, Academy Award-winning director Morgan Neville traces Rogers’s life’s work and legacy to educate, encourage and inspire very young children. Expect a few swear words — including “bitch” (in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch spoofing the show), “ass,” “d--k” and “bastard.” There are also brief clips of footage from the Vietnam War, civil rights protests, assassinations and the Challenger disaster, as well as discussions of tough themes (from divorce to grief to Rogers’s post-9/11 public service message) and how the show handled them in a child-friendly way. Otherwise, this documentary is focused on the positive aspects of Rogers’s personal and professional crusade to put children, not profit, first in children’s programming. Compassion, integrity and the healthy expression of emotion are all strong themes. (93 minutes)
Breezy heist comedy has fab cast, some iffy behavior.
“Ocean’s 8” is part of the “Ocean’s Eleven” universe. While in the original, George Clooney-starring trilogy, the few female characters were supporting players, this one flips the script. Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett star as the leaders of an all-woman heist crew who plans to steal a $150 million diamond necklace during the legendary Met Costume Institute Gala in Manhattan. While you can expect plenty of suspense and tension, there’s actually almost no violence (a woman lightly threatens an ex with a shiv). Language is fairly infrequent (words include “s---,” “damn” and “p---ies”), but there’s some drinking, and a couple of instances in which a character smokes pot. Characters also flirt and kiss, and one scene shows a woman in lingerie seducing her partner and handcuffing him to his bed. You’ll also see tons of brands/products/high-end labels on display. Bottom line? It’s the clever planning of the meticulous crime, witty conversation and tons of high fashion that bring this comedy together. Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson and Awkwafina co-star. (110 minutes)
Fun reboot stays true to classic’s vibe, cartoon mayhem.
“The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” is a reboot of the classic cartoon “Rocky & Bullwinkle.” It has plenty of slapsticky violence (crashes, falls off cliffs, bumps into objects, the occasional flattening with a large object), but most of it is exaggerated and presented as funny. Some characters delight in plotting against/doing harm to Rocky and Bullwinkle, but the villains never manage to seal the deal, usually because of their own ineptitude, and the heroes carry on unaware. Expect some stereotypes in speech patterns and physical appearances. This satirical series is a decent pick for parents and older kids to watch together. (13 23-minute episodes)
Via Amazon streaming.
Live-action anime adaptation is uneven but fun for fans.
“Mob Psycho 100” is a Japanese show about a timid eighth-grade boy with an overachieving brother, an unrequited crush and psychic powers. Adapted from an anime of the same name, this live-action show has a very cartoonish feel and ricochets from dark action to childish comedy to more mature drama and romance, making it hard to pinpoint exactly what age it’s most appropriate for. Teens may enjoy the romance and action but be turned off by the comedy, which aims much younger. Anime fans will find it an interesting experiment. (12 24-minute episodes)
Via Netflix streaming.
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