The Personal History of David Copperfield (PG-13)

Age 10+

Dickens’s classic retold with comedic style; some violence.

The Personal History of David Copperfield” is a‌ ‌brilliantly‌ ‌funny‌ ‌retelling‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌classic‌ ‌Charles‌ ‌Dickens‌ ‌novel. Though‌ ‌the‌ ‌movie‌ ‌is‌ ‌largely‌ ‌comedic, there‌ ‌are‌ ‌moments‌ ‌of‌ ‌violence, although‌ ‌they‌ ‌are‌ ‌often‌ ‌played‌ ‌for‌ ‌laughs. In‌ ‌one‌ ‌scene, a‌ ‌young‌ ‌David‌ ‌Copperfield‌ (Ranveer‌ ‌Jaiswal) is‌ ‌beaten‌ ‌by‌ ‌his‌ ‌stepfather, Mr. ‌ ‌Murdstone‌ (‌Darren‌ ‌Boyd‌) ‌ — a‌ ‌character‌ ‌whose‌ ‌cruelty‌ ‌extends‌ ‌to‌ ‌only‌ ‌informing‌ ‌Copperfield‌ ‌of‌ ‌his‌ ‌mother’s‌ ‌death‌ ‌‌after‌‌ ‌her‌ ‌funeral. In‌ ‌another‌ ‌scene, Betsey‌ ‌Trotwood‌ (‌Tilda‌ ‌Swinton‌) and‌ ‌Uriah‌ ‌Heep (‌Ben‌ ‌Whishaw‌) repeatedly‌ ‌slap‌ ‌each‌ ‌other‌ ‌across‌ ‌the‌ ‌face‌ ‌before‌ ‌an‌ ‌older‌ ‌Copperfield‌ (‌Dev‌ ‌Patel‌) punches‌ ‌Heep‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌floor. While‌ ‌at‌ ‌sea‌ ‌during‌ ‌a‌ ‌vicious‌ ‌storm, a‌ ‌character‌ ‌falls‌ ‌from‌ ‌his‌ ‌boat‌ ‌and‌ ‌drowns. His‌ ‌body‌ ‌is‌ ‌seen‌ ‌laid‌ ‌out‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌shore. There’s‌ some‌ ‌depiction‌ ‌of‌ ‌being‌ ‌unhoused, with‌ ‌Mr. Micawber‌ (‌Peter‌ ‌Capaldi‌) and‌ ‌his‌ ‌family‌ ‌evicted‌ ‌from‌ ‌their‌ ‌home. Characters‌ ‌drink‌ ‌regularly, and‌ ‌Mr. Wickfield‌ (‌Benedict‌ ‌Wong‌) is‌ ‌portrayed‌ ‌as‌ ‌being‌ ‌dependent‌ ‌on‌ ‌alcohol. Director‌‌ ‌‌Armando‌ ‌Iannucci‌’s‌ ‌“color‌ ‌blind”‌ ‌approach‌ ‌to‌ ‌casting‌ ‌means‌ ‌that‌ ‌this‌ ‌take‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌classic‌ ‌story‌ ‌is‌ ‌far‌ ‌more‌ ‌diverse‌ ‌than‌ ‌those‌ ‌that‌ ‌came‌ ‌before. Several‌ ‌characters‌ ‌aspire‌ ‌to‌ ‌climb‌ ‌in‌ ‌social‌ ‌class, which‌ ‌sometimes‌ ‌leads‌ ‌to‌ ‌them‌ ‌acting‌ ‌deceitfully‌ — and, ‌ ‌in‌ ‌one‌ ‌case, ‌ ‌illegally. But‌ ‌the‌ ‌overall‌ ‌messages‌ ‌are‌ ‌of‌ ‌generosity, friendship, family‌ ‌and‌ ‌recognizing‌ ‌what’s‌ ‌really‌ ‌important‌ ‌in‌ ‌life. (119 minutes)

Marvel Funko (TV-Y7)

Streaming

Age 6+

Superhero shorts have humor, a bit of fantasy violence.

Marvel Funko” is a series of short animated videos featuring Funko-styled Marvel comic book characters. The dialogue-free shorts originated on YouTube in 2016 and are now available to watch on Disney Plus. Expect brief moments of mild fantasy violence — characters getting zapped, some physical matches, etc. — but no one gets seriously hurt. Overall, the series is lighthearted and funny and will appeal to kids (and adults) who are fans of the universe. But it also serves to promote Marvel-branded Funko figurines, which are popular collectible items. (1 ½ -minute-long episodes)

Available on Disney Plus streaming.

All Together Now (PG)

Streaming

Age 13+

Book-based teen drama uplifts despite sad scenes.

All Together Now” is an uplifting teen tale based on Matthew Quick’s novel formerly titled “Sorta Like a Rock Star.” It has some sad scenes that could upset sensitive viewers. Main character Amber (“Moana’s” Auli’i Cravalho) repeatedly faces challenges, setbacks and tragedies that no kid or teen should have to suffer, including the death of parents and being unhoused. Events spiral out of control in part because of her mother Becky’s (Justina Machado) dependence on alcohol. Becky’s drinking is discussed but not shown; the same goes for her abusive boyfriend. Still, Amber maintains a positive outlook and works hard, eventually learning to accept help from her diverse group of friends when she needs it most. It’s implied that one of her friends is on the autism spectrum; another uses a wheelchair. There’s one brief kiss, and language is limited to “a--,” “suck,” and “hell.”
(93 minutes)

Available on Netflix streaming.

Rising Phoenix (PG-13)

Streaming

Age 13+

Thoughtful Paralympic Games docu has strong language.

Rising Phoenix” is a relevant, inspiring documentary about how growing worldwide interest in the Paralympic Games helps counter stereotypes and prejudice. The athletes with disabilities who are interviewed emerge as strong role models who are defined by their drive, perseverance and competitive spirit rather than their disabilities. The movie explains how the Games’ original intent was to show the world the humanity of people with disabilities at a time when many people weren’t open-minded enough to think of them as capable human beings, let alone competitive athletes. Expect some profanity, including “f---.” And in archival talk show footage, a talk-show host asks a champion Paralympic athlete about sex during the Games. There’s violent archival news footage of the Burundi civil war in the 1990s, as well as one of the athletes discussing how, as a very young boy, his leg was hacked off by soldiers and he was forced to watch his mother’s murder.
(106 minutes)

Available on Netflix streaming.

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