TEXAS, USA — While many families will be celebrating Thanksgiving with food and meals around the dinner table, there are also plenty of movies hitting the theaters and streaming services for people to enjoy.
Bones and All
No pun intended with 'feast' here. "Bones and All" is the much-talked-about cannibalism film starring Timothee Chalamet by his "Call Me By Your Name" director Luca Guadagnino.
But we first meet newcomer Taylor Russell. When she snacks on a new-found friend at a sleepover, her secret is blown. Even her dad abandons her, so she seeks out her estranged mom.
Along the way, she runs into an odd guy played by Oscar winner Mark Rylance (likely to land another nomination here.) He's a cannibal, too. He mentors her, but things get weird, so she takes off and encounters fellow-feaster Chalamet.
Let the teen cannibal love story begin! Think "Twilight" but weirder. Chalamet is so thin, it doesn't look like he devours so much as a stick of a beef jerky, but the storyline is nicely fleshed out, and this is a surprisingly effective movie.
(MGM. Rated R. Running Time 2 hrs. 11 mins. In Theaters Only.)
If Chalamet fans have been waiting for "Bones and All," then "Knives Out" fans are ravenous, too. I went to a public screening the night "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" opened, and it was absolutely packed!
Rian Johnson returns as writer/director in this sequel to his popular 2019 "Knives Out." And in the vein of "White Lotus," he keeps the main character but switches out the supporting cast. So, Daniel Craig is back as Southern-fried Detective Benoit Blanc. A group of hangers-on to an eccentric billionaire, played by Edward Norton, accepts his invitation to a murder mystery getaway at his exotic mansion. He claims to be responsible for an invention, but we find out he's not as authentic (or smart) as he pretends to be. Benoit, of course, is!
He peels back the layers of the onion and gets down to the bottom of what's going on. And there's a lot! The ensemble cast also includes Kate Hudson and Janelle Monae, but, of course, Craig takes the cake.
(Netflix. Rated PG-13. Running Time 2 hrs. 20 mins. In Theaters Only for now.)
"The Fabelmans" is Steven Spielberg's ode to his boyhood. This semi-autobiographical passion project tells how he was afraid to see his first movie, "The Greatest Show on Earth," how he made his first film by crashing his train, and so on...all set in a mid-century, middle-class Jewish family in Phoenix.
His dad (Paul Dano) is a rather detached genius. His mother (Oscar winner Michelle Williams) has to be the center of attention and ends up finding love in the arms of her husband's best friend (Seth Rogen).
As for Sammy Fabelman, (played well by Gabriel LaBelle), he's most at home with his camera in hand as he works through bullying and his first crush. This movie is altogether pleasing, but certain scenes are standouts: when his eccentric uncle comes to town (Judd Hirsch) - when his first girlfriend begs him to find Jesus - and a brilliant final scene at a Hollywood studio.
This one will receive several Oscar nominations. Is it the best movie of the year? I don't think so, but it has all the elements.
(Universal Pictures. Rated PG-13. Running Time 2 hrs. 21 mins. In Theaters Only.)
Stay away from Google and spoilers on "Devotion," because they'll do exactly what they mean to do...spoil it for you.
I will tell you this much: It's based on the true story of the United States' first African American Naval aviator, Jesse Brown and his wingman. The two are part of a team assigned to fly missions during the Korean War.
A partnership that started shaky turns into a true friendship. Brown is played with humble pride by hot new star Jonathan Majors (pride of Duncanville High School). The title not only refers to his career but to what a great family man Brown is, devoted to his wife and baby.
His wingman is played by Austin's Glen Powell, and -yes- he's that guy - 'Hangman' from Top Gun: Maverick." He also produced the film and had been working on it before "Top Gun." (No, the flight sequences are not near as good as "Maverick.")
Powell is perfect in this, but the movie belongs to Majors. Jesse Brown may be the hero you didn't know about, but he's also one you'll never forget.
(Sony Pictures. Rated PR-13. Running Time 2 hrs. 18 mins. In Theaters Only.)
"The Inspection" is also the story of an African American man in the military, based on the life of its writer/director Elegance Bratton. This one is fairly contemporary.
The central figure, Ellis French, is played by Jeremy Pope. He's gay. His mother will have nothing to do with him, so he decides to join the military in a last-ditch effort to draw himself away from halfway houses and estrangement and into a respectable life. But can he make it through boot camp? Every story like this has the hard-nosed drill sergeant, and "The Inspection" is no exception.
Something different: a supervisor who connects with French on an intimate level. Pope is heartbreakingly good. Gabrielle Union, as the mom, could not be more ugly in the way she treats her son. This is a very earnest and nicely-done, small film.
(A24. Rated R. Running Time 1 hr. 35 mins. In Theaters Only)
Disney tries to take a giant leap toward representation in the animated "Strange World." Jake Gyllenhaal voices the main character. His wife is Black (voiced by Gabrielle Union), their son is gay, and the family dog has a disability. It's also a message movie about ecology.
Searcher Clade (Gyllenhaal) is the son of a strapping adventurer voiced by Texan Dennis Quaid. They live in an isolated village, and dad is on an almost impossible mission to make it to the other side of the mountain.
On a father-son excursion, Searcher discovers a power source deep within a mountain. He manages to harness it and farm it. When the source shows signs of fading out, Searcher and his stowaway son seek to find out what's gone wrong and discover a whole new world.
I'd call this a mid-level Disney film. The characters are fun, but it devolves into one too many big chases with blobby things.
(Walt Disney Studios. Rated PG. Running Time 1 hr. 42 mins. In Theaters Only.)