IT Chapter Two

The fall movie season begins this weekend with a horror sequel everyone's been waiting for. That killer clown and his red balloons are back!  "IT Chapter Two" plays out 27 years after the original. All but one of members of the losers club have left town to pursue their careers, but Pennywise the clown is back, so they get together to get rid of 'IT' once and for all. Let's get the negative out of the way first: this movie is way too long. Other than that, returning director Andy Muschietti does a great job! The casting of the grownups is phenomenal, led by Bill Hader as Richie. His character is now a standup comedian and delivers his one liners with perfection, offering just the comic relief needed. (Hats off, too, for casting jay price as the hunky adult ben. Wow, Ben, who knew ya had it in ya!) As for the story, the two most terrifying scenes don't even involve the main characters. They are a vicious bully attack off the top and a little girl's encounter with Pennywise. For those who haven't read the book (Stephen King fans, there's a special surprise for you in the film), I don't won't spoil the story. Suffice it to say, the losers club owns its status and that's a great message served up with some awesome special effects.

Warner Bros - Rated R

Brittany Runs A Marathon

A young woman goes to the doctor hoping for recreational drugs. Instead he tells her to lose weight, so, as the title goes, "Brittany Runs A Marathon," right? Not so simple. I'll admit, when I saw the trailer, I assumed the script had Amy Schumer and Rebel Wilson's fingerprints all over it. Then I saw Jillian Bell's breakthrough performance, and shame on me! She's fantastic, bringing just enough self-loathing and snarkiness to a complex character. (And yes, she was so dedicated, she lost 40 pounds while filming) This is not the formulaic story you're likely expecting. Writer/director Paul Downs Collaizzo has written one of the fresher screenplays of the year, (based on a close friend's journey) including interesting supporting characters. You'll be cheering Brittany for more than the race.

Amazon Studios -  Rated R