A film for the whole family and one for just the grown-ups were your best bets for new release rentals this week.
GOOSEBUMPS – A teen aged boy hates it when Mom moves him to a small town but the girl next door,Hannah, is a bright spot. Unfortunately her dad is a mean recluse who turns out to be R.L. Stine, author of the ‘Goosebumps” novels. Zach finds out the hard way that the creatures in the books are real and the only thing keeping them locked up are some special editions in the Stine home. When he accidentally opens one all of the creatures manage to escape.
What follows is a long night of mayhem as Zach must join forces with Stine, Hannah, and a nerdy friend to wrangle the beasts back into the books that held them. Fun stuff with some decent effects and family friendly monster sequences. Jack Black steals the show as the reclusive Stine.
BLACK MASS – The true story of Whitey Bulger makes for an excellent crime drama . Bulger was a South Boston hood who shamed his State Senator brother and proved flexible towards law enforcement when using the F.B.I. turned out to be the best way to stop the mob from muscling in on his territory.
The film is well made and never flinches from Bulger’s brutal nature. Johnny Depp is ice cold as Bulger and surrounded by a seasoned cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch ,as the brother. There are also good turns by Joel Edgerton and Kevin Bacon.
BURNT – Bradley Cooper stars in this study of a celebrity Chef . This guy loses everything thanks to a swelled head and drug abuse problem. The chance to get it back lies in taking over a new restaurant but he will need lots of capable assistance and exorcizing a few of his demons isn’t going to hurt if he wants to make a comeback. Moderately interesting drama that should not be watched on an empty stomach.
DOCTOR WHO: SEASON 9, PART II – Peter Capaldi returns to finish out a not so smooth sophomore season as the time traveling adventurer simply known as the Doctor. The ninth season was hampered by grim plotlines(the final two part story is a humorless affair)and too many lame attempts to turn the character into a rock star(like converting his sonic screwdriver into a pair of shades and giving him an electric guitar to play).
Luckily the Christmas episode (not included unfortunately) shows a return to rapid fire dialogue and pulse pounding action. The second half of season nine is highlighted by the departure of Jenna Coleman (as the Doctor’s travelling companion) and the return of an immortal character played by Maisie Williams( Game of Thrones).
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.