Violent, uninspired Stephen King adaptation fails to spark.
“Firestarter” is an uninspired sci-fi thriller based on a 1980 Stephen King book (previously made into a movie in 1984). It tells the story of a young girl (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) with pyrokinesis, i.e., the ability to use her mind to start fires. Characters are killed, and you can expect to see guns/shooting, blood spurts, characters being set on fire and burned, charred skin, kids in peril, a cat being burned and killed, plucked-out eyeballs, bleeding from eyes, fighting, hitting, bullying and more. Language includes several uses of “f—” and “s—,” plus “son of a b—-,” “goddamn” and insults like “loser,” “weirdo” and “freak.” A secondary character drinks too much beer and gets drunk, quitting smoking is discussed, and taking experimental drugs at a clinical trial is mentioned. Zac Efron also stars. (94 minutes)
In theaters; also available on Peacock.
Chip ’n Dale Rescue Rangers (PG)
Peril, cartoon violence in live-action/CGI buddy reboot.
“Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers” is a reboot of the popular late 1980s/1990s animated series. The movie — which stars John Mulaney and Andy Samberg as the voices of the title chipmunks — is a mix of live action and animation, with many references to Disney characters and properties and a lot of cartoon violence. Main characters appear dead and are mourned, but (spoiler alert) nobody actually dies. Expect kidnappings, chases, falls, threats, a machine that shoots lasers and changes body parts, fistfights, near car accidents and explosions. Characters are also tied up, slammed, sliced, swept away, shot, electrocuted, stabbed, strangled, frozen, and chased by giant and threatening beings. Some jokes might go over younger kids’ heads. Characters learn and display positive traits related to friendship and doing the right thing. Language includes “hell,” “fart,” “butthead,” “dummies” and “screwed up.” (96 minutes)
Available on Disney Plus.
A Perfect Pairing (TV-PG)
Kissing, drinking in tame romance set Down Under.
“A Perfect Pairing” is a family-friendly romance starring Victoria Justice and Adam Demos that’s set against the worlds of Australian sheep farming and wine importing. Thanks to the latter, there’s lots of tasting and discussion of wines. Characters also drink beer and get drunk on shots at a bar, where a fight breaks out. Adults flirt, couples kiss, and two women are expecting a baby and planning to get married. A woman talks about never sleeping with another bartender. Someone uses the word “shag.” Most of the characters can be seen as positive models. Main character Lola (Justice) is Latina and was raised by a single dad who worked hard and never gave up. And her love interest, Max (Demos), has tried to be a better man since his wayward youth and his mother’s death. The people who work on the farm have a friendly communal atmosphere. Language includes “damn,” “b——,” “bada–,” “butt” and “oh my God.” (102 minutes)
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