Capsule Reviews : Justice League, Kid 90, Peter Rabbit 2

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

I don’t think I’ve ever been as gobsmacked, painfully dismayed at what I’d just seen, as I was walking out of “Justice League”. Sure, the Las Vegas theater my partner and I caught the superhero blockbuster at only charged six or seven bucks for admission, but even that felt a hefty price-tag for something so dreadfully hackneyed and unworthy of the DC label. The movie experienced a helluva hiccup – director Zack Snyder was forced to exit after a family tragedy – so a couple of pastules here and there were almost expected; what was salvaged though, and by “Buffy” alum Joss Whedon no less, someone considered quite dependable, was a mess. Unwatchable even. For several years, Snyder’s fans – who’d waited anxiously, and with excitement, for the filmmaker to follow-up his “Man of Steel” and “Batman vs. Superman” – petitioned Warner Bros to release the original director’s cut, one reinstating promised villains, an epic storyline and a Superman without a mustache. Several years later, thanks to the newly-formed HBO Max channel, fans get their wish. And was it worth the wait? Oh yes… yes indeed. Regardless of whether you enjoy Snyder’s darker, more morbid take on DC superheroes, there’s no denying his 4-hour (!) cut of “Justice League” is a solid, all-engrossing picture. Encompassing previously shot but unseen scenes, some new footage (including one of The Joker and Batman, towards the end of the film), and a total reworking of the story, we’ve now got something not only resembling a movie but a very good one of that. It’s a remarkable achievement.

 

Kid 90

Currently back on our screens in the “Punky Brewster” reboot, ’80s and ’90s tabloid darling Soleil Moon Frye has taken the opportunity to again remind us she’s not all bright shoelaces and pigtails. With “Kid 90”, a documentary that assembles old home video footage, diaries, and voicemails, we’re able to get a glimpse into Moon Frye’s rather traumatic, dramatic and teenage years.
Post-“Punky”, Moon Frye would carry around a video camera, shooting anything and anyone dear to her; featuring footage of her famous friends – including David Arquette, Stephen Dorff, Leonardo Di Caprio and Corey Feldman – as well as insightful narration, and interviews with her nearest and dearest, the result is a sincere, brave and very unique look at the hardships of being not only a star but simply, a teenager, in the ’90s.

 

Peter Rabbit 2

If “Annie” and “Instant Family” taught us anything, it’s that Rose Byrne knows how to pick a good family film – no exception here. While not as intimate as it’s predecessor, and a little too in-on-the-joke (and boy do the ankle biters love a good ‘Green Day’ musical number?) for it’s younger viewers, director Will Gluck’s “Peter Rabbit 2” keeps Byrne’s solid track record untainted. Bea (Byrne) and Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson) are now married, and Peter (voiced by James Corden), is doing his best not to disturb their tranquil existence. All that comes to an end when Peter falls in with an unruly gang while on a trip to Gloucester. “Roger Rabbit” it isn’t, but with it’s tight runtime, a cutesy assemblage of characters, and a vivacious performance by Gleeson, it’s certain to please it’s target market.

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