It's been a busy week of politics, interviews and movie watching. Here's a quick tour through what I saw.
Created by Sesame Workshop, the people behind "Sesame Street," "Helpsters" is a delightful children's program about a group of monsters who run a business dedicated to help people solve their problems. The show helps teach problem solving and teamwork. Its 25-minute episodes feature two conundrums, at least one sing-along moment and the occasional celebrity guest.
Where to watch: Apple TV+ (Full Review)
I was fortunate enough to get to talk with Sesame Workshop's Jordan Geary and Cody the star of Apple TV+'s "Helpsters."
The Kid Detective
Adam Brody stars as Abe Applebaum. When Abe was 12 year old, he was a beloved kid detective who was able to solve his small town's mysteries with ease. Twentysomething years later he's become the punchline of an incredibly dour joke. Nonetheless, Caroline (Sophie Nélisse), a teenager, hires Abe to investigate the death of her boyfriend. "The Kid Detective" is a little silly and often goofy, but the darker elements of the story take over in the final act.
Where to watch: In theaters.
I had the opportunity to talk with Brody, as well as the film's writer/director Evan Morgan. Here's part of my conversation with Brody.
Love and Monsters
Dylan O'Brien stars as lovesick Joel Dawson. Joel had a girlfriend, but then an asteroid put Earth in its sights. Mankind destroyed the asteroid, but the radiation from the missiles transformed bugs and other creepy crawlers into massive monsters. Humanity was forced underground. Joel's girlfriend, Aimee (Jessica Henwick), ended up in a different settlement. 80 miles away. It's been nearly a decade since Joel last saw Aimee. So, Joel sets out on his own to reunite with her. I really loved this big-hearted B-movie.
Where to watch: In theaters and VOD digital retailers
Liam Neeson stars as a bank robber who meets a girl and decides to give up his life of crime. To do so, he contacts the FBI. Offers to hand over all the money he's stolen. A pair of greedy agents get in the way of his perfect plan. You know where this is going.
Where to watch: Theaters (Full Review)
"Evil Eye" is one of the four films featured in the "Welcome To The Blumhouse" series at Amazon Prime. It's likely my favorite of the four titles as it presents a story about an Indian woman living in New Orleans who meets the man of her dreams. The problem is that her mother, who still lives in India, is convinced that this new boyfriend is actually the reincarnation of a man who she had an abusive relationship with. The third act goes a bit off the rails, but it's interesting.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime (Full Review)
"Nocturne" is also part of the "Welcome To The Blumhouse" series at Amazon Prime. It focuses on twin sisters Juliet (Sydney Sweeney) and Vivian (Madison Iseman) who are both talented piano players enrolled at an arts high school. Vivian gets all the attention, but things change when Juliet discovers a notebook left behind by a former classmate who recently killed her self. I love the psychology that writer/director Zu Quirke is playing with. I'm not as enamored with the third act.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime
If you're looking for a romantic drama that strives to leave you in tears, you could do far worse than "2 Hearts," a romantic drama that is overly earnest, but fair effective as it follows two seemingly unrelated romances that ultimately converge. The dialogue is a little too on the nose, there's never any question to what the characters are thinking. Its ending isn't exactly a surprise. It's telegraphed when we are introduced to male leads.
Where to watch: In theaters
Belly of the Beast
Erika Cohn's documentary reveals the illegal, forced sterilizations that were still being performed on inmates in California prisons a decade in the early 2000s . The film focuses primarily on Kelli Dillon, a woman who was sterilized without consent while incarcerated in a California prison, and the efforts of Cynthia Chandler, a founder of Justice Now, as she fights for the rights of the women inmates.
Here's an excerpt from my interview with director Erika Cohn.