Reviews of a Stephen King sequel, an old-style war movie and a fresh take on Christmas

Also fun amid the California wildfires (filmed in BC) and two film festivals, one new, one a regular

What a week. You can choose from child-killers, war, bratty kids, wildfires, a dubious rom-com and two specialized film festivals with more rough topics. But there's always Christmas. Two of these new films deal with it.
Doctor Sleep: 3 stars
Midway: 2 1/2
Klaus: 3 1/2
Playing With Fire: 1 1/2
Last Christmas--
Architecture Film Festival
Asian Film Festival

DOCTOR SLEEP: I found it hard to get into this film. I expected it to be a sequel to the great Stanley Kubrick film The Shining from 1980 when I should have paid more attention to its tagline: “The next chapter in the Shining story.” It’s so different that I was distracted for a long time asking what this has to do with the first story. Sure Danny is now grown up (and played by Ewan McGregor) and suffering trauma from back then. Remember Jack (“Here’s Johnny”) Nicholson tried  to kill him with an axe. He’s now a drifter, an alcoholic and bar fighter who gets a job working in a hospice (where he gets that nickname) and hardly ever does any of that extra-sensory “shining” anymore.

More in New Movies

Wise talk by The Two Popes; a media circus for Richard Jewell and big action in Jumanji

Also: That Higher Level as a free gift from the National Film Board and a clumsy seasonal theme in The Kindness of Strangers

Greek tragedy goes modern with Antigone, black family life in Waves and a film artist’s self portrait

Also: Isabelle Huppert hosts a crowd as Frankie, notes on some highlights at Whistler, including a time travel enigma and a seemingly under-achieving children’s film

A scary Marriage Story, a classy Knives Out murder mystery and fighting DuPont in Dark Waters

Also black lives matter for Queen & Slim, the Winnipeg General Strike recalled in Stand! and an actor’s true story in Honey Boy
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