The second major family motion picture to bypass theaters during our current situation (after "Trolls World Tour"), "Scoob!" finds our favorite animated great dane and his Mystery Machine gang once again on the case. This time, they're paired with interstellar icon Blue Falcon and his mate Dynomutt. It's up to our band of heroes to stop Dick Dastardly and his pal Muttley from unleashing ghost dog Cerebrus on the world and causing the dogpocalypse. In the process, Scoob's about to reclaim a secret from his past, and assume a greater destiny.
Hollywood insiders in the real world will be watching how "Scoob!" performs this weekend, given "Trolls'" spectacular VOD performance. The reviews so far have been positive, so we handily predict another huge home box office hit.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
Debuting today on Disney+ is the sequel to the uber popular "Maleficent." While the 2019 release wasn't quite as over-the-rainbow as its predecessor in terms of profitability, it's still quite the lavish fantasy as it recounts Maleficent's (Angelina Jolie) growing rivalry with Aurora's future mother-in-law Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). When Maleficent learns that the Queen is planning to decimate the land's fairies, she teams with a veteran fighter and others to stop the diabolical plot.
The novelty of seeing Maleficent become the heroine of sorts isn't as fresh this time around, but what does impress are the performances, with Jolie and Pfeiffer jumping into their roles with full gusto surrounded by an A-list supporting cast. The make-up and hairstyling's incredible, too, and was nominated for an Academy Award.
Den of Thieves (2018)
For all the action junkies and those looking for solid R-rated thrills, "Den of Thieves" is a commendable update on the classic crime thriller "Heat." It's elite cops vs. robbers on the streets of Southern California.
This time, the "good" guys are represented by Gerard Butler's Detective Nicholas "Big Nick" O'Brien, the hard-drinking, tough-talking head of an L.A. County Sheriff's group nicknamed The Regulators.
The supposed bad guys are ex-military men-turned-robbers fronted by Pablo Schreiber's Ray Merrimen. Their goal: take down the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Los Angeles.
Twists upon twists in the story mix with a well-staged heist sequence and downtown gun battle that complements, if not quite exceeds, the one staged in "Heat" between cop Al Pacino's unit and the thieves led by Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer.
Amazon Prime Pick:
Honey Boy (2019)
Real-life movie star Shia LaBeouf wrote and co-stars in this semi-auto-biographical film directed by Alma Har'el about a child actor (Noah Jupe) whose budding stardom is overseen by his loving, erratic, alcoholic father (played by LaBeouf himself).
The two live in a run-down hotel where the boy does his best to contend with his dad, develops a friendship with the young woman next door (FKA Twigs), and seeks wisdom from a man (Clifton Collins Jr.) assigned to him from the Big Brother program.
Framing the volatile story is a 10-years-later version of Otis (Lucas Hedges), stuck in a recovery program and narrating this tale of his upbringing. In reality, this device is actually how LaBeouf ended up writing the movie's screenplay during his own stint in rehab.
It's a brutal, poetic film about one troubled youngster's perseverance. It's also must-watch viewing for LaBeouf fans and those seeking out quality independent filmmaking.
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.