The Grunion

Master filmmaker Frances Ford Coppola released a revised version of “Godfather” late last year and it’s a welcome version. On a less sweeping scale, an abused mother struggles to find a place to live with her two children in the intense and enjoyable “Herself.”

Two extremely well-done films this week showcase classic film genres: “Sylvie’s Love,” a romance and “Honest Thief” an action drama starring Liam Neeson as a man who should not be taken lightly.

Disney+ serves up a great big Christmas present for everyone with “Soul,” a joyful animated look at finding your way in the world. The latest “Wonder Woman” is disappointing. And George Clooney stumbles badly in the abysmal “The Midnight Sky.”

The last great film performance from “Black Panther’s” Chadwick Bozeman is the holiday highlight and Robert De Niro takes the day off in “The War with Grandpa.”

A new Christmas movie, “Almost Christmas: A Christmas Journey,” will be watched for years to come, and “Run” provides an escape from all the happiness in a tense thriller in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock.

First let me say how much I’ve missed you. I suppose this mightn’t be the time or place to reach out to you, but I really can't start typing without saying how wonderful it is to be typing this to you right now.

Extremely high quality work in the ground-breaking drama “The Boys in the Band” and a much lighter, but no less skillful, story of a young American woman making her way in “Emily in Paris.”

A documentary, “Harry Belafonte on The Tonight Show,” about a Black man hosting the “Tonight Show” in 1968, raises important questions about whether things have changed. A much lighter movie, “Enola Holmes,” imagines what would have happened if Sherlock Holmes had a younger sister.

The folks at Disney+ have created “Becoming,” a series about accomplishments by individuals that everyone can enjoy; and Nurse Ratched, one of cinema’s iconic characters, deserves better treatment that she gets in the Netflix series named after her.

First run movies return to theaters in California after six months with “Tenet,” a thoughtful meditation on going back and forth in time. It was worth the wait.

“The One and Only Ivan,” a heartwarming true story about a gorilla raised by a loving family, tops the list this week along with a documentary about politicians of the future in “Boys State” gives viewers something to think about.

While theaters remain closed, streaming video offers some good choices including the amusing “Magic Camp,” something for parents and children to enjoy together. And this week’s most popular Netflix movie is an above average action thriller, “Project Power.”

“The Secret: Dare To Dream,” on-demand, is a Hallmark-style movie with actors you know. And Disney+ introduces us to a songwriter responsible for some of its iconic contemporary songs before passing away long before his time.

A great film maker, Ron Howard, tells the emotional story of the rebirth of a town destroyed by a forest fire in “Rebuilding Paradise.” And a fine character actor, Wilford Brimley passes away.

A great actor, Thomas Hardy, can’t save the muddled mess that is “Capone” on-demand and “Cursed” is a lame retelling of the Legend of King Arthur in streaming offerings.

“Love, Victor” is a Hulu series that can’t really measure up to its roots in a feature film and the versatile Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the excellent (if unlikely) star of “7500,” a tense hijacking drama.

Spike Lee delivers a complex, thought-provoking work of art with “Da 5 Bloods” and the Judd Apatow comedy/drama “The King of Staten Island” is great work too.

Quality scary stuff from Blumhouse, the folks who know what they’re doing with “The Invisible Man” and some pleasurable emotions for our time in “Military Wives” in streaming.

Plenty of movies for housebound families this week and adults will find a welcome blast of joyfulness in the documentary “A Secret Love,” about a gay couple who kept their relationship hidden for 60 years.

The Disney+ streaming service provides the best product this week in “Prop Culture,” an entertaining and heartwarming look behind the scenes of some of your favorite movies. And one of the year’s biggest and most interesting flops, “Birds of Prey” as available for purchase.

Great stuff streaming this week including a unique and very funny high school coming-of-age series from Mindy Kaling and “Circus of Books,” a documentary that tells the story of a unique Los Angeles bookstore that became the center of the gay community in West Hollywood.

Captain America and Thor are in on deck in streaming this week but in different roles. And to celebrate Star Wars Day (May 4th) Disney+ is offering up a slew of Star Wars movies on demand starting at $9.99.

A couple of the most popular cops in movies stage a successful return in “Bad Boys for Life” in home video. And sports fans get a big gift in the much-awaited documentary about the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan in “The Last Dance” on ESPN.

"Living Things," currently showing at the Long Beach Creative Group’s Gallery, brings unique and diverse interpretations to the exhibit’s theme — living things. Artists’ works on display include Greg Fritsche, Narciso Martinez, Donald Tiscareno, Kay Ruffin, Adonna Khare, Ray Bravo and Helen Cox.

Welcome to the latest home-bound edition “Viewing the Videos.” With the theaters closed, movies come to us on disks or on streaming services. So here we go.

While the movie theaters are closed and we’re stuck at home, there’s at least one outstanding movie now available for home viewing. And later, I’ll offer some alternatives to the better-known streaming services.

"Wanderings (1950s-present)," currently on view at the Greenly Art Space, includes selected works by William Lane.

"Touched by Midas, California’s Dreams," a solo exhibit with works by artist Bartosz Fraczek, is making a splash at the Hellada Gallery in downtown Long Beach. According to the artist, the displayed works were inspired by the desire to explore the nature and landscape of California and the A…

Clint Eastwood’s latest effort, “Richard Jewell” is streaming, and Vin Diesel is in theaters with a slightly above average action effort in “Bloodshot.” 

The Garage Theatre turns 20. If you still haven't been to a production there for whatever reason, you should really go.

"Conversations on Conflict," an interactive installation by artist Kiyomi Fukui Nannery is currently on view at the Belmont Height’s neighborhood Flux Art Space. In addition to viewing the art, visitors are invited to share time with the artist, to fold origami cranes and to engage in conversation.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Most Popular