Thursday, 07 December 2023

‘The Marvels’ mundane superhero antics; Thanksgiving shows on TV




‘THE MARVELS’ RATED PG-13

The world, here and abroad, is on fire, and maybe the only glimmer of good news is that a pair of strikes is now over. We’re talking, of course, about the scribes who produce the lines for thespians to deliver.

The writers have gone back to work polishing scripts and the actors are now bringing up the rear, as the film and television industry will undergo fitful starts to its fabrication of mass entertainment.

Here’s hoping the long absence from work has both parties refreshed and ready to come up with entertainment better than what we have had to endure in large measure during recent times. For obvious reasons, the pandemic didn’t help matters.

As an aside, it’s worth noting that Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” may well be a masterful cinematic achievement, but the three-and-a-hours running time poses the dilemma of an endurance test. Probably will be best for streaming to allow for an intermission, at least.

Scorsese had nothing to do with the latest Marvel Studios entry, “The Marvels,” a film running fifteen minutes short of two hours, which is a welcome relief for anyone with a weak bladder, but more so for the view that these superhero films have too often become overly long, tedious, and uninspired.

As the 33rd movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “The Marvels,” the sequel to the 2019 “Captain Marvel,” serves up Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel as the MCU’s first stand-alone, female-franchise title character.

With nearly three dozen movies in the canon of superhero films, one could be forgiven for failing to keep track of the loose strings of character development. Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, appearing once again, has materialized in a third of the MCU films.

While Thor, Iron Man and Captain America are missing, Carol’s Captain Marvel will settle for a trio of girl-power to take on Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), the leader of the Kree Empire who holds a grudge against Captain Marvel.

The triad of female superheroes teaming up with Nick Fury include New Jersey fangirl Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) who transforms into Ms. Marvel with a magic bangle and Carol’s estranged niece, now astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris).

Aside from some lingering resentments, learning to work together is a challenge for the three heroines who discover by a strange phenomenon that their powers are linked such that they are often trading places.

Captain Marvel may have earned the moniker “The Annihilator” from the vengeful Dar-Benn who’s upset about the destruction of the Kree Empire’s home planet. At least, plenty of ferocious fights for the Marvels engaging with a mortal enemy provides some thrills.

Forgettable and at times lackluster, “The Marvels” is just not worth the time spent in a theater. The next movie would be better off featuring the fan-favorite, scene-stealing orange tabby “Goose,” the man-eating alien whose tentacles have a long reach.

THANKSGIVING PROGRAMS ON FILM, TV AND STREAMING

Thanksgiving does not generate a similar slew of holiday programs like Christmas; and it’s not even close. Even then we concede a huge chunk of the Yuletide celebration to the Hallmark Channel.

As far as the movies go, this year brings the horror film “Thanksgiving.” After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the holiday.

Picking off residents, one by one, what begins as random revenge killings are soon revealed to be part of a larger, sinister holiday plan. Will the town uncover the killer and survive the holidays, or become guests at his twisted holiday dinner table?

NBC kicks off the holiday season on Wednesday, November 22nd with “Countdown to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” providing a sneak peek at the incredible stories behind the floats, bands, and balloons to hit the streets of New York.

On Thanksgiving Eve, “A Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving” special highlights memorable holiday-themed sketches from its 47 seasons. There’s probably a good chance that Adam Sandler’s “Turkey Song” will make the list.

Of course, on November 23rd the world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade continues to bring the magic of the procession to New York City spectators and a national television audience with its exciting array of floats, marching bands, celebrities and more.

Cable channel AXS TV is trading turkey for Partridge this November, inviting viewers to spend Thanksgiving with “The Partridge Family” as part of a special 12-hour marathon airing on Thursday, November 23 at 5 a.m. Pacific Time.

The day-long event puts the spotlight on a cornucopia of classic episodes from the hit ‘70s sitcom, capturing the beloved family as they tour across the country in their iconic multi-colored school bus, performing their signature tunes and getting caught up in their sidesplitting shenanigans.

“The Partridge Family” stars Shirley Jones as matriarch Shirley Partridge, with Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Suzanne Crough, Jeremy Gelbwaks, and teen sensation David Cassidy as the talented offspring who convince the young widow to leave her bank-telling job and join their fledgling family band.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

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