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

More streaming ideas take you to Brazil, low-life China and two Jesse Eisenberg films

As well as a cleverly-plotted trip to Barcelona thanks to Netflix

Movie theatres are shut down, so what’s streaming?

Some modest recommendations and stay for the last one, an alarm about what has happened to the internet.

Three women lead off a long line-up of new movies in town

Note also new ones from Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Annette Bening with Bill Nighy, a forgotten Canadian tragedy and China’s rush to tear down some of its heritage
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