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TWO PG MOVIES? CAN IT BE?

 

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019

It’s rare these days to see PG-rated films that aren’t animated show up in theaters — but to have two open on the same day is nothing short of a family-moviegoing miracle. A talking dog and Dora the Explorer have made it happen, leading no less than 11 new pictures (another rarity) that are opening locally this weekend.

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” (PG). Enzo (voiced by a gravelly Kevin Costner) is a dog owned by a racecar driver (Milo Ventimiglia), and the film has the pooch offering dry-witted commentary on life with his owner, and later, his wife (Amanda Seyfried), followed shortly by a daughter. Based on the novel by Garth Stein. With Kathy Baker, Martin Donovan and Gary Cole.

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” (PG). Dora (Isabela Moner), as in TV’s “Dora the Explorer,” goes from animated to live-action for her big-screen debut in this sort-of Indiana Jones-for-kids adventure as she and Boots (her best friend, a CGI monkey), her cousin Diego and other rag-tag pals attempt to solve an Incan mystery in the Peruvian jungle. With Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria, Danny Trejo and Benicio del Toro.

  

“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” (PG-13). Based on a series of horror stories for children, this cinematic adaptation (co-produced by Guillermo del Toro) is set in 1968 Mill Valley, a small town seemingly unaffected by the political changes going on in the world. A girl residing in a mansion there has transferred her horrible secrets to short stories that a group of teens unwittingly help bring to life.

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” (PG-13). A young man with Down syndrome runs away from the care facility where he lives to try and fulfill his dream of becoming a professional wrestler in this comedy-drama. Zack Gottsagen, an actor with Down syndrome, is getting raves for his performance. With Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern, John Hawkes, Jon Bernthal, Thomas Haden Church and WWE wrestlers Mick Foley and Jake Roberts.

“Brian Banks” (PG-13). True story of the title character, a football linebacker accused of rape in 2012 just as he was to join the (now defunct) United Football League. Although he protested his innocence, Banks agreed to a plea deal that would keep him out of prison, but he nonetheless spent nearly six years incarcerated. After his accuser eventually admitted that she made up the charge, Banks was exonerated and signed with an NFL team, the Atlanta Falcons. Aldis Hodge stars as Banks, with Greg Kinnear, Sherri Shepherd and an uncredited Morgan Freeman.

  

“Light of My Life” (R). After a pandemic wipes out most of the female population of the world a father tries to protect his daughter by having her masquerade as a boy. Casey Affleck wrote, directed and stars in this end-of-the-world melodrama. With Elisabeth Moss.

“The Kitchen” (R). Based on a comic book, this crime comedy stars Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss and Tiffany Haddish as wives of Irish mobsters in the 1970s that have stayed out of their husbands’ business. But when they have to fend for themselves, the women come together, take over some criminal operations and face up to the mob leaders. With Domhnall Gleeson, Margo Martindale, Common and Annabella Sciorra.

“Them That Follow” (R). An eccentric pastor (Walton Goggins) presides over an Appalachian community of serpent handlers — an obscure Pentecostal sect that takes up venomous snakes to prove themselves worthy. The pastor’s daughter is about to be married until she unearths a dangerous secret that forces her to confront her father’s church. With Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever and Jim Gaffigan.

  

“Hello Love Goodbye” (Not Rated, in Filipino with English subtitles). Joy, a domestic employee, and Ethan, a bartender, are Filipino workers in Hong Kong, and although they are drawn to each other, and despite Ethan’s romantic pursuits, Joy is determined to focus wholly on providing for her family. (Exclusive at the Cinemark Century 16 Theaters.)

“ECCO” (R). An assassin has put his criminal life behind him as he tries to run away from the past, but, of course, the past has a way of catching up. This violent thriller, which jumps around in time, was filmed in and around Seattle by University of Washington alums Ben Medina, who wrote and directed, and Lathrop Walker, who stars.

“Bring the Soul: The Movie” (PG-13). This documentary follows the South Korean boy band BTS (aka The Bangtan Boys) on a worldwide tour. The band formed when the seven members were teens in 2013 as a hip hop group but their music has expanded to a variety of genres and their repertoire is primarily composed of original songs.