In theaters; available Nov. 23 on Amazon.
One Piece Film: Red (PG-13)
Gorgeous, exciting musical anime; some bloody violence.
“One Piece Film: Red” is part of a long-running anime series based on a popular manga. Available both dubbed (in English, for the purposes of this review) and the original subtitled Japanese, it’s exciting and funny and even has several catchy musical numbers. Expect lots of animated fantasy fighting, with characters using various weapons (guns, blades, etc.), superpowers and more. There are bloody wounds, monsters and demons, scenes of suffering and hunger, and arguing. Language varies a bit depending on whether you’re reading subtitles or listening to a dub, but words heard in the English-language version include “a–hole,” “damn,” “c–p,” “b——,” “frickin,” “jerk,” “hell,” etc. Busty female characters wear revealing outfits, and a male character tries to sneak a peak under someone’s skirt. There’s some background drinking (wine) and cigar smoking, and “booze” is mentioned. Although this is the 15th movie in the “One Piece” franchise, it has a more or less self-contained story that’s centered on a new character, so it’s good for both newcomers and seasoned fans. (115 minutes)
Prey for the Devil (PG-13)
Lots of jump scares in tired demon-possession movie.
“Prey for the Devil” is a demonic-possession/exorcism movie that argues that women should be allowed to learn the craft of exorcisms. It also urges empathy and understanding, but it’s so sluggish and tired that it fails to make much impact. Expect lots of demon-related violence, several jump scares, bodies contorting in weird ways, moments depicting the abuse of a child, dead bodies, blood and other gross/gory/shocking digital effects. A woman talks about getting pregnant at age 15, adding, “I was so wasted, I don’t remember who the father was.” Two priests and a nun drink celebratory wine. Language includes a single use of “s—” and a use of “b—-.” (93 minutes)
1980s-set drama looks at privilege, prejudice; pot, cursing.
“Armageddon Time” is a coming-of-age dramedy based on writer-director James Gray’s experiences growing up in 1980s New York City. While it’s about the strength and complexity of family, it also paints a picture of what it was like for Gray to be an 11-year-old kid in that time and place, including the frequent expression of racist attitudes, kids being harshly disciplined (a father beats his son with a belt in an intense scene), and the idea that the only measure of success was your bank account. White adults and kids refer to Black people with the n-word and talk about them as if they’re inferior. This alarms the main character, Paul (Banks Repeta), a White kid whose best friend is Black. Paul’s beloved Jewish grandfather (Anthony Hopkins) enlightens him on what it means to be a part of a persecuted community and tells him to stand up against prejudice. Kids curse (“s—,” “f—,” “a–hole,” etc.) and use derogatory language to/about teachers. (There’s also a joke about a student getting intimate with a teacher.) Kids smoke pot at school, and it’s made to look fun. (114 minutes)
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