Catherine Hardwicke Daniel Craig

Some Movies to See This Weekend, November 6, 2015

Friday, November 06, 2015 Rob Samuelson

It's here. This weekend will pit two of the heaviest pieces of nostalgia in my pop cultural life, James Bond and Peanuts, against each other in a death match of childhood affiliation. Will my soul get aboard the spy plane with the glamorous, male-gazed-at ladies, or will the bittersweet ode to friendship and growing up take my heart? The answer, in the long run, is I'll do both. As will many people. But I'll only have time for one this weekend, so the struggle will be fraught.

Director: Sam Mendes
Writers: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth
Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes

Almost the whole team behind Skyfall is back, and that is absolutely a good sign. The last 007 adventure was among the best of all the Bond movies, taking a backseat to Daniel Craig's first go-round in the tux and a couple of the Connery ones from the '60s. This time, though, Craig's iteration of the spy gets to tackle the character's longest running antagonists, the fellas behind international world-domination proponents, SPECTRE. This comes after years of legal wrangling to get the rights back to the organization on film.

And my, oh my, did they bring in the right man for the job of playing the terrorist organization/secret society. Christoph Waltz is a little goofy, which helps put an entertaining sheen on top of how terrifyingly menacing he can be. He will play an old Bond family friend who turns out to be more than he appears. Plus, there is a good chance this will be Craig's last time as James Bond, so that makes this an event in itself. I'm pretty jazzed.

The Peanuts Movie
Director: Steve Martino
Writers: Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz, Cornelius Uliano
Starring: Noah Schnapp, Hadley Belle Miller, Alexander Garfin, Kristin Chenoweth

I've been on this movie's side since its first teaser trailer a year ago. Some people may bristle at the move to CGI animation for these beloved comic strip characters, but it's done in an almost stop-motion way that makes the characters move in similar way to how they have always been drawn before. They don't look like they're Shrek and Fiona, basically, and that's perfectly fine with me.

But the animation isn't the reason Peanuts strikes a chord. This new one, based on its trailers, like the one above, leans heavily on the bonds of these kids and what it's like to grow up with people. That's some strong stuff, alternately heartwarming and a little sad. That's the Schulz sweet spot, and with two members of creator Charles Schulz having written the script, it's no surprise that sensibility has snuck its way into the new adaptation of the comic strips.

Miss You Already
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Writer: Morwenna Banks
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette, Dominic Cooper, Paddy Considine

Speaking of bittersweet, Lords of Dogtown and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is taking on cancer in a movie that appears to be of the “both laughing and crying” variety. Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette play a pair of best friends firmly in the adult stage of their lives, the exciting time of having children and being secure. Then, of course, security breaks down as Collette's character gets diagnosed with cancer, sending everything into chaos. But the two are very in sync, able to laugh their way through it, while the dark stuff hides behind the corner. In the long run, this one probably won't be the easiest to stomach, because who wants to contemplate their best friend dying while still in the prime of their life? It seems like an important life lesson to think about it, though, and prepare yourself for the sad stuff that happens as you get older.

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