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What To Watch this weekend in theaters and streaming (Nov. 26, 2021)

SALT LAKE CITY — We are just getting rolling into the busiest time of the year for content coming from Hollywood.  At times, it can feel like leaning down to use a drinking fountain and getting hit in the face with a fire hose!  Here are some movies and shows that you and your family may enjoy over the holiday weekend.

8-BIT CHRISTMAS

A brand-new movie that, at the same time, will feel very familiar–especially its similarities to A Christmas Story.  This time, it’s set in the 1980’s and the object of the young kids’ desire is not a BB gun, but rather a highly popular home video game console. Jake Doyle (Neil Patrick Harris) tells his pre-teen daughter the story of the Christmas where all he wanted was a Nintendo Entertainment System.

What follows is equal parts hilarious, nostalgic, and sentimental.  10-year old Jake (Winslow Fegley) lives outside Chicago, where only one kid in the neighborhood has a Nintendo, and that kid lives like a king.

So Jake, along with every kid he knows spend their days hoping, begging, scheming and working to maybe somehow get one for Christmas.  The always-funny Steve Zahn plays Jake’s dad.

I enjoyed this movie a lot.  It was right in my wheelhouse and I lived many of the same experiences.  Pretty sure it’ll be on my annual list of shows I watch during the Christmas season.

It’s rated PG and NOT in theaters, but streaming exclusively on HBO Max.

Andy’s rating: 3 out of 4 stars

CANDY COATED CHRISTMAS

This movie is an offering from a fairly new streaming service hoping to draw in some new subscribers, Discovery Plus.  Candy Coated Christmas is the first scripted holiday movie ever from The Food Network channel, and it features Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman in her first acting role, and it’s got a local tie-in as it was filmed here in Utah!

Bountiful City is the stand-in for the fictional Peppermint Hollow–the self-proclaimed “peppermint capital of the world”–where a woman named Molly has gone to sell her mother’s childhood home.

Her family business is failing and she’s counting on the money from the house sale to save it.  But she finds out the people renting her mom’s home includes a hunky single guy named Noah, and  I’m sure you can imagine what happens next.

Candy Coated Christmas isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but is safe for all ages and is streaming only on Discovery Plus.

THE PRINCESS SWITCH 3: ROMANCING THE STAR

Another sequel to the surprisingly popular Princess Switch movie series on Netflix.  Vanessa Hudgens plays multiple roles, including the queen of a fictional country, a former Chicago resident who looks EXACTLY like the Queen, and also the queen’s cousin, who somehow ALSO looks exactly like the Queen and is the same age, etc. except the cousin has *blond* hair.

In The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star, the two Vanessa Hudgens’s need the help of that cousin to recover a priceless relic, a Christmas star specially donated by the Vatican to the country that was stolen.

I personally like Vanessa Hudgens and she does a decent job making each character a bit distinct.  But this movie is really made for kids to watch.  It’s harmless, rated TV-PG and only on Netflix.

ROBIN ROBIN

Another tale on Netflix that might surprise you if you give it a chance… a stop-motion animated short film called Robin Robin.  A small bird’s egg falls into a garbage dumpster and when it hatches, she’s adopted by a loving family of mice.  But, because she’s a bird she’s not very good at the sneaking food like the rest of her adoptive family.

So Robin, despite not knowing how to fly, embarks on a heist of her own to prove herself worthy of her family. On the way, she meets a magpie who wants to steal the sparkling star from the top of a family’s Christmas tree. Robin Robin is a cute and funny little story.  The whole thing is only 30 minutes long and it’s rated G, and only streaming on Netflix.

OTHER OPTIONS

Beyond the highlighted movies/shows above, here are some additional options to choose from this weekend, including:

Encanto – Theaters

Disney’s latest animated musical feature, with songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, about a family in Colombia that has magical abilities–with the exception of one daughter, who turns out to be the one they need to save them.

It’s a fun, colorful, imaginative movie with great messages about self-worth and family. Some dialogue in Spanish without subtitles was a little frustrating, though.  Safe for all ages.  Andy’s rating: 3 out of 4 stars

Hawkeye (Season 1) – Disney Plus

The latest streaming series entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is exciting, fun and feels like visiting an old friend.  Hailee Steinfeld is Kate Bishop, a huge fan of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) so she’s thrilled when she gets the chance to team up with him.

I loved the first two episodes, each one of which leaves you hanging and excited for the next entry.  Fun, funny and plenty of easter eggs throughout. Marvel fans should really enjoy it.

New episode each Wednesday for the next four weeks.  Rated TV-14.

House of Gucci – Theaters

Inspired-by-true-crime story about the murder of a member of the famed Gucci family. Stars Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino, among others. Directed by Ridley Scott.

Read a review of House of Gucci by KSL’s Morgan Wolfe here

The Beatles: Get Back (Limited Series) – Disney Plus

New documentary about the Beatles & made by Peter Jackson was originally going to be released in theaters but instead heads to Disney Plus.  Made from reels and reels of unseen film footage and unheard audio recordings from the “Get Back Sessions” in January 1969 for the legendary band’s studio album Let It Be. 

Gorgeous, colorful, and almost looks like it was filmed recently.  Six hours long, but split into three parts.  Contains some mature language and some smoking.

A Boy Called Christmas – Netflix

Animated Netflix movie tells the origin story of Father Christmas.  An ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an extraordinary adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm.  Big name voice cast.

A Castle For Christmas – Netflix

In this made-for-Netflix Christmas movie, famed author Sophie (Brooke Shields) travels to Scotland hoping to buy a small castle of her own, but the prickly owner, Duke Myles (Cary Elwes), is reluctant to sell to a foreigner. Working to find a compromise, the pair constantly butt heads, but they just may find something more than they were expecting.  Probably love.

Masters of the Universe: Revelation (Season 1, Part 2) – Netflix

The second half of the animated limited series that is a sequel to the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon from the 1980’s.  The first half of the series caused a bit of a division among fans, some of whom did not like the direction of the series or some of the story choices.

Features the voices of Mark Hamill, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Lena Headey.  The show is co-written and produced by Kevin Smith.  10 total episodes, but maybe a bit too intense for the youngest viewers.  Fans who grew up watching the 80’s cartoon are the target audience.

Madagascar: A Little Wild – Wild Goose Chase – Hulu/Peacock

A holiday-themed special based on the animated streaming series, Madagascar: A Little Wild – Wild Goose Chase sees Melman the giraffe trying to help Hank, a goose who has been separated from his family.  So Melman, Hank and the rest of the crew embark on a wild goose chase around the city to reunite Hank with his merry flock.  For the littlest kids only.  Available on either Hulu or Peacock.


Hopefully you & your family found this preview helpful! Andy Farnsworth does a weekly “What To Watch” segment for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out his in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on KSLTV.com.

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