MOVIE BUFF-ET: Animated adventure ‘Missing Link’ leads a mixed bag of movie releases


A mixed bag of movies opens this weekend at local theaters, and to be perfectly honest none of them look to be all that compelling.

With that said, sometimes movies can be surprisingly fun when you’re expectations are low.


The closest movie to being a big release this week is the reboot of the “Hellboy” franchise by director Neil Marshall which stars David Harbour as the title character. The film pits Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense agent Hellboy, a demon who escaped from Hell during World War II thanks to Nazis practicing the dark arts, against Nimue, the revived blood witch of Camelot (Mila Jovovich). The film, which received relatively little marketing support from its distributor Lionsgate, has garnered dreadful review from critics, although some fans of the comic book have defended the film’s honor in online forums. If you’re determined to see a super-hero movie this weekend, I’d suggest checking out “Shazam!”


“Little” is a comedy fantasy that revives the tried-and-true trope of a cold-hearted adult Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall adult/Marsai Martin child) being reverted back to childhood to learn lessons about playing nice that she should have learned the first time she was a kid. Sanders is cold-souled tech mongol, who relies on her more than capable assistant April (Issa Rae) to keep her business afloat until Sanders becomes her old self again.

I actually got a few chuckles out of the trailer. I suspect the film will be funny, and it might even have heart, but I won’t know for sure until it hits cable or a streaming platform.

Missing Link

“Missing Link” is Laika’s latest stop-motion animation feature film that tells the tale of how myths and monsters investigator Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) reunites Bigfoot (Zach Galifianakis) with his relatives. The movie which also features the voice talent of Zoe Saldana, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, and Timothy Olyphant, is receiving solid reviews like other Laikia films like “Coraline,” “ParaNorman,” “The Boxtrolls, and “Kubo and the Two Strings.”

If you’re a fan of animation, “Missing Link” looks like a winner for kids of all ages.

Mia and the White Lion

“Mia and the White Lion” is a throwback film of sorts to the type of family fare Disney produced in the 1960s and ‘70s when its animated production fell on hard times. The story is about a girl Mia (Daniah De Villiers) who seeks to save an endangered white lion cub by journeying across the South African savanna for sanctuary where the animal can live out its life free of danger. The movie is getting solid reviews.


“After” is a romantic drama about a somewhat innocent college girl Tessa Young (Josephine Langford) who becomes enamored with brooding rebel Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin), and how her desire turns her life upside down. The movie is based on the best-selling book series by Anna Wood. “After” was book series I missed out on, and film I probably will too. That said the few reviews available say the movie isn’t original but is pretty good.

Classic Corner


New In Local Theaters

  • Little (PG-13) 1 hr. 48 min. – AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Rogers Towne, Malco Springdale
    » Watch trailer
  • Hellboy (R) 2 hr. 1 min. – AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Rogers Towne, Malco Springdale, Bentonville Skylight
    » Watch trailer
  • Missing Link (PG) 1 hr. 35 min. – AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Pinnacle, Malco Springdale
    » Watch trailer
  • Mia and the White Lion (PG) 1 hr. 38 min. – Malco Pinnacle Hills
    » Watch trailer
  • After (PG) (PG-13) 1 hr. 46 min. – AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Pinnacle Hills
    » Watch trailer

Director William Wyler’s classic 1959 adaptation “Ben-Hur” turns 60 years old this year and to celebrate, the Malco Razorback Cinema and Grill will hold two showing of the epic at 1 p.m Sunday and 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Sometimes a movie is tagged with the description epic falsely, but that is not the case with Ben-Hur. The word was practically created for the movie that tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur, the Hebrew prince who became a slave determined to fight for his freedom from the Romans until he learns he can only be set free by letting go of his need for revenge and find compassion for his fellow man.

Charlton Heston stars a Ben-Hur, and it’s arguably his finest performance in his best film. It’s hard to imagine any other actor in the iconic role of a man brought to his knees by his pride and lust for revenge. Both in Gen. Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel and the film, Ben-Hur’s life echoes the plight of the Jewish people under Roman rule and parallels the life of Jesus, whom Ben-Hur meets at critical points in his life.

The film includes one of the greatest action sequences ever committed to film with its thrilling chariot race, which many critics feel stands unequaled before or since.

The movie won 11 Academy Awards in 1960 including Best Picture, Best Director (Wyler), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Heston), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Hugh Griffith), and Best Cinematography.

Be aware that the movie is three hours and 32 minutes long, but to a fan of great movies, it’s time well spent.