BEYOND THE LIGHTS
Rated PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive gestures, partial nudity, language and thematic elements. Box office gross: $14.5 million. Relativity. Buy/Watch on Amazon.
This thoughtful movie follows the life of Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a hot new award-winning artist primed for superstardom. But not all is what it seems, and the pressures cause Noni to nearly fall apart – until she meets Kaz Nicol (Nate Parker), a promising young cop and aspiring politician who’s been assigned to her detail.
Drawn to each other, romantic sparks fly between Noni and Kaz, despite the protests of those around them to put their career ambitions ahead of their romance. Excellent performances and a gorgeous soundtrack highlight this romantic drama. Read my full review here.
Rated PG for action and peril, some rude humor, and thematic elements. Box office gross: $219.5 million. Disney. Buy/Watch on Amazon.
This heartfelt comedy adventure follows robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius—thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, clean freak Wasabi No-Ginger, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred.
When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion—a cutting-edge robot named Baymax—and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery.
Despite the tragic storyline, this is a sweet movie about honoring your loved ones, recognizing the importance of grief and healing, seeking justice rather than revenge, and putting yourself in harm’s way to help others. Read my full review here.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality. Universal. Buy/Watch on Amazon.
When young squire Gareth (Julian Morris) goes in search of a fallen comet, he believes it holds gold that he can use to pay for his knighthood. Instead of finding a comet, Gareth finds the dragon Drago (voiced by Ben Kingsley) who has fallen to earth and is being hunted by an evil sorcerer.
After Drago saves Gareth’s life, the two bond and work together to defeat the sorcerer and stop his reign of terror. Along the way, Gareth learns the true meaning of being a knight. This film has great special effects and lots of charm.
Rated PG for mild thematic elements. ANconnect. Buy/Watch on Amazon.
This thought-provoking movie follows the story of Kathy (Jordan Trovillion), a girl who dreams of spending the summer at Black River Horse Camp for girls. But after a rodeo accident leaves her dad with a serious leg injury, her parents forbid her from saddling up.
Eventually their concern for Kathy’s social well-being outweighs their fears and she heads to horse camp. Once there she meets the camp’s resident mean girl Stacy (Kristen Ryda), as well as kindhearted Lisa (Rachel Sowers). Kathy is a natural in the saddle, and as she competes to dethrone Stacy as Camp Princess, she learns to recognize the true value of real friendship.
A solid family movie, especially for kids who love horses. Also stars Dean Cain.
Not rated. Acorn Media. Buy/Watch on Amazon.
The cozy villages of Midsomer County reveal their most sinister secrets in these excellent contemporary British television mysteries. Inspired by the novels of Caroline Graham, modern master of the English village mystery, the series stars Neil Dudgeon as the capable Detective Chief Inspector John Barnaby, with Gwilym Lee as his new sidekick, Detective Sergeant Charlie Nelson.
Guest stars include Michael Jayston, Sharon Small, Robert Bathurst, Ann Eleonora Jorgenson, and Hayley Mills.
Mysteries in this set include: “The Christmas Haunting” – New detective Charlie Nelson helps Barnaby investigate a stabbing at a haunted house; “Let Us Prey” – A series of murders mimics scenes on a medieval fresco in Midsomer St Claire; “Wild Harvest” – The death of a wealthy farmer leads the detectives to rotten dealings at a celebrity chef’s restaurant; “The Flying Club” – After a man falls out of a plane, Barnaby and Nelson scrutinize the turbulent relationships at an airfield; “The Killings of Copenhagen” – When a Midsomer businessman is poisoned on a trip abroad, Barnaby assists the Danish police with their inquiry.
Not rated. Shout! Factory. Buy/Watch on Amazon.
In Equestria, obtaining a cutie mark is an important coming-of-age moment for a young Pony. After all, Ponies acquire their cutie marks only after they discover a unique characteristic about themselves, setting them apart from all other Ponies.
So when Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom meet, they instantly become friends and make it their mission to find their cutie marks! Episodes include: “The Cutie Mark Chronicles”; “The Cutie Pox”; “Flight To The Finish”; “Pinkie Pride”; “Twilight Time.”
Not rated. PBS. Buy/Watch on Amazon.
Join the Baby Genius friends – Vinko, DJ, Temp, Oboe, and Frankie – as they introduce babies and toddlers to colors, shapes, letters, numbers, and more through classical music, childhood sing-along favorites, and colorful and engaging videos.
Giggles abound when little kids meet some adorable little animals, including tigers, orangutans, and gorillas. Then the San Diego Zoo is brought to life through a musical menagerie that features pandas, tropical birds, hippos, and more.
All this animal fun is set to the joyful beat of favorite sing-along songs and classical pieces. Adventures include: “Baby Animals”; “A Trip to the San Diego Zoo.” Also includes a bonus CD – “Baby Animals Favorite Sing-A-Longs.”
Not rated. Disney. Buy/Watch on Amazon.
The revelation of a spellbinding secret sets in motion a thrilling adventure! After learning that the Amulet of Avalor is magical, Amber snatches it while Sofia is sleeping. Unfortunately, she unwittingly unleashes a curse that summons evil Princess Ivy, who threatens to destroy the amulet, seize the crown and turn the entire kingdom black-and-white!
Soar through the skies with Amber and Sofia — aided by special guest Rapunzel — as they embark on a daring quest to defeat Ivy, break the curse and save Enchancia. Episodes include: “The Curse of Princess Ivy”; “The Amulet of Avalor”; “Princess Butterfly”; “The Emerald Key.”
SONS OF ANARCHY: THE COMPLETE SERIES GIFTSET (BLU-RAY)
Rated TV-MA. Fox. Buy/Watch on Amazon.
The groundbreaking FX series comes to an end, and now the whole series is on blu-ray in a gorgeous 23-disc set. From creator Kurt Sutter comes this iconic, adrenaline-charged initiation into the gritty underworld of outlaw motorcycle clubs.
Hounded by law enforcement and targeted by ruthless rivals, the Sons of Anarchy face an uncertain and increasingly lawless future. Meanwhile, Jax Teller is torn between loyalty to his brother bikers and the idealistic vision of his father as he faces bloodshed, treachery, and betrayal at every turn.
As Jax struggles to protect his family and escape the deadly legacy of the past, alliances are forged, secrets are revealed, and the bonds of brotherhood are put to the ultimate test.
Not rated. NCircle Entertainment. Buy/Watch on Amazon.
Who’s in The Wiggles’ House? All your favorite friends – Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony, and 25 new songs! Join the fun of “The Laughing Doctor,” taste the delights of “Pappadum,” “Do the Hawk” with Lee Hawkins, “Have a Good Day (Kia Pai to Ra)” with New Zealand’s Robert Rakete, and more!
Images in this feature used courtesy of the studios and distributors.