The second time isn’t the charm for Disney’s “Haunted Mansion.” This movie based on the Disneyland attraction is, at best, an adequate timewaster for older kids. Director Justin Simien has made some very good movies, but he’s clearly out of his element here. The cast is capable, yet this musty wannabe franchise appears to be cursed.
Theater nerds poke fun at themselves in the satirical mockumentary “Theater Camp.” Lifelong friends Molly Gordon and Ben Platt star as self-absorbed summer camp counselors who mount a show while trying to keep the financially struggling resort afloat. There are a lot of inside jokes for theater folks, but general audiences should find it an agreeably goofy outing, too.
“Earth Mama” is a heartbreaking and painfully realistic slice-of-life drama about a young single mom’s fight to keep her kids who are in foster care while dealing with another pregnancy. Tia Nomore gives a poignant performance. Long, slow takes hamper an otherwise involving and urgent story.
The Apple TV+ comedy “The Beanie Bubble” tells the gonzo true story of the boom and bust of the 1990s Beanie Baby craze. Zach Galifinakis plays Ty Warner, the erratic, eccentric and narcissistic founder of toy company Ty, Inc. Elizabeth Banks, Geraldine Viswanathan and Sarah Snook play the women who fueled the company’s success but shared little of its fortune. Like the recent film “Blackberry,” “The Beanie Bubble” effectively reveals the corruptive power of greed.
Ellie Kemper and Luke Grimes do their best to elevate the tepid Netflix rom-com, “Happiness for Beginners” about a recent divorcee and her brother’s best friend who backpack their way to romance. Awkward and phony, “Happiness for Beginners” plays like it was made by beginners.