America’s dad wants to be a real dad. Tom Hanks stars as Geppetto in the Disney Plus live-action remake of the 1940 animated masterpiece, “Pinocchio.” Cynthia Erivo plays the Blue Fairy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt provides the voice of Jiminy Cricket and Keegan-Michael Key is the duplicitous Honest John. Hanks re-teams here for the fourth time with “Forrest Gump” director Robert Zemeckis, so hopes were high. Sadly, the changes made to the original are wooden headed, adding nearly a half-hour to the movie’s running time and sapping the story of much of its charm. The extra songs are regrettable, too. The only thing this reconstruction has going for it are the notable CGI visuals, even though some of the nighttime scenes are downright hard to see. What’s missing here is magic. If you’re wishing on a star for a great family movie, you’d be much better off opting for the five-star original “Pinocchio.”
Do you ever wish that they still made the kind of campy grindhouse exploitation thrillers that were once the staple of drive-in theaters? If so, then the Netflix action drama “End of the Road” might strike you as downright nostalgic. Queen Latifah and Ludacris star as sister and brother who fall on hard times. They embark on a road trip from LA to Houston in an attempt to build a new life. On their way through the desert, they encounter racists, criminals and stolen drug money and must run for their lives. The cast is appealing, and the movie is initially involving. But things quickly fall apart, the story becomes absurd, and the laughs become unintentional. It may be the end of the road, but there’s no end to the script’s enormous plot holes.