You Have to See This! Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

My love affair with writing began with competitive spelling in grade school and evolved right in to middle school where I built my obsession with telling stories. I was always fond of the Scripps spelling bee and I always sought to maybe make it there someday. But you know… puberty happened. In either case, it‘s refreshing to see films in contemporary and modern that portray spelling bees as pure sport. There are more and more movies spotlighting the mental demand of spelling from 2002’s “Spellbound” to “Bee Season,” to “Spelling the Dream.”

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We Can Be Heroes (2020)

When Robert Rodriguez is in kids movie mode, he tends to create some of the most syrupy sweet, loud, tepid movies for his intended audience that though they have a lot of the good intention behind them are pretty much destroyed by the climax. That’s the case with “We Can Be Heroes,” a movie so derivative and tired that it destroys a lot of the charming characters and conflicts in the process.

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The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story (2020)

If you have to ask, then you’ll never understand how big and important Nickelodeon was, once upon a time. For many, “The Orange Years” from Scott Barber and Adam Sweeney might feel like yet another bit of 90’s nostalgia for Millennials, but the documentary is a look at television, its history and how Nickelodeon blazed a trail for a massive industry, and set a precedent that many studios would aspire to topple.

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Scooby Doo! Pirates Ahoy! (2006)

2006’s “Pirates Ahoy!” is one of the more clever animated sequels to come from the aughts when the “Scooby Doo” movie series was pretty much stale. By this time they’d given up fighting real monsters, and reverted back to criminals and goons with fancy costumes and illusions. It’s surprising how much talent these direct to DVD movies always attract, and the cast compliments what is a pretty nifty mystery, altogether.

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The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot about Halloween! (2016)

I had absolutely no idea that the Cat in the Hat had his own animated series on television in America. He was always my favorite troublemaker in the Seuss universe.. The studios have been mining Seuss tales for years for new material and have given us is that wretched live action movie. This time around the animated adventure of the cast and his pals learn about the meaning of Halloween.

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Little Monsters (1989): Vestron Video Collector’s Series [Blu-Ray/Digital]

After spending a long time without an actual release, the Vestron Video Collector’s Series is back with two new titles in time for October. One of the biggies is “Little Monsters,” the 1989 cult classic that’s been considerably out of print for years and been handed some flimsy DVD releases. Now on Blu-Ray, “Little Monsters” is available for a new generation of blooming horror fans. As someone that lovingly looks at “Little Monsters” as a childhood favorite, I’m happy to declare that (despite a tonal change in the second half) the movie has lost little of its luster.

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Daffy Duck & Porky Pig Meet The Groovie Goolies (1972)

As a hardcore Looney Tunes fan, it’s heartbreaking to see how low the character gallery sank in the latter years. With the aging and inevitable death of Mel Blanc, the Looney Tunes basically tread water for years. With this movie, the Looney Tunes gang shares a marquee with a group of goofy monsters that get in all sorts of mishaps and adventures. What ensues is a dull, grating (the Looney Tunes don’t need no stinkin’ laugh track), and absolutely bizarre outing for the gang from Termite Terrace.

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