Film & TV

Epoch Watchlist: What to Watch

BY Ian Kane TIMEJanuary 21, 2022 PRINT

New Release

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High schooler Suzu (Kaho Nakamura) is grieving the loss of her mother. To escape her episodes of depression, she crosses over into a digital world and becomes her popular alter ego, Belle. However, her perfect virtual world is soon thrown into turmoil when certain nefarious forces arrive on the scene.

Simply put, this film is an emotional powerhouse. With marvelous voice acting, sumptuous animation, and a riveting storyline that has to do with the human soul, this is a fine example of what animated films can aspire to be.

Anime | Adventure | Drama
Release Date: Jan. 14, 2022
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Starring: Kaho Nakamura, Ryo Narita, Shota Sometani
Runtime: 2 hours 1 minute
MPAA Rating: PG
Where to Watch: Theaters
Rated: 4 stars out of 5

Family Pick

Epoch Times Photo

‘October Sky’

Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a teenager growing up in a mining town in the 1950s. He’s expected to follow in his father’s footsteps and work the mines. But when he watches the launch of a satellite, he becomes obsessed with building his own. In this quest, he and his like-minded friends will face many challenges.

With a fantastic cast that portrays believable characters (it’s based on a real-life story), this film has a mix of excitement, disappointment, humor, hope, and beautiful oldies tunes that will keep your toes tapping.

Biography | Drama | Family
Release Date: Feb 19, 1999
Director: Joe Johnson
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern
Runtime: 1 hour 48 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
Where to Watch: Vudu, Redbox, DirectTV
Rated: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Top Action Thriller

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‘Jack Reacher’

When former military sniper James Barr (Joseph Sikora) is jailed for killing five people in a quiet Midwestern city, he asks for ex-Army MP Officer Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). However, Jack knows Barr from Iraq and wants to find him guilty. But as Jack digs deeper into the case, he begins to suspect that things aren’t as they seem.

This is an increasingly rare type of action thriller—full of mystery and intrigue while being light on gratuitous violence. It’s also a very well-crafted film.

Action | Thriller
Release Date: Dec 21, 2012
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins
Runtime: 2 hours 10 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Where to Watch: Redbox, Hulu, Epix
Rated: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Rousing Family Drama

Epoch Times Photo

‘How Green Was My Valley’ 

In a Welsh mining village at the turn of the 20th century, life is a challenge. But the Morgans have strong familial bonds. When the village is threatened by the mine’s owner, they must take desperate measures.

This classic is filled with memorable characters and beautiful scenery. But what’s most memorable is its message of hope despite facing some incredibly tough odds.

Drama | Family
Release Date: Oct. 28, 1941
Director: John Ford
Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Anna Lee
Runtime: 1 hour 58 minutes
MPAA Rating: Passed
Where to Watch: Watch TCM, Vudu, DirectTV
Rated: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Ian Kane is an U.S. Army veteran, author, filmmaker, and actor. He is dedicated to the development and production of innovative, thought-provoking, character-driven films and books of the highest quality.
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