Epoch Watchlist: What to Watch This Week

By Ian Kane
Ian Kane
Ian Kane
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. You can check out his health blog at IanKaneHealthNut.com
December 21, 2021 Updated: December 21, 2021

New Release

‘West Side Story’

Steven Spielberg’s modern take on the 1957 original, this film tells a story of forbidden love, racial tension, and violence in New York City. The narrative focuses on the leader (Ansel Elgort) of a street gang, the all-white Jets, as he falls in love with the sister (Rachel Zegler) of the leader of a rival gang, the Puerto Rican Sharks.

It features the usual touchstones of woke political correctness, including divisive racial tension and the shoving of identity politics down everyone’s throats. It also seems designed purely as an Oscar-winning vehicle.

Crime | Drama | Musical
Release Date: Dec. 10, 2021
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose
Runtime: 2 hours, 36 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Where to Watch: Theaters
Rated: 1 1/2 out of 5 stars

Feel-Good Comedy

Epoch Times Photo

‘Groundhog Day’

Pittsburgh meteorologist Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sent to Punxsutawney, where he covers Groundhog Day each year. Although the day is special to town locals, Phil can’t stand the job or the locale, although he likes Rita (Andie MacDowell), the event’s producer. Phil’s disdain for the town reaches critical levels when he wakes up each consecutive morning and finds himself reliving the same day over and over.

This plot device stays fresh because of the film’s unexpected twists, funny dialogue, and ultimately uplifting message.

Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
Release Date: Feb. 12, 1993
Director: Harold Ramis
Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliot
Runtime: 1 hour 41 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
Rated: 3 1/2  out of 5 stars

Christmas Comedy

Epoch Times Photo

‘Elf’

Buddy (Will Ferrell) is a human who was mistakenly raised as an elf by Santa Claus at the North Pole. Restless about who his biological father is, he travels to New York City and discovers that his dad, Walter Hobbs (James Caan), is not only a mean-spirited person, but also on Santa’s naughty list for Christmas.

A good-natured and modern take on Christmas that should cheer us up in these interesting times, “Elf” explores the themes of generosity and selfishness, and innocence and cynicism.

Adventure | Comedy | Family
Release Date: Nov. 7, 2003
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart
Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
Where to Watch: Redbox, Starz, HBO Max
Rated: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Highly Underrated Christmas Classic

Epoch Times Photo

‘A Holiday Affair’

War widow Connie (Janet Leigh) meets salesman Steve (Robert Mitchum) over the Christmas holidays. Although attracted to Steve, she doesn’t necessarily want to give up the security that lawyer Carl (Wendell Corey) can provide for her and her son.

Stirring romance and laughs uplift what could have been a rather pedestrian holiday yarn, making this a highly underrated film.

Comedy | Drama | Romance
Release Date: Dec. 24, 1949
Director: Don Hartman
Starring: Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey
Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes
MPAA Rating: Approved
Where to Watch: HBO Max, Vudu, Apple TV
Rated: 4 out of 5 stars

Ian Kane
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. You can check out his health blog at IanKaneHealthNut.com