They're both follow-ups to hits that also enjoyed October openings – one in 2018, and the other in 2019. They're both blessedly short, running 97 and 93 minutes, respectively. And if you're wondering what else Venom: Let There Be Carnage and The Addams Family 2 might have in common, they're both considerably better than the works they hailed from, although in only one case does the improvement result in something resembling a good movie.

While it's intermittently moving and generally well-acted, the film version of Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen, as you may have heard, has a number of problems: an unconvincing, even preposterous premise; blithe depictions of teen depression and mental instability; a 27-year-old lead cast as a high-school student. We'll get to those shortly. But the movie's biggest issue, it seems to me, lies in a sensation that you might only recognize if you've seen a lot of stage musicals, or least a lot of sub-par ones.

Clint Eastwood isn't necessarily bad here; at times, he's even enjoyable. But while I don't wish to be indelicate, there's no getting around the fact that, at the time of filming last year, Clint was 90, and he looks 90, and sounds 90, and moves 90 … and somehow, maddeningly, not one character in the film seems to notice.

Paul Schrader's hypnotic, sometimes thrillingly intense exploration of some of his favorite artistic themes – obsession, addiction, guilt, redemption – is such a singularly arresting achievement that it's easy to sail past its structural and performance flaws.

Over the past decade-plus, theatre audiences have seen her in such area productions as A Streetcar Named Desire, Oedipus Rex, The Gift of the Magi, and this past June's Hate Mail. They've heard her sing in such musicals as Thoroughly Modern Millie, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Assassins. But until now – or rather, until its September 16 through 18 run at Davenport venue The Mockingbird on Main – stage fans haven't spent a full 75 minutes in her solo (albeit piano-accompanied) theatrical company until the debut of her one-act cabaret Wishes: An Evening with Wendy Czekalski.

An introduction to the martial-arts master and eventual world-saver who debuted, in comic-book form, in the 1970s, Destin Daniel Cretton's MCU outing is prototypical origin-story world-building to its teeth, but not entirely unenjoyable.

The professional talents of Ballet Quad Cities are off to see the Wizard – the wonderful Wizard of Oz – in the company's latest presentations at Davenport's Outing Club: Ballet on the Lawn Take Two: Dorothy Goes to Oz!, a pair of September 12 performances boasting an completely new take on beloved characters made unforgettable through L. Frank Baum's children's-book series and the 1939 film classic starring Judy Garland.

Candyman is only director Nia DaCosta's second full-length feature, and it may not be entirely coincidental that the last sophomore effort I enjoyed in so similar a way was Jordan Peele's Us.

I wish I could say that writer/director Lisa Joy's futuristic noir gave Hugh Jackman opportunities to access the performer's lighthearted, effortlessly winning side that we rarely get to see outside of him playing The Greatest Showman on-screen or at awards shows. Alas, it doesn't. But at least this intricately plotted, visually arresting crime thriller gives its audiences a few legitimate reasons to grin.

Throughout most of director Shawn Levy's action comedy Free Guy, Ryan Reynolds walks and runs and drives around with an expression of awed, smiling wonder. That was pretty much my expression throughout the film, too.

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