It's almost inconceivable, and a little perverse, that the same actor who was so convincing as a Jewish bookkeeper in Schindler's List, the heroine's father in Anne Frank, and freakin' Moses could also be wholly persuasive as Adolf Eichmann, the chief architect behind Hitler's Final Solution. But considering his additional screen roles have ranged from Mahatma Gandhi to gangster Meyer Lansky to film pioneer Georges Méliès, Ben Kingsley has always demonstrated a virtuosic talent for playing ethnically diverse real-life figures – a skill that's both the chief pleasure and biggest moral hazard in the engaging, slightly infuriating post-war thriller Operation Finale.

The novelty of puppets – or, in the case of Team America: World Police, marionettes cursing and boinking and excreting was already mostly worn out by the mid-aughts, at which point Crank Yankers was midway through its five-season run and Broadway's Avenue Q a mainstream, Tony-winning hit. So The Happytime Murders was probably doomed from the start, given that its central joke, and only truly sustained joke, finds humans interacting with puppets in possession of brazenly filthy mouths, active libidos, and a wild excess of body fluids. As comic conceits go, that one's definitely a yawn. Astoundingly, though, and despite its considerable flaws, the movie itself isn't terrible – or at least, nowhere near as terrible as you may have heard.

Much has been made in the press about how the romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, based on Kevin Kwan's 2013 bestseller, is the first Hollywood movie since 1993's The Joy Luck Club to boast an almost universally Asian and Asian-American cast. To be sure, this is a milestone worth celebrating – if also lamenting. (Representation of this sort took another quarter-century why, exactly?) But getting lost in the conversation is the fact that in addition to being a charming entertainment, the weekend's top-grossing film at nationwide cineplexes is, I'm forced to admit, unbridled pornography. Granted, it's luxury porn, and sometimes food porn, but a deliberate turn-on nonetheless.

Short works, feature-length films, comedy classics, documentaries, an awards party, and a Q & A with Bettendorf natives Scott Beck and Bryan Woods – co-screenwriters of the horror smash A Quiet Place – are just some what movie fans can look forward to at this year's Alternating Current festival, with more than a dozen events scheduled for venues in downtown Davenport and at Rock Island's Wake Brewery.

Inspired by true events – or, as an opening title card explains, “based upon some fo' real, fo' real sh*t – BlacKkKlansman is a police procedural, a thriller, a comedy, a celebration of black identity, an indictment of white nationalism, and a rallying cry against more than a century's worth of media and public complacency, misrepresentation, and offense. Being a Spike Lee joint, the movie's stunning success on these and additional levels isn't necessary a surprise.

A question for those of you who saw Disney's Christopher Robin over the weekend: While watching Ewan McGregor's titular character interact with vocal actor Jim Cumming's eerily lifelike Winnie-the-Pooh, did any of you immediately flash to Mark Wahlberg trading profane quips with his Teddy-bear best friend in Ted? Another question: If so, did you find yourself, as I did, kind of wishing you were watching Ted instead?

Lord knows we don't need any more awards for movies and the people who make them. But after watching the latest sequel to Mission: Impossible – hell, after watching its first 10 minutes – I was actively wishing that someone would at least fashion an oversize blue ribbon, or maybe an Edible Arrangements bouquet of some sort, in recognition of “Best Pre-Opening-Credits Sequence.” Because the one that writer/director Christopher McQuarrie and company have devised for Mission: Impossible – Fallout is practically a movie of its own, and an awfully good one.

Any movie that casts 72-year-old Cher as the mother of 69-year-old Meryl Streep clearly has almost zero interest in realism and an almost immeasurable passion for kitsch. And so it is with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the sequel to 2008's screen explosion of ABBA tunes that proves slightly less obnoxious than its predecessor, which turns out to be both a major plus and a significant minus.

You know a disaster movie is mired in cliché when a character, in the final minutes, is asked what we do now in the wake of so much destruction, and replies with an earnest, determined “Rebuild” – just like Dwayne Johnson did at the end of San Andreas. You know an action thriller is mired in cliché when a character, in the final minutes, finally takes a breath after so much breathless activity, and utters an earnest, plaintive “Let's go home” – just like Dwayne Johnson did at the end of Snitch.

In the final minutes of the new Skyscraper, a disaster-movie-cum-action-thriller starring Dwayne Johnson, you will hear both these lines.

“I saw Won't You Be My Neighbor?. Friggin' face faucet, dude.” – actor/writer Kumail Nanjiani, in a recent tweet

Unless you're too young to be aware of the man and his legacy or too jaded or angry to care, it's hard to imagine who won't dissolve into a blubbery mess watching Morgan Neville's documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?, a supremely intelligent, bighearted look at the life and career of Fred McFeely Rogers, host of the beloved PBS children's series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. (And were you aware that his middle name was “McFeely”? Landing on that information recently, I got choked up anew with the refrain “Speedy delivery! Speedy delivery!” in my head.)

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