Weekend movies: Praise for “Peanuts,” Bond’s “Spectre” is shaken, but not slammed

pean1“The Peanuts Movie” is the beneficiary of a year’s worth of lowered expectations.

Hey, you mention “From the creators of ‘Ice Age'” and score the commercials and trailers with modern hip hopped pop, and share nary a joke…well, what’re we to think?

But the movie turns out to be a pleasant surprise — voices closely resembling the TV special voice actors of the ’60s, music mostly recycled from Vince Guaraldi’s lovely and beloved “Peanuts Jazz…”

It’s more charming than funny, and critics seem to be almost universal in that assessment, with it sitting in the 85% approval range on Rottentomatoes and somewhat less on Metacritic.

I’m still not sure how this will go over with kids, but as parents buy the tickets and it’s nostalgia and sentimentality will appeal to them, this should be a slam-dunk opening. Big.

“Spectre,” the fourth Daniel Craig as James Bond film, is earning the weakest reviews of his tenure in the role. Recycled bits from earlier films, self-conscious comedy, a weak on-the-nose villain (Christoph Waltz) and beautiful but charmless love interest. Middling reviews from the Metacritic crowd, slightly more positive from the Rottentomatoes sample.

It’s critic proof and should make a bundle. But let’s hope Craig gets his wish and gets out of the series and that he’s not merely playing hard to get in a contract negotiation to do one more film. He’s backed his career into a corner and he and the series would be better off (as he has hinted in interviews) with a change.

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