Opening in Orlando: The Peanuts Movie and Suffragette 

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The Peanuts Movie Lifelong Chuck-o-philes like myself have had our fingers crossed for this flick since it was first announced. Would it be a worthy inheritor to the Schulz tradition or just another watered-down MetLife cash grab? The signs so far have been mostly positive, with the contoured, 3-D look of the trailers representing a reassuringly humble update of the classic character designs. And Snoopy still sounds like Bill Melendez! My biggest concern at this point is the positioning of Good Ol' Charlie Brown as an everyman hero who surmounts overwhelming odds with the help of his faithful dog. Go back to those original dailies and TV specials: This is the story of a perennial loser so pathetic that even man's Best Friend treats him with utter indifference. Will the film pay at least lip service to Schulz's main area of inquiry, which was to see how much contempt a hopelessly neurotic kid could earn while still remaining a social nonentity? Oh, and I'm pretty thrown by the use of "Baba O'Riley" in the ads: The C.B. I know is a "Behind Blue Eyes" kind of guy through and through. ("No one knows what it's like/To be the blockhead ...") (G)

Suffragette Did you know it's been less than 100 years since women in the U.S. were finally allowed to vote? Well, if you didn't, get ready to hear a lot about it over the next 12 months, because talking about it is a great way to avoid answering questions about Glass-Steagall. Yet for some reason, this season's big Meryl Streep project recounts the women's suffrage movement in the U.K., not the one we experienced here at home. Huh! Somebody must think the movie-going audience is more invested in Emmeline Pankhurst than in Susan B. Anthony (although to be fair, the former apparently has a better chance of ending up on American currency than the latter). And as a further head-scratcher, two of the three main characters in this paean to real-life courage and fortitude are fictitious. Wondering why director Sarah Gavron and writer Abi Morgan (XX-chromosome cases both) couldn't have fought for a more direct tribute? Ask Jennifer Lawrence's agent. (PG-13)


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