“Pitch Perfect 3”

When we last saw the a cappella group The Bellas in “Pitch Perfect 2,” most of them were graduating college and the sky was the limit for their futures. But, as we see in clips of a documentary being made by the franchise’s oddly Bella-obsessed commentary team (John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks), things aren’t so sunshiny out in the real world. For example, Beca (Anna Kendrick) can’t stand her job as a music producer because the artists don’t like being told that they’re not talented enough to produce their tracks themselves. Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) isn’t doing so hot as an Amy Winehouse impersonator for all the reasons one would think that isn’t a stable vocation. And everyone else’s life is similarly off-key.


“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” bears very little resemblance to its 1995 predecessor. That film was about a jungle-themed board game that invaded our world. This movie is about a jungle-themed video game that sucks players into its world. It’s probably better that this film goes in a different direction. All the inevitable jokes about the displaced animals invading suburbia and becoming Internet sensations would get old real quick.


“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

2015’s “The Force Awakens” breathed new life into the “Star Wars” saga. For years the franchise had slowly been undone by ill-received prequels, retouchings, and add-ons that made the once-great property look like a money-grubbing joke. “The Force Awakens” restored heart to the series, balance to the Force, if you will. Fans were excited about the new direction of the franchise and wondered where it would take them next. “Next” might not actually be the right word since last year we got the glorified space-filler “Rogue One,” but the direct follow-up to “The Force Awakens” has arrived in the form of “The Last Jedi.”


“The Disaster Artist”

NOTE: This movie is playing on less than 1,000 screens in the country, so it might not yet be in your area. But its popularity is growing, so be on the lookout for it in the coming weeks.


News Briefs - Dec. 6 edition

☆ Christmas concert this Sunday ☆ Tax workshop ☆ Art Opening at Gallery 5 ☆ Christmas dinner ☆ Christmas bird count ☆ UNION at the Treetop Gallery ☆ Camp accreditation ☆ Birds of Australia ☆ For retired flags



2015’s “Room” never reached a wide enough audience to justify a review from me, but if it had, I would have absolutely gushed over the performance of then-7-year-old actor Jacob Tremblay. It was the kind of breakout performance that instantly guarantees an actor a lifetime of work in Hollywood. Brie Larson, who played Tremblay’s mother in the film, won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and I’d argue that he acted circles around her. Not only should he have been nominated for an Oscar, but it should have been for Best Actor and not Best Supporting Actor, for which he was unfairly pushed even though he was definitely the main character and Larson spent a significant amount of time offscreen. “Wonder” is Tremblay’s first big mainstream follow-up movie, and I’m pleased to say it’s worthy of his talents.


Annual Christmas Tree Auction Friday

The 17th Annual Christmas Tree Auction, hosted by the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, will be held 5:30 p.m., Dec. 1, in the Lakeview Room at The Pines Resort in Bass Lake. This is a unique community event as it is the only one that benefits so many area nonprofits.


News Briefs - Nov. 30 edition

☆ Breakfast with Santa ☆ Oakhurst Tree Lighting ☆ Coarsegold Tree Lighting ☆ Collectible Book Sale ☆ Democratic Club meeting ☆ Christmas at Fresno Flats ☆ Free youth fire-setter prevention training ☆ New Year’s Eve at ECCO ☆ Public comment period extended

Calendar Submissions

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Caltrans officials discuss Highway 41 closure

Elizabeth Yeldon, spokesperson for Caltrans, discusses the closure of Highway 41 in eastern Madera County. The roadway was closed due to rock slides.