Hidden Figures is based on the true stories of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, brilliant African-American women working at NASA who each played a part in putting the first American into orbit around the Earth. Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P. Henson, was what they called a "computer" basically someone who is really good at complicated math and played a large role in coming up with the math to not only put John Glenn in orbit but also to calculate where he would land. Dorothy Vaughan, played by Octavia Spencer, was a programmer who helped NASA program it’s' first IBM computer. Mary Jackson, played by Janelle Monae, was the first African-American Engineer to work at NASA.

It's a really good movie with great acting from the main cast and the supporting cast. It's inspirational, it's funny, and it will make you want to shout "hurray" at each small victory.

When I was watching Hidden Figures, I started to wonder how much of this true story was really "true story" and how much was "inspired by the true story". I did a little internet research and found that most of what these women did and what they went through was pretty accurate but the movie played with the timeline quite a bit. Keep in mind it's not a documentary, things were added or changed for dramatization but the meat and bones of it is true.

I highly recommend this movie. It's a safe bet for the entire family.

Also in theaters this week, A Monster Calls stars Lewis MacDougall as Conor a young man dealing with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness, an unsympathetic Grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) who wants to take him from his mother’s care, school bullies, and a Father (Toby Kebbell) who lives on the other side of the world who has no interest in taking Conor back with him. He finds an ally in a tree monster who tells him stories of anger, rage, and vengeance to help him find courage and accept the truths of loss and of life. Liam Neeson stars as the monster in a voice and motion-capture performance.

A Monster Calls is very deep and gripping. It explores the dark emotions of anger, helplessness and grief that we face when confronting death and forces us to find ways to channel those emotions. It’s about the Monster and the rage that lives in all of us. It’s an angry film. It’s a sad film. It is completely engrossing from its story to its amazing visuals and sound and is as much a feast for the senses as it is for the soul.

It looks like a kid’s movie but its emotional depth and intensity might make it a little much for kids. I still highly recommend it. If it had opened in 2016, it would have made my year-end list of best films.

Also in theaters this week, Kate Beckinsale returns (for the last time?) as the Werewolf hunting Vampire, Selene in Underworld: Blood Wars. This time, she’s taking on a more powerful group of Lycans (those are Werewolves) and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Now Streaming on Netflix:
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
Boogie Nights
Gimme The Loot
After Innocence
Cheap Thrills
The Shining
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Beautiful Girls
V For Vendetta

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime:
Raiders of The Lost Ark
Iron Man
Trading Places
American History X
Jesus’ Son
The Untouchables
Gangs of New York
Happy Feet

Available for Streaming Purchase:
Queen of Katwe
Ouija: Origin of Evil