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Staff & contributors

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is a parody of a parody, a multilayered confection of silliness that befits the musician it celebrates. It's the origin story of Weird Al Yankovic (Daniel Radcliffe) but with the surreal and satirical levels cranked up to a hundred. It's easy to get lost then, in the movie's freewheeling giddiness, but Radcliffe has a way of grounding the ultra-heightened comedy with his conviction and charm. The movie also doubles as a who's who in the 1980s music and comedy scene, and the unlikely pairings it brings together keep you entertained and nostalgic for a simpler, weirder time. 

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music

Actor: 'Weird Al' Yankovic, Akiva Schaffer, Anthony Nanakornpanom, Arturo Castro, Chad Guerrero, Conan O'Brien, Constantine Rousouli, Daniel Radcliffe, David Bloom, David Dastmalchian, Demetri Martin, Diedrich Bader, Dot-Marie Jones, Emo Philips, Eric Appel, Evan Rachel Wood, Jack Black, James Preston Rogers, Jimmy Walker Jr., Johnny Pemberton, Jonah Ray, Jonah Ray Rodrigues, Jorma Taccone, Josh Groban, Julianne Nicholson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michael McKean, Mike Escamilla, Nina West, Paloma Esparza Rabinov, Panuvat Anthony Nanakornpanom, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, Paul Riley Fox, Quinta Brunson, Rainn Wilson, Richard Aaron Anderson, Rocky Abou-Sakher, Scott Aukerman, Seth Green, Spencer Treat Clark, Thomas Lennon, Toby Huss, Tommy O'Brien, Trenyce, Will Forte, William Guirola

Director: Eric Appel

Rating: TV-14

Set at a time when humans can travel as far into space as Jupiter, Spaceman looks delightfully retro-futuristic. It’s as if the people and tech of the ‘60s were transported to a faraway future where things like long-haul space flights and nebulous pink clouds exist, and so visually, Spaceman is not tiring to look at. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about most of the film’s other elements, including its dialogue and story. Jakub is sent to space to collect mysterious ancient dust, but since we never know why he should exactly, it never feels consequential if at all necessary. In fact, this is less about his mission than it is about coming to terms with existential truths like pain, loss, and love. And what better way to confront all that than with a wise primordial arachnid? Now, the idea of a therapy session between a spaceman and a spider sounds intriguing enough, and with strong enough writing, it could fly. But the dialogue is too sparse to be thought-provoking. The main message, that you should appreciate what you have while you have it, is also too simple to carry the weight of this expansive film, especially since we have very few details about the story and character to go on with. But Sandler, Carrey Mulligan (who plays his wife), and even Paul Dano (who voices the spider) do the best with what they can, and if anything, you leave the film stunned by the visuals and moved by their empathetic performances.

Genre: Drama, Science Fiction

Actor: Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan, Isabella Rossellini, John Flanders, Kunal Nayyar, Lena Olin, Marian Roden, Paul Dano, Sinéad Phelps, Sunny Sandler, Zuzana Stivínová

Director: Johan Renck

Rating: R