As we get into the thick of the winter holidays, Cheddar's Digital Team recommends a reunion of the three of the four besties in the "The Sex and the City" sequel, a NatGeo documentary about the rescue of a Thai soccer team trapped in a flooded cave, an overlooked part of the Wachowskis' filmography, and the animated Christmas classic "The Polar Express."
And Just Like That… - HBO Max
Picked by Sr. News Editor Dina Ross
It would seem like sacrilege to pick anything but the Sex and the City sequel this week. It premieres on HBO Max Thursday and the early reviews are...shaky. But there is no doubt that there is a generation of adults who will be hitting play to reminisce about the good ol' days. Will Samantha be holding down the fort in a gritty Meatpacking district? No — Kim Cattrall who played Samantha declined to be part of the reunion. Can any of us suddenly afford Carrie's apartment on a freelance writer's pay? Heck no — but nobody could back then either. Still, I'm hoping to find traces of their glamorous lives in the Big Apple that must have played some part in my own life decisions.
The Rescue - Disney+
Picked by Digital Editor Mike Nam
In the summer of 2018, seemingly a lifetime ago, the entire world was transfixed on the plight of the lost members of a Thai soccer team. Twelve boys and their coach were lost for days in a treacherous cave system that had been flooded during a surprisingly early monsoon rainstorm. Released Dec. 3 on Disney+, National Geographic has put together a stirring documentary showcasing the search and rescue attempt that became a shining example of human courage and global cooperation. Weekend cave divers from around the world joined the Thai Navy, the U.S. military, hundreds and hundreds of volunteers in a race against the clock, and nature's full fury, to pull the trapped boys and their coach out alive. Honestly, it's perfect for the holiday season to remind ourselves what the world could be if we all worked together towards common goals.
Cloud Atlas - Netflix
Picked by Reporter Alex Vuocolo
Matrix Resurrections is hitting theaters this Christmas, and love for the series' original creators, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, is in the air — and yet the directing pair's recent output, the Netflix series Sense8 and the critically derided Jupiter Ascending, had dented their reputations for many years. For my money, however, they still rank among the most visionary filmmakers of their era. For evidence of this, look no further than Cloud Atlas (2012), a sprawling, heartfelt fantasy epic that has never quite gotten its due. Yes, it is an exceedingly strange piece of work that may test some viewers' patience, but it also contains moments of visual inventiveness and beauty that compare with anything in the Matrix series.
The Polar Express - HBO Max
Picked by Producer Lawrence Banton
This past week, I've seen dozens of cars with Christmas trees on their roofs, and each day it seems as if more decorations are going up. The spirit of the holiday season is alive but if you find yourself surrounded by bah humbugs, The Polar Express could be the perfect watch to get the miserable ones on board with the festivities. The film follows a 12-year-old boy, Hero Boy, voiced by Tom Hanks, who is starting to question the magic of Christmas and the existence of Santa. Hero Boy is at a crossroads: he wonders how it could be possible for the jolly ol' fat guy to deliver so many presents in such a short amount of time and live in a place that is "devoid of life." One Christmas Eve, he finds himself boarding a train full of other kids who seem to be letting go of the idea of Santa as well and they embark on a journey that helps them restore the magic of Christmas.