Disney will probably own this weekend with their Little Mermaid made new and big in live action. But look for a couple of modern family stories and a celebration of the man who told us “It ain't over til it's over”.

And also check out Succession. That series from HBO, showing on Crave, has had four terrific seasons. It gave us one of the best-ever dramas about death a few weeks ago, and then some brilliantly-written eulogies at a funeral. Sunday it'll have a 90-minute season finale and we may finally hear who will win the job of CEO at Waystar Royco, the powerful media conglomerate. Predictions are floating around the internet.The Guardian wrote an interesting one this week has that sounds out of the question, until you think again and realize “Yeah”. It's a must watch.

And meanwhile, the movies ...

The Little Mermaid: 3 stars

You Hurt my Feelings: 4

L'Immensita: 3 ½

It Ain't Over: 4

About My Father: 2 ½

Mission Kandahar: 2 ½

THE LITTLE MERMAID: Just one month since Disney's last live-action re-make of an animated favorite (Peter Pan and Wendy on Disney+) we have this new visit with Ariel and a much longer and more realistic one it is. It was a perky 83 minutes back in 1989; it's now two hours and 15 minutes and that's not a plus. It drags in spots, over-excites in others and tells a fuller story without a lot of extra benefit. The theme is the same—a young woman's desire to see what life is like outside her tight home—it's just inflated.

Courtesy of Disney

There are positives though. Ariel, wonderfully played and sung by Halle Bailey, is a more modern character, curious and searching, not so petulant. And check out the altered lyrics for the song Kiss the Girl. They're not pushy anymore. The story is more contemporary. Ariel's dad isn't controlling; he's protective; he has an ecological fear of the human beings Ariel is trying to get to know. Parents' concern for their children is a big theme, even for the Prince who Ariel falls in love with. His mother, a new character, reinforces it.

Ariel saves the prince (Jonah Hauer-King) from drowning and with the help of her aunt, the scheming octopus known as the Sea Witch and played with menacing glee by Melissa McCarthy, becomes human (i.e. no fins). She's got three days with the prince and must get him to kiss her or come back underwater and under her control. Javier Bardem is solid as Ariel's father, King Triton and favorite characters come along: Sebastian (Broadway's; Daveed Diggs), Scuttle (film's Awkwafina) and Flounder (Vancouver's Jacob Tremblay). They bring some of the comic tone we felt in the original. The rest becomes a mammoth sea adventure with ship wrecks, giant waves, explosions, a hurricane and intense action. Pretty intense for little kids. Overdone by director Rob Marshall. Likely a big hit, though. (In theaters) 3 out of 5

YOU HURT MY FEELINGS: A new one from a master of the comedy of manners (and unintended slights) set in a modern urban melieu and written for mature adult moviegoers. That sounds a bit pretentious but writer/director Nicole Holofcener isn't that at all. She's observant. She writes accurately to show how people talk, interact and just as easily disturb. Here she's working again with Julia Louis-Dreyfus who can depict neurotic behaviour so well. They're in a portrait of New York life that'll remind you of what Seinfeld and Woody Allen used to show us.

Courtesy of Elevation Pictures

Beth (Louis-Dreyfus) is working on a novel, a first after her well-received first book which was based on her journals. It's a struggle. Husband Don (Tobias Menzies) says it's good but at a party she overheards him saying that he doesn't like it. Beth turns to her sister (Michaela Watkins) for support but she’s distracted by problems in her own marriage. Meanwhile, Beth's husband is a therapist and we see sessions with both a fractious couple and a morose man. They're omens of what could befall our characters and together amount to a clever, very smart and wryly funny urban comedy and drama. (In theaters) 4 out of 5

L’IMMENSITÀ: Don't look for a lot of story in this French-Italian co-production, the first film in 11 years for the Italian director Emanuele Crialese. But do find heart and warmth in this tale of family dynamics with a significant (and very timely these days) wrinkle. Transgender identification, is the issue. Adriana, age 13, insists she's actually a boy and wants to be called Andrew. Not only that, he/she is from another galaxy. That could be pretty difficult to deal with but the mother (Penelope Cruz) works hard at it. She accept it and supports her child.

Courtesy of Mongrel Media

Her unfaithful husband isn't there very much but she's happy, loves to sing and dance around the house as she sets the table and acts like a mother. Andrew (Luana Giuliani, in a touching performance) deals with obstacles outside the family. He's asked at the beach why he never takes his shirt off. He's attracted to a gypsy girl he meets in the neighborhood and can't tell her more even as he's dancing with her. He eats too many wafers (the body of Christ) in church and gets lost in an underground maze of tunnels like any regular kid. But in an outburst to mom he yells "You and dad made me wrong." It's not a story as such; it's a series of pictures that illustrate the director's memories. But they feel genuine and they're enlivened by several imaginary musical sequences.

Courtesy of Mongrel Media

Heartfelt and nostalgic. (In theaters: now in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, next Friday in Ottawa, with more to come) 3 ½ out of 5

IT AIN'T OVER: It's about baseball but not just for its fans. Anybody can enjoy it who has heard some the iconic sayings that came from Yogi Berra. “It ain't over, til it's over.” Who hasn't heard that one? Or “It's deja vu all over again.” How about this lessser-known one: “If you can't imitate him, don't copy him.” They're memorable because they seem contradictory but on second thought make a point accurately and succinctly. They're what draw you in, but the film has a bigger purpose: to celebrate a career beyond the adage creator.

Courtesy of Mongrel Media

Berra had a fabulous career as a catcher for the New York Yankees. He won multiple World Series rings. Was the catcher who called the pitches for Don Larsen's historic perfect game. Was the catcher who was sure he got Jackie Robinson out in a hotly disputed base-stealing incident. The film recalls much more through old clips and new interviews from a huge line of characters fans will remember from TV and elsewhere: Bob Costas, Vin Scully, big-time fan Billy Crystal, Roger Angell, Joe Girardi, Berra's children, the son of George Steinbrenner (who hired and fired him as manager) and teamate Don Mattingly who called him “a gentle and kind soul.” To others he's “the most overlooked superstar in the history of baseball” or even “looks like a fire hydrant.” This is a very entertaing biography directed by Sean Mullin. (Theaters in Toronto and Vancouver now, other cities soon) 4 out of 5

ABOUT MY FATHER: Robert De Niro should stop with the comedies. He's in yet another weak one though Lionsgate the distributor hypes that he's paired with “the hottest comic in America”. That would be Sebastian Maniscalco who has done five comedy specials for Netflix and acted alongside De Niro in the mobster film, The Irishman. In this one they are father and son, an Italian immigrant who worked as a hair stylist and his boy who is ready to move up in class. He's attracted to an artist (Leslie Bibb) who thinks her paintings are clever (humdrum actually, yet selling, it seems) and whose parents are from the tony country-club set.

Courtesy of Lionsgate

An invite to a family gathering (David Rasche is the patriarch) brings on all sorts of culture-clash humor. (Pretty commonplace, though). That's especially so since De Niro as the dad insists upon coming along. Things get worse when he's called on to do an emergency hair styling for the matriarch (Kim Cattrall), a U.S. Senator called to a sudden appereance on MSNBC. There's a potential here. The incidents are right in Maniscalo's comedic territory—nostalgia, immigrant relatives and their misteps—but they come across as only pleasant and overly familiar. Laura Terruso's direction doesn't sharpen it. (In theaters) 2 ½ out of 5

MISSION KANDAHAR: One of the constants in these knotty filmgoing times is the regular arrival of a Gerard Butler action flick. He's like Arnie, Sly and Chuck used to be and here gets involved in a story so multi-sided it's hard to keep track of who is on who's side. That may be deliberate: to show there are times when nobody knows anything. Butler, as a freelancer, working for the CIA, is working with, or fighting, agents from Iran (he blows up a nuclear facility at the start), Pakistan, the U.A.E., ISIS (I think) and The Taliban.

Courtesy of VVS Films

We (and the CIA via satellite surveillance from Langley) watch him on the run after his cover is blown. His translater, Mo (or Mohammad) is with him as they dodge artillery fire and vehicles coming at them filmed in scenic Saudi Arabia. A Pakistani agent (played by Ali Fazal, familiar from both Bollywood and English-language movies) is most persistent, but we don't really know why. The writer, Mitchell LaFortune, is a former intelligence agent and that may explain the attitudes here. A Taliban guy is berated for worrying about keeping little girls out of school. Butler is told to obey Sharia law. Bits of reality like that pop up between the firefights, which after all, along with pursuit, are the real purpose here. They're vigorous. (In Theaters) 2 ½ out of 5