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Movie Review – The Fabelmans


Self-indulgent, sentimental, and boring. I guess a lot of Christmas films are like that, and now we have one for Hanukkah. (I’m Jewish; please don’t send me hate mail.)

The Fabelmans was presented to me as a story about Steven Spielberg, which piqued my interest. Unfortunately, this story was more about trains than adventure or whimsy. I didn’t see anything becoming a foundation for some of the world’s greatest sci-fi, fantasy, or uplifting disaster tales. (Yes, that’s a thing.) Sammy didn’t collect dinosaurs or spaceships. There were no big “USS Indianapolis” type speeches, or mind-bending thoughts about time travel. Not that anything had to hit the viewer over the head, but there was…nothing. So, I had to wonder if this WAS a movie about a young Spielberg avatar.

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This whole situation is probably my fault. I was asked to see this movie for Peetimes, and it that was about Spielberg, and I had zero time to look at a single trailer or anything to prep for it.

I don’t do dramas. Dramas are weird movies because they seem to exist to make you cry. I have to ask..why…?

I get excited during adventures, thoughtful amid good sci-fi, and enchanted watching fantasies. I laugh at comedies. Those are the intent of those genres. I don’t mind some tears in the service of a good story in a genre I understand.

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This app provides info about movies, reviews, ratings from people who have seen it before and after viewing. It has links to info about the movies. It let’s you know when there will be a lull in the action and how long it will last. If you want to know what happens during that time, you can check the brief synopsis (you have to click a link, so no accidental spoilers). It has a timer you can set (silent) to alert you to a break. It also tells you whether there is anything extra during or after the credits. It’s really a wonderful app. I’ve subscribed for a couple of years to support the developers, but I noticed some of the links to provide feedback didn’t seem to work today. They also made it free, with voluntary donations to see the pee-times. If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to do so, and subscribe if you like it. I really hope the app is supported so it can continue to be maintained!

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But I don’t get ‘drama’ as a genre. Dramatic movies want you to feel something, and that is PAIN. The Fablemans is like two and a quarter hours of being dragged along someone else’s family issues, and trust me, I have my own. I couldn’t just give up and leave the theater because this was a work assignment.

The last drama I saw (Banshees of Inisherin) was at least pretty great, even though I was traumatized by it: a thoughtful story with fantastic scenery and acting, although mislabeled (not a comedy!)…so I gave it a high score of A-.

The Fabelmans was just a long slow slog through people’s personal family horror. I can’t see giving this a grade above a D+, although it seems pro reviewers and the regular folk loved it. Only go by my rating if you, like me, can’t commit to over two hours dredging through someone else’s family trauma.

I will say the last five minutes were outstanding — where Sammy gets the advice of noting his movies’ horizons. Now I want to watch movies with this horizon business in mind because it was a glowing insight. Still not worth spending $35… But please, read the other reviews out there and make your own call.

Grade: D+

About The Peetimes: The first 2 Peetimes are good, and the 3rd is for Emergencies. The 3rd also serves as an Alert Peetime for some people, with some Jew Bashing. There was a ton of dialog here so it was hard to get decent Peetimes, but I think these will do fine. 🙂

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Fabelmans.

Rated: (PG-13) Some Strong Language | Drug Use | Brief Violence | Thematic Elements
Genres: Drama
Starring: Michelle Williams, Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer(s): Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner
Language: English
Country: N/A

Growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, young Sammy Fabelman aspires to become a filmmaker as he reaches adolescence, but soon discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of films can help him see the truth.

Don’t miss your favorite movie moments because you have to pee or need a snack. Use the RunPee app (Androidor iPhone) when you go to the movies. We have Peetimes for all wide release films every week, including Twisters, Fly Me To The Moon, Despicable Me 4, A Quiet Place: Day One, Inside Out 2 and coming soon, Deadpool & Wolverien, Borderlands, Alien: Romulus and many others. We have literally thousands of Peetimes—from classic movies through today’s blockbusters. You can also keep up with movie news and reviews on our blog, or by following us on Twitter @RunPee. If there’s a new film out there, we’ve got your bladder covered.


One response to “Movie Review – The Fabelmans”

  1. Chuck Bell Avatar

    In the review you said there was nothing during/after the credits but the pee times says there is. It really shouldn’t because doing a shoutout to Anthony shouldn’t count.

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