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Critics' guide on what to watch this weekend

Neal Justin and Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

'Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers'

What's the last word you'd expect to apply to this bit of Disney brand extension? How about "ambitious?" It is, though. An origin story and a new adventure about the genial chipmunks who get in and out of scrapes, "Rescue Rangers" is also a surprisingly clever look at animation styles. Incorporating hand-drawn, stop-motion and computer-generated techniques, "Rescue Rangers" includes sly jokes about cartoon innovations that worked ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit") and those that really didn't ("Cats"). Andy Samberg, Seth Rogen and John Mulaney supply the voices. Disney+

'Operation Mincemeat'

It's an oft-told story but a good one: During World War II, British spies hatch a plan to divert the Nazis with the corpse of a fictitious soldier, carrying information to throw them off track. It was the subject of the book and movie "The Man Who Never Was" as well as a book by Ben Macintyre. Based on Macintyre's book "Operation Mincemeat," the film stars Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen, as one of the snivelers who have become his trademark since "Succession." Things occasionally drag (especially in the romantic subplot), but it's a satisfying win for the good guys and, for a change, the movie acknowledges that female Brits (played by Penelope Wilton and Kelly Macdonald) made important contributions to war strategy. Netflix

'Senior Year'

A subdued Rebel Wilson stars as a woman who comes out of a two-decade-long coma determined to have the senior prom she missed while she was out cold. Bits of "Bring It On," "Clueless" and "Billy Madison" are blended in a wan movie that's not as funny as any of them. It's a nice touch to feature a cameo by "Clueless" star Alicia Silverstone, but you should watch "PEN15," instead. Netflix

 

'Top Gun'

Come for a refresher prior to the upcoming (and said-to-be-great) sequel. Stay for the mid-'80s soundtrack (including Oscar-winning song "Take My Breath Away"), homoerotic beach volleyball, aerial stunt work and a great supporting performance by Meg Ryan as a pal of Tom Cruise's hotdogging fighter pilot. Netflix, Paramount+

'American Dream'

Judd Apatow's four-hour documentary on George Carlin isn't nearly as long — or as powerful — as his masterpiece on Garry Shandling. But it still delivers. The legendary stand-up, who died in 2008, was a pack rat who seemed to save every scrap and calendar page, a habit Apatow and his co-director Michael Bonfiglio utilize to the fullest extent. The film is at its best when it dissects Carlin's angriest tirades with the aid of disciples like Chris Rock and Jon Stewart. 8 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday, HBO

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