‘The Other Woman’ goes way too far

July 31, 2014

A twist on the jilted wife scenario seemed like a fun idea, but like cracks in a sidewalk, it soon became apparent that something was wrong. But rather than finding a quick exit and accept minimal damage, the filmmakers kept going, searching for something, and short of the Hindenburg disaster, they found it, but oh, the humanity!



Inspiring ‘heaven is for real’ avoids heavy-handedness

July 10, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I expressed some serious disappointment over a Christian-themed film, “God’s Not Dead.” I thought it was a heavy-handed mess that stood on the shoulders of mean and nasty atheists in hopes of elevating its cause. It felt very negative.



‘Non-Stop’ a little on the unbelievable side ... but who cares? It’s Liam Neeson

June 12, 2014

Admittedly, Liam Neeson is making a comfortable living these days snarling at potential suspects, breaking a few heads and pointing a gun at almost everybody — and for some reason, we can’t get enough.



‘Wolf of Wall Street’ lewd, crude and hilarious

April 17, 2014

 

If I warned you that Martin Scorsese does for violence in “Good Fellas” what he does for sex and drugs in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” would you be catching my drift?

It’s a pretty big drift, so give it some thought.

If for some reason that sounds all fuzzy, here’s the bottom line — there’s a ton of sex, language and drugs in this movie!

You’ve been forewarned.

For you adventurous few, here’s what else there is.



‘Anchorman 2’ dumb, but pretty darn funny

April 10, 2014

 

Expectations have been running high for Mr. Burgundy and his crew. And I believe they have been met or slightly exceeded.

So, yay, News Team!

After the last movie, Ron and Ms. Corningstone made the leap to New York City as local news team partners, but Ron (Will Ferrell) is devastated when his lovely Veronica (Christina Applegate) is promoted to the solo chair and he’s sent packing back to San Diego.



Could ‘Frozen’ be the next Disney classic? Wait and see

April 3, 2014

 

Disney makes a ton of money converting its movies into Broadway musicals. So, it’s no surprise that those movies feel like Broadway musicals right out of the gate.

“Frozen” is the latest example of cross-pollinating media from screen to stage as it features dueling, singing sisters who sound like they were left off the “Wicked” soundtrack.



Second ‘Hobbit’ movie a barrelful of action

March 27, 2014

 

I feel like I should start this review with “Previously on ‘The Hobbit’ …” since we’re picking up where Peter Jackson decided to leave us last year.

The action begins almost immediately with Bilbo (Martin Freeman) scurrying across the landscape with his dwarf pals about as quickly as their furry little feet can carry them, with those lovely orc dudes in hot pursuit (btw, they need a better dental plan). Gross!

Gandalf (Ian McKellen) knows a guy nearby who can protect them (notice how he always “knows a guy.” He’s like a Middle Earth mobster).



Strong cast pulls off con jobs, intrigues in ‘American Hustle’

March 20, 2014

 

If there were ever an awards category for best ensemble hair performance — this would win comb over, hands down.

In fact, the first five minutes or so feature an overweight Christian Bale (he put on 40 pounds) trying to glue a bird’s nest to his bald spot and pulling over his black-dyed ring of hair remnants to give himself a less embarrassing look. Doesn’t work. He’s not fooling anyone. But it does give us a glimpse inside the mind of a shrewd con man who BELIEVES he can pull it off.



‘Catching Fire’ even better than first ‘Hunger Games’

March 6, 2014

 

I know I’m not the target audience for young adult fantasy adventures like “The Twilight Saga” or “Harry Potter and the Magical Whatever,” but this second installment of “The Hunger Games” franchise is about as good as they get.

It’s edgier, grittier, more expressive and more entertaining than the first “Hunger Games,” which means not only will its devoted fans go in busloads repeatedly, but will leave behind truckloads of movie cash that will rival the year’s biggest box office successes.

In short, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is a surefire hit.



Second ‘Cloudy’ movie one of those rare sequels that’s equal to its original

February 27, 2014

 

It’s never easy to follow up a surprise hit with an equally agreeable sequel, but Sony Pictures Animation has done just that.

No one expected the first “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” to amount to much. I guess $243 million in worldwide grosses suggests otherwise.

So now they’re back with “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” with most of the same voice cast intact and a slightly smaller budget ($78 million as opposed to $100 million) — and they’ve created an equally fun and entertaining adventure that I believe is sure to please.

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