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.
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.
The character Jack Reacher, from the acclaimed novel series, is supposed to be 6-foot-5-inches tall and weigh somewhere around 220 to 250.
Seems like an odd thing to bring up, until you realize they chose (tiny) Tom Cruise to play the part in the film.
The author of the books, Jim Grant (who writes under the pen name Lee Child), was reported saying, “With another actor you might get 100 percent of the height but only 90 percent of Reacher. With Tom, you’ll get 100 percent of Reacher with 90 percent of the height” (rounding up a bit).
“Seven Psychopaths” is a movie Quentin Tarantino only wishes he could have made.
So, if you don’t like Tarantino and think his movies are deeply disturbed, you know what to do, right? As in, you’ll decide not to go see “Seven Psychopaths.”
The rest of this review is for those still with me.
“Seven Psychopaths” is one of the funniest, most clever, most violent films about a belief in nonviolence I have ever seen.
It never feels quite right and it rarely happens, but I found myself the only one laughing in a quaint collection of moviegoing strangers one afternoon.
We had assembled to witness "Hit & Run," the new Dax Shepard/Kristen Bell action/love/comedy. I was at the screening for work; the rest, I assumed, for a brisk 100 minutes of randy entertainment.
Movie fans love their Batman. Hell, I love Batman! Yet, as much as I wanted "The Dark Knight Rises" to be great -- in my opinion, it wasn't.
It was just very good. But, considering how high the bar was set with the last film, "The Dark Knight," it was going to be a tough act to follow, no matter what.
This final installment in director Christopher Nolan's trilogy is an attempt to be more than a mere "superhero" movie. It wants to be an epic adventure in both letting go and fighting injustice.
"Prometheus" has the best use of 3-D technology since "Avatar."
The visuals are stunning, the new worlds are spectacular; only one small problem -- the characters are idiots.
That small problem quickly becomes a big problem as our intrepid, ragtag crew comes out of deep space hibernation after nearly 2 1/2 years, only to wish they should have stayed fast asleep.
Author and screenwriter Nicholas Sparks seems like a nice man. I met him. He's personable, and he appears to be happy.
But honestly, he's starting to worry me, because I think he enjoys killing off people in his books and movies a little too much. There's a closet serial killer lurking in the recesses of his imagination and he simply can't help himself.
Not surprisingly, "The Lucky One" is no different.
So with all due respect, Nick, get some help!
"Project X" is every parent's nightmare. Hopefully, it's not every teen's dream.
Many of us have dealt with a cat's-away-mice-will-play scenario, in which parents head off for a much-needed weekend, entrusting the family home to their teenage darlings with the standard edict -- "No parties while we're gone." Usually followed by: "I mean it! and "I will be checking in from time to time."
You've got to give the Pixar people credit for not resting on their cushy laurels. They could be on "Toy Story 8," and their adoring fans wouldn't even blink.
Instead, they make "Wall-E," a risky film with very little dialogue that not only seems to charm the kiddies but gets mommy and daddy thinking about the planet. It takes guts. It pushes the envelope. And it works -- again.