Month: July 2015
The author may be the same, but the latest film adaptation of a John Green novel — “Paper Towns” — isn’t anything like last year’s breakout hit “The Fault in Our Stars,” nor is it meant to be. Early in the film, Cara Delevingne’s Margo Roth Spiegelman laments how Orlando, where the movie is set, is full of paper people living in paper houses, … Read More Paper Towns: An exercise in managing expectations
A great actor can elevate a script beyond its limitations and provide audiences with a compelling performance in spite of limitations on the written page. Jake Gyllenhaal, who narrowly missed out on an Academy Award nomination with a masterful performance in last year’s “Nightcrawler,” shines yet again in Antoine Fuqua’s boxing drama “Southpaw,” a film that won’t win any awards, but offers much of … Read More Southpaw: Gyllenhaal elevates boxing movie to next level
Quite likely the year’s top romantic comedy debuted last weekend after receiving much acclaim following an advance screening at this spring’s South by Southwest Film Festival. “Trainwreck,” the mostly auto-biographical feature film debut of comedian Amy Schumer, provides many of the sexually explicit jokes fans of her stand-up comedy love, but with some heart thrown in to provide a nice balance between the hilarity … Read More Trainwreck: Schumer, Apatow team for hilarious comedy
How much audiences will enjoy “Ant-Man,” the latest superhero blockbuster from Marvel Studios, directly relates to how much they enjoy Paul Rudd. By stepping far away from the big, bruising characters like Thor and the Hulk or the dynamic Iron Man and Captain America, Marvel is banking on Rudd, a comic actor, to keep things moving in a positive direction as superhero movies become … Read More Ant-Man: Who knew ants could be so badass?
Absolutely no one should be surprised by now that little yellow lemming-like creatures have taken the Hollywood landscape by storm. Minions are everywhere. From lunchboxes to every other commercial it seems like, to their first feature length animated adventures, the henchmen (is it right to call genderless characters men?) from the innovative “Despicable Me” franchise have rightfully taken center stage with “Minions,” a 95-minute … Read More Minions: Adorable animated spinoff sputters late
Ryan Reynolds is going to make a major comeback in Hollywood very soon, but unfortunately for science fiction fans, it probably won’t be with the uneven — and commercially underperforming — “Self/Less.” The notion that a dying Ben Kingsley would approach a company to transfer his consciousness into a younger, healthy Reynolds is a terrific idea, but director Tarsem Singh can’t really make the … Read More Self/less: Sci-fi thriller lacks requisite thrills
Throw convention out the window if you’re planning on seeing “Terminator Genisys,” the fifth installment in the action franchise that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name. Though it’s not completely necessary to have seen all four previous films, a working knowledge of James Cameron’s classics “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” will be handy, along with pencil and paper to keep track of … Read More Terminator Genisys: Stop destroying San Francisco already
Calling something “XXL” implies bigger and better. Double entendre aside, the sequel to the 2012 indie smash hit “Magic Mike” was supposed to blow away female audiences over the Fourth of July weekend like a massive fireworks display. Moviegoers who came out to the Channing Tatum-helmed male stripper fiesta got their fireworks show, but “Magic Mike XXL” feels closer to the premature explosion from … Read More Magic Mike XXL: Quality, clothes stripped away in subpar sequel
Comedy requires originality. It’s as simple as that. There’s absolutely not a single shred of originality in “Ted 2,” an amalgamation of leftover “Family Guy” setups, hokey premises and half-hearted humor that leaves viewers disappointed from the outset. Honestly, “Ted 2” shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to those who’ve followed the career trajectory of Seth MacFarlane, the mastermind (and vocal talent) behind … Read More Ted 2: Where’s the humor?