Category: New Releases

Wild: Witherspoon delivers Oscar worthy performance

Some films are designed for escapism, a chance to remove the viewer from the everyday grind and stresses of real life and pull them into somewhere new and exciting. Other films are meant to draw the viewer into a cinematic experience, offering us something to learn from along the way. Cheryl Strayed’s true-life story of a newly single woman hiking the 1,100 mile Pacific … Read More Wild: Witherspoon delivers Oscar worthy performance

Unbroken: Jolie mishandles World War II drama

“Unbroken” director Angelina Jolie wants viewers to pigeonhole her film into a single word: resilience. It’s there in all the film’s soon-to-be-cliché catchphrases: “If you can take it, you can make it” and “A moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.” “Unbroken” is a film that insists upon itself, knowing its story is inspiring and refuses to allow audiences to forget it. … Read More Unbroken: Jolie mishandles World War II drama

Night At The Museum 3: A fitting tribute to late Robin Williams

Now that the final installment of “Night at the Museum” has arrived in theaters, it’s sad to think that this will be the last time that comedy legend Robin Williams will be shown on the big screen. Sure, we can hear his voice again as Dennis the Dog in the upcoming animated feature “Absolutely Anything,” but it just won’t be the same. Things aren’t … Read More Night At The Museum 3: A fitting tribute to late Robin Williams

Annie: Musical remake falls flat

It’s hard to get behind up-and-coming actress Quvenzhané Wallis as “Annie”, despite being the youngest Academy Award nominee in history for last year’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” It isn’t because Wallis is unlikable as the down-on-her-luck foster kid living in a group home. She just can’t sing and it’s not her fault. “Annie” director Will Gluck knows she can’t sing either and let … Read More Annie: Musical remake falls flat

Exodus Gods and Kings: Bibically-inspired epic takes left field turn

Biblically-inspired 3D epic film doesn’t really sound like a very appealing genre, especially after Russell Crowe’s dud “Noah” released to much derision earlier this year. There’s a lot of unevenness to Ridley Scott’s latest feature, “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” which re-imagines the Biblical story of Moses as action-adventure fodder. Oscar-winner Christian Bale picks up sword not staff to play Moses, a highly conflicted character … Read More Exodus Gods and Kings: Bibically-inspired epic takes left field turn

The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies: Six movies later, the journey finally ends

After years of waiting, the ride through Middle Earth seems to be at a close with the release of the final film in the “Hobbit” trilogy, “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies,” a darker, more violent picture than the previous two films. Continuing a trend established throughout Jackson’s Middle Earth films — the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies — “Battle of … Read More The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies: Six movies later, the journey finally ends

The Theory of Everything: Hawking biopic astounds

Eddie Redmayne better be nominated for an Academy Award. He might not win, but with a pitch-perfect performance requiring such specific nuance in physicality, Redmayne certainly deserves acclaim for his turn as famed physicist Stephen Hawking in the British drama “The Theory of Everything.” An hour into the film, it’s all too easy to forget that Redmayne is an actor portraying a character on … Read More The Theory of Everything: Hawking biopic astounds

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas: Feature film needs direct to DVD release

The message of “Saving Christmas,” featuring “Growing Pains” star Kirk Cameron, is that celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ can be found hidden inside some of the traditional imagery of Christmas — Santa Claus and decorated trees, for example. The film, which celebrates “the reason for the season” and does a pretty good job explaining the relationship between the secular and religious aspects … Read More Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas: Feature film needs direct to DVD release

Horrible Bosses 2: Comedic sequel underwhelms

It’s easy to tell when a screenwriter is actually trying and when they’re filling in the blanks around a tired, formulaic plot. “Horrible Bosses 2,” the sequel to the aptly named “Horrible Bosses,” is a fill-in the-blanks kind of movie — largely unfunny and 100 percent a cash grab sequel in a “Spaceballs 2: The Quest for More Money” sort of way. Jason Bateman, … Read More Horrible Bosses 2: Comedic sequel underwhelms

Penguins of Madagascar: Animated sequel just does enough to enjoy

Dreamworks’ latest animated franchise feature film plays up what happens behind the scenes with some of your favorite characters when they’re alone. In this case, those lovable penguins from the “Madagascar” series are secret agents. Ironically enough, this very loose and broad plot structure plays out much better than “Horrible Bosses 2.” It could be because of the lighter nature of the film, which … Read More Penguins of Madagascar: Animated sequel just does enough to enjoy

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1: Jennifer Lawrence proves critical to franchise success

Lionsgate got really lucky. The movie studio, hoping to leapfrog on the success of the “Twilight” film franchise, dove headfirst into the young adult book trilogy market, coming away with a violent dystopian world and needing a female lead to match Bella of “Twilight” fame. When they cast the girl from “The Bill Engvall Show,” they probably had no idea that she would become … Read More The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1: Jennifer Lawrence proves critical to franchise success

Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Keaton shines in superhero actor rebound

It isn’t quite fair to say Michael Keaton is back thanks to his often brilliant performance in “Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) because, despite his long absence, Keaton has never performed at this high a level. Fact melds well with fiction as Keaton’s struggles to overcome the shadow of his role as Batman parallel his character Riggan’s difficulty separating himself mentally from … Read More Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Keaton shines in superhero actor rebound