Category: New Releases

McFarland USA: Disney offers heartwarming sports tale

January and February are usually the time of year where films the major studios aren’t real comfortable with get released and it’s often a wasteland of below-par cinema. Every once in a while, during this time of year, a film overcomes this stigma and becomes something worthwhile. Such is the case with the latest Disney release — “McFarland, USA” — starring the timeless Kevin … Read More McFarland USA: Disney offers heartwarming sports tale

Fifty Shades of Grey: Chemistry, quality missing in film adaptation

It takes two to tango — one to lead and one to follow — in the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The follower, Dakota Johnson as the naïve and bookish Anastasia, is a breath of fresh air anytime she appears on screen and truly gives 110 percent of herself to every scene no matter how much … Read More Fifty Shades of Grey: Chemistry, quality missing in film adaptation

Kingsman The Secret Service: Firth steps out as action star

“Kingsman: The Secret Service,” an action adventure thrill ride from “X-Men: First Class” director Matthew Vaughn, gives viewers Colin Firth as he’s never been seen before — a fighter, not a lover. By far the most mainstream work in the long and celebrated filmography of the Academy Award-winner, Firth is charming and dynamic in this modern imagining of independent gentleman spies and everything you … Read More Kingsman The Secret Service: Firth steps out as action star

Jupiter Ascending: Sci-flop not worth your time

It’s unfortunate that “Jupiter Ascending,” the latest sci-fi adventure from the Wachowski directing team of “Matrix” fame, wasn’t released last summer like originally scheduled. The film, which believes itself to be the second coming of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, is more like the Jar Jar Binks of the sci-fi genre, heavily derided, over-animated and just not that good. It certainly doesn’t seem like … Read More Jupiter Ascending: Sci-flop not worth your time

A Most Violent Year: Quiet drama honors gangster genre

Hollywood is putting serious pocket change into remaking vintage films using modern technology for new audiences. It seems as though no film is beyond the grasp of remake-hungry directors, though there are still some movies that need to be left untouched. You just can’t remake “The Godfather.” “A Most Violent Year,” a little-seen film that the National Board of Review chose as the best … Read More A Most Violent Year: Quiet drama honors gangster genre

Selma, The Imitation Game: Strong leads pace Oscar-nominated biopics

There’s no reason not to like “Selma,” the Ava DuVernay-helmed drama which chronicles the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, during the 1960s led by captivating activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. British actor David Oyelowo makes the most of a poorly outlined script by first time screen-writer Paul Webb, largely succeeding in the attempt to provide a larger picture of King … Read More Selma, The Imitation Game: Strong leads pace Oscar-nominated biopics

American Sniper: Compelling Cooper performance stuns audiences

By now, if you haven’t seen or heard about Clint Eastwood’s epic war drama “American Sniper,” odds are good that the cell phone reception on that deserted island you’ve been living on is spotty at best. The drama kicked off its national release with six Academy Award nominations — including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper — and completely dominated the cinematic … Read More American Sniper: Compelling Cooper performance stuns audiences

Taken 3: Leave Liam Neeson’s family alone

Enough already. There’s no more story to explore in the now-tired “Taken” franchise which saw a former CIA operative (Liam Neeson) rescue his kidnapped daughter in the first installment, then save himself and his ex-wife in the sequel. There’s no one left Neeson’s character cares about to kidnap, so obviously the solution is to frame him for the murder of the ex-wife he just … Read More Taken 3: Leave Liam Neeson’s family alone

Into The Woods: Misunderstood film an above-average movie musical

Many audiences have left the Disney-produced fairy tale film, “Into the Woods,” disappointed and with little right to be. Certainly, the studio is to fault for not clearing up the confusion surrounding the film. Too many people have left screenings surprised they just watched a musical and many others probably were in shock when the film doesn’t end with Cinderella’s marriage to the prince. … Read More Into The Woods: Misunderstood film an above-average movie musical

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