Transcendence 2

Pfister’s ‘Transcendence’ earns his degree

It’s graduation time. Not just for college and high school seniors across the country, but also for Oscar-winning cinematographer-turned-director Wally Pfister. Pfister is well known for his work on Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” ... Continue Reading →

‘Draft Day’ as indecisive as Reitman

In football, being a bandwagon fan is a cardinal sin. Jumping from one team to another because of their record is considered wishy-washy.Director Ivan Reitman coaches “Draft Day” in a manner as wishy-washy as a Jets fan suddenly rooting for Seattle. ... Continue Reading →

‘Draft Day’ as indecisive as Reitman

In football, being a bandwagon fan is a cardinal sin. Jumping from one team to another because of their record is considered wishy-washy. Director Ivan Reitman coaches “Draft Day” in a manner as wishy-washy as a Jets fan suddenly rooting for Seattle. ... Continue Reading →

Bateman’s ‘Bad Words’ come out well

It’s not until a chipper spelling-bee competitor named Chaitanya Chopra drops the F-bomb upon an adult’s request that it becomes clear newly minted director Jason Bateman knows how to push the right buttons. Bateman’s directorial debut “Bad Words” ... Continue Reading →
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“Winter Soldier” a solid, if bloated, sequel

In the newest sub-installment of Disney’s multi-billion dollar “Avengers” franchise “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (Rated PG-13; 136 Min.) a superb Robert Redford utters the line “Sometimes building a new world means tearing the old ... Continue Reading →

Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ floats as art

    At first glance, director Darren Aronofsky’s retelling of “Noah” (Rated PG-13; 138 Min.) looks like a Ridley Scott epic, in the same vein as 2010’s “Robin Hood.” But when giant stone monsters begin talking to Noah, Aronofsky’s ... Continue Reading →

Burger’s film too ‘Divergent’

It seems counterintuitive to be upset when a movie encourages viewers to go their own way but doesn’t perfectly reflect its own source material. And yet, “Divergent” (Rated PG-13; 139 Min.) manages to lose the bite the book had by taking away its ... Continue Reading →

‘Need for Speed’ stalls in commercial gear

At Walt Disney World, there’s a ride called “Test Track.” The attraction simulates the strenuous process a car must go through to prove it can hold up on the road, and riders are sent through anti-lock break tests and steep grade hills. Recently ... Continue Reading →

“Non-Stop” has awkward trajectory

You’ve heard of “Snakes on a Plane.” But have you ever heard of Liam Neeson on a plane? That’s probably how the pitch went down for Neeson’s “Non-Stop” (Rated PG-13; 106 Min.), his newest collaboration with “unknown” director Jaume Collet-Serra. ... Continue Reading →

‘3 Days to Kill’ too busy to appreciate

Writer/producer Luc Besson is known in Hollywood for his ruthlessly efficient, seedy European thrillers, particularly the Liam Neeson “Taken” franchise. But when Besson, who favors brutal fights, works with director McG, known for his flashy stylized ... Continue Reading →

‘Pompeii’ fails to ignite like Vesuvius

Molten rock and mediocre acting erupted from the depths of Mt. Vesuvius this weekend with the release of Paul W.S. Anderson’s disaster film “Pompeii” (Rated PG-13; 105 Min.). Although “Pompeii” is visually appealing and action-packed, the film ... Continue Reading →

‘Robocop’ a remake gone right

It’s important to get something straight up front: the updated “Robocop” (Rated PG-13; 118 min.) isn’t as good as the original. Matching Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 sci-fi cult classic, which dealt with corruption and crime in a rapidly deteriorating ... Continue Reading →

‘Monuments Men’ more history lesson than film

Early on in his new film, “The Monuments Men” (Rated PG-13; 118 Min.), director, writer and star George Clooney reminds his team members that even though their mission is to rescue art, ultimately their lives are more important. Later on, Clooney’s ... Continue Reading →

‘Lego Movie’ pieces fit together perfectly

Product placement is out of control in movies today, especially in kids’ movies. Some movies can seem like giant commercials — in fact, a good deal of Disney films are engineered with the right characters to sell every product imaginable. What directors ... Continue Reading →

Reitman’s “Labor Day” a chore to sit through

Hollywood romances need two actors with chemistry to work. It does not matter what other lessons the movie wants to teach. If the romance is central to the plot and falls flat, the movie is considered a dud. Jason Reitman’s “Labor Day” (Rated PG-13; ... Continue Reading →
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