Tag Archives: Movie Reviews

Strangely, Strange Magic Is Not Really Magical!

STRANGE MAGIC

The world could have used a great CG reimagining of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream. What a shame this isn’t it.

Still there are some good moments to be had from Strange Magic – Alan Cumming rocking out as the Bog King and Evan Rachel Ward flittering through several musical styles as Princess Marianne of the Fairy Kingdom come to mind.

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Mortdecai Is Mostly Dead!

Mortdecai - Oops!

Once again, Johnny Depp shows his talent for slipping completely into a character. What a shame that this character is almost completely unnoteworthy.

Mortdecai (the movie) wants to be a knowing send up of sixties caper movies, espionage thrillers and, possibly, the superb BBC series Lovejoy. Instead, it’s Johnny Depp plays the worst of Mr. Bean – in a Rolls.

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Paddington Is A Complete Delight!

Paddington Escalator

It’s January – which means time for studios to dump all the crap they couldn’t release during the more competitive times of the year. But someone forgot to tell TWC-Dimension/eOne – they released what is almost certain to be a family classic this week: Paddington.

Based on the children’s books by Michael Bone, Paddington is a complete delight from start to finish.

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The Boy Next Door: Just No!

The Boy Next Door - Claire Peterson

There are a lot of talented people behind the making of The Boy Next Door. Somehow, despite their best efforts, we have the first truly awful movie of 2015.

Think Fatal Attraction with the genders reversed. Now, take out the intelligence, the wit, any semblance of drama (and the steamy sex, for that matter) and what you have left is what this is.

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Blackhat – Cyberterrorism Thriller With Muscle!

Blackhat - Hemsworth

The release of Universal’s Blackhat couldn’t be timelier. After all, if it’s so easy to crack open the cyber security at a major company like Sony, or a government website, might it not also be fairly simple to hack a nuclear reactor.

Michael Mann’s new thriller posits attacks on a Chinese reactor and another on a U.S. target that persuades investigative bodies from both countries to work together, however uncomfortably, to find the person/organization behind the attacks. It’s fast-paced (after an initially slower first act that sets things in motion) and smart about keeping things fairly easy for non-techies (like me) to follow.

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Inherent Vice: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Psychedelic Mystery Tour!

INHERENT VICE

Inherent Vice is a twisty mystery that fuses old school PI movies with the psychedelia of the late sixties and early seventies. The point of fusion is the lead character, Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello, a private eye who always – at a minimum – half baked (and usually full on stoned) but somehow manages to be more on the ball than anyone else.

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The Interview Is Much Ado About Barely More Than Nothing!

Seth Rogen;James Franco;Lizzy Caplan

Well, I’ve finally seen The Interview and, let me just tell you, it’s a pretty decent little comedy. Cause for international furor? Not really. More like a modern Rat Pack kind of thing where a bunch of guys get together and make a movie for the hell of it.

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The Gambler Jams Out!

THE GAMBLER

The Gambler is a remake of the 1974 classic about a man with an addiction to gambling – to the point of endangering his life. In this version, a university professor gets in deep with three very deadly members of the gambling underworld. This version has a unique take on character that, just barely, allows for the possibility of a hopeful (if not necessarily happy) finale.

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Into The Woods – What Comes After Happily Ever After?

INTO THE WOODS

Into The Woods takes four classic fairy tales – Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel – and looks at what happens after their happily ever after endings. There have been several films in recent memory that have tackled this idea, but when Into The Woods debuted, it was a radical new idea. It’s still the best take on the idea.

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Annie Is Fun Fluff!

annie-2014

Annie is a reimagining of the Broadway musical-turned-movie based on the classic comic strip Little Orphan Annie. It’s the story of an orphan who becomes the adopted daughter of an unscrupulous, wealthy man who straightens up and flies right because of her.

In the comic strip and musical, the wealthy man was billionaire Daddy Warbucks – so named because he made his fortune selling arms to all buyers. While war profiteers will always be with us, here he’s a telecommunications mogul named Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx). Annie is played by Oscar®-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild).

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