Monthly Archives: February 2015

Box Office: “Fifty Shades” plummets, “Kingsman” drops, “DUFF” passes muster, “Hot Tub” tanks

The HEADLINE here could have read “Spongebob” soaks up $125 million. Because that’s where the kiddie comedy will sit by the end of the weekend. Quite impressive for an overexposed Nickelodeon cartoon shot on the cheap in Georgia. Big hit … Continue reading

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Weekend Movies: “DUFF” endorsed, “McFarland” embraced, “Hot Tub” drowned

I was pleasantly surprised by “The DUFF,” a witty, snappy teen comedy well-acted by plenty of actors entirely too old to play teens. I wasn’t alone, but critics weren’t universally in love with it. Good reviews, not great, for “DUFF” … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “Hot Tub Time Machine 2”

John Cusack has been reduced to Z-grade action comedies, shot in Australia and co-starring Thomas Jane, at this stage of his career. And he STILL turned down the payday that “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” promised, which tells you all … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “The Duff”

Mae Whitman sasses, sashays and sparkles in “The DUFF,” a snappy, sweet-spirited teen comedy about a smart girl who tries to fight high school labeling with wit and words. And the occasional punch. It’s a paint-by-numbers romantic comedy. But Whitman, … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “McFarland, USA”

His name is Jim White. He’s a coach. But that last name is all the students — his prospective athletes — need to know at McFarland High School. “White. That an acceptable name where you come from, Holmes?” Why sign … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “All the Wilderness”

James Charm is obsessed with death. We meet him scribbling an obituary for a dead crow he spies in a cornfield. He narrates his life story in an enervated, depressing drone, always quoting his father. Dad loved the wilderness, he … Continue reading

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Costner talks “McFarland” and its distinctly “American” story

Costner knew McFarland, California, growing up. “I was down the road, about 45 miles, in Visalia,” he says. “When I was in high school, my baseball team played those guys. I knew a little about that world, I had this … Continue reading

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Box Office: “Grey” beats “Passion of the Christ” Feb. record — a $91 million weekend?

It’s playing in the provinces, doing best in those places Mel Gibson’s Jesus picture made most of its money — Red States. And that added up to a $31 million Friday for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the woman exploiting/borderline abusive … Continue reading

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Next Interview: Questions for Judi Dench?

just turned 80, has lost much of her vision and is thus scaling back her film career. But what a career Judi Dench has had. From the Bard to Bond, with an Oscar in between. Seven Oscar nominations, in all, … Continue reading

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Weekend Movies: Bad reviews won’t keep “Fifty Shades” from binding and gagging the box office

The strategy for releasing “Fifty Shades of Grey” was to hide it from critics, pre-sell those tickets and make it as review-proof as any porno chick-lit adaptation is likely to ever be. Reviews have been brutal, but millions of fans … Continue reading

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