Monthly Archives: March 2015

Movie Review: Dakota Fanning underwhelms as “Effie Gray”

She just turned 21. So perhaps the cruel truth can be at last be said about Dakota Fanning without fear of being called a child-abuser. Whatever “it” is, that spark that film actresses and actors have that makes them interesting … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Running afoul of a femme fatale in “The Girl is in Trouble”

There’s an extraneous word in the title of the thriller “The Girl is in Trouble.” The moment we meet the sexy, calculating Swede Signe (Alicja Bachleda), we know the girl IS trouble. But co-writer/director Julius Onah’s clever genre film never … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “The Living” is a hitman tale that offers cheap thrills, and consequences

Sir Alfred once said, “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture.” Committing this truism to memory would still serve any film student well. It’s stunning how few filmmakers remember that when writing, casting and producing their independent … Continue reading

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Box Office: “Home” hits a homer, “Get Hard” is solid — “Insurgent” plummets, “It Follows” underwhelms

That late March animated window — spring break for elementary school kids, nothing else at the movies for them to see — opened wide for “Home,” a lesser Dreamworks offering that cleared $50 million, easily, a $54 million weekend for … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “Danny Collins”

“Danny Collins” may be the closest Al Pacino ever gets to playing Pacino the legend on the big screen. Perma-tanned under that vast black mane and Mephistophelian goatee, blinged in the Jersey Italian style, effortlessly larger than life and bowl-you-over … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “While We’re Young”

It hits us all, that day when “hip” suggests “replacement” and “Old Man/Old Woman Talk” enters our vocabulary. We scratch our heads over names like Kanye and Lena and cope, with growing confusion, at the next generation’s values. It happens … Continue reading

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Mo vie Review: “The Barber”

Good acting and sharp editing make “The Barber” a most engrossing serial killer thriller. But too much talk, mostly in a lecturing over-explained finale, almost undoes all of that. Scott Glenn has the title role, a Chicago man once a … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Small kids, and small kids only, will love “Home”

“Home” is a energetic, obvious animated comedy packed with the sort of low humor and silly laughs that drive very small children wild. It’s a lesser Dreamworks work, in other words, no more ambitious than those later “Madagascar” movies. There’s … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “Apartment Troubles”

The time-honored actor/actress tradition of “if Hollywood won’t hire me, I’ll make work for myself” is the origin story of “Apartment Troubles,” a nearly laughless comedy that doesn’t do its writer/director/stars any favors. But cute character comics Jennifer Prediger (“Life … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “White God”

Budapest, Hungary, has a serious PR problem thanks to the movie “White God.” The film, a grimly dark satire, depicts a city of serious dog haters — from ordinary apartment tenants intolerant of canines, to the homeless who steal them, … Continue reading

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