Movies

December 19, 2014
By MICHAEL PHILLIPS Chicago Tribune Tribune News Service
Two of the year’s best came from Houston-born filmmakers of very different temperaments.
By STEVEN ZEITCHIK Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
NEW YORK – Shortly before actor David Oyelowo began shooting the part of Martin Luther King Jr. in the new historical drama “Selma,” he set out on a video-hunting mission.
By RENE RODRIGUEZ Miami Herald Tribune News Service
Opening Thursday
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
“Into the Woods,” the Stephen Sondheim fairy-tale musical that sent up every contrivance and cliche that The Brothers Grimm could cook up, earns a lush, grand and star-studded production for the big screen. Disney brought out and bought the big guns – director Rob “Chicago” Marshall, Meryl “Mamma Mia!” Streep and Anna “Pitch Perfect” Kendrick.
December 18, 2014
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Whatever else Angelina Jolie has been doing in her busy personal, professional and activist life, we can be sure she wasn’t spending it watching World War II prisoner-of-war movies.
By The Philadelphia Inquirer
ANTARCTICA: A YEAR ON THE ICE 2 stars. This documentary follows the workers at remotest McMurdo Station through the Antarctic seasons. Which are two: frozen summer and screaming polar white-out. 1 hr. 31 PG (mature themes, mild language) — David Hiltbrand
By STEVEN ZEITCHIK Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
As Sony made the decision Wednesday to scrap the Dec. 25 release of “The Interview,” casual observers find themselves asking some very logical how-could-this-happen questions. A broad, benign Seth Rogen comedy causes an international incident that threatens to bring down one of the world’s biggest entertainment conglomerates and throws Hollywood into crisis? It’s a development you’d expect only in a Seth Rogen comedy.
By OLIVER GETTELL and SABA HAMEDY Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
Paramount Pictures has put the kibosh on screenings of its 2004 North Korea-themed comedy “Team America: World Police,” according to movie theaters in Cleveland and Atlanta.
December 17, 2014
By STEVEN REA The Philadelphia Inquirer Tribune News Service
The two most daring and innovative films of 2014 – “Birdman” and “Boyhood” – couldn’t be more different. Alejandro G. Inarritu’s wild, woolly backstage drama, with Michael Keaton in his tighty-whities worrying about his career and his soul, is a nonstop whirl of crackling dialogue, crackerjack performances, and careening camerawork. This story of an actor trying to shake off his winged superhero persona from decades past literally flies.
By SABA HAMEDY AND RICHARD VERRIER Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
More theaters are yanking “The Interview” from their holiday schedules in the wake of a threat from hackers urging moviegoers to avoid seeing the film on Christmas Day.
By SABA HAMEDY Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
LOS ANGELES – Middle-earth made a strong comeback at the box office.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
There’s a mildly amusing Pompeii gag midway through “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.” It involves a scale model toy Roman soldier Steve Coogan and his Old West cowboy pal (Owen Wilson) and a monkey in need of extinguishing a model volcano’s fire.
By COLIN COVERT Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Tribune News Service
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth tales of elves and men and hobbits are fittingly set in mountainous country. They reach a heroic level of entertainment with their characters and material. They are enthralling stories about the value of true friendship, the meaning of love, courage, corruption by evil and salvation by unity, themes inspired by Tolkien’s military experiences in World War I.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Mark Wahlberg takes on his most ambitious acting job ever in “The Gambler,” a gritty remake of a 1974 film that starred James Caan. And the new gambler doesn’t embarrass himself.
December 15, 2014
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
“Annie,” a musical that the decades have rendered into a punchline, is modernized, made more streetwise and brought back to life in a production backed by Jay Z and various members of the Will and Jada Pinkett Smith empire.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Mike Leigh, cinematic celebrator of the British working classes, delivers his second sumptuous period biography in “Mr. Turner,” a lovely, lively and languorous biopic that’s almost as painterly as its subject.
By SUSAN KING Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
Director Alejandro G. Inarritu’s “Birdman” dominated the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.’s Critics’ Choice Movie Awards nominations Monday morning, scoring 13 nods, including picture, acting ensemble, actor for Michael Keaton, supporting actor for Edward Norton and supporting actress for Emma Stone.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Casting Amy Adams to star in “Big Eyes” is one of the great no-brainers in Hollywood history.
December 11, 2014
By SABA HAMEDY Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
LOS ANGELES – The biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings” will probably top the box office this weekend, replacing “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” as No. 1.
By COLIN COVERT Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Tribune News Service
Raunchy in extremis, often funny and at times touching, “Top Five” is Chris Rock’s sincere attempt to craft a film career largely detached from his stand-up clowning.
By The Fresno Bee Tribune News Service
Any film that calls itself “The Battle of Five Armies” lets you know that there are going to be a lot of characters. It’s been a year since the last adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the rest of the cast of characters. Here’s a quick reminder of some of the major players.
By The Philadelphia Inquirer Tribune News Service
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY 2 stars. Ed Oxenbould plays the boy who unintentionally jinxes his parents (Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner) and siblings. Comic mayhem ensues ... predictably. An adequate if artificial kids’ comedy. 1 hr. 21 PG (profanity, acts of recklessness) — David Hiltbrand
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Peter Jackson’s “Just Give the People What They Want,” aka “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” sends this not-really-a-trilogy off in style. That means stuffing in everything the fans want, or that Jackson thinks the fans want out of these films made from the novel that came before “The Lord of the Rings.”
By Los Angeles Times (TNS) (Tribune Content Agency, LLC)
“Girls,” “Jane the Virgin,” Orange Is the New Black,” “Silicon Valley” and “Transparent” were among the television series nominated for the 72nd Golden Globe Awards during the first round of nominations Thursday morning.
By BY SUSAN KING AND RENE LYNCH Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
“Birdman” dominated the 72nd Golden Globe nominations Thursday morning, earning seven nods including best picture in its category, best director and best actor for Michael Keaton, who plays a washed-up movie superhero seeking redemption.
December 10, 2014
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
The evolving state of Britain’s soccer hooligans is explored, one bloody beating or brutal brawl at a time, in the imported Brit drama, “Green Street Hooligans: Underground.”
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Alice Howland is a woman of science, a Columbia University academic whose expertise is linguistics, the common ways babies learn languages as infants.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Clara Mamet makes her film directing debut with “Two-Bit Waltz,” an inconsequential, self-consciously quirky coming of age comedy from an actress-playwright testing her movie-making wings at the ripe old age of 20.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Wes Bentley may be more than just another generic hunk, more than a “Hunger Games” and “Ghost Rider” alumnus, more than just the scientist with the “red shirt role” in “Interstellar.”
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Sprawling and spectacular, brawny and bloody, Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” stabs an exclamation point onto a year peppered with religious films, one that began with the less conventional and trippier “Noah.”
December 5, 2014
By BY ANGEL SIERRA asierra@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 5695
Netflix has a huge library of some of my favorite movies, but it also has many that I’ve never seen or heard of. In the spirit of adventure, here are eight movies that I have not viewed, but would watch solely based on the title and cover art:
December 4, 2014
By BY ANGEL SIERRA asierra@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 5695
‘Tis the season for flu and cold symptoms, but being at home on a sick day doesn’t have to be a drag.
December 3, 2014
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Prison doesn’t suit Santa. Yeah, his long white hair and beard are perfectly weavable into prison dreadlocks. Call him “Mad” Jimmy Claus and try to get him to talk tough, maybe the other cons won’t eat him alive.
By CARY DARLING Fort Worth Star-Telegram
There’s a good movie hidden inside “Panic 5 Bravo,” the directing debut from Mexican actor Kuno Becker, best known in the U.S. for roles on the TV shows “Dallas” and “CSI: Miami.” In fact, the first 20 minutes of this thriller — with its flashes of tense, terrified claustrophobia — show Becker has skills, especially considering he’s working on a low budget. If only the story, which he also wrote, were better.
By BETSY SHARKEY Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
“Wild” opens high atop the Pacific Crest Trail, where at first all the eye can see is the sweeping beauty of a rugged land, unmarred and untamed. The scene is breathtaking, serene, until it is broken by pain and pierced by a scream.
By LOS ANGELES TIMES Tribune News Service
Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one 17 and younger admitted.
By BY ANGEL SIERRA asierra@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 5695
Sure, you can ask friends for suggestions of things to watch on Netflix, but do any of them have a list of sci-fi TV shows and movies?
December 2, 2014
By COLIN COVERT Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Tribune News Service
“Foxcatcher” is a warped, oppressive landmark.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Stories about the modern world’s origins within the Dark Ages have always held a fascination for some – OK, maybe it’s just me. It’s not exactly filmdom’s favorite era, all brown and muddy and unhygienic.
By STEVEN REA The Philadelphia Inquirer Tribune News Service
Nazis! Ghouls! Orcs! Kim Jong-un! Creepy hunters with sexist leers! What would the holiday movie season be without them?
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
“Take Care” is an undemanding romantic comedy about love and responsibility and how doing right by someone always has consequences, not all of them good.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Sasha and Paige are more than best-friends. They connect, they finish each other’s sentences.
By BETSY SHARKEY Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
“The Babadook” is a smart, darkly drawn modern-day horror movie of monsters, memories and mothers.
By BY CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN cheimerman@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 5523
I'm a very happy guy, who just happens to like sad stuff.
By JEFF ROGERS jrogers@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 5591
I watched way too much TV when I was a kid.
November 25, 2014
By RICK BENTLEY The Fresno Bee Tribune News Service
From their first appearance in “Madagascar,” Skipper, Kowalski, Private and Rico have been committing grand theft scene stealing. The four lovable, military-minded penguins became an instant fan favorite with their can-do attitudes.
November 20, 2014
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Your enjoyment of “Horrible Bosses 2” is almost wholly dependent on your tolerance for clusters of funny actors, babbling, riffing — and in the case of Charlie Day, screeching — all at once.
By OLIVER GETTELL Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
As Hollywood’s hype machine whirs up for awards season, moviegoers find themselves inundated with prognostications, praise, pans and punditry about the films anointed as Oscar contenders. But for all the buzz generated by these prestige pictures, it can be a challenge for even the most dedicated cinephiles to keep track of them at the multiplex, thanks to studios’ labyrinthine schedules of limited releases, gradual expansions and one-week Academy Award qualifying runs. A quick guide to where and when some potential players are scheduled (for now) to open:
By Rafer Guzman Newsday MCT News Service
If the movies of 2014 have made this year seem like a grab-bag, wait until you see what’s coming for the holiday season.
November 19, 2014
By RENE RODRIGUEZ Miami Herald MCT News Service
The most important thing to know about “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” is that you’re only going to get two-thirds of a movie.
By MCT News Service
Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one 17 and younger admitted.
By MCT News Service
These were the Top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks from Nov. 10-16:

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