Movies

January 27, 2015
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
“Selma” wasn’t the only film about race to get short shrift from Oscar voters this past year. “Black or White” is a frank, touching and very well-acted melodrama about child custody and cultural perceptions of “blackness” and “the race card,” and could have earned Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner fresh Oscar nominations.
By STEVEN REA The Philadelphia Inquirer Tribune News Service
It’s a new year – well, practically (still January) – and a new spirit pervades the land. Nowhere is that sense of innovation and imagination, of bold ideas and daring leaps into the further reaches of artistic realms, more in evidence than in Hollywood.
By Tribune News Service
Following is a partial schedule of coming movies on DVD. Release dates are subject to change:
By GLENN WHIPP Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
For the past few months, Richard Linklater’s micro-budgeted, experimental coming-of-age drama, “Boyhood,” has reigned supreme as the least likely best picture front-runner in the history of the Oscars, winning the Golden Globe, multiple critics prizes and a boundless supply of goodwill.
January 26, 2015
By SABA HAMEDY Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
LOS ANGELES – “American Sniper” held down its No. 1 spot and crossed the $200 million mark at the domestic box office this weekend, surpassing three new releases including the Johnny Depp film “Mortdecai,” which proved to be a dud.
By MARK OLSEN Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
With its win for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture on Sunday night, “Birdman” certainly looked like another instance of the Screen Actors Guild celebrating actors for playing actors. The film follows the backstage events of a theater production put on by a film star attempting to revive his floundering career and faltering sense of self-worth.
By RICH HELDENFELS Akron Beacon Journal Tribune News Service
The serialized drama “Downton Abbey,” currently in its fifth season on PBS's Masterpiece on Sunday nights, does not make it easy to avoid spoilers.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
We Jason Statham aficionados accept grace notes in his films where we find them. And there’s a gem tucked in the middle of “Wild Card,” his latest.
January 23, 2015
By STEVEN ZEITCHIK Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
Let’s start with this. “American Sniper” is a good movie. It’s not a great movie — compared to the epic humanity of “Boyhood” or the strategic subtleties of “Selma,” it pales — but it’s still very strong, better than the curdled-into-store-bought blandness of several of the other awards-ready contenders this year, and certainly better than most of the movies that studios make with big stars these days.
By GLENN WHIPP Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
The day after Oscar nominations, while clearing away the “Lego” rubble, award season consultants began calling, repeating the same fear-soaked refrain: Beware the Phase Two Harvey.
By BY RENE RODRIGUEZ Miami Herald Tribune News Service
Black Sea (R): A submarine captain (Jude Law) agrees to go on an underwater search for a booty of gold in order to settle his debts with some shady types.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
As you might have guessed from the daft and something-short-of-hilarious TV ads, “Mortdecai” is an extended inside Anglo joke that most of us aren’t in on.
By BETSY SHARKEY Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
“Strange Magic,” the new animated musical fairy tale from the mind and the mixtape of George Lucas, is indeed strange. What’s missing is the magic.
January 22, 2015
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Universal’s “The Boy Next Door” is almost so bad it’s good. Well, at least they got the “bad” part of that equation right.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Three downed Navy airmen stuck on a raft in the middle of the Pacific in World War II for weeks on end. It’s a familiar movie narrative, at least in part, because it happened more than once, even happened to a future president (George H.W. Bush) and happened to the hero of “Unbroken.”
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Take away the high-wattage stars, the staggering budget and the celebratory nature of the thievery, and “The Wolf of Wall Street” would look something like “Americons,” an indie parable about greed, high-living and wrongdoing that led to the real estate/home mortgage meltdown.
By SABA HAMEDY Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
The average price of a movie ticket rose to $8.17 in 2014, the highest yearly average on record, according to The National Association of Theatre Owners.
By RYAN FAUGHNDER Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
LOS ANGELES — Sony Pictures’ controversial comedy “The Interview” is coming to Netflix.
By Los Angeles Times (TNS) (Tribune Content Agency, LLC)
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.
January 21, 2015
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Every scene is magical, every image a work of art in “Song of the Sea,” the latest Oscar-nominated feature from the folks who gave us “The Secret of Kells.” “Sea” is an Irish folk tale, a modern day account of selkies, fairies and elves in Ireland, full of adult concerns and sadness, childhood wonder and delight. It’s one of the best children’s cartoons of the past few years.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
A comedy that barely flirts with funny and a grim weeper that never quite raises a tear, “Cake” has one thing going for it – Jennifer Aniston. And if she didn’t get the Oscar nomination that might have seemed certain when she took on playing this physically, emotionally scarred and suicidal pill-popper, that’s of little consequence. The work is good enough to stand on its own, to stand with the best acting she’s done since graduating from TV sitcoms.
By Tribune News Service
The Top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks from Jan. 12-18:
January 20, 2015
By JOSH ROTTENBERG and SABA HAMEDY Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
Warner Bros. expected Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” to perform strongly over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, but few thought the war drama would pack as much box office punch as it did.
By SABA HAMEDY Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
Move over, critics: Computers are the new film experts in Hollywood.
By KENNETH TURAN Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
The movies just love, love, love history. But history does not love the movies back. Not even one little bit.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
It’s common Hollywood practice to follow an Oscar win with a trip to big budget land, where the paychecks, the trailers and the impact on the culture are potentially huge. So Sandra Bullock did “Gravity” right after “Blind Side,” and Anne Hathaway did “Interstellar” not long after picking up an Oscar for “Les Miserables.”
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
For a few moments, it feels like a mistake, a director’s miscalculation.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
We have forgotten how subtle Al Pacino could be, pre “Hoo Hah!” Something about his Oscar winning turn in “Scent of a Woman” unleashed the beast, a performer as big, broad and puffed up as that mountain of hair he keeps teased about his head.
January 16, 2015
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
“The Wedding Ringer” is “Wedding Crashers Redux,” a “Hangover Lite” that softens manic funnyman Kevin Hart’s persona into someone almost as funny, but more sentimental than abrasive. That helps “Ringer” work as a bromantic comedy that feels like a romantic comedy.
By COLIN COVERT Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Tribune News Service
Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) wants to be a real American man. When we meet him, he’s striving to fulfill the dreams of many immigrant Latinos, speaking his New York City English with flawless intelligence and emotional restraint, trying hard to outpace anyone he regards as a business rival to his profitable Standard Heating Oil Co., and to protect anyone he considers a colleague.
By COLIN COVERT Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Tribune News Service
Clint Eastwood carried guns for generations onscreen. As a filmmaker he sees male heroism as a question, not an answer. Behind the camera he makes stories that focus on painful, alienated men. There were blue-collar Bostonians scarred by an abusive past in “Mystic River,” and views of war punishing a nation’s own soldiers in his World War II duo “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters From Iwo Jima.”
January 15, 2015
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
As focused as the blurred, often random moments of unsteady steadicam shots and as coherent as co-star Wei Tang’s indecipherable Chinese accent, Michael Mann’s “Blackhat” is a classic January fire sale thriller.
By Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
“American Sniper,” “Birdman,” “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Whiplash” were nominated for film when the Academy Award nominations were announced Thursday morning.
By JAKE COYLE AP Film Writer
Two extravagant comedies, "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," dominated nominations for the 87th annual Academy Awards with nine nods each, while "Boyhood" remained the widely acknowledged front-runner.
By STEVEN ZEITCHIK Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
The announcement of this season’s Oscar nominations from Beverly Hills on Thursday offered its share of expected honorees (“Boyhood, “Birdman”) and plenty of other unexpected ones. Who was “in” that observers thought would be “out,” and vice versa? Here are a half-dozen of the most notable snubs and surprises.
January 14, 2015
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 Tribune News Service
The Top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks from Jan. 5-11:
By MOIRA MacDONALD The Seattle Times Tribune News Service
What do “Birdman,” “Boyhood” and “Selma” have in common? One-word titles, sure, but otherwise, not much—except that you’re likely to hear them announced, multiple times, as Academy Award nominees. This year’s list will be read Thursday, Jan. 15, very early in the morning (in order to get squeezed into the morning news on the East Coast).
By RYAN FAUGHNDER Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “The Interview,” the comedy at the center of the studio’s hacking woes, is set for release on DVD and Blu-ray on Feb 17, the studio said Wednesday.
January 13, 2015
By RICH HELDENFELS Akron Beacon Journal Tribune News Service
As we sit in the depths of winter (and what looks like deepening snow), it’s a good time to watch movies at home. And there’s a big one coming to DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday.
By Tribune News Service
Following is a partial schedule of coming movies on DVD. Release dates are subject to change:
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
“Spare Parts” is a pleasant enough run-of-the-mill outsiders-beat-the-odds dramedy in the “Race the Sun” mold.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
“Big Muddy” is a big ol’ muddle of a thriller, a lot of dangerous characters converging, from various parts of the Canadian prairie, on a femme fatale and her teenage son.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
You’ve never seen Ewan McGregor quite like this — all sadistic and ruthless and what not.
By GLENN WHIPP Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
The Golden Globes are over. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have bade farewell to the Hollywood Foreign Press (All hail Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as their successors!), Wes Anderson has finished schmoozing with Dagmar, Yukiko, Lorenzo, Armando and Helmut, and Dominic West’s posterior (“something of great beauty,” notes “Affair” costar Ruth Wilson) has receded from view.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
“Paddington” brings children’s book hero Paddington Bear to the screen in a movie as sweet as orange marmalade, as sentimental as a stuffed toy from childhood. It’s an utterly charming and endlessly inventive way of bringing a talking bear into present day London, a film that uses all of the magic of the medium and our fond memories of Michael Bond’s beloved bear to give him life.
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
Here it is, Mother Russia, in all its bloated, drunken, allegorical glory. “Leviathan” is a modern parable of an ancient state and caricatures and stereotypes as old as vodka itself.
January 8, 2015
By RICK BENTLEY The Fresno Bee Tribune News Service
The further away we get from major historical events, the easier it is to forget the details that go into making the story. It’s films like “Selma” that remind us that behind every massive pivotal moment there are thousands of smaller stories that come together like raindrops forming a ground-shaking thunderstorm.
By RICK BENTLEY The Fresno Bee Tribune News Service
FRESNO, California — Billy Keane had some concerns when he saw the advertising for the feature film “Big Eyes.”
By SUSAN KING Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace have developed such a strong bond playing father and daughter in the blockbuster “Taken” franchise of action-thrillers that the two have become like family.
By RICK BENTLEY The Fresno Bee Tribune News Service
It’s time to start getting caught up with movies that have Oscar potential. One of the leading contenders hits stores this week.
By SUSAN KING Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service
The authors and screenwriters of “Gone Girl,” “The Imitation Game,” “Inherent Vice,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Wild’ were nominated Thursday morning for the 27th USC Libraries Scripter Award.
January 2, 2015
By BY LUCAS PAULEY lpauley@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 5576
For me, there are few things better than anticipating, watching and loving a movie. 
By ROGER MOORE Tribune News Service
The first wide release of 2015 is a deathly dull affair, a pointless, passionless ghost story sequel that lacks the one big thing the original film’s star provided – empathy. There’s no Daniel Radcliffe in “Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death,” and thus no reason for it to be made.

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