Movie review: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

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Before I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road, I spent a weekend watching George Miller’s three previous films about Max Rockatansky, all of which were filmed more than thirty years ago and starred Mel Gibson in the role that made him a superstar. I’d never seen them, and it hadn’t occurred to me to [...]

‘Pitch Perfect 2′ has a lot to live up to

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One of the reasons that the college a cappella competition comedy Pitch Perfect succeeded so well three years ago was that it was a huge surprise: the little film that seemed to be surfing on the success of TV’s Glee was actually really funny, really entertaining and really well made. Expectations were low; experiences were [...]

Movie review: ‘The D Train’

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I don’t know what to make of Mike White’s presence in a small role in the new film D Train, or of his name in the producing credits. White, who is a successful and talented screenwriter of The Good Girl and School of Rock, first became famous for writing and starring in Chuck and Buck, [...]

Another great piece of superhero entertainment from Joss Whedon

Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Age of Ultron The Avengers: Age of Ultron It should come as no surprise to my readers that I have a thing for superheroes. I’ve reviewed nearly every superhero movie released in the last five years, and in “DVR This” I’ve written about just about all of the TV series, [...]

Despite its flaws ‘The Water Diviner’ is a beautiful and moving movie

The 100th anniversary of World War I is passing by in the United States quietly mostly because, I suspect, how little the United States suffered during that war, compared to Europe and its colonies. Around 17 million soldiers and civilians died during the war’s four years; it wiped away huge swaths of the British, French, [...]

A gorgeous psychological thriller about A.I.

Hollywood is enthralled with big budget science fiction and fantasy films, particularly those starring superheroes, but despite their technological sophistication few of them do much more than please the eyes and leave you a little hard of hearing. Too much of a good thing is not good. These films have also brought along with them [...]

Movie review: ‘Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief’

I now live five blocks from the giant blue Scientology building in Hollywood, and I often catch a bus at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vermont Avenue, where young Scientologists, wearing blue blazers and solicitous smiles pass out proselytizing leaflets proclaiming, as all religions do, that they have the true answers to enlightenment. I [...]

Spotlight on a midlife search for truth

Maybe it’s because I’m about the same age at the characters Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts play in While We’re Young that I so identified with them, their ennui about aging and their adulation of a much younger, fresh and earnest couple played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. Josh (Stiller) and Cornelia (Watts) have [...]

Gay panic: The motion picture

People laughed during the preview screening of Get Hard. This is what bothered me most about the comedy featuring Will Ferrell as a clueless finance executive who hires a much more clueful Kevin Hart to prepare him for 10 years in prison. More than how terribly made it is, how pathetic and offensive its humor [...]

Insurgent

Also playing The second in the Divergent series, a sub-Hunger Games dystopian trilogy about a young woman who is the key to her oppressed society’s freedom, Insurgent is disappointingly worse than its predecessor. Considering the cast – the remarkable Shailene Woodley as our heroine Tris, studly Theo James as her boyfriend Four, Kate Winslet as [...]

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