Friday, July 11, 2014





STILL SHOWING


April 19. 2013 1:59PM


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42 — Earnest, righteous, historically accurate and often entertaining, Brian Helgeland’s film is pretty much all you could hope for in a Jackie Robinson film biography. Minus the excitement, which given how well-known Robinson’s story is to baseball fans, is no cardinal sin. And the cast is more adequate than thrilling. It’s the sort of story you find yourself hoping they don’t screw up — that the baseball will be convincing, the racism isn’t watered down and the actor playing Jackie (Chadwick Boseman) comes off as a human being, not an icon. In those regards, “42” scores. PG-13 for thematic elements including language. 128 mins. 3 stars


THE CALL — The 911 dispatcher finally gets a starring role. Halle Berry takes her second kidnapping call when a rookie dispatcher can’t handle the frightening pleas from a taken teenager (Abigail Breslin) trapped in a car’s trunk. R for violence, content and language. 95 mins. 2 stars


THE CROODS — In this animated film, a prehistoric family embarks on a journey to find a new home after their cave is destroyed. In 3-D. PG. 92 mins. Three stars


EVIL DEAD — This remake of Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead” — they dropped the “The” in the title — presents, for your edification and enjoyment, some of the most graphic horror violence ever seen on screen. But Fede Alvarez’s homage to the original “Cabin in the Woods” tale lacks the offhanded goofiness and brittle jokes of young people facing death at the hands of something supernatural. R for strong bloody violence and gore, some sexual content and language. 92 mins. Two and a half stars.


G.I. JOE: RETALIATION — A better-than-average, gravity-defying ninja duel leads to an epic chase through the Himalayas in this big set-piece sequence. PG-13 for intense combat violence and martial-arts action, brief sensuality and language. 110 mins. Two stars


THE HOST — The film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s book comes with a workable script about an alien invasion. The bodies of humans have been taken over by space travelers who look like neon caterpillars. When an alien known as The Wanderer ends up in the body of the spunky Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan), another problem arises. PG for violence, sensuality. 125 mins. Three stars.


IDENTITY THIEF — Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman are opposites stuck on a cross-country road trip together. R for sexuality and language. 107 mins. Star and a half.


JURASSIC PARK 3D — Forget blowing the images up to IMAX size and converting the lunging velociraptors and T. Rexes into 3-D. The best reason to revive “Jurassic Park” for its 20th anniversary is Jeff Goldblum. As “chaos theory” expert Dr. Ian Malcolm, he is the skeptic in a cluster of greedy entrepreneurs and spellbound paleontologists. PG-13 for intense science-fiction terror. 127 mins. Three stars


OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN — A disgraced Secret Service agent is called back to duty when the White House is taken over by terrorists. R for strong violence and language throughout. 119 mins. Three and a half stars.


OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL — Director Sam Raimi was the right guy to make this emerald-tinted world pop off the 3-D screen, but the cast, plainly packed with second or third choices, lets it down. PG for action, scary images and brief mild language. 130 mins. Three stars


THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES — This tells three overlapping stories that center on the legacies — voluntary or not — fathers leave their sons and the split-second decisions that can shape them. The title is the English translation of the Mohawk word for the film’s setting, Schenectady. It’s a fitting romanticizing of reality for the film’s characters, who all hope for something better than what they have. R for language, violence, teen drug/alcohol use. 140 mins. Three and a half stars


SCARY MOVIE V — A couple begin to experience some unusual activity after bringing their newborn son home from the hospital. With the help of home-surveillance cameras and a team of experts, they learn they’re being stalked by a nefarious demon. PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language, some drug material, partial nudity. 85 mins. Two stars


SIDE EFFECTS — A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects. R for sexuality, nudity, violence and language. 106 mins. Three stars


SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK —A head-spinner of a movie about love, pain, reinvention and rehabilitation. R for profanity, sex, drugs, violence, adult themes. 120 minutes. Four stars.


TRANCE — Plot-twisting puzzlers are a bubble market in the movies these days, with an arms race of “Inception”-like reality reversals that flip like a coin until dizzy audiences lose all interest in how it lands. That’s certainly the case with Danny Boyle’s mind-bending neo-noir with continually shifting layers but little beyond its flashy plot machinations. James McAvoy is Simon, a London auctioneer who describes the emergency protocol of the high-end auction house “in the event of an event.” As he does so, such an event is under way: A well-planned gang brazenly attempts to steal Francisco Goya’s “Witches in the Air.” Confusion of the grandest sort ensues. R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, some grisly images and language. 101 mins. Two stars


TYLER PERRY’S TEMPTATION: CONFESSIONS OF A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR —An ambitious married woman’s temptation by a handsome billionaire leads to betrayal and recklessness and forever alters the course of her life. PG-13 for some violence, sexuality and drug content. 111 mins. Star and half




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