Wednesday
Apr112012

'Hunger Games' should satiate book fans

Like the select participants of its savage sport, The Hunger Games (* * * stars out of four, PG-13) stands triumphant, if scarred and a bit wobbly from the contest.

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Thursday
Jul142011

'Winnie the Pooh' is magical for young kids

Disney Enterprises, Inc

He's a little single-minded and under-dressed, but give this to Winnie the Pooh: The little guy's got guts.

Even if they are filled with honey.

With Harry Potter casting his final spell over theaters this weekend, Winnie is the only star willing to challenge the boy wizard. Normally you'd find at least a romantic comedy to counterprogram a cinematic colossus.

Pooh stands alone. And while his movie doesn't stand a chance at the box office, Pooh succeeds by embracing much of what modern films (including Potter's) have largely forgotten: old-fashioned movie pleasures.

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Wednesday
May252011

'Hangover II': Just sleep this one off

Warner Bros. Pictures

For a movie about guys who can't handle their liquor, The Hangover Part II can be pretty sobering.

It's not that the jokes in this ill-fated sequel are rehashed from the first film. Refried humor would have felt like a cold beer in the summer sun here.

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Thursday
May122011

Toned-down Ferrell sells 'Everything Must Go'

Roadside AttractionIf he isn't careful, Will Ferrell is going to become a bona fide actor.

The loudmouthed comedian isn't there yet. He's still more at ease clowning in his underpants than shedding a tear.

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Friday
Jan142011

'The Dilemma' makes choice easy for moviegoers: Skip it

Universal StudiosThe Dilemma doesn't provide much of one for moviegoers.

What happened here? The talent behind the movie, by turns flashy and facile, is indisputable: Producer Brian Grazer, director Ron Howard and star Jennifer Connelly all won Oscars for 2001's A Beautiful Mind.

But Dilemma veers so wildly from bromance to drama it's hard to tell whether Howard is making a comedy or taking an unflinching look at relationships.

No matter. Neither approach works. The film opens with a question that begins many a cinematic dinner conversation and nary a real one: How well do we know each other?

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