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Alita: Battle Angel
February 12, 2019 | Movie Reviews
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Mary, Queen of Scots
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Glass
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Movie Reviews

6.3
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A Nightmare on Elm Street Review

Producer Michael Bay’s vision has finally done what his last two attempts at horror revisions failed to do: keep the focus on the villain. In 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the whole movie was driven not by Leatherface, but by his father (R. Lee Ermey), whose performance was way over the top. In last year’s Friday the 13th remake, the pretty boy and girl actors take away from Jason more than any of the previous films did. But in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jackie Earle Haley (taking over for Robert Englund) is the star power behind the movie and he’s entirely in the driver’s seat. His performance in Watchmen and Little Children helped convince producers that they found a suitable replacement for the role of Freddy Krueger.

8.0
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Cemetery Junction Review

Since creating TV shows The Office and Extras, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have been recognized as two of Britain’s best-known comedic talents. Gervais is particularly known as the front man for the duo and has thus entered into other projects: stand-up tours, starring film roles, directing a film and even a guest starring on Alias. The two men have reunited to write and direct their first feature film together with Cemetery Junction.

Christian Cooke plays Freddie Taylor, a man in his 20s living in the early ’70s in Cemetery Junction, a suburb of Reading, England. Freddie wants to avoid the same life path his parents and contemporaries have taken: leaving school at 14 to work in the local factory for the rest of their lives. He goes to work at a life insurance company run by Mr. Kendrick (Ralph Fiennes) and taught by salesman Mike Ramsay (Matthew Goode).

Freddie spends his free time with his close friends Bruce (Tom Hughes) and Snork (Jack Doolan) doing all the jolly things in life: drinking, fighting and trying to score with girls. But Freddie is slowly distancing himself from them because they refuse to shed their childish ways. He also remakes a friendship with Julie (Felicity Jones), whom he last saw when he was 12. She tells Freddie her passion is to travel the world and he too has those thoughts. He becomes disillusioned with everything in Cemetery Junction.

3.7
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Death at a Funeral Review

You don’t remake a movie this friggin’ soon! That’s what I told myself after hearing that Chris Rock would be remaking Frank Oz’s 2007 British comedy, Death at a Funeral, a well-stocked film with plenty of gags but somehow less funny than it should have been. Perhaps it had to do with me not always getting the English sense of humor. The cultural differences sometimes fly right over my head. Even though it was essentially one long gag, it seemed to be missing something.

6.5
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The Lovely Bones Review

Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is a typical teenage girl living in the suburbs of 1970s Pennsylvania. Like many girls she was into fashion and pop music and developing her first crush. But her family’s life is shattered when Susie is murdered by her neighbour George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). Unable to go to Heaven Susie is left in a lonely purgatory known as the “in-between” where she watches her family struggle to cope with her death.

7.0
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The Losers Review

Whew, did I expect the wrong thing going into this movie. I really thought I was going to be getting balls-out action with some comedy thrown in for good measure. What I got was still great, just different than I expected. A movie more funny than action packed, The Losers somehow manages to be both total comedy and balls-out action movie. The unquestionable star of the show is Evans. His portrayal of Jensen is downright hilarious and he commands what is easily the most memorable scene of the movie. Morgan’s Clay is as cool as they come in every scene he’s in and is completely believable as the team’s leader, bringing confidence and hope to the left-for-dead and outlawed Losers.

6.5
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Date Night Review

Strong performances in an otherwise average to mediocre movie are often touted as that films saving grace, bringing gravitas and charm to material that is simply, limp. What you hear discussed far less is how comprehensively a hack script can drag down its talented lead actors. Steve Carell and Tina Fey battle with the screenplay for most of the running length; a tug of war that never ends.

Pretending Date Night would be void of laughs without Carell and Fey would a somewhat narcissistic claim, yet it most certainly would have been more tedious. Date Night is directed by Shawn Levy, who is no stranger to generating this laborious plot structure. His past projects, including the Night at the Museum franchise and The Pink Panther remake, have their guffaws however any charm that can be wrung from the script is strangled by extended periods of mirthless slumber. This latest endeavor tips more towards the watchable side to be sure, but the balance remains uneven.

9.0
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Avatar Review

James Cameron is a storied director whose films have been landmarks of their time. Like he did in the ’80s and ’90s with both Terminator films, he returns from his 10-year hiatus without missing a beat, shepherding audiences into the future of cinema with progressive film-making done with the most advanced technology. Avatar, which arrives on DVD and Blu-ray today, is a miraculous visual feat, the greatest epic since The Lord of the Rings trilogy and a filmmaking milestone. At the conclusion of a decade, it’s a window into what audiences of the future can expect at the movies.

7.0
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Hot Tub Time Machine Review

Prepare yourself, dear reader, for I am about to make a bold declaration that will either inflate or obliterate my prestigious position as a famed film critic: John Cusack’s throwback ’80s flick is the best time-traveling hot tub film ever created. Did I just blow your mind? Coyness aside, Hot Tub Time Machine is a supremely entertaining comedy, brimming with laughs and raunch all cemented with ample ’80s nostalgia.

8.0
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How to Train Your Dragon Review

With a somewhat unwieldy title and lacking the winning Pixar association that has dominated the Oscars for a decade, Dreamworks animations latest could have been a clunker. Not only is How to Train Your Dragon the best film of the year so far, but it even eclipses the quality of last year’s duel academy award winner Up.

The latest 3D film to fly into theaters in so many weeks is also the best of its format (story-wise), making Tim Burton’s overblown misfire Alice in Wonderland look even more pitiful. “Dragon” will no doubt enamour kids while keeping parents not only awake, but also equally enthralled. Its warmth is sure to tug the hearts of anyone who has ever loved a pet and will undoubtedly draw tears from those who are so inclined.

7.6
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Crazy Heart Review

The true hallmark of a timeless performance is its ability to put leverage on an exhausted story and not only make it seem enlivened, but also like one of a kind. Jeff Bridges accomplishes that and more with his Oscar-winning role in Crazy Heart; the crux of a legendary career. The narrative drive of Crazy Heart, which is out on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, is purely actor-centric as its extremely simplistic tale of regret and redemption could have easily sunk to the level of after-school special.  More than anything else, the film from first-time director Scott Cooper is supremely entertaining and absorbing; quite a feat for a film with bland, paint-by-number trailers.

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