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Hercules

Posted on July 30, 2014 at 11:17 am

You’ll have to say one thing for Brett Ratner’s production of “Hercules” – this movie has a sense of proportion. Running just over 90 minutes, the movie is often clunky, but at least it’s fast and unpretentious and its likable star, Dwayne Johnson, manages to murder legions without ever seeming sadistic. Less violent than “300,” less compelling than “Gladiator,” this new addition to the sword-and-sandals genre seems likely to please

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  • And So It Goes

    Posted on July 23, 2014 at 9:44 am

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    While the title of Rob Reiner’s “And So It Goes” seems intended as take-it-on-the-chin affirmation of life’s inevitable detours and potholes, the movie itself feels like a surrender — to the kind of geriatric burlesque that increasingly seems to be the only game in town for A-list stars of Social Security age. Rivaling headliner Michael Douglas’ recent altacocker ensembler “Last Vegas” in its quantity of arthritic slapstick and tearjerking platitudes,

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  • Planes: Fire and Rescue

    Posted on July 16, 2014 at 9:22 am

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    Dusty Crophopper is an international celebrity, used to winning one aerial race after another. However, his gearbox is giving out. His fuselage is failing. It might be time to come up with life’s Plan B. That’s the start of Disney’s new kids cartoon, “Planes: Fire and Rescue” and it’s a strangely different one. Most children’s movies preach the California gospel of self-esteem, a contradictory creed (everyone is the same, everyone

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  • PLANET OF THE APES

    Posted on July 9, 2014 at 8:27 am

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    In Rise of the Planet of the Apes something magic happened, the goose-bump inducing moment that Caesar says “NO,” one of the most enduring sci-fi franchises in cinematic history asserted its dominance on the contemporary blockbuster landscape. The series, continuing with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Dawn), has smarts, gorgeous innovation and pure, arresting entertainment. It’s ten years after the “simian flu” has wiped out all but a

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  • Earth To Echo

    Posted on July 2, 2014 at 9:07 am

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    “Earth to Echo” is an engagingly unassuming “E.T.” knockoff, a kids’ movie that serves up a similar alien-with-kids story in “Blair Witch/Paranormal” shaky cam package. It has been over 30 years since “E.T. the Extraterrestrial,” so why not? Cast with cute, likable kids, given a few decent effects and having that found-footage “reality” of “The Blair Witch Project,” it doesn’t have the financial or emotional heft of the mythic “phone

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  • Transformers Age Of Extinction

    Posted on June 25, 2014 at 9:07 am

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    It’s not just that the Autobots look more distinctive and easier to tell apart than ever in “Transformers: Age of Extinction” — as Optimus Prime never tires of reminding us, these robots have actual souls. So who cares if the human characters are even more expendable and the plot even more scattershot than usual? Resurrected to take on man-made knock-offs of themselves, these metallic superheroes cause so much destruction, it’s

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  • Movie Review: 22 Jump Street

    Posted on June 18, 2014 at 9:00 am

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    Things are always worse the second time around, the deputy police chief warns the buddy-cop team of Jenko and Schmidt in “22 Jump Street.” He’s talking about their next assignment, but of course, it’s an inside joke — with the audience. “22 Jump Street,” starring the inspired comic duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, is a sequel, and movie sequels are indeed often worse (especially when, as the chief

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