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‘Tommorowland’ snapshot review

TOMORROWLAND

Critical rating: 2½ stars out of four

Directed by: Brad Bird (“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” “The Incredibles,” “The Iron Giant”)

Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw and Thomas Robinson

Rated: PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements and language

The story: A scientifically curious young woman (Britt Robertson) learns of an alternate reality where humans have created inventions beyond our wildest dreams. She also learns that her reality is doomed unless she and an aging inventor (George Clooney) find a way to rid the world of its ever-increasing, human-created problems.

The scoop: Director and co-writer Brad Bird has done a masterful job creating an awe-inspiring look at an alternate reality that could represent humanity’s future. He has also crafted a story with an important and beautiful message: Human beings can build a wonderful future together, but only if they stop the self-destructive behavior that is destroying our lives and planet. Clooney and Robertson are likable in the lead roles, but the intricacies of the complex plot are difficult to decipher. This is largely due to uneven storytelling that leaves a host of important questions unanswered. In other words, “Tomorrowland” is beautiful and engaging, but it feels sloppy, particularly when judged in relation to Bird’s previous work.

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Video Verdict: Review of ‘Night at the Museum – Secret of the Tomb’

From left, Patrick Gallagher, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and Rami Malek star in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”  Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

From left, Patrick Gallagher, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and Rami Malek star in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The latest entry in the “Night at the Museum” franchise is the only major theatrical release making its way to home video this week.

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Video Verdict: Reviews of ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′ and ‘Foxcatcher’

Jennifer Lawrence again plays Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.”  Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

Jennifer Lawrence again plays Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.”

Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

This week’s home video releases are anchored by last year’s top-grossing feature film.

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Winners of the 87th Academy Awards

The movie awards season has come to a close with the 87th Academy Awards ceremony. Following is a full list of winner.

Best Picture

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

Best Actor

Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Best Actress

Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

Best Supporting Actor

J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”

Best Foreign Language Film

“Ida”

Best Animated Movie

“Big Hero Six”

Best Documentary Feature

“CitizenFour”

Original Screenplay 

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

Best Adapted Screenplay

Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”

Best Original Song

“Glory” by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Achievement in Cinematography

Emannuel Lubezki, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

Achievement in Visual Effects

Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley and Paul Franklin, “Interstellar”

Achievement in Costume Design

Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling 

Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Achievement in Production Design

Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Achievement in Sound Mixing

Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, “Whiplash”

Achievement in Sound Editing

Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, “American Sniper”

Achievement in Film Editing

Tom Cross, “Whiplash”

Best Live Action Short Film

“The Phone Call”

Best Documentary Short Subject

“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1″

Best Animated Short

“Feast”

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Critics’ Choice Movie Awards air Jan. 16 on The CW

The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards have a remarkable track record for predicting future Oscar winners, and they air live tonight (Jan. 16) on The CW. Tune in at 8 p.m. PT/ET.

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’12 Years a Slave’ tops Las Vegas Film Critics Society’s 2013 awards field

From left, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in "12 Years a Slave." The movie received five awards, including Best Picture, from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society.

From left, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in “12 Years a Slave.” The movie received five awards, including Best Picture, from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society.

Because I have reviewed film in Nevada for a long time, I am a member of the Las Vegas Film Critics Society, an organization that doles out awards every December. It’s great to be part of this organization because membership is relatively small, meaning everyone’s vote is important. Also, my fellow members are terrific. This week, we announced our award winners for 2013. Here’s a full list…

Las Vegas Film Critics Society 2013 Sierra Awards

Best Picture
“12 Years a Slave”

Best Actor
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Actress
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”

Best Supporting Actor
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Supporting Actress
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”

Best Director
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”

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Critics’ Choice Movie Awards nominees announced

Sandra Bullock earned a best actress nomination for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards thanks to her work in "Gravity." The movie also received nine additional nominations, including nods for Best Picture and Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron).

Sandra Bullock earned a Best Actress nomination for the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards thanks to her work in “Gravity.” The movie also received nine additional nominations, including nods for Best Picture and Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron).

Longtime readers know that I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), which hosts the nationally televised Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. Each year, the BFCA (consisting of more than 280 television, radio and online critics) honors the best in film. Our nomination ballots were cast Friday and tallied over the weekend. That means the nominees represent a critical consensus from the group.

Next, BFCA members will vote for our favorites among these nominees. Winners will be crowned live Jan. 16 at our awards show in Santa Monica, Calif. The show will be broadcast on The CW Network at 8 p.m. PT/ET.

Following is a complete list of nominees:

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