Tag Archives: movies

‘Jurassic World’ review on Action News Now

June 12, I talked about “Jurassic World” during a short segment on Action News Now in Northern California. Click on the link to watch: http://www.actionnewsnow.com/videoplayer/?video_id=8051&categories

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‘Jurassic World’ snapshot review

JURASSIC WORLD

Critical rating: 3½ stars out of four

Directed by: Colin Trevorrow (“Safety Not Guaranteed”)

Produced by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril

The story: Years after the events depicted in the original “Jurassic Park” films, businessmen have figured out a way to make a dinosaur-themed amusement park a reality. Sadly, interest in the facility is dwindling, so scientists up the ante by creating a genetically altered predator that’s as big as a T-Rex but smarter and considerably more dangerous. The creature is meant to create excitement and attract more visitors. Instead, it escapes.

The scoop: “Jurassic World” has all the requirements of a first-rate, summer blockbuster. It is action-packed, entertaining and filled with jaw-dropping special effects. Like most films in its genre, there is some silliness, but that’s no big deal thanks to an excellent cast and solid direction by director Colin Trevorrow.

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New to Home Video: ‘Kingsman – The Secret Service,’ ‘The DUFF’ and ‘Project Almanac’

The following home video releases are available in most formats as of June 9 …

Kingsman: The Secret Service

3½ stars (out of four)
Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content
20th Century Fox
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Mark Strong and Mark Hamill
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn (“Kick Ass,” “X-Men: First Class”)
The scoop: Story of a troubled young man (Taron Egerton) who is invited to try out for a top-secret spy organization. His mentor is a long-time agent named Harry Hart (Colin Firth). The movie is a delightful mix of comedy and action, and the cast is outstanding. The film is also extremely violent, which is to be expected since it came from the director of “Kick Ass.”

The DUFF

Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying
Lionsgate
Starring: Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Nick Eversman, Bella Thorne and Bianca A. Santos
Directed by: Ari Sandel (first feature-length, fiction movie)
The scoop: A high school senior (Mae Whitman) throws her school’s social order into disarray when she fights back after learning that everybody knows her as the “designated ugly fat friend.”

Project Almanac

Rated PG-13 for some language and sexual content
Paramount
Starring: Johnny Weston, Sophia Black D’Elia, Sam Lerner and Allen Evangelista
Directed by: Dean Israelite (first feature-length movie)
The scoop: Documentary-style picture about a group of friends who build a time machine only to discover that their meddling has unintended effects that puts everyone in danger.

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‘San Andreas’ snapshot review

SAN ANDREAS

Critical rating: 2½ stars out of four

Directed by: Brad Peyton (“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Paul Giamatti, Alexandra Daddario, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson and Ioan Gruffudd

Rated: PG-13

The story: A massive earthquake rattles the San Francisco coast, forcing a rescue chopper pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) into a desperate search for their missing daughter (Alexandra Daddario).

The scoop: Movies don’t get much stupider or more overblown than “San Andreas.” As with most disaster movies, the severity of the destruction and loss of life are belittled by the fact that only a handful of characters receive significant screen time. Nevertheless, there is something relentlessly entertaining about all this nonsense. The special effects are astonishing, and Dwayne Johnson is charming even when he’s working with an insipid script. “San Andreas” is a guilty pleasure in the guiltiest sense.

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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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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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