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Movie Reviews
'A Hologram for the King': Angst of a Salesman
Director Tom Tykwer's "A Hologram for the King," about a down-on-his-luck American businessman seeking to rectify his life through one big deal in Saudi Arabia, is the sort of film you enjoy while you're watching it, think about a little, and dismiss. The fleeting, two-pronged appeal comes thanks to the everyman charm Tom Hanks imbues in his Alan Clay, a desperate former corporate bigwig, and the inscrutable sociology he runs into whilst attempting to sell the Arab king a holographic...

'Barbershop: The Next Cut': Seriously Styled
The storyline is basic. The Southside is getting worse and worse, the sociocultural casualty of increasing gang violence. Politicians have suggested surrounding it with a wall. Gee, doesn't that sound familiar? Secretly, Calvin harbors thoughts of giving up the fight and relocating to the North Side. However, respect for the neighborhood institution his dad founded, as well as a dedication to his loyal band of cohorts, stirs him to make one last stab at winning back the civility of...

'The Boss': Corners the Funny Business
Somewhat reminiscent of how the great Rodney Dangerfield and other standup artists before him packaged their shtick in feature-length celluloid, the script, while not badly written, is but a vehicle for McCarthy's scattershot criticism of whatever comes to mind.

'Hello, My Name Is Doris': Puts the Sex in Sexagenarian
Doubtless you'll recall from childhood the man or woman in your neighborhood who cast a similar image, someone decidedly afield of the mainstream who scared you just a little, but all the same suggested the plausibility of infinite lifestyles. Well, that's Doris.

'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice': The World is Too Much with Them
Remember when you were little and the kids on the block would argue who was greater, Batman or Superman? The ragamuffins on Dewey Street were evenly divided, pretty much the way they were between the Yankees and the Dodgers. Frankly, it was a no-brainer to me. The Yanks had The Mick, and, while Batman had all sorts of gadgetry, Superman had super powers. I know, I know, there's that Achilles heel thing, the accursed Kryptonite.

'Miracles from Heaven': Friendly Persuasion
I think it was St. Augustine, if I may paraphrase a saint, who stated that one cannot prove God's existence through logic, but rather, only through one's faith. It is in this theological vein, whether consciously referencing the early Christian thinker or not, that director Patricia Riggen weaves her tear-jerking, often compelling "Miracles from Heaven."

'The Brothers Grimsby': Fraternally Filthy
I don't quite know yet if I've been scarred for life by Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Brothers Grimsby," an audacious exercise in bad taste that goes over the top and, like a playground swing gone wild, loops around a few times. It'd be easy to simply say it's tasteless, vulgar garbage that would push the envelope of even the most broadminded viewers and end the review right here.

'Zootopia': It's a Jungle out There
With "Zootopia," a gaggle of doubtlessly well-intentioned writers and directors fail to snare the brass ring of kiddie-flick making, the award accorded to those movies that prove entertaining to children and adults alike.

'Eddie the Eagle': Doesn't Soar
I didn't mind too terribly the obviousness and predictability of director Dexter Fletcher's "Eddie the Eagle," a biopic about the underdog (and lone) British ski jumper who charmed everyone at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

'Race': Takes the Silver
If only we were as proficient at correcting our social sins as we are at chronicling them. My case in point is director Stephen Hopkins' "Race," a dutiful but dramatically average telling of the heroic odyssey that made Jesse Owens a worldwide sports legend. We, in the more enlightened nooks and hollers, are properly abashed at the stumbling blocks Owens had to hurdle on his way to glory in the 1936 Berlin Olympiad.

'Goldberger in Oscarland': Digging Deep for the Winners
I peered out my window. It was Oscar picking time. But no help seemed forthcoming. Over the years I've depended on the kindness of strangers to help make my selections. Last year the politically innocent squirrels who call my backyard home (a fat bunch since named The Goldberger Squirrels) made the treacherous journey across an angrily blockaded George Washington Bridge to deliver a packet containing the "winners" names.

'Hail, Caesar!': I Come to Criticize, and Praise a Little, Too
While love has been a major theme of motion pictures since the medium's inception, Hollywood hath no greater love than that of itself.

'Jane Got a Gun': Misfires
A few decades ago, before the revisionist Western (i.e. Robert Altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," 1971) moseyed into our movie palaces, director Gavin O'Connor's ultrarealistic "Jane Got a Gun" might have fascinated us and even won a few awards. But I tell you pardner, by this juncture I've just about had a belly full of poor cowpokes and sodbusters trying to scratch out a living in inhospitable country populated by no-account varmints, gunslingers and the precursors of what would evolve...

'The Boy': Best Seen by Mistake
It's the good old 'is it alive or not?' ploy, a theme that probably originated even before Abraham smashed the gods in his Dad's idol shop, perhaps for creeping him out. However, screenwriter Stacey Menear's slight variation on the theme isn't half bad and, had it been placed in more creative hands, might have propelled the film to a greater fright quotient.

'Carol': Sings a Sad Song
It is 1953, all buttoned up and proper, especially around the suburban New Jersey neighborhood where the Aird manse sits in pristine glory. But scratch the surface just a touch beyond the stone Tudor opulence and therein resides some pretty unhappy people ... specifically, Harge and Carol Aird. They don't mention the cause of their disaffection, but rather talk around it, the reticence to be direct indicative of the myopic disdain hubby feels for this unexplainable thing that has torn his...

 
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