February 27, 2015

Film Review: Playing It Cool


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500 Days of Captain America...

What's more challenging, writing a romantic comedy or being the protagonist in one? In Playing It Cool, Chris Evans' character finds himself doing both, as a writer struggling with completing his rom-com screenplay who's also hitting a brick wall when it comes to wooing the woman of his dreams. It's a deliciously meta premise with ample potential, but can it and the film's winning cast — which includes the likes of Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza and Anthony Mackie — save what otherwise amounts to a fairly uninventive rom-com?

February 25, 2015

Blu-ray Review: Big Hero 6


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Big fun, bigger heart...

When you think of Marvel superheroes, you think of self-healing mutants with claws, patriotic super-soldiers or web-slinging do-gooders. What's less likely to come to mind is a soft, inflatable hero who seems to belong to the same family tree as Mr. Stay Puft and the Michelin Man. Yet, that's exactly what we get in Big Hero 6, the big screen adaptation of the Marvel Comics series that does more than just "Disney-fy" the property. It reimagines it as a superhero team-up much like Pixar's The Incredibles, and the results are heartwarming, action-packed and, oh yeah, Oscar-worthy.

February 23, 2015

Blu-ray Review: Dumb and Dumber To


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To plus too is fore...

The general rule of thumb with sequels is that you want to strike while the iron is hot. That's why a movie like Dumb and Dumber To is a bit of a rarity; because not only does it arrive a full two decades after the first film, it also reunites the original writer/directors, the Farrelly Brothers, with the original stars, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, who reprise their roles as America's favorite numbskulls, Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne. But while Carrey and Daniels may be willing to play middle-aged versions of their characters, is their "Two Stooges" schtick already well past its prime?

February 20, 2015

Blu-ray Review: Tales from Earthsea


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Wizards of the coast...

Even before he made NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind, Hayao Miyazaki had it in mind to write and direct a feature-length adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin's beloved five-part book series, "Tales from Earthsea." The senior Miyazaki's ambition was never realized, but 22 years later, his son, Goro, chose to make his directorial debut by bringing this sprawling fantasy adventure to the big screen. The result is a film that follows in the grand footsteps of movies like NausicaƤ and Howl's Moving Castle. But as beautiful as it is, is Tales from Earthsea worthy of being called a Miyazaki masterpiece?

February 13, 2015

Film Review: The Voices


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The truth about cats and dogs...

Having an inner monologue is one thing — having three is something else entirely. And that's exactly the scenario Ryan Reynolds' character finds himself in in The Voices, the fourth film from Persepolis director Marjane Satrapi. In this offbeat horror-comedy, Reynolds plays a man tormented by his inner demons and struggling with sinister urges, who also happens to be trying to woo the woman of his dreams. But can he find it in himself to listen to his heart, or will he continue instead to heed the advice of his talking, four-legged companions?