In the Dark

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton

Directed by: Jon Watts

Rated: PG-13

 

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Marvel Studios has revamped “Spider-Man” for the third time. Tobey Maguire didn’t quite get it done and Andrew Garfield was just too morose to capture the character. But now, finally, I think Marvel has finally found what makes this character tick and it turns out just to let Peter Parker be himself — a nerdy teenager.

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‘Baby Driver’

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey

Directed by: Edgar Wright

Rated: R

 

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Once in awhile, a veteran actor will connect with a role that showcases them to the degree there is talk of an Oscar nomination — maybe a win. And it can revive a career, if needed. “The Hero” will not be such a role for Sam Elliott, although it seems tailor-made for him.

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What I hoped would be a yummy art house feature to relieve a long, hot summer fell far short of my expectations. Allow me to save you a needless trip to a Houston cinema to see “My Cousin Rachel” when you can just wait for cable pay-per-view. I’ll wager it will be available by August.

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Wonder Woman

‘Wonder Woman’

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Rated: PG-13

 

As superheroes go, I was never very fond of Wonder Woman. As imagined in the old TV show starring Lynda Carter, the costume was a skimpy, satin, patriotic, sexist invention. And her superpowers were a couple of cuffs, a shield and a lasso? What’s so special about that?

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‘The Circle’

Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma

Watson, Patton Oswalt

Directed by: James Ponsoldt

Rated: PG-13

 

Intended as a cautionary tale about the intrusion of social media technology in our personal lives, this is nothing more than a clumsy melodrama that would have fit better into the Lifetime schedule than a theater release.

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Consider this a little in-between-seasons truffle before the summer movies hit theaters. Spring is always a mixed bag of movies that range from pretty good to awful and run the gamut of genres: horror, humor and animation. Some recent ones have been surprisingly good like “Life,” the sci-fi horror movie, and “Boss Baby,” the DreamWorks animated feature with Alec Baldwin.

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The Boss Baby
The Boss Baby - imdb.com photo

‘The Boss Baby’

Starring: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi

Directed by: Tom McGrath

Rated: PG

There is something inherently funny about a baby dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase, especially if the baby has the voice of Alec Baldwin. From the animation team at DreamWorks comes this clever and creative animated movie with a thoughtful premise.

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Bad things can happen in deep space. We know this because films like “Alien” and the many other sci-fi horror films it inspired have engineered all kinds of extraterrestrial creatures to prey on mankind. “Life” succeeds better than about 90 percent of those due to its relentless claustrophobia and a twist ending that director Daniel Espinosa insisted on before he agreed to make the movie.

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This tale as old as time gets an extravagant makeover in the live action version that Disney is poised to make box office history with this weekend. Bill Condon, the director, goes full tilt and it’s as overdone as Neil Simon plays in community theater.

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