movie review

It’s not easy revisiting the past, but sometimes it’s necessary. At least that’s how director Kathryn Bigelow felt about the epic Detroit riot of 1967. Ignited by an afterhours raid on a black nightclub by the Detroit police force, it lasted for days.

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Where were you when the wall came tumbling down? In the fall of 1989, Reagan was in the Oval Office and Eastern Europe was in a free fall. Frankly, I don’t remember where I was when the Berlin Wall finally fell, but as the premise for this movie, it intrigued me from the beginning.

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Talk about a hard sell: A comedy about a young woman in a medically induced coma near death is risky business. But what is it comedians always say? Comedy is nothing but mining your personal tragedies for laughs, and that’s what comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon have done in their touching, hilarious story.

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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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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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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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What a throwback in time—literally as one of filmdom’s most awesome monsters is resurrected for what is a fresh take on a timeworn genre. King Kong, or just Kong here, has been around since the silent films, but just when you think you’ve seen it all, the fog bank enshrouding Skull Island parts and the fun begins.

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