FIRST RUN

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - MOVIES -

tell a story that is any­thing but. 120 min. (R) for some sex­u­al­ity and full nu­dity. — Ken­neth Tu­ran, Tri­bune News­pa­pers

The Hate­ful Eight —“The Hate­ful Eight” is an ul­tra­w­ide bore. If you have the op­tion, and you’re com­mit­ted to see­ing the thing, you should see Quentin Tarantino’s lat­est in one of its lim­it­e­drelease “road­show” screen­ings, pro­jected on film, com­plete with over­ture and run­ning three hours and eight min­utes in all. Wri­ter­di­rec­tor Tarantino has de­scribed his post-Civil War pic­ture, set largely in a Wy­oming road­house with a bliz­zard rag­ing out­side, as an Agatha Christie Western. It’s not so much a shoot-’em-up (though the violence is out­landishly rough when it comes) as a guess-’em-up. I’m all for the old-school, 70 mil­lime­ter whomp of “The Hate­ful Eight.” I just wish the re­sults didn’t feel like 70 min­utes of vi­able story taffy­pulled out to a brazen length. Tarantino is a born writer, but he’s not a born self-ed­i­tor of his own writerly blab. 67 min. (R) for strong bloody violence, a scene of vi­o­lent sex­ual con­tent, lan­guage and some graphic nu­dity. — Michael Phillips, Tri­bune News­pa­pers

Joy — The mar­ket­ing cam­paign for the new David O. Rus­sell film “Joy,” star­ring Jen­nifer Lawrence, has been ex­tremely ner­vous about bring­ing down the party with the word “mop.” Mops tra­di­tion­ally do not sell at the mul­ti­plex. Mops tra­di­tion­ally are what clean up the mul­ti­plex. But mops are cen­tral to the nar­ra­tive in “Joy,” and there’s no way around it. Mir­a­cle Mop in­ven­tor and en­tre­pre­neur Joy Mangano, a work­ing-class Long Is­land striver who is now a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire in the realm of Home Shop­ping Net­work in­fomer­cials, serves as the sub­ject of Rus­sell’s ninth fea­ture. Rus­sell’s pre­vi­ous three pic­tures, “The Fighter,” “Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book” and “Amer­i­can Hustle,” con­sti­tute a re­mark­able string of films that were A) pop­u­lar; B) com­pet­i­tive in the awards sea­son; and C) really good. “Joy” breaks the streak. 120 min. (PG-13) for brief strong lan­guage. — Michael Phillips, Tri­bune News­pa­pers (NR) Point Break — A young FBI agent in­fil­trates an ex­tra­or­di­nary team of ex­treme sports ath­letes he sus­pects of mas­ter­mind­ing a string of un­prece­dented, so­phis­ti­cated cor­po­rate heists. Deep un­der­cover, and with his life in dan­ger, he strives to prove th­ese ath­letes are the ar­chi­tects of the mind-bog­gling crimes that are dev­as­tat­ing the world’s fi­nan­cial mar­kets. Filmed on four con­ti­nents, North Amer­ica, Europe, South Amer­ica and Asia, “Point Break” presents ex­tra­or­di­nary feats per­formed by the world’s top ex­treme sports ath­letes, and in­volves some of the most dar­ing ex­ploits ever com­mit­ted to film. Ex­treme sports fea­tured in­clude snow­board­ing, wing­suit fly­ing, free rock climb­ing, high-speed mo­tocross, and surf­ing 70-foot waves. 113 min. (PG-13) for violence, the­matic ma­te­rial in­volv­ing per­ilous ac­tiv­ity, some sex­u­al­ity, lan­guage and drug ma­te­rial.

Youth — Writer-di­rec­tor Paolo Sor­rentino’s vis­ually ex­trav­a­gant med­i­ta­tion on old age, is the sim­ple, near-plot­less tale of two old friends — a re­tired com­poser and orchestra di­rec­tor (Michael Caine) and a film­maker (Har­vey Kei­tel) — va­ca­tion­ing at a lux­u­ri­ous Swiss spa and re­sort. The movie sounds in­suf­fer­able — two old white rich dudes look­ing back on their lives and re­gret­ting their mis­takes — but Sor­rentino turns the script into a sym­phonic cel­e­bra­tion of the grandeur of movies. 118 min. (R) for graphic nu­dity, some sex­u­al­ity, and lan­guage. — Rene Ro­driguez, The Miami Her­ald

½ Alvin and the Chip­munks: The Road Chip — The plot for “Road Chip” fol­lows the Chip­munks from LA to Miami. Their “dad,” Dave (Ja­son Lee), is get­ting se­ri­ous with lady doc­tor Sa­man­tha (Kim­berly Wil­liamsPais­ley), who comes with a night­mare of a teenage son, Miles (Josh Green). Sus­pect­ing a pro­posal, and not want­ing to unite their fam­i­lies, the Chip­munks and Miles set off to throw a mon­key wrench in the plans. In so do­ing, they man­age to un­leash a crowd of an­i­mals onto a plane; play a honky tonk sa­loon in Texas; join a Mardi Gras pa­rade in New Or­leans; and fi­nally make it to Miami, where they wreak even more havoc. It’s stan­dard learn­ing-tolove-your-enemy stuff, with lessons about friend­ship, loy­alty and learn­ing to say sorry, pack­aged in ado­les­cent, fart-for­ward hu­mor, re­ly­ing on gen­der stereo­types and a bizarre ac­cep­tance of talk­ing ro­dents. 86 min. (PG) for some mild rude hu­mor. — Katie Walsh, Tri­bune News Ser­vice

½ The Big Short — I’m con­flicted be­yond the usual def­i­ni­tions of “con­flicted” re­gard­ing di­rec­tor and co-writer Adam McKay’s “The Big Short,” a valiant, zestily acted adap­ta­tion of the Michael Lewis non­fic­tion best­seller about the fi­nan­cial melt­down of 2008. The na­tional and world economies are still mired in the melted cheese of that cri­sis, a slice of re­cent history that seems very far away and de­press­ingly present. To tell this story, McKay and co-writer Charles Ran­dolph cope with an un­godly mass of di­a­logue con­cern­ing the risks in­volved with col­lat­er­al­ized debt obli­ga­tions and mort­gage-backed se­cu­ri­ties. I’m an id­iot when it comes to fi­nances, both my own and the coun­try’s. To an id­iot like me, “The Big Short” comes off as an ex­as­per­ated blur of a movie, packed with in­for­ma­tion and loaded with en­ter­tain­ing ac­tors work­ing hard to dra­ma­tize and en­er­gize. 130 min. (R) for perva- sive lan­guage and some sex­u­al­ity/ nu­dity. — Michael Phillips, Tri­bune News­pa­pers drama

½ Brook­lyn — The Amer­i­can im­mi­grant story comes to life in the lush and lovely “Brook­lyn,” di­rected by John Crowley, with a screen­play adapted by Nick Hornby from Colm Toibin’s 2009 novel. In 1950s En­nis­cor­thy, Ire­land, young Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ro­nan) strives for more than what her small town can of­fer. With­out job or mar­riage prospects at home, she takes the leap across the At­lantic to seek her for­tune in New York City. Eilis is des­per­ately home­sick un­til she starts tak­ing ac­count­ing classes and meets a charm­ing Ital­ian guy. All too soon, a fam­ily death calls her back to the mother­land, and Eilis finds that what she left be­hind wasn’t so bad af­ter all. “Brook­lyn” is an ev­er­green, univer­sal story. It cap­tures the strug­gles and heartache of any im­mi­grant liv­ing in and learn­ing a new coun­try, and it also rings en­tirely, al­most painfully true for any young per­son who’s left be­hind a small town life for the siren call of the big city. 111min. (PG-13) for a scene of sex­u­al­ity and brief strong lan­guage. — Katie Walsh, Tri­bune News Ser­vice

½ Creed — Back in 1976, the na­tion yearned for a red, white and blue plate spe­cial piled high with corn. Then, up those Philadel­phia Mu­seum of Art steps, backed by the Bill Conti theme, that some­thing ar­rived. No­body went to the first “Rocky” for the fi­nesse of the film­mak­ing. They went for the un­der­dog root­ing, for Rocky and Adrian, for the un­ex­pected sweet­ness, for the re­demp­tion an­gle, for the re­con­sti­tuted box­ing movie cliches that tasted not new, but new-ish. It was sim­ply time for “Rocky,” writ­ten by and star­ring Sylvester Stallone, di­rected by John Avild­sen. So, “Creed,” a sev­enth “Rocky” movie? Apollo Creed, Rocky’s old neme­sis turned best friend, had a son who grows up a scrappy fighter in the Los An­ge­les foster care sys­tem? Moves to Philly, con­nects with Rocky, who’s tend­ing the restau­rant and still wear­ing that hat? Rocky trains him for a big fight? That’s how it goes, yes. And “Creed” is eas­ily the best “Rocky” movie since “Rocky.” 132 min. (PG-13) for violence, lan­guage and some sen­su­al­ity. — Michael Phillips, Tri­bune News­pa­pers

The Good Di­nosaur — Work by mul­ti­ple writ­ers was cob­bled to­gether for this story of a world where the me­teor that hit the Earth and wiped out all di­nosaurs ac­tu­ally missed. The di­nosaurs have evolved to the point where they live in houses, plant crops and herd bi­son. For some rea­son, hu­mans have only pro­gressed slightly more than ca­nines. Pro­duc­tion was halted early in the process of making “The Good Di­nosaur” be­cause it had some di­nosaur-sized prob­lems. Peter Sohn was brought in as the new di­rec­tor and he started the process over two years ago. The sec­ond at­tempt ends up so flat it would have been smart to scrap it and try a third time. The only as­pect wor­thy of high praise is the back­ground work, which is so stun­ning it keeps the movie from head­ing for a tar pit. Even Mother Na­ture can’t make a land­scape this amaz­ing. 100 min. (PG) for peril, ac­tion and the­matic el­e­ments. — Rick Bent­ley, Tri­bune News Ser­vice

½ The Hunger Games: Mock­ing­jay — Part 2 —“The Hunger Games: Mock­ing­jay — Part 2” brings the four-film saga of Kat­niss Everdeen and her rev­o­lu­tion­ary war to a du­ti­ful, fairly sat­is­fy­ing if un­de­ni­ably at­ten­u­ated con­clu­sion. In the first and best “Hunger Games” film four years ago, Jen­nifer Lawrence was like Peggy Sawyer, the Al­len­town, Pa., hoofer in “42nd Street.” With bow, ar­row and hawk­like gaze of des­tiny, she went out there a young­ster, but she had to come back a star, and she did. Put an­other way, Lawrence brought home the ba­con and fried it up in a pan. In “Mock­ing­jay 2,” it’s more a case of her saving the movie’s ba­con, pe­riod. 137 min. (PG-13) for in­tense se­quences of violence and ac­tion, and for some the­matic ma­te­rial. — Michael Phillips, Tri­bune News­pa­pers

In the Heart of the Sea — This seago­ing tale isn’t a dis­as­ter, so we’ll have none of those “Thar she blows!” wise­cracks, thank you. Nor is it an ac­tual suc­cess. Di­rec­tor Ron Howard goes at this du­ti­ful adap­ta­tion of the Nathaniel Philbrick non­fic­tion best­seller like a film­maker as­signed, not ob­sessed. The re­sults tell us more about the state of dig­i­tal ef­fects and the price we’re pay­ing as movie­go­ers for an over­re­liance on this tech­nol­ogy, than they do about leviathans or the fear and won­der in des­per­ate men’s souls, brought about by a blub­ber-based econ­omy. In 1820, the Nan­tucket whal­ing ship Es­sex set off on a 2

year voy­age, manned by a crew of 21, un­der the com­mand of an in­se­cure, over­bear­ing green­horn of a cap­tain. Storm dam­age hob­bles the Es­sex but the crew presses on, in search of the lu­cra­tive whale oil they’ll bring back to Nan­tucket. But the ship was smashed by its prey, leav­ing sur­vivors, and can­ni­bal­ism. The ocean-go­ing se­quences rely on what we’ve come to ex­pect, or en­dure, in so many mod­ern epics: dig­i­tal ef­fects that never quit, plus a fran­tic, lurch­ing edit­ing rhythm that never es­tab­lishes a pleas­ing pace. It’s fair to say this of Howard’s film: You won’t be­lieve your eyes. That’s the prob­lem. It’s half­way to the realm of be­ing a dig­i­tally an­i­mated fea­ture. 122 min. (PG-13) for in­tense se­quences of ac­tion and peril, brief star­tling violence, and the­matic ma­te­rial. — Michael Phillips, Tri­bune News­pa­pers Ja­nis: Lit­tle Girl Blue — With­out Ja­nis Jo­plin, there mightn’t have been an Amy Wine­house. The two most prom­i­nent fe­male mem­bers of the so-called “27 Club” may have worked in dif­fer­ent mu­si­cal reg­is­ters (while both ap­pro­pri­at­ing a heavy dose of soul), but it was Jo­plin who blazed a trail for fe­male artists like Wine­house to defy in­dus­try stan­dards of ap­pear­ance, per­for­mance and be­hav­ior. So it feels like a breach of his­tor­i­cal or­der that Amy Berg’s thor­oughly ab­sorb­ing doc­u­men­tary “Ja­nis: Lit­tle Girl Blue” ar­rives on the heels of Asif Ka­pa­dia’s com­pa­ra­ble “Amy.” Berg brings an in­ti­mate voice to her ab­sorb­ing doc­u­men­tary por­trait of late blues-rock god­dess Ja­nis Jo­plin. 103 min. (U). Cin­ema Par­adiso, Fort Laud­erdale. — Guy Lodge, Va­ri­ety (NR) Kram­pus — A boy who has a bad Christ­mas ends up ac­ci­den­tally sum­mon­ing a Christ­mas de­mon to his fam­ily home. Di­rected by Michael Dougherty. Writ­ten by Todd Casey, Dougherty. Star­ring Adam Scott, Toni Col­lette, David Koech­ner. 98 min. (PG-13) for se­quences of hor­ror violence/ terror, lan­guage and some drug ma­te­rial.

Sis­ters — A lot of very tal­ented and lik­able peo­ple came to­gether to make “Sis­ters.” Stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are much beloved for their iconic TV char­ac­ters, long­time “Satur­day Night Live” writer Paula Pell con­trib­utes the screen­play, and “Pitch Per­fect” di­rec­tor Ja­son Moore takes on helm­ing du­ties. It’s a shame then, that with all th­ese fine cre­ators, this scat­ter­shot com­edy just doesn’t gel in the way that it should. “Sis­ters” just doesn’t co­here as a con­sis­tent piece. It doesn’t com­mit to one thing or an­other, so it’s an odd mash-up of mid­dle-aged lady hu­mor and “Neigh­bors” style rag­ing. It also over­stays its wel­come, stuffed with sub-plots and side char­ac­ters. It doesn’t know where and when to end, so it just keeps end­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, “Sis­ters” just isn’t wor­thy of all the tal­ent in­volved. 118 min. (R) for crude sex­ual con­tent and lan­guage through­out, and for drug use. — Katie Walsh, Tri­bune News Ser­vice

Spec­tre —“Spec­tre” cost nearly $300 mil­lion to make, and I sup­pose it was worth it. It’s a good Bond movie, which will be good enough for many mil­lions of fans. It’s also the long­est Bond movie in ex­is­tence, clock­ing in at just un­der two-and-a-half deca­dent, care­free, flam­boy­antly de­struc­tive hours. This time Ian Flem­ing’s well-dressed as­sas­sin changes clothes from Mex­ico City to Rome, from Lon­don to the Aus­trian moun­tains, from Tang­ier back to Lon­don, where ter­ror­ists-en­trepreneurs car­ry­ing the fa­mil­iar han­dle of Spec­tre are do­ing dirty work on a large scale. Of the Daniel Craig 007s, di­rec­tor Sam Mendes’ fol­low-up to “Sky­fall” is not quite up to “Sky­fall” or my fa­vorite, “Casino Royale.” But it’s a con­sid­er­ably bet­ter evil-quelling in­struc­tion man­ual than “Quan­tum of So­lace.” 150 min. (PG-13) for in­tense se­quences of ac­tion and violence, some dis­turb­ing im­ages, sen­su­al­ity and lan­guage. — Michael Phillips, Tri­bune News­pa­pers

Spot­light — Noth­ing in the su­perb new film “Spot­light” screams for at­ten­tion. It’s an or­di­nary film in its tech­nique, and it’s re­lent­lessly beige. It avoids fist-pound­ing, cru­sad­ing-re­porter cliches al­most en­tirely, the ones the movies have loved since the first close-up of the front page rolling off the presses in high­speed repli­cate. The story is a big one, and the movie about how a hand­ful of Bos­ton Globe in­ves­tiga­tive re­porters got that story is thrillingly good. 128 min. (R) for some lan­guage in­clud­ing sex­ual ref­er­ences. — Michael Phillips, Tri­bune News­pa­pers

Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens — So: Where were we? Let’s skip past the pre­quel tril­ogy “The Phan­tom Men­ace,” “At­tack of the Clones” and “Re­venge of the Sith,” ap­par­ently writ­ten and di­rected by droids. In chrono­log­i­cal story terms we last saw Luke Sky­walker, Han Solo, princess-turned-queen Leia, Chew­bacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO whoop­ing it up at the Ewok luau back in 1983, in “Re­turn of the Jedi,” cel­e­brat­ing the mas­sive global pop­u­lar­ity and mer­chan­dis­ing sales of Ge­orge Lu­cas’ bright idea. The idea was sim­ple, and quaintly retro: The world, Lu­cas fig­ured, might enjoy a whiz-bang riff on the old “Flash Gor­don” se­ri­als. Now, mi­nus the Ewoks, the gang’s back. And it is good. Not great. But far bet­ter than “not bad.” Solidly, con­fi­dently good. Good is the most ac­cu­rate ad­jec­tive for this Dis­ney-owned prod­uct launch. 136 min. (PG-13) for sci-fi ac­tion violence. — Michael Phillips, Tri­bune News­pa­pers

½ Trumbo — Bryan Cranston, in the role of black­listed Hol­ly­wood screen­writer Dal­ton Trumbo, hunches over a makeshift desk in the bath­tub, a tum­bler of scotch be­side him, a cig­a­rette holder clamped be­tween his teeth, the de­mented squint of a man on dead­line on his face. It’s one of a num­ber of won­der­fully hu­man mo­ments in the film “Trumbo” that paint an en­gag­ing por­trait of a left-wing cru­sader toil­ing in one of Hol­ly­wood’s most shame­ful eras, man­ag­ing to re-cre­ate both the glam­our and the op­pres­sive mood of post-World War II Amer­ica. Di­rected by Jay Roach, “Trumbo” is timely in its por­trayal of a mo­ment when po­lit­i­cal speech is dan­ger­ously charged, yet un­abashedly old-fash­ioned in the sin­cer­ity of its sto­ry­telling. 124 min. (R) for lan­guage in­clud­ing some sex­ual ref­er­ences. — Re­becca Kee­gan, Tri­bune News­pa­pers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.