Vegas Seven

Movie Reviews

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    Justice League Arrived Too Soon and Too Messy

    By Jason R. Latham

    DC Comics has rushed its cinematic universe, and, in turn, its latest film doesn't do its superheroes any justice.

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    A Ghost Story Lingers Long After the Credits Roll

    By Amber Sampson

    The indie film teaches a haunting lesson about letting go.

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    A Long-Awaited Wonder

    By Lissa Townsend Rodgers

    Wonder Woman might not fulfill all of our expectations, but it definitely satisfies them.

  • Movies

    James Brown Biopic Get On Up a Worthy Tribute to the Godfather of Soul

    By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

    Everything about Get on Up, a provocatively structured and unusually rich musical biopic, is a little better, a little less formula-bound, a little sharper than the average specimen in this genre.

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    Teens Experience Terminal Love in The Fault in Our Stars

    By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

    While brave, sharp-witted Hazel is certainly a large role, drawn from a book adored by millions, only a fine actress could make her seem like a three-dimensional person as opposed to a young adult fiction narrator.

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    Magnificent Maleficent

    By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

    "Maleficent" is Jolie's first picture in four years, and from the tip of her character’s prosthetic cheekbones to the needle-sharp tippy-top of one of the massive horns, truly this is a performance that goes from point A to point B without seeming rote, or ho-hum.

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    Brainzilla: An Indie Director Brings Meaning to This Monster

    By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

    The latest Godzilla, fine and fierce, removes the camp (though it’s not humorless) and takes the smartly considered step of not overexploiting its star.

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    Seth Rogen and Zac Efron Get in a Man-Boy War in Neighbors

    By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

    One part smart, one part stupid and three parts jokes about body parts, the extremely raunchy "Neighbors" is a strange success story.

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    Oculus Casts Reflections of Fear

    By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

    Happily longer on chills than entrails, the crafty new horror film Oculus is about a haunted mirror. Three years ago, writer-director Mike Flanagan made the similarly low-budget Absentia, which dealt with a haunted pedestrian underpass. In this genre, it’s good to be specific.

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    Bad Words Delivers Verbal Beatdowns

    By Betsy Sharkey, Tribune Media Services

    Sarcastic, sanctimonious, salacious, sly, slight and surprisingly sweet, the black comedy of Bad Words, starring and directed by Jason Bateman, is high-minded, foul-mouthed good nonsense.

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    Wes Anderson’s Whimsical Grand Budapest Hotel Samples From the Past

    By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

    I would call The Grand Budapest Hotel major whimsy. It’s a confection with bite, featuring an ensemble led by Ralph Fiennes, here allowed to exercise his farceur’s wiles.

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    ‘Insidious: Chapter 2’ Is an Unequal Sequel

    By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

    With the crafty Insidious (2011) and this year’s exceptional The Conjuring, director James Wan asserted the reliability and profitability of old-school suggestive horror, haunted-house division, easy on the sadism. Now comes Insidious: Chapter 2, which picks up mere moments after the first one. That one ended with Patrick Wilson’s demon-possessed family man, Josh Lambert, throttling, fatally, the kindly hypnotist […]

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    Second-Generation Iron

    By Heidi Kyser

    Arnold Schwarzenegger famously played pranks on opponents and smoked marijuana in the 1977 docudrama, Pumping Iron. For Generation Iron, which writer and director Vlad Yudin sees as a sequel to the original, Schwarzenegger offers a more mature contribution.

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    Iron Man 3 Offers Enough Fun to Keep Series Alive

    By Michael Phillips | Tribune Media Services

    A little too much and a little not enough, director and co-writer Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 nonetheless has everything Disney and Marvel need to keep the Avengers superhero constellation shining and regenerating well into the 23rd century.

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    ‘The Big Wedding’ is a Big Bore

    By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

    The diversions in the ensemble comedy The Big Wedding (that title flat enough for you?) are strictly actor-related, which is usually the case at the movies. For example, the way Diane Keaton selects an asparagus spear at a country club buffet while delivering some dutiful expositional something or other. Or the rumpled panache with which Robert De Niro, playing the Keaton character’s ex-husband, adapts to a different sort of role than he’s used to playing: that of the unreliable horndog trying to get by on charm.

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