Friday, November 15, 2019
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Learning to love good days

ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY: Starring Ed Oxenbould, Jennifer Garner, Steve Carell, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey. Directed by Miguel Arteta. Rated: PG.   By Joseph McAleer TOP prize for the most descriptive and longest film title of the year goes to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. This manic comedy, based ... Read More »

The insanity of war

FURY: Starring Brad Pitt and Shia LeBeouf and Michael Pena. Directed by David Ayer. Rated MA15+ By John Mulderig BRUTAL realism in the depiction of combat and scripturally inspired spirituality hardly makes an obvious pairing. Yet, by bringing them together in Fury, writer-director David Ayer crafts a powerful – albeit disturbing – study of the psychological effects of combat. In ... Read More »

Film with troubling scenes

THE JUDGE. Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, and Vera Farmiga. Directed by David Dobkin. Rated M (Mature themes and coarse language). 142 min. By John Mulderig CONSIDERED in strictly cinematic terms, The Judge constitutes an adequate but overextended drama that would have benefited from further editing. From a moral perspective, however, the inclusion of a seamy ... Read More »

Manipulative methods

GONE GIRL. Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon, and Tyler Perry. Directed by David Fincher. Rated MA 15+. Restricted (Strong sexualised violence, blood, sex scenes and coarse language). 149 min. By John Mulderig A JAUNDICED view of marriage permeates the abrasive drama Gone Girl. In fact, director David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel presents ... Read More »

Violent film misses the mark

THE EQUALIZER. Denzel Washington, Martin Csokas, ChloÎ Grace Moretz. Directed by Antoine Fuqua. 132 minutes. Rated MA15+ (Strong violence). By John McCarthy VIGILANTE figures can be compelling in part because it’s natural to cheer against evildoers. And it’s much easier to be drawn in when a likable actor portrays the putative hero. But no matter how intriguing and righteous an ... Read More »

Confusion reigns and the Maze is the only way out

The Maze Runner

THE MAZE RUNNER: Starring Dylan OíBrien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Sangster, Aml Ameen. Directed by Wes Ball. 113 minutes. Rated M (Violence, science fiction themes and sustained threat) By Joseph McAleer CROSS The Hunger Games with Divergent and you’ll get The Maze Runner, the latest angst-ridden drama about teenagers fighting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. This go-round, there’s ... Read More »

Dancing with no plot

'Step Up All In'

STEP UP ALL IN: Starring Ryan Guzman, Adam G. Sevani, Briana Evigan, Alyson Stoner, Misha Gabriel Hamilton. Directed by Trish Sie. 112 minutes. Rated PG (Mild coarse language) Reviewed by Kurt Jensen COMPLETISTS of the Step Up franchise may find the fifth outing in the dance-showcasing series, “Step Up All In, enjoyable. Others will wonder where the plot went. Intricate ... Read More »

Conversations about ecological conversion

EW'sreforestation

RISE OF THE ECO-WARRIORS: Feature Documentary on DVD. Starring Dr Willie Smits. Produced-directed by Cathy Henkel. 105 minutes. Rated PG. Reviewed By Robin Williams THE capacity for individuals to make a difference and protect the world we live in is the dominant theme in Rise of the Eco-Warriors. A group of 15 young people from nine nations are chosen from a worldwide call to ... Read More »

More ‘danger’ for teens

THE GIVER: Starring Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Taylor Swift. Directed by Phillip Noyce. 97 minutes. Rated M (Mature themes, violence) By Joseph McAleer HOLLYWOOD continues to make the future a dangerous and challenging place to be a teenager. Arriving on the heels of “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” is “The Giver” ... Read More »

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