The 25th anniversary of the first ‘Die Hard’ film brings us ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’

Bruce Willis became an action star with his unforgettable turn as John McClane in 1988's 'Die Hard'
Bruce Willis became an action star with his unforgettable turn as John McClane in 1988’s ‘Die Hard’

In 1988 a movie opened starring Bruce Willis as a hard-nosed New York City police detective going out to California to visit his wife.  She’d taken a job out there.  It was almost Christmas and “John McClane” wanted to see his wife and children.

Read moreThe 25th anniversary of the first ‘Die Hard’ film brings us ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’

‘Safe Haven’ plays it safe… but that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough seek refuge from a storm in 'Safe Haven'
Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough seek refuge from a storm in ‘Safe Haven’

Nicholas Sparks has published 16 novels thus far.  With the release of Safe Haven, half of them have been made into films.  But this one does something the others did not.  Oh, it has the usual schmaltz, romance, and major character in jeopardy.  But this time, the person in jeopardy isn’t being endangered by disease, war, or some other ‘thing’.  “Katie” (Julianne Hough) is being threatened by someone.

Read more‘Safe Haven’ plays it safe… but that’s not necessarily a bad thing

‘Side Effects’ will leave you feeling just fine

Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones talk about the treament of Rooney Mara in 'Side Effects'
Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones talk about the treament of Rooney Mara in ‘Side Effects’


Side Effects is the latest film from director Steven Soderbergh.  Jude Law plays a psychiatrist who works shifts at a hospital doing consults, in addition seeing patients in his private practice.  He is a partner with two other psychiatrists in a thriving New York City practice.  He’s married to a beautiful woman named “Dierdre” (Vinessa Shaw), who has a son.  He has a great life until he encounters a patient in the emergency room.

Read more‘Side Effects’ will leave you feeling just fine

‘Safe Haven’ is the latest in a long line of Nicholas Sparks books to become films

On February 14th, the film Safe Haven opens.  Based on the seven previous adaptations of books written by Nicholas Sparks, it should do well at the box office.  But before describing the film version of this novel, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, let’s look at the prior film adaptations of the novels of Sparks.

Read more‘Safe Haven’ is the latest in a long line of Nicholas Sparks books to become films

‘Identity Thief’ will steal your money

Melissa McCarthy needs better material than 'Identity Thief'
Melissa McCarthy needs better material than ‘Identity Thief’

[rating=1]Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Genesis Rodriguez, Tip Harris, John Cho, Robert Patrick
Director: Seth Gordon
Writer: Craig Mazin

In the first sequence of Identity Thief, Melissa McCarthy’s guileless character, Sandy/Julia/[insert other alias here] treats a barful of Winter Park, FL, strangers to unlimited drinks on the card ages just grafted from unsuspecting Denver yes man Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman). The other customers love this generous broad who has seemingly come out of nowhere to shower them with live and free spirits. And then at one point, she dives over the crowd to grab a chandelier. She misses the brass ring, and they dive out of her way, letting her land on the floor, alone, with a thud. Thief does pretty much the same thing to its star.

Read more‘Identity Thief’ will steal your money

‘Stand Up Guys’ is a tale of vice and men

Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin and Al Pacino are the 'Stand Up Guys'
Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin and Al Pacino are the ‘Stand Up Guys’

[rating=2]Starring: Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Mark Margolis, Julianna Margulies, Addison Timlin
Director: Fisher Stevens
Writer: Noah Haidle

If Stand Up Guys, the new light crime noir that marks Fisher Stevens’ second stab as a feature film director, were a person, it would be a voyeur. This is most certainly a film that likes to watch.

Read more‘Stand Up Guys’ is a tale of vice and men

‘Bullet to the Head’ will leave you scratching yours

66-year-old Sylvester Stallone still looks bad ass
66-year-old Sylvester Stallone still looks bad ass

[rating=2]Starring:  Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Jason Momoa, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Christian Slater and Jon Seda
Director(s):  Walter Hill
Writer(s):  Alessandro Camon (screenplay), Alexis Nolent (graphic novel)

The first thing a frequent moviegoer will think upon exiting the auditorium after seeing Bullet to the Head is “didn’t I just see a movie with this basic plot device?”  That’s because they probably just did, when they saw Broken City.  The scheme being orchestrated by the main bad guy is the same in both films.

Read more‘Bullet to the Head’ will leave you scratching yours

‘Warm Bodies’ hits just the right temperature

Nicholas Hoult ('R') and Teresa Palmer ('Julie') in 'Warm Bodies'
Nicholas Hoult (‘R’) and Teresa Palmer (‘Julie’) in Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies is a zombie film.  Warm Bodies is a romantic comedy.  Can you make a zom-rom-com? Jonathan Levine sure can and he did it very, very well.  Starring Nicholas Hoult as “R”, a zombie who can only remember that his first name started with that letter, and Teresa Palmer as “Julie”, the girl he will ultimately fall in love with.

Read more‘Warm Bodies’ hits just the right temperature