‘Les Misérables’ hits notes both sweet and sour

Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) and Marius (Eddie Redmayne) find love in a France at war with itself in 'Les Miserables'
Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) and Marius (Eddie Redmayne) find love in a France at war with itself in ‘Les Miserables’

It’s simple. You’re either for or against Les Misérables, the epic musical that broke records on the London, New York, and regional stages around the world. In an exercise of hubris, bravery or naïveté, Tom Hooper, his King’s Speech Best Director Oscar still in possession of its original sheen, has elected to helm the long-awaited film adaptation. Full disclosure: I’m a lover of the show’s music and performance opportunities, and a hater of its book, full of contrivance and unearned relationships. I dreamed a dream that that Hooper could be the man to use this adaptation as an opportunity to clean up some of the narrative debris from the show. Alas, I was on my own in that hope.

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‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is a spectacular superhero movie

Christian saves the day one last time as Batman in 'The Dark Knight Rises'
Christian saves the day one last time as Batman in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

“Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace, Wednesday’s child is full of woe, Thursday’s child has far to go.”

Welcome to the film version of “Wednesday’s child”.  For the conclusion of the ‘Batman’ trilogy from writer/director Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises is first and foremost, filled with woe.  It’s a stunning achievement in filmmaking, with incredible visuals, excellent action sequences, superb performances from its lead actors and a score that surrounds and envelops the audience, drawing them into the story being told.

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MEET CATWOMAN! First photo of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman, in 'The Dark Knight Rises'
Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman, in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Who would have thought Anne Hathaway could pull off looking like a bad-ass biker chick?

But that’s how she appears in the first OFFICIAL photo from The Dark Knight Rises. The image has Hathaway straddling the Batcycle as Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman). It was posted online via the film’s official website, just click on the logo to find it.

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‘Brokeback Mountain’ is a lovely gay love story, and that’s not a bad thing

[rating=3]Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Linda Cardellini, Anna Faris, Anne Hathaway
Director(s): Ang Lee
Writer(s): Written by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana; Based upon the short story by Annie Proulx

Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams in 'Brokeback Mountain'
Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams in ‘Brokeback Mountain’

Before I even got an opportunity to see Brokeback Mountain I’d heard all the jokes. All the gay cracks, all the “Poke-in-the-Back Mountain” puns. Every snide comments and ridiculous homophobic rant.

Yet most of the people I knew who had actually seen the film thought it was terrific. A beautiful story told well. So, putting those jokes aside, when I finally sat down to watch Brokeback on DVD, I didn’t quite know what I was going to think. Would I get turned away by the homosexual storyline, or would I be able to enjoy it for what it was — a tragic love story.

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‘The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement’ is goofy & light-hearted

[rating=2]Starring: Anne Hathaway, Heather Matarazzo, John Rhys-Davies, Hector Elizondo, Julie Andrews
Director(s): Garry Marshall
Writer(s): Screenplay by Shondra Rhimes; Story by Gina Wendkos and Shonda Rhimes; Based upon characters created by Meg Cabot

Anne Hathaway gets wooed by John Rhys-Davies in 'The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement'
Anne Hathaway gets wooed by John Rhys-Davies in ‘The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement’

How do you criticize a movie like this? I mean, honestly? Sure I could cut into it, but seriously, that’d be like picking on the buck-toothed kid in the playground. It’d be so easy, but it would just be mean.

Princess Diaries 2 is a goofy, light-hearted piece of film. It’s got more fluff than cotton candy on a pillow. It’s just plain innocent fun. Anne Hathaway is adorably clumsy, and the story is nearly cartoonish in its treatment of the characters. It’s a live action Disney film in the tradition of harmless, pretty Disney pictures.

What else can I say? How about talking about the story a bit.

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