‘Prisoners’ will captivate you

[rating=3] Starring:  Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Melissa Leo, Dylan Minnette, Erin Gerasimovich, Kyla Drew Simmons, Zoe Borde and Paul Dano Writer(s):  Aaron Guzikowski Director(s):  Denis Villeneuve It may be the worst moment in a … Read more

‘The Wolverine’ scratches, claws and fights to succeed and does

Hugh Jackman bares more than his claws in 'The Wolverine'
Hugh Jackman bares more than his claws in ‘The Wolverine’

[rating=3]Starring: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Hiroyoki Sanada, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Brian Tee, Haruhiko Yamanouchi, Will Yun Lee, Ken Yamamura and Famke Janssen
Writer(s):  Mark Bomback and Scott Frank (Christopher McQuarrie worked on the script but was not given a credit), from material by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller
Director(s):  James Mangold

For the sixth (and certainly not last) time, Hugh Jackman has donned the twin sets of adamantium “claws” of “Wolverine”, aka “Logan” although he was born James Howlett.  The Wolverine takes place following the events of the 2006 film X-Men:  The Last Stand.  Logan is living alone near a remote town in the Yukon.  He comes to town to take care of something and encounters “Yukio” (Rila Fukushima).  She has been searching for him at the behest of “Ichiro Yashida” (Haruhiko Yamanouchi).  He is the head of the largest corporation in Asia and it turns out that Logan saved his life during World War II.  Yashida is dying and wants to thank Logan for the life he has led, and to give him a gift.

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‘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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‘Butter’ is a brilliantly written film & a joy to watch

Jennifer Garner stars in 'Butter'
Jennifer Garner stars in ‘Butter’

Butter is one of those brilliantly written films that is a joy to watch.  Screenwriter Jason Micallef’s script was so good, it won him a prestigious Nicholl fellowship in 2008, one of only five such awards handed out to writers by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  Now his script has been brought to the big screen and the finished product is a real winner.

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‘X2: X-Men United’ is better than the original

The mutants are together again, with some new members, in 'X2: X-Men United'
The mutants are together again, with some new members, in ‘X2: X-Men United’

[rating=4]Starring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming
Director(s): Bryan Singer
Writer(s): Story by Zak Penn, David Hayter and Bryan Singer, Screenplay by Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris and David Hayter

It’s rare that a sequel proves to outdo the original, but X2 does pull it off with flying colors. This is chiefly because it does everything that a sequel is supposed to do: Build on original, expand the story, move it forward and make it different.

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