2016 at the box office

As of December 28, 2016 here are the top ten movies at the box office (worldwide) for movies that were released in 2016: #1 – Captain America: Civil War with $1,153 billion in box office #2 – Finding Dory with … Read more

X-Men: Apocalypse is good. It’s fun to watch. But it isn’t brilliant.

James McAvoy in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

“This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang but a whimper.” – T.S. Eliot

Let’s begin with this disclaimer.  It isn’t June yet and thus far in 2016 we’ve seen three other “superhero” blockbusters.  Deadpool, Batman versus Superman:  Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War all hit the multiplexes and did well.  So maybe we are suffering from superhero fatigue of a sort and not giving the latest X-Men film a fair shake.  Or maybe the expectations were too high.  It should also be noted that this is the 9th film in the mutant movie franchise since X-Men came out in the year 2000.

Read moreX-Men: Apocalypse is good. It’s fun to watch. But it isn’t brilliant.

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ brings franchise to an epic close

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 ends with Peeta (Hutcherson) trying to choke the life out of Katniss (Lawrence) who has become the Mockingjay, symbol of the rebellion against President Snow (Sutherland) and the capitol of Panem.  Part 2 begins with Katniss recovering from that assault and the rebels attempting to undo what had been done to Peeta.  He’d been tortured and brainwashed using the venom of tracker-jackers.

Read more‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ brings franchise to an epic close

Dance on down to ‘American Hustle’, it is amazingly awesome

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The five main characters in the outstanding ‘American Hustle’ from writer/director David O. Russell

If you ask any fan of film to name a few of the best movies involving con artists, the first few that will be mentioned are almost certain to include The Sting, House of Games, Catch Me If You Can, and a few others.  The first two are the best of the genre.  Until now.  American Hustle, a film from David O. Russell is definitely a contender to be among the best movies involving a con or cons, ever.

Read moreDance on down to ‘American Hustle’, it is amazingly awesome

‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ is an intense, fast-paced experience

Jennifer Lawrence is back in the hunt in 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
Jennifer Lawrence is back in the hunt in ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

[rating=4]Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland
Writer(s): Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt; Based upon the novel by Suzanne Collins
Director: Francis Lawrence

When The Hunger Games was released in 2012, the talk around town was how a story that involves killing kids could keep a PG-13 rating in order to attract the audience that propelled the original novels to the top of the bestselling lists. The filmmakers were creative. Violence was shrouded by foliage. The filming, choppy and chaotic.

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And the Independent Spirit Award Goes to…

Ave DuVernay, writer/director/producer of 'Middle of Nowhere' accepting the John Cassavettes Award at the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards
Ave DuVernay, writer/director/producer of ‘Middle of Nowhere’ accepting the John Cassavettes Award at the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards

Saturday before the Oscar broadcast takes the spotlight away from Hollywood Boulevard temporarily and moves it West to Santa Monica beach for the Independent Spirit Awards.  Silver Linings Playbook grabbed four awards including Best Director and Best Screenplay for writer/director David O. Russell. Not surprisingly, The Sessions won two awards for acting.  Here is a list of the winners in the major categories:

Read moreAnd the Independent Spirit Award Goes to…