Buy a big tub of popcorn for ‘Oblivion’

Tom Cruise in 'Oblivion'
Tom Cruise in ‘Oblivion’

The dystopian surface of Earth shown at the outset of Oblivion is not a place that any human being in their right mind would choose to live.  Barren, filled with zones of high radioactivity and still populated by the “Scavs” (who are supposedly the remnants of an invasion force); almost no humans live there.  They are all on “Tet” a gigantic ship in orbit around the planet, or on Titan, one of the moons of Saturn.  The planet was ravaged by the invasion of the Scavs, who blew up the Moon along with creating havoc on Earth.

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‘Olympus Has Fallen’ is a throwback to the popcorn-action flicks of yesteryear

Gerard Butler in 'Olympus Has Fallen'
Gerard Butler in ‘Olympus Has Fallen’

Inside the auditorium you’ve stepped into a time-warp.  You are back in the 1980s, the era of big-action movies with cheesy music, lots of bad-guys and some innocents going down and the hero or heroes always save the world just in the nick of time.  Stir in some modern special effects and technology and take out the cheesy music and you have Olympus Has Fallen.

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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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Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman make Jennifer Lopez shine in ‘An Unfinished Life’

[rating=4]Starring: Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez, Morgan Freeman, Becca Gardner, Josh Lucas
Director(s): Lasse Hallstrom
Writer(s): Mark Spragg, Virginia Korus Spragg

Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman co-star in 'An Unfinished Life'
Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman co-star in ‘An Unfinished Life’

It takes a lot for Jennifer Lopez to be tolerable these days. To be quite honest, I can’t even look at the woman anymore. As a result, I was a little hesitant to watch An Unfinished Life. Ultimately I did, because Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman are just too good to not surrender an hour and forty-eight minutes of my time.

In a purely supportive role that is easily buried beneath Redford and Freeman, Lopez was actually good. I was reminded of the Lopez I remembered from Out of Sight, the film that made her a star, not the ridiculous J.Lo that was created by her stardom. And she stood well against the other actors. An Unfinished Life is filled with strong performances, which shouldn’t be surprising, since the cast consists of some of the most talented people around.

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