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ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2010
THIS WEEK'S DVD cart is full of guilty pleasures. The first is the generically named "Edge of Darkness," a political thriller featuring Mel Gibson, whose pariah status no doubt contributed to the movie's lame box office. It's pretty nifty, though, boiled down to feature length by Martin Campbell from a long-running BBC series he directed many years ago. Gibson plays a Boston cop investigating the murder of his daughter, leading to a high-level conspiracy involving defense contractors and such.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2011
THIS WEEK'S DVD roster includes the kiddie hit "Megamind," the Todd Phillips comedy "Due Date" and one overlooked goody - "Get Low," starring Robert Duvall. First "Megamind," a B-game DreamWorks animated comedy about an evil genius (Will Ferrell) who vanquishes a superhero (Brad Pitt), then finds he doesn't know what to do with the spoils (including Tina Fey). Fast, jokey in the DreamWorks style, but overstuffed with characters, some of whom are unintentionally creepy. It's also unfortunately similar to "Despicable Me," a better movie.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 10, 2011
SOME GOOD movies in the bin this week, starting with the Coen brothers' Oscar-nominated "True Grit. " It's their more grounded-in-reality take on the iconic John Wayne classic, with Jeff Bridges as the U.S. marshal who helps a girl (Hailee Steinfeld) find the man (Josh Brolin) who killed her father. Superb support from Matt Damon, though I fear this movie will suffer in a small-screen downsizing. There's a featurette on "True Grit" novelist Charles Portis - it's a great book, well worth a read.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2011
STRANGE-BUT-TRUE Jeff Bridges fact: His last two movies, "Tron: Legacy" and "True Grit," each made almost exactly the same amount of money, $171 million. They were, however, of differing quality. "Tron: Legacy" is a wacky sequel to the ahead-of-its-time 1982 animation/effects movie (the DVD extras include an informative look back at the original), slicker and better-looking, but strapped with a story that managed to be incomprehensible and predictable at the same time. Bridges, though, had fun as the digitized hippie locked in a virtual world of his own design, visited by his son (Garrett Hedlund)
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2011
"THE FIGHTER" earned Oscars for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo, but don't be surprised if you see better performances on the DVD. "The Fighter" is the fact-based story of "Irish" Micky Ward, a talented boxer poorly served by his crack-addict trainer-brother Dicky (Bale) and his manager mother (Leo), who won't admit to Dicky's problem or its effect on Micky's career. Enter Amy Adams as Micky's new girl, who sees that Micky isn't going anywhere until his family situation gets straightened out. Bale and Leo give us the fireworks, but Mark Wahlberg as Micky is subtle and generous, the kind of performance that makes movies work, but rarely wins awards.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 2010
SINCE ARGUMENTS over whether to go see "The Expendables" or "Eat Pray Love" may result in divorce proceedings or couples-counseling, a compromise is in order. The DVD bin has just the thing - "Date Night" - an action-comedy featuring Steve Carell and Tina Fey that might satisfy both parties. The comics play a suburban couple mistaken for mob targets on a night out, with frantic consequences. The action is so-so, but Carell and Fey have good chemistry and comic timing. Also available: "Death at a Funeral," a remake of the obscure but hilarious British original about a man (Chris Rock)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 2010
YOU HAVE these choices in the DVD planet this week: "Toy Story 3," "Toy Story 3," or "Toy Story 3. " The Disney-Pixar smash finds Woody trying to rescue his pals from a prisonlike day care center, and arrives in several configurations this week, including a basic DVD copy that includes featurettes about the vocal talent, the new (and old) toy characters, and an informational piece about the international space station (hosted by Buzz Lightyear). The theatrical release is now the highest grossing animated movie ever, and it may play even better on DVD. The movie was shown in 3-D in theaters, where the version I saw had problems.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 3, 2011
"DRIVE ANGRY" is not a sequel to "Changing Lanes. " It's another Nicolas Cage movie that did not screen for critics, and did not make a heck of a lot of money. Cage is an angry driver out to kill the cultists who murdered his daughter. He's not looking for the guy who killed his career, which would be Cage himself. Although if he made another "Bad Lieutenant" with Werner Herzog, I'd be right there. For a more nuanced leading-man performance, try Javier Bardem in "Biutiful. " He plays a dying single dad trying to ensure some sort of future for his two kids.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 10, 2010
NOT EVEN a movie company would be this crass, so it's surely a coincidence that "Solitary Man" arrives on DVD as star Michael Douglas goes public about his cancer. The movie features one of Douglas' better recent performances - he plays a self-destructive business tycoon doing emotional damage to himself and those around him, including Mary Louise Parker, Jesse Eisenberg and Susan Sarandon. The movie is unusually well written, even if the writers provide a third-act revelation that tries too hard to undo the riddle of Douglas' character.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2011
OSCAR CO-HOSTS James Franco and Anne Hathaway also co-host this week's DVD releases. Franco stars in the unfortunately notorious "127 Hours," playing hiker Aron Ralston, who cut off his arm to survive a fall in an isolated desert canyon. It's another inspiring endorsement of human connection from director Danny Boyle - two hours of inspiration, two minutes of amputation. Hathaway co-stars with Jake Gyllenhaal in "Love and Other Drugs," an ambitious story from Ed Zwick about a shallow Viagra salesman who falls for a woman with Parkinson's.
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NEWS
August 14, 2015
RECENTLY , Daily News Movie Critic Gary Thompson sat down with Ice Cube, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Jason Mitchell and F. Gary Gray, the stars and director of "Straight Outta Compton," for a wide-ranging discussion of the movie and its subject, the influential rap group N.W.A. DAILY NEWS, To Jason Mitchell: You play Eazy-E, who died in 1995. You did a lot of research into his life and career. What suprised you? MITCHELL: He's made to seem like he's a huge weed smoker, but he's not, he's foremost a very business-minded person who liked to really stay really clear-headed most of the time.
NEWS
February 28, 2014
IF YOU LIKE Oscar sweeps, you're not going to like this year's race. The large 2014 bounty of great movies points to another unusually competitive contest - with some uncanny echoes of last year - and virtually guarantees that no single picture will dominate the tally. Look for the awards to be spread pretty evenly over half a dozen films. The question is, who gets what? The answers: Best Picture/Director Let me boldly and definitively assert that when it comes to Best Picture, I haven't much confidence in my pick.
SPORTS
March 28, 2013 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
Somewhere, as his former team prepares to face La Salle on Thursday in their unlikely West Regional matchup, Gary Thompson must be thankful the NCAA conducts its tournament at neutral sites. In Philadelphia basketball's long and rich history, it's doubtful any coach ever enjoyed a visit here less than the late Wichita State mentor. After his No. 2-ranked Shockers were upset by St. Joseph's in the 1964 Quaker City Tournament final, Thompson called Palestra fans "horrible," the officials "atrocious," and the whole experience "a damn farce.
NEWS
January 18, 2013
OSCAR-NOMINATED "Silver Linings Playbook" star Jacki Weaver says she loved her time in Philadelphia, and why not - it sounds an awful lot like club-hopping. "I went to a lot of pubs," said Weaver, speaking on the day she won a best-supporting-actress nod for the movie, which today goes into wider release to capitalize on its awards-season success (eight Oscar nods, a Golden Globe win for Jennifer Lawrence). The goal for the pub-crawling Aussie (nominated a few years ago for that country's "Animal Kingdom")
NEWS
January 11, 2013
"LINCOLN" TALLIED the most Oscar nominations Thursday, but the biggest winner may have been Philadelphia's own "Silver Lining Playbook. " The low-profile movie picked up eight Oscar nominations - fewer than the 12 for "Lincoln" - but "SLP" is the only movie to be nominated in all of the most important categories - best picture, best director (David O. Russell), best actor (Bradley Cooper), best actress (Jennifer Lawrence), best supporting actress (Jacki Weaver) and best supporting actor (Robert De Niro)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 27, 2012
HOLLYWOOD had a bounce-back year in 2012, mostly deserved. Movie attendance was up more than 5 percent to about 1.36 billion, as the industry did a good job giving folks what they wanted and often more than they expected. And the year closes with a strong roster of movie-making talent on view - works by Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell and Judd Apatow, with Kathryn Bigelow on the way in a few weeks. The year also closes with the industry on the list of collateral suspects in the wake of recent tragedies like the one in Newtown, Conn., prompting questions about the role of popular culture.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2012
SEEING A movie star like you've never seen him before - it's an old pitch in movies but decidedly true of Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook. " Writer-director David O. Russell said his top priority was to give heartthrob Cooper a significant makeover in the movie, and a fresh start with audiences. "I knew that I wanted to reintroduce him," said Russell, who cast the Abington native as Pat Solatano, an Upper Darby man just sprung from an institution where he received treatment in lieu of a criminal sentence stemming from an assault.
NEWS
November 2, 2012
DENZEL WASHINGTON came to the set of "Flight" every day with no idea what he was going to do. At least that's what he told his director, Robert Zemeckis, who didn't believe Washington for a minute, because every day, Washington ended up doing everything exactly right. "I love Denzel because he never really lets you know exactly what he's up to," Zemeckis said, laughing. He was in town for the city's recent film festival, which closed with his engrossing new movie, a character study about a pilot (Washington)
SPORTS
April 2, 2012 | Gary Thompson
I thought the hockey comedy "Goon" (opening in theaters this weekend) was funny, but I lack certain street cred. The kind that comes with having your brawls with Erik Gudbranson and Brandon Dubinsky posted on hockeyfights.com, or your bout with Gregory Campbell honored as Hockey Fight of the Day on fighters.com, as recently as March 18. Such are the credentials of Flyer tough guy Zac Rinaldo, who this season has compiled two goals, six...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 9, 2012
"THE DEVIL Wears Prada" made Meryl Streep a hot box office commodity, and was a nice showcase for star Anne Hathaway. But think back to when you first saw it, to the performance that really jumped out at you, to the question on everyone's lips when they left the theater - who was that British girl? Her name is Emily Blunt, and she readily acknowledges that "Prada" launched her to top-of-the-marquee stardom, the title character in "Young Victoria," romantic lead to Matt Damon in "The Adjustment Bureau," to Jason Segel in next month's rom-com "The Five-Year Engagement," to Ewan McGregor in "Salmon Fishing in Yemen," opening today.
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