Read the best movie reviews for the latest films showing in N Hollywood movie theatres including: Regency Theatre North Hollywood, Century 8, and Laemmle NoHo 7.
Jurassic World has it all, as rampaging dinosaurs chow down on theme park visitors and employees alike, while Vincent D’Onofrio gets to chew up a lot of scenery.
The future is once again playing at your multiplex, but it could also be the present, with isolated warring factions amidst a parched wasteland and rapacious leaders who bully the underprivileged masses by hoarding all manner of resources, including water and gasoline.
Avengers: Age of Ultron has plenty of fireworks, as befits a movie with no fewer than seven superheroes, a few more superheroes in waiting, some minor bad guys, and one very major villain at the core.
Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young is at its best in the early going, as it explores the emerging relationship between a middle-aged, childless couple (Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts) and an affectionate, energetic younger couple (Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried).
Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella (I never thought I’d use those three words in tandem) turns out to be a visually sumptuous, beautifully scored (Patrick Doyle), and altogether enjoyable rendition of Charles Perrault’s well-known fairy tale, as adapted by Chris Weitz and fairly light on the Grimm.
Years ago when I was a wee lad, I looked forward to the Oscars; my parents would allow me to stay up way past my bedtime and watch what was then a program running a mere 2 ½ hours. I would enjoy the appearances of the “old-time stars” and the opening monologues whether they were delivered by Bob Hope or Johnny Carson; later I would have the same fondness for Billy Crystal’s appearances (and truth be told, I enjoyed David Letterman’s gig).
In accordance with the cinematic drought commonly known as February, these are some of my favorite 2014 releases that were generally neglected by the Oscars—and are well worth a first—or second—look.
American Sniper is a riveting, wrenching drama based on Chris Kyle’s autobiography, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. Expertly directed by Clint Eastwood from a taut, perceptive script by Jason Hall, American Sniper paints a harrowing portrait of a man committed to serving his country (or as he might see it, saving his country) yet fundamentally unprepared to cope with domestic life on the home front. This isn’t exactly uncharted cinematic territory, (Jeremy Renner’s protagonist in The Hurt Locker had some of the same issues), but, bolstered by stellar performances from Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, this film succeeds in being equally gripping in war or peace.
While some have been waiting for the screen version of Wicked, I guess we’ll have to make do with the anticipated adaptation of Into the Woods. With a beautiful score by Stephen Sondheim and well-crafted screenplay by James Lapine (adapting his own “book”), Into the Woods approaches a beloved story (or two) in a different manner.
A female hiker with bleeding feet howls in the wilderness as one of her ill-fitting boots plunges into the abyss; so begins Wild, based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir recounting her efforts to reverse the downward spiral that had become her life by hiking a thousand miles (or more) of the Pacific Coast Trail.
Dispiriting, disappointing, discouraging, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay –Part 1 is my nominee for the non-event of 2014, a film that will be used as ammunition for those who believe that movies are more crassly commercial than ever. In this needlessly protracted preamble to the finale, the only “hunger games’ going on here are the producers’ hunger for your hard-earned money, which supersedes any desire to provide anything resembling satisfying entertainment.
In Christopher Nolan’s ambitious, eagerly awaited, and extremely flawed sci-fi epic Interstellar, Earth is on borrowed time and it’s Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway to the rescue. If that isn’t enough to send your hopes hurtling through the cosmos, let me whet your appetite a little more.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of ignorance) puts Michael Keaton back where he belongs: at the center of a comic, edgy, exhilarating cinematic endeavor that makes full use of his expansive talents. Containing certain parallels that are impossible to ignore, Birdman casts Keaton as Riggan Thomson, a has-been Hollywood actor whose main claim to fame is that he portrayed the superhero Birdman, only to desert the franchise after only two films.
Gone Girl, David Fincher’s eagerly anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller, is the cinematic equivalent of a page-turner…and one whose pages I did indeed turn during the summer.