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This article was published 3/4/2013 (1383 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
KEVINFEST FILM FESTIVAL
In association with the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, former Kid in the Hall Kevin McDonald curates and introduces five of his favourite comedy films at Cinematheque at 7 p.m. every evening from April 10 to 14. The diverse lineup includes: Woody Allen's Annie Hall (Wednesday, April 10); Billy Wilder's The Apartment (Thursday, April 11); Albert Brooks's Lost in America (Friday, April 12); Bill Forsyth's Local Hero (Saturday, Apr. 13) and Preston Sturges's The Lady Eve (Sunday, Apr. 14).
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 18A. 92 minutes
A remake of Sam Raimi's groundbreaking cabin-in-the-woods shocker from 1981 places five friends in an out-of-the-way retreat where each succumbs to demonic possession thanks to the presence of a powerful "Book of the Dead." Directed by Fede Alvarez and co-scripted by Diablo Cody.
JURASSIC PARK 3D
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, Polo Park Imax, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 126 minutes
Velociraptors not only run amok, they get in your face in this 3D retrofit of Steven Spielberg's 1993 blockbuster about a theme park featuring cloned dinosaurs and a handful of humans who fall prey to the best when the systems fail.
WEST OF MEMPHIS
Cinematheque. 14A. 148 minutes
The three men wrongfully convicted of killing three children in 1993 (a case examined in the three Paradise Lost films of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky) finally succeed in an arduous appeals process which this doc by Amy Berg examines from the inside.
The following movies have been previously reviewed by Free Press movie critic Randall King, unless otherwise noted.
Grant Park, McGillivray. PG. 117 minutes
Tina Fey makes a smooth transition from outlandish TV sitcom (30 Rock) to mature movie comedy as a Princeton University admissions officer compelled to take up the case of a brilliant student who may just be the boy she gave up for adoption years earlier. Fey is dependably droll, but this film by Paul Weitz (About a Boy) allows her a rare chance to explore some darker, deeper shadings that take her well out of the Liz Lemon shallows. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2
Globe. PG. 125 minutes
Oscar winner for best foreign language picture this year, this quietly intense film by Michael Haneke examines the lives of an elderly couple (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva) thrown into turmoil when she suffers a series of strokes, leaving him to struggle to care for her at home. In film, the visual language of love tends to be sex, but Haneke offers a bold and beautiful reconsideration. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö
Polo Park, Towne. 14A. 94 minutes
Halle Berry is a 911 operator who confronts her tragic past when she tries to stand between a serial killer (Michael Eklund) and his next intended victim (Abigail Breslin) in a movie that starts out as a riveting, by-the-book kidnapping thriller. It's only when our Oscar-winning heroine puts down the phone and sets out to do some sleuthing of her own that The Call disconnects, turning into something far more generic, far more routine and far less exciting. 'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. G. 100 minutes
A stone-age family that's not the Flintstones, the Croods are a primitive clan forced from their cave by an earthquake, falling under the guidance of a charismatic nomad (Ryan Reynolds). The animated adventure features a strong, star-studded cast (including Nicolas Cage and Emma Stone) and dazzles visually in wondrously colourful, vibrant 3-D, but the script doesn't pop off the screen quite so effectively. 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Christy Lemire)
G.I. JOE: RETALIATION
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 111 minutes
This sequel puts Channing Tatum in the back seat to place Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis up front as members of the G.I. Joe team intent on reclaiming the country from the clutches of the sinister Cobra. Director Jon M. Chu (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) stages action precisely as if he was using action figures instead of actors and the results are correspondingly silly and uninvolving. 'Ö'Ö
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 126 minutes
Adapted from the novel by Stephenie (Twilight) Meyer by brainy writer-director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca), this blend of teen romance and science fiction posits a race of aliens who have taken mind control of earthly humans, except one young woman (Saoirse Ronan) who isn't quietly relinquishing her humanity. But there's only so much value that Niccol's slick presentation can add to Meyer's shallow material. 'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Colin Covert)
Polo Park, St. Vital. 14A. 111 minutes
A businessman (Jason Bateman) takes matters into his own hands when he discovers his identity has been stolen, only to discover an unlikeliest of perpetrators (Melissa McCarthy). McCarthy and Bateman bring their collective charm to bear, but as an escapist comedy, you probably have less stressful options, such as staying at home and paying bills. 'Ö'Ö1/2
THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE
Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 100 minutes
A once popular Vegas magician, Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell), attempts to regain his place against an up-and-coming street magician (Jim Carrey) in this generic, fitfully funny mainstream comedy that doesn't nearly get the best from its name-brand players but doesn't qualify as a desecration, either. 'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Ann Hornaday)
JACK THE GIANT SLAYER
Polo Park. PG. 114 minutes
Director Bryan Singer (X-Men) directs this fantasy about a likely lad (Nicholas Hoult) who ventures up a beanstalk to save a princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) and, oh yes, take on a race of malevolent giants. A solid, unpretentious entry in the busy bedtime story genre. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2
OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 120 minutes
Not even Die Hard movies are appropriating the Die Hard formula any more, leaving the field open for this enjoyable cinematic cheese plate about a disgraced secret service agent (Gerard Butler) who must step up go it alone when terrorists invade the White House and take the president (Aaron Eckhart) hostage. It's a far more satisfying action movie that A Good Day to Die Hard, and it's a particular relief to see Butler in This-is-Sparta mode after he has done hard time in the realm of the drippy drama/insipid rom-com. 'Ö'Ö'Ö
OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL
Globe, Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital. PG. 130 minutes
This prequel to The Wizard of Oz posits how a travelling magician of dubious character (James Franco) lands in the magical world of Oz where he is greeted as both a saviour and a menace by a trio of witches (Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz). Pity about Franco being miscast as a charismatic con man, otherwise this is a fun time with a touch of heart, brains and no small amount of courage in retooling cinematic sacred text. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2
Polo Park. 18A. 94 minutes
Harmony Korine drafts a pair of former Disney princesses (Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez) into this sordid movie about a quartet of college students engaging in a criminal good time under the influence of a gun-toting, grill-toothed gangsta (James Franco). Korine comes close to saying interesting things about race, gender and power, but alas, he still aspires to be an American Godard, which here translates into contempt for bourgeois notions of character and plot. 'Ö'Ö
Globe. 14A. 99 minutes
A young woman (Mia Wasikowska) begins to suspect the worst after her father is killed in an accident and an unknown "uncle" (Matthew Goode) moves in with her mom (Nicole Kidman). South Korean director Park Chan-wook balances knuckle-gnawing anxiety and florid melodrama, and he finds his characters charismatic and toxic, pathetic and frightening, absurd and overwhelmingly sad. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Colin Covert)