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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Movies

Posted: 05/2/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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Grant Park. 14A. 119 minutes

An arrogant Gen. Augusto Pinochet put his leadership of Chile to a vote in 1988 and it falls on a young advertising executive named René Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal) to mount an upbeat campaign to defeat Pinochet with a resounding "No." Both an interesting look at real-life political campaigning and a portrait of a country uneasily emerging from its own self-imposed dark ages. Last night Thursday, May 2. Three and a half stars

 

STARTING THURSDAY

IN YOUR DREAMS

Cinematheque. PG. 100 minutes

Former Fleetwood Mac songstress Stevie Nicks joins forces with Eurythmics producer Dave Stewart to cut a new album, a process captured in this documentary directed by Nicks and Stewart.

 

STARTING FRIDAY

THE GATEKEEPERS

Globe. PG. 97 minutes

Six former heads of the Israeli secret service Shin Bet discuss their careers and the five-decade battle with Palestine in this documentary by Droh Moreh.

 

IRON MAN 3

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, Polo Park Imax, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 131 minutes

In the third instalment of the Iron Man franchise, a thoroughly rattled Tony Stark (Robert Downey) is forced to go without his usual high-tech toys to investigate both a powerful terrorist known as "The Mandarin" (Sir Ben Kingsley) and a rival genius (Guy Pearce) creating super-soldier technology.

 

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The following movies have been previously reviewed by Free Press movie critic Randall King, unless otherwise noted.

 

THE BIG WEDDING

Globe, Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital. 14A. 90 minutes

To protect their adoptive son from the disapproval of his rigorously Catholic birth mother, his dad (Robert De Niro) pretends to still be married to his ex-wife (Diane Keaton) in this feature length situation comedy. The Big Wedding doesn't have a single moment of recognizable humanity, but on the plus side, it's short. One and a half stars (Reviewed by Joe Williams)

 

THE COLONY

McGillivray. 14A. 95 minutes

In a desolate frozen dystopia of the future, a few survivors live in underground communities. In one such colony, three adventurers (including Kevin Zegers and Laurence Fishburne) are obliged to investigate a neighbouring colony when they lose contact. It may sound like an out-there sci-fi concept, but this run-of-the-mill thriller, released after an especially long and brutal winter, isn't nearly escapist enough. Two stars

 

THE CROODS

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, 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 3D, but the script doesn't pop off the screen quite so effectively. Three stars (Reviewed by Christy Lemire)

 

EVIL DEAD

Polo Park. 18A. 92 minutes

Technically, this remake of Sam Raimi's groundbreaking cabin-in-the-woods shocker from 1981 has a better script, better actors and better visual effects, yet lacks the sheer inspiration of its predecessor. Director Fede Alvarez does competent work, but fails to break new ground, which is what the original The Evil Dead was all about. Three  stars

 

42

Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 128 minutes

This is a solid biopic of Jackie Robinson, the athlete who broke major league baseball's colour barrier in 1946. Writer-director Brian Helgeland may not deviate from the sports biopic formula, but he touches all the bases and gets that legendary number on the board, with Chadwick Boseman offering up a layered performance as Robinson and Harrison Ford in crusty codger mode as Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey. Three and a half stars'

 

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

Polo Park, St. Vital. 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. Two stars

 

JURASSIC PARK 3D

Polo Park, 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. Now that the film's groundbreaking visual effects are standard operating procedure for genre films, we are left to consider how Spielberg throws in every trick in his book and ends up with a film where the serious science fiction premise is undercut by the director's penchant for transparent manipulation. Three stars

 

OBLIVION

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 125 minutes

Patrolling the skies of an earth devastated by interplanetary war, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) comes to the realization his understanding of Earth's apocalyptic history may not be the truth. It's a promising premise, but the film doesn't register as serious science fiction because it is, first and foremost, a Tom Cruise vehicle. Three stars

 

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

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. Three and a half stars

 

PAIN & GAIN

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 18A. 129 minutes

A trio of pumped-up bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie and Dwayne Johnson), conspire to kidnap and systematically rob from an obnoxious but wealthy victim (Tony Shalhoub) in this action-comedy loosely based on a true story. Director Michael Bay may eschew the robotics of his Transformers movies, but a comedy that includes a pair of real-world murders demonstrates that a sense of humanity eludes him still. Two stars

 

THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

Grant Park, Polo Park. 14A. 141 minutes

Director Derek Cianfrance reunites with his Blue Valentine star Ryan Gosling in a tripartite tale of a bank robber (Gosling), a cop (Bradley Cooper), and how their fateful meeting impacts on the lives of their two sons. It has the makings of an excellent melodramatic saga along the lines of, say, East of Eden, but Cianfrances's pseudo-realism tends to undercut the film's dramatic potency. A restless, shaky camera is not the best medium for the heartbreak at the movie's core. Three and a half stars

 

SCARY MOVIE 5

Kildonan Place, Polo Park, Towne. G. 87 minutes

A jumbled-together collection of sketches riffing on a disparate group of films including Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Inception, Cabin in the Woods, Paranormal Activity and even Black Swan. Their collective lameness is numbing. One star (Reviewed by Frank Scheck)

 

TRANCE

Towne. 14A. 102 minutes

A fine art auctioneer (James McAvoy) involved in a plot with a gang of thieves claims to be suffering amnesia with regards to the whereabouts of a stolen painting and employs a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) to recover the memory before the gang employs less gentle methods. Director Danny Boyle's film is not a simple smash-and-grab yarn but an abstract psychological thriller, telling us a story of a perfect crime gone awry. But like his protagonist, Boyle is really shifty about it. Four stars (Reviewed by Colin Covert)

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 2, 2013 ??65524

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