Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MOVIES

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EPIC

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. G. 103 minutes.

This animated adventure tells the story of a young woman who discovers her father's crazy research into a race of teeny-tiny warriors is valid when she herself is shrunk down. Epic may not be epic, but it isn't half bad, either. It's just that as high as the bar has been raised on this sort of animation, this is more evidence that a strong story is worth more than any next-generation software 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

FAST & FURIOUS 6

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 131 minutes.

Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson return for this sequel to the muscle-car franchise in which Dom (Diesel) and his outlaw crew are recruited to stop a mercenary gang led by a corrupt former British Special Services agent (Luke Evans) assisted by Dom's presumed dead ex-girlfriend (Michelle Rodriguez). The series is getting sillier as it goes, with digitally enhanced stunts so ridiculous, contemporary Bond movies look like documentary realism by comparison. But director Justin Lin somehow manages to pop a little nitrous into this series with a deftly balanced fuel blend of melodrama, action and heavy metal. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

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, their Arab neighbours and themselves in this revealing documentary. Director Dror Moreh utilizes some impressive visual tricks that give a three-dimensional perspective to historical events but the more impressive trick is to illuminate a consensus between these six men regarding Israel's political policy regarding Palestine. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

THE GREAT GATSBY

Globe, Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital. PG. 142 minutes

Director Baz Luhrmann layers glitz and a Jay-Z-produced soundtrack on F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jazz Age romance between enigmatic millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo Di Caprio) and the capricious, old-money trophy wife Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). The glamour and eye-popping visuals are exhausting after a while, leaving us with a movie that jazzes up a classic novel that needed no such crutches. More's the pity, because the cast acquit themselves well enough, especially Di Caprio, who brings a danger and romanticism to the role so lacking in Robert Redford in the 1974 version. 'Ö'Ö1/2

THE HANGOVER PART III

Grant Park, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 100 minutes.

The third and final instalment in the adventures of the "Wolf Pack" (Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms) as the boys return to Las Vegas to get caught up in a misadventure involving the perpetually troublesome Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong). Slow, sentimental and somewhat sedated, the third Hangover movie isn't so much exhausted of outrageous "Oh no, they DIDN'T!" ideas as it is spent of energy. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

I DECLARE WAR

Cinematheque. PG. 94 minutes.

Kids playing a game of war in the woods start to experience the real-world ramifications of combat in this Canadian film by Jason LaPeyre and Robert Wilson. It threatens to turn into a story of Lord of the Flies-like atavism, but instead goes a more subtle route, suggesting when it comes to war, child's play forecasts jealousy, brutality and narcissism to come. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

IRON MAN 3

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, 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. Comic book purists may not appreciate liberties taken with the Mandarin and the dearth of a fully functional Iron Man, but for the rest of us, this is a witty, wild outing, closer in tone to The Avengers than the forgettable Iron Man 2. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE

Cinematheque. PG. 109 minutes.

Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami went to Japan to shoot this romantic drama built around an elderly professor and a sociology student who moonlights as an escort. What develops between them is, in fact, a relationship of some tenderness and generosity, almost all of it because of the professor's late-life understanding of how much more transpires between men and women than hormonal crashings. Kiarostami is a director of exquisite cinematic gifts in an older way audiences seldom seek anymore in ordinary movies. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Jeff Simon)

MUD

Polo Park. PG. 130 minutes.

A couple of Arkansas boys discover a fugitive (Matthew McConaughey) living alone on an island in the Mississippi and resolve to help him reunite with the trashy temptress (Reese Witherspoon) he considers his soulmate. Director Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter) invokes Mark Twain adventure but approaches the premise with an open heart and without satiric agenda. This is a coming-of-age story in the classic mould. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö

OBLIVION

Polo Park. 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. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

PAIN & GAIN

Polo Park, Towne. 18A. 129 minutes

A trio of pumped-up bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie and Dwayne Johnson), conspire to kidnap and systematically rob 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. 'Ö'Ö

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, Polo Park Imax, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 132 minutes.

J.J. Abrams lets the other reboot drop with this sequel to the 2009 relaunch of Star Trek, with Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) going up against a superhuman (Benedict Cumberbatch) with a grudge against Earth. Given the licence to take the Trek universe somewhere new, Abrams chooses to go less-than-boldly to where it's been before, and the results are correspondingly disappointing. 'Ö'Ö1/2

STILL MINE

Grant Park. PG. 106 minutes.

An elderly New Brunswick man (James Cromwell) defies a persistent bureaucracy to build a new house for his ailing wife (Genevieve Bujold) in a drama based on a true story. Director-writer Michael McGowan, who made the cancer drama One Week as well as the execrable Score: A Hockey Musical, is afflicted with a tin ear for dialogue. But it's an affliction the cast rises above, Cromwell with his dignified presence and Canadian treasure Bujold with a combination of warmth and ferocity. 'Ö'Ö1/2

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 26, 2013 A13

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