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MOVIES

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AFTER EARTH

Polo Park. PG. 100 minutes

Young Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his father Cypher (Will Smith) crash-land on the planet earth 1,000 years after it had been deemed uninhabitable. Unfortunately for them, non-human life has evolved to be extremely hostile to human interlopers. If it sounds like it has sci-fi potential, this is an awkward, ill-fitting suit of a movie, from its generic title to its kidney-shaped production design, right down to the names of its characters. Cypher Raige? Really? 'Ö1/2

BEYOND THE HILLS

Cinematheque. 14A. 153 minutes

Two young women raised in the same Romanian orphanage are very close, but ultimately divided when Alina (Cristina Flutur) attempts to compel Voichita (Cosmina Statan) to leave the monastery where she lives and join her for a secular life in Germany. In examining the lot of women in remote parts of Europe, director Cristian Mungiu subjects the audience to a tough, slow 21/2-hour slog, when a more succinct approach might have been more powerful. 'Ö'Ö1/2

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP

Globe. PG. 122 minutes

A respected civil rights attorney (Robert Redford) is exposed by an aggressive reporter (Shia LaBeouf) as a former '60s radical still wanted for murder in this drama directed by Redford and co-starring Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Chris Cooper and Julie Christie, and the cream of cinema's current crop of character actors. This "No Country for Old Radicals" is a feast of performance, but Redford pretending he's not 70-plus is both vain and insulting, undercutting this nicely cast and very well-acted story. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

EPIC

Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital. 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

Kildonan Place, McGillivray, 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). 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 GREAT GATSBY

Grant Park. 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

Kildonan Place, Polo Park. 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)

THE INTERNSHIP

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 120 minutes

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are a couple of old-school salesmen who attempt to break into the new digital realm interning for Google and find themselves competing for a position against a cadre of computer-savvy hotshots. The guys swap lines like veteran jazz musicians who still have a sense of play about them -- and endless supply of nicknames, high- and low-fives, dated slang and goodwill, theirs for each other and ours for them. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

IRON MAN 3

Grant Park, Polo Park, St. Vital. 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

KON-TIKI

Globe. PG. 97 minutes

A Norwegian drama based on the story of Thor Heyerdal's epic 4,300 miles crossing of the Pacific on a balsa-wood raft in 1947, to prove it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times. This is a grand old-school yarn with enough drama and dramatic incidents to make even Indiana Jones envious at the adventure of it all. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

THE LESSER BLESSED

Globe. 14A. 86 minutes

A coming-of-age story where a teen (Joel Nathan Evans) struggles to find a place for himself. Set in a small rural town in the Northwest Territories, where cold and decay are constant companions, The Lesser Blessed is a little indie gem. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Betsy Sharkey)

MAN OF STEEL

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, Polo Park Imax, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 143 minutes.

After Superman Returns (Bryan Singer's slavish homage to Richard Donner's '70s Superman franchise), Warner Bros. goes for a grittier approach with this reboot from director Zack Snyder featuring Henry Cavill as Clark Kent and Michael Shannon as his Krypton-born nemesis General Zod. Snyder's Supe does not represent a more "realistic" approach to the Superman myth. It simply forgoes the more cornball mythology -- the red-and-blue Superman suit, the secret-identity silliness involving mild-mannered Clark Kent, etc. -- favouring a more grounded, and literally darker rendition of Smallville's favourite son. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

MUD

Grant Park, Polo Park. PG. 130 minutes

While glossy new films mire the summer-movie marketplace, it figures the one drama worth seeing is titled Mud. 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. For a meditation on father-son relationships, this sure beats After Earth. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö

NOW YOU SEE ME

Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 116 minutes

A team of illusionists (including Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson) robs banks during performances and award the money to their audience in this oddball thriller co-starring Mark Ruffalo and Morgan Freeman. The razzle-dazzles but the smoke never quite hides the mirrors in Now You See Me, a super-slick new magicians' heist picture that demonstrates, once again, how tough it is to make "magic" as a movie subject work. 'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

THE PURGE

McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 86 minutes

In a future dystopian America, the government permits crime for one whole night while suspending emergency services. Those dire circumstances place a security consultant (Ethan Hawke) in mortal peril when a gang of thugs targets his house. You wouldn't want the 85-minute kill-fest to last longer, but its premise requires more sophisticated layering for the audience to really get on board with the notion that people leading very comfortable lives will suddenly go on a murder bender just because they can. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Kristin Tillotson)

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park, 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

THIS IS THE END

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vitalm Towne. 18A. 107 minutes

A Hollywood-insider-buddy comedy conjoins with apocalyptic horror to coarsely funny effect when Seth Rogen takes Jay Baruchel to James Franco's house for a party and hell literally busts loose. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 16, 2013 A13

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