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THE BLING RING

Polo Park. 14A. 90 minutes.

Hollywood offspring Sofia Coppola offers up a devastating, insightful portrait of glamour's dark side with this reality-based tale of vapid, star-struck L.A. teens who attempt to realize their own vaguely glamorous ambitions by burglarizing the homes of the Beautiful People. It all goes to prove: No good can come from admiring Paris Hilton. Starts tomorrow. See full review Friday. Three and a half stars

 

STARTING TODAY

WORLD WAR Z

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

Brad Pitt produced and stars in Marc Forster's adaptation of the Max Brooks novel of the same name, paring down the international, multi-character epic to a single hero's journey. Pitt is a UN investigator assigned to find the source of a zombie epidemic. If even half of Brooks' ideas and his grand apocalyptic tableau had survived the adaptation, this could have been something special. What it actually is: a classy but weak pop zombie trifle. See full review Friday. Two stars

 

STARTING FRIDAY

BEFORE MIDNIGHT

Grant Park. 14A. 109 minutes

This is Richard Linklater's third entry in the chat-filled art movie franchise detailing the relationship of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), once hipsters, now parents of twins engaged with an examination of their morphing relationship while on vacation in Greece.

 

THE KINGS OF SUMMER

Grant Park. 14A. 95 minutes

This eccentric comedy-drama focuses on three teen lads who decide to buck parental authority and build a house in the woods where they can initiate their own passages into manhood.

 

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

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

A prequel to Monsters Inc. detailing the first meeting of monsters Sully (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal) at college, where their mutual enmity transforms into an unlikely friendship.

 

THE SHEEPDOGS HAVE AT IT

Globe. PG. 85 minutes.

A documentary on the Saskatoon band the Sheepdogs as they negotiate the heady trip from relative obscurity to sudden fame courtesy of a Rolling Stone magazine cover story. Directed by Winnipegger John Barnard.

 

NOW PLAYING

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

 

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 Three stars (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

FAST & FURIOUS 6

Kildonan Place, 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. Three stars

 

THE HANGOVER PART III

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. Two stars (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

THE INTERNSHIP

McGillivray, St. Vital. 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. Three and a half stars (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

IRON MAN 3

Grant Park. PG. 131 minutes.

In the third installment 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. Three and a half stars

 

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. Three and a half stars (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

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. Three and a half stars

 

MUD

Globe, Grant 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 soul mate. 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. Four stars

 

NOW YOU SEE ME

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

A team of illusionists (including Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson) rob 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. Two and a half stars (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

THE PURGE

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 killfest 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. Two stars (Reviewed by Kristin Tillotson)

 

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Polo Park, St. Vital. 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 license 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. Two and a half stars

 

THIS IS THE END

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, 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. Three and a half stars

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 20, 2013 ??65524

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