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Much Ado About Nothing

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Much Ado About Nothing

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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Grant Park. 14A. 109 minutes

Director Joss Whedon follows up the monster hit The Avengers with a scaled-back black-and-white contemporary take on Shakespeare's most upsetting comedy, shot in Whedon's own house. For crisp, sophisticated comedy, bet on Nothing. Starts June 28.

 

NEW IN TOWN

ROOM 237

Cinematheque. PG. 103 minutes

A handful of obsessive fans of The Shining offer up various theories of the film, ranging from intriguing to just plain outrageous. Things get a little weird -- The Shining is Stanley Kubrick's confession to having faked the moon landing, for example -- but it does serve as an illustration that there are many ways to read a movie. Three stars

 

STARTING TODAY

WHITE HOUSE DOWN

Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 132 minutes.

Or: Terrorists Invade the White House... Again. This higher-budgeted variant of Olympus Has Fallen stars Channing Tatum as the wannabe Secret Service agent and Jamie Foxx as the president obliged to redefine foreign policy ... with their fists.

 

STARTING FRIDAY

THE EAST

Globe. 14A. 116 minutes

An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her allegiances at risk when she infiltrating an anarchist eco-terrorist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. Starring Brit Marling and Ellen Page.

 

THE HEAT

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 117 minutes

Sandra Bullock plays a super-competent FBI agent who turns into a rookie-like klutz in the proximity of tough city cop Melissa McCarthy in this female buddy comedy.

 

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

 

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. It is a singular film achievement that we have watched these two performers over 18 years playing roles which they have always, in part, created as well as enacted. Five stars (Reviewed by Jeff Simon)

 

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. Three and ahalf stars

 

FAST & FURIOUS 6

Kildonan Place, Polo Park. 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 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. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and screenwriter Chris Galletta bring a freewheeling energy and enjoyably snarky-witty dialogue. Three stars

 

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

 

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. There are mild laughs and amusing hijinks, but nothing uproariously funny. Where Monsters Inc. had a fly-by-the-seat-of-its pants charm that made it actually seem ad-libbed, Monsters University feels overly plotted and plodding. Three stars (Reviewed by Jill Wilson)

 

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, 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

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, 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

 

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. Two and a half stars

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 27, 2013 ??65524

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