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MOVIES

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BEGIN AGAIN

Grant Park, Polo Park. 14A. 101 minutes.

Director John Carney attempts to reproduce the magic of his music-laced romance Once, but with bigger stars (Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo) and a bigger budget. The result is an insistent puppy of a movie, just about willing you to like it. And while it certainly has appeal -- you'd have to be a troll to resist it completely -- you may end up wanting to enjoy it more than its qualities will allow. 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Kenneth Turan)

CHEF

Grant Park. 14A. 115 minutes.

A Los Angeles restaurant chef (Jon Favreau) loses his job and cooks up a food truck business in Miami to pay the bills. He teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) and friend (John Leguizamo) and finds his zest for life -- and cooking -- again. The food is mouth-watering, and it's nice to see Favreau in a film he wants to be involved in rather than cooking up another soul-sucking blockbuster. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 101 minutes.

The genetically enhanced apes introduced in the franchise reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) are back and beginning to take control of the world. This action-packed epic is a moving sci-fi allegory rendered in broad, lush strokes by the latest state of the computer animator's art. But it's all in service of an utterly conventional story, however, one you'll be three steps ahead of even if you have no memories of the '70s apes movie (Battle for the Planet of the Apes) this is largely based on. 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

DELIVER US FROM EVIL

Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 119 minutes.

A New York cop with demons (Eric Bana) is put on a disturbing investigation that revolves around demonic possession. Comparisons with The Exorcist persist when the investigator enlists a priest (Edgar Ramirez), who knows his way around exorcisms, to help crack the case. 'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

EDGE OF TOMORROW

Polo Park. PG. 113 minutes.

Tom Cruise stars as army officer Bill Cage, who is forced onto the front lines in a war between aliens and the Earth's combined forces, which have been no match against the outworlders. An alien race invades Earth and no army is able to match their brutal assault. He is killed again and again, but awakens each time at the beginning of the same day, forced to fight and die over and over again. He gets better and better at it, and meets up with a special forces soldier (Emily Blunt) to take the battle to the aliens. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Bartley Kives)

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

Polo Park. PG. 125 minutes.

Based on the bestselling John Green novel about two disdainful teens, Hazel and Gus, who meet at a cancer support group. Shailene Woodley stars as Hazel and Ansel Elgort plays Gus in this film about the thrills and the tragedy of being alive and falling in love. 'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

THE GRAND SEDUCTION

Grant Park. PG. 113 minutes.

An unemployed Newfoundland fisherman (Brendan Gleeson) co-ordinates the citizens of his town to entice an urbane doctor (Taylor Kitsch) into taking up residence. Director Don McKellar's funny, deftly directed remake (of the French-Canadian film Seducing Dr. Lewis) stands on its own. Tonally, it owes an even greater debt to Bill Forsyth's droll 1983 masterpiece Local Hero, another movie about the supposedly guileless residents of a quaint seaside town pulling one over on the supposedly sophisticated city slicker in their midst. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park. St. Vital. PG. 102 minutes

Hiccup and Toothless are back and they venture into an ice cave and run into even more wild dragons. It'll be up to them to keep the peace between the factions. Starring the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler and Cate Blanchett. 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

JERSEY BOYS

Grant Park. 14A. 134 minutes

Director Clint Eastwood brings this Tony Award-winning musical to the multiplex. The story follows the history of the 1960s group the Four Seasons, and focuses on the ups and downs of four men who grew up in poverty in New Jersey, and their rise to stardom. Just like the Broadway musical, the songs are the stars of the show, but the transition between the music and the story is a bit shaky. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Brad Oswald)

MALEFICENT

Polo Park, St. Vital. PG. 97 minutes.

This revisionist take on Disney's animated Sleeping Beauty fairy tale stars a darkly glamorous Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, a fairy who, we learn, comes by her thirst for baby-dooming vengeance legitimately. Like Wicked, this is a playful twist on an old story that sparks a reconsideration of canonical villainy, and what it lacks in musical numbers, it makes up for with sumptuous visuals. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. G. 84 minutes.

This sequel to last year's unexpected hit Planes offers up the return of racer Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook) facing a forced retirement from competition and entering the world of aerial firefighting. A couple of flight sequences take us over majestic deserts and amber waves of grain -- beautiful animated scenery. Other than that, there's not much to this. But its predecessor was so story-and-laugh starved, there was nowhere to go but up. 'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

THE PURGE: ANARCHY

McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 104 minutes.

In this quickly-produced sequel to last year's dystopian hit, innocent citizens find themselves trapped on the streets during an annual event in which all crime is made legal over the period of one single violent night. It's preachier, more diverse in its casting than the first one, all of which make it more specific and limit it. Throw in generally lacklustre performances and illogical plot twists and Anarchy is seriously crippled. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

SEX TAPE

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 18A. 95 minutes.

Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz are a couple trying to prevent the titular home movie from going viral, making for a raunchy contemporary twist in the traditional sex farce. But it's a PG plot for an X-rated story, trying to bridge the gap between the traditional romantic comedy and today's porn-addled digital world. The high-concept comedies spawned by The 40-Year-Old Virgin need to start using birth control. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Jake Coyle)

TAMMY

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 97 minutes.

Melissa McCarthy is Tammy, a slovenly, morbidly obese vulgarian who is fired from her fast-food restaurant job and catches her husband cheating on her. More hijinks ensue when she decides to go on a road trip to Niagara Falls, joined by Granny (Susan Sarandon). McCarthy continues her quest to milk anything and everything for a laugh, while ignoring her size. 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, Polo Park Imax, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 165 minutes.

The Autobots and Decepticons are back in the fourth film of the Michael Bay-lensed series. This time around, Mark Wahlberg stars as a mechanic whose garage discovery brings the feds down on him and his family. The Transformers fear that humanity has it out for them and strike back. At two hours and 45 minutes, this is popcorn piffle without end. 'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

22 JUMP STREET

Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 112 minutes

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return as mismatched cops whose dubious youthfulness gets them sent undercover -- this time in college. Jokes hit the same targets repeatedly -- yes, the guys look too old to be college students and yes, sequels are always the same only different -- yet the movie manages to score more than its share of laughs largely due to Tatum, who proves to be an able comedian. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Polo Park, St. Vital. PG. 132 minutes.

The director of the first two X-Men movies, Bryan Singer resumes a firm hold of the mutant franchise in which the younger cast of the '60s-set First Class entry interact with the millennial X-Men. The ageless Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) bridges the gap when Wolvie's consciousness is sent back in time to prevent the apocalyptic reign of killer robots called Sentinels. Singer plays fast and loose with some issues. How exactly is Professor Xavier still alive? But excusing the major lapses of continuity, this still feels like a return to form for the franchise. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 20, 2014 A13

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