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From left, Aksel Hennie as Tydeus, Ingrid Berdal as Atalanta, Dwayne Johnson as Hercules, Reece Ritchie as Iolaus, and Rufus Sewell as Autolycus in a scene from

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From left, Aksel Hennie as Tydeus, Ingrid Berdal as Atalanta, Dwayne Johnson as Hercules, Reece Ritchie as Iolaus, and Rufus Sewell as Autolycus in a scene from "Hercules."

RECOMMENDED

THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY

Grant Park, Polo Park. G. 123 minutes.

Helen Mirren plays the persnickety owner of a snooty French restaurant who goes on the attack when an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai, opens within 100 feet of her establishment, a problem that amplifies when her sous-chef (Charlotte Le Bon) falls in love with the Maison's gifted chef Hassan (Manish Dayal). It's a nice concoction, but director Lasse Hallstrom makes it all relentlessly pretty, whether in its depiction of racism or kitchen procedure. HHH

 

NEW IN TOWN

LET'S BE COPS

Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 105 minutes.

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. play two Ohio losers in L.A. who experience an upswing in popularity and excitement when they dress up as cops, only to find themselves in conflict with the Russian mob. The laughs are loud, lewd and infrequent in a comedy that is pretty much the definition of an August comedy release: a month designated as a dumping ground for titles for which the studios don't have high hopes. HH (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

STARTING FRIDAY

BOYHOOD

Grant Park. 14A. 166 minutes.

This unique Richard Linklater film was 12 years in the making, delineating the growth of a Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from the age of six to 18, enduring his parents' marital breakup, a new alcoholic stepdad and flirtations with drugs, alcohol and girls. Also starring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as Mason's folks.

 

CALVARY

Polo Park. 14A. 101minutes.

Brendan Gleeson plays a much-loved Irish priest threatened with violence in a film that reunites Gleeson with director John Michael McDonaugh of the underappreciated comedy The Guard.

 

THE EXPENDABLES 3

McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. Subject to classification. 126 minutes.

Sly Stallone rounds up the usual aging action star suspects (including Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li and Arnold Schwarzenegger) to take on the rogue co-founder of the Expendables (Mel Gibson).

 

THE GIVER

McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. Subject to classification. 100 minutes.

In yet another dystopian future, it falls on a teen lad (Brenton Thwaites) to open the eyes of his fellow citizens to the oppressive nature society when he is assigned the task of exploring the past under the tutelage of the titular wise elder (Jeff Bridges).

 

NOW PLAYING

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

 

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Polo Park, 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. HHH (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, Polo Park Imax, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 121 minutes.

Marvel Studios dares to give us a one-off about an obscure band of heroes familiar to few but the most committed comics geeks, consisting of a thief (Chris Pratt), a glamourous assassin (Zoe Saldana), a muscle-bound, vengeance-obsessed "maniac" (Dave Bautista), a super-intelligent, genetically enhanced raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and a tree creature named Groot (Vin Diesel). Employing a wise-ass sensibility, a penchant for sardonic dialogue, and a soundtrack of all-'70s hits, director James Gunn makes it work very well by locating a heart in all the lovingly rendered comic book mayhem. HHHH

 

HERCULES

Polo Park, St. Vital. 14A. 98 minutes.

Dwayne Johnson plays Herc as a simple mercenary whose demi-god status is actually presented as PR, making this the first Hercules movie to openly question the existence of Zeus. Hence, this is a summer movie with sufficient wit, action and spectacle to pass as a modestly entertaining summer diversion. The sincere Johnson is sufficiently pumped-up to make his more ridiculous feats of strength (including horse-tossing) seem not all that ridiculous. HHH

 

INTO THE STORM

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 89 minutes.

A weather disaster movie in the tradition of Twister, this summer epic is centred on a small town hit by a series of ever-worsening cyclones where a group of high school students recklessly decide to hang around and document the effects of the high winds. The most unbelievable accomplishment here is that it makes viewers long for the preposterous, over-the-top camp gore of the Sharknado TV films. HH (Reviewed by Kevin Prokosh)

 

LUCY

Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 90 minutes.

Scarlett Johansson stars in this Luc Besson action movie as a reluctant drug mule who accidentally ingests an overdose of a new chemical concoction that allows her to utilize her brain power to superhuman effect. It comes off as the kind of science fiction created by someone who never actually read a book on science. Besson's intellectual energy went into making this a calculatedly international hit, designed as a three-prong attack on Asian, European and American audiences, with Johansson at the calm centre, going from panicky tourist to ass-kicking demi-goddess with aplomb. HH 1/2

 

MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT

Grant Park. G. 97 minutes.

Woody Allen's latest comedy assigns a cynical professional illusionist (Colin Firth) the task of debunking a winsome young medium (Emma Stone) suspected of fleecing Europe's wealthiest denizens. HH 1/2

 

A MOST WANTED MAN

Grant Park. 14A. 122 minutes.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, in his last starring role, plays a German spymaster attempting to recruit a suspected Muslim terrorist in this adaptation of a novel by John le Carré. Director Anton Corbijn resists any impulse to spice up le Carre's story with gratuitous sex and/or violence, making this is an entirely admirable movie about post-9/11 espionage, even more uncivilized now than it was in the days of le Carré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy hero George Smiley. HHH

 

PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE

Polo Park, St. Vital. 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. HH1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

STEP UP: ALL IN

Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 112 minutes.

The fifth entry in the dance franchise brings back characters from previous instalments (including Briana Evigan and Ryan Guzman) to participate in a mega-dance competition in Las Vegas.

 

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 101 minutes.

This reboot from producer Michael Bay combines martial arts action with turtle power, starring Bay's formerly exiled Transformers leading lady Megan Fox as reporter April O'Neil. It captures some of the thrills of the much-loved comic book franchise, but is hampered by miscasting and some baffling action sequences bearing the stamp of producer Michael Bay. HH

 

22 JUMP STREET

Polo Park. 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. HHH

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 14, 2014 ??65526

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