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Sunday movie reviews

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Globe. G. 104 minutes.

Director Amma Asante's film tells the fact-based story of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate daughter of a British naval officer and an African slave, raised as a noblewoman in 18th-century Britain. Imagine a Jane Austen adaptation, with all its Empire waistlines and romantic longing, but also a film in which the obstacles to love are far greater than mere social standing, a story that transcends its comedy-of-manners frame and is actually about something. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)


Polo Park. PG. 118 minutes.

Adam Sandler reunites with Wedding Singer co-star Drew Barrymore playing a mismatched couple whose families wind up taking a vacation together in Africa. While not as disagreeable as Sandler's recent comedies, one wishes he would hire a non-hack director resistant to the Sandler modus operandi of throwing crude comedy and pathos on the screen to see what sticks. 'Ö'Ö


Grant Park, McGillivray. 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 again. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)


Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, Polo Park Imax, St. Vital, Towne. 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 out-worlders. 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. (Reviewed by Bartley Kives) 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö


Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 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)


Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 123 minutes.

Hollywood's second take on Japan's seminal kaiju (giant monster) is a vast improvement over the silly 1998 reboot, taking the more serious tone of the original. But deprived of historical context or metaphoric resonance, it ultimately registers as a big, noisy spectacle that will be forgotten about the same time as the Godzilla-roar-induced ringing in your ears ceases. 'Ö'Ö'Ö


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


Grant Park. Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park. St. Vital. Towne. 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)


Cinematheque, 80 minutes.

A standard CanFilm grim drama dressed up as a black comedy from Canadian director Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, Pontypool). It's about Henry, who is failing in his attempts to escape his own anger. His psyche goes for a nosedive when his wife, who was in jail for sleeping with an underage student, is about to be released. 'Ö'Ö'Ö


Cinematheque, 90 minutes.

Imagine Dune, the famous Frank Herbert novel, being filmed in 1974 and starring the likes of Orson Welles, Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger and using the music from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Then imagine the director behind this never-shot epic was Alejandro Jodorowsky, the originator of the famous midnight classic El Topo. Interviews, rare drawings and archival material are introduced in this documentary. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Bartley Kives)


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

Angelina Jolie offers up a live-action, sympathetic portrayal of Sleeping Beauty's nemesis in this lush Disney adventure. Most of the story's joy is left out as the film focuses on the dark and gloomy 3D wonderland. 'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)


McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 116 minutes.

Seth MacFarlane co-wrote and directed this comic western as well starring as a cowardly homesteader facing a notorious outlaw (Liam Neeson) and learning gunplay courtesy of a beautiful gunslinger (Charlize Theron). MacFarlane pushes all the jokes and double-entendres too far and a weirdly sentimental romance creates a trying viewing experience. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Jill Wilson)


Polo Park, Towne. 18A. 97 minutes.

A newly responsible dad and former party animal (Seth Rogen) finds himself in pitched battle with the frat kingpin (Zac Efron) next door. It makes for some rude fun. Director Nicholas Stoller knows a thing or two about directing raunchy comedies and certainly Rogen knows a lot about carrying them. Between them, they hit more than miss, with gags involving sex toys, baby monitors and Batman preferences: Keaton vs. Bale. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2


Globe. 14A. 124 minutes.

This droll, non-terrifying, wistfully romantic and altogether delicious vampire movie from director Jim Jarmusch casts Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as a not-quite-ageless vampire couple who register as a more evolved species of humanity (notwithstanding Mia Wasikowska as Swinton's impetuously evil vampire sister) self-exiled to Detroit and Tangier. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö


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

Hollywood hit cinematic pay dirt when it cast Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street, the television series that jump-started the Fox network and Johnny Depp's career. Naturally, there's a sequel, and Hill and Tatum are back as two police officers, who this time go deep undercover at a college. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)


Polo Park. 14A, 79 minutes

The movies have shown us werewolves, teenage werewolves and American werewolves in London, so why not a werewolf-cop? A drunken police officer finds out the hard way he's been turned into a werewolf, which he is forced to investigate. Regina writer-director Lowell Dean was trying to have some fun with the concept of a self-consciously bad movie, but he doesn't quite manage to be funny, edgy or disturbing enough to pull it off. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Bartley Kives)


Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, 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 continuity issues -- so how exactly is Prof. Xavier still alive? -- but excusing the major lapses of continuity, this still feels like a return to form for the franchise. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 15, 2014 A13

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