Cinemazlowski

Over the course of nearly 20 films, Joel and Ethan Coen have veered between low-key movies like “Blood Simple” and “Fargo,” and wildly inventive movies on a grand scale such as “The Big Lebowski” and “The Hudsucker Proxy.” Their newest opus, “Hail, Caesar!” marks yet another stylistic 180 degree turn from their prior release, the 2013 slice-of-life story “Inside Llewyn Davis.” While that film followed a Dylanesque folk singer as he aimlessly drifted through Greenwich Village coffeehouses...

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There are many ways to make a bad movie. This week, I’ve decided to give a spanking to two movies that are vastly different yet are equally painful viewing experiences.   First, the newest movie of the two is “The Finest Hours,” which tells the story of the most daring small-boat rescue in the US Coast Guard’s history – that of the oil tanker Pendleton off the coast of New England in 1952. Starring Chris Pine as a square-jawed, by-the-book Guardsman named Bernie Webber who is put in...

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January 22, 2016

Another teen dystopian film: 'The 5th Wave'

By Carl Kozlowski

Ever since “The Hunger Games” exploded at the box office in 2012, teen movies set in dystopias – the fancy word for messed-up future societies – have been flooding our cineplexes. There have been four “Hunger Games” movies, two in the “Divergent” series (with one to go), two “Scorch Trials” (also with a third on the way) and now, the latest attempt at a series has arrived, as “The 5th Wave” opens this weekend.   These movies all share a bleak view of America’s future, while also...

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“RIDE ALONG 2” January usually is the deadliest month of the year for new movies, as studios focus on raking in extra cash and awards for their prestige pictures from the previous year. But over the last few years, there have been a few surprise hits at the top of the year, such as “Taken” and a couple of films starring super-hot comic Kevin Hart: “The Wedding Ringer” and “Ride Along.” “Ringer” had some truly funny moments and a lot of charm, but “Ride Along” was about as clichéd as a...

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January 08, 2016

My Favorite Films of 2015

By Carl Kozlowski

With 2015 finally past us, it’s time to present my Top 10. Rather than picking the most pretentious movies possible like most critics, I try to pick the ten movies that I thought were the most entertaining and engrossing.   1.    “The Walk.” Director Robert Zemeckis’ breathtaking depiction of Phillippe Petit’s death-defying high-wire walk between the World Trade Center towers was not only the most astounding movie of the year, but also the most sadly overlooked.  The use of 3D IMAX...

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At some point, everyone dreams of getting rich. For most of us, it remains a dream throughout our lives, a desire that seems too intangible and even surreal to actually grasp, even as the media shows us people who achieve that goal every single day.   There are as many paths to financial greatness or failure as there are people. But two movies that came out Christmas week – “Joy” and “The Big Short” - show us that there clearly are noble and nefarious ways of going about it, offering...

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Christmas movies are like a pile of presents under the tree: there’s hopefully something for everyone. This season is no exception, with an eclectic array of films for seemingly every taste, and then of course the “Star Wars” movie, which is making so much money one might think Congress made viewing it a requirement for citizenship.   This week, we’re looking at two movies that couldn’t be any more different: Quentin Tarantino’s latest bizarro epic, “The Hateful Eight,” and the Tina...

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December 17, 2015

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' exceeds the hype

By Carl Kozlowski

In a world where 500 TV channels and thousands of websites offer seemingly countless choices for entertainment, it’s becoming ever rarer that one particular movie or TV show can truly stand out from the crowd and become a full-on, must-see event. But the latest space epic in the “Star Wars” series, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” has clearly managed to do that, with a near-constant presence in its own ads, hundreds of sometimes-ridiculous product tie-ins, and an endless parade of media...

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December 14, 2015

'In the Heart of the Sea' a visually stunning success

By Carl Kozlowski

Despite being an English major with a degree from a decent school, I've never read “Moby Dick.” I just knew the bare bones about its story covering the epic battle between a great white whale and an obsessed band of men determined to bring it to its demise.    So I was surprised to learn that there was a true story at the heart of its fantastical tale. In 1820, a New England whaling ship named “Essex” was truly under attack from the biggest whale anyone had ever seen. First...

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In a year in which the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, and a TV landscape in which countless shows like “Modern Family” feature positive gay characters, it’s not surprising that Hollywood is throwing open the doors to filmmakers depicting the issues of gay rights. After all, the mainstream media is eager to support such visions, and films like “Brokeback Mountain,” “Milk” and “The Birdcage” have long shown that gay-friendly films can deliver on a big scale with...

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