Cinemazlowski

Some weekends are weird times for new film releases. This weekend, the latest in the “Divergent” film series - “The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part I” – is the only big new movie, and I’m skipping it because I fundamentally don’t see the magic in this obvious “Hunger Games” knockoff.   That said, according to the reasons given for its PG-13 rating by the ratings board, "Allegiant" is probably fun, exciting fare for teens. The movie has no foul language mentioned, and there's no sex,...

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Christy Beam was just a regular wife and mother of three in the Dallas-area suburb of Burleson,  Texas, when she learned that her young daughter Annabel was diagnosed with a rare and incurable digestive disorder. It seemed Annabel would never have a chance at a normal life, but on a rare day in which she was able to play outside with her sisters, she fell three stories headfirst into an old, hollowed-out tree and managed to survive without a scratch.   During the five hours she was...

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Sooner or later, it seems that nearly every major comedic talent wants to show at least one opportunity to show their serious side. Sometimes it’s painful to watch, but in the surprisingly great new movie “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” Tina Fey totally pulls it off. Based on the memoir “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan” by Kim Barker, the movie follows Fey as the somewhat fictionalized Kim Baker, a woman who’s hit middle age lacking children and a truly special...

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Numerous movies have portrayed the story of Jesus over the decades, ranging from the family-friendly “The Greatest Story Ever Told” on through the horrifically detailed and strictly for adults depiction found in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” Yet somehow, the new movie “Risen” has found a uniquely compelling and fully relatable way to share the Gospel with present-day viewers by showing it through the eyes of a Roman tribune who undergoes the spiritual transformation from...

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February 19, 2016

My Oscars predictions

By Carl Kozlowski

There is perhaps no other awards show on earth that captures people’s interest like the Oscars. For the past 88 years, the ceremony has built a mythical presence on the world stage thanks to its ability to draw seemingly every star on the planet into one theatre and reward them for bringing magic to life on the big screen. As a professional movie critic, I see over 150 movies a year. The following are the nominees in the top five categories this year, and who I’m predicting should and...

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February 12, 2016

'Zoolander 2' settles for being cruder and louder

By Carl Kozlowski

Some movies come along at just the right time. Others run into bad luck because of when they’re released. “Zoolander” was one of the rare movies that had the blessing and the curse of being both. Released on September 28, 2001, Ben Stiller’s hilarious satire of the male-modeling industry came out just 17 days after the devastating attacks of 9/11. Of course, Paramount Pictures could never have expected that the nation’s worst terror attack would have come so soon before the release, but...

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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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