Cinemazlowski

The life of the mind - that inner voice that guides us all, that either perks our days up or drags us down into doubt and despair – is an intriguing one that movies have rarely managed to fully explore. “A Beautiful Mind” won a Best Picture Oscar for providing a tragic depiction of genius gone awry, and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” also took home top honors for its surreal portrait of life in an insane asylum.

But neither of those put their entire focus on what goes on in the...

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Anyone lucky enough to have been around in the 1980s regarded it as the greatest era of teen movies ever, as John Hughes served up classics like “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and Cameron Crowe bookended the decade with “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Say Anything.” These were movies that treated teens with respect, showing both the humorous highs and the angst-filled lows of high school life in a way that resonated universally with viewers.
 
Things have...

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June 05, 2015
'Spy' - utterly silly fun
By Carl Kozlowski

There’s no other way to describe actress Melissa McCarthy than as a force of nature, a comic hurricane who crashes onto movie and TV screens and destroys everything in her path in hilarious fashion. The only possible comparison to her in the history of women comics might be Lucille Ball, whose constant and fearless physical-comedy antics on the classic “I Love Lucy” set the path that McCarthy now boldly follows.
Sure, there is one major difference between McCarthy and Ball: McCarthy...

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May 29, 2015
'Aloha' is filled with heart and humor
By Carl Kozlowski

There was a time when it was enough for a filmmaker to make a great movie, and nothing else mattered. There were writers and directors whose name on a poster signified that viewers were in for a treat, whether they were seeing a movie by Preston Sturges or John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock or Frank Capra, Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese.

For just over a decade, Cameron Crowe was among those greats, with classics like “Say Anything,” “Jerry Maguire” and his tour de force, “Almost...

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There has never been a movie studio that has utterly dominated the family marketplace more strongly than Disney right now. Bearing control over not only its own illustrious lineage of famous characters and films, but also of other mega-popular entertainment brands including Pixar, Marvel, “Star Wars” and the Muppets, it seems there is no way the famed conglomerate can do wrong.

That theory is put to the test this weekend with the new movie “Tomorrowland,” produced by Disney and based...

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When’s the last time you thoroughly enjoyed a movie from beginning to end, that put a big grin on your face from start to finish and made you want to feel like you could get up and dance and belt out songs with the  best of the actors on screen? Improbable as it sounds, “Pitch Perfect 2” is exactly that kind of movie – and as over-the-top entertaining as a movie can get.

Now before anyone accuses me of being a shill for the movie, or the kind of critic that says outrageously happy...

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It’s rare to find a mainstream Hollywood movie where the heroine is a Christian who’s open and proud about her faith, and is never shown to be a hypocrite. Unfortunately, that’s one of the few  pleasant surprises of the new comedy “Hot Pursuit,” in which Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara of TV’s “Modern Family” improbably team up in the kind of storyline that makes you cringe even as you’re realizing you’ve seen something like it a thousand...

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The summer movie season is officially upon us this weekend, with the release of the new “Avengers: Age of Ultron” leading the annual flood of superheroes, action movies and broad comedies into theatres.  But while the new movie costs $250 million and features an array of star actors including Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johannsen and Jeremy Renner in its cast, there is a more intriguing science fiction film that’s also in theatres now, called “Ex Machina.”

The two movies...

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The idea of a little faith being able to change lives, and even the world, goes back as far as the parable of the mustard seed: that even faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain. The new movie “Little Boy,” out in theatres today, hinges on that parable but also is a prime example itself of that tale’s principles in action.

Starring the remarkable child actor Jakob Salvati as an 8 year old kid nicknamed “Little Boy” by everyone around him because he’s tiny for...

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April 17, 2015
Movie review: 'While We're Young'
By Carl Kozlowski

Midlife crises are always rife with complications, and those complications often make great fodder for fiction. The new movie “While We’re Young,” written and directed by the outstanding young filmmaker Noah Baumbach, shows that the topic can be funny, a bit touching and even a tad mysterious all at the same time.
“Young” features the powerhouse foursome of established stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, and red-hot rising stars Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, as two couples who...

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