Cinemazlowski

February 26, 2015
Costner inspires in 'McFarland, USA'
By Carl Kozlowski

There are few present-day actors who are as beloved and as worthy of all-time icon status as Kevin Costner. And there are even fewer great sports movies these days that can inspire greatness and teach life lessons along the lines of “Rocky” and “Breaking Away.”

But thanks to the new movie “MacFarland USA ,” which opened strongly last weekend and stars Costner in the true story of a white coach who overcame culture clashes to inspire a champion team of poor Latino...

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February 13, 2015
Movie Review: "Kingsman: The Secret Service"
By Carl Kozlowski

Due to the extreme hype, moviegoers might think that “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the only new film coming out this weekend. But there is an alternative to that twisted, overrated sex-driven flick, which any Catholic with common sense should know to avoid in the first place.
 
“Kingsman: The Secret Service,” a teenage James Bond-style escapade on steroids, is a British production that puts American action movies to shame. Packed with great gadgets, hilarious (but at times gruesome)...

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February 06, 2015
Double Review: 'Jupiter Ascending' and 'Project Almanac'
By Carl Kozlowski

Jupiter Ascending

Ever since unleashing the groundbreaking first “Matrix” movie on the world in 1999, Lana and Andy Wachowski have been two of the luckiest filmmakers alive. After all, since that smash hit, they have managed to crank out some of the biggest misfires of the past decade — two bad “Matrix” sequels, a live-action version of “Speed Racer” and the confusing 2012 anomaly “Cloud Atlas” — while still managing to draw an enormous budget for their latest travesty,...

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January 30, 2015
Movie Review: "Black Or White"
By Carl Kozlowski

Amid an era in which racial tensions are boiling over more than they have in decades, America is looking for positive solutions to calm the storms. The movie “Selma” has come into sharp cultural focus as a result, due to its stirring depiction of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
 
Yet while that film does manage to bring those past dramatic incidents to vibrant life, there is still a need for filmmakers to address what’s...

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January 24, 2015
Movie Review: 'Mortdecai'
By Carl Kozlowski

Johnny Depp has had a rough time in the last couple of years, with a string of bombs including “The Lone Ranger” and “Transcendence.” Now, he’s returned as yet another in his endless string of oddball characters in “Mortdecai,” an art-heist farce that I’ll admit most critics have derided but which I - and the audience of regular folks that I saw it with - laughed heartily at.

It stars Depp as Charlie Mortdecai, a wealthy yet financially imperiled and shady art dealer who...

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January 16, 2015
Movie Review: "American Sniper"
By Carl Kozlowski

In the more than 20 years since Clint Eastwood won Best Picture and Best Director for “Unforgiven,” he has been making numerous films that have shared that Western’s theme of the tragic consequences of violence. He has openly acknowledged that movies like “Gran Torino” and “Million Dollar Baby” were responses to the cinematic havoc he reaped a fortune from in spaghetti Westerns and Dirty Harry-style movies from the ‘60s through the ‘80s.

That seismic shift in his cinematic...

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January 10, 2015
Movie Review: "Selma"
By Carl Kozlowski

It may be hard to believe, but there has never a movie about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He’s been the subject of several TV movies and miniseries over the years, but it’s pretty amazing to consider that the greatest civil rights leader in American history went without a grand cinematic portrayal a full 22 years after the far more controversial activist Malcolm X was graced with a movie by Spike Lee.

That all changes this weekend with the release of “Selma,” a rousingly powerful...

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December 29, 2014
It's a Hard-Knock Life: 'Annie' Movie Review
By Carl Kozlowski

It’s been a hard-knock life for the new version of the movie musical “Annie,” if you believe the mostly scathing reviews that it has received from critics across the country. Only 18 percent of critics gave it a good rating on the review site Rotten Tomatoes, and the choice quotes thrown at the movie included the Los Angeles Times’ assessment that the movie is “grim.”

But I’m happy to report that when I actually sat down to watch the movie myself on Sunday night with a female...

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December 25, 2014
The Question of Art and Commerce: 'Big Eyes' Movie Review
By Carl Kozlowski

As the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But when artist Margaret Keane caused a sensation with her seemingly unending stream of paintings depicting sad-looking children with enormous eyes in the 1960s, another question arose: is art just a commodity that any name can be placed upon, or is it an inherent part of an artist’s expression from the soul?
 
Based on the true story of Keane’s battle with her husband Walter over whether to tell the world she created her...

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December 12, 2014
Movie Review: "Exodus: Gods and Kings"
By Carl Kozlowski

This has been quite a year for God at the movies. There were several smash hits Christians embraced in the spring, such as “God’s Not Dead” (cost $2 million, made $60 million), “Heaven is For Real” (cost $12 million, made $90 million), and “Son of God” (another $60 million winner off a $22 million budget) all were embraced by Christians and shocked Hollywood by scoring well at the box office.
 
Then there was “Noah,” a huge-budgeted epic from Paramount that made just barely...

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