Cinemazlowski

December 05, 2014
'Wild' - a redepmtive but dark journey
By Carl Kozlowski

In the new movie “Wild,” a newly divorced woman named Cheryl Strayed - whose best-selling memoir the film is based upon - is trying to kick intense addictions to sex and heroin by walking over 1000 miles from the Mojave Desert to the Canadian border along the Pacific Coast Trail (known in the film and by hikers as the PCT). Played by Reese Witherspoon in a staggering performance that covers every part of the emotional spectrum and then some, Cheryl is a wounded soul who runs away from...

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November 29, 2014
'Horrible Bosses 2' disappoints with too much smut
By Carl Kozlowski

I’ve had some terrible bosses over the years: one was shipped off to two weeks of anger management training after throwing an enormously packed folder at my head in front of 50 coworkers, another was featured on a very special “Oprah” episode as one of the four meanest bosses in America, and a third disappeared on a payday without paying us, and still has the IRS tracking him for the misuse of a $60,000 federal business loan. So when the movie “Horrible Bosses” came out in 2011,...

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It’s fitting that the opening and closing scenes of “Hunger Games: Mockingjay” feature miserable people being held on lockdown in a mental ward, because that’s how anyone suckered into spending $12 to $15 on a ticket to the film is going to feel the entire time. A grim, depressing and thoroughly unexciting slog through two hours of time you will never get back, the third entry in the heretofore sterling series has lost all sense of what made the prior films so exciting.

A large part...

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There’s something to be said about the innate human desire to be a champion that can make a story truly compelling. It can go across any arena, whether it’s trying to be a top movie star or an Olympic wrestling champion, and this weekend two new movies illustrate that fact in vastly different ways.

“Dumb and Dumber To” is the bigger release, hitting theaters everywhere with the return of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels to the roles of Harry and Lloyd, two outright idiots whose...

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October 31, 2014
"Nightcrawler" – a wake up call for news networks?
By Carl Kozlowski

We can’t say that we haven’t been warned. It’s been nearly 40 years since “Network” burned up movie screens on its way to winning Best Picture, over 32 years since Don Henley unleashed his dark-as-coal masterpiece“Dirty Laundry” onto the world’s radio stations, and 12 years since Michael Moore showed us all how dangerous local TV news was becoming to our psyches in“Bowling for Columbine.”

Now comes the new movie “Nightcrawler,” an almost indescribably great movie that...

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What makes a man truly good – as in noble, brave and heroic? Is it the ability to fight evil in a war, or the willingness to help others even when there’s great emotional or monetary sacrifice involved? And can a man attain greatness even when he is deeply flawed in some significant ways?

Those questions are explored in two new and very different movies, “Fury” and “St. Vincent,” that offer audiences the riches of unpredictable and fresh writing, bold performances and superb...

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October 17, 2014
Film review: 'Men, Women and Children'
By Carl Kozlowski

We live in a world with more communication tools than ever before, yet we seem to be losing the ability to talk straight with each other. Between texting, TV, Tivo, Roku, and role-playing games alone, we rarely enjoy each other’s simple company and the lost art of conversation.  We can embrace more of the world, yet we hear about loneliness more than ever.

Jason Reitman’s new movie “Men Women & Children” tackles these issues head-on, with the incisive and powerful dramedy...

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October 10, 2014
Disney focuses on family fun in new live-action film
By Carl Kozlowski

Remember when Disney used to put out a new live-action kids’ movie every month, like “The Cat From Outer Space” and “Escape from Witch Mountain”? But ever since “The Little Mermaid” and “Toy Story,” it seems that all the effort put into making great family films comes from animated flicks.

Thankfully, the new movie “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is here to save the day, bringing back the sense of gleefully anarchic joy and adventure...

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October 03, 2014
Movie Review: 'Gone Girl'
By Carl Kozlowski

As Catholics and Christians, the ideal is to have marriage last for a lifetime. But as we also know, there sometimes are circumstances so difficult that they result in annulments and civil divorces. And in our tragic, sin-absorbed world, sometimes marriages even go so far awry that they result in murder.

The new movie “Gone Girl” portrays one of those toxic marriages, and shows how things deteriorated from a fairy-tale beginning. Yet while that is a dark theme, and while the movie takes...

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September 26, 2014
'The Equalizer' review
By Carl Kozlowski

Denzel Washington has long established himself as one of the classiest actors in Hollywood, rarely if ever engaging in sex scenes and nearly always playing men of deeply heroic character. His new movie "The Equalizer" - a reinvention of a beloved 1980s TV thriller that ran on CBS, about a retired British secret agent who stepped in vigilante-style to solve New Yorkers' crime-related problems when the police could not - maintains those moral traditions, but there are a few elements of...

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