Director Sam Raimi and the screenwriters of “Oz the Great and Powerful” appear to be well aware of the fine line needed to walk in creating a new work while still paying homage to the original. For the most part, the latest 3D wonder from Disney works.
Though it is uneven and it drags in the early going, “Jack the Giant Slayer” is a charming, fun fantasy adventure that if anything at all should restore some of your faith in Hollywood’s ability to make a good movie out of a classic fairy tale story.
“Snitch” is by far Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s most entertaining film in years. Tightly written, well-acted and directed, and featuring an A-list cast surrounding Johnson, this inspired by true events thriller is intense from start to finish.
“Amour” is a brutally honest portrayal of old age, of how quickly and silently the afflictions that cripple our elders can strike and rob them of their vitality and their very identity. But it’s also a story about an enduring love increasingly rare in our world of marriage on a whim and divorce via the internet.
Monotonous and uninspired, “A Good Day to Die Hard” relies far too much on audiences’ love of Bruce Willis’ seemingly-indestructible John McClane and his irreverent antics and one-liners, and puts too little effort into telling a good story or making any other characters even remotely interesting.
“Safe Haven” is a pretty film featuring a very pretty place and very pretty people living out a pretty fantasy about love and second chances. If that’s your cup of tea, then it’s the perfect choice for Valentine’s Day at the movies. If you’re looking for something more, however, best look elsewhere.
“Side Effects” is well-acted, elegantly shot, and riveting through its first hour, but after one or two too many plot twists in the film’s later acts, the whole thing feels entirely too clever for its own good.