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‘How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Review: Third Time Still A Charmer

How To Train Your Dragon The Hidden World

Completing the trilogy of DreamWorks Animation’s enormously satisfying adaptations of Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon book series, writer-director Dean DeBlois has again invested the story with adventure, emotion, great characters, and this time even a charming romance (in beautiful black and white). At its heart, this is still essentially a boy and his dog tale, but doing it instead as a Viking boy and his dragon. Continuing the legacy of Hiccup (voiced by Jay… Read


‘Fighting With My Family’ Review: The Rock Uncovers Heartfelt, Offbeat And Crowd-Pleasing Story Of WWE’s Paige

Fighting With My Family

Leave it to The Rock to see the cinematic possibilities in the true story of the rise of WWE superstar wrestler Saraya Knight, better known to her fans as Paige. A former WWE star himself, Dwayne Johnson was sitting in a London hotel suite one night when he came upon a documentary about a British family of wrestlers and how one of them became an unlikely major attraction in the WWE. Instantly seeing possibilities for this improbable story — sort of a cross between Rocky, T… Read


‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Review: James Cameron & Robert Rodriguez Make Cyborg Girl Power Action-Packed Fun

As long as we are stuck waiting for the upcoming four sequels to Avatar, we might as well have a little fun, and that is what co-writer/producer James Cameron, director Robert Rodriguez and company do with the action comic book flick, Alita: Battle Angel. The delightfully corny, noir-ish dialogue says it all: “She has the face of an angel and a body built for battle.” Indeed. Starring Rosa Salazar in a motion-capture performance as the title hero, this entertaining ride… Read


‘Cold Pursuit’ Review: Shocker! Liam Neeson Is Out For Revenge Again

This week while out promoting his latest revenge opus, Cold Pursuit, Liam Neeson lit a controversy over actions he said he took 40 years ago by staking out black communities and random people in order to deliver payback for the rape of a female friend. The question by the journalist probably was a natural since, in what seems like his last 200 movies, he always is out to avenge bad things happening to his nearest and dearest. Just look at the list: The Commuter, Run All Ni… Read


‘What Men Want’ Review: Taraji P. Henson Switches Gender On Mel Gibson And Gets The Last Laugh(s)

What Men Want

In 2000, Mel Gibson had one of his biggest commercial hits in the comedy What Women Want, in which a whack on the head suddenly allows him to hear women’s thoughts. The upside of that was the discovery that women were exceptionally smarter and better than men. Big shock, eh? Nancy Meyers directed that one. Now Adam Shankman directs Taraji P. Henson in a gender switch on the concept in the contemporary remake What Men Want, in which drinking some dicey tea also leads to… Read


The Show To Watch This Week: ‘PEN15’, ‘One Day At A Time’, ‘Walking Dead’ And ‘Hustle’ Reviewed

Reviewing TV this week and pinning the badge on the show you have to watch is hard. Especially when the relentlessly ongoing reality series know as Celebrity POTUS had a special, belated, much hyped and well-watched State of the Union episode last night with guest star House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. However, beyond the cable news frenzy of that showdown, there actually are other things on the small screen this week. For instance, there's the February 12-debuting unholy… Read


‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ Review: Everything Is Still Awesome In Bricksburg

It has been five years since the first happenings in Bricksburg in 2014’s The Lego Movie, and now the wait for the first direct sequel is over. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part not only fulfils my high expectations but, in some ways, particularly the musical aspects, exceeds them. Creative producers and co-writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller — finally Oscar nominated for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse after being robbed of a nomination for Lego Movie — are back at the… Read


‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ Review: Jake Gyllenhaal Takes On Creepy Art World And Kills It In Netflix Flick

Velvet Buzzsaw

In 2014, Nightcrawler was among my top five films of that year, a wickedly funny and dark take on the local news ratings game and the bottom feeders who help sensationalize it. Dan Gilroy wrote and directed it brilliantly, and it starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo in career-best performances. Now the three of them (Gilroy is also married to Russo) have reteamed for another dark and often funny look at the pretentious art world — not necessarily the artists themselves… Read


‘The Kid Who Would Be King’ Review: A Junior ‘Camelot’ Strictly For Kids

The Kid Who Would Be King

After the brilliantly funny and caustic Attack the Block, which pitted invading aliens against a gang of British teens, it has taken eight years for director Joe Cornish to follow it up with a second film. Unfortunately, The Kid Who Would Be King is more influenced by the success of the Harry Potter films than anything resembling the cult-ish delights of Attack the Block. Having said that, there is nothing about this kids film that its intended audience won’t find… Read


‘Glass’ Review: M. Night Shyamalan’s Superhero Trilogy Concludes Not A Moment Too Soon


Few contemporary filmmakers have come out swinging as impressively as M. Night Shyamalan did when he was heralded as the “new Spielberg” after a series of successes near the start of this century, including most notably his Oscar-nominated The Sixth Sense, Signs and Unbreakable, the latter being the 2000 film with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson that kicked off Shyamalan’s accidental superhero trilogy now finishing with Glass. It has been an interesting couple of… Read


‘A Dog’s Way Home’ Review: Pitbull Star Triumphs Over Human Actors Kept On Short Leashes

A Dog's Way Home

I am a sucker for dog movies. From Old Yeller to my favorite My Dog Skip, and from Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey to Benji, I just can’t get enough of them. Emotionally I am a wreck after seeing a good one. That was also the case with 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose, which was the first in a planned series of canine films based on W. Bruce Cameron’s books. Although not directly a sequel to that movie (Universal is actually opening that one from Cameron, A Dog’s Journey in… Read


The Show To Watch This Week: ‘True Detective’, ‘Deadly Class’, ‘Sex Education’ & ‘Trigger Warning’ Reviews

True Detective Deadly Class Sex Education Trigger Warning

Awards season has truly kicked off and Sundance is just around the snowy corner, but on the small screen midseason debuts are popping up almost every night. It’s plenty reason to weigh in on what show you just can't miss this week. Like a grand messy table, it's a pretty rich selection, with Netflix's Asa Butterfield- and Gillian Anderson-led teen drama Sex Education launching tomorrow and the unconventional wisdom-seeking Trigger Warning with Killer Mike… Read