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The Man From U.N.C.L.E

August 14, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

My biggest fear for Guy Ritchie’s latest testosterone-fueled romp through Europe is that no one will want to see it. The TV show on which it is based is 50 years old. The Cold War setting has lost its frosty sheen since James Bond battled sexy Russian spies and it is headlined by two B-list […]

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Ricki and the Flash

August 7, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

As unoriginal and worn as the black leather jacket Ricki Rendazzo wears to prove her rockstar mettle, this mixed bag of a movie from veteran director Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”) is full of clichés. And despite its rocking soundtrack and amazing vocals from Meryl Streep as Ricki, it’s tone deaf when it […]

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July 30, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

Positioned as a sequel, but playing more like a smuttier remake, “Vacation” succeeds on nostalgia and chutzpah points alone. It also has a fine Chevy Chase stand-in in the shape of Ed Helms (“The Office”) who channels Chase’s clueless, well-intentioned paterfamilias Clark Griswold. Helms isn’t playing Clark however, he’s playing his grown-up son Rusty who […]

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Irrational Man

July 23, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

How does one judge the latest work from a cinematic genius? In relation to past masterpieces? In relation to work by other filmmakers? Or in some kind of impossible vacuum? When someone as talented as Woody Allen has set his own bar so high, it is not a simple task to turn a blind eye […]

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Mr. Holmes

July 16, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

Watching Sir Ian McKellen play an aging eminence grise brings many joys…but also a heavy heart. How much longer will we have to enjoy this masterful actor who brings so much humor, emotion and gravitas to his roles? At the age of 76, McKellen is riding a high of popular success (as Gandalf in “The […]

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July 10, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

I would like to report that Robin Williams’ last film (on screen at least…he has a voice part in the upcoming “Absolutely Anything”) is as exuberant and brilliant as the late comedian/actor. But “Boulevard” is a rather subdued, morose film, that unintentionally at least, merely reminds us of the Oscar winner’s hidden dark side. Perhaps […]

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Infinitely Polar Bear

July 1, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

So often mental illness is played for laughs or for tragedy in film. Rarely is it portrayed with as much warmth and feeling as in this intimate indie drama. A huge hit at the Sundance Film Festival, the film was bought by Sony Pictures Classics and should prove a buoyant springboard for first time filmmaker […]

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Magic Mike XXL

by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

It took me a while to realize that the title to this male stripping sequel wasn’t some crazy Roman numeral like at the Superbowl. (What would that be anyway…a bizarro 30?). Finally it dawned on me; it means “double eXtra Large”. A penis joke right there in the title! How fabulous. The only thing doubled […]

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A Little Chaos

by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

The trailer for Alan Rickman’s new period romance makes it look very exciting, full of juicy, corseted fun and intrigue. Alas, I wish I could say that was the case. Instead, it’s an uneven hodge-podge of historical drama and hysterical melodrama. This two-tone approach adds up to a disappointing final product with a couple of […]

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Jurassic World

June 16, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

There’s a monster lurking inside “Jurassic World” all right. And it’s scarier than the genetically spliced Indominus Rex chewing up the scenery of the titular amusement park. More deadly and pervasive than any prehistoric dinosaur is the marketing machine that is working overtime throughout this Steven Spielberg-produced creature feature. By now we’re used to product […]

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