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Movies

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ blasts Marvel in a different direction

By The Associated Press
Despite its flawless superhero pedigree, there’s always been apprehension about “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Since the president of Marvel Studios first teased the possibility of …

‘Guardians’ a galaxy of summer fun

By Roger Moore
Laugh-out-loud funny and production-designed to death, “Guardians of the Galaxy” pops off the screen, the last-but-far-from-the-least of the summer of 2014’s popcorn pictures. A willing …

Review: ‘Get On Up’ revives the funk, and James Brown

By Roger Moore
“Get On Up” is a movie of uncompromising soul, unadulterated funk and unalloyed joy. Dazzling, witty and emotional, this warts-and-all musical biography of James Brown …

Review: ‘I, Origins’ a window to the soul & science

By Roger Moore
Ian is a man of science. But he is still a man. And when a model-thin hottie with a strange accent comes on to him …

‘Surprising’ Dan Stevens emerges in film after ‘Abbey’

By USA Today
Dan Stevens’ “Downton Abbey” heartthrob character Matthew Crawley died in a car crash at the end of 2013’s Season 3. Now, the British actor is shedding his “Abbey” past — and a lot more — in a number of image-bending …

DVD reviews: ‘Noah,’ ‘Twin Peaks — The Entire Mystery,’ and ‘The Other Woman’

By Garrett Conti
“Noah” (2014, PG-13, 137 min., $29.99) Director Darren Aronofsky is synonymous with independent films, but he makes the foray into blockbusters with this huge film …

Marathon, digital Simpsons World on horizon

By The Associated Press
The full 25-year run of “The Simpsons” will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be followed this fall by a digital …

‘Lucy’ ambitious shot at a thriller

By Roger Moore
After a decade when the only person to take her seriously was Woody Allen, Scarlett Johansson seems to have found her groove of late, with the new actioner “Lucy” as further confirmation of her niche. She’s been a poker-faced Russian …

‘Most Wanted Man’ dwells on gray areas, spy games

By Roger Moore
You can sense a John le Carre spy novel adaptation, often before his name turns up in the credits. The hero’s cynicism at war with his skepticism, the professionalism at war with personal demons. That’s especially true in “A Most …

Review: Zach Braff stays in ‘Scrubs’ comfort zone with ‘Wish I Was Here’

By Roger Moore
Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” is a sweet and jokey feature film that is so at home in the punchline rhythms of TV sitcoms that you may think to yourself, “When’s his best friend/former ‘Scrubs’ co-star Donald Faison showing …

‘And So It Goes’ that Keaton clicks with Douglas

By Roger Moore
Two old pros show the kids how chemistry works in a romantic comedy in “And So It Goes,” a love-the-last-time-around romp that’ll give its target audience the warm fuzzies. Diane Keaton dons one stylishly kicky outfit after another, trills “La …

‘The Rock’ had to stay hard-bodied to be ‘Hercules’

By USA Today
There is no place to hide on a movie screen when playing the Greek icon Hercules. The first superhero had a demigod body in a time of skimpy clothing. That’s why Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, 42, would perform frequent detailed …

DVD reviews: ‘Transcendence,’ ‘Blue Ruin’ and ‘Sabotage’

By Garrett Conti
“Transcendence” (2014, PG-13, 119 min., $28.98) Wally Pfister, best known for his work as a cinematographer on Christopher Nolan’s films, made his directorial debut with …

Lights, action, graffiti: Pittsburgh stands in for NYC in ‘Southpaw’

By Michael Machosky
This week, shoppers on Brownsville Road in Carrick noticed that the street looked a lot shabbier than usual — suddenly, graffiti was all over the …

Review: ‘Purge’ sequel gets it all out of our systems

By Roger Moore
The clever conceit behind James DeMonaco’s 2013 sleeper hit “The Purge” was not that American society had resolved its crime/inequality/population problems with an annual free-pass-for-murder …

Review: ‘Sex Tape’ an X-rated tale with a PG plot

By Jake Coyle
The high-concept comedies spawned by “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” need to start using birth control. Judd Apatow’s landmark film rightfully ushered in a new era in comedy, but it has also inspired a now-sizable cottage industry of thin movies (“The Hangover,” …

Review: ‘Planes’ sequel is twice as good as the original, which isn’t saying much

By Roger Moore
“Planes: Fire & Rescue” is roughly twice as good as its predecessor, “Planes,” which was so story-and-laugh-starved it would have given “direct-to-video” a bad name. …

Review: Thumbs up for Ebert doc ‘Life Itself’

By Jake Coyle
If Roger Ebert had never written a film review or dramatically articulated his thumb, he would have still been a man to admire. Steve James’ new documentary on the late critic has plenty on Ebert’s Chicago rise to Pulitzer-winning reporter, …

Review: Polanski and ‘Venus in Fur’ are a match

By Jake Coyle
Roman Polanski. Sadomasochism. What could possible go wrong? The combination of director and subject material in “Venus in Fur” is wickedly perverse, just as it …

Kathy Bates keeps roaring with ‘Tammy,’ ‘Freak Show’

By Mike Cidoni Lennox
Kathy Bates calls herself “an old lion.” The actress says she also plays one in the big-screen comedy “Tammy.” Bates portrays Lenore, a successful entrepreneur who figuratively slaps sense into the film’s lovable loser of a titular character (Melissa McCarthy). …