‘Dead Men’ tie up loose ends

‘Dead Men’ tie up loose ends

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is the fifth movie in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. Most of the characters from the previous movies return, with the addition of a few new characters, Henry Turner, the “spawn” of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, Carina Smyth and...

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Lost in translation

Lost in translation

“Ghost in the Shell,” directed by Rupert Sanders and written by Jamie Moss, William Wheeler and Ehren Kruger, turns a successful manga and film series into a somewhat bland science fiction & action movie. Though filled with stunning visual effects and based on an intriguing concept, the film lacks character...

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Woodley saves second chapter in “Divergent” trilogy

Woodley saves second chapter in “Divergent” trilogy

The second installment of the “Divergent” trilogy struggles to break away from a slew of current teen fare exploring dystopian worlds, despite a strong performance from rising star Shailene Woodley. Directed by Robert Schwentke, “Insurgent” starts off where the first film ended with Tris (Woodley) and Four (Theo James) on...

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‘Lucy’ underwhelms with predictable plot, unimpressive action

‘Lucy’ underwhelms with predictable plot, unimpressive action

SPOILER ALERT Scarlett Johansson escapes from the Marvel universe and gets to play her own superhero in “Lucy.” Unfortunately, the result is unintentionally cheesy and dumb. Directed by Luc Besson, “Lucy” stars Johansson as a 25-year-old American in Taiwan. She isn’t given much of a description before her newfound boyfriend forces her...

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‘Purge’ sequel disappoints

‘Purge’ sequel disappoints

“The Purge: Anarchy” is a surprising step forward in the franchise but only because the first one was so poor. James DeMonaco returns after directing last year’s “The Purge,” a critically panned, but financially successful, film (on a $3 million production budget it grossed $89 million worldwide). So, of course,...

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Post-apocalyptic flick offers cautionary tale

Post-apocalyptic flick offers cautionary tale

  It’s 2031 and Earth’s sole survivors are struggling to maintain a social balance aboard Snowpiercer, a self-sustaining bullet train that must keep its engine running to keep its passengers alive.   Based on the French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige” by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, the film focuses on...

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‘Dragon’ sequel delights with vibrant visuals, heartfelt story

‘Dragon’ sequel delights with vibrant visuals, heartfelt story

“How to Train Your Dragon 2” could easily rest on its stunning visuals, but the film combines 3D with a touching story that elevates the film to a Pixar-like quality. Taking place five years after the first film, the sequel finds dragons and Vikings existing in harmony instead of being at...

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Latest in X-Men franchise excites with fresh plot

Latest in X-Men franchise excites with fresh plot

In “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” the mutant heroes face their doom in a dark future where man-made super fighters called sentinels rule over both humans and mutants. In a desperate attempt to survive, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) goes back in time to the ’70s to change the future. What follows...

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Macfarlane’s Western comedy misses the mark

Macfarlane’s Western comedy misses the mark

Most known for his work on “Family Guy,” Seth MacFarlane’s presence has blown up recently. He has expanded his voice work on “Family Guy” to shows like “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show,” while also writing and directing the feature film “Ted.” He has become famous, or some might say...

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