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NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Connecticut could become the first state to curb loud movies under proposed legislation that's drawing opposition from the Motion Picture Association of America.
NEW IN THEATERS
One of the many surprises in Wes Anderson's rich, layered and quirkily entertaining new film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," is the emergence of a new comic actor, one with impeccable timing and just the right mix of gravitas and utter zaniness.
LOS ANGELES — With Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" and Ridley Scott's "Exodus" preparing to duke it out for Old Testament auteur supremacy, Hollywood's religious renaissance gets off to a none-too-spectacular start with a chewed-over New Testament appetizer called "Son of God." A clumsily edited feature-length version of five episodes from History's hugely popular 10-hour miniseries "The Bible," this stiff, earnest production plays like a half-hearted throwback to the British-accented biblical dramas of yesteryear, its small-screen genesis all too apparent in its Swiss-cheese construction and subpar production values. Yet while Jesus' teachings have been reduced to a muddle of kindly gestures and mangled Scriptures, the scenes of his betrayal, death and resurrection crucially retain their emotional and dramatic power, which the charitable viewer may deem atonement enough for what feels, in all other respects, like a cynical cash grab.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but few could justifiably question the beauty of a Hayao Miyazaki film. A revered master of animation, the Oscar-winning director/writer makes something as simple as a hazy sky so ravishing, it can take your breath away.
Big screen. Big effects. Big budget. Big box office.
If you've seen the trailer for "Labor Day," Jason Reitman's film based on the novel by Joyce Maynard, then you've caught a glimpse of a new breakout star, who threatens to upstage even the estimable Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.
Having clung to the Russians as go-to villains long after the Cold War thawed, the movies find themselves current again with their favorite arch-enemy.
Not all rats look exactly alike, even animated ones. But there's a real resemblance between a rat in "The Nut Job," the new film by Peter Lepeniotis, and Remy, the main character in "Ratatouille," that wonderful 2007 Pixar film.
Joining the ranks of odd-couple police comedies, "Ride Along" delivers laughs over action, with loudmouthed funnyman Kevin Hart driving the hilarity.
Two years after he made his directorial debut with "Coriolanus," the terrific actor Ralph Fiennes arrives with his second effort, an exploration of an illicit liaison that Charles Dickens had with a young actress.
In Japan, the story of the 47 ronin is so central to the country's national identity that a special word exists for the act of retelling it: Chushingura. But despite this long tradition of flexible reinterpretation, the Hollywood-backed "47 Ronin" takes such liberties with the underlying legend that a different term comes to mind, one better suited to American actor Keanu Reeves' involvement: "bogus." So far, Japanese audiences have been slow to embrace a CG-heavy version of the story that offers Keanu as a previously unsung "half-breed" accomplice. Meanwhile, domestic crowds are being deliberately misled to think he's the star — a high-stakes bait-and-switch sure to backfire on this narratively stiff but compositionally dazzling production.
LOS ANGELES — Marketed as Ben Stiller's bend toward drama, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" finds the actor, who also directed the feature, seemingly exuding super-human strength while jumping between buildings and battling his nemesis as they surf asphalt.
LOS ANGELES — Digging into deep-pocket gluttony, Martin Scorsese's dark comedy "The Wolf of Wall Street" highlights a world rich in drugs, fast cars and private jets. The American dream is amplified, yet those indulging in it are never satisfied.
For most scribes who have toiled in the movie industry, portraying Hollywood as a healing paradise is roughly equivalent to regaling a lobster of the soothing properties of a boiling pot of water.
Can there be too much of a good thing? Where did that expression come from, anyway? If it's good, isn't more always better?
Underscoring deeply conflicted characters, who are on a mission to reconceive their unsatisfying circumstances, has become director David O. Russell's sweet spot. From his raw 1996 film, "Flirting with Disaster," to last year's acclaimed "Silver Linings Playbook," he effectively unravels the disarray.
Ask any good chef: why do some recipes work, while others, with the very same ingredients, do not? Ah, but it's the QUALITY of the ingredients that matters, that chef will probably say.
A child is born, a family is healed, and a sermon on forgiveness is delivered with sledgehammer subtlety in "Black Nativity," a bold but clumsy attempt to bring Langston Hughes' popular musical to life onscreen.
Instead of the bygone damsels in distress — yes we're talking about you Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty — the female royals of "Frozen," Disney's latest animated wonder, are feisty, forward and independent.
Outfitted with delicious wit and a forbearing tone, the charm of screenwriter Bob Nelson's Midwest-set dramedy, "Nebraska," is rooted in its clever dialogue and novel approach to small-town dynamics.
In the 17 years since "Swingers," Vince Vaughn has cultivated the comedic persona of an obnoxious and insensitive boor, so it may come as a surprise to learn that "Delivery Man" reveals a softer side entirely. As David Wozniak, the world's most fertile sperm donor, the star plays someone who's overwhelmed as opposed to merely overwhelming. It's a welcome change, though a significant marketing challenge as well, considering DreamWorks has almost no way of letting audiences know that "Delivery Man" is virtually nothing like a Vince Vaughn movie, but rather a heartfelt celebration of the act of parenthood presented under radically exaggerated circumstances.
A considerable upgrade over the first "Hunger Games" movie, "Catching Fire" comes across more like a remake than a sequel.
It seems quite apt that "The Best Man Holiday," a film about a reunion of old friends, feels just like going to an actual reunion. In ways both bad and good.
Rarely has a story about an angelic schoolgirl been narrated by Death. But such is the case in the dark, yet wondrous Nazi Germany-set "The Book Thief." ''Here's a small fact: You are going to die," we're told via voiceover by the Grim Reaper as we meet our young heroine, Liesel Meminger, played exquisitely by 13-year-old French-Canadian newcomer Sophie Nelisse.