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Derrick Bang

Summer film: Everything old is new again

It’s still spring, but the Avengers already have saved humanity (again); Mad Max has raged through the post-apocalyptic Australian Outback (again!); Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson have (once again!) sung their way into our hearts; evil poltergeists have (yet again!!!) invaded a suburban family’s home via their TV set; and George Clooney has hosted our tour of a futuristic Tomorrowland beyond our wildest imagination.

Well, at least that last one isn’t a sequel.

But the others are in good company. By my unscientific count — meaning, I’m sure others were overlooked — we can expect no fewer than 20 sequels or remakes during the next several months, including the four cited above. (And no, all 20 are not mentioned below, for which you’ll thank me.)

‘Tomorrowland': An unsatisfying ride

‘Tomorrowland’ Three stars Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Thomas Robinson and Pierce Gagnon Rating: PG, for violence, dramatic intensity and sci-fi action   Clumsy plotting sabotages this futuristic adventure By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Nobody likes a lecture. Disney’s “Tomorrowland” displays enough gee-whiz creativity and high-tech gloss for […]

‘Far from the Madding Crowd:’ is frequently maddening

‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ Three stars Starring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple and Jessica Barden Rating: PG-13, and needlessly, for mild sensuality and brief violence Overly compressed treatment does this literary classic no favors By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic This has been obvious for (literally) centuries, but it […]

‘Hot Pursuit': Stone cold

‘Hot Pursuit’ Two stars Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Sofía Vergara, Robert Kazinsky, John Carroll Lynch, Matthew Del Negro and Michael Mosley Rating: PG-13, for violence, sexual candor, profanity and drug references   Talented stars are ill-served by this inept script By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic In the space of one month at the end of […]

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ ups the ante

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Four stars Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, James Spader Rating: PG-13, for intense action violence     Marvel has another action-oriented winner on its hands By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Fans will […]

History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

Vintage footage provides a fascinating glimpse into the past By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Our digital age has unleashed countless miracles, and one of the best is the growing cornucopia of archival material that is becoming available to anybody with Internet access. Time was, researchers or curious civilians were limited to hard copies of […]

‘Ex Machina': The perils of playing God

‘Ex Machina’ Four stars Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander and Sonoya Mizuno Rating: for profanity, disturbing content, nudity and violence Absorbing sci-fi drama explores the point at which a robot becomes … something greater By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley would have loved this film. At its core, writer/director Alex […]

‘True Story:’ In their dreams

‘True Story’ Two stars Starring: Jonah Hill, James Franco, Felicity Jones, Ethan Suplee, Robert John Burke and Gretchen Mol Rating: R, for profanity and disturbing content Despite an absorbing first act, this crime drama goes nowhere By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Bad movies are irritating for all sorts of reasons. Many, easy to dismiss […]

April 17, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘Danny Collins’ a truly delightful tune

‘Danny Collins’ Four stars Starring: Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Annette Bening, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Garner, Melissa Benoist, Katarina Cas and Josh Peck Rating: R, for profanity, nudity and drug content Al Pacino shines as an adorable louse By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic You have to admire a fact-based film that’s candid about not telling the […]

April 10, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘Furious 7′: Impressively audacious

‘Furious 7′ 3.5 stars Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, Lucas Black and Tony Jaa Raing: PG-13, for intense action violence Popular action franchise continues to roar along By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Somewhere along the way, a modest, inner-city […]

April 03, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘Get Hard’ comes across as rather limp

‘Get Hard’ 2.5 stars Starring: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie, Craig T. Nelson, Edwina Findley Dickerson, T.I. “Tip” Harris, Paul Ben-Victor and Greg Germann Rating: for pervasive crude and sexual content, relentless profanity, graphic nudity and drug references Will Ferrell’s new comedy owes everything to his co-star By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic If […]

March 27, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘Two Days, One Night’ is every worker’s nightmare

“Two Days, One Night” Four stars Starring: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée, Christelle Cornil and Baptiste Sornin Rating: PG-13, for dramatic intensity Absorbing drama functions as quietly scathing social commentary By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic This one’s brutal. Writer/directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have uncorked an absorbing splash of cinema verité that is no […]

March 20, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

In ‘Cinderella,’ dreams do come true

“Cinderella” 3.5 stars Starring: Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi, Stellan Skarsgård, Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger, Nonso Anozie, Ben Chaplin and Hayley Atwell Rating: PG, for mild dramatic elements Re-imagined fairy tale slides quite comfortably into its glass slipper By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Doubts notwithstanding — and I had […]

March 13, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Second-rate

‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Three stars Starring: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Tina Desai, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Richard Gere, Diana Hardcastle, Lillete Dubey, Tamsin Greig and Shazad Latif Rating: PG, for mild profanity and sensuality Stellar cast can’t overcome some awkward narrative elements By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic In this […]

March 06, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,
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