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Derrick Bang

‘Rogue Nation': Solid Cruise control

‘Rogue Nation’ 3.5 stars Starring: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Jens Hultén Rating: PG-13, for dramatic intensity and action violence   Newest ‘Mission’ action saga should keep fans happy While not quite the exhilarating thrill ride of 2011’s “Ghost Protocol,” which so spectacularly revived […]

Almonds contribute little to carbon emissions, UCD study finds

Almonds, vilified during the current drought for being one of California’s thirstier crops, have a surprisingly small carbon footprint compared to other nutrient-rich crops, reports a team of researchers at UC Davis and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. The findings are important for evaluating the environmental impact of California-grown almonds, which make up 80 percent […]

‘Paper Towns': Things aren’t as they seem

‘Paper Towns’ Four stars Starring: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, Halston Sage and Jaz Sinclair Rating: PG-13, for mild profanity, partial nudity and teen sexuality John Green’s young adult novel makes a smooth transition to the big screen By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic “Paper Towns” comes from the pen of best-selling […]

‘Trainwreck': Not a total disaster

‘Trainwreck’ 3.5 stars Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Tilda Swinton, LeBron James, John Cena, Ezra Miller, Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer and Mike Birbiglia Rating: R, for strong sexual content, profanity, nudity and brief drug use Amy Schumer’s uneven jump to the big screen has its moments By Derrick Bang Enterprise film […]

‘Minions': Banana-rama!

‘Minions’ Four stars Starring (voices): Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Jennifer Saunders, Geoffrey Rush, Steve Coogan and Pierre Coffin Rating: PG, and too harshly, for cartoon action and occasional rude humor   Beloved blobby lackeys score in their own wacky adventure By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Thrusting supporting players into their […]

‘Terminator Genisys': Out of time

‘Terminator Genisys’ 2.5 stars Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, J.K. Simmons, Matt Smith and Byung-hun Lee Rating: PG-13, for relentless sci-fi violence and gunplay, partial nudity and fleeting profanity Fifth franchise entry makes a muddle of the entire series By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Not since the original five-cycle “Planet […]

‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl': A celebration of life and love

‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ 4.5 stars Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler, Nick Offerman, Jon Bernthal, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon and Katherine C. Hughes Rating: PG-13, for dramatic intensity, occasional coarse language and fleeting drug content   Solid acting and writing anchor this superb teen dramedy By Derrick Bang Enterprise film […]

June 26, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘Inside Out': An animated masterpiece

‘Inside Out’ Five stars Starring (voices): Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Kaitlyn Dias, Richard Kind, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader and Lewis Black Rating: G, and suitable for all ages Clever writing and note-perfect voice talents highlight this savvy glimpse of our inner selves By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Sheer genius. After […]

June 19, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘Jurassic World’ could have been dino-might

‘Jurassic World’ 3.5 stars Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Omar Sy, Katie McGrath and Judy Greer Rating: PG-13, for intense sci-fi violence and peril   Action-packed sequel is marred by some extremely dumb characters By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic We never learn. Which is a […]

June 12, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

Story of musical legends captivating, touching

‘Love & Mercy’ Four stars Starring: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Elizabeth Banks, Jake Abel, Kenny Wormald, Brett Davern, Graham Rogers and Bill Camp Rating: PG-13, for dramatic intensity, profanity and drug use   Strong performances anchor this mesmerizing account of The Beach Boys By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Brian Wilson’s life story […]

June 05, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘San Andreas': No major faults here

‘San Andreas’ 3.5 stars Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Paul Giamatti, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Ioan Gruffudd, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson, Archie Panjabi and Will Yun Lee Rating: PG-13, for dramatic intensity, constant mayhem and fleeting profanity Solid acting highlights earthquake-driven action epic By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic I had my doubts, but director Brad Peyton […]

May 29, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

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 […]

May 22, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘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 […]

May 15, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,
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