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Derrick Bang

‘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 […]

‘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 […]

‘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 […]

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 ,

‘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 […]

May 08, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘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 […]

May 01, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

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 […]

April 26, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘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 […]

April 24, 2015 | Posted in Movies | Tagged ,

‘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 ,
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