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Friday, April 18, 2014
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Author Archive: Derrick Bang

‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

“Transcendence” Three stars Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins Jr., Cole Hauser Rating PG-13: for sci-fi action and violence, brief profanity and mild sensuality Ponderous sci-fi melodrama succumbs to ludicrous contrivance By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic The White Queen in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking […]

‘Draft Day’: Quite a fumble

“Draft Day” Three stars Starring: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella, Tom Welling, Chadwick Boseman, Terry Crews, Arian Foster, Griffin Newman Rating: PG-13, for occasional profanity Dumb melodrama intercepts what should have been a solid sports drama By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic I’ve no doubt that a compelling film could be spun […]

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ — another Marvel-ous hit!

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Four stars Starring: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Cobie Smulders, Maximiliano Hernández, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Jenny Agutter Rating: PG-13, for intense action violence Taut action thriller surmounts its comic book roots By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic This one’s […]

‘Sabotage’: Vicious, vulgar trash

“Sabotage” No stars (turkey) Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard, Olivia Williams, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway, Mireille Enos, Harold Perrineau, Max Martini, Kevin Vance Rating: R, for strong bloody violence and gore, relentless profanity, nudity, drug use and sexuality Bargain-basement action flicks don’t come much worse that this one By Derrick Bang Enterprise film […]

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’: Grandly chaotic

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Four stars Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jeff Goldblum, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton Rating: R, for profanity, sexual candor and brief violence Eclectic filmmaker Wes Anderson uncorks another dose of inventive whimsy By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic This one’s […]

‘The Wind Rises’: This film soars

“The Wind Rises” Four and a half stars Starring (voice): Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Stanley Tucci, Martin Short, Mandy Patinkin, Werner Herzog, Mae Whitman Rating: PG-13, for dramatic content and disturbing images Famed Japanese filmmaker turns serious in his newest animated drama By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Animation fans who think of […]

‘Mr. Peabody and Sherman’: Lively romp through history

“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” Four stars Starring (voices): Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Allison Janney, Patrick Warburton, Stanley Tucci, Mel Brooks, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann Rating: PG, and needlessly, for mild action and brief rude humor Droll time-travel comedy lovingly echoes its television predecessor By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic As soon as I […]

‘Ernest & Celestine’: A magical ode to friendship

“Ernest & Celestine” Five stars Starring (voices): Lambert Wilson, Pauline Brunner, Anne-Marie Loop, Dominique Maurin, Patrice Melennec Rating: suitable for all ages, despite the ludicrous PG rating for “scary moments” French/Belgian charmer, quite sadly, is flying under the radar By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic “Adorable” can’t convey my depth of feeling for this enchanting […]

Going for the gold: Several great films vie for the top Academy Awards

To quote Bette Davis, in 1950’s “All About Eve,” “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night!” The 86th annual Academy Awards ceremony, to be broadcast at 4 p.m. next Sunday, could generate more tension than recent contests. Warm-up honors and awards have been divided between the three obvious front-runners in most categories: […]

’3 Days to Kill’: Snarky spy stuff

“3 Days to Kill” Three stars Starring: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Marc Andréoni, Tómas Lemarquis, Richard Sammel, Eriq Ebouaney Rating: PG-13, despite considerable intense violence, profanity and lurid sensuality Awkward touches weaken this impudent action comedy By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic In theory, teaming French action filmmaker Luc Besson and […]

‘Winter’s Tale’: A crisp, sparkling fantasy

“Winter’s Tale” Four stars Starring: Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay, William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly, Mckayla Twiggs, Eva Marie Saint and one notable surprise Rating: PG-13, for violence and sensuality Mark Helprin’s popular book gets a lavish big-screen treatment By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Fans of Neil Gaiman’s novels, particularly “Neverwhere” and “Stardust,” […]

‘The Monuments Men’: An unfinished sculpture

“The Monuments Men” Three stars Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas Rating: PG-13, for relatively mild war violence and fleeting profanity Inept scripting mars what should have been a crackling war thriller By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic What a disappointment. Despite […]

The 2013 Academy Awards shorts: Great things in small packages

Academy Award shorts Four stars Starring: Martin Freeman, Casper Crump, Alejandra Lorente, Léa Drucker, Pelle Falk Krusbaek, Tom Hollander, Simon Pegg, Gillian Anderson Rating: G, PG and R, depending on the film Where: Crest Theatre, 1013 K St., Sacramento When: Visit for dates and times. Annual road-show package offers plenty of variety By Derrick […]

‘August: Osage County’ — Summer of discontent

“August: Osage County” Four stars Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Misty Upham Rating: R, for frequent profanity and earthy dialogue, and brief drug content Strong cast has a field day with dysfunction family dynamics By Derrick Bang […]

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