Good Sport

Good Sport

Kevin Costner is back in a milieu that showcases him best in Draft Day
Journey back with me, if you will, some 20 to 25 years to the prime of Kevin Costner's reign as a movie star, forged in vehicles ranging from romances to epics to big-budget summer spectacles.

The First Half

Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac: Vol. I is more about characters than sex
Near the end of the closing credits of Lars von Trier's epic sex addiction film, there's a disclaimer: "None of the professional actors had penetrative sexual intercourse, and all such scenes were performed by body doubles."

O Captain! My Captain!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier shakes up the Marvel universe
Rule number one of Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Go in with a blank slate.

Big Bang

Particle Fever finally explains the Large Hadron Collider in language we can understand
Physics is one of the hardest concepts to explain to those who do not already appreciate it.

Surface Pleasures

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a delight, even if it's not Wes Anderson at his deepest
As fascinating — and maddening — as it can be watching the arguments that emerge between the fans and detractors of a given filmmaker, it can be almost more fascinating watching fans argue amongst themselves.

Sibling Rivalry

Mistaken For Strangers is the most hilariously heartfelt rock doc you'll ever see
The rock doc, with only a few exceptions, is for the hard-core fans — the ones who already know all the songs, but want to find out what makes the band tick.

Sophomore Slump

Muppets Most Wanted can't live up to its predecessor, but at least they're up front about it
Muppets Most Wanted literally picks up where 2011's The Muppets left off, with fireworks exploding "The End" in the sky.

Hunger Lame

Hit teen novel Divergent doesn't translate to the big screen
Have you seen or read The Hunger Games?

,

Braking is Bad

Need for Speed provides a smooth ride with Aaron Paul, but lacks top-end velocity
For a videogame adaptation, Need for Speed is fantastic.

Central Style

Cement Suitcase brings the Yakima Valley to life with a laugh
We Washingtonians, even over here in Spokane, don't give much thought to the Yakima Valley.

War is Meh

300: Rise of the Empire makes bloody combat feel bloodless
Early in 300: Rise of an Empire, a spirited "debate" breaks out in the middle of the Athenian Senate.

Space-Dog Continuum

Mr. Peabody & Sherman is an animated film, but it's sophisticated
He's the other bow tie-wearing time traveler, predating even the original 1960s incarnation of Doctor Who.

Little Gold Men

The slam dunks, outside chances and everything else you'll see on Oscar night
Over the years, I've written long and often about my evolving relationship with the Academy Awards, but that relationship can safely be summarized as follows: The Oscars and I agree to disagree about what they mean.

Flimsy Farewell

In his final film, anime master Hayao Miyazaki offers a convoluted story
If you want to be a fair, reliable film critic, you've got to go in each time, mind open, past prejudices forgotten, ready to approach each film as a new experience.

History Explodes

Director Paul W.S. Anderson struggles with volcanic ancient Rome
You have to give Paul W.S. Anderson credit for this much: he’s an equal-opportunity ogler.

True Characters

Two documentaries give us a look into interesting lives
Two short documentaries, each of which runs about 40 minutes, are included in this program, and each of these films introduces us to a memorable character.

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