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Movie Review: Wild

Filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee has taken Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling memoir, “Wild,” and made the experience of long distance hiking and soul cleansing highly cinematic. This is easier said than done. It’s one thing to have a character “go find themselves,” embark on a film-length journey into the wild, and merge with the beauty and unforgiving qualities of nature. It’s another to …

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Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings

Paul Verhoeven, the flamboyant Dutch filmmaker, once wanted to make a movie called “Christ The Man,” in which Jesus would be portrayed not as the Son of God but a political figure who was followed, regarded with distrust, then crucified, end of story. Verhoeven’s uniquely atheistic view of Christ proved too controversial and the negative response to Martin Scorsese’ “The …

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Movie Review: Whiplash

Performing a musical instrument with precision, in front of peers or critical eyes, can be terrifying. There’s something rather personal about playing an instrument , making harsh criticism especially hurtful. Since the instrument is, at some level, an extension of the artist, what does it say if the performance is subpar? The stress and fear related in creating art, in …

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Rival Review: Blended

“I’ll let you in on a little secret… Blended is good. It’s really good. Critics have been rigid with their reviews of Blended. It does, of course, get silly, but not to the point of annoyance. THREE STARS” -Greg Turner’s 8/30/14 MauiWatch review of “Blended” It’s been something of an amazement to me just how much Greg loved “Blended.” He …

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Rival Review: John Wick

Keanu Reeves is an actor who is easily a target for mockery for his supposed one note acting, yet he always seems to capture the imagination of that same audience with movies that appeal to them. The last time we saw Reeves, he was helming the director’s chair for the underrated “Man of Tai Chi”. He is now back to …

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Movie Review: John Wick

“People keep asking me if I’m back…yeah, I’m thinking I’m back!” This is a line delivered by Keanu Reeves late in “John Wick,” which seems to address his career as much as the character. Reeves’ choices have always been erratic, uneven and occasionally brilliant. As his detractors have noted, he’s a handsome actor with a limited range. The problem, which …

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Movie Review: St. Vincent

Any movie starring Bill Murray announces itself as a must-see. Few American actors have displayed the kind of transformative career, smart character choices, downright rebellious career shifts and decades-long, 100% hipster factor more than Murray. There has never been, and will never be again, a former “Saturday Night Live” featured player to emerge as a comedy movie star, Academy Award-nominated …

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Movie Review: Fury

Do we really need another World War II movie? With all the hundreds of films depicting the battle against the Germans and the Japanese, many of them masterpieces and definitive war films, is another one really necessary? I hope I don’t sound disrespectful or insensitive in asking this, as my question has nothing to do with how I feel about …

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Movie Review: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

The creative output from the Disney company has most famously been showcasing cutting edge animation. Yet, there is also the somewhat under-appreciated live action family comedy genre, in which the studio has long excelled. I grew up with the original “The Shaggy Dog,” “The Parent Trap,” “The Absent-Minded Professor” and Kurt Russell-narrating the hilarious, “Dad, Can I Borrow the Car?” …

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Blu Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction

When sitting down to watch the fourth installment of the Transformers, you really have to lower your expectations. This is due to the films that came before it. While I was expecting an action schlock-fest, full of bad acting and a worse story, it came as a surprise how much I enjoyed such a bad movie. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” …

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