Penguins: They’re back

2006’s Happy Feet was a truly crazy movie, a blend of Pixar-style animation, Bollywood musical and a streak of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Set...

‘Martha’ a poignant exploration of cult phenomenon

At the beginning of Martha Marcy May Marlene, the title character—all those names are hers—flees a cult in rural upstate New York. In desperation,...

‘Thing’ remake still frightful

All it means, really, is “object,” yet somewhere along the line in American pop culture the word “thing” came to mean something scary, a...

‘Dolphin’ tale a quixotic charmer

“From the studios and producers of The Blind Side.” That’s how Dolphin Tale is being marketed. This may strike you as a tenuous aesthetic...

‘Hoodwinked Too!’ redux ready for girls (and boys, too)

Made in a less-expensive, not-so-lush form of computer-generated animation, 2005’s Hoodwinked! was a fractured retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood myth. It was...

Latest ‘Planet of the Apes’ sequel recasts earlier efforts with mostly joyous results

Of the many geeky enthusiasms of my boyhood, that for the Planet of the Apes movies was second in intensity only to Star Trek. So...

‘50s Smurfs legend resurrected for 3D remake — and a worthy one at that

It’s understandable if you don’t feel much enthusiasm at the prospect of taking your kid to The Smurfs. You may fear you’re in for...

Pooh tale best of animal epics

Opening this weekend is Winnie the Pooh, a new Disney feature chronicling the adventures of the title teddy bear and his various pals in...

Attempt at first novel ends with arrival of a remarkable look-alike

A little over 10 years ago, mostly at the urging of a friend, I wrote my first novel. It took me about a year,...

Despite its shortcomings, ‘Tree of Life’ grows potentially classic roots

The specific subject of Terrence Malick’s new film The Tree of Life is a mid-century, middle-class, middle-American family—dysfunction and tragedy played out in Norman...
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