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‘R.I.P.D.’ found dead on arrival

Comic book adaptation fails to get anything right

There’s usually a certain pattern in bad comedy sets — some muffled laughter and pity claps in the beginning to inspire confidence, but when the cliched jokes and dull punchlines start to pile up, the audience only stays to watch the set’s inevitable demise. “R.I.P.D.,” like an unfunny standup comedian,
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Cate Blanchett stuns in ‘Blue Jasmine’

Woody Allen's latest film follows former socialite to San Francisco after her marriage falls apart

The fundamental neurotic character in Woody Allen films, traditionally played by Allen, is not entirely absent in his latest dark comedy, “Blue Jasmine.” It is, however, exaggerated, complicated in class satire and embodied in a female character played by Cate Blanchett. It’s interesting; whereas Allen’s male characters are charming and
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‘Girl Most Likely’ demonstrates what most romantic comedies don’t

Kristen Wiig's new film rife with touching moments but fails to make a lasting impression

Charming though unremarkable, “Girl Most Likely,” Kristen Wiig’s latest dramedy, is touching at times but fails to generate “Bridesmaids”-worthy laughs. “Girl Most Likely” tells the story of Imogene Duncan (Wiig), a Jersey-born, Manhattan-obsessed aspiring (and failing) playwright. When her long-term boyfriend dumps her for a French model, Imogene goes on
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‘Only God Forgives’ makes a powerful impression

Nicolas Winding Refn's impactful new film polarizes audiences

Nicolas Winding Refn, the Danish director of “Drive” and “Valhalla Rising,” has produced his most complex and fascinating work yet in his new release “Only God Forgives,” in theaters Aug. 2. Starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas and Thai newcomers Vithaya Pansringarm and Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, the drama is a
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‘Fruitvale Station’ strikes a chord

Ryan Coogler's film offers a raw depiction of real life events

“Fruitvale Station” is particularly close to home for East Bay residents, evoking familiarity with the eponymous BART stop or the tragic incident that took place on New Year’s Day of 2009. In his first feature-length film, East Bay native Ryan Coogler presents a haunting, tense and striking dramatization of the
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Guillermo del Toro triumphs with ‘Pacific Rim’

Terrific special effects and cinematography stun viewers in big-budget sci-fi blockbuster

Somewhere in the world tonight, Michael Bay is crying himself to sleep. “Pacific Rim” is Guillermo del Toro’s monsters-versus-mechas spectacular. It is not a perfect movie, but it is an awe-inducing, jaw-dropping achievement in the visual qualities of the summer blockbuster. The film does not suffer from a slow start.
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Jane Lynch talks ‘Hollywood Game Night’

'Glee' star brings her hosting skills to new star-studded NBC game show

Given the scope of reality TV subject matter, it was only a matter of time before celebrities stunned us with their recreational activities. No, not Keeping up with Kim and Kanye’s Konception. I’m talking about the new game show series “Hollywood Game Night.” The show is based on the real-life
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‘Despicable Me 2’ fails to live up to its predecessor

Animated sequel proves lovable yet predictable

There are so many characteristics of “Despicable Me 2” that parallel its prequel that one almost expects the movie to be good at least for its familiarity. Once again, Gru must decide between good and evil when new characters arrive on the scene to steal his heart. This time, instead
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