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  • 'Child of God' a horrifying look at darkness Jul 31, 2014 5:45 AM
    As Lester, an angry, violent homeless man who may be borderline developmentally disabled, mad, or both, Scott Haze is both riveting and revolting in "Child of God." Adapted from Cormac McCarthy's 1973 novel by the filmmaker and actor James Franco, "Child of God" is a deeply disturbing film centered on a murderous, animal-like necrophiliac. Yet Franco keeps viewers' attention, mainly by harnessing the power of Haze.

  • 'Get On Up' captures James Brown's charisma — and moves Jul 31, 2014 5:30 AM
    Tate Taylor's new James Brown biopic "Get On Up" features "42" star Chadwick Boseman, in a thrillingly magnetic performance, as the singer with the growling vocals and the thrilling dance moves. If Boseman was impressive as the dignified Jackie Robinson in that movie, he's electrifying as Brown.

  • Reel life: Did ‘Hercules’ surpass studio’s expectations? Jul 31, 2014 6:00 AM
    Did the studio screw up by burying the "Hercules" screenings until it was too late for positive reviews? Dann offers up his assessment. He also reveals the five hackneyed lines of dialogue he would like to never hear for the next five years.

  • Comic cosmic ‘Guardians’ fun in fits and spurts Jul 30, 2014 3:48 PM
    The exquisitely visual, effects-crammed Marvel space romp “Guardians of the Galaxy” isn’t nearly as smart and cutting-edge as the filmmakers believe it to be. Sure, the film, directed and cowritten by James Gunn, is funny in fits and starts, injecting bold silliness into scenes pleading for a comic payoff. But this is a movie with a confused purpose. Does Gunn want it to be a blistering genre parody or a lighthearted, yet sincere love letter to outer space action movies?

  • Comic-book movies aren’t all capes and aliens Jul 30, 2014 5:45 AM
    The Marvel Studios juggernaut is taking a bit of a risk with Friday’s release of "Guardians of the Galaxy,” an astronomically budgeted adaptation of a comic book most of us had never heard of. Not all offbeat, lesser-known comics and graphic novels make for great or successful movies. Most of us would like to forget duds like “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Jonah Hex” or “Barb Wire.” But sometimes risks pay off.

  • Meadows Christian Fellowship plans to make it snow before showing film Jul 29, 2014 6:46 PM
    Snow is not much fun in February, but more welcome in August. Meadows Christian Fellowship will have a real "blizzard" Friday evening, Aug. 1, before the showing of its annual community movie, "Frozen." Viewers can wear shorts and sandals, but bring your gloves!

  • ‘Guardians’ blasts Marvel in a different direction Jul 29, 2014 2:45 PM
    Despite its flawless superhero pedigree, there’s always been apprehension about “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Since the president of Marvel Studios first teased the possibility of making a movie based on the comic book about a team of intergalactic do-gooders, the proposition has been called risky — by critics, by fans and by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige himself. That never mattered to writer-director James Gunn, the horror maven best known for 2006’s “Slither.”

  • Alba reveals her ‘Sin City’ dark side at Comic-Con Jul 28, 2014 6:44 AM
    Jessica Alba told the crowd at Comic-Con that she got in touch with the dark side for her return to “Sin City.” The “Fantastic Four” and “Dark Angel” star is reprising her role as exotic dancer and revenge seeker Nancy Callahan in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” a prequel to the 2005 graphic novel adaptation “Sin City.”

  • Working late in life, directors refuse to say cut Jul 27, 2014 6:15 AM
    Clint Eastwood, who at 84 just released the musical “Jersey Boys” and wrapped shooting on the Navy SEAL drama “American Sniper,” isn’t the only filmmaker blowing past conventional retirement age. Woody Allen, 78, like clockwork, released his latest, the French Riviera romantic comedy “Magic in the Moonlight,” on Friday. He’s also already on to the next one, shooting in Rhode Island this summer.

  • ‘Lucy’ tops ‘Hercules’ with $44M at box office Jul 27, 2014 2:13 PM
    Luc Besson’s “Lucy” proved mind can overpower muscle, topping a remake of “Hercules” by director Brett Ratner at the box office on the weekend. According to studio estimates Sunday, the Universal Pictures-released movie starring Scarlett Johansson as an accidental psychokinetic took in $44 million in North American movie theaters over the weekend.

  • 'Avengers' cast reunites at Comic-Con Jul 28, 2014 2:47 AM
    Several members of “The Avengers” descended on Comic-Con on Saturday to debut the first footage from the upcoming superhero sequel. Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner and Robert Downey Jr. were on hand with other cast members from “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” including Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders. “It just keeps getting better,” Downey told the boisterous crowd of 6,500 in the San Diego Convention Center. “I'm so excited we're all here.”

  • Images: Comic Con 2014 Jul 28, 2014 9:09 PM
    All our favorite superheroes and villians showed up for Comic Con 2014.

  • Woody Allen on magic, movies and life’s meaning Jul 26, 2014 5:30 AM
    Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight” stars Colin Firth as a stage magician and Emma Stone as a young medium whose self-proclaimed powers he’s trying to debunk. Allen shared some thoughts with The AP about magic, filmmaking, and the meaning of life — or, in his view, the utter lack thereof.

  • Woody Allen back in spotlight, promoting ‘Magic’ Jul 26, 2014 5:30 AM
    Throughout his long career, Woody Allen has been fascinated by magic, a theme he’s explored frequently onscreen: playing a magician in “Scoop,” sending Owen Wilson on time travel in “Midnight in Paris,” or pulling Jeff Daniels out of a movie screen in “The Purple Rose of Cairo.” And though one might think, with the wave of terrible publicity he went through earlier this year, that a bit of magician-like escape into a bygone era or a movie screen is just what he might prefer, Allen is doing anything but disappear.

  • DVD previews: ‘Noah,’ ‘The Other Woman’ Jul 26, 2014 5:00 AM
    In the film "Noah," Darren Aronofsky has avoided predictable, literalist retellings of beloved Sunday school stories by inserting new characters, bringing parenthetical figures to the fore and making one of history’s most enduring and universal myths his own. The result is a movie -- coming to DVD July 29 -- that is clearly deeply respectful of its source material but also at times startlingly revisionist, a go-for-broke throwback to Hollywood biblical epics of yore that combines grandeur and grace, as well as a generous dollop of goofy overstatement.

  • Fox, Arnett share ‘TMNT’ love with Comic-Con crowd Jul 25, 2014 7:15 AM
    For the human stars of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” it’s all about Michelangelo. When asked by a fan during a Comic-Con panel which member of the sewer-dwelling, pizza-loving superhero team was their favorite, Megan Fox and Will Arnett both picked the nunchaku-wielding member of the Ninja Turtles.

  • You don’t have to go to San Diego for the fun of Comic Con Jul 25, 2014 11:00 AM
    Fans of superheroes, horror flicks, time-traveling doctors and Jedi Knights will once again converge in California this weekend as the annual Comic Con International returns to the San Diego Convention Center, but you don't have to hop on a plane to join in the fun.

  • ‘Fluffy Movie’ funny, but more like a TV special Jul 25, 2014 3:49 PM
    The rotund Gabriel Iglesias, who calls himself “Fluffy” because it sounds better than “Fatty,” specializes in gentle observational comedy, enlivened by his flair for accents and sound effects. "The Fluffy Movie" walks a careful line between hilarious and heartwarming, and manages to be both. Still, it's not much of a movie.

  • Rock-hard 'Hercules' a likeable take on demigod's tale Jul 25, 2014 12:14 PM
    Say this for Brett Ratner's production of “Hercules:” This movie has a sense of proportion. Running just over 90 minutes, the movie is often clunky, but at least it's fast and unpretentious. And its likable star, Dwayne Johnson, manages to murder legions without ever seeming sadistic.

  • An A-to-Z guide to enjoying the rest of summer Jul 25, 2014 6:12 AM
    If back-to-school sales and talk of fall have you thinking that summer is slipping away, don't despair. We still have a few weeks left to take in outdoor concerts, al fresco dining and blockbuster movies at the multiplex. So here's a quick A-to-Z primer on enjoying the last weeks of summer in the suburbs.

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