Now Playing (in San Diego)

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a metafictional biography
of Michael Keaton, modern art and commerce.

BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) IS NOW PLAYING AT ARCLIGHT LA JOLLA

Kill the Messenger is a mordant tragedy of high-level American corruption
exposed by journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner).

KILL THE MESSENGER IS NOW PLAYING AT AMC LA JOLLA

Whiplash (2014) is a J.K. Simmons/Miles Teller duel of talent, ambition
and hate, ratchets dramatic tension like crazy.

WHIPLASH IS NOW PLAYING AT ARCLIGHT LA JOLLA

Guardians of the Galaxy is a smart, hugely enjoyable comic book movie which
avoids a lot of common comic book movie b.s.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY IS NOW PLAYING AT ARCLIGHT LA JOLLA

22 Jump Street is an enjoyable, laugh-out-loud funny follow-up to the
genuinely hilarious t.v. show tribute original.

22 JUMP STREET IS NOW PLAYING AT AMC FASHION VALLEY

Men, Women & Children is a fine, well-acted, wry dramatic pondering of
the universal situation of human communication.

MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN IS NOW PLAYING AT ARCLIGHT LA JOLLA

The Book of Life (2014) is a fun, winning 3-D-animated Day of the Dead
musical love story produced by Guillermo del Toro.

THE BOOK OF LIFE IS NOW PLAYING IN 3-D AT REGAL ESCONDIDO

Dear White People is a smart, funny, button-pushing dialectic of race
and academia, not as jokey as its previews suggest.

Fury (2014) is a U.S. Army WWII tank crew smashing up the final remaining
Nazi military resistance in Germany, effective.

St. Vincent is a funny Bill Murray Grumpy Old Man, avoids traps
of sentimentality until the ending, which drags a bit.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a non-adaptation
of the children's classic, with chuckles.

Dracula Untold is a fairly original History Channel-infused, still supernatural
take on the classic tale, good, not great.

The Judge (2014) is a very good but too corny family/legal drama with
strong acting from most, but mostly Robert Duvall.

Annabelle is a familiar James Wan brand demon-summoning culter with some
pretty good ideas and performances, not bad.

Ouija (2014) is a pretty boring and standard Ouija board non-thriller
sadly saved neither by Olivia Cooke nor Lin Shaye.

The Maze Runner is one of the longest book trailers in history, suspenseful
yet ultimately unsatisfying even as prologue.

John Wick is a clumsy, sodden, simple revenger with little rhythm and
a heightened realism which mostly plays as silly.

Gone Girl is a well-acted misogynistic parody? essay or some kind of
horses---. Look at me! I'm Gone Girl! I'm so clever!

The Boxtrolls is aimed at no audience, stay away and don't spend time or
money on it, half a star for some potential.

New for Home Viewing

The Fault in Our Stars is a fairly effective love story between teenagers
with cancer, a bit overwrought at times.

Palo Alto (2014) is a naturalistic movie about high friends in the titular city
and suburbs, with great acting, good writing.

Draft Day (2014) is a Kevin Costner NFL draft movie/personal drama with
hardly any football but lots of great anecdotes.

Words and Pictures is a seemingly heartfelt but naggingly didactic, simplistic
romantic story of simple didacts, not bad.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an okay Captain America story which
nevertheless falls somewhat short of rousing.

Godzilla (2014): Godzilla as a character is well designed and utilized,
but the rest of the picture doesn't hold up.

Brick Mansions (2014) is a total waste except for the action fighting work
of David Belle, which is electric. The RZA can't act.

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Undated reviews were written between 1995 and 2008.

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