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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Saturday, January 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: movies


‘Amelia’ just doesn’t fly

Considering the risks Amelia Earhart took, losing her life in the call of aviation, Hilary Swank and director Mira Nair don’t put much on the line in their film biography …


‘Boys Are Back’ packs honesty

Like Steven Spielberg, director Scott Hicks is tuned in to those everyday moments that touch our hearts. You may well cry – I did – at “The Boys Are Back,” …


‘Lorna’s Silence’ speaks loudly

Since turning from documentaries to fiction in the mid-1990s, the Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have crafted a series of stunning if bleak dramas about Europe’s outcasts: the …


‘Thirst’ takes vampires to an even darker level

The juvenile heavy-petting of “Twilight” gives way to all-out Korean kink in “Thirst,” a macabre, darkly humorous and at times nauseating vampire tale from the director of “Old Boy,” Park …


Jonze focuses on childhood in ‘Where the Wild Things Are’

The promotional materials for Spike Jonze’s new film adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are” kick off with this quote from the director: “I didn’t set out to make a …


‘Paranormal Activity’ fun, scary

Some movies are a more shared experience than others, and that’s certainly the case with “Paranormal Activity,” a micro-budget horror flick about things that go bump in the you-know-what in …


Woody Harrelson’s ‘Zombieland’ brings the laughs

When Woody Harrelson received a copy of the screenplay for “Zombieland,” he stuffed it into his duffel bag of unread scripts and promptly forgot about it. Even after his agent …


‘Whip It’ soars on girl power

Drew Barrymore has forged a persona as both an actress and producer with movies that exude a playful sense of girl power. So it only makes sense that “Whip It,” …


Honestly, ‘Lying’ just runs out of steam

“The Invention of Lying,” the new film from Ricky “The Office” Gervais, might be this year’s most subtly subversive comedy. It may well be the first mainstream atheism-based feature film, …


Review: ‘Whiteout’ more confusing than chilling

Early in “Whiteout,” a murder mystery set in a South Pole research station, a federal marshal played by Kate Beckinsale strips down and takes a shower. Why? No particular reason. …


DVD reviews: The snobby (only) side of Valentino

“Valentino: The Last Emperor” Legendary fashion designer Valentino Garavani glides through this documentary in expensive suits and with the facial expression of one who has just smelled unwashed feet.


From the looks of it, ‘9’ should have been flawless

Despite their rough-hewn appearance, the resourceful rag dolls in “9” obviously were crafted with great love and care, both by the scientist who made them in the film and the …


Review: ‘In the Loop’

If screenwriters gene-spliced “Wag the Dog” with “The West Wing” and set it in the context of Anglo-American relations, the result would be Armando Ianucci’s “In the Loop,” a scabrously …


Review: ‘Song of Sparrows’

Iranian actor Reza Naji looks a little like Judd Hirsch, and for the first half of “The Song of Sparrows” he seems to be channeling the sad-sack haplessness of any …


Fall movie preview: A well-blended taste of Hollywood itself

Hollywood might be telling its own life story this fall, presenting a lineup of liars, phonies, smooth talkers, bloodsuckers and greedy old men. Granted, there are heroes in the mix, …


Review: Shallow characters doom Judge’s ‘Extract’

Ten years ago, Mike Judge satirized the absurdities of the workplace experience from the perspective of put-upon employees with “Office Space.” It didn’t do much when it came out but …


Stars carry load in ‘State of Play’

Taking cues from such recent headlines as Chandra Levy and Blackwater – not to mention the classic “All the President’s Men” – this film plays politicians and journalists against each …


Review: ‘Soul Power’ rekindles legendary concert

Timing is everything. It took “When We Were Kings,” Leon Gast’s riveting 1996 documentary about the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle,” more than 20 years to arrive in …


Tarantino offers up World War 2.0

Quentin Tarantino is about to unleash the ultimate Hollywood rewrite job: He’s changed the ending of World War II. Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” opening in theaters today, puts an end to …


Review: ‘Post Grad’ aims low in plot department

“Post Grad,” a comedy about a driven, hardworking college student who’s unable to find a job after she graduates, actually might have been relevant. It might have been a satirical …


Filmmakers shoot in Cheney

A few Cheney landmarks saw action last week during filming of “Perfect Ten,” the first full-length feature movie by Seattle-based First Sight Productions. The company is owned by husband-and-wife team …


Director injects apartheid storyline into ‘District 9’

In the documentary-style sci-fi thriller “District 9,” which arrives in theaters today, hundreds of thousands of aliens become stranded in South Africa after their massive spaceship comes to a standstill …


Review: ‘Time Traveler’s Wife’ manages to lose its way

So let’s try to get this straight: In “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” Eric Bana plays a guy named Henry who jumps around the past, present and future, only he can’t …


‘Soloist’ tells true, heartening story

‘The Soloist’ The true story of a newspaper columnist (Robert Downey Jr.) and his friendship with a schizophrenic street musician in Los Angeles (Jamie Foxx), the film is suffused with …


‘(500) Days’ takes inventive approach on old theme

Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy tries to win girl back: It’s a tale you’ve heard a million times before. But it’s told in such a relatable, inventive way …


‘Tyson’ paints man’s life of contradictions

Soft-spoken, contemplative, weepy, the subject of James Toback’s documentary “Tyson” – Mike Tyson, former heavyweight champion of the world – is not the ferocious, ear-biting, head-butting convicted rapist (“falsely accused,” …


‘Getaway’ offers summer joyride

Back in the days of movie double-bills and snack-bar food that didn’t cost as much as a small car, “A Perfect Getaway” would have been the perfect diversion. This suspenseful, …


‘G.I. Joe’ opens to little fanfare

It’s the biggest movie of the summer that practically no one has seen. “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” opens today, but Paramount Pictures didn’t screen the blockbuster for critics’ …


Apatow chases tears, laughs with ‘Funny People’

With “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up,” Judd Apatow, Hollywood’s one-man laugh factory, made his mark with tales that mostly wallowed in all-out comedic bliss. Now, for his next act, …


‘Fast & Furious’ proves fun, frantic

‘Fast & Furious’ “Fast & Furious” refires the high-speed adrenaline and the fuel-injected bromance between Vin Diesel and Paul Walker that began in 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious.”