CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.
CHICAGO – The crime thriller “Sabotage” is the least predictable and most intense of the handful of post Governator action movies Arnold Schwarzenegger has starred in. Last year’s “The Last Stand” had a sense of humor about it, along with a nod to classic Westerns, that lightened the bloody violence, but here is a gritty film that proudly displays its tattoos and adrenaline in a testosterone-laced delivery.
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CHICAGO – Just because a tale is enormously influential and older than the hills doesn’t mean that it’s foolproof. Just ask “John Carter.” Or “Mirror Mirror.” What makes the “Titans” franchise particularly unseemly is its air of smugness. It trashed Ray Harryhausen’s admittedly outdated 1981 version of “Clash of the Titans” in its 2010 remake, but failed to establish a personality of its own.
CHICAGO – “Man on a Ledge” wants to be “Dog Day Afternoon” for the ’10s recession (it’s not coincidental that a man screams “Attica!” at one point). A tale of a man screwed by a corrupt system who stages a complex heist and galvanizes the people of New York in the process could have worked so well. There are great actors and great ideas here. And there’s also the most convoluted, ridiculous, and poorly written script that I’ve suffered through in a very long time.
CHICAGO – 2010’s “Clash of the Titans” was a surprising box office smash, making almost $500 million worldwide. That kind of money demands a sequel, but what to call it? “Clash of the Titans 2” wouldn’t be exciting enough but it should sound similar.
CHICAGO – New York City. Mid-day. A man steps outside the window on the edge of the Roosevelt Hotel. Is he jumping? That’s the question that street level onlookers and moviegoers want answered from Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell and Ed Harris in “Man on a Ledge”
CHICAGO – Is there anything Chloë Grace Moretz can’t do? She’s earned big laughs as a snarky yet concerned sister in “(500) Days of Summer,” performed her own stunts as a vengeful hit girl in “Kick Ass,” brought startling pathos to the role of a smitten vampire in “Let Me In” and exuded Hepburn-esque grace in “Hugo,” all before the age of 15. Needless to say, her versatility is unmatched by any of her peers.
CHICAGO – Sam Worthington is instantly recognizable for his break out role in “Avatar,” playing the Marine turned blue citizen of Na’vi. His follow-up was as Perseus in “Clash of the Titans,” and he will repeat that role in the upcoming “Wrath of the Titans.” Opening this week, he is the title character in “Man on a Ledge.”
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CHICAGO – It’s little surprise that Jessica Chastain has received so much attention during this year’s awards season. Thanks to a series of release date delays, six of her films were released in 2011, each featuring an entirely different role for the strikingly versatile actress. From her slapstick pratfalls in “The Help” to her ethereal grace in “The Tree of Life,” Chastain displayed a remarkable range that has made it impossible for moviegoers to tear their eyes away from her.