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 – Keanu Reeves has been in a lot of dogs over the years, but rarely has he left such a high body count while avenging one of them. “John Wick” is a brutal revenge thriller where Reeves is a ex-mob enforcer who goes on a murderous rampage leaving blood on every doorstep to avenge the death of his dog. Despite that chuckle-inducing premise, “John Wick” isn’t the dog I expected, but then again that’s not saying much.
CHICAGO – “Ramona and Beezus” may not be the perfect film that Beverly Cleary fans hoped for when they fell in love with these characters but it is successful on its own terms in its refusal to talk down to its pre-teen audience and through the massive future star-power of its talented young stars. I admittedly have a soft spot for any film that places teachers on a higher pedestal than businessman and effectively teaches young viewers to stick to their creative visions. It’s flawed, but “Ramona and Beezus” works.