At the movies: Nov. 9, 2012


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Posted Online: Nov. 08, 2012, 12:02 pm
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New in theaters

Great Escape 14 Stadium Cinemas, Moline:

"Skyfall" (PG-13)

Rave Motion Pictures 53, Davenport:
"Skyfall" (PG-13)

Nova 6 Cinemas, Moline:
"Alex Cross" (PG-13)
"Frankenweenie" (PG)
"Silent Hill 2: Revelation" (R)

Putnam Museum's National Geographic Giant Screen Theater
"Hotel Transylvania" (PG)
"The Doors: Live at the Bowl '68" (not rated)

Minireviews

These are Roger Ebert's mini-reviews (unless otherwise noted) of some of the movies currently playing in the Quad-Cities area.

"Skyfall" ( PG-13, 143 minutes). "Skyfall" triumphantly reinvents 007 in one of the best Bonds ever made. This is a full-blooded, joyous, intelligent celebration of a beloved cultural icon, with Daniel Craig taking full possession of a role he earlier played unconvincingly. The film at last provides a role worthy of Judi Dench, returning as M, who is one of the best actors of her generation. She is all but the co-star, with a lot of screen time, poignant dialogue, and a character who is far more complex and sympathetic than we expect. In this 50th year of the James Bond series, with the dismal "Quantum of Solace" (2008) still in our minds, I don't know what I expected in Bond No. 23, but certainly not an experience this invigorating. If you haven't seen a 007 for years, this is the time to jump back in. Rating: 4 stars

Last week:

"Flight" (R, 138 minutes). After opening with one of the most terrifying flying scenes I've witnessed, in which an airplane is saved by being flown upside-down, Robert Zemeckis' "Flight" segues into a brave and tortured performance by Denzel Washington -- one of his very best. Not often does a movie character make such a harrowing personal journey that keeps us in deep sympathy all of the way. Washington plays a veteran commercial pilot who has built up a tolerance for quantities of alcohol and cocaine that would be lethal for most people. Rating: 4 stars.

"The Man With the Iron Fists" (R, 96 minutes). In a village in feudal China, warriors, assassins and a lone blacksmith clash over a fortune in gold. With Russell Crowe, Rza, Lucy Liu and Rick Yune. Written by RZA and Eli Roth, directed by RZA. -- Los Angeles Times. No rating.

"Wreck-It Ralph" (PG, 101 minutes). The new Disney animated feature for families takes place inside several arcade-style video games, providing an excuse for the backgrounds, ground rules and characters to constantly reinvent themselves. Its hero is one of those clumsy, misunderstood big guys who dream only of being loved. Ralph (voice by John C. Reilly) spends every day knocking down an apartment building, which is constantly repaired by Fix-It Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer). Lively, endlessly colorful nonstop action, also with Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman. Rating: 3 stars.

Coming to video Tuesday, Nov. 13

"2 Days in New York"
(R, 96 minutes, 2012). Julie Delpy co-wrote, directed and stars in this charming screwball comedy about Marion, a French artist in New York who is happily living with a talk show host (Chris Rock). Their peace is upended by a visit from her eccentric family, including her (real) father (Albert Delpy), her sister, Rose (Alexia Landeau), and Rose's boyfriend, Manu (Alex Nahon), who is Marion's own former boyfriend. The movie has an indescribable scene in which she sells her soul as a conceptual artwork and then meets the collector who bought it, Vincent Gallo. You can imagine. Rating: 3 1/2 stars

"The Watch" ( R, 100 minutes, 2012). After the mysterious murder of a night security guard at a Costco store, its manager (Ben Stiller) enlists three other men (Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade) in a neighborhood watch organization that discovers an invasion of Earth is being plotted by aliens who are headquartered in the Costco's basement. Dumb slapstick action, lots of green slime and truly versatile use of potty talk. Rating: 2 stars

"Savages" (R, 129 minutes, 2012). Oliver Stone's thriller involves a bloody war between two best buddies in Laguna Beach and the queen of a Mexican drug cartel. A return to form for Stone's dark side, the movie is a battle between good and evil, except that everyone in it is evil -- but some are less evil than others, and they all have their good sides. Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson are partners in growing primo pot, Blake Lively is the beach bunny they share, Salma Hayek is the queen of the cartel, Benicio Del Toro is her enforcer and John Travolta is a crooked FDA agent. Violent, ingenious, deceptive and funny, but not too funny. Rating: 3 1/2 stars

"Brave" (PG, 100 minutes, 2012). The new animation from Pixar poaches on traditional Disney territory. Instead of such inventive stories as "Up" and "WALL-E," we get a spunky princess, her mum the queen, her dad the gruff king, an old witch who lives in the woods and so on. The artistry looks wonderful. Kids will probably love it, but parents will be disappointed if they're hoping for another Pixar ground-breaker. With the voices of Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters and Robbie Coltrane. Rating: 3 stars

New on video this week:

"The Amazing Spider-Man"
(PG-13, 136 minutes, 2012). The Spider-Man franchise is back for a reboot only 10 years after its first picture and five years after the most recent one. This is a more thoughtful and carefully written remake of the 2002 original with more attention to the origin story of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have warm chemistry as Spidey and Gwen, and this new-generation Spidey is more impulsive and takes more chances; sometimes he leaps from buildings with no clear plan in mind. Co-starring Rhys Ifans as the city-destroying Lizard, Denis Leary as Gwen's father the police captain, and Sally Field and Martin Sheen as Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Rating: 3 1/2 stars.

"Your Sister's Sister" (R, 90 minutes, 2012). A spontaneous, engaging character study of three people alone in a cabin in the woods. Jack (Mark Duplass) is offered the cabin by his best friend, Iris (Emily Blunt), only to arrive and find her sister (Rosemarie Dewitt) already there. Both are in fragile emotional states, and when Blunt arrives unexpectedly in the morning, many truths are revealed. Benefits from good semi-improvised performances. Directed by Lynn Shelton ("Humpday"). Rating: 3 stars.








 












 



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  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




(More History)