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 Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




(More History)