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Movie Reviews

The scariest part is knowing you paid to see this ludicrous sequel

Picking up where the last film ended, Insidious: Chapter 2 begins with the return of the Lamberts’ son Dalton (Ty Simpkins: Insidious) from The Further, a spirit realm filled with evil ghosts and demons. It’s great that Dalton is back in this Earthly realm, but a price was exacted for his return: A malevolent spirit has possessed Dalton’s dad, Josh (Patrick Wilson: The Conjuring), causing him to strangle the family’s psychic aide Elise (Lin Shaye: Crazy Kind of Love). The demon abandons Josh, leaving the Lambert

True love means you never have to pull your punches

In the age of dynasties, Kung Fu was as regional as dialects. Masters from the north battled masters from the south, all seeking to perfect techniques and create new and deadlier arts.     Among the Southern Masters, a rising star, Ip Man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai: The Silent War), is chosen to take on the Northern Grandmaster. A rich man with time to practice his craft, Ip Man is the embodiment of Kung Fu: he is confident and kind with a good sense of humor.

Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!

A suicide bombing reduces a bustling London market to smoldering ash, taking the lives of 120 people. When the police arrest the one surviving member of the terrorist cell responsible, the government heralds it as a triumph of justice. But as the trial begins, justice becomes a tricky subject.

Five men save humanity one pint at a time

Gary King (Simon Pegg: Star Trek) fancied himself a god in high school. He and his band of followers debauched their way across their small town. A hard drinker, high and a hit with the ladies, Gary’s biggest regret is that he and his lackeys never finished the fabled Golden Mile, a one-mile pub crawl with 12 pints at 12 local bars.     Decades later, Gary is a paunchy, pale version of his former self. He drives the same car, wears the same dirty trench coat and is just as shiftless and hammered. What was sexy and mysterious at 18 is now pathetic.

Divergent paths through the Civil Rights era

As a young boy in 1920s Georgia, Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker: The Last Stand) learned how the world worked for black people. On a whim, their white land-owner not only rapes Cecil’s mother but also shoots his father, who is buried by his fellow black sharecroppers in a shallow grave.     In compensation, Cecil is invited in as a house servant. The work is easier than field labor, but he’s still treated as a sub-human.

Beautiful execution of a half-baked idea

In the year 2154, the world is in a sorry state. Overpopulated, polluted and desperately poor, the 99 percent toil in sweatshops or resort to crime. Brutal robots keep the people in their place. The lucky one percent lives in Elysium, a space station floating above the ruined planet, where people are healthy, homes gorgeous and creature comforts abundant. Understandably, everyone on Earth wants to get to Elysium. The elite are equally determined to keep the riffraff out of their paradise.

Someone please save Shamu

Millions of tourists flock to SeaWorld each year to enjoy marine exhibits, lay hands on happily squealing dolphins and cheer as massive Orcas perform aquatic acrobatics at their famed Shamu shows. Orcas and their trainers seem a perfect team, showing the beautiful relationships that humans can cultivate with animals.

Being young and black in America is still dangerous

On New Year’s Eve, 2009, Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan: Chronicle) decided to take the BART to San Francisco to see fireworks and party with friends. By 9:15am the next morning, the 22-year-old was dead.     Stopped by BART officers who suspected Oscar and his friends were fighting on the train, he was handcuffed, restrained and eventually shot by those sworn to keep the peace. The incident was captured, in graphic detail, by dozens of passengers.

Get rid of all your dolls, now!

Lorraine and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) don’t scare easily. Ed is the only ordained demonologist who’s not a Catholic priest. Lorraine is a powerful clairvoyant who helps her husband investigate reported hauntings around the world.

Silly plotting and ridiculous dialog don’t dampen the fun of this bombastic action flick

In the near future, a rift opens up in the Pacific Ocean. Instead of a tsunami, the rift creates an inter-dimensional portal that allows building-sized monsters to enter our world. The Kaiju —the Japanese word for strange creature — aren’t visiting our planet to check out the tourist attractions. They’re here to destroy.