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Review: Eddie Murphy delivers his best performance in 'Mr. Church'

Posted October 25, 2016, 5:10 PM

Eddie Murphy is a comic genius that, thanks to questionable parenting, I grew up enjoying and admiring. It's probably not the best example of fine parenting to say that I saw 48 Hrs., Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop before I turned 10, but it was a different time back then.

Speaking of different times, Eddie's latest film Mr. Church will transport you back in the past to a simpler time before the technology explosion seriously eroded our ability to express compassion for other people. Before emojis, you actually had to go out and perform acts of kindness to express your feelings.

While Eddie is known for his comic wit, his career sort of took a detour when he focused on family films. The problem was that he stopped growing as an actor and became entrenched in a series of films that...

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Review: Jackie Chan still has it in 'Skiptrace'

Posted October 25, 2016, 4:10 PM

There was a time, not so long ago, in which Jackie Chan was the best action/kung fu star on the planet. Of course, you tend to lose some effectiveness behind your punches and kicks when you hit 60 and do we really want to see a 62-year-old man perform kung fu all over unsuspecting millennials?

Why yes, we do.

It's funny because while Jackie has obviously gotten older, his relentless fighting technique is seemingly unchanged. I would say that it's just a product of good special effects, but I know that Jackie Chan would never fake it in a movie. His authenticity is what helps endear his characters to the audience.

So, the fact that we know that Jackie is actually doing all of his own stunts and performing the amazing feats of kung fu, just makes us appreciate his performance even...

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Review: 'Doc McStuffins' truly delivers with 'Toy Hospital'

Posted October 25, 2016, 2:10 PM

I always love it when I am able to share my love of movies with my children. It's not often that they are able to enjoy the films that I review, so I consider it extra special when I get a chance to review family friendly entertainment with them.

I used quip that while my kids tend to watch the same things over and over again, but in the last year or so, it seems that their tolerance for shows wanes after a few weeks. I realize that at age three and almost five, they are simply growing up and progressing through age-appropriate shows, but I miss the days when they were content to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse non-stop.

One show that has remained a favorite over the years, especially for my daughter, has been Doc McStuffins. I have come to finally...

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Monday Mixer: 'Madea' is back in a big, bad way

Posted October 24, 2016, 12:10 PM

There are some things that truly create a passion.

One of those things is baseball. I grew up outside of Detroit, so I was a de facto Tigers fan and followed my fair share of games over the years. I was nine years old when the Tigers won the World Series. At the time, I didn't realize how rare this accomplishment was for some teams.

It's not like the Tigers have won a bevy of World Series championships, but after 1968 and 1984, it wasn't silly to think that they would bring home a crown every 15 years or so. Thirty two years later, I'm beginning to feel a sense of camaraderie with Cubs fans.

And yes, I realize that comparing a drought of "only" thirty years to the pain and suffering of the Cubs is trite, but it's all relative. After I...

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Review: Woody Allen conjures up laughs in 'Café Society'

Posted October 18, 2016, 4:10 PM

Ah, Woody Allen. Is there a more divisive character in Hollywood?

OK, yes, there are many more divisive people in Hollywood, but you either hate or love Woody, there is no middle ground. I tend to fall in the latter camp, but I can appreciate that there are good and bad Woody Allen movies.

I thoroughly enjoyed his early work such as Annie Hall, Manhattan and Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask), but felt that his quality slacked off in the 1990s. Thankfully, he's enjoying a nice late-career renaissance thanks to films such as Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine.

While Café Society didn't break any box office records, it's a continuation of the fun and irreverence that we have come to expect from Woody's films. The film follows Woody stand-in Jesse Eisenberg (who is making...

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Review: 'Our Kind of Traitor' brings smarts to the spy game

Posted October 18, 2016, 3:10 PM

If there's one thing that is absolutely true in this world, it's that John le Carré is a much better writer than he ever was as a spy. The British author of over 20 espionage novels has a leg up on his fellow spy hacks in that he actually lived the life of his protagonists, at least for a little bit.

After a successful first novel, he came to the conclusion that writing paid better and you are less likely to meet a deadly end during an author's meet and greet than on whatever assignment he was given by the Secret Intelligence Service. Interestingly, it seems that Hollywood is finally starting to show an appreciation for his high-brow, well-written spy stories over the gloss and explosions that James Bond is more known for.

The recent remake Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy featured a...

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Monday Mixer: Ben Affleck just wants to sing

Posted October 17, 2016, 1:10 PM

For me, there is no better season than the start of the NHL season. Of course, that probably has to do with my father's Canadian heritage more than anything else, but there's just something about the start of October that is magical.

The weather cools down (usually) and leaves begin to fall. The days get shorter, but I'm a night owl, so that works out for me.

There's also an odd period at the box office where the later Summer blockbusters are still filtering out of theaters, but the family-friendly films and award contenders haven't quite gotten started. Traditionally, Hollywood has filled this month with every single horror film that it can get its hands on, times have changed.

Horror films have down well in other non-traditional times such as January and February and people aren't rushing out to see nothing but horror...

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Undiscovered Picks

Upcoming movies worth watching that you may not have heard of.

  • Christmas Eve
  • The Childhood of a Leader
  • Army of One
  • Halloweed
  • Cardboard Boxer