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“Today we are canceling the apocalypse!!” says Idris Elba, trying to rally his discouraged troops before the final battle in “Pacific Rim.”If only.Elba is the authority figure in “Pacific Rim,” which means he’s allowed to be older than 35 (he’s actually 40, in life) and tell everybody else what to do, but only if it’s clear in the final scene that he’s nobly marching off t…

Movies

A lone rider, dust-caked and grizzled, approaches a ranch house in the distant reaches of West Texas. Ethan Edwards – played by John Wayne in perhaps his most powerful role – is a former Confederate soldier returning to the home of his brother Aaron three years after the Civil War has ended. Where he has been and what he has done are not clear, but his saddlebags are stuff…

Lifestyles

LOS ANGELES – On a recent installment of TBS’ “Conan” with Conan O’Brien, sidekick Andy Richter was sent to Santa Fe, N.M., for the press junket for “The Lone Ranger,” but stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer had better things to do than talk to him.Perhaps that was just as well, because faster than you can say “hi-yo,” Richter was cozying up to the film’s scene stealer: the…

Dance

Almost every Hollywood coming-of-age movie from almost every era contains a pivotal scene in which the main character either slowly creeps – or gets violently ejected – from his or her shell.In “The Way, Way Back,” an indie comedy with a small budget and an all-star comic cast scheduled to open this month in Western New York, that scene comes courtesy of four dedicated Wes…

Dance

Almost every Hollywood coming-of-age movie from almost every era contains a pivotal scene in which the main character either slowly creeps – or gets violently ejected – from his or her shell.In “The Way, Way Back,” an indie comedy with a small budget and an all-star comic cast scheduled to open this month in Western New York, that scene comes courtesy of four dedicated Wes…

Gusto

“Despicable Me 2” star Steve Carell brought Maxwell Smart to the big screen in 2008’s “Get Smart” – to rather unmemorable effect, incidentally – so let’s paraphrase that iconic character’s most famous line: Would you believe this animated sequel is a more satisfying summer film than “Iron Man 3,” “Man of Steel” and almost every other blockbuster released so far this season…

Featured

Please remember, if you would, the primal Lone Ranger joke. Whether it first appeared there is irrelevant; it seemed to smack perfectly, though, of Mad magazine in the 1950s.The Lone Ranger and his faithful companion Tonto are surrounded by a band of hostile, whooping indians (the expression “Native American” hadn’t yet become common currency). The Lone Ranger looks at Ton…

We love lists. We love horse races, especially the ones without horses .Put a list or a race result – even the most tentative one – in our sightlines and our eyes light up. Never mind how meaningless they can be. Take the current issue of Entertainment Weekly. Please, as that immortal Borscht Belt tail gunner Henny Youngman used to say. Or the current weekend box office to…

Despite an act of terrorism being the organizing principle for all that follows in “The Attack,” the film’s power exists more on an internal level than a political one.The film by Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri follows Amin (Ali Suliman), a Palestinian surgeon who must try to reconcile what he knew about his wife Siham (Reymonde Amsellem) with an action so horrible it defi…

Local News

Melissa McCarthy, the latest in a line of actresses going back to Marilyn Monroe who have been filmed against the natural wonder of Niagara Falls, learned it’s hard to compete against the cascading water’s sonorous sound.“There’s a lot more water in the falls, and it’s louder,” McCarthy said Thursday after describing a climactic scene that had just wrapped on the observati…

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My favorite moment among many in Sarah Polley’s truly extraordinary “Stories We Tell” – one of the great films of the last 12 months – is the A-ha! moment when Polley reveals her indisputable discovery about her disputed parentage.We know that when the actress and magnificent director (“Away From Her,” for which her star Julie Christie was robbed of an Oscar) smiles broadl…

Movies

Give it up for Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. You’ll never see them work harder at comedy than in “The Heat,” a stumbling, aggressively loud and profane cop buddy picture where they struggle to wring “funny” out of a script that isn’t.Plot? It’s more a collection of scenes that force the stars to riff and riff until something coarse and amusing comes out, topped by s…

If Abbas Kiairostami’s “Like Someone in Love” – an Iranian director’s film made in Japan – was the most impressive surprise of all the films I saw at last September’s Toronto Film Festival, Deepa Mehta’s “Midnight’s Children” was the most disappointing one.It’s from Salman Rushdie’s 1980 novel and its major claim to distinction is that it is Rushdie’s first major screenpla…

1933January 31Produced by George Trendle and written by Fran Striker, right, the “Lone Ranger” is broadcast on WYXZ in Detroit.1949The Lone Ranger makes his television debut in a series starring Clayton Moore as the masked man and Jay Silverheels, right, as Tonto.1954George Trendle sells the Lone Ranger rights to Jack Wrather1956“The Lone Ranger,” the first Hollywood feat…

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It’s about time. There’s a line in Roland Emmerich’s rip-roaring and irresistible action thriller “White House Down” that explains why Emmerich is so drawn to architectural mayhem and the sight of national monuments blown to smithereens.There’s a point to all this it seems – a point, anyway, beyond instructing real terrorists how they might take the wind out of America’s s…