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‘The Girl on the Train’ isn’t a classic, but provides some pulpy sights

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Rating: ««« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 112 min.

Right off of the bat, I’ll admit that I haven’t read the hugely popular 2015 book upon which this week’s high-profile movie release is based. I went in cold, knowing almost nothing about the story or what it entailed. Even as a complete novice, The Girl on the Train still wasn’t what I anticipated. But if you set your expectations a bit lower and allow yourselves to appreciate its voyeuristic chills, it will provide a few good moments.

Rachel (Emily Blunt) is a downcast alcoholic who rides the train daily to and from Manhattan. The route is so familiar that she recognizes many of the same people passing by. One day, she...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Oct. 7, 2016

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Wow! It’s another busy week with all kinds of interesting releases both big and small — the highlights are all listed below. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

Big New Releases!

All Through the House - A deranged Santa goes on a killing spree in this low-budget horror feature modeled after slasher flicks from the ’80s. Fifteen years later, St. Nick returns to a sorority in the town he once terrorized and causes more violence and mayhem. This one hasn’t gotten any reviews at all, so you’re on your own if you decide to check it out.

Being Charlie - In this drama from director Rob Reiner...

‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ has its kinks, but provides some twisted fun

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Rating: ««« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 126 min.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve gotten more young-adult book adaptations than I can count. Beyond the massive success stories like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, we’ve been fed a steady diet of titles ranging from The Maze Runner, The 5th Wave, and Percy Jackson, to the probably-defunct Divergent series, all with highly varying results.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the latest, and it at least has some pedigree behind the camera. Director Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Frankenweenie, among many others) takes the helm on this property. Based on the subject...

‘Queen of Katwe’ overcomes formula with likeable characters

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Rating: ««« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 124 min.

By now, we pretty much know exactly what to expect from a Disney production. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a fairy tale or a live-action drama. You’ll likely get a heartfelt tale of pro-active youngsters striving to better themselves, rising above their social standing and accomplishing the improbable. It’s all pretty familiar and nothing that occurs in Queen of Katwe will come as much of a surprise. Yet, the cast is so likable and the production so well-mounted that it ends up being fine regardless.

This story is based on the true-life tale of Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga), a young, girl living in poverty in Katwe...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Sept. 30, 2016

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It’s time for another look at highlights arriving on store shelves. There are a lot of summer releases arriving, so many will already be familiar to readers. Of course, there are some intriguing little films arriving, too. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

Big New Releases!

Cell - This adaptation of the Stephen King horror novel didn’t get much of a release earlier in the year. It reunites John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson (who appeared together in 1401). The story is a spin on the zombie genre and it involves an electrical signal that turns cell phone users into mindless maniacs. Reaction was very, very poor...

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