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Does ‘The 33’ delve deep enough into its characters?

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Rating: «« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 125 min.

Most people remember the 2010 Chilean calamity that left miners stranded miles beneath the ground.  So it comes a bit of a surprise to see a dramatic recreation of events so soon afterward. The 33 does its best to do justice to its working class heroes, but doesn’t delve deeply enough beneath the surface and ultimately comes up a little short.

As in many disaster movies, the plot introduces the miners all too quickly; in this case, at a social function and the following morning as they start their day and head out for work. We get all too brief snippets of these people and don’t learn any more than the basics. There’s family...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Nov. 13, 2015

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Welcome to the highlights of new releases on DVD and Blu-ray. There’s a lot to go through, with plenty to see in a wide variety of genres. 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!

Duran Duran: Unstaged - A Film by David Lynch - The 80s new wave band appear in this concert film that wouldn’t normally be mentioned in this column if it weren’t for the famed director involved. Reportedly, Lynch (Twin Peaks, Mulholland Dr.) uses smoke and projected images of dolls to add a unique sense of texture to the performance. And naturally, it includes live takes of some of the band’s biggest hits. If...

‘The Peanuts Movie’ – charming despite a few missteps

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Rating: ««« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 92 min.

It’s been 65 years since cartoonist Charles Shultz created Peanuts, a newspaper strip detailing the trials of downtrodden school-kid Charlie Brown. Over the decades, a few classic TV specials and theatrical features have been produced, making the property a beloved institution. The Peanuts Movie takes on the daunting task of updating the material to please both children and their parents. While there are a few minor missteps in the latest translation, much of it remains charming.

The plot follows our anxiety-ridden protagonist as he struggles to earn the attention of a neighbor and new student known as the “Red-Headed Girl.”...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Nov. 3, 2015

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Hello out there! It’s a great week for new releases, with tons of flicks to choose from in a wide variety of genres. 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!

Before We Go - Two strangers in New York City cross paths and spend one night in conversation discussing their dreams and fears. Critics weren’t enamored with the end result. They suggested that the plot of this romantic drama was too similar to the Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy Before Sunrise series, and that even the charm of stars Chris Evans and Alice Eve couldn’t cover for a weak script that didn’t carry much heft and felt...

‘Spectre’ brings back old-fashioned ‘Bond’ formula

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Rating: ««« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 150 min.

I’m a huge James Bond fan, so I’ll admit to being biased as far as entries in this spy series go. The previous Daniel Craig films have all been grittier and moodier affairs, even going so far to examine the psychological trails of being an agent and critiquing some of the methods used by MI-5. They’ve been generally strong efforts, but one is starting to get the impression that the filmmakers are starting to move away from the serious material and focus on the globetrotting adventure.

Spectre almost feels like a homage to the older Sean Connery titles. A sense of dry humor seeps into the proceedings and our hero appears much...

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