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At The Movies

Turn to TWC News every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday for the At the Movies report featuring reports on movies, DVD releases, the hottest websites and more!

Updated 07/26/2014 05:00 AM Posted By: Neil Rosen
CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Emma Stone, Colin Firth talk "Magic in the Moonlight"
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Woody Allen's latest romantic comedy is "Magic in the Moonlight." It takes place during the 1920's in the South Of France where Colin Firth plays a world famous magician trying to debunk a self proclaimed medium, played by Emma Stone.


07/19/2014 05:00 AM Posted By: Neil Rosen
CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Diaz, Segel Play Married Couple In "Sex Tape"
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Three years ago, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel teamed with director Jake Kasdan to make a movie called "Bad Teacher." Now, these three are back with a new comedy. It's called "Sex Tape."

Diaz and Segel play Annie and Jay a relatively, happily married couple. But between their busy work schedules and taking care of their kids, free time is pretty scarce. Consequently, their love life has grown a bit stale.

Looking to spice things up, Annie proposes a racy concept. They do indeed make a video, and afterwards, Annie has a simple request: erase that video. Unfortunately, Jay doesn't follow those instructions.

The naughty video only exists on a handful of iPads that Jay has handed out as gifts, so before it goes totally viral and gets out to the general public, Annie and Jay go to extreme lengths to get all the tainted devices back.

Unlike "Bad Teacher," which was consistently funny, Diaz, Segel and Kasdan's latest effort is disappointingly uneven. There are a few segments that are genuinely amusing, and some of the dialogue will occasionally prompt a few laughs, but many of the scenes of go on for too long, the setups are belabored, and a lot of this falls flat.

Making matters worse, Director Jake Kasdan frequently goes the slapstick route. One lengthy scene, where Segel tries to dodge an attack dog while he's trying to retrieve one of the iPads, was funny at first, but ultimately wore out it's welcome.

Diaz and Segel are quite appealing and have great chemistry. Also quite good is the always reliable Rob Lowe, who sort of parodies his own real-life sex tape past here.

It's a mixed bag that's not really worth full price at the box office. It's better suited for a less expensive video or on-demand rental, which is where it will wind up eventually.


07/05/2014 05:00 AM Posted By: Neil Rosen
CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightly, Adam Levine Talk 'Begin Again'
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In the new movie Begin Again, Mark Ruffalo plays a down on his luck music executive who finds inspiration when he takes on a new artist played by Keira Knightley. She's come to New York with her longtime musician, boyfriend who's played by Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.

Begin Again is currently playing in theatres.


06/28/2014 05:00 AM Posted By: Neil Rosen
CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Rudd, Poehler Mock Romantic Comedies in New Film
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Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd team up in a new film that sets out to spoof romantic comedies. It's called "They Came Together."

Rudd and Poehler recount their rocky, on again, off again romance to another couple played by Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper.

At first, they can't stand each other. She owns a little sweets shop in Manhattan whose very existence is threatened by a candy superstore that he's about to open nearby.

If that plot sounds familiar, it's because they're knowingly making fun of the Nora Efron formula, specifically "You've Got Mail." Dozens of other rom-com conventions are satirized here as well.

They're a lot of all-knowing, wink wink jokes aimed at audiences who know the romantic comedy formula all to well.

On paper, the idea sounds like it could be very clever, but somehow the execution fails to hit the mark and more often than not, the in jokes fall flat.

The movie was directed and co-written by David Wain. Some of his previous work, like The Ten and Wanderlust, I simply loved. But this movie is trying to be more in the spoofy vain of his first film, "Wet Hot American Summer," which also featured Poehler and Rudd.


I'm a big fan of these two very talented actors and their comedic chops are first rate, but too often the material fails them.

Satire is a tough thing to pull off and I know what Wain and co-writer Michael Showalter are trying to do here conceptually, but for the most part, it doesn't gel.

There are a few silly moments and Christopher Meloni, Ed Helms and Cobie Smulders are also on hand. But the plot is weak, most of the gags are belabored and the bottom line is that it's a spoof that just doesn't have a lot of laughs.


06/21/2014 05:00 AM Posted By: Neil Rosen
CNY/NNY/S. Tier: "Jersey Boys" Goes From Broadway to the Big Screen
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The Tony Award winning Broadway musical, "Jersey Boys," all about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, gets the big screen treatment in a new film directed by Clint Eastwood.

Starting out in New Jersey in the 1950's, this is the tale of how this pop group was formed, their struggles to get to the top and what happens once they achieve fame and fortune.

Each member of the group chimes in throughout the film, talking directly to the camera, with their own recollections of how it all came to be.

We see the groups early ties to organized crime, with Christopher Walken playing a mob boss who takes a strong liking to Frankie and his unique voice.

The group doesn't really get anywhere until they meet the talented songwriter Bob Gaudio, played by Erich Bergen, who's flair with words and music eventually propels them to stardom.

Instead of casting big name movie stars to play the Four Seasons, Eastwood primarily fills the roles with members of past stage productions, like John Lloyd Young who originated the Frankie Valli role on Broadway and won the Tony.

Young, who was electrifying on stage, doesn't have a lot of presence on film, but when he starts singing, his voice does sounds great.

One actor who does have a lot of charisma on screen, is Boardwalk Empire's Vincent Piazza who plays tough guy Tommy, who gets the group into a whole bunch of financial debt.

The stage musical was a joyous experience with familiar Four Seasons tunes exploding on stage every few minutes.

Eastwood sort of sucks the fun out of the film version. He's more concerned with the story, which is sort of a garbled mess at times, with some major details left out and the music often times gets short shrift.

Except for a few numbers, most songs are rarely played in their entirety; instead, we're just given snippets.

"Jersey Boys," the movie does have some good moments, mainly in the first half. The production design nicely captures the era. Ultimately, though, it's too long and all over the map.


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