HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ ends its run after five seasons

An apocryphal quote going around is, “The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” It sums up the fifth and final season of “Boardwalk Empire,” HBO’s prohibition-era drama whose gratuitous sex, violence and profanity… Continued

Brad Pitt stars in another WWII movie, “Fury”

You can usually judge a director’s filmmaking prowess by their ability to make a war movie. It’s not easy to depict the horrors of battle convincingly. Once in a while, someone captures that electrifying realism, creating a masterpiece that becomes stitched into the very fabric of pop culture. Steven Spielberg had… Continued

Star studded ‘Stretch” fails to impress despite cast

It has become common practice now for studios to release certain movies on download or streaming services instead of the theater. This course of action comes with certain advantages. For one, it allows them to forego the millions of dollars involved in a marketing campaign of TV spots, billboards and… Continued

Into the Vault: ‘American Graffiti’

Before racing pods over the desert landscape of Tatooine, George Lucas was racing cars over the streets of his hometown, Modesto, California. Over the years of cinematic history, few films have so deftly captured the essence of adolescent life and independence as “American Graffiti,” Lucas’ second directorial effort (the sci-fi… Continued

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ reminiscent of ‘Star Wars’

Remember in “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” when Obi Wan Kenobi described Mos Eisley Spaceport as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy”? Well, “Guardians of the Galaxy” (released Aug. 1), the newest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, shows fans that Han Solo and the Wookiee weren’t… Continued

No monkeying around in latest entry in ‘Apes’ series

George Orwell had it right when he wrote, “Four legs good, two legs bad.” This “Animal Farm” axiom is the driving theme behind “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which wastes no time in reminding us that no matter how hard you try, you cannot escape the dangerous and… Continued

Bay disappoints audiences with latest ‘Transformers’

Half sequel, half reboot, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is one of those movies that never really justifies its existence. The latest entry in the filmography of Michael Bay—the one director whose finger is never too far from the explosives button—“Extinction” revisits Hasbro’s lovable, shape-shifting robots in disguise for the fourth… Continued

You should be celebrating: ELO’s ‘Discovery’

If you’ve ever watched a movie set in the 1970s, chances are you probably heard at least one song by Electric Light Orchestra, a British rock group whose music, aside from being extremely entertaining, has become a permanent fixture of ’70s pop culture for their unique sound — a defining… Continued

MacFarlane’s latest effort doesn’t reach its potential

In 2012, Seth MacFarlane proved that a story about a foul-mouthed teddy bear (“Ted”) could become the highest grossing original R-rated comedy of all time. Now, the “Family Guy” creator/voice actor proves that he isn’t infallible with his second directorial feature, “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” Released… Continued

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is one of series’ best

Superheroes and alternate history go hand in hand; just look at Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ “Watchmen,” which had America victorious in the Vietnam War, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein murdered before they could expose Watergate, and Richard Nixon elected to a fifth term in office all thanks to the… Continued