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Cinderella review
Walt Disney Pictures
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‘Cinderella’ Review: This Old Fairy Tale Still Has Some Magic

The name “Disney” brings to mind images of fair princesses, charming princes, magical fairy tales, and simple happily ever afters. In recent years, though, Disney has begun rethinking their classic properties, and releasing more thematically complex versions of their famous films. Sleeping Beauty became Maleficent, which turned a wicked witch into a sympathetic anti-hero; a whole mess of fairy tales turned into Into the Woods, where happily ever after preceded a whole bunch of death and tragedy. The ranks of Disney Princesses grew to include women like Merida, the bow-slinging heroine of Brave, and Anna and Else from Frozen, who rescued each other from an prince, rather than the other way around. Every value and concept that Disney had established and reinforced through decades of repetition was seemingly up for reconsideration and revision.

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Focus image
Warner Bros.
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‘Focus’ Review: Welcome Back, Movie Star Will Smith

It’s been a decade since Will Smith was “Will Smith” onscreen. Sure, he’s made movies in the last ten years; science-fiction pictures, dramas, comedies. He even played Satan, once. But none of them riffed on that classic Will Smith persona that everyone loves; the infectious charm, the seductive smile, the cocky but casual swagger. (What’s that? Men in Black 3? No, they never made a third Men in Black. You must be confused.)

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Fifty Shades of Grey
Universal
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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Review: A Vanilla Movie About Kinky Sex

Christian Grey is an unusual guy. He’s the world’s most eligible billionaire bachelor and an enormously powerful businessman. He’s an avid jogger, an exceptional piano player, and a licensed helicopter pilot. He also really like the color gray. He wears gray suits and ties, drives a gray car to his gray office building (which is called Grey House) under gray Seattle skies, where his assistant dresses in—you guessed it—gray. (For the record, his office chairs are white but the couches are gray too.) And, oh yeah, he’s into kinky sex, including bondage, spanking, and domination.

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Jupiter Ascending
Warner Bros.
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‘Jupiter Ascending’ Review: The Wachowskis Descend Into Sci-Fi Silliness

Episode 415 of ‘Seinfeld’ was called “The Movie,” and it ended with Jerry delivering a monologue about the guy in every group of friends who can’t follow the plots of films and invariably spends them whispering confused questions to their seatmates (“Why did they kill that guy? I thought he was with them? Wasn't he with them? Why would they kill him if he was with them? Oh, he wasn't with them. It's a good thing they killed him!”) ‘Jupiter Ascending’ turned me into that guy. If you can explain the plot of this baffling movie in all of its intricacies, you are either a genius or one of the Wachowskis who wrote and directed it. It’s hard to believe that a movie that contains this much exposition could also be this confusing, but it does and it is. Something went horribly wrong here.

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Project Almanac 1
Paramount
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‘Project Almanac’ Review: Found Footage Goes Back to the Future

Woe be unto humanity if teenagers discover time travel. That’s the main takeaway from the entertaining new found-footage thriller ‘Project Almanac,’ in which a quintet of adolescents find a time machine, and do exactly what a bunch of adolescents would do if they found a time machine: Party, prank, and screw around with no thought to the consequences of their actions. These kids know and cite ‘Looper’ and ‘The Terminator,’ but the movie they should have paid attention to was ‘The Butterfly Effect,’ because they seem caught off-guard when their innocent misadventures in the timestream begin to ripple out in dangerous ways.

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Lake Superior State University Releases 2015′s Banished Words List

Lake Superior State –- the smallest public university in Michigan -- has released its annual list of banished words.

The list’s proper name is the List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness, and has been a Lake Superior tradition since 1976.

Which words have been banned this year?

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Category: News, Reviews Tags: ,
Into the Woods Red Riding Hood
Disney
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‘Into the Woods’ Review: Not Your Typical Disney Fairy Tale, For Better Or Worse

In the fall of 2013, APCO Worldside surveyed 70,000 people about the world’s biggest brands. They measured their responses in eight different ways—“understanding, approachability, relevance, admiration, curiosity, identification, empowerment, and pride.” The number one most loved company out of 600 choices: Disney.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Trailer Final
Sony Pictures
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‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Review

Most of what I know about complex science comes from comic books, so forgive me if my understanding of quantum mechanics is a little off. But, I think it can mean that particles can exist in two states simultaneously. 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2,' a film loaded with such half-understood notions of difficult scientific concepts, is a quantum movie. It manages to be both awful and entertaining, frequently at the same exact time. The script is ludicrous, even by summer blockbuster standards. The characters behave irrationally and without motivation and the story makes lengthy, frequent pit stops into dull backstory. But, for every moment of tedium and confusion there is a tiny explosion of joy. Director Marc Webb just barely ties this collision of half-baked ideas together in a sticky Spidey bow.

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Game of Thrones Lion and the Rose Review Joffrey Wedding
HBO
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‘Game of Thrones’ Review: “The Lion and the Rose”

Game of Thrones’ season 4 conjures its second episode of the season, “The Lion and the Rose,” as the royal wedding of Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell goes predictably awry, while Tyrion makes a heartbreaking sacrifice, and Ramsay Bolton gets a new mission from his father.

Last week's ‘Game of Thrones’ season premiere “Two Swords” saw Tyrion greeting the vengeful Prince Oberyn Martell for Joffrey's wedding, while Jaime had difficulty adjusting to life back in Kings' Landing, Jon Snow prepared the Night's Watch, and Arya encountered an old friend. So, what does the latest installment of season 4 bring?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Game of Thrones’ season 4, episode 2, “The Lion and the Rose!”

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Fox's "American Idol" judges
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
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Could Caleb Johnson Become The Next American Idol? [VIDEO]

It's been a while since I've covered an American Idol contestant but after last nights performance from Caleb Johnson, well, just crown him the winner right now. Caleb Johnson did an amazing job with Led Zeppelin's 'Dazed And Confused' recently. The judges really liked the performance. J Lo thought it was sexy and I thought it was amazing.

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Divergent review
Summit Entertainment
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‘Divergent’ Review

Springing forth from the same lineage of Katniss Everdeen, far removed from the toxically weak Bella Swan bloodline, ‘Divergent’ heroine Beatrice “Tris” Prior is well worth rooting for, even if her debut film isn’t as compelling as its leading lady. Based on Veronica Roth’s best-selling YA trilogy, Neil Burger’s film is cripplingly faithful to its source material, and although he and screenwriters Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor have plenty of rich material to pull from, the film’s inability to distill it down to its most essential bits makes for a strangely bloated and often flatlining final product.

Yet, for its dragging run time – nearly two and a half hours – and its repetitive nature, ‘Divergent’ should both thrill fans and (hopefully) excite newcomers who will leave the theater wanting to know where its open ending travels next.

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Category: Books, Movies, Reviews Tags:
Veronica Mars Movie Trailer Behind the Scenes Piz Logan
Warner Bros.
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‘Veronica Mars’ Review

Seven years after the end of the television series, 'Veronica Mars' returns with a full-length feature film (thanks in part to a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign), reuniting star Kristen Bell with all of those familiar faces for a brand new mystery that hits pretty close to home for the former teen detective -- this case hits right in the middle of her hometown, in fact, dragging her back from her new life in New York for one last job ... or is it? Both old school fans and newbies alike will find plenty to love in Rob Thomas' 'Veronica Mars' movie, which blends the series' particular brand of wry humor with an exciting new mystery, familiar faces, and some new blood. 

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