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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Hand And Footprint Ceremony

Brad Peyton, Dwayne Johnson and Toby Emmerich - American actor and WWE wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson was photographed as he attended his hand and footprint ceremony which was held in the forecourt of the Chinese Theater and IMAX in Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 19th May 2015

Brad Peyton, Dwayne Johnson and Toby Emmerich
Brad Peyton, Dwayne Johnson and Toby Emmerich

New Year's Eve Review

The team that made the thin-but-enjoyable Valentine's Day in 2010 reunites for another massively overextended rom-com with a remarkable A-list ensemble. But this time the stories and filmmaking overdose on ill-conceived schmaltz.

As the countdown to 2012 begins, an executive (Swank) is frazzled about a technical glitch in the iconic Time's Square ball-drop. Meanwhile, a courier (Efron) is trying to help a frumpy secretary (Pfeiffer) achieve her dreams. A chef (Heigl) is catering a glittering event while trying to avoid her rock star ex (Bon Jovi), whose back-up singer (Michele) is stuck in a lift with a lovelorn slacker (Kutcher). A mother (Parker) is worried about her teen daughter (Breslin). And a tuxedoed millionaire (Duhamel) is trying to get to an important event in the city.

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Four Christmases Review

Before a single joke is told, Seth Gordon's Four Christmases earns a positive grade for its inspired casting.

I'm not talking about Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, who are asked to do what they've done in previous comedies, and happily oblige. Vaughn, in particular, continues to ride that motor-mouthed ego shtick of his with very humorous results. His condescending personality should have worn out its welcome shortly after Wedding Crashers, yet somehow it still manages to entertain.

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Pride And Glory Review

Police thrillers these days aspire to replicate the CSI formula on the big screen. Not Pride and Glory. It wants to be this generation's Serpico.

Director Gavin O'Connor certainly understands the difference between the two. Though Glory lays out a complex yet solvable mystery, it's far more interested in loyalty and the familial bonds that exist among lifetime police officers. It also wears its adoration for the badge -- and those who wear it -- on its sleeve.

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New York Premiere Of 'Pride And Glory'

Toby Emmerich and producer - Toby Emmerich, producer held at AMC Lowe's Lincoln Square Cinemas New York City, USA - New York Premiere of 'Pride and Glory' Wednesday 15th October 2008

Toby Emmerich and Producer
Toby Emmerich and His Mother

Appaloosa Review

Unlike its immediate predecessors, which have retooled (Unforgiven), remade (3:10 To Yuma), revered (Open Range), and re-imagined (The Proposition) the genre, Ed Harris' Appaloosa is simply content being a good Western. It's unapologetic of its formula, unwilling to waver in its characterizations, and unhurried in its pace. It tells a story you've heard before -- more than once -- but it handles its business with rugged aplomb. That ought to be enough. But for some reason, it isn't.

It's 1882, and the intimidating landowner Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) casts a long shadow over the New Mexico town of Appaloosa. With three booming gun blasts, the film establishes Bragg's cold-blooded disdain for authority and utter lack of morals. Man, how I wish Appaloosa gave this character more time to breathe, develop, and wreck proper havoc.

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Fracture Review

It is hardly a reassuring sign when one of the more interesting things in a film is not even sentient. Over the title sequence of Fracture, and in the midst of some of the duller stretches (of these there are many) we see a glittering sort of Rube Goldberg contraption, all shiny metallic tracks and carved wooden wheels, where small glass balls skitter and roll in an elaborately choreographed dance. It's a beautiful piece of elegant machinery and, one hopes, symbolic of the many complex and artfully managed plot twists to come. Instead, what we're given is Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling sleepwalking around each other as they navigate through one of the year's laziest films.

Fracture has no excuse to be so lazy, given the actors at its disposal and a setup that should have made this an easy slam-dunk. Hopkins plays Ted Crawford, an aeronautics engineer who's found out that his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) is having an affair with police detective Rob Nunally (Billy Burke). Confronting her at home, Crawford shoots her in the head and calmly waits for the cops to arrive. When they do, it's with none other than Nunally at the lead, who's shocked and enraged at finding Jennifer in a pool of blood and Crawford standing there as though nothing had happened. After a quickly-interrupted beating from Nunally, Crawford later confesses and even waives his right to a lawyer. When it's all dropped in the lap of assistant district attorney Willy Beachum (Gosling), the case couldn't seem more airtight, which is good since Beachum can't wait to slip the bonds of lowly civil employment for a well-paying private sector job.

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The Last Mimzy Review

A mimzy -- to answer your burning question -- is a tattered, plush bunny stuffed with cotton and an alien nervous system that gives the doll artificial intelligence. Scientists from a dying future need a sample of good DNA, so they teleport the last of these rabbits to a Seattle beach in our present day, where precocious siblings Noah (Chris O'Neil) and Emma Wilder (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) scoop the toy up and bring it home.

So begins Robert Shaye's pleasant adventure The Last Mimzy, inspired by Lewis Padgett's short story Mimsy Were the Borogoves, which should do for sci-fi exploration what Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids franchise did for family espionage. The adults in Noah's life -- from his parents (Joely Richardson, Timothy Hutton) to his science teacher (Rainn Wilson) -- are too caught up in their daily routine to notice that the boy is changing. It isn't until Mimzy causes a citywide blackout that the military -- personified by Michael Clarke Duncan -- comes snooping around. The movie, at this point, begins to mimic E.T. without actually becoming its emotional equivalent.

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The New World Review

Is there a more frustrating living director than Terrence Malick? It's hard to imagine another filmmaker more fantastically talented or more jaw-dropping awful, capable of conjuring scenes of breathtaking cinematic poetry and cringing adolescent pathos within mere seconds of each other. There is nobody in the modern world of cinema even remotely like the ineffable artist who is Malick - but whether that's a good or bad thing is for wiser heads to puzzle out.

Malick ended the silence which followed his fantastic 1970s one-two punch of Badlands and Days of Heaven - airy, wind-swept paeans to wide-open skies and the loneliness that lies like a bruise on the land beneath them - with 1998's star-stuffed adaptation of James Jones' battle epic The Thin Red Line. It would have been the World War II movie to end the century with, but for a little something called Saving Private Ryan, out that same year. Up against Ryan's self-consciously stomach-churning gore and herky-jerky camerawork, not to mention its resolutely action, action, ACTION! pacing, Malick's moony meditation on the thin line (if any) between civilization and savagery couldn't help but come off as impossibly arch. Never mind that Malick's battle scenes were even more vicious and realistic than Spielberg's, given their eschewing of comforting action film tropes in favor of pure hot chaos. A strike (well, several strikes) against Malick was his habit of telling the story via overlapping voiceovers, as each of the characters thinks Big Important Thoughts about life and war and love. By jettisoning Jones' pungent prose, all the characters ended up sounding exactly the same, like Malick just thinking aloud in the sort of white-noise pseudo-philosophical jumble that Godard litters his films with.

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Frequency Review

The time travel/time bending genre always seems worn out. The very topic lends itself to the production of hacky movies like Millennium, and yet I am constantly surprised to see one film after another making good on the hidden promise of the genre. Witness the Back to the Future series and the powerful 12 Monkeys. As it turns out, mucking with time actually pays off more often than not!

Not only is Frequency a good flick, it's fully worthy of a place among one of the best timetwisters ever made.

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A History Of Violence Review

Those well schooled in the history of cinema (or who've just seen a movie or two in their time) cannot help but look at the scenes of idyllic content occupying most of the beginning of A History of Violence without knowing that something bad is coming to bust up this happy family unit. Of course, they're helped along by the fact that the film opens on a chillingly calm scene - composed almost entirely of one tracking shot - in which a pair of laconic crooks on the lam execute a number of people in a small motel with about as much emotion as they'd use to pick up their dry cleaning. While the killers and the happy family are obviously on a collision course, it's not the violent impact that matters so much as the almost more shocking aftermath, and the secrets it may uncover.

Viggo Mortensen (in a welcome return to acting after too much time barking orders in elvish and swinging a broadsword from horseback) plays Tom Stall, a family man who runs a diner in a small Indiana town. He's not originally from the town, but he's been there long enough that everyone has long ago accepted him as one of their own. It's a normal life, Tom's young daughter has nightmares and his geeky teenage son Jack gets picked on at school, but other than that, things are good. Then the killers come into the diner right before closing, and just as they're about to execute a waitress, Tom springs into action, gunning them both down in spectacular fashion. Tom becomes a local celebrity but seems traumatized by the whole affair, wishing it could just be put behind him.

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