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‘Christopher Robin’ review: Winnie the Pooh reminds a middle-age workaholic the joys of doing nothin
BaltimoreSun.com / 1533377403

Two key dates in the annals of Winnie the Pooh:

Dec. 24, 1925: A.A. Milne publishes a front-page children’s story in the London Evening News, changing the name of his nascent bear character (formerly Edward) to Winnie the Pooh. The bear is inspired by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, his stuffed...

‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’ review: We choose to accept it
BaltimoreSun.com / 1532686202

The terrorists’ manifesto in the spiffy new “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” hinges its action plan for global slaughter on the phrase “the greater the suffering, the greater the peace.” So cruel. And yet so applicable to the ways of the action franchise!

In his sixth round as Impossible Mission...

‘Unfriended: Dark Web’ review: Further laptop adventures turn too grim
BaltimoreSun.com / 1532167802

Back in 2014, when the computer-based "Unfriended" was released, the kind of online menace we could imagine was mostly bullying — an anonymous mob unleashed online. That was even the platform First Lady Melania Trump announced as the issue she was going to tackle in the White House. That all seems...

Review: Does ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ improve on the original? ABBA-solutely!
BaltimoreSun.com / 1532167802

Everything old is shockingly, stirringly new again in “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” the rare sequel so unexpectedly enchanting that it plays less like a rehash than a reclamation. It may take you a moment to understand why, or how, this could be the case. The title alone feels like a winking admission...

‘The Equalizer 2’ review: Denzel Washington simultaneously charming and psychotic
BaltimoreSun.com / 1532167802

It seems every venerable actor of a certain age has got to have a trusty action franchise to fall back on these days. And for Denzel Washington , that's "The Equalizer" films, based on the '80s TV show about a former intelligence agent using his skills to help the less fortunate. Directed by Antoine...

‘Skyscraper’ review: Dwayne Johnson shows off his dramatic acting chops
BaltimoreSun.com / 1531563003

The hardest working man in showbiz, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson debuts his third blockbuster action flick in nine months this weekend. The descriptively titled "Skyscraper," which comes on the heels of "Rampage" and "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," is written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber,...

‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ review: Monsters aboard the Love Boat
BaltimoreSun.com / 1531563003

It's all about the zing.

If you are not up on monster speak, the term zing refers to what happens once in the life of a vampire, mummy, werewolf, etc. It's that moment when they know they have found the one true love in their life.

In the case of "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," Dracula...

‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ review: Guns blazing, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro enter border de
BaltimoreSun.com / 1530871803

Sick as it sounds, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is the lucky beneficiary of every belligerent tweet, crying child and political point scored in the chaos of the current Mexico/U.S. border crisis.

At its mean, snakelike best, it’s also a brutally assured commercial action picture, unburdened by...

‘The First Purge’ review: The riskiest-ever federal entitlement program begins
BaltimoreSun.com / 1530871803

Warning: The following review contains references to the political content, rampant and pointed, in the “Purge” franchise begun in 2013. With these movies, there’s no way around what they’re really saying.

The latest “Purge” is an erratic, fairly absorbing and righteously angry prequel. It sets...

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ review: Here’s one infestation we can get behind
BaltimoreSun.com / 1530871803

The unlimited breadsticks approach of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ensures that we remain full of carbs, all year, as each franchise rolls out another metaphorical Olive Garden. Some of the movies offer veritable superhero conventions — most recently the ensemble blowout “Avengers: Infinity War,”...

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ review: Raptors delight while humans make a mess of things
BaltimoreSun.com / 1529662202

Of all the terrors on view in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” the sight of Toby Jones’ toupee bobbing up and down, when his character (a sniveling dinosaur auctioneer) dashes into an elevator to alleged safety, with the camera and something called the “Indoraptor” scrambling behind him — reader,...

‘Tag’ review: Don’t these guys have anything else to do?
BaltimoreSun.com / 1529143803

Subjects of a 2013 Wall Street Journal feature, the real-life friends who provoked the new comedy “Tag” are, let’s assume, decent guys, fun-loving and supportive and appreciative of having the time and money to keep the same elaborate prankster version of tag going for nearly 30 years.

But I kind...

‘Superfly’ review: One last score, this time in Atlanta
BaltimoreSun.com / 1529143803

The grungy, fairly entertaining remake of “Superfly” borrows a few key narrative hooks from the 1972 original, along with key elements of its fantastic Curtis Mayfield soundtrack (notably “Pusherman”). But for better or worse, the new version has no interest in fashioning the same sort of mashup...

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