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By Michael PhillipsTribune Newspapers critic | May 6, 2010
"A passable knockoff": That's how the man in the Iron Man mask, the obscenely rich but heartsick industrialist played by Robert Downey Jr., characterizes the electro-weaponry wielded by his Slavic adversary (Mickey Rourke) in "Iron Man 2." Much of this scattershot sequel to the 2008 smash feels like a passable knockoff as well. Here and there, director Jon Favreau's diversion takes us back to the considerable satisfactions of the first "Iron Man," whether in action mode, such as a nifty vivisection of metallic villainous drones (provoking the sole round of applause at the Tuesday night screening I saw)
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NEWS
By David Horsey | April 15, 2013
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems like a fictional character out of a satirical doomsday movie -- maybe a sequel to "Dr. Strangelove. " That fact that this immature brat and his gaggle of grim, aging generals actually rule a country and have the capacity to disturb the international order seems absurd in an era of global interdependence. In the 21st century, humankind should have moved beyond this, but apparently we need a few more centuries of progress before all countries are led by comparatively rational, democratically elected leaders -- or at least by boring, one-party bureaucrats whose main goal is to preserve stability and promote economic growth.
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EXPLORE
By Mike Giuliano | June 29, 2011
"Cars 2" runs out of gas long before it runs out of running time. This sequel qualifies as the rare Pixar misfire. Unlike the wit and warmth of such animated favorites as the "Toy Story" series and "Wall-E," "Cars 2" seems cold and shrill. One reason why the earlier Pixar pictures work so well is that they aren't afraid to slow down in order to appreciate the gentler emotions common to both humans and anthropomorphized toys. Although the first "Cars" certainly had its share of automotive racing action, it also spent quality time with the automotive residents of a Southwestern town called Radiator Springs.
NEWS
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | May 30, 2012
Three of the most popular books in America are being kept off the shelves of the Harford County Public Library system because administrators consider them to be pornographic. British author E.L. James' erotic trilogy about a steamy affair between an innocent literature student and an entrepreneur with dangerous desires has topped the list of Amazon.com's best-selling books. Ditto for the New York Times' best-selling fiction list. Every other library system in Central Maryland owns copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and its two sequels, and maintains waiting lists of hundreds of eager readers who want to check them out. Harford County's reluctance to purchase the novels in the face of overwhelming public demand and accusations of censorship places it in among an embattled minority of libraries nationwide.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | July 31, 1997
"Jest a Second!" -- the sequel to James Sherman's comedy, "Beau Jest" -- takes place one year later. So it's perfectly fitting that Totem Pole Playhouse is presenting the sequel exactly a year after its success with "Beau Jest."Like "Beau Jest," "Jest a Second!" is being directed by Wil Love, the popular Baltimore-based actor and director who is a longtime favorite at this Fayetteville, Pa., summer theater. In the new comedy, which opens Tuesday, the hero and heroine have married and are expecting a child.
NEWS
By David Horsey | April 15, 2013
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems like a fictional character out of a satirical doomsday movie -- maybe a sequel to "Dr. Strangelove. " That fact that this immature brat and his gaggle of grim, aging generals actually rule a country and have the capacity to disturb the international order seems absurd in an era of global interdependence. In the 21st century, humankind should have moved beyond this, but apparently we need a few more centuries of progress before all countries are led by comparatively rational, democratically elected leaders -- or at least by boring, one-party bureaucrats whose main goal is to preserve stability and promote economic growth.
FEATURES
By Rob Hiaasen and Rob Hiaasen,Sun Staff Writer | August 12, 1995
In a blink, the world's most profitable and popular idiot is back. Forrest Gump.You know him, you love Tom Hanks as him, and you rented the movie over the weekend -- although you saw it twice in the theater last year. And you probably bought Winston Groom's book of the same name and then the spin-off, "Gumpisms: The Wit and Wisdom of Forrest Gump."We have bought it all.Now comes Mr. Groom with "Gump & Co." (Pocket Books, $22), which will be available in bookstores Wednesday. The book is the speedy sequel or "extension" to his "Forrest Gump," which has sold about 2 million copies (Japan ate it up)
FEATURES
By Los Angeles Times | April 9, 1991
HOLLYWOOD -- John Hughes, who wrote and produced ''Home Alone,'' (Chris Columbus directed), is incredulous over the success of the $18.2 million production. It had sold $257.5 worth of tickets as of the middle of last week and is about to become the third-highest grossing movie ever."Who would have guessed it?" he asks, comparing it to his previous efforts, such as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and other teen-oriented pictures that have reached plateaus of $70 million -- but never beyond. His newest film, "Career Opportunities," which he also wrote and produced, is, in his view, "a disappointment" because "I didn't have my usual creative control."
FEATURES
By Patrick Goldstein and Patrick Goldstein,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 10, 2003
Heavily hyped retreads, lacking individuality, are in the box-office tank, gobbled up by the clever Finding Nemo and other inventive films. It's a pretty scary proposition, but is it possible that the average 16-year-old has better taste in movies than the rich, Ivy League-educated studio executives who've flooded us with a deluge of movie sequels this summer? Ever since the arrival of The Matrix Reloaded in mid-May, which was a box-office success but a huge disappointment to most fans and critics alike, the retread market has taken a nasty bearish turn.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach | September 4, 1997
Cinemax presents a dual lesson tonight: Lesson 1 shows how funny a movie can be, while Lesson 2 shows how pointless a sequel can be."Airplane!" (8 p.m.-10 p.m.) probably has more jokes per frame than any film ever made, which means that even if only half of them work, it's still one funny film. Fortunately, far better than half do, as a cast of film veterans, including Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves, send up the very film and TV characterizations that made them famous.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Dave Gilmore | May 15, 2012
Fans across the country lined up at video game retailers late last night to purchase copies of “Diablo III” for the PC and “Max Payne 3” for consoles in what has been a whirlwind 24 hours for gaming. With a combined 21-year absence since the “II/2” versions of “Diablo” and “Max Payne,” fans were eager to get a jump on the highly anticipated sequels. “Diablo III” players arrived home after installing their games to a variety of issues due to the game's overwhelming popularity.
EXPLORE
By Mike Giuliano | June 29, 2011
"Cars 2" runs out of gas long before it runs out of running time. This sequel qualifies as the rare Pixar misfire. Unlike the wit and warmth of such animated favorites as the "Toy Story" series and "Wall-E," "Cars 2" seems cold and shrill. One reason why the earlier Pixar pictures work so well is that they aren't afraid to slow down in order to appreciate the gentler emotions common to both humans and anthropomorphized toys. Although the first "Cars" certainly had its share of automotive racing action, it also spent quality time with the automotive residents of a Southwestern town called Radiator Springs.
EXPLORE
June 19, 2011
" Bridesmaids" (R). A bride to be (Maya Rudolph) worries that her upcoming wedding will be ruined by her increasingly jittery best friend and maid of honor (Kristen Wiig). This is an uneven comedy, but there are endearing performances and a few very funny scenes. Grade: B TownMall Cinemas (9:40 pm) "Green Lantern" (PG-13) Not reviewed. In this latest of comic book adaptations, Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, the first human to be recruited into the Green Lantern Corps, a centuries-old organization sworn to preserve intergalactic order.
EXPLORE
May 31, 2011
now playing "Bridesmaids" (R). A bride to be (Maya Rudolph) worries that her upcoming wedding will be ruined by her increasingly jittery best friend and maid of honor (Kristen Wiig). This is an uneven comedy, but there are endearing performances and a few very funny scenes. Grade: B TownMall Cinemas (1:30, 4:30, 7:10, 10:05) "Fast Five" (PG-13). The latest "Fast and Furious" installment is, er, as fast and furious as ever. Its vaguely plotted story is really about muscles flexing and cars crashing in scenic Rio de Janeiro.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2010
The way Omar Broadway sees it, Maryland prisons are overrun with gangs, disciplinary rules are ignored and inmates pass the time playing video games and making wine in their cells. You don't have to take his word for it: He says he's getting it on film. Broadway, a New Jersey native serving a 12-year sentence for carjacking, has gained notoriety as an amateur documentarian of life behind bars. The choppy footage he captured in a Newark prison was turned into a full-length feature ("An Omar Broadway Film")
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2010
This July 4th weekend the AFI Silver theater in Silver Spring hosts the brilliantly restored editions of "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II." In this dual masterpiece, director Francis Ford Coppola turns patriotic cliches on their head. But these movies are an apt cause for celebration on Independence Day. They epitomize American artists' freedom and vitality. The first speech we hear is an aggrieved Italian-American father, saying, "I believe in America. America has made my fortune."
FEATURES
By Knight-Ridder News Service | April 27, 1992
"Batman Returns," Warner Bros.' mega-sequel (rumored cost: million), doesn't open until June 19, but already the bat-hype and marketing tie-ins have begun.The follow-up to Tim Burton's 1989 release, the sixth-highest-grossing picture of all time, is considered the movie to beat in the summer box-office race, and the trailer has been wowing audiences with its turbo-charged action sequences, the virtually unrecognizable Danny De Vito in a Penguin get-up, and Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer's French-kissing-in-funny-costumes scene.
NEWS
By Nancy Pate and Nancy Pate,Orlando Sentinel | June 28, 1992
THE EVENING STAR.Larry McMurtry.Simon & Schuster.635 pages. $23. Watching "Lonesome Dove" again on TV reminded me how much I liked it and the Larry McMurtry novel on which it's based. While I once more mourned Gus' death, I couldn't help but be thankful Mr. McMurtry chose to kill off the old guy. That way, he won't be tempted into writing a sequel.I should say a bad sequel, because Mr. McMurtry has written a couple of good ones. In its own cheery, haphazard way, his 1987 novel "Texasville" was as much of a lament for the passage of time and the passing of a way of life as its predecessor, 1966's elegiac but unsentimental "The Last Picture Show."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2010
"Toy Story 3" is a prison break movie — and prison break movies have always juggled laughs and jolts. A Newsweek writer has raised the question of whether "Toy Story 3" is too frightful for small children. But children have always loved to be scared, whether by reading fairy tales or watching "The Wizard of Oz." As screenwriter Michael Arndt says, "There's nothing wrong with strong emotions — you go to a film to feel strong emotions. And the only time that doesn't work is if the emotions are cheaply earned or are made gratuitously.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael PhillipsTribune Newspapers critic | May 6, 2010
"A passable knockoff": That's how the man in the Iron Man mask, the obscenely rich but heartsick industrialist played by Robert Downey Jr., characterizes the electro-weaponry wielded by his Slavic adversary (Mickey Rourke) in "Iron Man 2." Much of this scattershot sequel to the 2008 smash feels like a passable knockoff as well. Here and there, director Jon Favreau's diversion takes us back to the considerable satisfactions of the first "Iron Man," whether in action mode, such as a nifty vivisection of metallic villainous drones (provoking the sole round of applause at the Tuesday night screening I saw)
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