Screened Out – The Divergent Series: Allegiant

By : Stephen Miller
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Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Jeff Daniels, Octavia Spencer, Naomi Watts

In the beginning, Woodley’s character Tris says, “We’re going to be okay” just before the feces hits the fan.

Woodley’s career has also hit the fan, especially after she signed up for this watered down YA science fiction with too many special effects and a wimpy story. This third installment of four in the Divergent series is the absolute worst – action sequences and clunky voice-overs giving way to slow, confusing speeches about genetic purity.

There’s nothing pure about Allegiant. It’s all chewed up and crapped out ideas from better books and movies.

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Screened Out – Steve Jobs

By : Stephen Miller
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Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels

Steve Jobs is available on DVD and some streaming services Feb. 16.

Like many Steve Jobs inventions, this excellent movie flopped. Why? How?

It isn’t the subject; Steve Jobs is one of the most intriguing persons of the last century. The film’s production team includes writer Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing), director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting), and Oscar nominees Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet. When this brilliant three-act movie opened in early October last year, the critical praise was high, and there was a lot of Awards buzz.

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Screened Out – The Martian

By : Stephen Miller
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Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Aksel Hennie, Sebastian Stan, Daniel Glover

Visually stunning, intellectually intriguing, and emotionally charged, The Martian is a fiercely appealing story of survival. It’s also director Ridley Scott return to form – jettisoning gravitas for entertainment, injecting heart into his pictures again.

It’s all based on Andy Weir’s wonderful best-selling novel. This is the type of adaptation authors probably pray for – smart, tight, and full of life, energy, tension, and humor.

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Screened Out – Dumb and Dumber To

By : Stephen Miller
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Jim Carey, Jeff Daniels, Kathleen Turner, Rob Riggle, Rachel Melvin, Laurie Holden

Are you ready for another couple hours of dumb, two long decades after the first foray? If you buy a ticket for this creaky flashback, you know what to expect. It may not be as funny or fresh as the first one, but it is the funniest Farrelly film since the original. That’s not saying much; like the lead character’s IQs, our expectations are pretty low.

Through all their wrinkles and gray hair, Carey’s Lloyd Christmas and Daniels’ Harry Dunne certainly remind us of a dumber, simpler time. There are some solid, intermittent laughs here. Nowadays, this throwback gets lost among the Hangover films, most of Jonah Hill’s oeuvre, and almost every Will Farrell and Adam Sandler offering.

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