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Marshall returns with another holiday-themed ensemble film

Marshall returns with another holiday-themed ensemble film

By MARK VIOLA Famed artist Pablo Picasso had his blue period. For film director Garry Marshall, this is apparently his holiday period. The director, who has given us such movies…

‘Ratchet & Clank’ should entertain kids, but is otherwise quite generic

‘Ratchet & Clank’ should entertain kids, but is otherwise quite generic

By MARK VIOLA One of the most consistently disappointing film genres is video game adaptations. For years Hollywood has been trying to translate a video game into a satisfying movie.…

Review: ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ is a very generic, fantasy action film

Review: ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ is a very generic, fantasy action film

By MARK VIOLA Four years ago, Hollywood gave us “Snow White and the Huntsman,” a darker, more action-filled take on the classic fairy tale. Although that film had its flaws,…

Review: ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ captures the feel of both the 80s and college

Review: ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ captures the feel of both the 80s and college

By MARK VIOLA I have no problem with mainstream blockbusters, but I also love finding smaller films destined to become classics in their various genres. Director Richard Linklater has given…

Review: ‘The Jungle Book’ is one of the best family movies of the year

Review: ‘The Jungle Book’  is one of the best family movies of the year

By MARK VIOLA There seems to be no end in sight to Disney’s current run of making live action adaptations of its classic animated films. So far, they’ve had mixed…

Review: ‘Criminal’ is an enjoyable action movie with an interesting story, strong cast

Review: ‘Criminal’ is an enjoyable action movie with an interesting story, strong cast

By MARK VIOLA Some of my favorite popcorn action movies are from the 1990s, including “The Rock,” “Face/Off” and  “Con Air,” all of which were released in either 1996 or…

Review: McCarthy delivers the laughs, but ‘The Boss’ offers little else

Review: McCarthy delivers the laughs, but ‘The Boss’ offers little else

By MARK VIOLA Some actors, especially comedic actors, tend to get typecast in a certain kind of role. Sometimes this is forced on them by producers and sometimes it seems…

Review: Gyllenhaal gives us another excellent performance in emotional ‘Demolition’

Review: Gyllenhaal gives us another excellent performance in emotional ‘Demolition’

By MARK VIOLA Sometimes a partnership just seems like a perfect idea for everyone involved. That was my thought when I first saw the trailer for “Demolition,” a film from…

Review: ‘Midnight Special’ is a tense, engaging thriller with a helping of science-fiction

Review: ‘Midnight Special’ is a tense, engaging thriller with a helping of science-fiction

By MARK VIOLA With the summer blockbuster season almost upon us, I love finding little-known or publicized films. Last year around this time we got “Ex Machina,” which ended up…

Review: ‘Eye in the Sky’ doesn’t pretend there is an easy answer to a messy debate

Review: ‘Eye in the Sky’ doesn’t pretend there is an easy answer to a messy debate

By MARK VIOLA The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the subsequent fights against terrorist organizations elsewhere in the Middle East have long been controversial. One of the most debated…