It’s an All-Owen-Wilson Weekend

This weekend’s theater news: Meet three global survivors…two very different Owen Wilsons…and one exasperated housekeeper. …and in home-viewing news: Steve McQueen trades his race cars for a jalopy…and a ripped-from-the-headlines documentary drives home some controversial points.   She’s Funny That Way Peter Bogdanovich returns to form in this frothy tale of a playwright (Owen Wilson) caught in a love triangle with his wife, her old flame and a heart-of-gold hooker. Jennifer Aniston is funny as a shrink entangled in the mess (“You don’t joke …

Puzzle Builder Merl Reagle Got His Message Across—and Down

Merl Reagle, the pun-ishingly inventive man who had created crossword puzzles for AARP The Magazine since 2004, died suddenly of acute pancreatitis in a hospital in Tampa on Aug. 22. He was 65. Those are the facts of the case. What they can’t give you is a sense of Merl’s love of words, or a flavor of how much fun it was to work with him — or a little behind him, I should say, since that’s where his sprinting …

Hit the Road with Tom Cruise and the Griswolds

This weekend, one of the summer’s best action flicks and a big, loud comedic disappointment share the multiplex with a brilliantly understated study of writers and the perils of genius.    Designates a Movies for Grownups Critic’s Choice   Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation After parsing the title’s tricky punctuation, taking down an international terror group should be easy for Tom Cruise & Co. We’ve seen this nonstop whirl of double agents, impossible stunts and (literally) breathtaking challenges before, but nobody does it like …

What the 2015 Emmy Nominations Tell Us About Aging

This year’s Emmy nominations are dotted with actors age 50 and up who brought powerful performances to some of the best shows on television and continue to work at the top of their game. Among the trends: 1. Men fare slightly better than women. Actresses often say it’s tough to be a woman of a certain age in Hollywood. But is that true for television? Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 54; Edie Falco, 52; Christine Baranski, 63; and Lisa Kudrow, 51, are just some of the …

When Judi Dench & Co. Revisited ‘Marigold Hotel’

As The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel comes to DVD and Blu-ray, you’d think making a sequel to the smash 2011 original must have been a foregone conclusion. Not so. In fact, back in 2011 it seemed especially unlikely to director John Madden and his all-star cast as they struggled to film the last scene of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Everyone was gathered in a sun-bleached hotel courtyard that offered nothing but difficult camera angles and tough lighting challenges. One …

Arnold’s Back — and So Is Jack Nicholson

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in theaters in full-on android mode, but your best bets this weekend may be three fine films on home video — two from this year, the other a golden oldie.  Signifies a Movies for Grownups Critic’s Pick   Terminator Genisys When Arnold Schwarzenegger said “I’ll be back!” in The Terminator in 1984, no one thought he meant, “in 31 years or so!” Yet here Der Groovenator is again, trying to prove he’s not obsolete while battling a new …