“The Counselor”: Big Stars, Low Appeal

The Counselor is a mess of a movie. That’s surprising, given the talent in this modern noir - Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt - and a screenplay (his first) by Cormac McCarthy, the esteemed author who has won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. As a screenwriter, the 80-year-old turns out to be a great novelist. Get entertainment and dining discounts with your AARP Member Advantages. Fassbender is the title character, called only “Counselor.” We never …

Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview: Oct. 4

From disaster in Earth orbit to death in the Himalayas, to gunshots in Dallas, this week’s top new movies serve up some pretty tough meat. Luckily there’s at least one new comedy to lighten things up. The New Stuff: Gravity Stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are fine and the film’s visual recreation of a space voyage is breathtaking (especially in 3-D), but co-writer/director Alfonso Cuaron should have launched with a decent script. FULL REVIEW   Save $3 off any size popcorn …

Rita Moreno Adds Life Achievement To Award List

As movie awards season draws a little closer, it’s worth noting that the Screen Actors Guild will give its Life Achievement Award of 2014 to the inimitable Rita Moreno, who turns 82 in December. She’ll add the SAG statue to a shelf of many others, an Emmy, two Grammys, an Oscar and a Tony (she is one of only 11 artists in entertainment history to have won that grand slam), not to mention a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a …

Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview Sept. 27

Pornography and cannibalism are the subjects of two interesting new movies this week, but it may be time to see a true classic: The Wizard of Oz is in IMAX3-D theaters through this weekend; it was in the top ten moneymakers last weekend. Go see it for the popping poppies and flying monkeys. The New Stuff:  Don Jon This is a tour-de-force for actor, writer, director Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but see the story of Jon, a guy whose addiction to online porn …

At Last, a Lyrical Look at Latino Life

Miriam Colon isn’t just the star of Bless Me, Ultima, a gentle soul of a film set in a New Mexico Latino community during World War II. She’s also something of a prophet on its behalf, urging more films like this one that, quite literally, calls from the wilderness with a story of America’s rich Latino culture. While there’s no shortage of movies that examine the Latino experience in America, they tend to unfold as urban gangster films (Scarface), along …

Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview Sept. 20

Let’s see; we’ve got a kidnapping drama, high-speed race cars, and Munchkins in 3-D. Yep, something for everyone in theaters this weekend. The New Stuff . . . Prisoners Boasting more Oscar nominees than a Coppola family reunion, this gritty crime drama stars Hugh Jackman as a distraught Georgia dad who kidnaps the guy he believes kidnapped his 6-year-old daughter. It’s the old vigilante dad story, all right, but get a load of the rest of the cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, …