You can’t go home again. So, at least, the title of a 1940 novel by Thomas Wolfe admonishes us. That’s a bit of advice the characters in the grueling sci-fi adventure “After Earth” (Columbia) — not to mention the real-life folks behind this plodding project — would have done well to heed.
In following up on his 2009 reboot of — and prequel to — Gene Roddenberry’s mythos, Abrams crafts a snappy adventure on a spectacular scale. And the story — penned by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof — carries an ethically respectable thematic cargo.
Given that his first appearance in print dates back to 1963, the comics-based superhero of “Iron Man 3” (Disney) may be said to be turning 50 this year. Perhaps a midlife crisis is to blame for the lack of freshness and charm that mark the latest addition to this blockbuster screen franchise — or perhaps other factors are at fault.
Minnesota baseball fans who have visited Target Field are familiar with the lineup of retired numbers hanging near the left field foul pole — all belonging to Twins, except for one: No. 42.
Though it gives a pass to an incidental out-of-wedlock fling, and showcases some humor and vocabulary that make it unsuitable for youngsters, writer-director Todd Graff’s otherwise uplifting celebration of traditional values emphasizes trust in God and illustrates the positive effects of compassionate and forgiving behavior.
Knowledgeable moviegoers won’t be surprised by the violence in director Roland Joffe’s newest film, “There Be Dragons.” Joffe also directed the Oscar-nominated films “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission.”
But, you will be surprised by the depth and breadth of the Catholic messages flowing throughout this epic work.
“True Grit,” the 1969 film starring John Wayne, was the first “grown-up” movie I saw as a kid. I was 9 years old at the time, and I remember the experience vividly. I also discovered, through that film, that I had a gift for mimicry. For years afterward, at family parties, I was invited to reproduce the Duke’s distinctive drawl: “I wouldn’t a-asked you to bury him if he wann’t dead.”