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Features

  • “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is the fifth feature film exploring the world of Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and it’s easily the worst of the bunch — a tall order given how poorly received Ben Affleck was as Ryan in “The Sum of All Fears” some 12 years ago.

  • Personally, I can’t help but admire how unapologetic the movies of Spike Jonze are in sounding the cry of individuality in the most unroutine ways.

     

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    Brad McHargue

    Film Critic

     

    It should be stated before anything else is said: Renny Harlin’s sword-and-sandals epic “The Legend of Hercules,” starring pretty boy Kellan Lutz as the titular Greek demigod, is a spectacular failure on a level that rivals almost anything you will see this year. 

  • Some stories are better left the way they were originally intended.

     

    Every so often, a change in medium does a world of good — turning “Friday Night Lights” into a serial TV drama, for instance.

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    Aaron Cole

    Auto Columnist 

     

    Whosoever says that Buick is a car for geezers, now hear this: know thyself first; cast assumptions on the regal brand, second. (Lofty speech must be used when the brand is serious about reinvention and pedigree, you know. The trishield badge dates back to pre-Socratic days, I think.)

     

  • From a logistical standpoint, director Peter Berg’s adaptation of “Lone Survivor” for the big screen is a refreshing bit of cinema that attempts to break through the fog of war and give an honest portrayal of the realities of modern warfare.

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    Brad McHargue

    Film Critic

     

    The “Paranormal Activity” series is quickly becoming one of the biggest horror movie franchises. Low production costs plus insane box office returns equals a yearly output of films, regardless of quality.

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    Aaron Cole

    Auto Columnist


    Climbing into a subcompact car carries all the thrill of doing your taxes.

    Surveying the economy dash materials, built to a budget, and slipping the nondescript key into a column-mounted lock lifted from a model at least 10 years older has all the satisfaction of a Special K cereal bar.

  • Trying to condense the late Nelson Mandela’s story into a standard feature film running time would seem like a losing battle.

    In the case of director Justin Chadwick’s “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom,” that very true even when so much of the late South African leader’s life is not even depicted.

     

  • Find me two actors other than Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro who would get “Grudge Match” made.

    Okay, that’s a bit unfair since I know darn well that this film would not have been made as it is without piggybacking on the “Rocky” and “Raging Bull” backgrounds of the lead duo.

     

  •  There are several points along the way when “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” could and should have felt saccharine, cloying and capable of inducing a cynical groan while I watched it.

    Yet when it was all said and done, I couldn’t help but really enjoy this earnest story of a man faced with the death of the life he’s known and the labor pains of giving birth to the kind of life he spends his days dreaming about.

  •   Director Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” is, in the finest sense of the phrase, an endurance test.

    That assessment has much less to do with its three-hour running time and more to do with your tolerance for the stream of virtually nonstop debauchery that the film depicts while exploring the grotesque nature and nurturing of America’s rich in the late 1980s and early 90s.

  • We gathered up a lot of holiday wishes from area students who wrote letters to Santa Claus this year. Here's the entire batch ... the spelling is the author's. We didn't correct the spelling because it adds to the charm of the exercise.

    Merry Christmas kids! -- hope Santa brings you what's on your list!!

     

    Southeast Elementary

    Lisa Kitchen’s first-grade class

     

    Dear Santa,

  • Maia A. and Joaquin Hernandez, of Brighton, announce the birth of a son, Christopher David Hernandez. Christopher was born Nov. 22, 2013, at Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton, weighing 9 pounds, 10 ounces, and measuring 21.25 inches.

    Christopher joins his siblings, Diana Hernandez, 8, and Joaquin Hernandez, 2.

     

  • The holiday season is synonymous with many things, including spending. Spending money is an accepted part of the season for many celebrants, who exchange gifts with loved ones, travel to see family and friends and host holiday parties this time of year.

  • Tablets are poised to grow more popular in the years to come, and many children are anxious to get their very own tablet. But many parents wonder if their kids are ready for a tablet and if such devices would make good gifts for their youngsters this holiday season.

  • MetroWest Reports

    Whether it’s for a young married couple, a recent high school grad or a beloved family member, cash has become an increasingly popular gift in recent years.
        Once considered impersonal, cash is now a go-to gift for shoppers whose foremost concerns are putting smiles on their loved ones’ faces.
        Those who still hesitate at the thought of giving an envelope full of cash, take note: There are many clever ways to give green that make cash gifts just as enjoyable to give as to receive.

  • Coupons have long been helping consumers save a few dollars on everything from supermarket staples to toys and more. Scouring for coupons and using them effectively has evolved into an art form, with some savvy coupon users paying next to nothing for carts full of merchandise.
        The average shopper may have little experience at finding coupons, but he or she can still save some money. As the holiday season approaches, it’s likely that coupon usage will once again be widespread. Here are some ways to put coupons to good use.

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  • It’s a simple, repetitive bit of rhyming from soon-to-turn-18 Marcus (Keith Stanfield) — one of the residents of the eponymous juvenile care center in writer-director  Destin Cretton’s “Short Term 12” — that best sums up the central struggle of all of the characters. 

    “Look into my eyes,” he says, “So you know what it’s like to live a life not knowing what a normal life’s like.”