Don’t Date Robots: A Love Story

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ExMachina

Unlike most “evil robot” stories about mankind’s hubris in creating artificial intelligence, Ex Machina isn’t just concerned with the notion of building sentient robots—it also warns us about how we should interact with said robots once they inevitably arrive. (Apparently, dating them isn’t the best idea. Sorry, Japan.)

Warning: there are spoilers in this review.

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Review: ‘Into the Woods’

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some woods

After a foray into action/adventure territory with a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) has now returned to the musical genre to adapt into film Into the Woods, a beloved Broadway production in which classic fairy tales, including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Jack and the Bean Stalk, are woven together into one narrative and lampooned before being subverted in the musical’s dark second act. Woods features a top-notch ensemble, including Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine.

Rebecca: Sick of the trend of movie stars singing and dancing onscreen to prove their craft? Well, then, blame Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) and—perhaps more successfully—Rob Marshall. Marshall’s first major directorial effort, 2002’s Chicago, was a commercial and critical success that won the Best Picture Academy Award and snagged Catherine Zeta-Jones an Oscar. Unfortunately, Marshall returned to the genre in 2009 with Nine, a celebrity talent show masquerading as a movie that failed to win the box office or award-show prestige.

So has Marshall redeemed himself with Into the Woods?

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Review: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’

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THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

In the last of Peter Jackson’s J.R.R. Tolkien adaptations—we hope, anyway!—erstwhile Shire-dweller Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his dwarven allies (Richard Armitage and a bunch of guys who don’t get any lines) defend the Lonely Mountain from elves, orcs and hungry fishermen.

Ryan: When we reviewed last year’s The Desolation of Smaug—the predecessor to The Battle of the Five Armies—I mentioned how difficult it was to give it a full appraisal until we had a chance to see the Hobbit trilogy’s conclusion. Desolation felt unfinished and ended in an unsatisfying cliffhanger. By picking up after that cliffhanger and bringing the story to its conclusion, Battle enables us to determine once and for all whether the creative decisions governing this entire series were well-founded.

So, is The Battle of the Five Armies able to right the ship? I’m assuming that’s what you want to know … I can’t hear you all that well because I’m on the ship, and the ship is now underwater.

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