Milan’s Box Office Picks and New on DVD


“42”- As a piece of filmmaking, this Jackie Robinson biopic is a tad pedestrian. But Robinson’s story, breaking the major league baseball color barrier in 1947, is a real corker, and the performances and production values are uniformly strong. As Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, Harrison Ford is so good he deserves to be remembered at awards time. (B+)

“Scary Movie 5”- Surprisingly, not terrible. There are some (mild)  chuckles, the performers are all game and I was impressed to discover a  semblance of actual plot sandwiching the references to scary, and, in  the case of “Inception,” not so scary movies. (“Mama,” the primary film referenced/spoofed, opened less than three months ago.) The director, Malcolm D. Lee, previously helmed some not-bad movies (“Undercover Brother,” “The Best Man”). This is another. (C.)


“Django Unchained” – Although guilty of the same indulgence that’s  marred every post-“Pulp Fiction” Quentin Tarantino movie (for starters, it’s 20 minutes too long), this exhilarating homage to 1960’s spaghetti  westerns and 1970’s Blaxploitation movies is marbled with Tarantino’s  undeniable genius. Chief among its greatest attributes are a fantastic supporting performance by Leonardo DiCaprio, dialogue that darn near pops off the screen and more skillfully choreographed action set pieces than in any previous Tarantino joint. I just wish that he’d learn to discipline himself. (A.)

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