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CRANKY SEZ: The monster of all blizzards which hit the East Coast this past Monday, missed New York City proper by as little as fifty miles. That still meant a foot of snow on the ground and more coming down as we write on Thursday night. Yours Cranky has disabilities in his legs; spinal cord damage from three broken necks and four paralyzing events twenty five years ago. We're down for at least a week or two, working on getting our legs back.

INDUSTRY AWARDS HIT THE FINAL STRETCH: Click for Screen Actors Guild Awards and Director's Guild nominees; Golden Globes award recipients; National Board of Review winners; New York Film Critics Online honorees and other critics pronouncements. Still to come is the Big Daddy of them all: Oscar! Click here for the complete list of this year's Academy Awards nominees.

[LAST] WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Holding at Number 1, American Sniper pulled in $64.4 millions last weekend for a total box office take of $200.1 millions. All else was left sucking down exhaust fumes, meaning Jennifer Lopez starrer The Boy Next Door earned a tepid $15.0 millions. Family friendly Paddington ($12.4 millions / $40.1 millions) held third while The Wedding Ringer ($11.6 millions / $39.77 millions) dropped second to fourth and Taken 3 ($7.6 millions / $76.1 millions) dropped fourth to fifth THE REST OF THE BEST: The Imitation Game ($7.136. millions / $60.642 millions) holds sixth while the "story idea by George Lucas" Strange Magic ($5.5 millions) bombed. Lack of significant Oscar nods hurt Selma ($5.5 millions / $39.2 millions) and the other name brand starrer of the week, Johnny Depp in Mortdecai ($4.1 millions) uber-bombed. Departing the Top Ten: Into the Woods ($3.9 millions / $121.5 millions)

WHAT YOU SHOULD SEE: As for all the films that oh so wanted Academy attentions, what you need to know is summarized below. Green means "go." Red means "don't.

-------------------- New Releases --------------------


Now working its way into local theaters is Paddington, as in Paddington Bear. We were all prepared to dismiss the film as a "buy it eventually because you'll be watching it all the time with your kids" property . . . and then we watched it. For everyone that has asked us "What kind of film gets the "perfect ten" rating?" this is it. By any set of definitions, Paddington is a great family film; it is a great movie; it is a great (capital "f") Film film. We watched over 275 films in 2014 and then we watched Paddington and our mind was blown from here to the Brit train station from which the film's title is taken.

big eyes

Director Tim Burton's Big Eyes stars Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. It is a simple story of a husband taking credit for his wife's work in the pre-feminism 1960s -- the work being portraits of young girls with oversized eyes. The film is not as grandiose as Burton's usual work. Still, in the end of year glut of films begging for Awards nominations, a simple story like this one happens to be a good sit. Cranky's movie review

Into the Woods

Into the Woods scrambles Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk into a new story about a Baker and his barren wife and the deal the make with a wicked witch . . . Meryl Streep steals the show as Rob Marshall adapts Stephen Sondheim's Broadway hit into the rarest of things . . . a musical that yours Cranky thoroughly enjoyed. One of the Best of the Year. Cranky's movie review


One of the best films of the year, Selma recreates one of the key events of the 1960s Civil Rights 'uprising'. The events surrounding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King's (David Oyelowo) march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. This is no America we recognize and the film is better than anything you may have read in a history textbook.

Watch the trailer

American Sniper

American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, from the creative mind of director Clint Eastwood. After four terms in Iraq, a vet brings his problems home in a terribly average film. Wait and rent

Watch the trailer here




We're not sure what this Annie is going to be . . . Cranky was flat on his back from the passing effects of a nor'easter when the film screened. We also missed the film to the right.

Watch the trailer

Night at the Museum The Secret of the Tomb

Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb is Ben Stiller's fourth and final outing as the night guard who really loves his job . . . for more unfortunate reasons it is also star Robin Williams final film performance.

Watch the trailer

Exodus Gods and Kings

Exodus Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses . . . if we need to tell you the story, shame on you . . . with Joel Edgerton as Pharaoh and Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley in supporting roles. There's also an interesting choice for the One who isn't called God. We're glad director Ridley Scott has kept relatively close to the original story.(or maybe we should thank writer Steve Saline) for an OK sit.

Watch the trailer


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is more rightly Part Two of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Six months from now you will be able to sit and watch the whole megillah from its intolerable start to its action packed finish. There is no need for a review -- everyone is going to go see it, even if just to finish out the story -- so we've built a couple of dozen wallpaper sized images for y'all to download. Click an image or Start here


The Gambler stars Mark Wahlberg as a college professor with a wee blackjack problem, and John Goodman as the loan shark more than willing to make that wee problem into a deadly one. An OK sit.

Watch the trailer here

still alice

Still Alice stars Julianne Moore as a Columbia University professor diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers Disease. With Alec Baldwin as her husband and Kristen Stewart as a daughter on the west coast the film gently documents the character's decline. Moore's performance will break your heart. As serious films go, this one is magnificent.

Song of the Sea

Based on an Irish legend of a race called the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells of a brother and sister who must journey across land to get back to their home in the sea. The animation was far too cartoon-y for us and the story failed to hold our attention. Even a 'toonhead can be let down.


In Wild a number of events, badly revealed in flashback form, spur a young woman (Reese Witherspoon) with booze and sex addiction problems to walk the thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail as her means to detox. Said travels begin at the southern edge of the Mohave Desert and end at the Canadian border. There are not enough revelations in the aforementioned flashbacks to make an interesting film unless you've read the book.


The Theory of Everything

Every once in a while we close the books early: if The Theory of Everything, tells the story of Dr. Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his love turned wife Jane (Felicity Jones), as they face (his) last two years of life with working legs. She starts a family. He solves the Physics of Time. One of the best of the year.

The Theory of Everything trailer here

Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is one of two films that could get star Benedict Cumberbatch best actor nominations, if not an award. This one tells the "true" story of a WWII code breaking machine called Enigma and how its use helped win that war. Assuredly, one of the best films of the year. Cranky's movie review


The music world according to Whiplash: Rock drumming isn't music. Jazz drumming is and, if you're not as willing to take the kind of abuse you are willing to inflict on your instrument, you'll never make it as a pro. J.K. Simmons abuses. Miles Teller takes it. TV's Paul Reiser co-stars as the failure of the kid's dad. Kid doesn't want to be a failure which is why he takes it so prepare yourselves -- the abuse is verbal and hard core. Nominations will follow.

Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice, from ace film-maker Paul Thomas Anderson stars Joaquin Phoenix as a stoner P.I. in late 1960's Los Angeles. Thomas Pynchon may have written a great novel but the film is terrible.



Top Five

Top Five stars comedian Chris Rock in something Paramount didn't screen as part of its Awards wannabe shows. If you're young enough to rank Rock as one of the funniest persons ever, the general consensus is that this is funny.

mr. turner

Mr. Turner is writer/ director Mike Leigh's biographical painting (a virtual landscape) of the latter part of the life of famed nineteenth century painter J. M. W. Turner -- Joseph Mallard William -- for the anal retentive reader and a name that is important to the tale of a man whose memory is beginning to crack just as he sees the technological future that will make his famed landscapes obsolete. Leigh tries to create a painting of his film, one requiring you to sit still and concentrate and slowly understand and get under its skin and ... yeah... zzzz Timothy Spall makes his stand for nominations but the overall piece is plodding and dull. Just like most of the nineteenth century.

On paper, Unbroken is the kind of story that would easily sweep all the Awards from everyone offering. The true story of Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) an American Olympic athlete and WWII prisoner of war goes haywire when director Angelina Jolie lets the abuse inflicted by Japanese POW camp overlord Watanabe (Japanese actor Miyavi) overwhelm the story. Cranky's movie review


Foxcatcher is a film that will re-define the word "creepy" for a new generation Formerly comic actor Steve Carrell goes strictly dramatic as an exceedingly wealthy middle aged man determined to restore the U.S. Men's Olympic Wrestling team to its former glory. He will teach the true meaning of Greco-Roman wrestling even if he has to get all touchy-feely to do it. His focus is on two brothers (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), one who figures it out and one who, maybe, doesn't want to figure it out. Carrell wants Oscar. He'll get a nomination.

Big Hero Six

A boy and his older brother's robot take on the mysterious killer of latter human in Big Hero Six. It's an adequate animated film, though two deaths early on make us warn readers not to bring six year old kidlets to the film. . The cute moments outweigh the creepy but, ultimately, the film is a rental offering.

Penguins of Madagascar

We greatly enjoyed The Penguins of Madagascar, which brings new birds into the series and gets the whole thing back on track. The film is funny, it's story is great and, once you take the kidlets to the movies, you can put backgrounds from the film on to their machines. click here

Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2 is really Horrible. If you haven't seen the first one, rent it. Without that background, only half the film is understandable. Three inept dudes (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day) who got their boss (Kevin Spacey) thrown in jail last time out, decide to start their own biz. How that turns into kidnapping will be left for you fans to discover. Jennifer Aniston has very little to do other than to look good in lingerie, which she does very well.

the sheik

Now on VOD (that means your cable supplier or iTunes user) is The Sheik, certainly the most entertaining documentary of this year. Documenting the rise fall, plummet and resurrection via Twitter of the WWF/ WWE once world champion "Iron Sheik" -- if you watched TV in the 80s you know him well -- those thinking to watch his life story with their kiddies beware, the f-bomb flies a lot. As we moved into end of awards season, this is the best of the (admittedly) few that we've screened. If you flat out trust us, buy it from Amazon

the mule

The Mule, an Australian film with accents so thick even a knife couldn't cut through 'em. In it, a naive man attempts to smuggle 20 condoms packed with heroin, from a supplier in Bangkok to a dealer back home. Said dealer isn't the smuggler's usual connection -- which pisses off said connection. In the middle is Australian Customs, which quarantines the mule, suspecting what is essentially the truth. The film doesn't deliver the suspense you would infer from our description.

Alexander No Good Horrible Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day based on the novel Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day will please any parent whose kids have read or grew up reading (and are still young enough to be interested in) Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. That's not us but Cranky's movie review is here anyway.


Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey as an astronaut searching out a new planet on which to seed a new Earth. Or serve as sanctuary for refugees from the old, dying earth. The film offers both possibilities and then dives head first into explaining time shifts and Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Until the final two minutes the film is a slow, steady and good sit. What we thought was supposed to be happening in those two minutes was not what we saw on screen.

The Judge

The Judge stars Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall as father and son who haven't spoken in twenty years, both members of the legal profession and one on trial for murder.

Oh, you can figure it out. Getting through the setup is a grind but the back end lets both actors set off their own kind of fireworks. Film buffs see this. Everyone else wait and rent.

Dumb and Dumber To

Harry and Lloyd are back in Dumb & Dumber To starring Jim Carrey as one of 'em and Jeff Daniels as the other. You know if it's to your taste from the first one. So not funny to yours Cranky that we passed. Apparently, the word of mouth is that this number two is, well, number two. That and short of jokes, as well.

WALLPAPERS: The Batmobile joins the few decent images from 2016's Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Images from Exodus: Gods and Kings and lots more from The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies are up.

TRAILERS:  Big Eyes --  Loitering with Intent -- Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 -- Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb -- Inside Out -- Boyhood -- Unbroken -- Terminator Genisys -- Still Alice -- Exodus: Gods and Kings -- Inherent Vice -- The Theory of Everything -- Witching Bitching -- Spanish Lake -- The Signal -- Home -- Rage -- The Trip to Italy -- The Congress -- Goodbye World -- The Olivia Experiment -- Frontera -- If I Stay -- Step Up: All In -- School Dance -- The Kill Team -- The Sacrament -- Wish I Was Here


A Most Violent Year -- In the Heart of the Sea -- Winter Sleep -- Do You Believe? -- Woman in Gold -- '71 -- Predestination -- Unbroken -- White Rabbit -- Black or White -- Jurassic World -- Lap Dance -- A Merry Friggin' Christmas -- Space Station 76 -- 50 Shades of Grey -- Frontera -- What If -- Into the Woods -- Catch Hell -- Land Ho! -- 4 Minute Mile -- The Prince -- Hercules -- Cantinflas -- The Longest Week -- Ouija -- War Story -- Hide Your Smiling Faces --Perfect Sisters -- A Night in Old Mexico -- Gold Frapp Tales of Us

Palo Alto -- Only Lovers Left Alive -- Stage Fright -- Moms Night Out -- Alien Abduction -- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- Lucy -- Ant Boy -- The Duke of Burgundy -- Fractured -- Jinn -- The Drop -- Liars All -- Bad Words -- 10 Rules for Sleeping Around --13 Sins -- 50 to 1 -- Cheap Thrill -- Odd Thomas -- Sparks -- Nurse 3D -- Best Man Down -- Best Night Ever -- Beyond Outrage -- Need for Speed -- Big Bad Wolves -- The Pretty One -- Cheap Thrills

Kids For Cash -- Open Grave -- Brightest Star -- 22 -- -- Walking With the Enemy -- The Protector 2 -- Hercules -- Mistaken for Strangers -- Leave the World Behind -- Earth to Echo -- Finding Vivian Maier -- Edge of Tomorrow -- Jupiter Ascending -- Goodbye World -- Ida -- Beneath the Harvest Sky -- Home -- Borgman -- Wolf Creek 2 -- Rob the Mob -- Persecuted -- Rowdy -- Poseidon Rex -- Walk of Shame -- We are the Best -- No God No Master -- Begin Again-- Obvious Child -- Words and Pictures -- Alive Inside

Help yourself to lots of images from . . .

Guardians of the Galaxy
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtes
Batman vs Superman
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Avengers
Beauty and the Beast
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America: First Avenger
Cars 2
Conan the Barbarian
Dark Knight Rises

Despicable Me 2

Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Kung Fu Panda 2
The Lion King
Man of Steel (Superman)
Red Riding Hood
Rio 2

The Smurfs
Sherlock Holmes

Transformers 3
Winnie the Pooh
The Wolverine


Dallas Buyer's Club -- Last Vegas -- Rush -- Cloudy with Chance of Meatballs 2 -- Jackass: Bad Grandpa -- All is Lost -- Best Man Holiday -- Ender's Game -- Dark Knight Rises -- Less -- Ted -- Amazing Spider-Man -- Prometheus --- Madagascar 3 -- Men in Black 3 -- Magic Mike -- Snow White Huntsman --The Avengers -- Amazing Spider-Man -- The Artist -- Three Stooges -- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- The Muppets -- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close -- Alvin + Chipmunks Chipwrecked -- War Horse -- We Bought a Zoo -- Fast Five-- Bridesmaids (unrated) -- Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance -- Thor -- X-Men First Class -- Rio -- Rango -- Unstoppable -- For Colored Girls -- Life As We Know It -- Red -- The American -- The A-Team -- Avatar -- Dinner for Schmucks -- Machete -- Zombieland

Dallas Buyer's Club -- Last Vegas -- Rush -- Cloudy with Chance of Meatballs 2 -- Jackass: Bad Grandpa -- All is Lost -- Best Man Holiday -- Ender's Game -- Ted (unrated) -- Les Miserables -- Prometheus -- Madagascar 3 -- Men in Black 3 -- Magic Mike -- Titanic -- Jaws -- Star Wars IV-VI -- Twilight Saga: New Moon -- James Bond collection -- Snow White Huntsman -- The Avengers -- Amazing Spider-Man -- Singing in the Rain -- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- Casablanca 70th anniv -- South Park season 15 -- The Descendants -- Adventures of Tin Tin -- My Week With Marilyn -- Melancholia -- The Muppets -- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- Alvin + Chipmunks Chipwrecked -- Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt 1 SE -- Super 8 -- X-Men First Class -- Big Lebowski -- Star Wars Saga I-VI -- Sucker Punch -- Lord of the Rings Trilogy -- Super -- Unstoppable -- Red -- The American -- The A-Team -- Legacy -- Legendary -- Machete -- Wall Street Money Never Sleeps -- Toy Story 3 -- Kick-Ass

----------------------------------------- DVDs FOR SALE -----------------------------------------

Flight -- Perks of Being A Wallflower -- Zero Dark Thirty -- Wreck-It Ralph -- End of Watch -- The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo -- Hop -- Footloose (2011) -- Hugo -- Tower Heist -- Jack and Jill -- Tower Heist -- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 -- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- The Three Musketeers (2011) --My Week With Marilyn -- Abduction -- Contraband -- The Iron Lady -- Angels & Demons -- Joyful Noise -- The Rum Diary -- The Bodyguard -- Moneyball --   Cowboys & Aliens --Insidious -- Red Riding Hood -- True Grit -- Academy Award winning films -- Avatar -- Batman Begins -- Blade Runner -- Clash of the Titans -- Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon -- The Hangover -- Harry Potter 1-6 box set -- Harry Potter Half-Blood Prince -- He's Just Not That Into You -- How to Train Your Dragon -- Incredible HULK -- The Hurt Locker -- Ice Age 1 & 2 set -- Indiana Jones trilogy -- Indy/ Crystal Skull -- Inglorious Basterds -- Iron Man -- Iron Man 2 -- Ultimate James Bond v1 -- Ultimate James Bond DVD v2 -- Ultimate James Bond   v3 -- Ultimate James Bond DVD v4 -- Juno -- Jurassic Park box set -- Karate Kid -- Kick Ass -- Lawrence of Arabia -- The Last Airbender -- Night at Museum -- 9 -- Paranormal Activity -- Passion of the Christ -- Ratatouille-- Resident Evil Afterlife -- The Runaways -- Scott Pilgrim -- Sherlock Holmes -- Shrek 1-3 trilogy -- Sin City -- Simpsons Movie -- Slumdog Millionaire -- Spider-Man Trilogy -- Star Trek I - VI box set -- Star Trek 2010 (1 disk) -- Star Wars Trilogy (1-3) -- Star Wars Trilogy (4-6) -- Terminator Salvation -- The Town -- Toy Story 3 -- Twilight -- Twilight: New Moon -- Twilight Saga Eclipse -- Twilight Breaking Dawn pt. 1 -- -- Up -- Wall-E -- Wall Street Money Never Sleeps -- Who is Harry Nilsson? -- Woodstock 49th anniv -- The Wrestler -- X-Men Trilogy -- X-Men Origins: Wolverine -- X-Men Trilogy

---------------------------------- BLU-RAY DISCS FOR SALE ----------------------------------
The Artist -- Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol -- Spawn -- The Hunger Games -- Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows -- JAWS -- 21 Jump Street -- Singing in the Rain 60th Anniv) -- The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, Happy Feet Two, Footloose (2011), Tower Heist, Angels and Demons, The Rum Diary, Abduction, The Bodyguard, Moneyball, Captain America, Thor Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, The Adventures of Tintin, Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) -- Lord of the Rings Extended Edition -- The Matrix box set -- Men in Black -- Alice in Wonderland (2010) -- Avatar -- Batman Begins -- The Dark Knight -- Blade Runner -- The Bourne Trilogy set -- Braveheart -- Breakfast Club -- Chronicles of Narnia -- Clash of the Titans -- Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon -- Fifth Element -- Forrest Gump -- Ghostbusters -- Ghost Rider-- Gladiator -- Goodfellas -- The Hangover -- The Hurt Locker -- Inglorious Basterds-- Hellboy -- Harry Potter years 1-6 -- HP: Order of Phoenix -- Harry Potter: Half-Blood Prince -- Iron Man -- Iron Man 2 -- James Bond Ultimate ed v1 -- James Bond Ultimate ed v2 -- James Bond Ultimate ed v3 -- Julie & Julia -- Juno -- Kill Bill 1 & 2 -- Kung Fu Panda -- Live Free or Die Hard -- Michael Jackson This is It --   Ocean's 11 12 13 set -- Passion of the Christ --  Pirates: Dead Man's Chest -- Pirates: At World's End -- Rambo box set -- Sherlock Holmes -- Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows -- Shine a Light (Stones Live) -- Silence of the Lambs -- Sleeping Beauty -- Spider-Man Trilogy HD -- Star Trek films set -- Star Trek (2009) -- Star Wars box (1-3) -- Star Wars box (4-6) -- Superman Batman Apocalypse -- Terminator -- Terminator 2 -- Terminator Salvation -- Top Gun -- Total Recall -- Transformers SE -- Twilight -- Twilight: New Moon -- Twilight: Eclipse -- Twilight Breaking Dawn pt. 1 -- Up -- Wall-E -- Watchmen -- Wizard of Oz -- Wonder Woman -- Woodstock 40th anniv -- The Wrestler -- Wolverine -- X-Men Trilogy
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