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Wendy
Short Redhead Reel Reviews date from 1986 to present. This main page lists the five most recent film reviews. To view a complete list of all films reviewed this month, see Previous Reviews on the right.

Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Annie
  PG-13   2014
  An upbeat, colorful, entertaining, family-friendly, star-dotted (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David Zayas, Milas Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Rhinna), 118-minute musical based on the timeless, Tony-winning Broadway play and Harold Gray’s comic strip Little Orphan Annie in which a germaphobe, New York City mayoral candidate (Jamie Foxx) falls for a precocious, illiterate, 10-year-old orphan (Quvenzhané Wallis), who lives with an alcoholic, mean-spirited foster mother (Cameron Diaz) and other foster girls (Zoe Margaret Colletti, Nicolette Pierini, Eden Duncan-Smith, and Amanda Troya), when he is encouraged by his right-hand advisor (Rose Byrne) and his scheming campaign manager (Bobby Cannavale) to take her in as a foster child.

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Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
  PG   2014
  When the magical tablet goes on the fritz at the Brooklyn History Museum in this entertaining, humor-filled, star-dotted (Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke, Ricky Gervais, Rebel Wilson, Hugh Jackman, Rachel Harris, Bill Cobbs, and Dan Stevens), 97-minute comedy highlighted by wonderful special effects, the divorced night guard (Ben Stiller), his son (Skyler Gisondo), and various exhibits (Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Rami Malek, Mizuo Peck, and Darryl Quon) head to London to consult with the Egyptian pharaoh (Ben Kingsley) at the British Museum to discover the secret of the tablet and to determine whether it can be fixed.

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Wild
  R   2014
  An engaging, well-acted, factually based, 115-minute film based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail that chronicles the arduous, 96-day, 1,100-mile journey of Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) as she walked on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 and reminisced about her dying mother (Laura Dern), her childhood, her troubled past, and ex-husband (Thomas Sadoski).

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Hobbit, The: The Battle of the Five Armies
  PG-13   2014
  After a warrior dwarf (Luke Evans) slays the evil, fire-breathing dragon (voiceover by Benedict Cumberbatch) in Peter Jackson’s action-packed, fast-paced, well-choreographed, well-acted, entertaining, star-dotted (Martin Freeman, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Stephen Fry, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Colbert, and Ryan Gage), 3D, 144-minute part 3 of The Hobbit prequel to T. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy highlighted by phenomenal special effects, he leads the survivors of ravaged Laketown to the mountain of gold where fives armies, including dwarves (Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, James Nesbitt, William Kircher, Dean O’Gorman, Adam Brown, Stephen Hunter, John Callen, Ken Stott, Peter Hambleton, Graham McTavish, Bill Connolly, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, and John Bell), elves (Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Bret McKenzie, et al.), and Orcs (Manu Bennett, John Tui, et al.), converge to battle each other for control of the mountain and Middle Earth.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings
  PG-13   2014
  When Moses (Christian Bale), who has a wife (Golshifteh Farahani) and son, returns to Egypt and his mother (Anna Savva) and sister (Maria Valverde) and after his brother Rhamses (Joel Edgerton) exiled him in 1300 BCE in Ridley Scott’s entertaining, violent, visually stunning, unevenly paced, 3D, star-studded (Ben Kingsley, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Mendelsohn, Aaron Paul, Indira Varma, Tara Fitxgerald, and Hiam Abbass), 150-minute retelling of the Biblical story highlighted by terrific special effects, he works with God to convince the stubborn, power-hungry pharaoh to let the more than 600,000 Hebrew people (Andrew Tarbet, Joseph Garcia Quinn, et al.) he has enslaved leave plagued-ravaged Egypt to make their 40-year journey in the desert to Canaan.


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©2014 by Wendy Schadewald

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