Boyhood (2014)

Mason Jr.- BoyhoodRichard Linklater directs a film chronicling a 12-year period in the life of Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane). Astonishingly the original cast was filmed over that period of time and as a result the characters age as the story progresses. Mason Jr. lives with his mother, Olivia (Patricia Arquette), and Samantha (Lorelei Linklater). His father, Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke), is a sporadic presence in his life. The film not only chronicles the life of Mason Jr., but indirectly shows the life trajectory and progression of Mason’s family. Read More…

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

James Gunn directs the latest movie in the Marvel franchise. Here, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) partners with a group of criminal misfits in preventing Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) in destroying a planet inhabited by billions of extraterrestrial beings. Peter teams up with Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper). While the team’s initial meeting at a prison for high level criminals isn’t exactly a pleasant encounter, their desire to escape is what essentially fuels and propels the characters in uniting and forming the goofy, yet formidable “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Read More…

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Shailene WoodleyJosh Boone directs the latest addition to the YA genre. The movie is adapted from the highly acclaimed and best-selling book, of the same name, written by John Green. Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is a precocious and rather normal 16-year-old girl who has Stage IV thyroid cancer. To appease her parents and doctor, Hazel agrees to attend a cancer support group meeting at a local church. There she meets Augustus “Gus” Waters (Ansel Elgort). Waters is a cancer survivor who is attending the meeting in support for his best friend, Isaac, who has a tumor in his one remaining eye. Read More…

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Bryan Singer returns to direct the latest installment in the X-Men franchise. In 2023, Sentinels reign supreme and have eliminated many mutants as well as non-mutants who would one day birth the mutant gene. As depicted in the opening sequence, the Sentinels are almost indestructible in that they can adapt to each mutants’ powers. Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman) consciousness is sent back in time to prevent the event that would spark the present’s apocalyptic and despair-filled world. The film brings together the cast from the original trilogy and their younger counterparts (as featured in X-Men: First Class (2011)). Read More…

Godzilla (2014)

Gareth Edwards directs the latest reboot to the ever popular Godzilla universe. In this iteration, the origins of the creature are established and scenes fifteen years in the past setup the premise for the present’s perilous predicaments. Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) investigate the truth behind a nuclear malfunction that killed many at a power plant in Japan fifteen years ago. There they learn the truth behind the recent seismic activity. Read More…

The Amazing Spiderman 2: Rise of Electro (2014)

Andrew Garfield returns as the web-slinging superhero in the sequel to The Amazing Spider-man (2012). Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-man, faces many obstacles throughout the film. In addition to the title villain, Electro (Jaime Foxx), Spidey battles The Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and for a small part the Rhino (Paul Giamatti). Peter also battles with immense guilt over promising his girlfriend’s father, Police Captain George Stacy, that he’d abide his dying wish that he’d stay away from his daughter, the radiant Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Read More…

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Anthony and Joe Russo direct the sequel to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. The story picks up a couple of years after the events of The Avengers movie. Captain America, a.k.a Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), has for the most part acclimated to life as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. His life pretty much revolves around various missions assigned to him from Nick Furry (Samuel L. Jackson). Scarlett Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow. Read More…

300: Rise of an Empire (2014)

Zach Snyder writes the latest iteration from Frank Miller’s graphic novel universe. The film is not a sequel, but more so a companion piece in which the events parallel those of the original movie. The original film helped propel Snyder to fame. This movie centers on the battle between General Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) of Athens and Persian, naval commander Artemisia (Eva Green).

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Divergent (2014)

Divergent PosterNeil Burger directs the screen adaptation of Veronica Roth’s blockbuster-hit novel, “Divergent.”  Roth, a native Chicagoan wrote the novel and its two sequels while attending Northwestern University at the age of 21.  The book is set in a futuristic and vastly dystopian society.  After a devastating war that supposedly consumes the rest of the world, the survivors form a society in which each member is separated into five factions: Erudite (smart), Amity (peaceful), Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (brave) and Candor (honest).  Read More…

Did “Biggest Loser” Winner Rachel Frederickson Lose Too Much Weight?

Rachel Frederickson at the start of “The Biggest Loser” (L) and on the finale (R). (NBC/Paul Drinkwater/AP; NBC/Trae Patton/AP)

Rachel Frederickson at the start of “The Biggest Loser” (L) and on the finale (R). (NBC/Paul Drinkwater/AP; NBC/Trae Patton/AP)

Much controversy has been stirred by Monday’s season finale of NBC’s “Biggest Loser.”  Rachel Frederickson stunned trainers and fans by losing an astonishing 155 lbs and dropping her total weight to a paltry 105 lbs.  Stunned faces of trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper were indicative of the contestant’s vast body transformation.  Many on Twitter and in the media are questioning if this once obese contestant has now partaken in a reverse eating disorder of anorexia.  Read More…

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