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May 29, 2013

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New DVDs reviewed in this column will be released June 10, 2013 [] Section B - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 The Montmorency County Tribune 7B PREVIEWS "Oz the Great and Powerful" (PG) - Years before Dorothy and Toto landed over the rainbow, another Kansas yokel went on an adventure down the yellow brick road. Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is a small-time magician and part-time con man who hatches a silly scheme to attain greatness. He winds up in a colorful world where he befriends a flying monkey (voiced by Zach Braf0 and meets three charming witches (Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis). Of course it's not going to measure up to the original. I'll get that out of the way first. There's no music, for one. James Franco acts like he's not supposed to carry the movie. Franco can give a real perfor- mance, but the guy isn't convincing when he's talking to computer-generated crit- ters. "Snitch" (PG-13) - When Jason (Raft Gavron) is busted for receiving a ship- ment of ecstasy, the teenager faces a man- datory minimum sentence of 10 years. Fortunately, his father, John (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), is an enormous and caring fellow. To make a deal to get his son out of trouble, John volunteers to go un- dercover and to take down a drug ring. It's a distressed-dad action flick with an overt message about the War on Drugs: It's bad. Johnson puts in the effort, and you can see his skill here. He's still a miscast -- an action-hero type charged with playing an everyman -- but it's an entertaining rental and somewhat unique for an action flick of its class. "Wrong" (R) - Do not expect this movie to make sense ... at all. It's funny. But it won't let you enjoy it as a casual experi- ence. In "Wrong," a man (Jack Plotnick) searches for his lost dog. Palm trees de- cide to be pines, office cubicles are sub- ject to torrential weather patterns, and people are jflst strange. There's nothing really to "get" besides the idea that this movie wants to breakthe mold of the slice- of-life film genre. It might frustrate some viewers. Scratching your head and going along with the absurdity on screen is the best-case scenario for such an out-there flick. James Franco in "Oz the Great and Powerful" DOG OF THE WEEK ,'Hansel & Greteh Witch Hunters" (R) - Hollywood seems to be under the impres- sion that you can take any fairy tale, make it sexy and action-packed, and there you have a recipe for box-office success. That is, unless the execution is dim and boring. In this pointless exercise, Hansel and Gretel (Jeremy Rennet and Gemma Arterton) grow into vigilante witch hunt- ers. Somehow, they discovered the secret to building shotguns, automatic weap- ons and stale one-liners well before the technology existed. If only cool props, costumes and sets could make a movie good. Too bad for this flick that script and its cancellation. by cJ ndy elavsky Q: I am so glad "Bum Notice" is back, but I heard this is its last season. True? - Ronald P., via e-mail A Yes, USA recently announced that eason seven will be its last. Jeff Watchel, co-president of USA Network, wha :,,I'vebeenwatch',,mgoldepisodesof teased: "(We) will raise the stakes even Melrose Place' and wondered higher, leading up to a spectacular series amie Luner, who played Lexi Ster- finale." ling, has been up to lately? - Polly R. in Indiana A : The gorgeous and talented actress 2 ]kmost recently starred in Lifetime Movie Network's original movie, "The Perfect Boss," which aired in late May (check local listings for possible re- airings, or you can wait for the DVD). In "Boss," she reunited with her former "Melrose" co-star Linden Ashby, who played her husband on the show, and played her fall guy in the Lifetime movie. ]amie looks back on her time on "Melrose" with affection, telling me: "I'm so fortunate to have been on such iconic shows that are so memorable. That time Jamie I_uner was such a chapter in all of our lives -- television was so different than it is today. It was such an impactful show on so many people. I get a little nostalgic about it, and I'm definitely recognized for it by a lot of people who have enjoyed it." Jamie does have a few more projects in the works, which she can't tell me about yet, but she promised to keep me in the loop as they arise. And I promise to let YOU know as soon as I know. - READERS: As promised, I am going net- work by network, listing the fate of all 2012/13 network shows. Clip and save this column, and also visit www.celebrityextraonline.com for the complete list. This week I'll tackle the CBS shows. On the renewed list is: "2 Broke Gifts," "The Big Bang Theory," "Blue Bloods," "Criminal Minds," "CSI," "Elementary," "Wedding Band" is one of my fa ','The Good Wife," "Hawaii Five-O," vorite shows, so as soon as the'HowIMetYourMother,' TheMental- DVI .wasavailableforpreorder, Iordered ist," "Mike and Moiler," "NCIS," "NCIS: the first season. However, in the Amazon ad it was labeled "The Complete Series." Please tell me that this is a mistake, and that TBS has renewed the show for a sec- performances matter a lot more. ond season! - George]., Fort Worth, Texas ! Well, George, you might want to z hang onto that DVD set, as it might become a collectors' item. TBS has in- deed canceled the comedy starring Brian Austin Green after only one season. The old standby of low ratings was blamed for Los Angeles," "Person of Interest" and "Two and-a Half Men." On the canceled list is: "CSI: New York," "Golden Boy," "Made in ]ersey," "Partners," "Rules of Engagement" and "Vegas." Next week, I'll cover CW and Fox. Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at l etters@cindyelavslcy.com. 1. Name the group that wrote and released "Mr. Blue Sky." 2. Which singer was born Ezekiel Christopher Montanez? What's his most well-known song? 3. Where did the phrase"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" come from? 4. Who was "Sir Duke" written about? 5. What song contains this lyric: "A fine little girl, she wait for me; me catch aship across the sea, I sailed the ship all alone; I never think I'll make it home." Answers 1. Star Trek Into Darkness (PG-13) Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto 2. Iron Man 3 (PG-13) Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow 3. The Great Gatsby (PG- 13) Leonardo DiCa prie, Joel Edgerton 1. The Electric Light Orchestra, in 1977. In the beginning, 4. Pain & Gain (R) Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne this English group was more popular in the U.S. than in the Johnson U.K. ELO released 11 studio albums in its first 15 years. 5. The Croods (PG) animated 2. Chris Montez of "Let's Dance" fame (1962). The song was heard in the 1978 film "National Lampoon's Animal House," 6. 42 (PG-13) Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford 3.AJamaicanfriendofPaulMcCartneyusedtoanswerthe 7. Mud (PG-13) Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan question "What's happening?" with "Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life 8. Oblivion (PG-13) Tom Cruise, Morgan Free- goes-on, bra." man 4. Duke Ellingtan. Stevie Wonders 1977 hit also mentions other jazz greats like CoOnt Basle. 9. Peeples (PG-13) Craig Robinson, Kerry Wash- 5. "Lauie, Louie," the song that caused so much parental ington angst in 1963. Concerned about rumors of alleged filthy 10. The Big Wedding (R) Robert De Niro, lyrics, even the FBI got into the act and launched a 30- Katherine Heigl month investigation. Truth: It's a sailor's lament. "Dirty Wars: The a Battlefield" By Jeremy Scahill Reviewed by Larry Cox World is Award-winning journalist Jeremy Scahill's latest book is a sober as- sessment of how our country has changed since 9/11. Disturbing, in- sightful and illuminating, it rips the scab offpolicies started by President George W. Bush's administration and continued by President Barack Obama -- policies that have turned our modern world into a perpetual battleground. As one veteran of multiple Special Ops task forces put it, "The military can go wherever they please and do whatever it is they want to do, in order to achieve the national secu- Recommende( Reading fields and mounting death tolls. One of the more disturbing as- pects uncovered by Scahill is that despite 0bama's vow to ban tor- ture and discontinue the use of secret prisons, the CIA continues these policies by outsourcing ren- dition and imprisonment. For ex- ample, the CIA has used notori- ous Somali warlords to hunt down suspected militants and execute them. Scahill thinks our country has embarked on a national policy of rityobjectives ofwhateveradminis- killing our way to victory using a tration happens to be in power." combination of SpecialOps night Is this the type ofcountrywe want raids, cmise-missil attacks and to be? drone strikes. As he points out, Scahill arguesthatinsteadofmak- you can't surrender to a drone. .ingourwofldsafer, our"dirtywars" Our new post-9/ll world trig- are creating the very terrorists we gers enormous destabilization seek to stop in countries that have andblowback, makinguslesssafe not even been declared war zones, and less secure. This is the true such as Yemen and Somalia. Many nature of the dirty wars that the averagecitizensintheMuslimworld United States government were supportive of the United States struggles to keep hidden, andwhy after 9/11, but have since been we are involved in conflicts that "turned" by our expanding battle- have no end. O