Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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New movies for March 8

New movies this week

Oz the Great and Powerful

The gist: A prequel to the cultural touchstone, about James Franco becoming the wizard everyone keeps seeking out. Although we have to wonder, did no one learn anything from The Phantom Menace? Or Return to Oz, for that matter? PG

The cast: Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff and Joey King.

The buzz: It's kind of a split-decision with critics, but the biggest question is why did Sam Raimi make this? "It's not bad. Some bits are enjoyable. But ultimately, other than some genuinely impressive visuals, it never makes a compelling enough case to justify its existence," the Arizona Republic says.

Dead Man Down

The gist: A WWE Films production using the director from the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the guy from the Total Recall and Fright Night remakes tied up in some messy mobster business. It's a long way from No Holds Barred. Or is it? R

The cast: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howards, Dominic Cooper and Armand Assante.

The buzz: Precisely no reviews, which can mean one of two things: It's so shockingly good they don't want to spoil the surprise, or it's so shockingly bad it could end careers. Or be on WWE Monday Night Raw. You can imagine which one we're guessing.

Emperor

The gist: A recounting of what happened in Japan during post-war occupation by the Americans, who are undecided about whether to execute Emperor Hirohito or not. Spoiler: They didn't. PG-13

The cast: Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones, Eriko Hatsune, Toshiyuki Nishida and Masayoshi Haneda.

The buzz: Uneven and often uninteresting, which is surprising, given the movie's historical subject matter. "Satisfied to serve popcorn in place of red meat, this potboiler about love and war is merely fair," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says.

Greedy Lying Bastards

The gist: Ever wonder why, despite killer hurricanes, endless drought, ever-present flooding and increasingly frequent blizzards brought on by scientifically proven human causation, there is little being done to curb global warming? Because rich people who own a lot more than you do and have convinced you to call it climate change want to make more billions, that's why.

The cast: Talking heads, rich people, normal folks suffering from disasters and a sense that you're leaving your children a desolate hellscape without taking any responsibility for it.

The buzz: The few places that have seen this documentary (it's playing at the Veterans 24 and nowhere else) have liked it an awful lot, if only because they have the gall to not see a downside to helping create a more enviro-friendly society. "(It) shines a harsh light on the lengths the energy industry continues to go to in order to head off climate-related legislation — and assure the public there's nothing wrong with continuing to rely on fossil fuels," the Village Voice says.

— Joshua Gillin [email protected]

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Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballTulsa at Temple6 p.m.ESPNewsVillanova at Georgetown6:30 p.m.FS1Dayton at St. Joseph’s6:30 p.m.CBSSNArkansas at Florida7 p.m.ESPN2; 1250-AMSMU at Wichita State7 p.m.ESPNUAuburn at Alabama7 p.m.SECUSF at East Carolina7 p.m.820-AM...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lou Gramm, Mick Jones join Billy Joel on stage for Foreigner tunes

Lou Gramm, Mick Jones join Billy Joel on stage for Foreigner tunes

Billy Joel's been knockin' 'em dead at his regular Madison Square Garden shows these days. And staying home in NYC also gives the Piano Man a chance to dazzle his audience with surprise guests. For the Jan. 11 show, it was Lou Gramm and Mick Jon...
Published: 01/16/18
Why ‘Phantom Thread’ is a bad fit as Daniel Day-Lewis’ final movie

Why ‘Phantom Thread’ is a bad fit as Daniel Day-Lewis’ final movie

BY STEVE PERSALLTimes Movie CriticPaul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread is passionless window-shop cinema, each static tableau lovingly arranged for display and easy dusting. Its centerpiece is a mannequin, albeit played by Daniel Day-Lewis, whose gi...
Published: 01/16/18
Tampa Rep’s ‘Gnit’ is a sharp commentary on narcissism in the age of selfies

Tampa Rep’s ‘Gnit’ is a sharp commentary on narcissism in the age of selfies

By JULIE GARISTOTimes CorrespondentTAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre’s Gnit strikes gold for theatergoers who appreciate deadpan wit, clever wordplay and incisive commentary on the human condition.First produced in 2013, the retread of a Scandinavian c...
Published: 01/16/18
From the food editor: Recipe for warm, cozy Pita Ribollita soup

From the food editor: Recipe for warm, cozy Pita Ribollita soup

When I first made this soup, Florida was in the grips of a cold weather snap, the likes of which rarely happens in this part of the state. We’re talking a whole week of lows in the 30s. The 30s! It was everything I ever wanted and more — the rare win...
Published: 01/16/18
Restaurant review: Byblos Cafe has busted out of its mold with a broader Mediterranean menu, and that’s good

Restaurant review: Byblos Cafe has busted out of its mold with a broader Mediterranean menu, and that’s good

TAMPASeldom have I paid such close attention to a restaurant closure, remodeling and reopening. Byblos Cafe began a major renovation last year, keeping the restaurant open as long as possible during the summer with some nifty temporary walls to shiel...
Published: 01/16/18
Review: Truth and lies are the focus of ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Review: Truth and lies are the focus of ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Maybe Jack Nicholson was wrong. We can handle the truth.The #MeToo movement is giving a microphone to once unheard voices. Political lies are constantly challenged. At the Golden Globes, Oprah’s rousing speech asserted "the most powerful tool is spea...
Published: 01/16/18
Coming-of-age love story ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a rare treasure

Coming-of-age love story ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a rare treasure

Another young man’s summer he’ll never forget is the core of Call Me By Your Name, a movie to likewise treasure. Luca Guadagnino’s coming out-of-age drama is a rare exception to familiar romantic rules.This film’s same-sex summer fling shared by a te...
Published: 01/16/18

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWisconsin at Purdue7 p.m.ESPNLouisville at Notre Dame7 p.m.ESPN2Georgia at LSU7 p.m.ESPNUVanderbilt at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECClemson at North Carolina7 p.m.Fox SunCincinnati at UCF7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: Michigan at Ohio State7 p...
Published: 01/15/18
Was Jon Bon Jovi ever really lonely? Maybe back in ’84

Was Jon Bon Jovi ever really lonely? Maybe back in ’84

Our '80s historian Kevin Wuench says congratulations to Bon Jovi on getting into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and provides this history lesson:Do we pander to Bon Jovi fans to get more Lost and Found clicks on the website? Surely not, as ...
Published: 01/15/18