Movie: ‘Ben-Hur’

Subtitled “A Tale of the Christ,” Civil War Gen. Lew Wallace’s best-selling 1880 novel, which had previously been made into a wildly successful stage play, first reached audiences of the newfangled cinema way back in 1907. Since that adaptation was completely unauthorized, however, a lawsuit resulted that still stands as a landmark in the development of copyright protection.

Ben Hur: An epic remake

For the first time in nearly 55 years, one of the greatest stories ever told will be retold on the big screen starting Aug. 19, as Paramount and MGM’s “Ben-Hur” — a remake of the 1959 Academy Award-winning classic with Charlton Heston — will introduce a whole new generation to the epic tale of fictional nobleman-turned-slave Judah Ben-Hur and his life-changing interaction with Jesus Christ.

Movie: ‘Cafe Society’

NEW YORK (CNS) — “Love is an emotion, and emotions aren’t rational,” a character muses midway through writer-director Woody Allen’s seriocomic “Cafe Society” (Lionsgate). This variation on “the heart wants what the heart wants” — a saying ultimately traceable, in a slightly different form, to an Emily Dickinson poem — is not a lucid theme […]

Movie: ‘Nine Lives’

NEW YORK (CNS) — It must have been a slow day in Hollywood when the proposal for the vapid comedy “Nine Lives” (EuropaCorp) got the green light. Or perhaps someone behind the scenes saw some potential in the project that failed to make it to the screen. Either way, the dead-on-arrival result, in which Kevin […]

Movie: ‘Jason Bourne’

NEW YORK (CNS) — Nearly all of the characters in “Jason Bourne” (Universal) are under surveillance, being hacked, or in the gun sight of a government assassin. Director Paul Greengrass, who co-scripted with Christopher Rouse, bookends the story with extended car and motorcycle chases, with the result that vehicle casualties considerably outnumber the body count […]

Bad Moms

NEW YORK (CNS) — As jointly written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the suburban-set comedy “Bad Moms” (STX) has some valid points to make about the challenges of modern parenting. Yet their script’s preoccupation with jokes about how kids get here in the first place overshadows the positive aspects of the duo’s […]

Movie: ‘Nerve’

NEW YORK (CNS) — Though geared to teens, the potentially intriguing drama “Nerve” (Lionsgate) includes visual and verbal elements that make it unfit fare even for mature adolescents. As for their elders, they’ll find that the film’s original promise gets lost through a lack of focus well before it reaches its thoroughly implausible conclusion. The […]