Movies out today: a major Oscar contender and not much else

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Bandicoot Cabbagepatch. Bandersnatch Cumberbund. Bendandsnap Calldispatch. Even if he’s an Oscar nominee, the Benedict Cumberbatch Name Generator is still so much fun to play with.

The Imitation Game

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During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’, an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, The Imitation Game follows a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives.

With nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and a bunch of other nominations in the categories no one really cares about, The Imitation Game looks to be a damn good movie. Morten Tyldum’s directing is tight and intuitive, Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance is powerful and nuanced, and Kervyn thinks that this might be an early contender for the best movie of 2015 (with 4.5/5 stars). Ultimately, while it might be slightly inaccurate, it’s still an incredibly gripping and in-depth look into the father of modern computer science.

The Humbling

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Over-the-hill stage actor Simon Axler struggles to find his passion for life again. Near his breaking point, he finds motivation in the form of a young and lustful lesbian Pegeen Stapleford, but as their relationship heats up Simon has a hard time keeping up with the youthful Pegeen.

Well, while The Humbling isn’t bad, it’s not very good either. Falling squarely in the middle with 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, Al Pacino’s performance is about the only good thing about it. Otherwise, it’s uneven, vague and self-indulgent.

The Pyramid

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The ancient wonders of the world have long cursed explorers who’ve dared to uncover their secrets. But a team of U.S. archaeologists gets more than they bargained for when they discover a lost pyramid unlike any other in the Egyptian desert. As they unlock the horrific secrets buried within, they realize they aren’t just trapped, they are being hunted.

6% On Rotten Tomatoes. No. Just… no. It’s worse than Jessabelle. Seriously.

Maps to the Stars (Cinema Nouveau)

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Meet the Weiss family, who are making their way in Hollywood rife with money, fame, envy, and relentless hauntings. Stafford Weiss (John Cusack) is a famed TV self-help therapist with an A-list celebrity clientele. Meanwhile, Cristina Weiss (Olivia Williams) has her work cut out managing the career of their disaffected child-star son, Benjie (Evan Bird), a fresh graduate of rehab at age 13. Yet unbeknownst to them, another member of the Weiss family has arrived in town – mysteriously scarred and tormented Agatha (Mia Wasikowska), just released from a psych ward and ready to start again. She soon works her way into a friendship with a limo driver (Robert Pattinson) and becomes personal assistant to unraveling actress Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore), who is beset by the ghost of her legendary mother, Clarice (Sarah Gadon). But Agatha is on a quest for redemption – and even in this realm of the artificial, and the unearthly, she’s determined to find it, no matter what it takes

What Map to the Stars tries to do is hold a dark mirror up to Hollywood’s seedy underbelly, and to an extent David Cronenberg succeeds in his mission. Part satire and part ghost story, Map to the Stars gets 68% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Barbie in Princess Power

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Barbie stars as Kara, a modern-day princess with an everyday life. One day, after being kissed by a magical butterfly, Kara soon discovers she has super power allowing her to transform into Super Sparkle, her secret, crime-fighting alter ego who flies around the kingdom ready to save the day! But it’s not long before her jealous cousin catches the butterfly and also transforms – this time into Dark Sparkle, her nemesis. Their rivalry takes to the skies, but when they discover the kingdom’s true enemy, can they put aside their differences to form one super team? Soar to new heights and discover that there’s no greater power than the power of friendship!

So, it’s a Barbie movie, where Barbie plays another person. And, then there’s magic and friendship and butterflies and I honestly have no idea, I think I got diabetes from reading the blurb. It sounds like it will just be awful, so… take your kids to watch Big Hero Six instead.

Last Updated: January 23, 2015

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