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Out in Theaters: ‘A WRINKLE IN TIME’

Ava DuVernay’s well-intentioned adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s popular children’s book of the same name is a tenaciously tedious, psychedelically sloppy slog. Championing a well-meaning message of the bonds of family and acceptance of oneself, the actual movie is a mind-numbing flurry of exposition vomit, hurried character development and drag-show pizzaz. DuVernay’s tale of a brother and sister hunting their lost father (Chris Pine) throughout the galaxy is constantly on the go, relying on bright pops of color and shimmery CGI to cover up the gaping plot holes developed courtesy of its neck-break pace. Characters explain the plot ad nauseum, using in-house lingo sure to leave many skeptical eyes a’rollin’, as the story whirls from one underdeveloped thread to another at light-speed pace. At once too dark for the younger crowd and too childish for true blue teenagers, A Wrinkle in Time really only appeals to the tween ADHD crowd who likes their stories delivered fast and loose and colorful beyond belief. 
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Out in Theaters: ‘THE NIGHT BEFORE’

Mix one part holiday sentiment, two parts 21st century bromance and a healthy teaspoon of bath salts and you’ll have cooked up Jonathan Levine‘s latest comedic vision quest. The Night Before is packaged as a drug-fueled Christmas romp starring such likable actors as Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and works from a script from Levine and frequent Rogen collaborator Evan Goldberg. When the formulaic cocktail of easy chemistry and easier laughs is working, The Night Before is funny bone-shaking good, a zesty melange of manic humor, gross out gags and breezy charisma. At one too many of its Santa’s sleigh stops though, the bromance is invaded by bromides, making for an uneven and inconsistent holiday farce with uncomfortably obvious pacing problems. But, being a comedy, the essential question really boils down to: is The Night Before funny? Read More