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The only panda more “aw-worthy” than Po (Jack Black), is the National Zoo’s Tian Tian rolling in the snow.  In this third outing, the roly poly martial arts hero is still kind, humble, brave, and wiser than he knows. And, […]

Screenwriters Mike White (“School of Rock”) and Darren Lemke (“Turbo,””Lost”) bring just the right blend of scary, funny, and heartwarming in this first film based on the books by tween favorite R.L. Stine, the man who put the BOO in […]

The wildly popular Goosebumps horror-comedy series for kids by R.L. Stine is now a movie!

At the end of the last “Kung Fu Panda” movie we got a hint that our hero, an adopted son of a loving father, would get his first chance to meet his biological family. In this new chapter, Po (Jack […]

Comedies, especially dark ones, have a lot of freedom when it comes to narrative logic, but the emotional logic still has to ring true. No matter how crazy the storyline gets, the way the characters respond to it has to […]

Weird Al Yankovic, gets weird about Pharrell Williams’ ubiquitous “Happy,” with some help from Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal, and Jack Black! Update: I am pleased that Weird Al, who is the gentlest soul alive, has apologized for the thoughtless use […]

Can it be 10 years since “School of Rock?” Jack Black and the kids got together for a reunion.

Richard Linklater has directed some of my favorite movies like “Waking Life,” “Before Sunset,” “School of Rock,” and “Dazed and Confused.”  He talked to me about his new film, “Bernie,” starring Jack Black as the real-life Bernie Tiede, the most […]

Let the joy be unrestrained.  The Muppets are back.  It turns out that deep inside Jason Segal, best known for raunchy Judd Apatow comedies and for playing the monogamous Marshall on “How I Met Your Mother,” is at his core […]

“The Big Year” would be a lot better if it didn’t try so hard to be The Big Movie.   This over-Hollywood-ized take on the real-life story of passionate-to-obsessed birders (don’t say “bird-watchers”) makes us wish for a documentary instead.  Everything […]