Movie summaries

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THEATERS

Cinemark Denton 2825 Wind River Lane off I-35E. 940-535-2654. www.cinemark.com.

Movie Tavern 916 W. University Drive. 940-566-FILM (3456). www.movietavern.com.

Carmike Hickory Creek 16 8380 S. I-35E, Hickory Creek. 940-321-2788. www.carmike.com.

Silver Cinemas Inside Golden Triangle Mall, 2201 S. I-35E. 940-387-1957. www.silvercinemasinc.com.

OPENING FRIDAY

Think Like a Man Too (2.5 stars) The great appeal of 2012’s Think Like a Man is that it took four beautiful black actresses (Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good and Gabrielle Union) and put them right at the center of a film. It made for a comedy that was unexpected, refreshing and welcome. The sequel brings back the cast of the earlier picture, but the emphasis is different this time. In 2012, Kevin Hart was the big discovery. He’s become a star since then, and so he’s center-stage now, still funny like before, but alas, much of what made the earlier movie special is gone. This time they’re all in Las Vegas to celebrate the wedding of Candace (Hall) and Michael (Terrence Jenkins). The filmmakers’ efforts to be nonstop zany are misbegotten. — San Francisco Chronicle

NOW PLAYING

Blended (1.5 stars) These days, Adam Sandler is a bottle of beer that’s lost all its bubbles. Drew Barrymore, in her third pairing with Sandler, still brings energy and conviction to her performance. Terry Crews steals the movie as an MC and singer at the Sun City resort where Jim (Sandler), the sad sporting goods salesman, and Lauren (Barrymore), the professional closet organizer, and their five kids end up in an absurdly contrived joint vacation. Rated PG-13, 119 minutes. — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Edge of Tomorrow (3.5 stars) Military marketer Maj. William Cage (Tom Cruise) is thrown into battle against extraterrestrials by an unsympathetic general (the excellent Brendan Gleeson), and then finds himself stuck in a mysterious time loop. Cruise dies dozens of times over and over, often in comical ways. Dying again and again, Cruise has rarely been so likable. This is Groundhog Day with guns. Edge of Tomorrow entertains in its narrative playfulness — another entry in the burgeoning fad of puzzle-making sci-fi, as seen in Inception and Looper. Directed by Doug Liman. Based on the 2004 Japanese novella All You Need Is Kill. With Bill Paxton and Emily Blunt. Rated R, 119 minutes. — The Associated Press

The Fault in Our Stars (2.5 stars) Shailene Woodley, who can do no acting wrong, brings a welcome reality to The Fault in Our Stars, a perfectly serviceable teen date picture that teenage girls will have to bribe teenage boys to sit through. Sweet, cute to the point of cutesy, it’s a weeper about doomed teenagers (Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who played her brother in Divergent) who meet in a cancer patients support group and dare to fall in love. With Laura Dern and Willem Dafoe. Directed by Josh Boone, based the John Green novel. Rated PG-13, 125 minutes. — MCT

Godzilla (2.5 stars) Godzilla, that tail-swinging menace from the deep, is back with a pair of friends. What’s particularly weird about this Godzilla is that for long stretches, all it shows is destruction. Brian Cranston plays a scientist in Japan, working in a nuclear plant, who notices something very wrong on his computer. A stony-faced Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Cranston’s son, a lieutenant, and Elizabeth Olsen is his wife. Unfortunately, director Gareth Edwards concentrated too much on the action to worry about the performances. Rated PG-13, 123 minutes. — SFC

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (4 stars) The follow-up to the much-admired animated How to Train Your Dragon doesn’t play it safe, and that’s why it’s the rare sequel that doesn’t feel somewhat stale. Written and directed by Dean DeBlois, How to Train Your Dragon 2 returns us to Berk, where our young Viking hero, Hiccup (again voiced by Jay Baruchel), lives and frolics with his devoted dragon, Toothless. Five years have passed, and now Berk is a virtual playground for dragons and Vikings alike. When Hiccup and his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera) discover a vicious villain (Djimon Hounsou) who’s building a dragon army, Hiccup resolves to stop him. Kudos to the creators here, who took a terrific first film and made a sequel that, both visually and thematically, lives up to that promise. With the voices of Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill and Kristen Wiig. Rated PG, 102 minutes. — AP

Maleficent (3 stars) It takes talent to walk around in a black leather-horned cap and not look silly. Angelina Jolie turns in a magnificent performance in Maleficent as the (now we are told) misunderstood villain of Sleeping Beauty. Jolie rules this film with a powerful acting grace accented by director Robert Stromberg’s film style that shifts from film noir to children’s comedy without a flinch. There’s just not enough fleshing out of the story o support these elements. As is, the film is fun but not memorable. Rated PG, 97 minutes. — The Fresno Bee

Million Dollar Arm (3.5 stars) There’s something about a baseball movie that just invites corniness. And so it is with Disney’s Million Dollar Arm, yet somehow, this flaw doesn’t feel like the biggest crime — especially when you have a high-quality cast at work. Real-life sports agent JB Bernstein (Mad Men’s Jon Hamm) and his partner Ash (the always entertaining Aasif Mandvi) bring two young Indian men (Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma) to America in hopes of creating the next international baseball sensation. With Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton and Lake Bell. Directed by Craig Gillespie. Rated PG, 124 minutes. — AP

A Million Ways to Die in the West (1.5 stars) Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, Ted) wants to be a movie star in the worst way. A Million Ways to Die in the West is the result of this longing — a long comedy with long waits between jokes and longer waits between those that work. He plays Albert, a timid sheep rancher in 1882 Arizona whose clumsiness and cowardice costs him his best girl (Amanda Seyfried). His pals Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) and Ruth (Sarah Silverman) worry he’ll never get over that — until Anna (Charlize Theron), the moll of a desperado (Liam Neeson), ducks into town. Rated R, 116 minutes. — MCT

22 Jump Street (3.5 stars) You’re pretty much going to have to see 22 Jump Street twice — just to catch all the jokes the roars of laughter make you miss. This buddy cop parody hits its sweet spots with bromance gags carried to hilarious extremes by Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, too-dumb-to-be-a-cop riffs by Tatum and a couple of vintage, sneering rants by Ice Cube. Undercover cops Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) are sent off to M.C. State University to track down a new designer drug that college kids are using to help them focus. A pack of writers, and the co-directors of the first film, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, conjure up good, quick-footed and foul-mouthed fun. Rated R, 112 minutes. — MCT

X-Men: Days of Future Past (3.5 stars) In this latest episode of the mutant clan’s saga, Logan (Hugh Jackman) travels back to 1973 to stop the plans of an evil scientist (Peter Dinklage). Director Bryan Singer ably juggles past and present, with his team facing off against a new batch of robotic warriors with the help of the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy). The young work with the old, integrating the special effects along with the era’s bad hair and wide lapels. Rated PG-13, 131 minutes. — B.A.


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