Kenneth Turan

July 15, 2011 | 5:02 p.m.

‘Harry Potter’ review: A fitting end to a once-in-a-lifetime series

The end is here — but we’re not done yet. No one has covered the eighth and final “Harry Potter” the way we have here at Hero Complex, but we’re not going to slow down now that the film has reached theaters. The movie is on its way to a massive opening weekend and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive as well. One of the best takes is by our very own Kenneth Turan, the senior film critic for the Los Angeles Times. Here’s an excerpt from his review: The Harry Potter films, like the boy wizard himself, have had their creative ups and downs, so it’s especially satisfying that this final film, ungainly title and all, has been worth the wait. Though no expense has been spared in its production, it succeeds because it brings us back to the combination of magic, […]
June 17, 2011 | 8:27 a.m.

‘Green Lantern’ review: ‘More ‘science-fiction space opera than superhero epic’

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Overall, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times goes against the early critical opinion of Warner Bros.’ “Green Lantern,” saying “it works in fits and starts as its disparate parts go in and out of effectiveness, but the professionalism of the production” makes it watchable in a “comic book kind of way.” Far from high praise, it’s not as scathing as the New York Times’ review or that Rotten Tomatoes’ score. Starting with Hal Jordan himself, Turan’s take on Ryan Reynolds seems positive; he says that “Reynolds can handle most of what the script by Greg Berlanti and Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg throws at him. The problem is, not all of that stuff is worth doing.” Turan goes on to point out that the visual depiction of the planet Oa, “home base of the Lanterns and their […]
May 06, 2011 | 1:43 p.m.

‘Thor’ review: Marvel meets Shakespeare with mixed results

DAYS OF THUNDER: We’ve been counting down to the release of “Thor” with a month of on-the-set reports, exclusive photos and interviews with the cast and crew of the first truly cosmic Marvel Studios film. Today: Kenneth Turan’s review.  Kenneth Turan is celebrating his 20th anniversary as a film critic for the Los Angeles Times and he’s watched as super-hero films have moved to new heights at the box office. After seeing “Thor,” Turan writes in his review that the film is a “smackdown” between two opposing forces – Kenneth Branagh,  “a director still best known for superior Shakespearean productions,” and Marvel Entertainment, a “well-oiled mass entertainment machine boasting ownership of more than 8,000 comic book characters and more than $6.1 billion in worldwide box office grosses.” In Turan’s view, the contest was a draw, judging by the new film that is expected to dominate at theaters […]
March 04, 2011 | 11:13 a.m.

‘Adjustment Bureau’ review: Philip K. Dick with a difference

Terence Stamp and Matt Damon in "The Adjustment Bureau" (Universal Pictures)
Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan says “The Adjustment Bureau” has a date with destiny… Once neglected, now lionized, the legendary science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick speaks more to our time than he ever did to his own. Starting with 1982′s “Blade Runner” and including “Total Recall” and “Minority Report,” close to a dozen features based on Dick’s work have generated more than $1 billion in revenue. Now “The Adjustment Bureau” is poised to add to that total. What makes Dick so appealing to our wary, distrustful state of mind is, in novelist Jonathan Lethem’s words, his “remarkably personal vision of paranoia and dislocation.” Never a great prose stylist, Dick had a visionary’s gift for mind-bending ideas about the nature of reality, a gift “Adjustment Bureau” and its notion of unseen forces stage-managing our lives embraces. This film, however, […]
Jan. 14, 2011 | 9:45 a.m.

‘Green Hornet’ review: The most tedious superhero film ever?

Green Hornet car
Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan on “boring bromedy” with masked men … “The Green Hornet” may not be the most tedious superhero movie ever — the competition is admittedly tough — but it is certainly in the running. An anemic, 97-pound weakling of the action comedy persuasion, “Hornet” is a boring bromedy that features mumblecore heroics instead of the real thing. Though the Hornet’s been around since the 1930s in various incarnations, including a TV series that featured the one-of-a-kind Bruce Lee as his sidekick Kato, the Hornet’s technically not a superhero at all. Rather, like his animal kingdom cohort Batman, the Hornet fights crime from behind a mask with just his ordinary human powers, plus nifty inventions like a tricked-out Chrysler Imperial. Invention, however, is what’s lacking in this latest version. Neither director Michel Gondry nor star […]
Dec. 20, 2010 | 4:44 a.m.

‘Metropolis’ stirs the 21st century soul

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As the curtain falls on 2010, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine asked the paper’s critics to reflect on a single moment of cultural transcendance this year. Here’s the answer from the paper’s senior film critic, Kenneth Turan… “My moment was a screening on April 25 of the miraculously rediscovered director’s cut of the silent masterpiece Metropolis. Having this Fritz Lang film come back to life, being able to watch it accompanied by the inspired Alloy Orchestra and experiencing it all with a capacity crowd of 2,200 in the still vibrant Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood let me feel more hope about the future of cinema past than I usually allow myself.” – Kenneth Turan RECENT AND RELATED “Phantom of the Opera” plays on after 85 years Lon Chaney’s only talkie hits DVD “Fantomas” strikes! French classic hits DVD “Metropolis”: “A torrent of […]
Nov. 24, 2010 | 10:10 a.m.

REVIEW: ‘Tangled’ has bumpy start but soars by the end

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Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan says “Tangled” isn’t perfect, but delivers in the end. Here’s an excerpt from his review. For “Tangled,” the studio’s 50th feature-length cartoon, the team at Disney has taken a deep breath and tried to be all things to all animation-loving people. There are some hiccups along the way, but by the end there is success. Whether you like stirring adventure or sentimental romance, traditional fairy tales or stories of modern families, musicals or comedies, even blonds or brunets, “Tangled” has something for you. Sampling so many animation touchstones has its risks, but once “Tangled” calms down and accepts the essential sweetness of its better nature the rewards are clear. As directed by Nathan Greno and “Bolt” co-director Byron Howard, one of those rewards is a gorgeous computer-animated look that features rich landscapes and […]
Sept. 23, 2010 | 2:41 p.m.

‘Fantomas’ strikes again! The classic French villain hits DVD

Fantomas
Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan drops by the Hero Complex to celebrate the new home-video collection featuring the great masked-man of old Paris...
July 15, 2010 | 10:25 p.m.

REVIEW: ‘Inception’ dreams darkly with ‘strong film noir ties’

Kenneth Turan takes a look at one of the year’s most anticipated releases in “Inception.” Dreaming is life’s great solitary adventure. Whatever pleasures or terrors the dream state provides, we experience them alone or not at all. But what if other people could literally invade our dreams, what if a technology existed that enabled interlopers to create and manipulate sleeping life with the goal of stealing our secret thoughts, or more unsettling still, implanting ideas in the deepest of subconscious states and making us believe they’re our own? Welcome to the world of “Inception,” written and directed by the masterful Christopher Nolan, a tremendously exciting science-fiction thriller that’s as disturbing as it sounds. This is a popular entertainment with a knockout punch so intense and unnerving it’ll have you worrying if it’s safe to close your eyes at night. Having […]
July 01, 2010 | 12:55 a.m.

Review: ‘The Last Airbender’ ‘is disappointing in a way that its intended audience may not notice’

Times movie critic Kenneth Turan weighs in on the controversial anime-inspired new release, “The Last Airbender.”   If ever a film was born under a bad sign, “The Last Airbender” is it. As the blues lyric goes, if it didn’t have bad luck, it wouldn’t have any kind of luck at all. Not only does this live-action feature written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan have to weather comparisons with the hugely popular (and DVD-available) animated TV series that inspired it, it lost the first word of its title — “Avatar” — when a certain other film used it first. Then “The Last Airbender” irritated fans by changing its trio of heroes from Asian to white and weathered the inevitable suspicion that goes with both a late conversion to 3-D and a studio decision to keep the film away from […]
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