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Review: ‘Alexander’ a snappy, benign comedy

In this image released by Disney, Ed Oxenbould appears in a scene from the film, " Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." AP

Given its premise, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” could have been a lot more horrible and no good than it is. In fact, at a quick 82 minutes, this straight-arrow family comedy about a day when misfortune comes to visit and stays awhile goes down relatively painlessly if one considers the repetitive nature of the pranks and pitfalls and the predictable message about family togetherness prevailing over adversity; just think, gang, we could be living in Syria.

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Simmons, Carell, Gyllenhaal stand out in Toronto entries

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JK SIMMONS is an Oscar front-runner as a mercurial, cantankerous college jazz band instructor in “Whiplash.”

JK Simmons is one of the actors who should be dusting off his tux for the awards season, based on the entries we saw ahead of the Toronto International Film Festival, which opened yesterday. In director Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash,” one of the best films we’ve seen so far this year, JK is terrific as a “terror” college jazz band instructor.

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It’s the comedy, silly

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steve

CARELL. The thrill is gone.

Steve Carell is a certified comedy star, but his career hasn’t been all that stellar of late. Take his latest film, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.” It’s supposed to be a satire on magicians and the entire overdone and over-hyped prestidigitation industry on TV and in Las Vegas—especially the over-the-top performers who make entire elephants and the Eiffel Tower itself disappear in front of televiewers’ amazed and unbelieving eyes!

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Oldies still delight

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STREEP. As adept with comedy as she is with drama.

On an overseas flight we took recently, we were delighted to catch Meryl Streep’s starrer, “Hope Springs,” in which she plays the wife of Tommy Lee Jones. His character is happy enough in their 30-year union, but she feels that the joy and passion have been leached out of it, and she wants to save it with the help of a marriage counselor (Steve Carell).

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Love’s like that

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Steve Carell. Photo taken from Steve Carell Facebook page

Is comedian Steve Carell transitioning into a dramatic actor? It sure looks that way in his latest starrer, “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” where he plays a long-married man who thinks he’s living the good life – until his wife (Julianne Moore) reveals her affair with a co-worker! Carell’s character tries to pick up the pieces of […]

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