February 27, 2011 |
127 Hours Fox Searchlight, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99 James Franco scored a well-deserved Oscar nomination for playing cocky thrill-seeker Aron Ralston in director Danny Boyle's true-life adventure "127 Hours. " When Ralston's arm gets pinned by a boulder in a remote Utah canyon, the hiker does what it takes to stay alive including, eventually, hacking away at the limb. The subject matter is harrowing and gruesome, but Boyle turns the story into more of a celebration of life and companionship ?
January 2, 2011 |
American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee Karen Abbott Random House: 426 pp., $26 Gypsy Rose Lee became the most famous stripper in America with a stylish routine notable less for the striptease than for her witty repartee while she peeled. Her fans included H.L. Mencken; her wisecracks made Walter Winchell's column, though I doubt Winchell printed the one that Karen Abbott takes as an epigraph for the first chapter in her seething biography: "Mother says I'm the most beautiful naked ass ?
December 7, 2010 |
Oscar's best song category sometimes feels like the field that gets no respect. Two years ago, only three songs were nominated, and the prior year much of the music recognized by the academy came from one film, Disney's "Enchanted. " In 2010, a long-standing tradition was done away with, as the contenders for best song did not perform on the telecast. But what feels like a lack of attention from the academy isn't reflected in the films themselves. The likes of Randy Newman, Christina Aguilera, Cher, Carrie Underwood and John Legend were among the many who lent their vocals and musical talents to films this year.
November 28, 2010 |
When they were growing up, Jules Fisher dreamed of becoming a magician and Peggy Eisenhauer trained to become a concert pianist. Eventually they ended up joining forces to bring their special combination of hocus-pocus and musicality to films, including this month's "Burlesque," through theatrical lighting design. Traditionally, film uses close-ups in the same way that theater uses spotlights: to direct the audience's attention. However, with a résumé that includes Broadway and off-Broadway shows, operas and concerts, Fisher and Eisenhauer bring their dynamic, theatrical lighting sensibility to film sets, where lighting is usually more static.
November 24, 2010
'Burlesque' MPAA rating: PG-13 for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material Running time: 1 hour, 56 minutes Playing: In general release
November 24, 2010 |
Think of "Burlesque" as one ginormous music video theme party thrown by Christina Aguilera, with Cher in the house, plus boas, bustiers and dancing girls and about a thousand humongous Broadway-style showstoppers. Which is a far better way to consider "Burlesque" than thinking of it as a movie ? there, words fail. (Their words, not mine. I'm a long way from finished here.) But should you find yourself in the mood for Big Musical Numbers by the score rather than a film, there's a lot to like about "Burlesque.