January 1, 2012 |
The art of adaptation, as the rash of movies derived from plays this season attests, is never easy. The best artistic looters of all time — Shakespeare, the Greek tragedians — recognized that independent vision is everything. Borrowing didn't inhibit them in least. Their goal, of course, wasn't to duplicate but to create something autonomous. Heck, Shakespeare wasn't beyond taking a freehand with history itself. Contemporary purloiners tend to be less independent. They struggle under a self-imposed obligation of faithfulness.
June 20, 2012 |
"Every summer, one movie comes along that moves you unlike any other. " So goes the most recent television advertisement for "People Like Us," the family drama aimed at an adult audience that hits theaters later this month. As the TV spot indicates, the DreamWorks film is hoping to find the kind of success that "The Help" did at the box office when it was released last August, grossing nearly $170 million by the end of its theatrical run. "People Like Us" follows a young man (Chris Pine)
May 23, 2013 |
OK, class. Time for a pop quiz. Say you're top Hollywood filmmaker J.J. Abrams and you're taking heat for including a seemingly gratuitous shot of a scantily clad Alice Eve in your latest blockbuster, “Star Trek: Into the Darkness.” What do you do to silence your critics? The answer: You go on “Conan” and share a deleted scene of Benedict Cumberbatch in the shower, that's what. On Wednesday the director addressed the minor kerfuffle surrounding a scene in which Capt.
May 15, 2013 |
"Star Trek Into Darkness," bursting at the seams with enemies, wears its politics, its mettle, its moxie and its heart on its ginormous 3-D sleeve. Director J.J. Abrams and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise try to build a better sequel with action spectacles to get lost in, clever asides to amuse, emotional waves to ride and allusions to terrorism in general and 9/11 specifically. Abrams' first reimagining of the beloved Gene Roddenberry franchise was a stellar surprise in 2009. The casting was spot-on with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto embodying and embellishing the iconic characters of James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, respectively.
January 17, 2014 |
When it comes to reviews of "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," superlatives are in short supply. Most movie critics agree that the reboot of the Tom Clancy action franchise, starring Chris Pine and directed by Kenneth Branagh, is competent - or "serviceable," or "workmanlike," or even "fairly diverting" - but not particularly compelling. The Times' Kenneth Turan writes that compared to previous films in the franchise (such as "The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games"), "as well as the modern gold standard of the genre as represented by the 'Bourne' epics, 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' comes off as a reasonable facsimile, serviceable but not compelling, something that could pass for the real thing if you're not looking too hard.
May 16, 2013 |
The "Star Trek" movie series has lived long at the box office. But is it time for Captain Kirk and Spock to really prosper? "Star Trek Into Darkness," the second J.J. Abrams-directed installment in the science-fiction franchise, debuted in a handful of theaters late Wednesday evening and has since collected $3.3 million, according to an estimate from distributor Paramount Pictures. The movie launched at 8 p.m. in 336 IMAX locations, because 30 minutes of the film was shot on IMAX cameras.
June 26, 2012 |
The Facebook page for the upcoming movie “People Like Us” contains the expected highlights -- photos of stars Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks, video interviews, information on advance ticket sales, and a trailer. Then there is something else -- an interactive “People Like Us Locations Map” displaying locations of the various restaurants and businesses featured in the DreamWorks Pictures/Reliance Entertainment film. Visitors can see photos of houses and neighborhoods where the characters lived, ate tacos, watched the sunset, bought groceries and even did their laundry.
May 12, 2013 |
While the USS Enterprise has yet to conquer foreign galaxies, it is starting to pick up speed overseas. Playing in seven foreign markets this weekend, J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness" collected $31.7 million, according to an estimate from distributor Paramount Pictures. The studio said the sequel performed about 70% better than the original did when it debuted in those same countries four years ago. The movie did well in locations like Germany and Australia but fared best in the United Kingdom, where it grossed $13.3 million.
July 2, 2012 |
In her early 20s, Elizabeth Banks filmed a commercial for the clear malt liquor Zima in which she played three different possible dates: a preppy girl, a tomboy and - once the booze started flowing - a fantasy vixen in a latex nurse's costume. Now 38, Banks has outlasted the adult beverage (it was discontinued in 2008), but the booze ad foreshadowed an acting career filled with eclectic, gung-ho characters - and she's more in demand than ever. Just consider her roles in three studio movies in the last four months: In the dystopian blockbuster "The Hunger Games,"Banks cheerfully chaperones child gladiators into the ring; in the pregnancy comedy "What to Expect When You're Expecting," she crusades for breastfeeding as the manic proprietor of a maternity boutique; and in the family drama"People Like Us," which opened over the weekend, she's a single mom navigating her father's secret history with wit and resilience.