March 28, 2013 |
In "Family Weekend," onetime "High School Musical" cast member Olesya Rulin plays a competitive high-school jump-roper who takes her parents hostage after they miss one meet too many. Aided by her younger brother and sister, the teen's plan is to hold them in their house long enough to take them all with her to the state finals. The hostage comedy can be tricky business, done successfully in films such as "The Ref" or "Swimming With Sharks," and director Benjamin Epps and screenwriter Matt K. Turner just about pull it off. Such films must manage a fine balancing act between the victims (where an audience's sympathy naturally goes)
March 27, 2013 |
This post has been corrected. See note below for details. Renée Taylor is a very funny lady known for such comedic roles as Eva Braun in Mel Brooks' 1968 classic "The Producers," Fran Drescher's ultimate Jewish mother on "The Nanny" and Brian Benben's ultimate Jewish mother on HBO's "Dream On. " But her career didn't start out that way. FOR THE RECORD: Renee Taylor: A profile of actress Renee Taylor in the March 27...
March 22, 2013 |
A fraught romantic comedy shot through with anxiety about getting your child into an Ivy League school or else, "Admission" stars Tina Fey as a Princeton University admissions officer with a secret. Her genial foil is Paul Rudd, who runs a rural New Hampshire high school that's a progressive Eden of alternative educational grooviness. How these two nice, attractive, funny people find each other is up to the machinery of the source material, a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, adapted with mixed success for the screen by Karen Croner and directed with a calming glow by Paul Weitz, whose attention to relational detail was evident in "About a Boy," "In Good Company" and, more recently, "Being Flynn.
March 21, 2013 |
"The Happy Poet," a no-budget comedy about one man's no-budget sandwich-cart venture, would have to dial up the energy several notches to qualify as deadpan. With a DIY ethos on both sides of the camera, the Austin, Texas-set feature is an ultra-low-key takeoff on the conventional find-your-bliss Hollywood arc. Funny and incisive in moments, it never fully takes off. The title character, Bill, is a nonwriting poet who has left the workaday world to hawk organic fare in the park. He's played by Paul Gordon, the film's writer-director-editor, with a flat affect and a halting monotone that speaks volumes but doesn't grow less irritating.
March 20, 2013 |
In May 2005, DreamWorks Animation SKG and Aardman Animations announced that, following their collaborations on "Chicken Run," "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and "Flushed Away," their next joint venture would be "Crood Awakening," a stop-motion comedy about a caveman living in a small village with a prehistoric genius. John Cleese of Monty Python fame and Kirk DeMicco ("Racing Stripes") were hired to write the script. And now nearly eight years later, a vastly different version of the tale is opening Friday.
March 20, 2013 |
EXCLUSIVE: “Late Bloomer” is one of those conceits for a movie you wish you'd thought of yourself: a man in his late 20s who's never gone through puberty, then experiences it all in one head-spinning rush after a corrective surgery. The best part is it's true. Based on Ken Baker's memoir “Man Made,” “Late Bloomer” tells of an adult who seems to experience no sexual or hormonal feelings. He is flummoxed by his lack of desire, then discovers he has a tumor on his pituitary gland.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2013
Bobbie Smith Original member of Spinners R&B group Bobbie Smith, 76, a singer with the Spinners soul music group since the 1950s, died Saturday in Orlando, Fla., of complications from pneumonia and influenza. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer in November, according to a statement from the band's manager. Along with Henry Fambrough, Smith was one of two remaining original members still performing with the R&B group. His tenor voice was out front on a number of the Spinners' biggest Atlantic Records hits in the 1970s, including "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," "I'll Be Around," "Games People Play" and the 1974 Dionne Warwick duet "Then Came You. " Originally calling themselves the Domingoes and then the Detroit Spinners, Smith and Fambrough formed the vocal group in their native Detroit in 1957 with high school classmates Pervis Jackson, George W. Dixon and Billy Henderson.
March 19, 2013 |
When writer-director Ken Scott and his writing partner Martin Petit began working on the script for "Starbuck," a 2011 hit in Canada that opens in the U.S. on Friday, they were worried no one would buy the premise of a habitual sperm donor who discovers years later he is the father of 150 children. "Each day we would come in to write thinking it is too much," said Scott, 42, who was a member of a comedy sketch troupe before turning to screenwriting (2003's "Seducing Dr. Lewis") and directing (2009's "Sticky Fingers")
March 14, 2013 |
What is it with Hollywood and hyperbole these days? Last week saw "Oz the Great and Powerful" and now we have "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. " Calling it "The Mildly Diverting Burt Wonderstone" would have been more accurate, but how many tickets is that going to sell? Neither as good as you might hope nor as dreadful as doubters may fear, "Wonderstone" has in Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey and Alan Arkin four of the funniest men working in movies today. But it doesn't seem to know how to consistently get the best out of them.
March 13, 2013 |
The crowd at New York's legendary Comedy Cellar is always primed for high-profile drop-ins like Louis C.K. and Jerry Seinfeld. But this was different. Dave Chappelle was in New York - and on stage. Chappelle, one of the country's most sought-after yet reclusive comedians after walking away in 2005 from his still-influential Comedy Central show, spent three recent nights onstage at the Cellar, sometimes joined by friends, including Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Marlon Wayans and Paul Mooney.