October 24, 2013 |
Richard Kadrey's new novel, "Dead Set," gave me nightmares. And I can't stop myself from telling him - even though the bestselling horror author dresses in black, has intimidating tattoos and the watchful bearing of an assassin. He's reluctant to take off his dark glasses. "Cool," he says, stirring his coffee in the dim daytime light of a Los Angeles bar. "It's an experiment. " "Dead Set" (Harper Voyager, $22.99) is far less violent than the bestselling Sandman Slim series he's known for: "There's fewer bad words and less actual bloody body parts.
October 17, 2013 |
The suspense is laboriously built up in the Geffen Playhouse production of "Wait Until Dark," a freshly adapted version of Frederick Knott's 1966 play that gave rise a year later to the movie with Audrey Hepburn as a blind Greenwich Village pixie beset by nefarious shadows. But when the tension finally gets going late in the second half, it rips, momentarily reviving not just a dusty property but a theatrical genre. Alison Pill plays Susan, the young, victimized woman who lost her sight in a car accident and now must fend off some thuggish con men who have descended on her while her husband is away.
October 16, 2013 |
After the coffee. Before dreading another argument with my bank. The Skinny: My bank thinks my account has been compromised. I think I know what happened but finding someone to explain it to is making me feel like Kafka. Most annoying. Today's headlines include a list of the highest paid TV stars and creative differences over a movie about Noah's Ark. Also a profile of 20th Century Fox Television toppers Gary Newman and Dana Walden. Daily Dose: The controversy over the name Redskins shows no signs of slowing down and some reporters won't even use the name anymore.
October 12, 2013 |
Johnny Cash's life in the 1960s is mostly remembered as a time of glorious achievement - from the landmark prison albums at Folsom and San Quentin to the launch of the ABC-TV series featuring such guests as Bob Dylan and the Doors that led to his becoming a giant figure in popular culture, a symbol to millions, no less, of the best of American social values. But Cash also experienced excruciatingly dark times in the decade, fueled by drugs and guilt over the breakup of his marriage.
October 10, 2013 |
Inspired by the Death Cab for Cutie song of the same name, "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" in fact hews pretty closely to not only the lyrics' incredibly romantic sentiment but its views on the afterlife. Unfortunately, those ideas get muddled by a setup with a religious bent that's never fully explored and an instance of euthanasia that's only tenuously related to the central plot. For Mark Edwin Robinson's movie is ultimately a horror flick: Reeling from the recent deaths of her parents, Sophia (Mischa Barton)
October 10, 2013 |
There is a distinctive intimacy to a handwritten letter between friends. You can feel the emotion behind the stroke of the pen, layers of meaning in the choice of a word. Put the letter writers in a room together and there is both comfort and disquiet, as if the other knows, perhaps, too much. "Shepard & Dark," a candid new documentary, captures that dichotomy as it riffles through the long correspondence and relationship between playwright-actor Sam Shepard and his close friend, Johnny Dark, a man of odd-jobs, intelligence and the kind of curated obscurity of someone fascinated by, but not envious of, the fame.
October 10, 2013 |
When it comes to the darkly comic revenge western "Sweetwater," it's hard to tell if the Miller brothers - Logan (who directed) and Noah (who co-wrote with Logan) - are fans of such pictures or just their more parody-ready elements. Another bro duo once flirted with genre insincerity too, but where Joel and Ethan Coen mastered storytelling and character eccentricity, the Millers offer up a grim, wearying jumble of tones. January Jones adapts her "Mad Men" steeliness to play prostitute-turned-frontier-wife Sarah, who suffers mightily at the hands of landowning, power-hungry Prophet Josiah (Jason Isaacs)
October 8, 2013 |
The numbers said "Kick-Ass 2" was going to do just that. Before its theatrical release, audience tracking surveys estimated the superhero action-comedy could gross as much as $25 million its opening weekend. Instead, the sequel took in only $13 million, finishing far behind the civil rights drama "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and earning "Kick-Ass 2" an instant reputation as a flop. For decades, tracking was used by studios to determine filmgoer interest ahead of a new movie's release and tell marketing executives where to spend their ad dollars.
October 5, 2013 |
Unbuckling the mailbag: Question: In a parking lot? Why there? Seems a bit harsh. Twitter: @The SaintMunich Answer: I still can't get that puzzling piece out of my head. Why wouldn't nice-guy Pat Haden not even allow Lane Kiffin on the bus back to campus, if only to clean out his desk? Was he afraid Kiffin would barricade himself in his office and refuse to leave? USC campus security: Lane, put your laminated play sheet down and unlock the door. We'll count to 35, the time it took to get most of your plays into the huddle.
October 4, 2013 |
"All is Bright" - "All Is Bright" is a bit of holiday melancholy masquerading as black comedy. Paul Giamatti, Paul Rudd and Sally Hawkins star in this sweet, sad tale of thieves and other lost causes tangled up in a Brooklyn Christmas tree lot one very cold December. Love of the same good woman, Therese (Amy Landecker), has both trying to go almost straight, selling bootleg Christmas trees in the big city. The film is rather rough and seedy as holiday fables go, and quite often the ideas and characters are only half baked.