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April 1, 2010 | By Amy Kaufman
When Janet Jackson signed on to be a part of "Why Did I Get Married Too?," she knew she'd have to ready herself for an emotional journey. In the sequel to Tyler Perry's 2007 film, Jackson's character -- the always-composed psychologist, Patricia -- slowly begins to unravel as her loveless marriage dissolves. The role required her to cry, scream and fight, challenge enough for any actress -- and then her brother Michael died just three days into filming. Production halted as Jackson flew to L.A. to be with her family.
April 18, 1993 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN, Patrick Goldstein is a frequent contributor to Calendar
In Adrian Lyne's new film, "Indecent Proposal," billionaire playboy Robert Redford comes to visit Demi Moore at her realty company. As he walks into her office, we catch a glimpse of Moore's secretary, a blond bimbo busily filing her nails and reading "Backlash," Susan Faludi's 1991 expose of the war against women's rights. The shot is meant as a playful jab at Faludi. But after seeing Lyne's new film, in which Redford offers a happily married young couple $1 million for a one-night stand with the sultry wife, the outspoken author--and many of her female Hollywood peers--are in no laughing mood.
March 20, 2013 | By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore
HONG KONG -- There is a moment in “The Last Time I Saw Macau” -- which plays Wednesday at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and is being distributed in the United States this summer by Cinema Guild -- in which the camera captures the city through the backseat of a cab. The small screen attached to the back of the driver's seat plays news footage of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. But the image is upside down. The shot drolly observes Macau's new identity as a Chinese city.
April 11, 2010 | By Dennis Lim
Gillo Pontecorvo's "Kapò," a concentration-camp drama from 1959, is neither a great nor a terrible movie, but it has a special place in the history of Holocaust films (and of film criticism). It is a flash point in a long-running debate -- one that surrounds films as different as "Schindler's List" and "Inglourious Basterds" -- about the responsibilities and the limitations of cinema when it comes to depicting a historical atrocity. "Kapò" is being released this week on DVD through Criterion's Essential Art House line, which offers no-frills editions of titles from the company's back catalog at a reduced price ($19.
February 7, 2010 | By Susan King
When girls are good they are very good, but when they are bad they are even better. And during the height of the film noir genre in the 1940s and '50s, some of the juiciest roles for women were as femmes fatales in snappy B-movies. Sony's terrific two-volume "Bad Girls of Film Noir" DVD collections, due out Tuesday, offer eight scrappy samples featuring several female icons of the genre. Volume I kicks off with the 1950 thriller "The Killer That Stalked New York." The killer in question is played by Evelyn Keyes, though she isn't a typical film noir villainess.
December 3, 2010 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Novelist Mordecai Richler, a caustically brilliant observer of the human condition ? especially when it was Jewish, Canadian or politically incorrect ? was never one to spare himself or his loved ones. So I have to believe that somewhere in the great beyond, he is chuckling over a single malt and a Montecristo at the sublime, dark distraction of "Barney's Version," the screen adaptation of his final and most autobiographical work, starring Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman. This is, as Richler offered by way of introduction, the story of Barney Panofsky's "wasted life" and the scandal that followed him to his grave.
November 12, 2012 | By Glenn Whipp
Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" and Sam Mendes' "Skyfall," the latest installment in the James Bond series, both enjoyed overflow crowds at theaters this weekend, including one venue of particular note -- the 1,012-seat Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills -- which had to turn away film academy members who showed up too close to the movies' 7:30 p.m. start times. "Lincoln" screened Saturday night and, judging from the ovations afforded the post-screening panel -- director Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, leads Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field, screenwriter Tony Kushner and composer John Williams -- the film appears poised to fulfill its promise as an awards-season juggernaut.  "You could feel the respect in the room, but it went beyond that," said one academy member in attendance.
March 28, 2011
Charles McGraw The gravely voiced actor, who died in 1980 at age 66, played a hit man in the 1946 noir classic "The Killers" and went on to appear in such noir hits as 1950's "Armored Car Robbery, 1951's "Roadblock" and the 1952 classic "The Narrow Margin. " Audrey Totter Totter, now 92, made her film debut in 1945's "Main Street After Dark" and excelled in numerous film noirs, including Robert Montgomery's 1947 version of "Lady in the Lake" and "High Wall," which opens the "Noir City" festival.
February 17, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
How could a movie with a Mexican director, two American stars and the backing of a major U.S. studio be named outstanding British film at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards? That's the question on many awards observers' minds after Alfonso Cuarón's sci-fi thriller "Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and released by Warner Bros., reaped six BAFTA trophies on Sunday, among them one reserved for demonstrations of "outstanding and original British filmmaking which shows exceptional creativity and innovation.
April 20, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Orson Scott Card, the wildly popular author of "Ender's Game" and a string of other science-fiction books, spent much of his time at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival on Saturday talking about film adaptations of his work - some in progress, others he hopes for and at least one piece he never wants to see on screen. "'Speaker for the Dead' is unfilmable," Card said in response to a question from the audience. "It consists of talking heads, interrupted by moments of excruciating and unwatchable violence.
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