December 3, 2010 |
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.
December 26, 2012 |
Quentin Tarantino's talents as a screenwriter are undisputed. And his ability to get audiences laughing in the midst of extreme violence has been a trademark since he landed on the scene with "Reservoir Dogs" in 1992. As he put it in a recent interview with The Times: "There is something sexy about gallows humor. This is funny but is it OK to laugh? Is it a contraband laugh? That's worth me leaving the house to have that experience. " So it was with great anticipation and some trepidation that Tarantino approached a key scene in "Django Unchained.
August 20, 2010 |
Mark Twain famously said that politicians, old buildings and prostitutes become respectable with age. To that category, a provocative and disturbing new documentary claims, you can add Nazi propaganda films. "A Film Unfinished," directed by Yael Hersonski, focuses on about an hour of incomplete Nazi footage shot in the infamous Warsaw Ghetto in May 1942, just months before the ghetto was liquidated and its half a million Jewish residents sent to their deaths. That footage, found without sound or credits, was discovered in cans labeled simply "The Ghetto" in a concrete vault hidden in a forest.
February 7, 2010 |
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.
March 17, 2014 |
Tyler Perry's "The Single Moms Club" was greeted over the weekend with disastrous box office and horrible reviews. Most networks that had been planning to base a series on the film might be having second thoughts about those plans after seeing the evidence that the movie not only tanked with Perry's core audience, but marked his worst showing ever at the box office. But OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, isn't most networks. Perry apparently can do whatever he wants at OWN, with Winfrey's blessing.
April 18, 1993 |
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.
February 13, 2011 |
If any best-picture contender was going to face questions about taking liberties with the facts this Oscar season, it seemed likely it would be "The Social Network. " But now that screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have tactfully retreated a bit from their initially contentious stands, the accuracy debate has shifted to "The King's Speech. " "The King's Speech" is being sold as a feel-good tale of how a friendship between a royal and a commoner affected the course of history.
November 12, 2012 |
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.
January 7, 2014 |
Santa Clarita, the suburban northern Los Angeles County community that has played Afghanistan, Kentucky and Washington, D.C, had a record year for film and TV production. The city generated 1,264 location film days in 2013, up 38% from last year. Those projects generated an estimated $30.5 million in spending on wages, hotels, catering and other goods and services in the city, up from $21.7 million in 2012, according to preliminary figures from the Santa Clarita film office. It marks the third consecutive record year for filming activity in Santa Clarita, which saw steady gains in television production, commercial shoots and mostly lower budget movies, including “Love and Mercy” and “Kitchen Sink.” ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll Two high-profile features that also filmed in Santa Clarita last year were the Denzel Washington thriller “2 Guns” and Marvel Studios' “Iron Man 3," which was mostly filmed outside of California.
April 11, 2013 |
A spaceship-like, 1,000-seat theater may be the most striking feature of the Motion Picture Academy's planned film museum at LACMA, but the organization has also revealed a bevy of other details about what the six-story, 290,000-square-foot facility opening in 2017, will include. Some highlights: Ground Floor: This will consist of a public piazza, the museum lobby, a cafe and a gift store. The piazza will connect the film museum to the rest of the LACMA campus. The academy says "a majestic red carpet and Cannes-style grand staircase" will take visitors into the soaring 1,000-seat, domed "premiere theater," to be named for David Geffen, who has pledged $25 million to the $300-million museum.