August 18, 2012 |
William Friedkin's film of Tracy Letts' play"Killer Joe" is nasty, brutish and just short enough to concentrate its fiendish energies for maximum wincing effect. As enthralling as it is repulsive, the movie seized hold of my attention with the ferocious tenacity of T-Bone, the pit bull chained to a neighboring trailer home in the trashy Dallas outskirts where the story is set. But when the brutality was finished and the lights came up, I had to wonder about the point of sitting through so much casual bloodshed and prolonged sexual humiliation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2011 |
Farley Granger, a handsome young leading man during Hollywood's post-World War II era who was best known for his starring roles in the Alfred Hitchcock suspense thrillers "Strangers on a Train" and "Rope," has died. He was 85. Granger died of natural causes Sunday at his home in Manhattan, said a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner's office. In a career that began as a teenager when he was discovered in a local play by a casting director for producer Samuel Goldwyn, Granger made his film debut as a Russian youth in the 1943 film "The North Star.
July 5, 2012 |
When I was with a group of parents earlier this week, watching our kids play in a 14-and-under baseball tournament, I asked them how many of the boys - aged 13 and 14--had gone to see the R-rated movie “Ted.” The answer: Just about all of 'em. But here's what I found really surprising: Nearly all of them went with their mothers. Put simply: Despite its rampant drug use, crude sexual banter and profanity-fueled humor, “Ted” has become a family movie. I have to admit that I wasn't exactly shocked.
March 4, 2013 |
If it's March, it must be an effects-driven dud. Nearly a year after Disney's "John Carter" crashed to earth, bringing an executive down with it, a different fantasy-heavy film fell mightily at the box office this weekend. Nominally based on the myth of "Jack and the Giant Beanstalk," Bryan Singer's "Jack the Giant Slayer" was more like an errant weed this weekend. The film, starring Nicholas Hoult, grossed a paltry $28 million for the studio that released it, Warner Bros., and the division that produced it, New Line, despite costing nearly $200 million to make.
March 20, 2013 |
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.
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.
June 2, 2011 |
The Dances With Films Festival was born out of a typical Hollywood rejection: 15 years ago, Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent made a feature film for $50,000. They submitted it to a bunch of festivals, only to be turned down. "When we got back all of those generic rejection letters, you start wondering at some point did they even look at my film?" Scallon recalled about "Indemnity. " "Did they even see it?" Trent decided they should organize a festival that would feature their film plus 15 other starless, low-budget indies.
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.
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.
February 17, 2014 |
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.