June 6, 2008 |
The unexpected contrast in the title can help sell a movie. Take "Mr. Mom," "Bad Santa" or "Urban Cowboy." Each of those titles grabs attention by setting up a contradiction. DreamWorks Animation SKG and distributor Paramount Pictures hope that kind of juxtaposition will work with "Kung Fu Panda," opening today at 4,114 theaters.
May 3, 2009 |
In the beginning, there were circumcision jokes, slapstick and . . . a plea to turn away from pious intolerance? Directed by Harold Ramis, "Year One" is a prehistoric comedy with an irreverent take on religious fundamentalism. "Post-9/11, religious differences were tearing the world apart. Every religion preaches tolerance, yet people were destroying [one another] wholesale," said Ramis, who co-wrote the script.
April 25, 2012 |
Early in the movie "Bernie," a character describes the distinct regions of Texas with an on-screen map as a guide, noting that East Texas is "where the South begins. This is life behind the Pine Curtain. " It is against that specific regional identity that the film's darkly comic tale of murder amid the rhythms of small-town life takes place. "Having grown up there, that map is really the spiel I give people when they ask, 'What does East Texas look like?'" said filmmaker Richard Linklater, a lifelong Texas resident who has made films such as "Slacker" and "The Newton Boys" explicitly set in the state.
June 16, 2011 |
Richard Linklater is trying hard to be Zen about his most recent experience in the unforgiving world of independent film. The director of "Slacker" and "Before Sunrise" — now 50 and long removed from the time, in the mid-1990s, when he was hailed as the filmmaking voice of a generation — has just completed his 16th picture. A low-budget dark comedy called "Bernie" starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine, the movie was a steep climb even by his standards of scrappy filmmaking.
September 7, 2003 |
Before he played Barry, the in-your-face record store clerk in "High Fidelity" (2000), Jack Black was busy strumming, singing and writing playful songs for his mock-rock group, Tenacious D. Black formed the comedy duo in 1994 with Kyle Gass, a fellow actor he'd met in Tim Robbins' the Actors' Gang. Naming themselves after a term used by sportscaster Marv Albert ("The Knicks are playing some tenacious D!"
June 12, 2012 |
When aliens besiege Earth in Universal Pictures' recent action film"Battleship," it is the Chinese authorities in Hong Kong whom Washington credits with delivering the early proof that these invaders aren't exactly homegrown. But those aren't the only Chinese do-gooders on screen these days. In "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,"a romantic comedy about building a dam in the Mideast, Chinese hydroelectric engineers showed off their know-how; the original book included no such characters.
December 22, 2008 |
Pop culture is finally hitting the eject button on the VHS tape, the once ubiquitous home video format that will finish this month as a creaky ghost of Christmas past. After three decades of steady if unspectacular service, the spinning wheels of the home entertainment stalwart are slowing to a halt at retail outlets. On a crisp Friday morning in October, the final truckload of VHS tapes rolled out of a Palm Harbor, Fla., warehouse run by Ryan J. Kugler, the last major supplier of the tapes.
June 23, 2012 |
Like most guys, Eric Lugo wants to look handsome. But he doesn't want to be caught applying makeup. So the 26-year-old uses skin-care products with names like Kiehl's Facial Fuel and Lab Series' Power Brightening Serum. "I want to keep myself up and maintain my looks, but I'd never use anything that looks like it's made for my girlfriend," the Los Angeles banker said. "This stuff looks like it's for guys, not girlie at all, so I feel OK using it. " Retailers are seeing a booming market in cosmetics and skin care for men. But they face one big challenge - most guys are squeamish about products that seem too feminine.
April 8, 2013 |
On his own and as a member of Crosby, Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young), two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Stephen Stills has taken part in many a benefit concert over the last four decades, but usually his role has been that of rock singer and guitarist. That changes with the Light Up the Blues benefit concert on Saturday for Autism Speaks, which CSN is headlining and also features Lucinda Williams, Rickie Lee Jones, Don Felder, Ryan Adams and several others at Club Nokia.
September 8, 2013 |
Long hobbled by clunky technology and often featuring old movies and television shows, the cable and satellite on-demand video services have been slow to catch on with consumers. Now, the Rodney Dangerfield of TV technology is hoping wider distribution and programming enhancements aimed at luring new users will get it more respect. A new report from Nielsen found that VOD is available in 60% of American TV households. That's a dramatic increase from just five years ago, when such services were offered to just 37% of homes.