October 6, 2003 |
"School of Rock" premiered at the head of the class this weekend with an estimated gross of $20.2 million for the music-themed comedy starring Jack Black, while "Out of Time," a noirish thriller with Denzel Washington in the lead, came in second with about $17 million. Although "School of Rock" fell short of Black's highest opening of $22.
December 25, 2010 |
Jonathan Swift probably never dreamed of the consumer excess that would elbow its way into the great satire of "Gulliver's Travels" all these centuries later. No doubt he'd have been keen on poking fun at this new world ? Swift had a fascination with human failings of the most base sort ? but I don't think a three-story Coke can that's washed up on the shores of Lilliput with all the other debris in the latest film adaptation is what he'd have in mind. Other than product placement opportunities, that debris would primarily be Jack Black, who stars as a travel writer on assignment in the Bermuda Triangle, shipwrecked by a storm, then trussed up and tied down by tiny folk like all the Gullivers before him. With director Rob Letterman ("Shark Tale" and "Monsters vs. Aliens")
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.
September 23, 2008 |
MISSION STREET in South Pasadena -- between Fair Oaks and Meridian avenues -- is a hip little enclave that could become the next Old Town Pasadena. If it wanted to, that is. There's a big difference: Except for a Carrows restaurant, Mission Street (and the rest of South Pas) generally eschews large chain retailers and restaurants. There's a legit small-town feel: Call it the anti-Grove.
December 21, 2011 |
Dissing Angelina Jolie normally isn't the best way to get ahead in this town. But tough times call for tough tactics in the war of the Hollywood wax museums. Madame Tussauds, which considers itself the ne plus ultra of wax artistry — with the $25 ticket price to match — is trying to best its cheaper competitor, the Hollywood Wax Museum, with a new marketing blitz stressing the defects in its rival's paraffin starlets, singers and comics. In a wax version of a cola taste test, Madame Tussauds plans to let visitors decide whose figures most closely resemble their glamorous living counterparts.
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!"
November 23, 2011 |
You know times are tough when even the Muppets are facing bankruptcy, or worse, playing in a Muppet tribute band. What happened to the "rainbow connection"? That and more will be answered with nostalgic charm and big, splashy production numbers in the very warm and fuzzy musical comedy of "The Muppets. " The movie stars Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and pretty much every Muppet that has ever graced a screen, small or large, since the late Jim Henson first brought them to life many decades ago. This newest Muppet fable begins in an idyllic slice of '50s-era Americana, Smalltown, USA, with old home movies of best friends and brothers, Gary (Segel)
January 2, 2013 |
Sure, it featured one of the most star-studded ensembles in the history of comic book movies. And yes, it took in more box-office dollars than any other movie in 2012. But Marvel Studios' "The Avengers" can now also boast another, less noble distinction: the most overrated film of the year. According to more than 2,600 respondents to a Times online survey Joss Whedon's get-the-band-together take on the iconic superheroes was the most overpraised feature film of 2012. The sometimes-quippy, sometimes-geeky save-the-world-fest garnered a whopping 85% of the votes, besting by a wide margin the next-closest film, Ridley' Scott's sci-fi actioner “Prometheus,” which drew just under 5%. Best of 2012: Movies | TV | Pop music | Jazz | Video Games | Art | Theater | Dance | Classical music Of course, big money tends to come with a big backlash.