January 29, 2009 |
Audience tracking surveys are hardly perfect, but rarely are they as far off the mark as when "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" arrived in theaters three weeks ago. Having studied the various appraisals of moviegoer interest, executives at Sony Pictures concluded that, at worst, "Mall Cop" would gross $20 million in its first four days, with a high end of perhaps $25 million in domestic theaters. The actual Martin Luther King Day weekend returns: $39.2 million. Since its Jan.
June 5, 2008 |
Director and former taekwondo student Jody Hill made "The Foot Fist Way" on a shoestring budget, so he didn't have money to hire professional stuntmen. Turns out taekwondo instructor Sean Baxter, whose school in Concord, N.C., served as the film's primary location, stepped in at the last minute, saving the production not only cash but potential grief as well.
October 11, 2009
Lala.com: Lost amid the concerns about MP3 file-sharing was one of its root causes: Music fans wanting to try an album before they buy. Record stores addressed this with listening stations and consider Lala an online listening station for a new era. Log in and you can sample about 7 million songs for one free listen without spending a penny. It's like window-shopping with your ears -- what a time to be alive. Zombies: Finally, after wasting time with onscreen villains such as Nazis, terrorists and vampires, Hollywood has returned to a common enemy we can all get behind: the walking dead.
April 26, 2009
UNDERRATED Kristin Scott Thomas: After "The English Patient," we sort of lost track of her. It took a couple of turns in recent foreign dramas, such as "I've Loved You So Long" and "Tell No One," to remind us how arresting she can be. But check out IMDB -- did you realize she's also done comedy? An "Ab Fab" ep and the unintentionally hilarious "Under the Cherry Moon" (with Prince!). Seriously, we'll follow her anywhere. 'The Iron Giant': Remember our Vin Diesel item a while ago?
April 10, 2009 |
The characters Michael Pena plays often find themselves in mortal danger in heavy dramas -- "The Shield," "Crash," "The Lucky Ones" -- and, as a soldier in "Lions for Lambs," he even gave his life. But the actor discovered with his role in writer-director Jody Hill's "Observe and Report" that dying is actually easy -- it's comedy that's hard. "I think I was the worst actor on set," Pena says by phone while driving to San Diego.
February 28, 2010
SUNDAY The template for many an espionage thriller, famously set to celluloid by suspense master Alfred Hitchcock in 1935, John Buchan's novel "The 39 Steps" comes to "Masterpiece Classic" in a new by-the-book adaptation. Rupert Penry-Jones stars. (KCET, 9 p.m.) MONDAY Sure she can sing, but can she act? We'll find out as country-music cutie and Season 4 "American Idol" champ Carrie Underwood guest stars as Ted's (Josh Radnor)