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ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 2013 | By Robert Hilburn
Johnny Cash's life in the 1960s is mostly remembered as a time of glorious achievement - from the landmark prison albums at Folsom and San Quentin to the launch of the ABC-TV series featuring such guests as Bob Dylan and the Doors that led to his becoming a giant figure in popular culture, a symbol to millions, no less, of the best of American social values. But Cash also experienced excruciatingly dark times in the decade, fueled by drugs and guilt over the breakup of his marriage.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Sheri Linden
"Next Goal Wins" is an irresistible underdog story - sports-fan credentials not required. The lively documentary follows the biggest loser in international soccer as it tries to break a 17-year winless streak. To use the word "organization" is putting too fine a point on it: The team in question resides in the South Pacific territory of American Samoa, and the volunteer players are about as far removed as you can get - geographically and every other way - from the business of high-profile, high-stakes athletics.
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SPORTS
April 4, 2010 | Jerry Crowe
The man who made perhaps the most famous shot in cinematic hoops history never played high school basketball. "I tried out three years in a row," Maris Valainis says, "and I got cut three years in a row." But as Jimmy Chitwood in the venerated 1986 film "Hoosiers," Valainis calmly sinks the game-winning jumper to give the Hickory High Huskers the 1952 Indiana state title. Movie fans haven't forgotten. Valainis says he's still recognized from his portrayal of Chitwood, whose shy, reserved personality is similar to his own. "When I'm playing, yes," says Valainis, whose picture-perfect shooting form can still be seen in Southland pickup games, "and when I'm out sometimes too. "If I'm in a social situation, I'll get a lot of, ‘You look really familiar to me.' And then finally someone will figure it out, which is amazing to me that 25 years later people would remember.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Robert Abele
A resourcefully stylish indie sci-fi entry from Britain, "The Machine" drapes sleek visuals over an artificial intelligence tale set in a top-secret British government facility where robots are being developed to fight a cold war with China. Empathic computer genius Vincent (Toby Stephens) has more on his mind, however, than creating a weapon-strength, self-aware being for his military boss (Denis Lawson). Vincent imagines a revolutionary future in which the brain-damaged (be they wounded soldiers or his medically afflicted daughter)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 28, 2010 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
Miles Teller almost died a few years ago. After spending a few days at a Connecticut music festival, he and two buddies were road tripping home to Florida. Cruising down the highway at 75 mph, Teller's friend tried to switch lanes and nearly hit another vehicle. He jerked the steering wheel back but lost control of the car, which went across three lanes of traffic, into a grass median, and flipped seven times. Teller was thrown 25 feet and awoke covered in blood. "I still have two rocks in my face," the boyish 23-year-old actor said, showing off scars on his chin, neck and shoulder.
SPORTS
February 1, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
NEW ORLEANS — He's a real person. He's not some cartoon giant being dragged out of a cold fog by Sandra Bullock in a scene that made America cry. He's a real football player. He's not just some lost soul in oversized pads requiring an on-field pep talk from Bullock before blocking someone in a scene that made America cheer. When Michael Oher sat down at a ballroom table Thursday with bright eyes, firm handshake and thoughtful answers, one could immediately understand his dislike for the incessant rewinding of a scarred and distant childhood.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 8, 2012 | By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
When his movie "John Carter" thudded into theaters in March, director Andrew Stanton escaped to New York and spent the next three weeks riding the subway, noodling on scripts and visiting with his daughter and some friends. For the first time since he started at Pixar Animation Studios in 1990 at age 24, Stanton was facing an unfamiliar sensation - the gut punch of a public failure in an industry that hardly shelters it. The film had forced Walt Disney Studios to take a $200-million write-down and helped lead to the departure of two top executives.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 2010 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
Maintaining privacy in the digital age is no easy feat ? particularly if you are the subject of a movie. And yet Angela Wesselman-Pierce, the woman who holds the key to the mystery at the center of "Catfish," has remained a quiet enigma for more than eight months since the movie became a sensation at the Sundance Film Festival. She's avoided requests for interviews about the film, which is being marketed as a documentary thriller and has taken in more than $1.6 million at the box office since its Sept.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2011 | By Eric Noland, Special to the Los Angeles Times
By his own admission, Michael Oher preferred to observe rather than participate in social settings when he was a young man. In fact, his silence was so disconcerting to social workers in Memphis, Tenn., he says, that it was misdiagnosed as repressed rage, and he was locked up in a hospital for observation. Oher's reticence left it to others to tell his story ? of a black child in Memphis' inner city who was neglected by his mother and essentially had no place to call home but ultimately blossomed when a rich, white family took him in and introduced him to the twin satisfactions of athletic and academic achievement.
OPINION
February 6, 2014 | Meghan Daum
Several months ago, I watched Woody Allen's 1979 film "Manhattan" for the first time since I was in my 20s and for perhaps the 10th time total. "He adored New York City," Allen's character, Isaac Davis, says in voice-over in the opening lines. "He idolized it all out of proportion. " Once upon a time, I idolized this movie all out of proportion. Though I was too young to see it when it was first released, I became obsessed with its Gershwin soundtrack and black-and-white, wide-screen cinematography in high school, right around the time I began romanticizing some mythic notion of becoming a New York sophisticate.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Robert Abele
A determined historical sweep masks a small-minded bid for easy outrage and heartstrings-pulling in the schematic World War II drama "Walking With the Enemy. " Set in 1944, when the war was essentially over for the Nazis but their reign of terror in occupied territories was still going strong, the movie focuses on the efforts of a young, displaced Hungarian Jew named Elek (Jonas Armstrong) to find his family after escaping from a camp, which turned into a concerted effort to save many Hungarian Jews.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Sheri Linden
Nicole Teeny's first feature-length documentary unveils a little-known subculture, one that combines the Good Book with good old-fashioned competitiveness. But the National Bible Quiz Championship, with its teams of Scripture-spouting teens, isn't the main event in "Bible Quiz. " A smart, funny and disarming 17-year-old girl is the heart of this low-key charmer of a coming-of-age story. The intimate film, a prize winner at the Slamdance Film Festival, revolves around the experience of Mikayla Irle, a tomboyish 12th-grader with family troubles who finds a sense of belonging on a Bible Quiz team in Tacoma, Wash.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Director Nick Cassavetes, whose soft touch with romance was behind that classic date movie "The Notebook," is now responsible for the quintessential anti-date movie - "The Other Woman. " There is no question whose side he is on in this little bit of rasty business starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton. My advice to guys? Step away from the vehicle, because "The Other Woman" is out of control and intent on running down a certain kind of male. Even if you're not the lying, cheating, thieving type - that would be Mark, a slickster played by "Game of Thrones'" Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, juggling wife, mistress, other mistress and some other ill-gotten gains - there is bound to be collateral damage.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
It sounds contrived, and it is. It sounds like a bit of a stunt, and it is that too. It may even sound boring, but that it is not. In fact, whip-smart filmmaking by writer-director Steven Knight and his team combined with Tom Hardy's mesmerizing acting make the micro-budgeted British independent "Locke" more minute-to-minute involving than this year's more costly extravaganzas. Though a dozen actors are listed in "Locke's" credits, Hardy is the only one who appears on screen in this real-time drama that unfolds inside a moving BMW during the 85 minutes it takes construction foreman Ivan Locke to make a nighttime drive from Birmingham to London.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
NEW YORK -- “The Lego Movie” this winter reawakened many people to the colorful plastic bricks they hadn't thought about since childhood. But a raft of people inside and outside the Danish company have been clued in to its pleasures for years, as a new movie gleefully and sometimes astonishingly documents. The film, "Beyond the Brick," which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival several days ago, is a playful if decidedly soft-lensed look at all things Lego. Directed by Daniel Junge and Kief Davidson and narrated by Jason Bateman, “Brick” looks at the subculture of Lego - or perhaps, given how dominant it appears to have become, the culture of Lego.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
When a documentary interviewee says, "My dad has been collecting penises as long as I remember," you know you've entered some unusual film territory. Such is the case of "The Final Member," which revolves around the Icelandic Phallological Museum, an exhibit hall devoted to preserved male genitalia from a variety of mammalian species except one: human. And it's the quest for that holy grail of specimens that drives much - frankly too much - of co-directors Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math's decidedly quirky, at times unappetizing film.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
In a climactic car-chase scene in the new movie "Need for Speed," a race car barrels into the back of a police SUV, sending the truck flying through the air. To put viewers in the drivers' seats, director Scott Waugh placed cameras inside the SUV so they could feel the sensation of the truck rotating in the air. He positioned cameras on the head of the stunt driver maneuvering the vehicle that collides with the SUV, and in the car driven by Tobey...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 31, 2012 | By David Ng
"Les Misérables" fans of a certain age may remember Colm Wilkinson, the big-voiced stage actor who originated the role of Jean Valjean in London and later on Broadway.  The producers of the new movie version have given the actor a cameo role as the Bishop of Digne, the priest who takes pity on Valjean. It's a brief role but an important one -- his act of kindness sets Valjean on a different path in life. After playing "Les Misérables" on Broadway, Wilkinson embarked on a career in Canada.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
"Brick Mansions," Paul Walker's penultimate film (prior to "Fast & Furious 7"), is a dumb and ugly action picture that works strictly as a reminder of the late actor's head-turning good looks and modest charisma. Otherwise, this remake of the 2004 French thriller "District B13," directed by Camille Delamarre (editor of "Transporter 3" and "Taken 2"), is a dizzying mishmash of showy stunts, muddled narrative and some seriously risible acting and dialogue. Prolific filmmaker Luc Besson's screenplay, faithfully adapted from the "B13" script he wrote with Bibi Naceri, has relocated this dystopian crime tale from 2006 Paris to 2018 Detroit (as if the Motor City didn't have enough image problems)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Christy Khoshaba
Directorial acclaim never comes easy. When it hits, though, the results can be significant not only for the helmer but for cinema itself. We take a look back at the films that propelled some of today's most celebrated directors to prominence. Steven Spielberg: The slew of television shows and short films directed by Ohio native Steven Spielberg was just a preview of things to come from a man who has become perhaps the most commercially successful director of all time. His first major directorial effort, "The Sugarland Express" (1974)
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