December 6, 2013 |
For a documentary extolling the friendship between two icons of minimalist persuasion - soft-spoken movie star Gary Cooper and stripped-bare wordsmith Ernest Hemingway - John Mulholland's "Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen" sure does talk a lot. Not to mention repeat itself and traffic in sentimentality. Exhaustive at more than two hours, with rapid-fire narration from Sam Waterston over a cascade of animated graphics, text, photos, archival footage and interviews (with those still alive and long dead)
November 15, 2013 |
Fourteen years after writer-director Malcolm D. Lee's romantic comedy "The Best Man" hit theaters, the filmmaker and his ensemble cast are back with a sequel, "The Best Man Holiday. " As is often the case when old friends reunite, it doesn't take long for past grudges and attractions to bubble back up. According to reviews, the cast, led by Taye Diggs and Morris Chestnut, proves to be very pleasant company, but Lee's overstuffed script drags the movie down. The Times' Betsy Sharkey writes , "Be ready to reach for a tissue, say 'amen' and sigh more than a few times, for the film has all the chaos and clutter of a big holiday gathering.
October 25, 2013 |
A few weeks back, I reviewed the movie "Pulling Strings," a bilingual, cross-cultural romantic comedy set around the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. I found the film to be unexpectedly charming, with a sort of breezy appeal many recent Hollywood rom-coms strain toward but fail to achieve. My review made a mention of the actress Stockard Channing, noting that she "steals every scene she's in because, well, she's Stockard Channing. " This was followed by a parenthetical: "About all that need be said of Tom Arnold's performance as a bumbling embassy administrator is that he is not Stockard Channing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2013 |
Film critic Stanley Kauffmann, who in the 20th century helped define movie reviews as an intellectual form, died of pneumonia Wednesday at St. Luke's Hospital in New York. He was 97. His death was announced by the New Republic, the politics and culture magazine that published his criticism for more than five decades. Although Kauffmann's commentary tended toward the intellectual and often went against the grain - finding fault in heralded movies such as "The Godfather," "Pulp Fiction" and "Full Metal Jacket" - he championed the rise of serious cinema in the late 1950s and 1960s.
September 26, 2013 |
I have no idea what effect foodimals will have on the ecosystem, and I do worry. But the 3-D animated movie mash-up that creates such exotic species as taco-diles, shrim-panzees, banan-ostriches and, my favorite, fla-mangoes makes for some pretty delicious family fun in "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. " There are definitely fewer carbs this time around. Whether charges of insensitivity to childhood obesity issues hurled at the first film are the reason, "Cloudy 2" is overwhelmingly fruit- and veggie-centric.
September 19, 2013
Not content with just being a chop-socky princess, Ziyi Zhang has also tackled producing and playing a rom-com sweetheart. Her "Sophie's Revenge," which saw a limited U.S. run in 2009, proved such a box-office and critical hit in China that it has now spawned a new installment: "My Lucky Star," which finds Zhang reprising the Amélie Poulain-esque comic artist Sophie, who channels romantic longings through her very vivid imagination. She wins a trip to Singapore, where she meets the secret agent of her dreams and comic panels, David (Wang Leehom)