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)
HOME & GARDEN
November 2, 2013 |
After 11 years of married life in Paris, my French husband and I divorced. I packed up our two kids and returned to my native California, to Los Angeles - a place I considered not so much a city as a motorized less-than. No cafe-lined grands boulevards where the chic could stroll and discuss philosophy, just plenty of strip malls filled with doughnut shops and nail salons where regulars carped about traffic and cellphone service. But my kids needed to keep up their French, and L.A. had not one but at least two French schools, so I anticipated the positives.
October 21, 2013 |
Sometimes a movie calls for a movie star - an outsized personality who won't be overshadowed by spectacular effects or a sweeping epic. And sometimes, as in the case of Alexander Payne's father-son road drama "Nebraska," a movie requires something more down to earth. At a recent installment of the Envelope Screening Series , Payne discussed the qualities that compelled him to cast veteran actor Bruce Dern as Woody Grant, a crochety Montana retiree who enlists his adult son (played by Will Forte)
September 6, 2013 |
"Riddick" -- the third sci-fi film to star Vin Diesel as the interplanetary antihero of the same name -- arrives nine years after its predecessor, "The Chronicles of Riddick," and 13 years after the original, "Pitch Black. " Unfortunately for Diesel and series writer-director David Twohy, "Riddick" hasn't exactly returned to a hero's welcome. For every film critic who finds it a fun, gory slice of genre entertainment, there's another who finds it stale and one-dimensional. In the Los Angeles Times, for example, Michael Phillips calls "Riddick" "extremely violent, cleverly managed fun. " He explains, "This is not one of those Johnny-come-lately sequels preoccupied with getting a new audience up to speed on where the story was. It's about living in the moment, in the now, and killing in the now. " Diesel, Phillips says, "has discovered what it means to be a certain kind of movie star, working hard but not too, serving material that, here, does what it's supposed to do. " PHOTOS: Fall movie sneaks 2013 On the other hand, USA Today's Claudia Puig warns , "Move along, there's nothing to see and no one to root for in this murky franchise reboot.
July 16, 2013 |
TV is the new black for film gentry. Once regarded as a purgatory for serious actors and producers, television has been attracting top-tier movie talent on both sides of the camera for years thanks in no small part to the deep character studies encouraged by cable networks. And this year's Primetime Emmy nominations, which roll out early Thursday morning, may underscore the point as never before. Film stars Kevin Spacey, Jane Fonda, Jeff Daniels, Shirley MacLaine, Holly Hunter, Al Pacino, Helen Mirren, Michael Douglas, Matt Damon and Kevin Bacon, as well as respected filmmakers David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh and Jane Campion are just some of the cinema-tilted talent in line to get the early morning wake-up call late this week.
July 5, 2013 |
Dolores Hart was one of Hollywood's top ingenues, giving Elvis Presley his first screen kiss in 1957's "Loving You" and then reuniting with him a year later in "King Creole. " She worked with such legends as Anthony Quinn and Anna Magnani in 1957's "Wild Is the Wind" and Robert Ryan and Montgomery Clift in 1958's "Lonelyhearts," then earned a Tony Award nomination in 1959 for her first play, the romantic comedy "The Pleasure of His Company. " A devout Catholic since the age of 10, she broke off her engagement to Don Robinson in 1963 and entered the cloistered Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Conn., where as Mother Dolores Hart she has lead a life of contemplation and hospitality.