January 10, 2014 |
The 2014 winter-spring movie preview is a broad overview of films opening through late April. Release dates and other details, as compiled by Oliver Gettell, are subject to change. FOR THE RECORD: Movie previews: A listing in the Jan. 12 Sunday Calendar Movie Sneaks section for the film "G.B.F. " had the names of the writer and director reversed. The writer of the teen comedy opening this weekend is George Northy, and the director is Darren Stein. - Jan. 17 Back in the Day An aspiring actor best known for his insurance commercials heads home to Indiana for his high school reunion and reconnects with his now-married friends and an old flame.
December 2, 2013 |
NORFOLK, Neb. - One night last year, Rachel Liester was waitressing at a restaurant near this rural town when she received an unusual request. A director was preparing to shoot a movie nearby, and her ticking off of the specials made her sufficiently camera-ready to merit an audition. Soon after, Liester was reading for the director, who turned out to be Oscar winner Alexander Payne. And when Payne's "Nebraska" - a coming-home father-son dramedy starring Will Forte and Bruce Dern - was released two weeks ago, there Liester was at a critical moment in the film, playing a waitress who keeps a cranky Dern honest.
June 28, 1998 |
I was a little Spokane Indian boy who read every book and saw every movie about Indians, no matter how terrible. I'd read those historical romance novels about the steroidal Indian warrior ravaging the virginal white schoolteacher. I can still see the cover art.
January 17, 2014 |
Among the biggest mysteries before Thursday morning's Oscar nominations announcement was just how much, if at all, the film academy would embrace "The Wolf of Wall Street. " The film has been dogged by controversy since it began screening for audiences in early December, and its brash depictions of sex, drugs, greed and lifestyle excess were thought by some to be too rough for academy voters. Those concerns were put to rest when the film was nominated for best picture, along with nods for Martin Scorsese for director, Leonardo DiCaprio for lead actor, Jonah Hill for supporting actor and Terence Winter for adapted screenplay.
November 21, 2013 |
As its name promises, "The Great Beauty" is drop-dead gorgeous, a film that is luxuriously, seductively, stunningly cinematic. But more than intoxicating imagery is on director Paolo Sorrentino's mind, a lot more. One of Italy's most impressive contemporary filmmakers, Sorrentino has a superb sense of how to fill a wide screen and, working with his longtime cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, a wizard with camera movement, his visuals display the intoxicating richness of color 35-millimeter film in a way few contemporary ventures can match.
December 10, 2013 |
"I think I started with drums," says Pharrell Williams. He launches into the strong, clean, distinctive beat to the "Despicable Me 2" song "Happy" with his hands slapping his lap, then vocally adds more and more percussion sounds: "You know what I mean?" Even without instruments, singing the word "music" for the rave-up organ line and tapping on his body in this nearly empty meeting room at the Four Seasons, he brings out the song's giddy dance-party feel: "'It might seem crazy, what I'm 'bout to say … music, music, music, music," he sings in a '60s croon somewhere between Curtis Mayfield and Jackie Wilson, "Sunshine, she's here, you can take a break … music, music, music, music ….' "So that led the whole feeling for the track.
January 30, 2014 |
The five Academy Award nominees for animated short film this year split up into two disparate groups: happy meal and white tablecloth. Originally shown with the Disney feature film "Frozen," "Get a Horse!" is the best known and most seen of the bunch. As with "Saving Mr. Banks," Disney has mined its archives to bring us a 3-D meta update of 1920s Mickey Mouse cartoons. It's a blend of folly and nostalgia that won a nomination over "The Blue Umbrella," the whimsical Pixar short that ran before "Monsters University.
August 19, 2012 |
Irene Cara was only 13 when she was cast as the title role in the original"Sparkle,"the musical-drama about three African American sisters who form a singing group in the late 1950s. Sparkle, the youngest of the group, ends up becoming a star. There's been renewed interest in the influential 1976 film, which featured a classic R&B score by Curtis Mayfield, since the high-profile remake - starring "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks in the role Cara made famous and the late Whitney Houston, in her final film as Sparkle's mother - opened Friday.
January 11, 2014 |
It's been a banner year for several high-profile directors. David O. Russell is reaching the apotheosis of his mid-career resurgence with “American Hustle.” After a series of well-regarded but little-seen art films, Steve McQueen is garnering attention as the man behind one of the most acclaimed race-themed movies ever in “12 Years A Slave.” Alfonso Cuaron is credited as inventing a new cinematic language in “Gravity.” Even Martin Scorsese,...
May 13, 2013 |
There's one mountain in Hollywood that even "The Hunger Games'" scrappy heroine Katniss Everdeen hasn't been able to move: the number of roles for women. Despite the success of recent female-driven movies such as "Bridesmaids" and the "Hunger Games" and "Twilight" series, female representation in popular movies is at its lowest level in five years, according to a study being released Monday by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Among the 100 highest-grossing movies at the U.S. box office in 2012, the study reported, 28.4% of speaking characters were female.