April 9, 2013 |
They were planning to spend nearly $500,000 on a home theater. What was an additional $35,000 to show first-run movies? When Ken and Carol Schultz began remodeling their 10,000-square-foot San Diego-area residence, they spared no expense on a screening room. The couple tricked it out with custom-built armchairs with heat and massage functions, and a Runco 3-D-capable projector with a price of about $100,000. But the most unusual feature of the theater is a $35,000 device that offers 24-hour rentals of first-run movies.
July 16, 2012 |
Seven years before she dazzled international audiences as the amoral Lulu in G.W. Pabst's 1929 German masterpiece "Pandora's Box," Louise Brooks was a willful, intelligent and beautiful 15-year-old girl living in Wichita, Kan. Summer 1922 changed Brooks' life. She left home accompanied by a provincial 36-year-old housewife named Alice Mills and traveled by train to New York City so she could attend the Denishawn school of modern dance run by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. Mills returned that summer to Wichita and vanished from the life of Brooks, who would shortly become one of the icons of the silent screen.
March 29, 2013 |
British actor Richard Griffiths, best known for playing muggle Uncle Vernon Dursley in the "Harry Potter" movies, has died. Griffiths died Thursday at University Hospital in Coventry, England, from complications following heart surgery, his agent, Simon Beresford, told the Associated Press. He was 65. Large in body and presence, Griffiths appeared in character roles in dozens of films and TV shows, but made his biggest mark as the boy wizard's grumpy uncle. PHOTOS: Richard Griffiths 1947-2013 "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe said Griffiths' true demeanor was far kinder.
December 31, 2012 |
On screen and off, Kerry Washington is a strong woman with strong convictions. Not only does she play the tough political crisis manager Olivia Pope on ABC's highly rated show "Scandal," she also commanded the national stage on the final night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. So it's a bit incongruous to see Washington taking on a role like Broomhilda von Shaft - a plantation slave desperately in need of being rescued by her man - in "Django Unchained. " Washington, though, describes herself not just as a feminist but also a womanist - a term coined by Alice Walker to define black feminism.
July 14, 2012 |
A lot of folks have wondered whether it is too soon, just 10 years after the release of the original film and five years after the third installment, to relaunch Spider-Man. When questioned, a producer of the new picture snapped that anyone who asked that is "too old. " He may have been dismissively arrogant, especially to geriatrics over 30, but he may also have been right. Obviously, remakes are nothing new, even if the time between the original and the next version has shrunk dramatically.
April 1, 2011 |
It's the obvious thing to say, but it can't be avoided: "Source Code" is the science-fiction thriller version of "Groundhog Day," and that turns out to be not a bad thing at all. Crisply directed by Duncan Jones from a cleverly constructed Ben Ripley script, "Source Code" doesn't have protagonist Jake Gyllenhaal repeat the same day ad infinitum the way Bill Murray did; no, he has to relive a particular eight minutes over and over again. Not because he wants to but because, wouldn't you know it, large numbers of innocent lives are at stake.
September 6, 2013 |
The world of competitive drag racing gets a sputtering, cliché-choked treatment in "Snake & Mongoose," an amateurish, haphazardly constructed indie biopic about longtime Southern California track rivals Don "Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "Mongoose" McEwen. The film was made in conjunction with the National Hot Rod Assn., and it shows, in the countless archival footage of races awkwardly crammed in between perfunctorily filmed off-track dialogue scenes that all look the same, no matter where or when they're taking place.
December 3, 2010 |
You won't be having a lot of fun at "Black Swan," but the less seriously you take this wildly melodramatic, unashamedly pulpy look at the blood sport that is New York City ballet, the better your chances are of enjoying yourself even a little. This tale of feathered ambition starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as dueling ballerinas is not just any kind of trash, it's high-art trash, a kind of "When Tutu Goes Psycho" that so prizes hysteria over sanity that it's worth your life to tell when its characters are hallucinating and when they're not. In fact, the only problem with calling "Black Swan" sensationalistic and over the top is that it makes this shameless shotgun marriage of "The Red Shoes" and Roger Corman sound like more fun than it is. The director here is the earnest Darren Aronofsky, and his trademark sledgehammer style makes any kind of enjoyment difficult.
August 18, 2010 |
It was an inspiring story of selfless heroism: A stubbornly patriotic football player walked away from fame and a multimillion-dollar contract when he joined the Army immediately after Sept. 11, 2001. It was also a story whose tragic ending brought a nation to tears and inflamed wartime passions: Spc. Pat Tillman had charged up a hill in Afghanistan under "devastating enemy fire," according to his Silver Star citation, and was killed defending his fellow Rangers. The problem with the story was that much of it just wasn't true.