May 6, 2013 |
Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" opens wide this Friday. Eighty-eight years before -- to the day -- the Los Angeles Times ran this review of the original "The Great Gatsby," the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Today, perception of the book's reception in 1925 varies -- some say it was successful , others that it was a dismal failure -- but our review, by Lillian C. Ford, is purely positive. And she captures something of what has made the book a classic. "The Seamy Side of Society," read the headline, with this below: "In 'The Great Gatsby,' F. Scott Fitzgerald Creates a New Kind of Underworld Character and Throws the Spotlight on the Jaded Lives of the Idle Rich.
October 18, 2012 |
Raising vital questions about female sexuality in the cyber age, "Sexy Baby" studies a trio of subjects, sometimes in excruciating detail. The result is a kind of "Three Ages of Woman, With Plastic Surgery," that veers between insight and hand-wringing. Directors Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus aim to foster discussion, and toward that end they've made interesting choices to illustrate the mainstreaming of porn and the effect of the Internet on attitudes toward sex. They profile a 12-year-old Manhattanite, smart, privileged and virginal, as she spends endless hours shaping her racy Facebook image; a 22-year-old North Carolina schoolteacher who regards her upcoming labia reduction as a life-saving necessity; and a married 32-year-old former porn actress trying to start a family.
June 4, 2010
"Killers," a PG-13 action-comedy from Lionsgate, did not screen for film critics. The review will appear online and in print as soon as it is available.
May 20, 2011 |
The cleverly titled documentary "The Big Uneasy" is a highly informative but, frankly, dull dissection of why, as writer-director Harry Shearer credibly posits, the floods that devastated New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina were not caused by a natural disaster but one that was uniquely man-made. This data-dense film is structured largely around dry testimony from two scientific investigators — UC Berkeley's Robert Bea and hurricane expert Ivor Van Heerden — along with Maria Garzino, a whistleblower from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' L.A. district.
April 21, 2011 |
"Meeting Spencer," a lame, tedious comedy, wastes the estimable Jeffrey Tambor as Harris Chappell, a noted Broadway director, who, after a series of Hollywood flops, returns to New York with a recently deceased famed playwright's last work that he is convinced will put his name back in lights. To that end he has booked a table in a popular theater district restaurant where he hopes to land a backer for his venture and line up a leading man. Lending him staunch support is an elegant former flame (Melinda McGraw)
May 13, 2010
The true story of how Hawaii lost its sovereignty and became annexed to the United States may have been an interesting one, but it makes for starchy entertainment in the historical drama "Princess Kaiulani." Written and directed by Mark Forby and told through the eyes of its title character, a half-Hawaiian, half-Scottish princess (bloodlessly played by "The New World's" Q'orianka Kilcher) who, in the late 1800s, defended her homeland against American injustice, the film is too reverently drawn and self-consciously played to muster any real momentum.