October 31, 2013 |
Few actors can play a grifter and a good ol' boy with the laid-back precision of Matthew McConaughey. Between the sidewinder glances, the sardonic grin and that slippery Texas drawl, he uses irony, edge and considerable charm to move us into taking his most questionable characters seriously, while we forgive their indiscretions. McConaughey needs all of those substantial powers of persuasion for the gutsy, gritty "Dallas Buyers Club. " He portrays a hard-bitten, hard-drinking, homophobic Texas redneck named Ron Woodroof, who becomes an unlikely warrior on the front lines of AIDS.
February 5, 2010 |
Dear Reader, I'm so sorry, gulp, but "Dear John" is like a very bad relationship with a very beautiful someone: You want it to work, you truly do, but the pain, the guilt, the boredom, the CW soundtrack . . . . And I wish I could say it's not them, it's me, but I really think it's them. The film's very beautiful someones are the ab-riffic Channing Tatum as John, whom director Lasse Hallström wisely keeps either shirtless or in tight tees for most of the film, and that golden girl Amanda Seyfried (" Big Love," "Mamma Mia!"
September 3, 2010
The warm and charming "White Wedding" is like "The Hangover" off steroids. It's another get-me-to-the-church-on-time obstacle course but filled with smart social commentary, romantic wisdom, credible complications and memorable characters. Along the way, director Jann Turner (who co-wrote the script with the film's co-leads Kenneth Nkosi and Rapulana Seiphemo) provides an absorbing physical and cultural snapshot of contemporary South Africa that deepens but never burdens this buoyant, energetic effort.
July 23, 1988
The publication of Bill Steigerwald's article ("Moralistic Tone to ABC's 'Drugs: Why This Plague?' " July 11) under the label television review is poor journalism and is an insult to your readers. It is not a review at all. In no way does it comment on either the quality of the production nor the creative aspects of the program, but rather Mr. Steigerwald has used the column to expound his personal views on the legalization and decriminalization of illicit drugs. Television reviews should be reviews of the program and not a platform to sell the public poison pills.
September 3, 2010 |
At the opening of this spare allegorical drama, a dying woman speaks the unspeakable. Actually, she sings it, in the Quechua language, in a lullaby of terrible beauty, her voice as thin and pliant as a reed. She's reporting the atrocities she endured "during terrorism," a period neither she nor filmmaker Claudia Llosa defines, although it clearly refers to the civil war that blazed across Peru in the 1980s. Perpetua, symbolically named like nearly everyone in "The Milk of Sorrow," doesn't specify whether it was guerrillas or government soldiers who brutalized her. This is a story not about the specifics of war but its legacy, transmitted from mother to child through breastfeeding (a literal translation of the Spanish title is "The Frightened Tit")
November 26, 2010
"Break Ke Baad," an unrated romantic comedy from Reliance Big Pictures also opens Friday in limited release. Its review will appear in Saturday's paper and online as soon as it is available at latimes.com/moviereviews.
March 19, 2010
The ZIP Code for Sidney, Ohio, a city of 20,000 northwest of Columbus, becomes the title of Turner Ross and Bill Ross' "45365," a graceful, affectionate yet clear-eyed portrait of daily Middle America small-town life in which no individuals are interviewed but instead are observed with detachment as they go about their lives. In many ways, Sidney suggests that Norman Rockwell's America still exists. The town center is still dominated by a grand Second Empire-style courthouse, and many well-maintained vintage structures, strung along tree-lined streets, survive.