December 2, 2010 |
Admit it, you don't always want to grapple with existential dilemmas and moral quandaries when you plant your weary bones in front of the television. Very often you just want to be amused, transported, titillated and charmed. Shows that do this particularly well can stand out, not just in the ratings but also in the minds of award voters. That's why the simple satisfactions of a revitalized genre, a fantasy escape or an engaging showcase for a charismatic actor are sometimes enough to land a show in the golden circle of award recognition.
November 13, 2005 |
DVD extras have become far more sophisticated over the past few years, with producers and directors even hiring crews to chronicle the "making of" process for the digital editions of their films. Discs abound with multicommentary tracks, interactive games, vintage interviews, newsreels and photo galleries to augment the viewing experience. But despite all this progress, a lot of extras have worn out their welcome.
May 6, 2007 |
JERRY WEINTRAUB has been making movies long enough to know a good thing when he sees it. The longtime producer is behind one of this summer's many anticipated movies, "Ocean's Thirteen," the third installment in director Steven Soderbergh's blockbuster caper franchise that has its roots in the 1960 "Ocean's Eleven" that starred Frank Sinatra and his famous Rat Pack.
May 18, 2007 |
An old school melodrama of loyalty and sacrifice, "Brooklyn Rules" falls into that niche of warmed-over Scorsesean mobster dramas that seems to have become a staple of independent film. Whether it's read as an exclamation of borough pride or as a set of unwritten laws governing its residents, the movie takes a well-trodden path in chronicling the lives of three Italian American friends, circa 1985.
August 4, 2002 |
INVITED TO: Sugar Ray Leonard presents boxing live from the Playboy Mansion. TURN-ONS/TURNOFFS: "If you think about it, Playboy and boxing, they both are very sexy," asserts presenter/promoter Sugar Ray Leonard, celebrating the 25th anniversary of his professional entry into the sport while staging his monthly ESPN2 fight club broadcast at the mansion. "Something about a boxer is very sexy. I think this is a perfect fit." Well, who's to argue?
June 8, 2007 |
"Ocean's Thirteen" shows that while you can counterfeit many things in Hollywood, you can't fake inspiration. The latest Steven Soderbergh-directed caper movie starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt is better than the fiasco that was "Ocean's Twelve" (how could it not be?) but not as engaging as "Ocean's Eleven." One of the film's characters sums it up best: "It's not a great idea, but it's an idea."
August 28, 2007 |
"Blades of Glory" (Paramount, $30), Will Ferrell's latest comedy about the first male pair figure skaters, arrives today on DVD, as does one of the funnyman's first films, "A Night at the Roxbury" (Paramount, $15). "Roxbury," which was released in 1998, was based on sketches from "Saturday Night Live." Ferrell and fellow "SNL" regular Chris Kattan play Steve and Doug Butabi, two incredibly dense brothers whose main goal in life is to get into L.A.'s hottest nightspot, the Roxbury.
January 15, 1999 |
Call it the Extraterrestrial Movie. You know, the kind in which an entire region of the country is trashed, the flaws of its characters are pretty much blamed on geography and the hero seems never to have met anyone else in the movie, much less grown up among them. "Varsity Blues," a trashy little movie about drinking, football and drinking, is also one of those films that pretends to moralize about the very behavior it milks for every giggle it can get.