December 15, 2006 |
The new live-action rendering of E.B. White's perennial children's favorite, "Charlotte's Web," is so carefully spun that it's lifeless. Which is ironic because, since it was first published in 1952, the book the movie is based on has been a gentle introduction for children to the harsh realities of the cycle of life.
October 27, 2000 |
There's poetry in all of us--not just the T.S. Eliots and Robert Frosts of this world, but people like 21-year-old Taylor Maxie Jr., a former gang member who said he's been shot seven times. Maxie said he discovered his flair for the written word while he was doing time for robbery and auto theft at Camp Fred Miller, the juvenile probation camp in Malibu. He was introduced to poetry three years ago by DreamYard L.A.
January 26, 2007 |
Neither a comedy nor a drama but existing in that comfortable space in between, "Catch and Release," the feature-directing debut of screenwriter Susannah Grant ("Erin Brockovich," "In Her Shoes"), is an oddly appealing, if innocuous, movie of considerable charm. In a part that might have been played by Julia Roberts five years ago, Jennifer Garner stars as Gray Wheeler, a young Boulder, Colo., woman whose fiance, Grady, dies just before their wedding.
October 31, 2000 |
I'm probably going to lose a little money on "Charlie's Angels." But that's OK--the movie's been a bonanza for nearly every other writer in town. Sony Pictures, desperate for a hit, managed to spend $6 million on the script for the $92-million action comedy that opens Friday. The studio didn't give all the loot to just one lucky stiff; it spread the wealth.
March 17, 2000 |
Underqualified, underdressed and increasingly desperate, Erin Brockovich opens the film with her name on it pleading for a skilled job she can sense is not going to be hers. No, she says, she has no actual medical training, but she does have three kids. She's great with people, and a fast learner, too. And she's always been interested in science, to the point of once being "madly in love with geology." Doesn't all that count for anything?
March 31, 2001
Julia Roberts' performance at the Oscars was a poor example of manners. Her crass comments to Bill Conti, a highly regarded musician and conductor, were totally tasteless and uncalled for. She did not even know his name, and her "Sir" did not sound respectful in the least. Sorry, Julia, you're nowhere in my book!
August 22, 2012 |
When I began writing this column in 2000, I was wringing my hands about what looked like a new low in the movie business. Sony Pictures was about to release "Charlie's Angels," a less-than-stellar remake of a less-than-venerable TV show. It sounded like a terrible idea, especially when I discovered that the studio had paid a whopping 17 writers to work on the film - including A-listers such as Akiva Goldsman and Susannah Grant, and a batch of"Seinfeld" vets who did a round-table joke writing session right before production started.
April 3, 2008 |
As long as they keep releasing movies, I suppose they'll keep publishing books about them. Here's another one: David S. Cohen's "Screen Plays" -- whose subtitle promises to reveal "How 25 Scripts Made It to a Theater Near You -- For Better or Worse." Cohen had me at "How" but lost me soon after.
March 25, 2001
For your consideration . . . here are all the nominees--now it's up to you to guess the winners.
March 6, 2003 |
Being pampered isn't a male thing, maintains Beverly Hills screenwriter Alonzo Brown. And, growing up in New York City's Spanish Harlem, he learned that life was more about "responsibility" than treating himself well. Not until he attended an African American executives' entertainment summit at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa five years ago, he says, did those perceptions irrevocably change.