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.
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 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.
February 21, 2010 |
Certainly, Academy Awards night is one of the most glamorous of the year, but the ceremony does far more than offer up red carpet glitz and golden statuettes. Those three-plus hours of television also fund a year's worth of philanthropic endeavors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. With the license fee somewhere north of $65 million that ABC pays for the rights to air the Oscars, the academy funds an entire year's worth of projects that fulfill the organization's original mission: to promote the art and science of filmmaking.
November 12, 2008 |
"The Duchess." "W." "Changeling." "Defiance." "Frost/Nixon." "Milk." "Valkyrie." "Che." What do these films have in common, other than succinct titles? All are based on real people and events, and all happen to have release dates timed to award season. Unknown or notorious, martyr or criminal, weak or powerful, when it comes to the Oscars, it pays to get real.
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.