May 27, 1988 |
In the Australian road comedy "Rikky and Pete" (selected theaters), film makers Nadia Tass and David Parker ("Malcolm") have such a light, dry comic touch that the movie seems to be dreaming itself up as it goes along. It has the snappy opportunism of a good silent comedy--and a similar delight in colorful gadgetry and eccentrics. One beautifully nonsensical scene exemplifies this.
January 3, 2011 |
As a film genre, the road movie has proved to be as durable as any in Hollywood history. Perhaps that's because it's always being re-interpreted to fit the mood of the times and can be mined for both comic ("Sullivan's Travels," "Planes, Trains and Automobiles") and dramatic ( "The Road," "Rain Man") potential. Road movies were especially prevalent during the Great Depression, including 1933's "Wild Boys of the Road" and 1940's "The Grapes of Wrath," as millions of Americans left home in search of a better life.
May 22, 2011 |
— When Jessica Chastain, the up-and-coming actress who stars opposite Brad Pitt in "The Tree of Life," had a meeting with Ben Stiller a few years ago, the actor caught her off guard with an unexpected request: "Tell Terry I said hi," Stiller told her, referring to "Tree" director Terrence Malick. Chastain assumed that Stiller was kidding. How on Earth would the star of comedies like "Dodgeball" and "Meet the Fockers" be on such casual terms with a reclusive, enigmatic auteur like Malick?
May 29, 1992 |
MGM/UA's "Thelma & Louise," one of the most popular video rentals of the last few years, is coming to the sales market June 24 at $20 - a surprising development since it premiered on home video Jan. 8. For nearly all major movies, the time between rental-market debut in the $95-$100 range and the price reduction for the sales market, to $20-$25, is usually nine months to a year.
December 15, 1989 |
Video games, and the kids obsessed with them, are the main subjects of "The Wizard" (citywide). But is it inevitable that the movie itself become a video game, with the movie-makers ramming us through the story, trying to jam down all our buttons? "Rain Man" may be one of the models for "The Wizard," but the treatment is closer to "Pac-man." The characters don't really interact. They keep moving forward, gobbling up the plot as they go.
July 17, 1995 |
Film critic Kenneth Turan can't seem to decide whether he liked "Apollo 13" ("Mission Improbable," June 30). Was it a "sentimental, middle-of-the-road" movie? Or was it "a great story, which they mostly tell rather well"? What did seem pretty clear was that Turan does not like director Ron Howard and did not want to say anything nice about his work. Calling Howard "the master of Opie-Vision" seems on a par with calling Frank Capra "the king of Capra-corn." And we know how much that damaged Mr.
May 27, 1993 |
Tom and Roseanne Arnold can't seem to get a break. Following their flap with ABC over Tom Arnold's "Jackie Thomas Show," the couple hit a roadblock in their efforts to get their first movie together off the ground. Columbia Pictures pulled the plug Monday on the Arnolds' modestly budgeted road movie--sometimes referred to as "Thelma & Lou" or "Car Movie"--three weeks before it was to begin shooting.
November 13, 1992 |
Hal Hartley is a filmmaker who takes us to familiar-looking yet utterly strange places: modern cul-de-sacs where anxiety meets lassitude, honor battles absurdity, and love tries to strike a bargain with lust. He's a comic original, but he's not just a comedian. With his mixture of sly wit and wary compassion, he's able to dig deeper into his characters than all but a handful of American directors, especially the self-consciously serious ones.
March 9, 1990 |
"Coupe de Ville" (selected theaters), a mediocre road comedy with a few sparkling scenes, tackles that pivotal cultural question of the '60s: Exactly what were the lyrics of the Kingsmen's mush-mouthed big-beat hit "Louie Louie"? Were they, as many suspect, a barrage of unrelieved scatology and filth? Were they a tender, if incoherent, love song? Or were they, as one "Coupe" character stoutly maintains, a sea chantey about a voyage to Jamaica?
May 21, 1995 |
When the FBI went into the movie business in the 1980s in an attempt to weed out racketeering and payola, mobsters weren't the only casualties of the sting. Among the unwitting participants in the drama were struggling filmmakers Dan Lewk and Gary Levy. Though their film "Cartunes" was never produced, they were left with a wild story to tell--and now the real Hollywood is listening. The two were approached in 1987 by a producer named David Rudder with an offer they couldn't refuse.