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The Road Movie

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.
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.
January 17, 2014 | By John Horn
Tom Hanks' starring role in "Captain Phillips" was one of his most acclaimed performances in a distinguished career. But the two-time Oscar winner, who is also a governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, took nothing for granted - working tirelessly to promote "Captain Phillips" and his other big film, "Saving Mr. Banks," in which he plays Walt Disney. But when Academy Award nominations were read out before dawn Thursday, Hanks' name was never called. Cold-blooded snub?
January 3, 2011 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
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.
December 11, 2011 | By Dennis Lim, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Before he made it, the great radical filmmaker Robert Kramer described "Milestones," the 1975 epic of post-counterculture America that he co-directed with John Douglas, as "the last film. " "Everything has to be in it," Kramer said. "All the play of the heart. All the fullness of feeling. " True to his promise, "Milestones," newly available on DVD through Icarus Films, contains multitudes. In a film that stretches and sprawls and often seems to overflow its bounds, dozens of characters around the country — on communes, in cities, on the road, starting families, finding work, reintegrating into society after time in prison — wrestle with what it means to live in the hangover of their dashed utopian aspirations.
"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 | Richard Natale, Richard Natale is a frequent contributor to Calendar.
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.
May 22, 2011 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
— 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?
In "Three for the Road" (citywide), the movie makers try to revive another day's genre--the early '70's "road" pictures--in today's terms. And it doesn't work. The looser, more anarchic feelings they're going after don't jibe with the modern packaging, and they wind up with something slicked-up, streamlined and hollow--like "Blowing in the Wind" rearranged as elevator music.
March 1, 2007 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
IN the new comedy "Wild Hogs," Tim Allen, John Travolta, William H. Macy and Martin Lawrence play weekend warrior buddies from Cincinnati who jump on their Harleys and take a road trip to the Pacific in hopes of pepping up their humdrum suburban lives. Though filled with slapstick and more than a few off-color jokes, the movie's underlying theme is how many baby boomers feel that they have compromised their values while losing the idealism of their youth.
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