Out on video
'Carrie' remake explodes without bombing

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 April 2014 14:03

Why do filmmakers insist on remaking good movies when there are so many more bad movies worthy of their attention?

'Fargo' the TV series premieres and you betcha it mesmerizes

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 16 April 2014 10:00

After failed attempts and broken dreams, by golly, someone went and put "Fargo" on series TV.

The 10-episode season premiered Tuesday on FX. And it mesmerizes. As a furtherance of the 1996 crime classic by Joel and Ethan Coen that starred Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi, the TV adaptation is a wonder.

'Only Lovers' a moody vampire movie

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 11 April 2014 06:32

"The Thin Man" with blood cocktails, an ode to hipsterism through the ages, a mainline shot of cool and a playful tribute to artistic fetishism, Jim Jarmusch's vampire romance "Only Lovers Left Alive" is an addictive mood and tone piece, a nocturnal reverie that incidentally celebrates a marriage that has lasted untold centuries. Almost nothing happens in this minor-key drift through a desolate, imperiled modern world, and yet it is the perennial downtown filmmaker's best work in many years, probably since 1995's "Dead Man," with which it shares a sense of quiet, heady, perilous passage.

Vampire stories come in all shapes and sizes and the blessed and afflicted couple here is well-dressed, madly sophisticated, has impeccable taste in music and literature (the couple's closest friend is Christopher Marlowe) and is still in love like newlyweds. The woman's younger sister considers them condescending snobs, but perhaps that's just a negative way of acknowledging that, given hundreds of years of years of exposure to art and culture, one would be a fool not to have developed a high level of discrimination in such matters.

Russell Crowe's do-gooder Noah surfs to top of box office despite controversy

Written by Derrik J. Lang,
AP writer
Monday, 31 March 2014 06:35

Russell Crow as Noah

After weathering a sea of controversy among fundamentalist Christians, "Noah" arrived in first place at the weekend box office.

New on video
'Chastity Bites' is all bark

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 April 2014 13:57

Chastity Bites is low-budget camp horror/slasher flick for the Mean Girls generation.

'Transcendence' is a mind-bender with an A-list lead

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:58

For more than a decade, cinematographer Wally Pfister brought director Christopher Nolan's cinematic visions to life. Now, he's the one calling the shots.

His directorial debut, the new sci-fi mystery "Transcendence," has many elements of a Nolan blockbuster — eye-popping visual effects, a mind-bending story and an A-list lead in Johnny Depp. All of those things translate into high expectations for Pfister, who jokingly likens his newly christened director's seat to an "electric chair."

‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ is very Wes Anderson — whatever that is

Written by The Associated Press Saturday, 05 April 2014 09:36

A new Wes Anderson film arrives like a magician’s latest illusion, greeted by questions of not just “how does he do it?” but “what is it, exactly?”

Premiere: Chavez biopic shown to 1,000 farm workers in California

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 28 March 2014 04:19

In California's fertile Central Valley, immigrant workers pick produce sold worldwide. They're mostly Spanish speakers who work long hours in the dirt and sun — not your typical crowd for a Hollywood movie premiere.

But this week, they were the guests of honor at a special screening of "Cesar Chavez," the new biopic opening today. More than 1,000 farm workers sat in folding chairs outside the union hall where the first contracts were signed in 1970 between those who owned the fields and those who worked them. An inflatable movie screen stood upfront. The spirit of Cesar Chavez was everywhere.

Now on video
Film explores Joni Mitchell’s heart and music

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 April 2014 13:46

Joni Mitchell

Girls Like Us, the biopic about Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Carole King is in development, with Taylor Swift cast as Joni (could you die?). At the same time  Beautiful: The Carole King Musical  is currently running on Broadway. So what could be a better time for the SD Blu-ray release of Joni Mitchell’s Woman of Heart and Mind + Painting With Words and Music. Combining the 2003 PBS American Masters doc  Woman of Heart and Mind  with the 1998 CBC-produced concert film Painting With Words and Music on one Blu-ray would be inspired any time.

Review: 'Draft Day' sticks with the program

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 14 April 2014 12:25

The pre-pre-season opening kickoff of the 2014 National Football League schedule is returned for a score in "Draft Day," an entirely conventional serio-comic sports world melodrama that pushes its buttons with undeniable professional finesse.

In his most effective full star turn in perhaps a decade, Kevin Costner dominates as the greenhorn general manager of the beleaguered Cleveland Browns who could emerge from the heavy shadow of his late revered father with the successful handling of the annual draft of college players.

'Citizen Kane' camera, other Orson Welles' items up for auction

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 01 April 2014 09:50

The youngest daughter of director and writer Orson Welles is giving film buffs a chance to buy some of his personal possessions, including a camera, scripts and photos from the set of “Citizen Kane.”

Beatrice Welles discovered the relics last year in boxes and trunks and decided to put them up for auction. She said her father would have preferred making the memorabilia available to film buffs and fans as opposed to sending them to a museum.

With 'Breaking Bad' behind him, Aaron Paul chooses racing film as next career move

Written by The Associated Press Sunday, 16 March 2014 09:51

Aaron Paul in 'Need for Speed'

When Aaron Paul received the script for Need for Speed, he had very little interest in even reading the story, let alone taking a starring a role in the movie.