The Landmark Opens, the National Lives On

The Landmark opens tomorrow and despite my reservations, things look encouraging so far. A recent LA Times article focuses on the competition between The Landmark and The Arclight with special emphasis on style and snacks. I don’t give a shit about the pretzels from La Brea Bakery served with raspberry wasabi artisanal mustard or the (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 6/1/07

  With Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third and Pirates of the Caribbean 3 clogging up most of the screens, it’s hard to believe there’s room for anything else, but here’s what’s new this week in wide release: Knocked Up: From Judd Apatow (40-Year-Old Virgin, Freaks and Geeks [TV]). A slacker (Seth Rogan) hooks up with (read…)

Review: Once (2007) ****

When two soul mates meet at the wrong time of their lives, will love find a way as the song says or will circumstances conspire to keep them apart? This is the question examined by Once, the unconventional musical love story from Ireland that won the audience award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Cannes vs. The Box Office

While Americans were busy collectively coughing up over $140 million to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End this Memorial Day weekend (because nothing says “Thank you for your sacrifice military guys!” like another bloated, flaccid Jerry Bruckheimer movie, right?), the Cannes International Film Festival jury awarded the festival’s top prize, the Palme (read…)

Review: Day Night Day Night (2007) ** 1/2

If a movie accomplishes what it sets out to do, but it doesn’t do what you want, does that make it a bad movie? If I don’t like a movie, does it make any sense to recommend that people see it anyway? Those are two of the problems I faced writing this review of Day (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 5/25/07

This week in wide release:  Pirates of the Caribbean 3: I’m tired of bitching about this godawful franchise so this year I’m not going to bother. Why waste my energy? There’s no point. It’s going to happen and it’s going to be huge and there’s not a goddamn thing I can do about it. You’ve already made up your mind to see it (read…)

Weinstein Defends Death Proof

According to the Guardian Unlimited, Kurt Russell is disappointed by the cutting of Grindhouse into two separate expanded films, but Harvey Weinstein defended his decision during the post-Grindhouse press screening at Cannes (Link via Movie City News). Since I didn’t much care for Planet Terror (it was amusing but forgettable), I originally thought Death Proof would (read…)

Movie Heaven or Movie Hell?

“I’m not doing this for some greater good – I want to make more money. I love to fuck with people, and I love finding ways to make more money.” – Rich guy, April 2005. For a movie lover, news that a new 12-screen multiplex with reserved stadium seating and oversized leather chairs is being (read…)

Review: Paris, je t’aime (2007) ****

“Fall in love with Paris 18 times” Paris, je t’aime is comprised of 18 short films by an international line up of 21 of the world’s more interesting directors. Each short is named for and takes place in a different neighborhood in Paris and each one is concerned with a different aspect of human love. (read…)

Review: Away From Her (2007) *** 1/2

Grant (Gordon Pinsent) and Fiona (Julie Christie) are a married couple enjoying their retirement years in a cabin by a lake in rural Canada. They’re comfortable with one another and still in love. They dine with friends, ski cross-country and at night Grant reads to her. One night while washing up after dinner, Fiona puts (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 5/18/07

Spider-Man 3 fades from memory just in time for the one new wide release: Shrek the Third:  Grab your Happy Meals and leave your thinking caps at home kids, it’s time for another go-round with everyone’s favorite ogre.  Without adjusting for inflation, Shrek 2 is the third highest grossing movie ever in the United States so I’m probably (read…)

Review: Fracture (2007) ***

For a movie that opened on April 20th, this review is probably a little late. However, with the leaden Spider-Man 3 still sitting in our stomachs like a lump of dough, undercooked and unsatisfying; and with summer’s future prospects amounting to one sequel after another; the timing might just be perfect for the adult escape (read…)

Review: 28 Weeks Later (2007) **

BOO!  Did I scare you?  No?  Did I startle you?  Maybe a little?  OK, but be ready because I might do it again any minute.  Anyway, I want to tell you about this horror movie 28 Weeks Later.  In the original film, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later BOO!!! Did I get you that time?  Did you (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 5/11/07

The real question is how much Spider-Man 3 will drop off from last weekend’s record, but here’s what else is opening. In wide release: Delta Farce: A new Larry the Cable Guy movie, because, you know, retarded 10-year-olds need comedy too.  Anyone care to bet the over/under on fart and gay jokes? Georgia Rule:  What do (read…)

Review: Lucky You (2007) ** 1/2

Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) isn’t a gambler. He’s a poker player. While a gambler plays against the odds, a poker player uses his or her knowledge of mathematics and the ability to read an opponent’s behavior to win more often than they lose. Chance plays a role as in all things, but poker is largely (read…)

What Would Clooney Do? – A Sinking Feeling

It’s true. Life is hard. Every day we are beset by obstacles. Most we handle simply and move on, but others are more intractable. These give us fits and make us miserable. Yet, the George Clooneys of this world don’t seem to have any problems at all. For these people, life is effortless. They laugh (read…)

Review: Spider-Man 3 (2007) **

A summer blockbuster doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be silly, it can be empty, and it can even be unoriginal as long as it’s not boring. Spider-Man 3, the latest entry in Sony’s popular superhero franchise, has enough bad guys and plot to fill three movies yet somehow it all adds up to (read…)

Review: Stephanie Daley (2007) ***

With the controversial subject matter, it could easily have devolved into a Lifetime Movie of the Week, but it always remained above that level. It presents many sides of a difficult subject, showing the seriousness of having children without a lot of preaching. Unfortunately, I never really found an ‘in’ to the material. Perhaps if I was a parent or a teenager myself it would’ve moved me more deeply.

Weekend Forecast: 5/4/07

And so the Summer Blockbuster season begins… Spider-Man 3

Review: Jindabyne (2007) *** 1/2

This is a slow, moody and somewhat vague film that at times seems to be reaching for more than the direct, simple strokes of Carver’s original story can convey, but it’s never less than engaging. Don’t expect a nice neat Hollywood ending, however.

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