First Look! Michael Bay’s Next Film!!!

Transformers® isn’t even out yet and Michael Bay is already hard at work on his next secret project. If you think the photorealistic robots in Transformers® are jaw-dropping, wait until you get a load of what Bay has in store for us next. The footage is still a little rough and I’m not sure if (read…)

Notes from the LA Film Fest – Part 4

Thursday night the Narrative Award at LAFF went to writer/director Chris Eska’s August Evening, a drama about an undocumented worker whose life working on a chicken farm is interrupted when tragedy strikes. This one was on my list of things to see but it was always scheduled at the same time as other stuff I wanted (read…)

Notes from the LA Film Fest – Part 3

Last night was the big premiere of Transformers in Westwood. I was at The Landmark, as far away from Westwood as I could get and still be a part of the festival (about a mile and a half) so I can’t tell you what anyone was wearing or who they showed up with or what (read…)

Notes from the LA Film Fest – Part 2

By request I’m jumping ahead in my coverage of the 2007 LA Film Festival a little bit to mention the poolside chat at the W Hotel last night called Who Let the Blogs Out? Normally I like to write and rewrite until I’ve sucked the very life out of each and every post, but I’m under (read…)

Review: Knocked Up (2007) ****

Katherine Heigl, Leslie Mann, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up (2007). Early on in Judd Apatow’s new comedy Knocked Up, there is a scene featuring celebrity spokes-muppet Ryan Seacrest. Instantly, I was overcome by the desire to see the smarmy American Idol host repeatedly and forcefully kicked in the balls, preferably (read…)

Notes From the LA Film Festival

Here are a few thoughts on the first couple days of the Los Angeles Film Festival: The Year After (L’Année suivante). France 2006. Isabelle Czajka’s debut film stars Anaïs Demoustier as Emmanuelle, a 17-year-old girl whose life goes into a slow, year long tailspin following the death of her father. Trapped in the spiritual vacuum (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 6/29/07

Mmmmmmm…cheese. FOX is rolling out its big summer sequel a couple of days early so I’m rolling out the Weekend Forecast a couple of days early too. The difference is that the Weekend Forecast doesn’t have Kevin Smith in it and won’t make tens of millions of dollars. In wide release this week: Ratatouille. The latest from Pixar (read…)

2007 L.A. Film Festival

The 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival opened Thursday, June 21 with Talk To Me, starring Don Cheadle as ex-convict turned iconic 60s radio personality Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene. The festival closes Sunday, July 1 with Danny Boyle’s sci-fi film Sunshine starring Cillian Murphy. I decided I was in no hurry to see the opening and (read…)

LA Film Fest: More Than Meets the Eye?

  There’s no nice way to say this, so I’ll just come right out with it: Michael Bay’s Transformers is premiering at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival on June 27. Transformers. You know, for kids. See, they’re robots that turn into cars and trucks and airplanes. Why? Because they make neater toys for Hasbro (read…)

AFI 100 – The Ballots Compared

Because I can’t step away from the list and move on with my life, here are the 79 movies that were added to this year’s ballot (the 400 title master list voters selected the final 100 from) followed by the 79 movies that were kicked off. Notable delistings include Bullitt, From Russia With Love, In (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 6/22/07

  You got paid how much to star in this piece of crap? In wide release: Evan Almighty. Steve Carell as a modern day Noah in the Jim Carrey-less follow up to Bruce Almighty. I’m sorry, but this has $200 million Direct-to-DVD sequel written all over it. Maybe I’m just missing the boat (no pun (read…)

AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies

I admit it. I’m a sucker for lists and I’m a sucker for clip packages (yeah, I even like the ones on the Oscars), so it was probably inevitable I’d end up watching the 10th Anniversary Edition of AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies. I know, lists like this don’t really mean anything and it’s easy to quibble with (read…)

Review: You Kill Me (2007) *** 1/2

Téa Leoni and Ben Kingsley in You Kill Me (2007). They say there is a fine line between comedy and tragedy. If that’s true, then it’s also fair to say that black comedy seeks laughs (as well as truth) by mining the narrow gray area between the two. Perhaps because there is so little room (read…)

Funny Money

John Dahl answers questions about his new film, You Kill Me. There are two new comedies opening next weekend (6/22/07). They both mine seemingly unlikely territory for laughs: One has a man building an ark in anticipation of a giant flood destroying the world and the other one is about an alcoholic whose career suffers (read…)

Review: La Vie en Rose (2007) ***

I don’t like biopics. I don’t even like the word “biopic” but it’s easier to say than “feature film biography” which, I suppose, is the whole point of saying it in the first place. Biopics rarely seem to transcend their subject matter, instead they remain shackled by the need to hit all the biographic high (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 6/15/07

After opening big, Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third and Pirates of the Caribbean 3 have all fallen back sharply and probably won’t make as much money as their predecessors. Ocean’s Thirteen came out of the gate with smaller numbers than either Eleven or Twelve. What does it all mean? I don’t know. Maybe people really (read…)

Review: Angel-A (2007) ** 1/2

Early on in Luc Besson’s romantic comedy Angel-A, the main character André tells us that he is a liar. From that point on, it’s difficult to tell if his other claims of being a Moroccan born US citizen living in Paris with business interests in Argentina are true or not. However, when first he’s beaten up (read…)

Review: Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) *** 1/2

If you go in to Ocean’s Thirteen hoping for a reinvention of the caper film genre, you will probably leave the theater two hours later feeling disappointed. On the other hand, if you’re simply looking for an amusing, effortless, lighter-than-air entertainment for adults without a single pirate, costumed superhero, or projectile vomiting ogre baby in (read…)

What Would Clooney Do? – The Nasty Rumor

Feel you’ve reached a dead end? Got a problem you can’t solve? Relax! Just ask yourself: What would Clooney do? The simple fact is that there is absolutely no problem too big for Clooney. Though it has not yet been proven by medical science, we suspect Clooney might even be the cure for cancer (or (read…)

‘Last Crusade’ Really the Last for Connery

Variety reports that Sean Connery has chosen to remain in retirement rather than reprise his roll as Dr. Henry Jones in the next Indiana Jones movie.  Mr. Connery, to borrow a line from a character in Last Crusade: You have chosen…wisely. Frankly, Harrison Ford is now old enough to play his own father. I love Indiana (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 6/8/07

In wide release this weekend:  Ocean’s Thirteen: I’m one of maybe 5 people who admit to enjoying Ocean’s Twelve in polite company so you can probably imagine I’m looking forward to this one. They’re harmless entertainments delivered with an effortless skill that groove along like good jazz. High art? Absolutely not. They’re fun and they go down (read…)

Review: Bug (2007) ***

Agnes White is a woman who is probably in her 30’s, but who already seems to be at the tail end of a lifetime of bad choices. When we first meet her, she’s holed up in an unkempt room in a shabby motel, off an anonymous highway just outside of Nowheresville Oklahoma. She has a few possessions, (read…)

Theater Report Card: The Landmark

I’ve already bitched about The Landmark at Westside Pavilion in West Los Angeles so I figured it’s only fair I gave L.A.’s newest movie theater a test drive. Does it make the grade? The Good:  A decent lineup of smaller films including Away From Her, Once and Paris je t’aime along with smaller wide-release fare like Mr. Brooks and Gracie. (read…)

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