WGA Contract Expires Tonight

The contract covering the fine people who write the movies and TV shows you love so much expires tonight at midnight. Though the industry has been sweating a strike for a while now, Variety says it probably won’t happen for at least another week. The writers are still steamed about the last contract they signed because they (read…)

Contest: Name that Movie #2 – The Results Show

The correct answer to contest #2 is: Get Carter (1971), directed by Mike Hodges, starring Michael Cain. The supernatural Sartre scores 5 points for guessing correctly after the first picture. Frank Booth gets 4 points for answering after the second picture. Bert and Joel score 3 points for getting it after three pictures. I’ll be keeping a (read…)

AFI Fest 2007

The 21st annual AFI Fest kicks off on November 1st with the North American premiere of Lions for Lambs starring Robert Redford (who also directs), Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise. The centerpiece film is Jason Reitman’s much buzzed Juno, written by Midwestern girl turned stripper turned author turned screenwriter Diablo Cody. It stars Ellen Page (read…)

Contest: Name that Movie #2 (part 5)

And here’s the last picture. Frankly, if you don’t recognize it by now, you probably haven’t seen the movie. Lucky for you, if you DO recognize it, you can sill submit a guess and score points after the jump.

Contest: Name that Movie #2 (Part 4)

Image #4. Name the movie after the jump. If there are no winners, another image will be posted 10/29, sometime in the afternoon Los Angeles time.

Contest: Name that Movie #2 (Part 3)

Here’s image #3. Once again, click through to submit a guess.

Contest: Name that Movie #2 (Part 2)

Here’s image #2. Click through to Name that Movie…

Contest: Name that Movie #2 (Part 1)

I’m going away for the weekend so I won’t be able to post anything substantive, but I’m going to try another contest, this time with pictures instead of audio clips.  I hope this is harder than last time. Anyway, here’s the first image. See if you can tell me what movie it’s from. Unless WordPress fails (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 10/26/07

Philip Seymour Hoffman in Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Limited)  This would be a great weekend to catch up on some of the movies you’ve missed so far this season like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Darjeeling Limited (expanding), Lars and the Real Girl (expanding) or Michael (read…)

Review: Point Blank (1967) ****

John Boorman’s 1967 film Point Blank begins with a bang. Two of them. Gunshots. With each shot, a title: The target of the gunshots is a man named Walker (Lee Marvin). The shooter is Walker’s friend Mal Reese (John Vernon). Mal owes money to a shady group referred to only as “The Organization” and he’s (read…)

Contest: Name that Movie #1

This is the innaugural edition of Name that Movie. Click on the link after the jump to listen to an audio clip from a movie. If you think you know the movie it’s from, use the contact form below the quote to email me and let me know. Whoever gets it first will have my respect and admiration (read…)

Reviewing the Reviewers: Lars and the Real Girl

I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of my recent reviews and to compare them to paid critics who disagree with me. I was wrong. It’s kind of humiliating really, but I’ve done it, so here it is. Anyway, it’s much better than Search Engine Term of the Week. I (read…)

Review: Lars and the Real Girl (2007) **** 1/2

Lars (Ryan Gosling) is something of an introvert. He’s not quite a shut-in, he manages to hold a regular job, but you could imagine him going in that direction. He ignores a new co-worker who clearly has a crush on him and he won’t even agree to repeated invitations to breakfast or dinner from his (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 10/19/07

  Morgan Freeman, Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan in Gone Baby Gone (2007) There are quite a few new releases this week. You know, if the studios would release a few of these adult oriented dramas earlier in the year instead of crowding them all in between September and December on the off chance they’ll (read…)

Search Engine Term of the Week #1

I continue to enjoy reading what search engine terms are pointing to this blog. It appeals to the anthropologist in me and it’s inspired me to conceive of yet another regular feature I will probably quickly abandon. These are actual search terms from actual surfers. (In David Letterman voice) If they weren’t, could I do (read…)

Theater Report Card: The Landmark Revisited

Back in July I kicked off a feature where I planned to review the different movie theaters in the L.A. area with an inaugural review of The Landmark in West L.A. The idea was essentially stillborn because I didn’t think it would be very interesting to anyone who doesn’t actually live in Los Angeles. I might pick (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 10/12/07

“Do you see this finger? Do you know where it’s been? Do you have any idea??? WELL, DO YOU??!!?” Tom Wilkinson having a bad day in Michael Clayton (2007) If it’s Thursday, this must be a Weekend Forecast. Here’s what’s opening wide this week: Elizabeth: The Golden Age. I keep hearing this thing stinks. I try (read…)

Review: Michael Clayton (2007) *** 1/2

Tilda Swinton and George Clooney in Michael Clayton (2007) Michael Clayton is a janitor, but he’s not the kind who wears a green jumpsuit or mops floors or changes the toilet paper. He’s the go-to guy for Keener, Bach and Leeden, a high powered New York law firm. He cleans up messes for powerful people. (read…)

“Cinema is brain-dead” – Peter Greenaway

Speaking at the Pusan International Film Festival, controversial director Peter Greenaway has declared the death of cinema. According to Variety, he calls the time of death 1983, the year television remote controls became popular in homes. He went on to say that video artist Bill Viola was “worth 10 Martin Scorseses” calling his fellow director old-fashioned (read…)

Fall/Winter Part 3: November

American Gangster (2007)  November 2  *American Gangster. Denzel Washington is Harlem’s top drug kingpin and Russell Crowe is the cop trying to take him down in this 70s period crime drama from director Ridley Scott. I was skeptical at first. The gangster genre seemed a little played out, Crowe’s schtick had worn thin and Scott (read…)

Review: Lust, Caution (2007) *** 1/2

If I only went by my first impressions, I’d have to say Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution was a bit of a dud. It’s been a while since I’ve wanted to like a movie so much and come away from it liking it so little. Art School Confidential was probably the last movie to disappoint me (read…)

Review: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) **** 1/2

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is a title that neatly sums up the basic action of the film it’s attached to, but it only tells part of the story. Why did Ford do it and who is really the hero and who is the coward? Those are a few of the enduring (read…)

Review: The Darjeeling Limited (2007) ****

I arrived at five minutes to 6 o’clock, early enough to grab a parking spot directly in front of the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica and late enough that I didn’t have to feed the meter. 90 minutes before showtime, they were already haphazardly lined up along the sidewalk; the Wes Anderson faithful, skinny and (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 10/5/07

Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution opens in limited release. It’s wide release schedules like this that make me glad I live in a city where there are plenty of other options: Feel The Noise. Smells like another in a long line of similarly titled, urban, music themed (this time it’s Reggaeton) dramas about believing in yourself (read…)

Another Ride on the 3:10 to Yuma

The Enigmatic Ben Wade Last month I spoke of grand plans for doing follow-up reviews of certain movies so that my initial reactions could go up faster. I still really like that idea, but it turns out that once I spill my guts, I’m usually eager to move on to the next movie. It’s harder (read…)

The Brood: Now with 100% Less Cronenberg!

Studio Pinhead #1: Say, that crazy Cronenberg character is big these days. How can we get ourselves a Cronenberg type picture without actually hiring Cronenberg? Studio Pinhead #2: Yeah, he works cheap, but he kinda freaks me out. Canadians are supposed to be harmless, but I wouldn’t want to be alone with that guy. There’s (read…)

Review: The Kingdom (2007) ***

Jamie Foxx in The Kingdom (2007) Jamie Foxx’s new action-thriller The Kingdom opens with a nifty 4-minute credit sequence that neatly summarizes the basic history of U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia, illustrating the clash of cultures that has resulted from the collision of the world’s largest oil consumer with the world’s largest oil producer. These (read…)

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