Ted (2012)

Seth MacFarlane’s Ted was funny enough, but it felt a lot longer than its listed 106 minute run time and that’s not a good thing for a movie high concept that could’ve been satisfactorily explored across the space of a couple of half-hour sitcoms. Continuing a disappointing trend of comedies that sell themselves as raucous and dirty when in fact they’re weak sauce (see: The Hangover), Ted turns out to be less edgy than a typical episode of MacFarlane’s TV show Family Guy.

The Trial of Mr. Wolf (1941)

The Trial of Mr. Wolf (1941) Story by Michael Maltese. Directed by Isadore “Friz” Freleng. Mr. Wolf voiced by Mel Blanc. Little Red Riding Hood and Granny voiced by Sara Berner Granny: (moaning inside the house) Mr. Wolf: Hey! What’s that? Little Red Riding Hood: It’s grandmama. She has a terrific hangover, oh, I mean, (read…)

Weekend Review Roundup

The weekend is upon us once again. The full blown Weekend Forecast is still kind of on hiatus, but here are links to my reviews of the current batch of new movies for your edification. Also check out the Now Playing page with a more complete list of what’s in theaters whether seen by me (read…)

Cinematographer Ben Richardson on his award-winning work in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Quvenzhane Wallis as in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Photo Credit: Jess Pinkham After Beasts of the Southern Wild premiered at Sundance earlier this year, director Benh Zeitlin picked up the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Narrative Feature. The film also won the Dramatic Cinematography Award, recognizing the work of Ben Richardson. Although Richardson was (read…)

Oscar-winning Composer A.R. Rahman on his work in “People Like Us”

In theaters today is the critically-acclaimed family drama People Like Us (review). In addition to boasting a star-studded cast and a screenplay from award-winning writing team Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who also directed), the film’s score is the latest from two-time Oscar-winning composer and songwriter A.R. Rahman. Rahman was nominated for three Oscars in (read…)

Heartburn (1986) – RIP Nora Ephron

Heartburn (1986) Screenplay by Nora Ephron based on her novel. Directed by Mike Nichols. Jack Nicholson as Mark Forman and Meryl Streep as Rachel Samstat. Mark: This is the best spaghetti carbonara I’ve ever had. Rachel: You’re making fun of me. You probably think it’s very bourgeois to cook for somebody on the first date. (read…)

David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” starring Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence

Spike Lee’s “Red Hook Summer”

After the jump…

The Karate Kid (1984) – Pat Morita’s 80th birthday

The Karate Kid (1984) Directed by John G. Avildsen Noriyuki “Pat” Morita as Mr. Kesuke Miyagi and Ralph Macchio as Daniel Larusso Daniel: Wouldn’t a flyswatter be easier? Mr. Miyagi: Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything. Daniel: You ever catch one? Mr. Miyagi: Not yet.

International Trailer for Rian Johnson’s sci-fi “Looper”

2nd trailer for Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie”

Neil Young Journeys (2012)

In the third collaboration between Neil Young and director Jonathan Demme, the legendary singer songwriter pulls out a handful of old favorites, but the real focus of Neil Young Journeys is Young’s recent solo album, Le Noise. As a result, Journeys might not be as immediately appealing for the casual fan as was Neil Young: (read…)

The Misfits (1961)

The Misfits (1961) Screenplay by Arthur Miller. Directed by John Huston. Thelma Ritter as Isabelle Steers and Marilyn Monroe as Roslyn Taber. Isabelle: Look, dear girl, um… I think I better tell you somethin’ about cowboys. Roslyn: You really worry about me, don’t you? Isabelle: Well you’re too believin’! Cowboys are the last real men (read…)

Jackson reviews the “Mirror Mirror” Blu-ray

When Mirror Mirror opened in theaters less than three months ago, it split critics down the middle, earning 50% on rottentomatoes.com. The film also fizzled at the Box-Office, earning only $64 million domestically as it was one of a number of spring releases that were not able to emerge out from under the shadow of (read…)

The Naked Jungle (1954) – Happy 90th Birthday, Eleanor Parker

The Naked Jungle (1954) Directed by Byron Haskin Eleanor Parker as Joanna Leiningen and Charlton Heston as Christopher Leiningen Leiningen: Do you speak any languages? Joanna: Aimerais vous parlez en français? Would you like to converse in French? Leiningen: I don’t speak French. I was merely trying to see if you were everything my brother (read…)

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) Directed by Peter Yates. Robert Mitchum as Eddie Coyle and Steven Keats as Jackie Brown. Jackie Brown: I got a thing set up that works pretty good. Dependable stuff that’s not gonna get anybody in trouble. I’m not gonna screw it up just because your people got hot drawers. (read…)

LA Film Fest 2012: Steven Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike”

Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike The Closing Night Film of the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Photo by Claudette Barius Steven Soderbergh’s last movie was an action flick centered on a woman. For his next trick, he’s turned the tables around once more and made a comic stripper movie where (read…)

Dirty Watercooler

I’m getting ready to head downtown and wind up this year’s LA Film Festival with the world premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike so my end of this week’s Watercooler will once again be brief. This edition’s Musical Movie Interlude is the theme song from Dirty Harry by the great Lalo Schifrin. This is just (read…)

LAFF Awards Jury and Audiences Prizes. All is Well, Drought, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Birth Story and Searching for Sugar Man honored

LA Film Fest Jury Winner: All is Well Press Release: WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2012 LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL Pocas Pascoal’s All is Well and Everardo González’s Drought Win Jury Awards Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, Sara Lamm & Mary Wigmore’s Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives and Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching (read…)

LAFF: Jackson Selects the Best of the Festival

Breakfast with Curtis – Jackson’s pick for the LA Film Festival’s Best Narrative Feature [Editor’s Note: As you know if you’ve been keeping up with Living in Cinema’s coverage of the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival, Jackson Truax did a bulk of the heavy lifting this week. He managed to catch 52 films over the (read…)

Land of the Lost (2009)

Land of the Lost (2009) Directed by Brad Silberling Will Ferrell as Dr. Rick Marshall and Anna Friel as Holly Cantrell Holly: What are you eating? Rick: It’s a doughnut stuffed with M&Ms. That way when you finish the doughnut, you don’t have to eat any M&Ms.

LAFF Day 10

Last night at LAFF: Neighboring Sounds Last night was a strange and dichotomous one at the Los Angeles Film Festival site at LA Live, at least when it came to the overall vibe surrounding the Regal theater and the screenings therein. Gone was the star-studded hoopla of the red carpet events that have taken place (read…)

Rabbit’s Kin (1952)

Rabbit’s Kin (1952) Story by Tedd Pierce. Directed by Robert McKimson Bugs Bunny voiced by Mel Blanc (who else?) Bugs Bunny: I t’ought I’d better see ya home, Shorty, on account of I don’t trust dat sneakin’ puma no fur’da dan I could t’row da Big Mo.

Writer/Director Panos Cosmatos on his new film “Beyond the Black Rainbow”

Panos Cosmatos, director of Beyond the Black Rainbow, a Magnet Release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing. When Beyond the Black Rainbow played last year at Tribeca and AFI Fest, to say audiences were polarized feels like an understatement. Impassioned fans of the film compared the work of writer/director Panos Cosmatos with that of David Cronenberg, (read…)

LAFF: It’s a Disaster

Couples’ brunch takes a funny turn for the worse in Todd Berger’s It’s a Disaster [Note: Due to popular demand, there are two more LA Film Festival screenings of It’s a Disaster at 2:30 and 9:40 on Saturday 6/23. Needless to say I recommend you hit one if you’re in town.] Having made its world (read…)

LAFF Day 9

About Face During my college days, the adage I heard repeated on a weekly basis was “Thursday is the new Friday.” That felt very true last night at the Los Angeles Film Festival, with enough going on down at LA Live to literally make your head spin, with all events drawing large and impassioned crowds. (read…)

So then this happened…

I sleep well at night knowing that, if anything, I don’t self-promote enough so it is without shame I pass this along. It appeared in this morning’s LA Times. Click to enlarge.

New Releases: 6/22/12

I’ve reviewed an unusually high number of this weekend’s wide releases so I thought I’d call your attention to the high and lowlights. Disney/Pixar’s Brave Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love Steve Carell and Keira Knightley in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World The odds that I’d go for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire (read…)

The Last Detail (1973)

The Last Detail (1973) Directed by Hal Ashby Jack Nicholson as Buddusky, Otis Young as Mulhall and Clifton James as the Master at Arms. Buddusky: Who’d he kill, chief? M.A.A.: Didn’t kill nobody. Robbery. Buddusky: How much did he lift? M.A.A.: Forty dollars. Mulhall: Forty dollars! M.A.A.: Forty dollars. Buddusky: Shit… Mulhall: You’re shittin’ me. (read…)

Actress Alessandra Mastronardi on working with Woody Allen in “To Rome With Love”

Alessandra Mastroianni arrives at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival premiere of To Rome With Love at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE on June 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage) Italian actress Alessandra Mastronardi is the latest in a long line of actresses to be discovered by or give a remarkable performance in (read…)

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