Results tagged “Josh Tate”

Box Office Review: That's a Wrap!

Photo courtesy of Today's Senior Network As the only major studio film released on Friday, it's no wonder that the middling Resident Evil: Afterlife topped the box office this weekend. The tired zombie flick brought in $27.7M to easily smash the rest of the competition. The resilient Takers was a distant second, but is proving to be a solid hit for Screen Gems ($6.1M | $48.1M). Last week's champ, The American, slipped to third...

LAist Film Calendar: The Mexican Revolution & Joaquin's Musical Revulsion

Photo courtesy of IFC Films If Machete fired you up for a revolucion (and if it didn't, there are 21+ screenings in Pasadena), the UCLA Film & Television Archive has the series for you! This weekend, they open "The Mexican Revolution on Film" with a Mexican production, Enamorada, contrasted with a Hollywood portrayal in David O. Selznick's production Viva Villa! If you'd rather erode another colonial power, the Aero boasts a weekend of French...

Holiday Box Office Review: It's All-American!

Though Friday estimates indicated that Machete might win the weekend, it was George Clooney's subdued The American that ultimately topped the box office. Despite the purported presence of Lindsay Lohan's titties, Machete only managed to bring in $14M, far shy of The American's $16.3M ($19.5). The resilient Takers placed a strong third ($13.5M | $39.9M), well ahead of The Last Exorcism ($8.7M | $33.5M) and Drew Barrymore's latest catastrophe Going the Distance ($8.6M). The second...

DVD Tuesday: Anyone excited about MacGruber?

You know it's a slow week when crap like MacGruber heads the list. Like most Saturday Night Live movies, it's a funny 30-second idea that's ninety minutes too long. If Spread didn't pave the way for Ashton Kutcher's exit from Hollywood, surely Killers will, right? Yeah, nope. Solitary Man isn't a great film, but it's further proof that Michael Douglas somehow morphed from an overrated actor to an underrated one. Not being a huge box-office...

LAist Film Calendar: Italian Horrors & Comedic Cityscapes

Photo courtesy of the Criterion Collection The films of horror maestro Dario Argento put the gore in gorgeous! This weekend, the New Beverly plays his two best-known features, Suspiria and Deep Red. For the uninitiated, Suspiria concerns a boarding school that may be a coven, while Deep Red is a textbook giallo (an Italian genre of sleazy, violent murder-mysteries). Argento augments both films with a psychedelic palette and delirious prog-rock score by Italian band...

Box Office Review: Definitely not the The Last Exorcism

Photo courtesy of Lionsgate America proved yet again that it is more than happy to reward crappy movies with large box-office hauls. The pointless The Last Exorcism "earned" $21.3M to top the mediocre Takers ($21M) and win the weekend. Recent powerhouse The Expendables slipped to third but still earned a ridiculous $9.5M ($82M). After that it was the lame Eat Pray Love ($7M | $60.7M) and the funny The Other Guys ($6.6M | $99.3M)....

Weekend Movie Guide: Not Again!

Well, a special edition of Avatar 3D is back in theaters this weekend to suck out more of your hard-earned money. Frankly, I find the film quickly diminishing with the passage of time. I'd rather spend my money on either Centurion or Mesrine: Killer Instinct. Both feature dynamic, charismatic actors in their primes (e.g. not Sam Worthington). Doesn't it seem like Takers is basically the same movie as Armored? And I think it's more than...

LAist Film Calendar: Everything is Terrible! (Except Music Docs)

Photo courtesy of Mogwai Don't let the name fool you - Everything is Terrible! is actually pretty terrific. The monstrous crew (no, really, they're furry monsters) scavenges VHS bargain bins all across America, gathering infomercials, televangelists, creepy kids' videos, rapping PSA's, and God knows what else, distilling them into mind-blowing mash-ups of irony, nostalgia and genuine admiration. This weekend, they emerge from their internet cave to wreak magick (with a k for kick-ass!) upon...

Box Office Review: Expendables Not Expendable!

The Expendables has legs, albeit creaky and wobbly ones. The Sly Stallone actioner hauled in $16.5M ($64.8M) to hold off shitty newcomer Vampires Suck ($12.2M | $18.5M). In close succession after that it was the silly Eat Pray Love ($12M | $47.1M), the mediocre Lottery Ticket ($11.1M), the okay The Other Guys ($10.1M | $88.1M) and the nude-tastic Piranha 3D ($10M). After that was the unwanted sequel, Nanny McPhee Returns ($8.3M), the latest Jen Aniston...

Weekend Movie Guide: Piranha 3D Looks Awesome!

Is anyone else as excited to see Piranha 3D as I am? I am both shocked and delighted at the great critical response this paean to 80s jiggle flicks is receiving. In a completely different vein, The Tillman Story provides a searing look into the phony stories that our government tried to tell us about the "heroic" death of Tillman at the hands of the enemy. No, he was negligently -- not accidentally -- killed...

LAist Film Calendar: The Devils is Sacrilicious!

Photo courtesy of Sony Ken Russell's The Devils is one of the most controversial films ever made. Based on the Loudun possessions of medieval France, it's a brutal critique of theocracy and power, and its own poster frankly warns the matrimony of sex, violence, and sacrilege "is not for everyone". Nearly 40 years on, The Devils has yet to be released uncut on home media. But BAFTA and the American Cinematheque bring it to...

Box Office Review: Stallone on top! What year is it?

Sylvester Stallone continued the late-career resurgence started by Rocky Balboa by virtually willing The Expendables to the top of the box-office heap. The nostalgic piece of pulp hauled in $35M to easily dispatch Eat Pray Love ($23.7M). Last week's champ, The Other Guys, enjoyed a strong hold in its second weekend ($18M | $70.5M) while Inception continued to print money ($11.3M | $248.5M). The wonderful Scott Pilgrim vs. the World failed to catch fire and...

Weekend Movie Guide: See Scott Pilgrim!

How odd that the weekend of August 13th would turn out to be the most intriguing one of the summer. Many of you will probably not see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and that would be a huge mistake. I blame Universal for its lack of buzz because -- trust me -- the movie is so much better than the trailers show. Even if you have never picked up a comic book or played a...

LAist Film Calendar: Feel Good, Goodfella!

Photo courtesy of Rude Films Summer's almost over, but between political anxiety, family obligations & working my ass off, I feel like it never even started. The Feel Good Film Festival, running Thursday - Sunday at the Egyptian, couldn't have come at a better time. Celebrating "films with happy endings, that make audiences laugh, and that capture the beauty of our world", the line-up includes stand-up comics, unlikely cupids, claymation penguins, puppets waxing on...

DVD Tuesday: It's Date Night!

Date Night wasn't a hilarious movie by any stretch (both The Office and 30 Rock are funnier), but it's the sort of mainstream comedy that the whole family can watch. While it was groundbreaking in the 80s, Max Headroom definitely shows some seams on the edges. Still, it's worth a look for curiosity's sake alone. There was no reason to re-make Death at a Funeral, and it rightly failed. Let's not bail out the producers...

Box Office Review: It's the The Other Guys!

As expected, The Other Guys knocked off reigning champ Inception this weekend to top the box office race. The fourth collaboration between Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay tallied $35.6M to almost double the take of the dreamy thriller ($18.6M | $227.7M). The loss of the ultra-hot Brianna Evigan spelled doom for Step 3-D which earned a disappointing $15.5M. That was still enough to beat Salt ($11.1M | $91.9M) and the depressingly bad Dinner for...

Weekend Movie Guide: Ferrell & McKay 4!

I know Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are considered by most to be sort of old-hat by now, but I'm still excited to see The Other Guys. Obviously, Anchorman is a modern classic and Step Brothers is a daffy, surreal piece of brilliance. I don't expect as much from The Other Guys, but it should still be fun. I'm boycotting Step Up 3-D due to the absence of Brianna Evigan. Sorry, but Middle Men just...

LAist Film Calendar: Jackie Brown on Location in Torrance

Photo courtesy of Miramax Despite the lack of Gimps, samurai slices and Nazi scalps, Jackie Brown remains my favorite Quentin Tarantino film. I'm pleased as rum punch to share that it's playing in a free, outdoor screening Friday at sundown as part of the Alamo Drafthouse's Rolling Roadshow series, presented in association with the Cinefamily. The series goes beyond the drive-in, bringing audiences to the very locations where films were shot (in this case,...

DVD Tuesday: Kick-Ass Kicked Ass!

Kick-Ass didn't do nearly as well as I hoped and expected. Still, it's a hell of a lot of fun and Chloe Moretz found the role she was born to play (albeit at an incredibly young age which probably spells disaster for her career). To all the Nic Cage haters out there, I point you to the wonderful character that is Big Daddy! ...

Box Office Review: America Still Dreaming!

For a third consecutive weekend, Inception ruled the box office. The twisty thriller brought in $27.5M ($193.3M) to easily top the unbelievably horrible Dinner with Schmucks ($23.3M). Salt enjoyed a solid second week ($19.2M | $70.8M) while Despicable Me ($15.5M | $190.3M) continued to print money. Newcomer Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Pussy Galore ($12.5M) rounded out the top 5. Charlie St. Cloud disappointed in its opening weekend ($12.1M). After that it was the...

Weekend Movie Guide: Get Low, Schmucks!

The movie that you should see this weekend is Get Low. The movie you probably will see is Dinner for Schmucks. The movie that no one should (or will) see is Charlie St. Cloud. The movie that only kids should see is Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. The movie that makes you feel like you are taking medicine is The Dry Land. The movie that is entirely unnecessary is Hugh Hefner: Playboy,...

LAist Film Calendar: Food Trucks, Playboys & Psychedelic Blondes

Photo courtesy of the Outdoor Cinema Food Fest When you start writing for LAist, you sign a pact in soy chorizo to promote the sacred order of the food truck whenever possible. But so many theaters prohibit bringing in outside food! What to do? If you're the Outdoor Cinema Food Fest, you bring the film outside to the food! LAist's own Farley Elliot posted an overview of the fest a few weeks back, and...

DVD Tuesday: New Zach! And Odette!

Boy, Zach Galifianakis is suddenly everywhere, huh? Let's hope that over-exposure doesn't ruin my favorite current comedic actor. One question, though: how bad is Operation: Endgame? Considering its superb cast, this is a movie that should have gotten a nice theatrical debut instead of being dumped to DVD by Anchor Bay? And it's got Odette Yustman, folks! Odette Yustman!! The re-make of Clash of the Titans violates my number one rule of doing a re-make:...

Box Office Review: Inception is a Dream!

In a box-office landscape where week-over-week drops of 50% are considered pretty good, Inception's staggeringly small 31% dip looks downright amazing. The Chris Nolan dreamscape tallied $43.5M ($143.6M) to easily dispatch the weekend's big newcomer, Salt ($36.5M). The sly Despicable Me continues to chug along ($24.1M | $161.7M), while the just plain bad Sorcerer's Apprentice ($9.6M | $42.6M) and the amazing Toy Story 3 ($9M | $379.5M) rounded out the top 5. Kid flick Ramona...

Weekend Movie Guide: Salt Rising

I wasn't terribly interested in Salt until I read the brilliant grump Jeffrey Wells give it a decent rave over at Hollywood Elsewhere. Consider me interested now, though I'm still not completely sold on Angelina Jolie as an action star (see Tomb Raider). I am, however, sold on Mads Mikkelsen as the star of Valhalla Rising. If only Nicolas Winding Refn were doing the new Conan. He's perfect for it! The only thing I know...

LAist Film Calendar: Billy Wilder & Dennis Hopper: Tough as Nails & Black as Night

Photo courtesy of MGM Every week, dozens of classic Hollywood films grace our marquees and monitors. So many, in fact, that I often take them for granted. Not this week! For when the Aero goes Billy Wilder, I go even wilder! The perfect combination of bitter and romantic, cynic and humanistic, Wilder's films master a pitch-black sentiment that celebrates glamor, myth and the girl next door -- and then skewers it sans mercy. Two...

DVD Tuesday: Runaway?

I enjoyed but hardly loved The Runaways. Dakota Fanning continues to be badly mis-cast (mostly because she's no longer nearly so compelling an actor) and Kristen Stewart hasn't grown much as a performer since In the Land of Women. Still, Michael Shannon was his usual electrifying self and the story of The Runaways is a great one (though I would have loved to have seen more of Lita Ford!). The Losers surely suffered from the...

Box Office Review: Inception Performs Huge Extraction!

The summer's most anticipated film, Inception, over-performed at the box office to the tune of $60.4M to easily win the weekend box-office crown. While Nolan's dreamy action flick gets very wobbly in its last act, it is still the best big-budget movie of the summer season (mainly because of the great Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Last week's winner, Despicable Me, had a strong second weekend, piling on an additional $32.7M ($118.3M). The same can't be said for...

Weekend Movie Guide: Will Inception Deliver?

When was the last time a studio film opened that carried with it such anticipation and hope for brilliance? Inception almost has to be great in order to avoid being considered a disappointment. If early reviews are any sign, brilliance may have been achieved. Expectations are considerably more slight for The Sorcerer's Apprentice. As a devoted Nic Cage fan I will obviously see it, but I'm expecting pure popcorn and cheese. Kisses is several years...

LAist Film Calendar: The Horror, The Horror...

Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Deadly Prey is the Citizen Kane of Rambo rip-offs. Or, more accurately, Citizen Kane is the Deadly Prey of William Randolph Hearst biopics. Don't believe me? Check Cinefamily favorite Everything is Terrible! for video clips or the Gentleman's Guide to Midnight Cinema podcast for an in-depth discussion. There's no better venue for such cinematic splendor than Horrible Movie Night, a monthly film/comedy spectacular with alcoholic beverages, sugary brownies,...

DVD Tuesday: Greenberg Meet Chloe

Either you enjoy the films of Noah Baumbach, or you find the whole enterprise pretentious and annoying and wonder why anyone would want to spend another moment in the presence of his characters. Greenberg may mark the apogee of this distinction. Chloe isn't nearly as good as his masterpiece, Where the Truth Lies, but it is an Atom Egoyan film and deserves watching. I hope that all the Mormons who fought to ban gay marriage...

Box Office Review: A Despicable Win!

In a huge surprise, the brilliantly subversive Despicable Me dominated the weekend box office ($60.1M), almost doubling the total of last week's winner The So-Called Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($33.4M | $237M). The surprisingly well-reviewed Predators placed a strong third ($25.3M), just ahead of the sturdy summer champ Toy Story 3 ($22M | $340.2M). The dismal Avatar: The Last Airbender collapsed in its second weekend but still raked in an undeserved $17.1M ($100.2M). The second half...

Weekend Movie Guide: Will Predators Be Despicable?

While it will never return to the dizzyingly absurd heights reached by the Schwarzenegger original, Predators looks like good, dumb fun. The casting of Adrien Brody and Topher Grace gives me additional hope that, while the story may be no more than a knock-off of "The Most Dangerous Game", at least the acting will be good. Critics, so far, seem to agree. Equally well-praised this week is Despicable Me. How incredible is it to watch...

Web Series Review: Solo

Let's face it: most so-called "web series" are unwatchable. The production value is typically poor; the acting is reliably awful; the writing is amateurishly terrible and the ideas are the sorts of ideas that should have remained nothing more than ideas. I include in this observation such theoretically "good" web series like The Guild and The Bannen Way, neither of which I can tolerate for more than a few seconds. That said, there are always...

LAist Film Calendar: In(somniac Cinema) & Out(fest)

It's the 28th annual Outfest in Los Angeles! Thursday's opening night gala at the Orpheum Theatre features the Los Angeles premiere of Allen Ginsberg biopic Howl and - listen up, Gleeks - Jane Lynch, recipient of the 14th Annual Outfest Achievement award. Saturday, Lynch appears at a panel at the DGA theatre...

Holiday Box Office Review: Not a Record-breaker!

To no one's surprise, The So-Called Twilight Saga: Eclipse demolished all comers over the long holiday weekend, raking in a huge $82.5M ($175.2M) to easily top the over-performing (and terrible) The Last Airbender ($53.1M | $70.5M). The amazing Toy Story 3 continued to do well, adding $42.2M ($301M). The unfunny Grown Ups ($26.5M | $85M) and the fun Knight & Day ($14M | $49.3M) rounded out the top 5. The second half of the chart...

DVD Tuesday: The Girl with Brooklyn's Finest

I couldn't get through a hundred pages of the book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I enjoyed the hell out of the movie. I actually have high hopes for the American re-make (purely because of Fincher), but seriously wonder whether the darkness of the Swedish version will be preserved. I mean, are American audiences ready to see a woman rape her rapist with a blue dildo? I'm a sucker for cop films (and...

Weekend Movie Guide: Twilight on Shyamalan?

By this time Monday, the dust will have settled and it is possible that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will set a record for largest opening weekend ever. While it's fair to say that the film is the best (e.g. least shitty) of the series, one must also mention that the entire Twilight phenomenon continues to impart awful lessons about emotionally abusive and obsessive relationships to millions of young women across America. It's weirdo Mormon lessons...

LAist Film Calendar: Independence Day Extravaganza!

I'm a sucker for holiday-themed slashers, and none come as blood-red, white & blue as Uncle Sam! In today's hyper-partisan climate, Uncle Sam appeals to Americans of all stars, bars & stripes. A Gulf War vet (pro-troops!) is killed by friendly fire (anti-war!), only to be resurrected by flag-burning teens...

DVD Tuesday: Gonna Get in the Hot Tub! (again)

A significant portion of the American movie-going audience probably avoided Hot Tub Time Machine because of its banal title. They missed a movie that was funnier than it had any right to be, particularly in the manic performance of Rob Corddry. Any fan of The Doors should automatically buy When You're Strange. It features a wealth of material previously unseen (though the narration by Johnny Depp leaves something to be desired -- namely, passion). If...

Box Office Review: Toys Dominate Grown Ups!

Pixar's Toy Story 3 enjoyed a very strong second weekend and easily claimed the weekend box office crown with a hefty haul of $59M ($226.5M). The terrible Grown Ups was a distant second with $41M, but that was still twice as much cash as the disappointing Knight and Day ($20.5). The Kung Fu Kid continues to do well ($15.4M | $135.6M) while The A-Team will struggle to hit the magical $100M barrier ($6M | $62.8M)....

Weekend Movie Guide: Grown-Ups?

So let me get this straight: take Adam Sandler (not funny), Kevin James (not funny), David Spade (once funny), Chris Rock (once funny) and Rob Schneider (once sort of funny) and you get a summer comedy blockbuster? I would almost see Sex and the City 2: Venality Reigns before seeing Grown Ups. What I will see, though, is Knight and Day. Cruise and Diaz were solid together in Vanilla Sky, and they look finely matched...

LAist Film Calendar: Beer-Drinking Bong-Smoking Blood-Suckers

Bear witness to loads of laughs as the cult of comedy continues at Cinefamily! Friday, celebrate 40 years of National Lampoon (the National Lampoon of Harvard days, NOT the National Lampoon of Dorm Daze) with side-splitting satires Lemmings...

DVD Tuesday: London Calls Bruce!

Who knew that people in London were such big Springsteen fans? Or was Hyde Park just full of expats? It was sad to see a solid film like The Green Zone completely fall flat at the box office. Its failure made it increasingly less likely that high-budgets will be spent on smart, complex films. Shame that. How can anyone not think that Exile on Main Street is the Stones' best album? Same goes for this...

Box Office Review: What Slump?

After a summer of mostly lackluster debuts, Toy Story 3 demolished the competition this weekend, setting a Pixar opening record of $109M. Surprise powerhouse The Kung Fu Kid finished a distant second ($29M | $106.2M), well ahead of the mediocre and disappointing The A-Team ($13.7M | $49.7M). The unexpectedly funny Get Him to the Greek showed good legs in its third weekend ($6.1M | $47.8M) while Shrek Forever After continues to print money against all...

Weekend Movie Guide: Will There Be a Hex on Toy Story?

It isn't like we needed a Toy Story 3, but there's no doubt it will be awesome. Pixar's perfect string of massive commercial and critical hits continues with seemingly no end in sight. Barring the last minute addition of a full-frontal nude scene from Megan Fox, expect Jonah Hex to sink quickly to the bottom of the box-office charts. Who exactly is interested in seeing this movie? It still astonishes me how deeply the influence...

LAist Film Calendar: Queer Docs, Fred Willard Talks & Charlie Chaplin Rocks

Photo courtesy of Red Flag Releasing This week, the real world marks the closing arguments in the court case against Prop. 8. Fittingly, the reel world responds with the premiere of documentary 8: The Mormon Proposition, at Laemmle's Sunset. Produced by former Mormons, and narrated by Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black, the film follows the money and the movement that pushed the legislation into being. To put the struggle in a historical perspective, the...

DVD Tuesday: Denzel!

There are few actors that I will watch just to watch. Even if the movie is bad, I'll still dutifully buy my ticket, buy my popcorn and relax into the row on the rail at the Landmark. Denzel Washington is one of those actors. The Book of Eli is not a great film, but it is a solid piece of entertainment that is worth your rental or purchase dollars. Who knew that Unthinkable would cause...

Box Office Review: Bad Movie Beats Worse Movie

While it was expected that The Karate Kid and The A-Team would tussle for the weekend box office crown, the reality is that it was no contest. The pointless remake of the seminal 80s hit waxed on to the tune of $56M to easily dispatch the middling TV show reboot ($26M). Shrek Forever After continued to do better than anyone expected ($15.8M | $210M) while Get Him to the Greek ($10.1M $36.5M) and Killers ($8.1M...

Weekend Movie Guide: Crappy Re-Make or Crappy Re-Boot?

While transitioning a moderately bad TV show like The A-Team to the big screen is little more than a lazy idea, re-making The Karate Kid is just downright awful and evil and pathetic. I can't remember the last time I was rooting so hard for a movie to utterly fail. Okay, maybe Sex and the City 2 a few weeks ago, but still! Winter's Bone was one of the breakout hits from this past year's...

DVD Tuesday: Beware of Shutter Island!

Very likely I'm in the minority opinion on this subject, but I think it's high time that Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio stopped working together. From my perspective, it's been diminishing returns since The Aviator. Shutter Island left me cold. Seven seasons in and Curb Your Enthusiasm has last none of its cruel charm for me. This most recent season was the best since the year the entire show was a meta-gloss for The Producers....

Box Office Review: Still Shrek? WTF???

For the third week in a row, the tired Shrek franchise managed to place its latest entrant atop the weekend box office race. The lame Shrek Forever After raked in $25.3M ($183M) to easily top the hilarious newcomer Get Him to the Greek ($17.4M) and the lame Killers ($16.1M). The unnecessary Prince of Persia ($13.9M | $59.4M) and the...

Weekend Movie Guide: Splice or Greek? Or both?

After two weeks of middling studio releases (e.g. Sex and the City 2: Bitches Abroad, Shrek 4: Again?, Prince of Persia 1: Why?), we finally get some decent product today. Fresh off its recent Sundance success, Splice launches into theaters as a thinking-man's Species. Brody and Polley give this horror flick extra class and oomph. I didn't love Russell Brand in Sarah Marshall, but I'll give Get Him to the Greek a shot -- mostly...

Holiday Box Office Review: America Rejects Sex!

Despite a huge amount of buzz amongst its core audience of superficial women, Sex and the City 2: I Am An Idiot was easily dispatched by the sleepy Shrek Forever After and the pointless Prince of Persia: Sands of Something or Other. The rancid tale of four middle-aged drag queens earned a mere $37.1M over the holiday weekend, just behind Persia's $37.8M and well off Shrek's mammoth $55.7M ($145.4M). Iron Man 2 continues to hang...

DVD Tuesday: Wonder-ful!

I walked into Alice in Wonderland prepared to be completely underwhelmed. Something about Burton + Lewis Carroll + Depp seemed too on the nose for my taste. And yet -- mostly due to the fantastic performance of Mia Wasikowska -- I enjoyed the film far more than I ever expected. I had a similar feeling entering The Wolfman. In this case, however, my wariness was confirmed. Despite the usual amazing practical make-up by Rick Baker...

Weekend Movie Guide: The Female Bay Movie (e.g. evil)

As if the original wasn't cynical and revolting enough, Sex and the City 2 has amped up the conspicuous consumption to levels sure to arouse Islamo-fascist anger. In this latest installment, the aging drag queens are off to the Middle East to spread their sense of entitlement to the naive and pathetic native population. Since Michael Bay isn't releasing a film until next year, I think it's safe to say that Sex and the City...

DVD Tuesday: Get Ready to Laugh!

No film could ever capture the inner despair and hopelessness that pervades Cormac McCarthy's magnificent novel, The Road. Still, the film is a despondently faithful adaptation that should please -- if depress -- cineastes. Never before has society's apocalypse felt so hauntingly real. There's only one, maybe two good reasons to watch HBO's moronic True Blood, right? Of all the classic authors I read in college, I return to D.H. Lawrence more than any other....

LAist Film Calendar: Memorial Day Blockbusters & Mockbusters

It's Memorial Day weekend, which means it's tentpole season in Hollywood! In a glib appeal to the second X chromosome, Arclight Hollywood boasts boutique blockbuster Sex and the City 2 in a fully-stocked party package! The girls may be high and dry in Abu Dhabi, but you'll be fresh and breezy with SKYY specialty cocktails..

Weekend Movie Guide: Blech!

I've always thought that MacGruber worked perfectly as a one-minute interstitial, but I can't imagine how you pull a whole movie out of it. Still, reviews have been pretty decent so maybe it works. Didn't the last Shrek really answer all of the questions posed by the other Shreks? Is there any reason to see Shrek Forever After other than to distract your bratty kids for a few hours. Holy Rollers was a solid hit...

LAist Film Calendar: Genius Janitors, Terrible Trolls & Killer Kurosawa

American Dinosauuuuuur! | Photo courtesy of Transcendental Media University students turn to their professors for education, but whom should they look to for wisdom? According to The Philosopher Kings, they would do well to leave the classroom and head for the janitor's closet. The wonderful documentary goes behind the wet floor sign of college custodians, and illustrates the dynamic personalities who deliver a clean campus amid spotty life experiences. Some persevere through tragedy. Luis...

DVD Tuesday: I Already Write Around the Clock!

I enjoyed everything about Invictus -- the cast, the story, the filmmaker -- except the actual movie. Frankly, it was just dull. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I am very angry at Americans right now for throwing good money at the vile Valentine's Day. You know what happens now, right? They're going to make another "themed" movie like this -- New Year's Eve. And then another one. And another. When will you people...

Box Office Review: Iron Man Kills Robin Hood!

While by no means a flop, Robin Hood does bear the scent of an under-performer this morning. The latest Ridley Scott | Russell Crowe collaboration only managed to steal $37.1M in its debut, placing a distant second to the mighty Iron Man 2 ($53M | $212M). Female counter-programming didn't exactly work for Letters to Juliet which only garnered $13.8M in its opening frame. Romantic "comedy" Just Wright was even worse at $8.5M, while powerhouse How...

Weekend Movie Guide: Meh?

Some may find Russell Crowe surly and rude, but I think he's a rock-solid actor who always delivers (Bud White deserves induction into the pantheon alongside Michael, Antonio, Carmine, Jack, Giles and Tom ). That said, I'm a bit skittish about Robin Hood. How do I put it? Maybe like this: is anyone really excited to see it? Amanda Seyfried is probably the most weirdly hot actress on the planet, but even that won't be...

LAist Film Calendar: Harmony Korine, Michel Gondry, Families & Robot Vixens

One of filmmaking's most chaotic spirits re-emerges this week. Harmony Korine unleashes Trash Humpers upon the Nuart this week. It's a trademark Korine faux-found-footage-freakout tracking a group of deranged rabblerousers...

DVD Tuesday: Mel's Back And He's Pissed!

If you're able to put aside the anti-Semitic | uber-Catholic ravings of Mel Gibson, he can still be a very effective actor, particularly when cast in his wheelhouse role: a crazy cop bucking the system. Edge of Darkness is a pitch-dark drama about a father hell-bent on avenging his daughter's death. Sure, it's overly plotty, but I dug it. The same can't be said for Legion -- a silly meditation on angels and prophecy and...

Box Office Review: Ironman 2 Blasts Competition!

There was never any doubt that Ironman 2 would dominate the box office this weekend. The only question was whether it would top The Dark Knight for the largest opening ever. Nope! Despite the largest theater booking in history, Ironman 2 only (only?) managed to bring in $133.6M. That tally squashed the awful A Nightmare on Elm Street ($9.1M | $48.5M) and the resilient How To Train Your Dragon ($6.7M | $201M). The sturdy Date...

Weekend Movie Guide: He is Iron Man!

The natural inclination amongst civilized folk is to resist the bloated blockbusters that trample into theaters every summer. Surprisingly, that sentiment hasn't really applied to Iron Man 2. I imagine that's because of the tremendous good will accorded to Robert Downey Jr. I didn't love Iron Man 2 as much as Iron Man (click here), but it's still a solid piece of popcorn entertainment. There probably won't be a more adorable film this year than...

LAist Film Calendar: Iron Men, French Spies & Screwy Kid's Movies

This week, we welcome a new addition, as expensive as it is adorable. No, not Babies - the Arclight Pasadena! The plucky youngster opens its doors just in time to join siblings Arclight Hollywood and Arclight Sherman Oaks in a one-off screening of Iron Man on Thursday, followed by Iron Man 2 at midnight...

DVD Tuesday: Just Nine?

In honor of Rob Marshall's beautiful flop, I considered only listing nine DVDs today (of course, the idea did first come to me when I realized how crappy a release week it was but still...). However, some digging and reaching helped unearth the usual fifteen titles that I think are worth a look. The aforementioned Nine landed at the box office like a lead balloon, but its musical numbers are more richly dressed and orchestrated...

Box Office Review: What a Nightmare!

Hundreds of thousands of moronic, cud-chewing Americans paid good money to see the new A Nightmare on Elm Street this weekend, allowing the unnecessary remake to easily claim the box office crown ($32.2M). Recent powerhouse How to Train Your Dragon slipped to a distant second ($10.8M | $192.3M), but still easily managed to hold off both the funny-ish Date Night ($7.6M | $73.6M) and the horrifying The Back-up Plan ($7.2M | $22.9M). As expected, newcomer...

Weekend Movie Guide: Please Go See Rebecca Hall!

Is there a more captivating actress right now than Rebecca Hall? She alone would get me into the theater to see Please Give. The fact that Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt join her and Nicole Holofcener directs makes it the easiest decision of the weekend. Did we really need another A Nightmare on Elm Street? Seems to me that Jackie Earle Hailey is just being asked to re-do his awesome Rorschach voice from Watchmen. Will...

DVD Tuesday: ALERT! New Andy Kaufman DVD!

When the subject is Andy Kaufman, people seem to divide into two fairly distinct camps: those brilliant few who recognize him as a comic genius years ahead of his time and the fucking idiots who should probably be put to sleep by the government. While Andy Kaufman: World Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion doesn't offer anything new to the devoted Kaufman-phile, it does package it all together nicely. Buy it for a friend or your mom today!...

Box Office Review: Jennifer Lopez Fails!

Considering the former magnitude of her fame, it was expected that Jennifer Lopez's The Back-up Plan would at least eke out a box office victory this weekend. Nope! The little animated movie that could -- How To Train Your Dragon -- topped the charts for a second consecutive weekend ($15M | $178M), easily beating J-Lo's rancid "romantic comedy" ($12.2M). Date Night continues to chug along nicely despite not being nearly as funny as either The...

Weekend Movie Guide: A Loser Weekend

I'm not particularly looking forward to seeing The A-Team -- err, I mean, The Losers this weekend, but it may be the best of a bad bunch. Oceans obviously looks amazingly cool, but I'm not completely on board with it's pro- to neutral position on sharks (aka, the serial killers of the sea). Subtitles will scare away many, but the brave will be rewarded by No One Knows About Persian Cats if they dare to...

DVD Tuesday: Will Avatar suck in 2-D?

3-D televisions are still a technology of the near-future so everyone who buys Avatar will be watching it in good old-fashioned 2-D. Absent the gloriously immersive world created by James Cameron, will audiences be distracted by the obvious plotting and tinny dialogue? Jeff Bridges should have won an Oscar long before getting one for Crazy Heart (The Fisher King anyone?). While his turn as Bad Blake didn't blow me away, it was a solidly professional...

Box Office Review: Ass-Kicked!

The smart money had the fantastic Kick-Ass winning the weekend box-office race after a month of promotion and hot buzz. Good thing people can't bet on movie futures yet, because How to Train Your Dragon experienced a strong surge in its third weekend to best all comers. Thanks to a huge amount of screens and the benefit of premium 3-D prices, the DreamWorks kid pic raked in $20M ($158.6M) to edge Matthew Vaughn's hard-R comic...

Weekend Movie Guide: Kick-Ass!

The months-long wait to see Kick-Ass is almost over! Can't wait! May see it twice this weekend. Sure it may be nihilistic and inappropriate (e.g. the obvious sexualization of a pre-teen Chloe Moretz), but God damn if it doesn't feel full of energy and evil wit. Plus, it features good Nic Cage (as opposed to bad Nic Cage). What I won't see is the astonishingly unnecessary re-make of Death at a Funeral. It begs the...

LAist Film Calendar: Handsome Harry & Sexy Stephen

'Handsome Harry'...Because 'Cutesy Kelly' Was Already Taken | Photo courtesy of Worldview Entertainment There may no longer be a country for old men, but Handsome Harry proves there's still kino for them. Harry plants itself proudly in the old boys' club, where women are no good, sons are all-too-wayward and there's nothing a bottle of scotch won't fix. When retired sailor Harry Sweeney (Jamey Sheridan) receives once-crewmate Tom Kelly (Steve Buscemi)'s dying wish for...

DVD Tuesday: America, We Have a Problem!

You know it's a slow day at the DVD counter when the highlight of the week is a Blu-Ray release of a fifteen year-old film. Sure Apollo 13 is a solid flick -- maybe even Ron Howard's best -- but the prospect of seeing it again doesn't particularly get my juices going. As a fan of Richard Curtis, I wish I could recommend Pirate Radio, but the comedy in it just seems a little forced...

Box Office Review: Surprise!

While most of the smart money had the godawful Clash of the Titans repeating as box office champ, it was the scrappy Date Night -- the middling movie that could -- which ultimately won the weekend. The marginally funny "comedy" hauled in $27.1M to best the marginally mythologically accurate Clash ($26.8M | $110.4M). The wonderful How to Train Your Dragon enjoyed a strong third weekend ($25.3M | $133.8M) while Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get...

Weekend Movie Guide: Date Night?

The presence of Tina Fey and Steve Carell gives me hope for Date Night, but the directorial hand of Shawn Levy really, REALLY worries me. I saw When You're Strange: A Film About the Doors at Sundance back in 2009 and, as a Doors fan, really dug all the previously unseen footage. Johnny Depp's newly recorded narration should improve an already solid film. The Australian The Square has been sitting on the shelf for awhile,...

Movie Review: The Black Waters of Echo's Pond

How many horror stories begin with a group of friends, alone at night? How many board games begin the same way? If the comparison seems absurd, consider that the terrifying forces of The Exorcist are unleashed by a single child, playing an innocent game. Now, imagine the lengths of evil that would ensue when a group of adults set more sinister pieces in motion. Relationships are ripped apart - and so are bodies. This is...

DVD Tuesday: New Galactica! Worse Lieutenant!

If you have somehow avoided watching Battlestar Galactica up till now (and God damn you if that's the case), you can finally watch it as God (e.g. Ron Moore) intended: the complete series on Blu-Ray. Sure, it's expensive but how could you more wisely spend your money? On health insurance? On fucking food? Please! I love everything that Werner Herzog even walks past, so naturally I loved Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Nicolas...

Box Office Review: Record Breaker!

To no one's surprise, the unnecessary re-make of Clash of the Titans easily claimed the box office crown this weekend thanks to America's pathetic embrace of bad 3-D. The crappy reboot hauled in $61.4M ($64M) to easily top the equally mediocre Tyler Perry's Why Do I Keep Making Bad Movies ($30.1M). The fantastic How To Train Your Dragon claimed $29.2M worth of treasure to top Miley Cyrus' pointless shit-fest The Last Song ($16.2M | $25.5M)....

Weekend Movie Guide: This Is No Clash of Titans!

If ever a movie didn't cry out for a re-make it was Clash of the Titans. The original wasn't necessarily good, but it was beloved by a distinct sliver of the populace. They will now hate this re-make, while those new to it will think the movie is just stupid. Which it is. A last-minute 3-D conversion only adds to its mediocrity. At least, it's not the worst movie of the weekend. That is surely...

DVD Tuesday: She Wuz Robbed!!

Now that all the publicity and hype have passed, isn't it obvious that there is no way in hell Sandra Bullock should have won an Oscar instead of the divine Carey Mulligan in An Education? I had serious doubts about Sherlock Holmes when it was originally announced, but I found it to be much better than I expected. Sure, it was your typical, bloated, over-done studio film, but it was actually a pretty good one....

Box Office Review: How To Make a Dragon Movie

Parents and kids (and critics) were totally charmed by How To Train Your Dragon as it easily won the weekend box office race. It's huge haul of $43.3M demolished previous champ Alice in Wonderland ($17.3M | $293.1M) and disappointing newcomer Hot Tub Time Machine ($13.6M). The terrible, shitty, depressing The Bounty Hunter actually had a decent hold in its second frame ($12.4M | $38.8M) while Diary of a Wimpy Kid was clearly the victim of...

Weekend Movie Guide: Gonna Get In The Hot Tub!

Week by week, trailer by trailer, Hot Tub Time Machine is growing on me. Now, I'm really itching to see it (and not just to see aging hottie Jessica Pare slumming it in a thankless role). Is it this year's The Hangover? We'll see on Monday morning! Atom Egoyan definitely belongs on the list of directors who never get the notoriety they deserve. Chloe looks fantastic (and not just because crush object Amanda Seyfried is...

LAist Film Calendar: Apocalypse & You, Harmony & Me!

If you're already having SXSW withdrawal, get a fix from Harmony and Me, a prime cut of Austin lo-fi. Crafted under the auspices of the Sundance Institute's Annenberg Film Fellowship Program, the break-up film is visually sparse...

DVD Tuesday: Fantastic Goat Brothers!

Many weeks, there can be slim pickings on the DVD aisle. And then there are weeks like this where three, er, fantastic movies top the list. Fantastic Mr. Fox may not rise to the absurd and lunatic levels of Rushmore or The Royal Tennenbaums, but it's a wonderful re-telling of Roald Dahl's seminal children's book. It's that rare thing -- something both children and adults can enjoy (albeit for different reasons). Plenty of critics piled...

Screening Alert: Harmony & Me

Those who read this column frequently know that I am a fierce proponent of true independent film (e.g. micro-budgeted films not featuring famous people slumming). Sadly, most of those films -- even the good ones -- will only play at film festivals and not be seen by a wider audience. From time to time, though, a small film breaks through and makes it into a theater (e.g. where any film should be seen -- fuck...

Box Office Review: Alice wins; Jen loses

Alice in Wonderland continued its domination of the box office for a third straight weekend as it brought in a solid $34.5M ($265.8M) to easily dispatch the surprisingly strong Diary of a Wimpy Kid ($21.8M) and the underperforming Bounty Hunter ($21M). Repo Men was even more of a disappointment as it only managed to gross a pathetic $6.5M. She's Out of My League held strong in its second weekend ($6M | $19.9M) while The Green...

Weekend Movie Guide: Hello, Greenberg!

For a certain sub-section of filmgoers (e.g. people who fucking rule), the arrival of a new Noah Baumbach movie is cause for celebration. By most accounts, Greenberg is as strong as The Squid and the Whale. This, folks, is a very, very good thing. I couldn't get through the book, but The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has me intrigued. Don't be scared off by the subtitles, people! I'm sort of tired of Kristen Stewart...

LAist Film Calendar: Jamaicans, Germans, Rockers & Shockers

Somebody must have sat on a scarab beetle, because the Egyptian hits the ground running this weekend! Friday, party with Native Wayne (formerly of KROQ, currently of Indie 103.1) and pour out a little Red Stripe in memory of Perry Henzell, whose 1972 classic The Harder They Come introduced the world to the heights of reggae

DVD Tuesday: Who has Twilight fever? Who over 13?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Twilight books and movies provide an inherently evil model to young women about the kind of men they should date. Sure, Edward and Jacob are cute and all, but they are also violent and emotionally distant narcissists. Parents, don't be surprised when your cute little Cindy comes home with a black eye insisting, "But deep down he's really a good person!" Thank that lunatic Mormon Stephanie Meyer and her backwards ideas about sexuality.

Box Office Review: Zone Not In The Zone!

Alice in Wonderland dominated the box office for a second consecutive weekend, earning $62M ($208.6M) to blast the competition. Despite it's pedigree, The Green Zone limped to a weak $14.5M debut. The bonerific She's Out of My League suffered a similar fate ($9.6M) as did the evil Remember Me ($8.3M). Shutter Island enjoyed a solid fourth week ($8.1M | $108M), topping yet another newcomer, Our Family Wedding ($7.6M). Despite getting swamped at the Oscars by...

Weekend Movie Guide: Remember Green Zone

I'm psyched to see any new Paul Greengrass movie and even though Green Zone feels a little Bourne-ish, I'm definitely there. I can't say the same for Our Family Wedding which looks like a quasi-racist farce (and not in a good way). Will Team Edward flock to see Remember Me? Let's hope not! Jay Baruchel is solid gold in my book, and She's Out Of My League appears to be the sort of broad, horndog...

LAist Film Calendar: Whose House? Mafia's Grindhouse!

Head's up! | Photo courtesy of Janus Films It's only March, but I can already guarantee House is the weirdest film you'll see in a theater this year. The slice of '70s pscyhedelia takes a band of Japanese school-girls, sends them to an old house, and severs all ties to sanity. House deftly melds art-house tricks with gore and slapstick, and turns on a dime. There's new-wave editing, laser ghost cats, gorgeous lighting, dancing...

DVD Tuesday: Up in Precious!

Following its debut at the Telluride Film Festival, Up in the Air was being heralded as a strong contender for a Best Picture Oscar. The fact that it didn't win anything at last Sunday's ceremony should tell you it wasn't nearly as weighty and significant as early press indicated. Still, it was another solid film by Jason Reitman and another effortless turn by Clooney.

Box Office Review: Record Breaker!

Despite a mediocre critical reception, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland demolished Avatar's opening weekend record for a 3-D film by taking in a mammoth $116.3M at the box office. Fellow newcomer Brooklyn's Finest was a very distant second with $13.5M, just edging previous stalwart Shutter Island ($13.3M | $95.8M). After that it was the painful Cop Out ($9.1M | $32.3M) and heavyweight Avatar ($7.7M | $720.1M). The second half of the top 10 was led...

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