Results tagged “Josh Tate”

Weekend Movie Guide: Wonderland or Brooklyn?

I confess to being a little confused by the enthusiasm for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland since my enjoyment of Burton's work has steadily waned over the years. For me, he peaked with Ed Wood. Despite all the lovely visual filigree that decorates his work, I find that I'm never particularly surprised by any of his films anymore. Sure, I'll see Alice in Wonderland, but that's mostly to see if Mia Wasikowska is as good...

LAist Film Calendar: A Prophet Ran From The Evil Dead

A Prophet bridges insurmountable gaps: imprisonment and freedom, French and Arab, child and man. In its native France, the film was picked up like a Royale at the Louvre, sweeping the CÈsar Awards (the French Oscars) and scoring Cannes'...

DVD Tuesday: I'll Be Where the Wild Things Are

A common complaint I heard from parents last year who took their kids to see Where the Wild Things Are was, "It was too dark for a kids' movie." To these parents I say, "You are fucking morons." The only kids for whom this movie is too dark are stupid and ordinary kids, and who cares what they think anyway. For me, Where the Wild Things Are was the latest oddball entry in Spike Jonze's...

Box Office Review: More Duly-Appointed Federal Marshals!

Showing unexpected strength, Shutter Island held off all comers to claim its second straight weekend at the top of the box office heap ($22.2M | $75M). Yay Marty! Newcomers Cop Out ($18.5M) and The Crazies ($16.5M) placed second and third while Avatar just keeps fucking hanging around ($14M | $706.9M). Percy Jackson & The Olympians: Unusually Long Title is showing good legs in its third week ($9.8M | $71.2M), unlike Valentine's Day which continues to...

Weekend Movie Guide: Defendor! Prophet! Yay!

Some might say I am a Woody Harrelson apologist, but I think I'm just a really big fan. In any case, his latest film opens today and everyone should see it. Defendor is about a mentally unstable man who believes (and acts) as if he's a superhero (think Kick-Ass but more insane). Check out the trailer after the jump and try and tell him it doesn't look hilarious. A Prophet was one of the prestige...

LAist Film Calendar: The Days of (Maynard's) Wine & (Czech) Roses

Jesus H. Christ might have turned water into wine, but Maynard James Keenan goes for the hard stuff in Blood Into Wine, uncorking this weekend at Laemmle's...

DVD Tuesday: The Informant! Død Snø! Jersey Whores!

I thoroughly enjoyed The Informant! and am actually really looking forward to catching it again on DVD. If only Soderbergh would spend all his time making flicks like it and no time making flicks like this. It is by no means a good movie, but Dead Snow was a rollicking horror of a film (though a lack of solid nudity does penalize it substantially). How can you beat Nazi zombies? The less said about Jersey...

Movie Preview: Birdemic: Shock and Terror!

James Nguyen first saw The Birds in junior high. It scared the hell out of him then, and it still does now. He hopes you'll be just as frightened by his new film Birdemic: Shock and Terror, which the writer/director/producer/casting-agent/everything-under-the-sun describes as a "great homage" and "modern take" on Alfred Hitchcock's classic. How great? Nguyen returned to some of the same locations in Northern California, and enlisted friend Tippi Hedren (who also appeared in his previous film Julie & Jack) for a cameo.

Box Office Review: America Loves Insane Asylums!

Shutter Island destroyed all comers this weekend, bringing in a huge $40.2M to easily win the box office crown. The debut was a personal best for both Martin Scorcese and Leo Di Caprio...which is kind of tragic actually. Last week's champ, Valentine's Day collapsed in its second frame (yay!), but still brought in a shameful $17.1M ($87.4M) while Avatar doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon ($16.1M | $687.8 Fucking Million Dollars!). Percy Jackson...

Weekend Movie Guide: Nobody Leaves Shutter Island!

I love Martin Scorcese, but frankly I'm just ready for him to collaborate with an actor other than Leo. Their latest joint effort is Shutter Island which, by all impressions, is a meticulously crafted mind-fuck. Will I see it? Yes. Will I love it? That would surprise me. What I could love, though, is Ghost Writer. Edited from his chalet prison in Switzerland, it's Polanski's latest film. Considering how much I've been watching Chinatown in...

LAist Film Calendar: Jason Reitman, GI Joe & Killer Boars

No matter how hard I stare at my keyboard, I cannot escape the pull of the Oscars. The New Bev welcomes twice-nominated director Jason Reitman for its latest guestival. Since there's no official title for the program...

DVD Tuesday: Dynamite!

There's nothing particularly great about Black Dynamite (it's no I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!), but it is a hell of a lot of fun. The normally dour Michael Jai White has a great time as the titular hero, and any movie featuring the fantastic Charlotte Stokely is worth a look. Remember when Gerard Butler was an intriguing actor on the rise -- around the time as Dear Frankie? Now it looks as if he's just...

Box Office Review: Valentine's Day Sucks!

A trio of newcomers stormed the box-office this weekend, thoroughly knocking down the mighty Avatar from its lofty aerie. The rancid and cynical Valentine's Day led the pack with a well undeserved $52.4M. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: Very Long Title pulled in a solid $31.1M to edge out the better-than-expected The Wolfman ($30.6M). After that it was the aforementioned Avatar ($22M | $659.6M) and the moronic Dear John ($15.3M | $53.1M). The second half...

Weekend Movie Guide: Bite Me, Valentine's Day!

Sure the reviews haven't exactly been stellar, but I'm really looking forward to The Wolfman. Benicio + Tony + Emily + (most importantly) Rick Baker = my ass in the seat opening weekend! Thank God it is rated R for "bloody horror violence and gore." I'm sick and tired of these PG-13 horror flicks. Some might say that Valentine's Day is a cynical attempt to cash in on an all-star cast even though the underlying...

LAist Film Calendar: Love Means Never Missing Red Riding & Documentaries

This Valentine's Day, a dozen red roses may be out of the question, but a dozen dead schoolgirls is totally doable courtesy of The Red Riding Trilogy, unspooling in various installments at an exclusive Nuart engagement...

DVD Tuesday: A Seriously Good Film!

We can all agree that the Coen Brothers are the finest filmmakers working in America right now, can't we? A Serious Man is further proof of their complete mastery of the medium. Aside from numerous other wonderful scenes, the bar mitzvah and the closing shot at the school are beyond brilliant. I watched The Time Traveler's Wife expecting a good, solid cry. Sadly, it did not deliver (though, Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams were their...

Box Office Review: It's Finally Over!

After seven weeks as King of the World, Avatar was knocked from its perch by the maudlin Dear John. The phony love story brought in an obscene $32.4M in its debut weekend to best the Pocahontas rip-off ($23.6M | $630M). From Paris With Love disappointed in its first frame ($8.1M) while Edge of Darkness collapsed in week two ($7M | $29M). The Tooth Fairy -- to America's eternal shame -- is holding up well ($6.5M...

Weekend Movie Guide: Dear Amanda...

Ordinarily, the radiant, slightly goofy presence of Amanda Seyfried would have me rushing to the theater (as it will in the case of the randy Chloe), but the noxious presence of Channing Tatum will keep me away from the awful Dear John. Can someone please explain Nicholas Sparks to me? He's still writing? Really? I'm sure it will suck, but From Paris With Love looks like a hell of a lot a fun. Jonathan Rhys...

DVD Tuesday: Blu-Ray Director's Cut of Best Movie Ever!

While I still prefer the original theatrical version to Milos Forman's 2002 director's cut, it is still a slam-dunk buy on Blu-Ray today. For those who haven't seen any cut of Amadeus I highly encourage you to Netflix | Redbox | Piratebay it today! And, yes, this means you, Aerish! Zombieland wasn't anything great, but damn if it wasn't a fun time. And does it feature the best cameo ever? Everything about House of the...

Box Office Review: Seriously?

Look, Avatar is a fine movie. If I were ranking the best hundred movies of the year, it would certainly find a solid place in the top twenty-five purely based on its technical virtuousity. That said -- why are so many people flocking to the theater to see it? For the seventh God damned weekend in a row, it topped the box office taking in $30M ($594M) to easily bash Mel Gibson's Edge of...

Weekend Movie Guide: He's Back!

Mel Gibson continues his long climb back to being a normal movie star this weekend with Edge of Darkness. Having Martin Campbell as a director and William Monaghan as one of two credited screenwriters gets my hopes up a little bit, and reviews have been fairly strong. I'm just not sure if I'll be able to look at Gibson ever again without hearing the phrase "sugar tits." Still, anything with Ray Winstone is at least...

DVD Tuesday: Keats Deserved a Masterpiece!

As the preeminent Keats scholar in my small cadre of illiterate friends, let me say that I was mostly outraged at the shabby treatment accorded the poet by director Jane Campion (LAist review here). I had such high hopes for this film when I entered the screening, but everything was dashed in short order. Gone was any indication of Keats' magnificent intellectual gift. Rather, he was rendered as little more than a simpering poet chasing...

Box Office Review: This Is Getting Ridiculous!

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox Avatar continued its inevitable crawl towards history, taking in a robust $36M ($552M) to pass The Dark Knight in domestic receipts and Titanic on the international front. By next Monday, it should be the all-time box-office champ (not accounting for inflation, of course, in which case Gone With The Wind would be the easy winner and Avatar would be a mere 26th). The awful Legion had a respectable...

Weekend Movie Guide: Extraordinary Crap!

Having seen -- oh, I don't know -- 20,000 commercials for Extraordinary Measures over the last few weeks, I still think I'm looking at a promo for a TV movie. The real question is will "I already work around the clock!" replace "Where's my family" in the Harrison Ford repertoire? Geez, Legion looks awful. Does everyone else just cackle when that old bird crawls up the wall? Can anything be done to stop Dwayne "The...

DVD Tuesday: Get Well, Artie!

To any who haven't heard the grisly news, Artie Lange is recovering from an awful suicide attempt back east. As a longtime fan of The Howard Stern Show, I hope he gets back back to a healthier place soon. Let me get this straight -- Magnolia and Boogie Nights on Blu-ray on the same day? Can I call in sick to work? More stuff like Che, Steven. Less like this shit. How can you not...

Weekend Movie Guide: 44 Inch Chest!

I really like Denzel Washington, but the only movie I'm interested in seeing this weekend is 44 Inch Chest. Seriously, have a look at this cast of grizzled English masters: Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, John Hurt and Tom Wilkinson! How can you miss that? Plus, the story is right up my alley: a group of old friends plot to rough up one of their wife's lovers. Cheers to that! The only other noteworthy releases on...

DVD Tuesday: And the Winner Is...

Jeff Bridges will probably end up winning an Oscar for his role in Crazy Heart, but if he doesn't you can bank on Jeremy Renner taking home the statue for his performance in The Hurt Locker. In a just world, Peter Capaldi would be doing the same thing for his brilliant turn as Malcolm "Prince of Fucking Darkness" Tucker in In the Loop. The fact that he probably won't even be nominated is insane. Similarly,...

Box Office Review: Geez! Avatar Again?

Avatar continued its long slog towards ultimately topping Titanic by easily winning this weekend's box-office race ($48.5M | $429M). Sherlock Holmes was a very distant second but has proven to be a solid hit for Guy Ritchie ($16.6M | $165.1M). Unfortunately, the same can be said for Dumb Fucking Chipmunk Movie which is still bringing in unfit parents and their bratty kids ($16.3M | $178.1M). Daybreakers was the best performer of the films released this weekend ($15M) while It's Complicated managed to top ($11M | $76.3M) another newbie, the crappy Leap Year ($9.1M).

Movie Review: Youth in Revolt

Youth In Revolt is a hilarious adaptation of C.D. Payne’s epic 499-page novel of teenage angst. The film is directed by Miguel Artera (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl) who seems to be at one with himself when infusing tales with quirky protagonists, such as Michael Cera’s Nick Twisp. Twisp is essentially a good-hearted, affable, and eccentric 16 year-old teen with a taste for the finer things in life like Frank Sinatra and Fellini. Thanks...

Weekend Movie Guide: Revolt! The End Is Near!

Some may be getting tired of Michael Cera's act, but not me. I admit it can be a bit one-note, but that note is a perfect one. His latest film, Youth in Revolt, reaches theaters today (LAist review here). See it! Are you as tired of vampire movies as I am? If not, then Daybreakers is for you. Amy Adams was once a scrappy actress who chose great parts and nailed them. Now she's in...

DVD Tuesday: Happy New Year!

It's a pretty slow week for quality DVD releases. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was targeted at children but will almost certainly find its true home amongst serious drug users. LSD + food falling from the sky = tripping balls. Does anyone really think that The Final Destination will really be the last film of the series? I know it won't happen, but I think it would be awesome if the next one was...

Box Office Review: Look Out, Titanic!

Remember that time we boned in that car? | Photo courtesy of Fox The mighty Avatar trounced all comers for the third weekend in a row, taking in a huge $68.3M ($352.1M) to easily win the weekend. Sherlock Holmes had a good second week and brought in $38.3M ($140.6M) to squeak by Dumb Fucking Chipmunk Movie ($36.6M | $157.3M). It's Complicated had a strong hold and made another $18.7M ($59.1M) while The Blind Side...

The Ten Best Films I Saw in 2009

This is my third year-end best list for LAist (2007, 2008), and it ain't getting any easier. I could easily list forty films that are worth your time and money, but that would get all sorts of unwieldy and expensive so I'll limit it to the traditional ten. I won't even try to rank them. All I'll say is that each one captured my imagination in a unique way, and each still lingers clearly in...

DVD Tuesday: Most Successful Movie Ever?

Following its stunning financial success earlier this year, Paranormal Activity received its required backlash from the cynical (e.g. it wasn't even that scary!). I'd rather focus my attention on the sheer improbability of it all. Folks, this is a film that was made for around $15,000 that went on to gross $107M at the domestic box office. That is an astonishing achievement, both for the filmmakers and the marketing team at Paramount who saw something...

Box Office Review: Avatar, Take Two!

I am sooo gonna bone this alien chick! | Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox For the second week in a row, Avatar blew away the competition to easily capture the box-office crown ($75M | $212.2M). It's presumed challenger, Sherlock Holmes was a distant second ($65.3M) while Dumb Fucking Chipmunk Movie made an obscene amount of money ($50.2M) (presumably, from moronic families trying to keep their bratty kids quiet for a few hours). Adult...

Weekend Movie Guide: Parnassus Before Holmes

In a just world families would be heading out to the multiplex this afternoon to see Terry Gilliam's latest (and Heath Ledger's last) The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Of course, we don't live in such a world so Sherlock Holmes will be getting all of the business. If you want to try something thought-provoking and serious (yeah, I know you don't), check out Police, Adjective. I respect everything about Nancy Meyers other than the actual...

LAist Film Calendar: The Andy Williams Guide to Christmas Movies

Just what Kermit always wanted -- a Christmas ham! | Photo courtesy of Kermit On Tour via Flickr According to Andy Williams, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Why? Scary ghost stories! On the surface, it's drier than Mormon egg-nog out there, but seen through Williams' lens, the screens are full of magic. The most wonderful film of the week may be Nightmare Before Christmas, but don't forget the ghosts in...

LAist Interview: mewithoutYou

The internet is, of course, the greatest invention since manned flight. To wit: a few months ago, the prettiest girl that ever was (who I met, incidentally, thanks to the internet) sent me a Youtube link to a video that she thought was cool. I watched it and agreed. In fact, I not only thought it was cool, I thought it was kind of perfect. Sure, it was decidedly low-tech, but it succeeded brilliantly at...

DVD Tuesday: (223) Days of Her

Young and breaking up. Having just gotten out of a relationship which had eerie parallels to (500) Days of Summer, I have no intention of seeing it anytime soon. You should, though. It's wonderfully melancholy and real (excepting the amazing musical sequence with the animated musical bird). I was thrilled to see that District 9 made such a large impact at the box-office. It gives hope to those of us who are tired of...

Box Office Review: Record-breaker!

James Cameron's Avatar broke 3-D records this weekend as it surged to a strong $73M opening to top the box office. Disney's The Princess and the Frog was a distant second with $12.M ($44.7M) just ahead of the still-strong The Blind Side ($10M | $164.7M). Did You Hear About the Morgans? disappointed in its debut ($7M) as the audience just doesn't appear to be there for Sarah Jessica Parker if she's not playing a vapid,...

Weekend Movie Guide: Will Avatar Be Titanic?

After months of speculation, audiences will finally be able to see Avatar today. Will it live up to all of the hype? How could it? I expect the usual Cameron film -- rigorously applied and dazzling visuals with a script aimed at those with an 8th grade reading level. I don't care if buzz hasn't been great -- I can't wait to see Nine. Folks, Daniel Day-Lewis is the best actor on the planet! You've...

DVD Tuesday: You Basterd!*

Sure, it may not have received the near-universal acclaim of Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, but I thought Inglourious Basterds was a welcome return to form for Tarantino after the over-long Kill Bill diptych and the dull Death Proof. I really dug The Hangover the first time I saw it, but a second viewing wasn't nearly as satisfying (contrast that with, say, Anchorman which I found far funnier on the tenth screening.) More than any...

LAist Interview: Adam Scott

Adam Scott is one of those actors that you always recognize but can't always quite place. He's worked all over film and television for the last fifteen years, but it's only in the last few that people have started to put name to face. For me, he's as good a working actor as we have right now. His breakout role in Step Brothers -- where he repeatedly stole the movie out from under Will Ferrell...

Box Office Review: This Princess Ain't No Frog!

After a week in limited release, Disney's The Princess and the Frog went wide this weekend and easily topped the box-office chart ($25M | $27.8M). See Hollywood -- traditionally animated films featuring African-American characters can succeed! The still-strong The Blind Side held onto second place ($15.4M | $150.2M), well ahead of the disappointing Invictus which debuted to $9M and only a so-so per-screen average of $4,275. New Moon continues to pull in squealing teenagers and...

Weekend Movie Guide: The Holiday Bounty Begins!

If ever a movie screamed Oscar-bait it is Invictus. Big-name cast? Check! Big-name director? Check! Poignant, life-affirming, yet complex story about human triumph? Check. The Princess and the Frog is significant because it is the first Disney film to feature an African-American lead. Thank God those racists at Disney were finally drummed out! The Lovely Bones was a, uh, lovely book that is apparently being blown up into this bloated thing by Peter Jackson. Peter...

DVD Tuesday: Potter! Lost! Cove! Enemies! Julia!

I'm still upset that Dumbledore's funeral was left out of Half-Blood Prince, but this latest installment in the Potter series definitely delivers a gloomier, more adult vibe than any of the previous films. Can't wait until 2/2/10 to see the newest chapter of Lost. Until then, the DVD set of Season 5 will have to do. Best documentary of the year? The Cove. Most important documentary of the year? Hmm...The Cove? Maybe so. Michael Mann's...

Box Office Review: Blind Side, er, Blind Sides 'Em!

In a rare feat, The Blind Side managed to top the box office chart for the first time in its third week of release. The feel-good football story took in $20.4M ($129.2M) to easily top feel-bad vampire story New Moon ($15.7M | $255.6M). The horribly depressing Brothers was a distant third ($9.7M). The resilient Christmas Carol ($7.5M | $115M) and the god-awful Old Dogs ($6.9M | $33.9M) rounded out the top 5. Armored disappointed in...

Weekend Movie Guide: And the Oscar Goes To?

The best film opening this weekend -- possibly even the best film of the year -- is Jason Reitman's Up in the Air (LAist review here). Clooney is likely a shoe-in for a Best Actor nod. I had similar hopes for Brothers, but early reviews have been mediocre. Can't imagine Jim Sheridan missing badly, but I guess we'll see. All signs point to Everybody's Fine being a, well, fine film. I'm bothered by that dull...

DVD Tuesday: Terminate This Franchise!

Okay, maybe "terminate" is a little harsh -- the last movie wasn't that bad -- but wouldn't an infusion of fresh concepts and mythologies juice up that half-tired feeling one gets from most of Hollywood's blockbusters these days? And couldn't they have stuck with the original ending for Salvation? Not only was it a great mind-fuck, but it would have struck the final nail in this franchise's coffin. Hence...REPLACED! The first Night at the Museum...

Box Office Review: More Moon!

Phony romance New Moon reigned over the box-office for a second consecutive weekend ($42.5M | $230.6M), though feel-gooder The Blind Side almost nipped it in the end ($40.1M | $100.2). Disaster-fu disaster 2012 held onto third place ($18M | $138.7M), just nosing out awful newcomer Old Dogs ($16.8M) and the sturdy A Christmas Carol ($16M | $105.3M). Ninja Assassin debuted to a solid $13.1M ($21M), topping mediocre kiddy flick Planet 51 ($10.2M | $28.4M) and...

DVD Review: It Was Funny!

Still not quite sure why so many branded Funny People an unmitigated disaster. Sure, it wasn't as big of a box-office performer as your standard Apatow or Sandler joint, but it was hardly a huge bomb ($51M). Plus, the reviews were fairly solid across the board (68% positive on RT). Something tells me that this is a film that people will find on DVD and VOD, and it will eventually become a basic-cable classic. It's...

Box Office Review: American Teens Are Morons

In a stunning debut, New Moon blew away expectations by raking in a huge $140.7M to easily win the weekend. Do teenage girls ever flock to good movies? (Incidentally -- for those unfamiliar with the books -- the next films will feature Bella nearly being fucked to death and Jacob falling in love with a baby. Seriously.) Sports pic The Blind Side also topped early estimates, bringing in a robust $34.5M to place a strong...

Weekend Movie Guide: Edward or Jacob? Nic Cage!

Is it just me or do the weird, little Mormon books by Stephanie Meyer not exactly qualify as a "saga"? And why does no one discuss the awful examples of social behavior (e.g. how awesome it is to date violent, distant men) that the books promote? Nevertheless, here comes Twilight Saga: New Moon. It will make close to a hundred million dollars this weekend, and in a few years people will barely remember it. I'm...

DVD Tuesday: Star Trek Is Back!

On many Tuesdays, the pickings are slim among the new crop of DVDs. And then there are days like today where the bounty is almost too rich. Where better to start than with JJ Abrams' re-start of the Star Trek franchise. Did anyone not like this movie? You know, except for those people who automatically don't like things because they're popular. In other news, there may not have been a funnier movie this year than...

Box Office Review: Americans Delight in Deadly Apocalypse!

In a surprisingly robust debut, 2012 took in a huge $65M to easily capture the weekend box-office crown. Despite completely sucking, the latest Roland Emmerich disaster pic easily out-distanced last week's champ, Disney's A Christmas Carol which managed to bring in a decent $22.3M in its second frame ($63.2M). Grant Heslov's hilarious The Men Who Stare at Goats grabbed third place ($6.2M | $23.3M), just ahead of indie powerhouse Precious: Based on the Novel "Push"...

Weekend Movie Guide: This Fox Is Fantastic

Some critics have derided Wes Anderson as a victim of his own precious taste. His movies take place in "Andersonville" it's said -- a singular, specific world from which he needs to free himself. To that I say, "Pah!". Anderson's latest film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, takes place in the stop-motion animated version of Andersonville and it's, well, fantastic. I can't recommend it highly enough. I can't say the same for 2012. I mean, honestly, how...

DVD Tuesday: Watch This!

I'm still not sure why Watchmen was pilloried by so many. Considering how many adaptations are butchered by filmmakers, it was refreshing to see how closely Zack Snyder adhered to the source material by Alan Moore (except for, of course, the ending). Sure it may have been a little obtuse for people unfamiliar with the graphic novel, but so what, right? Anyway, today's DVD release is a treasure trove for Watchmen fans. For less than...

Box Office Review: A Precious Weekend!

While Disney's A Christmas Carol won the weekend with an underwhelming $31M, the real story at the box-office was Precious. The darling of this year's Sundance Film Festival earned an astonishing $100,000 per theater, breaking the record for the largest opening EVER for a specialty film (A Christmas Carol, by contrast, earned a little over $8400 per venue). Michael Jackson's This Is It had a solid second weekend ($14M | $57.8M), just topping the fantastic...

Weekend Movie Guide: It's All About Precious Goats!

If you like movies filled with whimsical, daffy humor (think Wes or Spike or Charlie) then you will probably dig The Men Who Stare at Goats as much as I did. It concerns our military's experimentation with paranormal phenomena as epitomized by the Jedi Warriors of the First Earth Battalion stationed at Fort Bragg, NC (yep!). Best of all, most of it is true. I like that Bob Zemekis is always pushing the boundaries of...

DVD Tuesday: Think About Food

Back in June I wrote, "Movies open every week in Los Angeles, and LAist always tries to let you know about as many of them as possible. Some films, though -- at least I think so -- deserve a special mention because a) they don't have a huge marketing budget supporting them; b) they are the kinds of provocative films that more people should see and c) they are the kinds of films that the...

Box Office Review: That Was It?

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Despite being hyped by its evil corporate owner AEG, Michael Jackson's This Is It only earned a decent-but-hardly-great $21.3M at the box office this weekend. It was enough to win the weekend, though Paranormal Activity made a strong charge at second place ($16.5M | $84.7M). After that it was all hold-overs. The unusually robust Law Abiding Citizen continued to do well ($7.3M | $51.3M) as did the moderately funny...

Weekend Movie Guide: Let the Revisionism Commence!

I know that plenty of people are looking forward to seeing Michael Jackson's ghoulish This Is It. I am not one of those people. Have fun, weirdos! Has Jared Hess lost his mojo? Nacho Libre was a step down from Napoleon Dynamite and Gentlemen Broncos looks like another step down the ladder. I was never really a fan of the original Boondock Saints, so Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is pretty low on my...

DVD Tuesday: New Battlestar!

This may be the twentieth time I've declared this in this space, but one more time can't hurt: watch Battlestar Galactica! It may not be the best show of the last ten years, but it's as good as any. How a floundering NBC never thought to scoop it up from its little Syfy sister and air it on the big network still astonishes me. Whatever Works isn't nearly as good as recent Woody Allen gems...

Box Office Review: Paranormal Shows Strong Activity!

In one of the rarest of rare occurrences, a movie in its fifth week of release finally clawed its way to the top of the box office. Paramount pushed Paranormal Activity into over a thousand new theaters and the gamble paid off handsomely as the horror sleeper raked in $22M ($62.4M) to easily win the weekend. Torture porn shit-show Saw VI endured a brutal debut as it pulled in a weak $14.8M (yay!) while last...

Weekend Movie Guide: It's a Reilly | Dafoe Weekend!

As some of you may know, I am perhaps the world's greatest fan of John C. Reilly. Anything John does (including music), I see (and usually like). Unfortunately, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant may test that theory. Not sure how to say this, but it looks...really, really stupid. Hilary Swank will definitely NOT win an Oscar for Amelia since she's not playing a boy/masculine character. Oh wait, yes she is. Go ahead and give...

DVD Tuesday, er, Wednesday (Take 2 -- Sorry!)

Great to see Stephen Frears and Michelle Pfeiffer together again. Dangerous Liaisons was just about a perfect film, and Cheri is damn fine, too. Why did they make a Wrong Turn 3 when Wrong Turn 2 answered all of the questions posed by the original Wrong Turn? Oh, yeah. Smoking hot naked chicks. It's a very special week at the DVD store. The worst movie of the year -- maybe ever -- is now available. Yay!

LAist Film Calendar: Frenzied Festivals & Hollywood Horrors

I miss prison. | Photo courtesy of Venezzia Festival fanatics find an old standard turning about their head this week: "Hooray for Hollywood!" The Hollywood Film Festival features dramas, docs, mocks, horrors & even music videos. Highlights include The Upright Citizens Brigade (Wild Girls Gone), one of David Carradine's final roles (The Rain), North Korean defectors (Crossing), hipster murders (The Scenesters), Ugandan children (War Dance Returns), 30-year old "boy" scouts (Scout's Honor) & the...

Box Office Review: Wild Goes Wild!

Spike Jonze's long-awaited Where the Wild Things Are soared to the top of the box office this weekend as it brought in an impressive $32.4M to top the charts. Law Abiding Citizen came in a surprising second despite overwhelmingly mediocre reviews ($21.2M). After that it was gimmicky horror pic Blair Witch 2: Paranormal Activity ($20.1M | $33.7M), the unfunny comedy Couples Retreat ($17.9M | $63.3M) and the unnecessary remake The Stepfather which debuted to $12.3M....

Weekend Movie Guide: I'll Be Where the Wild Things Are

I've been waiting for months and months for Where the Wild Things Are to finally reach the big screen. My exposure to the original book was negligible, but a new Spike Jonze film is always an event. Is anyone not blown away by the weirdo art direction of this film? I've been ruminating on this site for months on the quickly slipping stature of Gerard Butler. He was once always the most interesting thing in...

DVD Tuesday, uh, Wednesday!

It was good to see Sam Raimi dipping his toes into the horror pool again with Drag Me to Hell. Even better to see the great Alison Lohman headlining a film. She's had me since White Oleander and secured my eternal loyalty by stealing Matchstick Men. I'm glad that Sandra Bullock's career hasn't gone south like, say, Meg Ryan's, but I still ain't gonna watch The Proposal. One of the summer's biggest flops was Land...

Box Office Review: Retreat Advances!

Despite middling reviews, America warmed up to Couples Retreat this weekend as it easily topped the box office chart with a haul of $35.3M. Last week's champ, Zombieland finished a distant second with $15M ($47.8M) but managed to top the sturdy Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs ($12M | $96.2M). The Toy Story 1 & 2 double-feature continued to do good business ($7.6M | $22.6M) while sleeper Paranormal Activity did huge business in its first weekend of wide release ($7M | $8.2M).

Weekend Movie Guide: Damned Couples Education

I was excited when Couples Retreat first popped on my radar a few months ago. I mean, coupling the Vaughn | Favreau | Billingsley team with Demiurge Jason Bateman seemed like a match made in mainstream comedy heaven, right? Nope. Michael Sheen has quietly become a top-notch, see-everything-he-does actor. I know more about the Bible than I do about soccer, but I'll queue up for The Damned United just to see Sheen. It's already being...

LAist Film Calendar: Eddie Izzard's Mega-Kung Fu All-Night Horror All-Weekend Fleshstravaganza!

If you've been to the New Bev as often as I have, you've found that the theater isn't run by a staff so much as a family. Friday, they pull out all the stops for one of their own, Julia Marchese, as she makes her big screen debut in the thriller Golden Earrings. Of course, for every sweet Julia, there are a plethora of bastard stepchildren.

DVD Tuesday: See Anvil!

FILM To anyone who has ever had a dream and seen that dream gone unfulfilled, I implore you to see Anvil!: The Story of Anvil and perhaps re-discover the inspiration to continue pursuing that elusive prize. Some have described Sacha Gervasi's hilarious doc as a real-life version of Spinal Tap, but the reality goes much deeper. So many would-be artists pursue success only to give up after a few years of failure. The boys of Anvil demonstrate how a true love of your craft compels you to never quit. Oh, and did I mention it was also fucking funny?

Box Office Review: It's Zombieland!

In a bit of a surprise, Zombieland roared to the top of the weekend box office. Despite a relative lack of stars, the black comedy pulled in $25M to easily top powerhouse Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ($16.7M | $82.3M). The re-release of Toy Story | Toy Story 2 in 3D proved potent as the Pixar dinosaurs raked in $12.5M in their re-debut. Ricky Gervais continues to struggle as a big-screen star as his...

LAist Interview: Bob Gosse, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

On first blush, Bob Gosse seems like an unlikely choice to direct Tucker Max's ribald memoir, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. After all, it was Gosse who co-founded the seminal independent film company The Shooting Gallery while also producing the early indie hits, Laws of Gravity and New Jersey Drive as well as directing the superb Niagara, Niagara. What is this guy doing directing a movie about a narcissistic alcoholic who fucks midgets?...

Movie Review: A Serious Man

A great paradox of the Coen Brothers' films is that they are all exactly the same even as they are all miraculously different. If you're a fan of theirs, I think that would make perfect sense to you. However, even if you've never seen a single one of their films, I'd wager that if I placed ten random films in front of you and two of them were made by the Coens, you'd correctly pick...

Weekend Movie Guide: Serious Men

Can we officially say that the Coen Brothers are the best filmmakers in America? Can we also say that A Serious Man is the best film released so far this year? Yes and yes. My gut told me that the zombie genre had run its course after the great 28 Weeks Later, but Zombieland finds new ground to cover. Well, not really but it is a hell of a lot of fun and not just...

DVD Tuesday: Monsters and Wizards!

How is it that every Pixar film is an absolute gem, yet every other animated movie from every other large American studio is just okay? Oh right -- John Lasseter. I watched The Wizard of Oz plenty of times when I was a kid, and I admire it as an important film in the American film canon...but...would I ever watch it again? Probably not. Man, Jennifer Aniston just can't seem to pick good movies in...

Weekend Movie Guide: Beer and Capitalism!

I can understand people disagreeing with Michael Moore's political beliefs, but his talent as a documentary filmmaker is unquestioned. This is a man who knows exactly how to move an audience. His latest, Capitalism: A Love Story, deals with the thieves that populate our financial industry. If all you are looking for are some good laughs, buck up and a buy a ticket to I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (LAist review here). I...

Movie Review: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

It's been a long time since a movie has riled up so many people before even opening in theaters. And yet that's exactly what's been going on with I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Based on the salacious memoir by Tucker Max, the film has been met by protests in North Carolina, had advertisements yanked from buses in Chicago and generally been nebulously associated with "promoting rape culture" by numerous blogs and publications. Tomorrow,...

DVD Tuesday: Observe and Purchase

Observe & Report was not a great movie, but it was damned interesting to see such a subversive movie being released by a huge studio like Warner Brothers. Something tells me they didn't entirely know what they were getting. Did you love this summer's Star Trek (and who didn't?) Catch up on some of the earlier flicks today. I get that Matthew McConaughey is happy to make tripe like Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, but sad...

Movie Review: Bright Star

One tries to be objective when reviewing a film, but the reality is that you bring every moment of your life into a movie theater and some of those moments affect how you judge what you see. For me, Bright Star is tortuous to review because I've been reading anything by and about John Keats since college. From his childhood in London to the death of his parents and brother to his troubled relationship with...

Weekend Movie Guide: New Soderbergh, Damon!

I have often criticized Steven Soderbergh for wasting his time, talent and energy on crap like the Oceans series. If only he would dedicate his life to things like The Informant!, which looks incisive and hilarious. Matt Damon, on the other hand, will likely never hear an unkind word from me. All he does is make superb and brave choices. Seriously, when was the last bad or dull movie in which Damon starred? Jennifer's Body...

Movie Review: Love Happens

I imagine that most people expect Love Happens to be one of those relatively innocuous romantic comedies that is populated by very particular characters whose lives and actions hit certain beats at specific times. I mean, there's a formula for this stuff that works for many people despite that fact that it's almost oppressively familiar. What's interesting about Love Happens -- and the reason that the movie ultimately fails -- is that it discards that...

DVD Tuesday: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Critics were predictably tough on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but I preferred it to all the other hyper-budgeted blockbusters of the summer (with the possible exception of Harry Potter 6, though I'm still not happy about the elision of Dumbledore's funeral). Gambit could have been better conceptualized, but Hugh Jackman owns the role of Wolverine more than any actor owns any superhero role. Granted, that's not exactly saying a whole hell of a lot, but still...

Box Office Review: Bad Does Good!

Tyler Perry's latest mediocrity I Can Do Bad All By Myself demolished the competition this weekend, debuting to $24M to top the box-office charts. The visually delightful (but narratively generic) 9 came in a distant second, taking in only $10.8M in its opening frame. Inglourious Basterds is proving to be a much-needed and resilient winner for Quentin Tarantino and the Weinstein Company ($6.5M | $104.3M), while the renaissance of Sandra Bullock continues with All About...

Weekend Movie Guide: 12 New Movies on 9/11

Wow! Crowded weekend, huh? I'd say 9 has to be at the top of any list if only for its sumptuous animation. Tyler Perry continues to crank out middling material, though Taraji Henson is almost enough to pull me into I Can Do Bad All by Myself. I've railed against bad horror re-makes so I feel obligated to rail against Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, too. It has a decent pedigree (Peter Hyams directing, Michael Douglas...

DVD Tuesday: Pull my Crank!

Ever since seeing Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, I've thought that Jason Statham had a great screen presence. It's a damn shame that he doesn't make more movies like The Bank Job and less movies like Crank 2: High Voltage (although The Expendables looks like good fun). If you don't own Requiem for a Dream there is no excuse now as it is being offered for dirt-cheap on Blu-Ray. Ass to ass! Want to...

Box Office Review: Meh...

The Labor Day weekend is typically a slow time for the movie business as everyone makes one final attempt to catch some elusive summer magic (e.g. sleep with unattainable lust object). As such, The Final Destination was the best of a weak bunch as it nabbed $12.4M ($47.5M) to top the weekend box office. Terrible newcomer All About Steve finished a reasonably close second ($11.2M) just ahead of the steady Inglourious Basterds ($10.8M | $91M)....

Weekend Movie Guide: New Mike Judge!

Is it just me or is there a surprising lack of public excitement about the release of Extract? I mean, Mike Judge and Jason Bateman working together on a film? Either one of these guys pulls me into a theater, but both together-- that's nirvana. On the other hand, is anyone looking forward to Gamer? Gerard Butler is rapidly squandering the capital he earned back when he was just a working actor. If you don't...

DVD Review: Unwigged & Unplugged

Of the many things for which I am immensely grateful to my dad, maybe nothing has proven more significant than the love of movies he instilled in me at a very young age. My dad took me to see everything. And by that, I mean he took me to see movies as varied as Amadeus and Tomboy (NSFW) and Sophie's Choice and Blame It On Rio (NSFW). And, of course, he took me to see...

DVD Tuesday: Crowe Unleashed!

State of Play was a mostly riveting throwback to All the President's Men that starred Russell Crowe as a grizzled D.C. journalist caught in the middle of a hell of a lot of sex, intrigue and murder. Naturally, it was a financial disappointment. Help remedy that injustice by picking it up on DVD today. The big-budget, adult-oriented drama must be preserved! Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer can do no wrong in my book...

Box Office Review: Crappy Horror Reigns!

Millions of moronic teenagers pushed The Final Destination to the top of the weekend box-office chart as it snagged a richly undeserved $28.3M (largely due to the inflated price of tickets to the 3D showings). Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds managed to hold onto second place despite forecasts to the contrary ($20M | $73.8M). In a bit of good news, the worthless Halloween II came in below expectations ($17.4M). Surprise hit District 9 continued to perform...

Movie Review: Orgies and the Meaning of Life

My old friend Manny Progdon (née Danny Trogdon, aka Nina del Groodt) and I have a shorthand when it comes to discussing our opinion of any particular movie. A common answer to the question, "Did you like it?" is "Well, it was more interesting than good" or "I admired it more than I liked it." Had Manny | Danny | Nina asked what I thought of Orgies and the Meaning of Life, one of those...

Weekend Movie Guide: New Ang!

Critics are split on Taking Woodstock, but anything from the amazing Ang Lee is worth seeing. He'll never get the credit of other major directors, but check out his filmography and find me someone else who's taken so many successful chances. Audiences will probably avoid The Baader Meinhof Complex (LAist review here) because it makes them uncomfortable (e.g. subtitles, anti-Americanism). What I said about Ang Lee above -- apply the same words to Jeff Bridges....

DVD Tuesday: History Is Made At Night

When I think of my favorite movies of the last twenty years, the most curious inclusion is probably Whit Stillman's The Last Days of Disco. Now that it's been given the Criterion treatment (it's been out of print on DVD for years), I can't recommend it highly enough. If only Stillman would actually write and direct another film (Disco was his last and that was eleven years ago!). I enjoyed Adventureland so much at Sundance...

Box Office Review: America Hates Hitler, Loves Basterds!

Quentin Tarantino roared back into prominence as his World War Two revenge flick, Inglourious Basterds, uh, roared to the top of the weekend box office, earning a way-above expectations $37.2M. Last week's champ, District 9 had a reasonable hold and earned an additional $18.9M ($73.4M). After that it was the sort of okay G.I.Joe ($12.5M | $120.5M), the weepy Time Traveler's Wife ($10M | 37.4M) and the winning Julie & Julia ($9M | $59.2M). Kids...

Weekend Movie Guide: The Basterd Battalion

There's already been a ton of Inglourious Basterds material on LAist this weekend, so I'll only say, "Check it out. It's a helluva ride." My One and Only looks like an intriguing film. Based in part on the life of George Hamilton, it tells the story of a determined woman looking for a wealthy man to provide a nice life for her and her sons. It's been awhile since there's been a film about The...

LAist Interview: Samm Levine, Inglourious Basterds

Though it first aired a decade ago, most people still remember Samm Levine quite clearly from the cult TV show, Freaks and Geeks (look back at the cast and writers and marvel at the talent). Since then he has worked steadily, both in television (the best episode of Entourage ever) and film (the hilarious and underrated Not Another Teen Movie.) This Friday, Samm appears as one of Brad Pitt's basterds in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds....

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