Results tagged “Josh Tate”

Weekend Movie Guide: Choke on this, baby!

What is more hilarious than sex addiction and porn? | Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight If you're only going to see one movie this weekend, make the time to check out Choke. It's dirty. It's funny. It's got the great Sam Rockwell in it. If you are the type that is entertained by mindless tripe, however, you could probably do worse than Eagle Eye. Is it awful? Well, yes. But it is glossy. And there...

DVD Tuesday: The Definitive Godfather

Behold the beautiful darkness of Gordon Willis. | Photo courtesy of Paramount While the new DVD set of The Godfather saga is a must-buy for any fan of the films, do yourself one better and head out to the Arclight and see it on the big screen, too. I guess Sex and the City was an okay movie for fans of the TV show, but I prefer this commentary on it. Leatherheads deserves some credit...

Box Office Review: Welcome to Lakeview Terrace--now die!

Sam Jackson stalks yet another big payday in an otherwise forgettable movie. | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Samuel L. Jackson continues to prove he's at least a decent box-office draw as his presence lifted the rote thriller Lakeview Terrace to the top of this weekend's box-office heap ($15.6M). Last week's winner, the Coen Brothers' Burn After Reading, had a strong second week (slipping less than 50%) to finish a respectable but distant second ($11.3M/$36.4M)....

Weekend Movie Guide: Stay At Home!

What ever happened to Neil LaBute? | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Lakeview Terrace looks like such a rote, phony thriller that it's hard to imagine a decent (albeit declining) director like Neil LaBute being able to do much with it. Then again, it's probably Oscar-worthy compared to tripe like My Best Friend's Girl. Is there still an audience for Dane Cook? The Duchess looks like just another wan costume drama after the fiery and...

Movie Review: Ghost Town

it's funny because it's true! No, wait. it's neither. | Photo courtesy of DreamWorks Much like his countryman Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervais has never been able to find the right feature film material to properly showcase his sharp and unusual comic persona. While his television work in Britain (The Office, Extras) has been consistently brilliant, his American films have all proven to be profoundly lackluster. Unfortunately, that's a trend which continues in the dreadful Ghost...

Box Office Review: A Sound of Thunder

Tasteless? Sort of. Funny? Mostly. | Photo courtesy of DreamWorks After four weeks at the top of the box-office world, The Dark Knight ($16.7M/$471.4M) was finally knocked from its aerie by the bawdy comedy, Tropic Thunder ($26M/$37M) this weekend. The Dark Knight did manage to eclipse Star Wars as the second-highest grossing film of all-time (not adjusted for inflation) over the weekend and now fixes its sights firmly on Titanic. Speaking of Star Wars, the...

Weekend Movie Guide: Thunder!

Racism has never been so hilarious! | Photo courtesy of DreamWorks Star Wars: The Clone Wars Tropic Thunder Mirrors Vicky Cristina Barcelona Henry Poole Is Here Fly Me to the Moon Tickets & Showtimes Star Wars: The Clone Wars Tropic Thunder Mirrors Vicky Cristina Barcelona Henry Poole Is Here Fly Me to the Moon...

DVD Tuesday: Awesome-O!

The boys are back. | Photo courtesy of South Park Studios South Park: The Complete Eleventh Season Smart People The Wire - The Complete Fifth Season Bra Boys The Secret The Killing Gene Felon Legacy Watching the Detectives The Copenhagen Ring: The Complete DVD Set...

Box Office Review: Dark Knight again!

Ledger continues to sketch an indelible portrait. | Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers For an unprecedented fourth week in a row, The Dark Knight fought its way to the top of the box office heap ($26M/$441.5M). Pineapple Express mounted a strong challenge on Friday, but faded slightly as the weekend continued ($22.4M/$40.4M). The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor endured--as expected--a precipitous drop in its second weekend but still managed to rake in an undeserved...

Weekend Movie Guide: Spark one up!

Drug dealers prepare to rape young boy. | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Pineapple Express The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Bottle Shock Elegy What We Do Is Secret Tickets & Showtimes Pineapple Express The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Bottle Shock Elegy What We Do Is Secret Reviews & Previews after the jump!...

DVD Tuesday: See The Counterfeiters

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics The Counterfeiters Nim's Island Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Pete Seeger: The Power of Song Life in Cold Blood Wild China The First Olympics: Athens 1896 Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Collection 3 Wire in the Blood: Prayer of the Bone The Executioner's Song (Director's Cut)...

Weekend Movie Guide: Ferrell Saturation Continues...

Can we go ahead and make 'Anchorman 2' already? | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Step Brothers The X-Files: I Want to Believe Brideshead Revisited Boy A American Teen Tickets & Showtimes Step Brothers The X-Files: I Want to Believe Brideshead Revisited Boy A American Teen Reviews & Previews after the jump!...

DVD Tuesday, er, Wednesday: Spaced In

The best TV show you've never heard of. | Photo courtesy of Channel 4 Television Corporation Spaced: The Complete Series Robot Chicken: Star Wars 21 Kiss of the Spider Woman (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) Vampyr - Criterion Collection High and Low - Criterion Collection Picture This! Two Tickets to Paradise The Last Winter Brutal Massacre: A Comedy...

Box Office Review: Record-breaker!

Once again, Batman flouts the law in his pursuit of vigilante justice. | Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Is there anyone in America who didn't see The Dark Knight this weekend? The second chapter in director Chris Nolan's reboot of the Batman franchise grossed a stunning $155.4M this weekend, eclipsing the old record of $151.1M set by Spider-Man 3 in 2007. In a cagey piece of counter-programming by Universal, Mamma Mia! brought in a higher...

Weekend Movie Guide: Here's to you, Mr. Batman!

Will Ledger win the Oscar? | Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers It's already a foregone conclusion that The Dark Knight will set some sort of record this weekend at the box-office. The only question is how much it will eventually make. 130 million bucks? 140 million? More? The buzz surrounding the film has been almost universally positive so expect a great time as you settle into your seat and enter the dark world of Batman...

DVD Review: A Great Job

Tired of bloated blockbusters? See this movie today. | Photo courtesy of Lionsgate They really don't make movies like The Bank Job anymore. In fact, it almost feels like a relic from another age with its focus on plot and character development instead of...well, lingering takes on movie stars (see Hancock). After a surprisingly strong theatrical run, The Bank Job is hands-down the movie you should be renting/buying today. If it has nothing else (and...

Box Office Review: Hellboy Blows 'Em Away!

In a huge jump from the original Hellboy film, Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy 2: The Golden Army pulled in a big $35.8M to win the weekend box office race. Fellow superhero flick Hancock finished a close second with $33M ($165M) despite the fact that it's mostly derivative, crappy and overlong at only 92 minutes. Newcomer Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D finished a decent third with $20.5M followed by the super Wall-E...

Weekend Movie Guide: Go to Hell

Good to have Hellboy back, but can we get better make-up for Abe? | Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures Hellboy was one of the real surprises of 2004--a rollicking interpretation of the Dark Horse comic featuring a knockout performance by Ron Perlman in the title role and great turns by Selma Blair and Doug Jones/David Hyde Pierce as his fellow do-gooders. The whole crew returns in Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Freed from the strictures...

DVD Tuesday: Weak

We just had to camp at an ancient burial ground,didn't we?! | Photo courtesy of Dreamworks The Ruins deserves credit for not going the easy route and cutting out all the sex and violence to get a PG-13 rating. More horror movies should follow this traditional template and bring some measure of order back to the universe. Stop-Loss was one of many Iraq-themed movies that got steamrolled at the box office, but it's worth a...

Box Office Review: 'Cock wins

In a pathetic display of media-generated conformity, audiences rewarded the witless Hancock with a crushing victory at the box-office over the long 4th of July weekend. The inspiration-free actioner tallied $66M ($107.3M) to overwhelm the infinitely superior Wall-E ($33.4M/$128.1M) and further enshrine milquetoast weirdo Will Smith as the putative king of the box-office. Angeline Jolie's vile Wanted finished a distant third, as Jolie's hot, naked ass only managed to garner $20.6M ($90.7M) in its...

Weekend Movie Guide: 4th of July Edition!

Please see this movie instead of that awful Will Smith garbage! | Photo courtesy of Sony Classics If you don't want to deal with the crowds that will invariably shuffle mindlessly into Hancock, take the time see a movie that is actually funny and entertaining. Take the time to see The Wackness. Ben Kingsley's long streak of great roles continues. Here he plays a stoned psychiatrist to Josh Peck. Peck was forgettable in Drillbit Taylor,...

DVD Tuesday: A Blueberry and a Drillbit

There is no life more punishing than that of the young, successful actor. | Photo courtesy of Studio Canal While many fans of Wong Kar-wai were disappointed by My Blueberry Nights, there's no resisting its lush art direction and cinematography. Norah Jones, however, may have been too inspired a choice. To any who think the Apatow stamp is a guarantee of funny, please watch Drillbit Taylor (if you can make it through the whole, dreary...

Box Office Review: Number 5 is Number 1

Wall-E prior to the apocalypse that destroyed humanity. | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Wall-E continued Pixar's long streak of box-office success this weekend as it hauled in $62.5M to top the vile action flick Wanted ($51.1M). The race wasn't expected to be nearly so close, but Wanted somehow managed to blast past early estimates and do huge business in a rare hit for Angelina Jolie. Hold-overs staked out the rest of the top 10:...

Weekend Movie Guide: Number 5 is alive!

But where the hell is Fisher Stevens? | Photo courtesy of Disney Sooner or later Pixar has to release a dud, right? They can't just keep releasing great film after great film can they? Won't the odds eventually catch up to them? Maybe not. The early critical reception for Wall-E has been nothing short of ecstatic. If you thought the first ten, dialogue-free minutes of There Will Be Blood were pure cinematic brilliance, wait till...

LAFF Movie Review: Loot

Photo courtesy of Loot It has been said about some documentaries that they would seem unbelievable were they not actually true. Loot is just such a film. Its premise is so spectacular, its story so absurd and compelling that your mouth ultimately just falls open as you watch it all unfold. The film begins with presumptive treasure hunter Lance Larson in the Philippines. He's at a dig site looking for gold that the Japanese may...

DVD Tuesday: Get Hammered!

Carolla scores! | Photo courtesy of the Weinstein Company Most people have probably pegged Adam Carolla as little more than a snarky morning DJ, but The Hammer reveals him to be a talented and occasionally inspired filmmaker. His inclusion of his longtime, almost unintelligible friend Oswaldo into the film was a stroke of pure genius. In Bruges didn't break any new storytelling ground but it was a completely satisfying piece of indie pie. Brendan Gleeson...

LAist Interview: Lauren McKnight

Lauren McKnight stars in 'HottieBoombaLottie' | Photo courtesy of Aquarius PR Two of the great things about film festivals is that not only do you get to see smaller films that don't typically make it into theaters, but you also get to meet the talent involved in the picture. In HottieBoombaLottie, Lauren McKnight stars as Cleo, the tomboyish cousin of Ethan (Seth Packard) who decides to become more feminine in order to capture his attention....

Box Office Review: Audiences get Smart

Funnier than the actual movie. | Photo courtesy of Ask You Movie Review Given the choice of two-profile comedies, audiences chose Get Smart by a wide margin this weekend. The Steve Carell comedy opened strongly, pulling in $39.1M in its opening frame. Kung Fu Panda showed great legs in its third week, climbing back into second place with a take of $21.7M ($155.5M) while last week's champ, The Incredible Hulk fell back to third...

LAist Interview: Lori Petty

Selma Blair stars in Lori Petty's 'The Poker House' | 'Photo courtesy of The Poker House In The Poker House actor Lori Petty slides into the director's chair and delivers a searing autobiographical portrait of three young sisters living on the margins. With a mother strung out on drugs, a father figure who is a pimp and a house filled with gamblers, crooks and johns, Agnes lives a tragic and turbulent life. The film explores...

LAist Interview: Sarah Carter

Photo courtesy of Sarah Carter Many of you probably first remember seeing Sarah Carter as the recipient of Drama and Turtle's affection in the memorable Sundance episode of Entourage. She's since gone on to work regularly, most recently as a member of the cast of the CBS drama Shark. On June 19th, she and a group of intrepid mountaineers climbed Mount Shasta in an effort to raise money for the Breast Cancer Fund. LAist spoke...

Weekend Movie Guide: Battle of Mediocrity

Anne and Steve run to a screening of Iron Man | Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Steve Carrell is one of the funniest guys on television but it looks like he's dropped another turd on the big screen. It's never a good sign when the preview to a comedy is unable to generate more than a few, soft giggles from audiences, but that appears to be the case for Get Smart. Anne Hathaway is a...

Los Angeles Film Festival Starts Tonight

Driving Miss Daisy 2: The Revenge | Photo courtesy of Universal The Los Angeles Film Festival officially kicks off tonight with the premiere of the awful-looking Angelina Jolie action flick, Wanted. It's something about assassins, tattoos, curving bullets and explosions--you know, standard indie fare. Starting tomorrow, the festival begins in earnest with films and events rolling at 18 locations all around Los Angeles. Most, however, are relegated to Westwood and the surrounding neighborhoods. While...

DVD Tuesday: Be Kind and rent this movie

Robocop lives again! | Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema Michel Gondry is one of the few major directors who still relies on almost entirely visual humor in his films. Be Kind Rewind has numerous instances of pure daffiness and a few nuggets of outright brilliance. Yes, Martin Lawrence still has a flourishing cinematic career. Wonders never cease. For the first couple of episodes, Californication relied a bit too much on David Duchovny banging...

Box Office Review: Hulk crushes annoying director!

Ed Norton still unhappy about studio script changes. | Photo courtesy of Universal Despite early misgivings that it might be too soon for another Hulk movie, The Incredible Hulk roared to a mighty $54.3M win at the weekend box-office this weekend. It easily out-distanced last week's champ, Kung Fu Panda ($34.3M/$117.9M) and demolished M. Night's The Happening ($30.5M). Morons continued to flock to Adam Sandler's latest, You Don't Mess with the Zohan ($16.3M/$68.7M), which...

Weekend Movie Guide: That's Incredible!

Kobe Bryant reacts angrily to a perceived slight from one of his less-talented teammates. | Photo courtesy of Universal Despite a striking visualization of comic-book style, Ang Lee's Hulk endured swarms of criticism from fans of the character when it landed in 2003. Fast-forward five years later and it's as if that film never happened as Marvel re-boots the character with The Incredible Hulk. The film went through one of those so-called "troubled" post-production...

DVD Tuesday: Jump!

Hayden Christensen ponders his career path from a dangerous height. | Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox Considering that Doug Liman has directed some seriously good movies (Go, Swingers, The Bourne Identity), Jumper was a real disappointment. For whatever reason, John Adams never managed to generate the interest that most HBO shows do. The source material for the series was fabulous. The Bucket List may have been a creative dud for all involved but...

DVD Review: The Onion Movie

World's largest metaphor hits iceberg; drugs win drug war; hijackers surprised to find selves in hell. These are just a few examples of the headlines that begin The Onion Movie, the film based on and created by The Onion, the satirical fake news newspaper/website. Having finished filming back in 2003, the movie is just now being released straight to DVD this month. Plotless and scatterbrained, the film is made up of a series of...

Box Office Review: Panda chops Zohan

Jonathan Nail messes with the Zohan. | Photo courtesy of Ask You Movie Review Large crowds of children propelled Kung Fu Panda to a win at this weekend's box office race ($60M) while legions of morons drove You Don't Mess with the Zohan to a healthy second-place finish ($40M). Hold-overs staked out the rest of the top 10, led by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($22.8M/$253M). Sex and the City...

Weekend Movie Guide: You don't go to the Zohan

Is it me or is Adam Sandler the natural successor to Noel Coward? | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures I understand the appeal of Steven Seagal far more than I ever will that of Adam Sandler. I've hated him in his comedies just as much as I have in his dramas. In fact, I've yet to make it through the entirety of Punch Drunk Love even though Paul Thomas Anderson is high on my...

Movie Review: Reversion

Bang! | Photo courtesy of Reversion Built around an intriguing, but ultimately flawed premise, Reversion attempts to tackle questions of destiny, freewill, and morality. The second film from writer/director Mia Tachinger (Bunny), Reversion premiered this year at Sundance and plays as a low budget sci-fi film. The story centers around Eva (Leslie Silva), a woman who is missing the "time gene." She and the others like her do not live their lives in a...

DVD Tuesday: Semi-funny

Will? Please make Anchorman 2 while you still can! | Photo courtesy of New Line Cinemas I'll say it right off--I am a big Will Ferrell fan. Mostly, that's because of the absolute devotion I accord to Anchorman, but I still try to catch all of his work. While Semi-Pro isn't Bewitched-bad, it's probably a few notches below Blades of Glory. Only one scene is truly laugh-out-loud funny--the card game. I was never a...

Box Office Review: Sex = Money

Screw this! When's the 'Arliss' movie coming out? | Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema In what can only be considered a shocking debut, Sex and the City ($55.7M) steam-rolled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($46M/$216.8M) to win the weekend box-office crown. As recently as a few days ago, prognosticators were pegging the film to do between $25-$35M in business. Those estimates, though, completely missed the frenzy that the film...

Weekend Movie Guide: Like the Super Bowl...for Girls!

Screw this! When's the 'Arliss' movie coming out? | Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema There's really no point in me carping or teasing about Sex and the City since it's obviously not a movie for me. Early ticket sales are showing it to be a surprisingly big hit in its first weekend. Maybe it's success will convince HBO to get off its ass, throw out a big pile of money and put together...

Movie Review: The Foot Fist Way

Derek, have you got your cup on? Because I will hit you there. | Photo courtesy of Paramount Vantage These days in Hollywood, ''low budget" films usually end up costing more than the runway rentals to land Steven Spielberg's ego. That's why it's so exciting to see truly low-budget films actually get made without all of the self-examination and scrutiny that comes with the ability to shoot more than one take. And it's even...

Holiday Box Office Review: Almost a record!

While Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull couldn't quite break the Memorial Day weekend record ($139.8M), it did come close by grossing a robust $126M ($151M) over the long holiday. As the only new film in wide release, it won the weekend by a wide margin. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian fell to $28.6M ($96.6M) in its second frame while mega-blockbuster Iron Man continued to do great business, finishing just...

DVD Tuesday: Hey, innocent bystanders! Duck!

No way he's using steroids! | Photo courtesy of Lionsgate I liked Rocky Balboa and Rambo all right, but what I'm really looking forward to is Sylvester Stallone reuniting with Dolly Parton in Rhinestone 2: Rap Wars. This is hard to say as a Woody Allen fan, but Woody should consider giving up on the comedies and focusing strictly on his dramatic films. Cassandra's Dream continues what has been a good streak. The Walker...

Weekend Movie Guide: We called the dog Indiana!

Don't fucking push any levers! | Photo courtesy of Paramount By now you've probably read everything you want to read about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. All I'll add is a few interesting stats: the total domestic box office of all the films that Harrison Ford has appeared in is a staggering $3,094,851,491. That's just ahead of the films that George Lucas has produced ($2,977,630,768) and behind the movies that...

Screening Alert: The Comedies of Summer

Dentistry? I can't even believe that's something that's real. | Photo courtesy of Paramount Vantage One of the great things about living in Los Angeles is that there are countless opportunities to see movies in advance for free. Spend any afternoon at the Burbank Town Center or the Third Street Promenade and you'll see people hanging around movie theaters with clipboards and flyers for upcoming screenings. Next week, as part of MTV's Sneak Peak...

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

An old friend returns. | Photo courtesy of Paramount Let's get this out of the way right at the top--yes, it's very good and, yes, it is every bit an Indiana Jones movie. Is it another Raiders of the Lost Ark? Well, no, but nothing is and nothing ever will be again. However, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is fully the equal of Temple of Doom or The Last Crusade. If it's the last...

DVD Tuesday: Toupee alert! Toupee alert!

My God! Look over there on the sound stage! | Photo courtesy of Disney [Interested in writing about films and the film business for LAist? Email us here.] Having seen Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on Sunday (review coming tomorrow), a film like National Treasure: Book of Secrets looks awfully pedestrian. Its two greatest assets--Helen Mirren and Diane Kruger--are woefully underused and the big treasure reveal at the end is...

Box Office Review: Prince Caspian mounts Iron Man

To one's surprise, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian zoomed to the top of the weekend box office. Early estimates of an $80M haul, however, proved far too optimistic as Prince Caspian settled for what can only be considered a disappointing $56.5M. Mega-blockbuster Iron Man had another great weekend, pulling in $31.2M and surging past the $200M mark ($222.4M). Despite not being any good, What Happens in Vegas had an above-average second frame ($13.8M/$40.3M)....

Weekend Movie Guide: Return to Narnia

Does the little girl playing Lucy have a Kathleen Turner basso profundo voice or what? | Photo courtesy of Disney It's an incredibly light week for new releases this weekend. Looks like everyone is getting out of the way of the presumed blockbuster, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I liked the first movie well enough, but that was probably due more to my childhood love of the books than the actual quality of...

Irksome and Insufferable 2: The Ten Most Annoying Actors

Less is more, Shia! Less is more! | Photo courtesy of Paramount A few weeks ago we ran a story called "Irksome and Insufferable: The Ten Most Annoying Singers". Given that actors are just as capable of being annoying as musicians, I thought it would be worthwhile to throw out 10 names for public review. I avoided the easy ones (Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, etc.) and tried to cobble together a list of actors...

DVD Tuesday: Keeping up with Jones

Wouldn't have been the same with Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones, would it? | Photo courtesy of Paramount If you're as excited as I am about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (please don't ruin it, George Lucas!), then you've probably already started re-watching Indy's earlier adventures. If you don't have the existing DVD box-set then this new one is definitely worth grabbing. The movies are the same but there are...

Box Office Review: Speed Racer crashes, burns!

Emile Hirsch now regretting agent's 'can't miss' advice. | Photo courtesy of xiaming via flickr On Friday I surmised that Speed Racer would bomb and now the events of the weekend have borne that prediction out. The live-action cartoon sputtered to a weak $20.2M weekend, just ahead of What Happens in Vegas ($20M) and well behind the summer's first true blockbuster, Iron Man ($50.5M/$177.1M). Once the actual numbers come in on Monday, many expect Speed...

Weekend Movie Guide: Go, Speed Racer! Go!

Emile Hirsch surveys a giant green screen...DEAD AHEAD! | Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Anyone else as not excited as I am about Speed Racer? I mean, I watched the cartoon when I was kid, but it was no Gaiking or Starblazers. Even as a nine year-old I recognized the premise as a little stupid (chimps and helicopters?), and the visual design of the movie by the Wachowski Brothers seems move seizure-inducing than sumptuous....

DVD Tuesday: How does it feel?

Tell me more about this NAMBLA, Allen. | Photo courtesy of The Weinstein Company I wasn't completely sold on the idea of having so many different actors portray Bob Dylan in I'm Out There. I certainly respect the audacious choice by director Todd Haynes, but I think I admired the film more than I actually liked it. It's definitely worth a rental, though, if only to see three of our finest actors (Bale, Ledger,...

Box Office Review: Marvel-ous!

Heartless personality Jonathan Nail interrogates helpless patrons during opening weekend of Iron Man. | Video courtesy of Just Us Films No one doubted that Iron Man would easily top the box office this weekend, but the scale of its success is virtually unprecedented. The latest entry from Marvel's deep stable of superheroes blasted early estimates of $60-70M by raking in a mammoth $104.3M since Thursday night's late showings. It was the second-largest, non-sequel debut...

Movie Review: Standard Operating Procedure

Lynndie England today | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics From Errol Morris (who brought us the documentaries A Brief History of Time and The Fog of War), we have his unabashed, tell it like it he sees it documentary of the Abu Ghraib scandal, Standard Operating Procedure. Morris pulls no punches with his fairly objective interviews with the who's who of Abu Ghraib. He carefully constructs a timeline of the goings-on with the...

Weekend Movie Guide: I Am Iron Man

Repulsors fire! | Photo courtesy of Paramount What else can I say about Iron Man that I didn't say in my rave yesterday? According to the great Nikki Finke, it looks like it's going to be a monster hit so I guess I don't need to encourage you to go see it. I'll actually be seeing it again this weekend because I failed to stay through the entire end credit roll and see the...

Movie Review: Iron Man

Is there anyone on the planet who doesn't love Robert Downey Jr. as an actor? | Photo courtesy of Paramount I won't keep you in suspense a moment longer: Iron Man is a rousing start to the summer movie season. It succeeds not only as a visually dazzling popcorn movie, but as a human drama about a man forced to finally consider his former and future place in the world. Great credit must be...

A Short Blast of Documentary Reviews

Hmm, I wonder what the mean blood alcohol level is at Churchill Downs. | Photo courtesy of Jacdupree via Flickr Below, you'll find some short reviews of three documentary films that will only be in theaters for a couple more days. They each tell very different stories in unique ways and all of them are worth your time and money. I've said it before (and I'll keep saying it until my nemesis, Per Degaton,...

DVD Tuesday: Let this be a warning to studio heads!

One moment later, the young girl was completely devoured by the circus bear. | Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema Readers of The Golden Compass will find a book that severely questions religious authority, venerates childhood sexuality and virtually espouses atheism. Viewers of the film adaptation, however, will find none of these ideas in the movie. By stripping out the elements that made the book so compelling, director Chris Weitz and his partners at...

Box Office Review: That's just my Baby Mama

My love, there's only you in my life. The only thing that's pride. | Photo courtesy of Universal In a bit of a surprise, the surrogate pregnancy comedy Baby Mama ($18.2M) easily outdistanced the stoner comedy Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay ($14.5M) in the weekend box-office race. A huge influx of female ticket buyers (68% of the audience) buoyed Baby Mama while many of Harold & Kumar's target audience forgot that the...

Weekend Movie Guide: Harold & Kumar back, stoned

This time with more drugs, bigger laughs, bigger nudity! | Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema I think it will be hard for Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay to replicate the success of the original Harold & Kumar adventure. Sure, Guantanamo Bay will almost certainly make more money, but I can't imagine it capturing the innocent magic that was White Castle. Think about it--the Neil Patrick Harris joke can really only work...

Screening Alert: Iron Man

How did they convince Downey to actually fly this high? What a brave actor. | Photo courtesy of Paramount If you absolutely can't wait until 12:01 am on May 2nd to see what's looking to be the summer's first big blockbuster, the Aero Theater in Santa Monica is holding a charity screening of Iron Man on May 1st at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20 and proceeds go the Aero Building Fund Donation. If seeing...

DVD Tuesday: Here comes the monster!

It's probably your last minute on earth, you're with her...so why aren't you naked? | Photo courtesy of Paramount I was stunned that Cloverfield didn't fare better at the domestic box office. Typically, a movie that has a $40M opening weekend easily cruises past the $100M mark, but Cloverfield plummeted after its debut and got stuck at around $80M. Is it a great movie? Of course not. But it is a pleasantly nihilistic thrill...

Box Office Review: Chan and Li dump Sarah Marshall

Let's go over the ground rules. Rule number 1: No touching of the hair or face... AND THAT'S IT! | Photo courtesy of Lionsgate As expected (due to its wussy PG-13 rating and higher theater count) The Forbidden Kingdom ($20.8M) knocked off the R-rated Forgetting Sarah Marshall ($17.3M) in the opening weekend for both films. Last week's dreary winner Prom Night endured the typical precipitous drop (-56%) but still managed to hold onto third...

Weekend Movie Guide: Another Apatow disappointment?

Fat man in a little coat | Photo courtesy of Universal Ordinarily, I'm completely disinterested in the box office performance of a movie. Sure, my innate sense of justice leads me to wish that good films will do well and bad films poorly, but I never check Boxofficemojo over the weekend to see how a movie is doing. I may keep on eye on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, though, to see if the weakening Apatow...

DVD Tuesday: Hollywood's Darling Arrives

In ten years, we'll remember this movie for introducing Olivia Thirlby | Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Now that all the hubbub has subsided, can we all agree that Juno was really just an okay movie and that there's no way Ellen Page should ever have been nominated for an Oscar? All I know is that whenever Rainn Wilson or Olivia Thirlby were on-screen I paid zero attention to the dour and monotone Page....

Box Office Review: America fails again

Teens prepare for drinking, dancing, sex, evisceration | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures In yet another crushing blow to the American democratic experiment, Prom Night was the big winner at the weekend box office. The PG-13 horror flick/shit sandwich grossed $22.7M to easily out-distance fellow newcomer Street Kings which waddled in with a below-expected $12M. The borderline racist 21 continued to show good legs, earning a strong $11M in its third weekend ($62.2M). After...

Weekend Movie Guide: Fairy tales can come true...

Feeling down? See this immediately! | Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Convincing people to go to a movie theater and see a documentary is a labor of love for me. Folks always protest that they'd rather see something else--something bigger and shinier!--but if they suck it up and buy the ticket for the doc they are invariably happy that they did. This weekend, a truly great documentary unspools in Los Angeles. It's called Young...

DVD Tuesday: There Will Be Blood

One of the great performances in recent memory. | Photo courtesy of Paramount Vantage If you somehow missed There Will Be Blood in theaters, pick up the DVD today and watch one of our finest actors give his finest performance. Nothing more really needs to be said. Walk Hard got knocked around at the box office over Christmas, but I really liked it. For any fan of the Apatow brand, it's a no-brainer buy....

Box Office Review: Double Blackjack!

Sony thrilled they didn't stick with financially riskier, historically accurate all-Asian cast | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Though the stumble by Leatherheads was the big weekend box office story, I think it's equally significant that little 21--a movie with relatively modest expectations--led the pack for the second week in a row. It's take of $15.1M ($46.5M) easily outpaced Leatherheads which debuted to a weak estimate of $13.4M and may ultimately finish third behind...

Weekend Movie Guide: I'm with Leather

What's so amazing about this picture is that John Krasinski is only 5'7" | Photo courtesy of Universal I'll be in the minority when I attend Leatherheads this weekend because I'm not going to see George Clooney. As an increasingly obsessive fan of The Office (I record the repeats on TNT), I'm paying to see my man John Krasinski finally--let's hope--be in a good movie. After mega-stinkers like License to Wed and The Holiday...

DVD Tuesday: I will have vengeance!

Sweeney ponders blood-letting | Photo courtesy of DreamWorks Though it did decent business at the box office, I'm thinking that Sweeney Todd will kill on DVD. It's Burton's best film since Edward Scissorhands. I enjoyed Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, but it's nice to see him in something less hammy. I understand that David Cross did Alvin and the Chipmunks because he needed the dough, but what's Jason Lee's excuse? He...

Box Office Review: Blackjack!

Non-Asian Jim Sturgess portrays Asian character | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Even though the book on which it was based was infinitely better than the resulting movie, the quasi-racist 21 still managed to dominate the weekend box office in its debut. It pulled in a healthy $23.7M, easily outdistancing the resilient Horton Hears a Who ($17.4M/$117.2M). The pathetic Superhero Movie underperformed at $9.5M in its first weekend, followed by Tyler Perry's Meet the...

DVD Tuesday: Slim Pickings

Nothing quite goes together like kites and Afghanistan. | Photo courtesy of Paramount Vantage The Kite Runner was one of those movies that I obviously should have seen in theaters. I just could never work up enough enthusiasm to actually go out and do it. It's a no-brainer DVD rental. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't The Mist sort of crappy? Why exactly is it getting the deluxe edition DVD treatment? It took...

Box Office Review: Who knew?

Horton hears some serious dough | Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox With a huge release hitting theaters virtually every Friday, it's rare that a movie tops the box office over successive weekends and yet that's exactly what Horton Hears a Who managed over the Easter holiday. It took in a healthy $25.1M ($86.4M), easily outdistancing Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns which brought in a reliably solid $20M in its debut. Fellow newcomer Shutter...

Weekend Movie Guide: Drillbit Taylor gets Hammered

I'd rather have a Windy City Heat 2 but the The Hammer will have to suffice. | Photo courtesy of Hammer the Movie I've been a devoted fan of Adam Carolla since his early days on Loveline so don't expect any objectivity in my coverage of The Hammer. I've been waiting to see this movie since it played at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival and tomorrow it finally hits theaters. Even non-fans of the...

DVD Tuesday: Best Show, Best Actor on TV

Could Kara Thrace be the last of the final five? | Photo courtesy of the Sci-Fi Channel As a true devotee, I feel it's my duty to spread the word about the criminally overlooked Battlestar Galactica. You may be thinking that a science-fiction show is not for you, but give it a few episodes and you will be hooked. Under much of the cultural radar, Katee Sackhoff is delivering one of the fiercest, most heartbreaking...

Box Office Review: What? Who?

Fat elephant struggles to save bacteria colony | Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox To no one's surprise, Horton Hears a Who swamped the box office this weekend with a year's best $45.1M. It easily out-distanced 10,000 B.C. which managed to bring in an additional $16.4M ($61.2M) in its second weekend. Newcomer Never Back Down surprised to the high side with a take of $8.6M followed by hold-overs College Road Trip ($7.8M/$24.2M), Vantage Point...

Weekend Movie Guide: All Angels

Love Will Tear Us Apart | Photo courtesy of Warner Independent David Gordon Green is in the very first rank of American filmmakers. As far as I'm concerned, every movie he makes is an automatic must-see on opening weekend. Snow Angels debuted last week in New York and opens today in Los Angeles. What sets Green's films apart from so many others is the lyrical melancholy that hovers over every scene and the carefully...

DVD Tuesday: Coens finally get their due

Josh Brolin is the heart and soul of No Country for Old Men | Photo courtesy of Paramount Vantage Though its elliptical ending caused a bit of a backlash, I can't imagine any serious film fan not enjoying the hell out of No Country for Old Men. It doesn't quite rise to the level of the Coen's one perfect film, Miller's Crossing, but it's full of violent beauty. Incidentally, if you don't think the...

Box Office Review: Audience taste trapped in 10,000 B.C.

Actor struggles to look afraid in face of bad SFX | Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Despite a critical reception that could charitably be called awful, 10,000 B.C. rolled to the top of the box office this weekend, taking in $35.7M. Fellow newcomer (and fellow terrible movie) College Road Trip finished a distant second with $14M, almost twice that of the resilient Vantage Point ($7.5M/$51.6M). Semi-Pro sunk in its second weekend ($5.9M/$24.8M) but still...

Weekend Movie Guide: The Bank Job

You can almost feel the grit coming off this picture | Photo courtesy of Lionsgate Entertainment I've always thought it was a shame that Jason Statham got stuck in the ghetto of glossy, empty action flicks. You'd never guess it by watching The Transporter 2 or Crank but Statham can be a legitimately good actor. I'm glad to see him in The Bank Job, a re-telling of the 1971 Baker Street bank robbery. Director...

DVD Review: Albert Collins: Live at Montreux 1992

Prior to his 1993 death, legendary guitarist Albert Collins played a rare second show at Montreaux and yesterday--after a 15 year wait--that show (Collins' last recorded concert) finally came to DVD. Despite his poor health, the Master of the Telecaster plays a loose, fun show as he burns through "Iceman", "Honey Hush", "Lights Are On (But Nobody's Home)", "If You Love Me Like You Say", "Too Many Dirty Dishes", "Put The Shoe On The...

DVD Tuesday: The Wild Awaits

How do you say "circling vultures" in Spanish? | Photo courtesy of Paramount Vantage I'm still a bit surprised that Into the Wild was so completely overlooked during awards season. Sure it meandered a bit, but the acting and directing were all top-notch. And how on earth was Eddie Vedder's "Hard Sun" skipped over by the Academy in favor of three--three!--songs from Enchantment? This may sound weird, but I liked everything about Mr. Magorium's...

Box Office Review: Semi-Pro a semi-hit

Still the champ but diminished | Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema It's usually good news for a movie when it wins the weekend box-office race. When the movie severely underperforms expectations, however, that win feels like more of a Pyrrhic victory. Such was the case with Semi-Pro this weekend as it only brought in about half of what was expected--a lowly $15.3M. Last week's champ, Vantage Point, held up well and took second...

Weekend Movie Guide: Ferrell + Sports = Comedy?

A shy Will Ferrell covers his shame | Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema I'll go on the record and say that I think Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is the funniest movie in the last ten years. Will Ferrell's subsequent pictures--most of them amusing to varying degrees--have never lived up that early, brilliant standard. Semi-Pro is his latest picture and if its previews are any barometer of its quality, it looks like...

DVD Review: The Darjeeling Limited

The Whitman brothers shop for dangerous pets in an Indian village | Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight I'll lead this review by saying,"If only the DVD of The Darjeeling Limited were as rich and strange as the film, The Darjeeling Limited." The film is one of Wes Anderson's best tales of whimsy and familial dysfunction. Three brothers who've long since grown apart decide to travel across India on a sort of spiritual odyssey that...

DVD Tuesday: Passage to India!

Has anyone seen the cobra I just bought? | Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Wes Anderson doesn't have many casual fans. You either love the strange worlds of whimsy he creates or you find it all a bit precious and twee. Count me in the former camp and count The Darjeeling Limited as a return to form for Anderson after the ambitious but foggy The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Next generation 3-D isn't...

Box Office Review: Vantage makes its point

Hope that video camera fires bullets, Mr. Secret Service! | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Mediocre political thriller Vantage Point topped the box office this weekend, grossing a solid $24M in its opening frame. It was the only new film to do significant business as hold-overs held the next five spots. Jumper dropped precipitously in its second weekend (-54%) but still managed to make $12.65M ($56.2M). Family picture The Spiderwick Chronicles showed considerably more...

Movie Review: Charlie Bartlett

Anton Yelchin and Kat Dennings moon over each other in the shithouse | Photo courtesy of MGM Charlie Bartlett is the hardest type of film to review because even though it misses, it doesn't miss by terribly much. After watching it and thinking about it for awhile, I kept returning to an Australian movie I saw last summer, Introducing the Dwights. Like Charlie Bartlett it was a film built on a curio of a...

Weekend Movie Guide: Depends on your POV

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Hollywood's latest exercise in Rashômon-style storytelling is Vantage Point. As most of you no doubt realize because you've seen the trailer a quarter of a million times, Vantage Point deals with the attempted assassination of the President from a multitude of perspectives. As the movie's tagline says, "8 Strangers. 8 Points of View. 1 Truth." Critics have been flaming it with Variety's Justin Chang providing some choice barbs. I...

One Day | Every Oscar Nominee | $30

Photo courtesy of IMDB I'm usually the first to slag the large theater chains for their lack of creativity in programming. As such, I feel compelled to point out when they actually make a good decision. In this case, AMC is doing something so obviously cool that I can't believe it isn't done every year (maybe it will be going forward). This Saturday, several AMC theaters in the Southland will be hosting a marathon...

Movie Review: Be Kind Rewind

Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema If you think you know what Be Kind Rewind is all about, you're probably mistaken. The film's advertising would lead you to believe that it's a raucous comedy about two losers forced to re-make classic films on a zero budget to hilarious effect. While that's certainly a major plot point, it only exists to serve what I think is the film's subtext. Namely, Be Kind Rewind is a...

President's Day Box Office Review: It's Jumper

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox While not the record-breaker that Cloverfield and Hannah Montana proved to be, Jumper debuted to a winning $31.7M over the long President's Day weekend. The Spiderwick Chronicles finished second with $24.4M followed by fellow newcomer Step Up 2 the Streets with $21.5M. The rancid Fool's Gold surprised by holding onto fourth with $15M ($43.9M). Clearly, Valentine's couples preferred it to the weekend's other new romantic comedy, Definitely, Maybe...

DVD Tuesday: Break out the wallets!

Photo courtesy of Universal Wow! Most weeks I'm happy if there are a couple of new DVDs worth picking up. Today, I count at least eight that would be solid editions to any library. American Gangster may not have been the great film that many were expecting, but it was still solid studio fare. I'll say the same for Michael Clayton even though it inexplicably got better critical attention. Has Ang Lee ever made...

Movie Review: Jumper

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox The term B-movie has to many persons the connotation of a movie of substandard quality. Traditionally, it meant a low-budget movie with lesser stars meant primarily to entertain. Now an appropriate definition would probably be a genre film that has little to no serious artistic intent: entertainment, not enlightenment.* Doug Liman's Jumper is a B-movie.** I certainly wasn't enlightened by the time it was over. What would you...

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