As a film fanatic and culture writer, I have a definable love-hate relationship with trailers. Streaming the latest clips out of Hollywood and the world of indie cinema is always a thrill, and yet, it's so easy to mess them up—when the tone is misleading, when the music is borrowed from another more famous movie you start thinking about midway through, when they give away far too much.
Originally titled Toy's House when it became a fan favorite at Sundance in January, the back-to-nature, coming-of-age dramedy The Kings of Summer is out now in limited release.
Now You See Me (in theatres Friday) Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson and Morgan Freeman. Rated PG-13. View the trailer here. The East (in limited theatres Friday) Starring Ellen Page, Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgård. Rated PG-13. View the trailer here. The Kings of Summer (in limited theatres Friday) Starring Alison Brie, Nick Offerman and Nick Robinson. Rated R. View the trailer here. Dark Skies (new on DVD/Blu-Ray) Starring Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton. Rated PG-13. View the trailer here.
In the future, life is pretty bleak for Will Smith and his son, Jaden. This weekend's big debut is After Earth, the story of a father and son team who are stranded on Earth thanks to an asteroid hitting their spacecraft. The thing about Earth is mostly everyone left a thousand years ago. While the film will feature its share of intense action sequences, you can bet heartstrings will be tugged thanks to the nature of the father-son dynamic. It will be more interesting to see if audiences are willing to forgive director M. Night Shyamalan's seemingly never-ending cold streak. Shyamalan's last critical and box office success was 2002's Signs. Rated PG-13. Check out the full trailer below:
The Manship Theatre will show a Coen brothers classic, the 1998 cult favorite The Big Lebowski tonight. For $26, patrons get to pick from a special "Lebowski" menu at Tsunami, plus a ticket to the show. A free Wii Bowling Tournament will also be on hand. White Russians and sarsaparilla will also be flowing throughout the night. Tickets to just the movie are $6. The film starts at 8 p.m. For more information, visit manshiptheatre.com or call 344-0334.
In 225's May issue you'll find our summer movie preview, a handy guide to summer blockbusters, the most anticipated and annoyingly advertised films of the year. But some of the more exciting new pictures are the smaller, independent features you won't see a zillion commercials and print ads for in the coming weeks. In fact, this summer is one of the best for indie films in recent memory. Here's a quick rundown of 7 indies—and zero robots or super heroes—worth seeking out this summer.
Four years after reviving a franchise on life support with a brand new cast and creative license to scribble all over a fleet of nerds' preciously worshipped "canon," director J.J. Abrams and crew have returned with Star Trek into Darkness. But does this sequel engage? Well, yes and no.
One of the last year's cinematic surprises was Gimme the Loot. The film focuses on two determined graffiti writers who are trying to tag the ultimate location: the New York Mets' Home Run Apple. Directed and written by newcomer Adam Leon, Gimme the Loot has won critical praise as well as a few awards, including Best Narrative Feature at the South by Southwest competition. View the trailer here. The film will be shown at Manship Theatre Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8.50.
Oscar-nominated director Baz Luhrman's fifth feature film, and first in five years, arrives Friday. Here are five things you need to know about it, the latest adaptation (and first in 3D) of The Great Gatsby.
Tomorrow, Iron Man 3 will be released, will be a hit across the globe, and be solidified as the second-best Iron Man film ever made.
The heat isn't the only brutal thing about summer. This season's movies are all about the destruction of the planet, the killing of our heroes, even the cutthroat nature of corporate America and the 1%. As Iron Man 3, The Great Gatsby and Star Trek Into Darkness rule the box office this month, here is a look ahead to eight of summer's biggest new arrivals.
A film score can often make or break the movie-watching experience—the swells or abrupt booms of an orchestra direct you when to feel emotion or when to jump in fear. When it comes to classic silent films, the addition of a score later can create a new experience entirely.
Top 5 from Aaron Bayham, operations manager, Raleigh Studios at the Celtic Media Centre
Oscar winner The Artist introduced a whole new generation to silent cinema in 2011.
From the opening scene of Lost in Translation I thought, “Yeah, in 10 years this girl's going to be kicking a lot of people in the throat.”
The Louisiana International Film Festival debuted across Baton Rouge and New Orleans over the weekend, screening world and state premieres at multiple venues as well as hosting industry discussions. Chesley Heymsfield, the festival's executive director, says she was delighted with the positive response for the inaugural event. "I'm always impressed by how the festival is able to influence people," Heymsfield says. "A lot of that hard work from our team and our supporters, it comes to fruition when people show up." Among the films at this year's movie showcase were The Iceman, an action drama starring Michael Shannon, and The East, a sleeper hit from the Sundance Film Festival. Both films were shot in Shreveport. Other films shown included Michel Gondry's The We and I, the critically acclaimed Gimme the Loot, and the documentary Room 237. Director Robert Zemeckis was also on hand Saturday in support of his wife Leslie's documentary, Bound by...
Since his fanciful failure The Science of Sleep, a post-brilliance pass he was given after the artistic triumph that was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, French director Michel Gondry has spent the past seven years in a creative wilderness, trying his hand at big budget action (The Green Hornet), an esoteric familial documentary (The Thorn in the Heart), and a dated misstep disguised as a buddy comedy (Be Kind Rewind), and with it all not making a single stride out from the shadow of Sunshine, his Oscar-winning collaboration with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.
Many studio and independent films have called Louisiana home over the past few years. And whether they've used the state's local flair as scenery, like the hit Pitch Perfect, or simply used a local studio, like Oblivion, the state has made a name for itself as one of the places to make movies. This weekend, the inaugural Louisiana International Film Festival will screen a bevy of feature films and documentaries in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as host a number of mentorship programs, to foster and celebrate the state's creative filmmaking spirit. The festival kicks off in New Orleans Thursday night with a screening of Twenty Feet from Stardom at the Joy Theatre. Events in Baton Rouge, which will take place at multiple venues, begin on Friday. For a full schedule, ticket prices and more information, visit the festival website. Get the lowdown on more local happenings on tap for this weekend in the new...
Many studio and independent films have called Louisiana home over the past years. Whether a film has used the state's local flair and scenery, like the hit Pitch Perfect, or used a local studio, like this weekend's Oblivion, Louisiana has made a name for itself as one of "the" places to make movies. This weekend, the inaugural Louisiana International Film Festival will host a bevy of feature films, documentaries and mentorship programs in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to foster and celebrate the state's creative filmmaking spirit.
Such a rare sight is Derek Cianfrance's familial epic The Place Beyond the Pines, it is with great ease that it buries itself inside of you, it haunts you, or as Ryan Gosling's inked-up motorcycle maniac "Handsome Luke" would say, it "sticks around."
Louisiana movie theater mogul Theodore "Teddy" George Solomon Sr., who brought megaplex stadium theaters to south Louisiana, died Sunday. He was 93. Solomon started a seven-decade career in the theater business as a child working in a silent-movie house built by his father and uncle. He would grow the family's single film venue into more than 600 theaters and drive-ins in eight states, according to a statement from a family spokesman issued today. After graduating from LSU and serving in World War II, Solomon returned to the South and formed Gulf States Theatres, through which he went on to build and operate more than 300 drive-in movie theaters. He sold the business in 1972 but later bought half of it back with his six children, transitioning the business from drive-ins to indoor screens. He again sold the business in 1986. By the mid-90s, Solomon opened a 20-screen stadium theater in New Orleans, which became wildly popular and would precede four more such theaters in the New...
"I was a young writer trying to take off." With this subtle, ironic confession, Jack Kerouac's lyrical cipher Sal Paradise introduces himself in the long awaited screen adaptation of his iconic Beat Generation novel On the Road.
In ancient Rome, the thumbs of the crowd decided a gladiator's fate. Contrary to later Hollywood tradition, thumbs down signaled the victor to shield his sword. Thumbs up meant, "Go on, off with his head!"
Trance (in select theaters Friday)Starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel. Rated R. Check out Jeff Roedel's preview on the film from this month's 225. View the trailer here.
Before Sam Raimi was known for his mega-successful Spider-Man trilogy, he was a B-movie horror director, known for his lo-fi mix of shock, humor and gross-out gags. His Evil Dead trilogy has become a cult classic. This Friday, a remake will hit theaters. Though fans of the original might balk at the suggestion of Evil Dead being remade, Raimi has given his blessing to director Fede Alvarez and is producing this updated take. More disturbing might be that Diablo Cody (the mind behind Juno, Young Adult and Jennifer's Body) co-wrote the script. Rated R. Watch the trailer below:
Director Walter Salles' adaptation of Jack Kerouac's iconic novel, On the Road, will be screened at the Manship Theatre Saturday and Sunday night. The film follows the story of Sal Paradise, played here by Sam Riley, a young writer who has his life all mixed up by the arrival of Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) and Dean's lady-friend, Marylou (Kristen Stewart). Tickets for the screenings are $8.50. There will be two screenings each night, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. This film is rated R. For more information, click here.
First he was on an indefinite acting hiatus, then there was The Gosline to get shocked-and-awed fans through this apparently trying time, and now comes the big, apologetic clarification from the Canadian himself. Relax ladies, Internet meme/actor Ryan Gosling is only taking a break from the screen temporarily so he can focus on directing his feature debut: How to Catch a Monster.
Still jazzed after parading the Park City, Utah, streets—literally—during Sundance, organizers of the Louisiana International Film Festival are gearing up for the April 18-21 inaugural launch.
Duncan Henderson, producer of Tom Cruise's new film Oblivion, shared some insights with us on the sci-fi epic, which was largely shot in Baton Rouge.
A film that puts audiences to sleep is not a good thing, except when it's directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle and viewers are “getting very sleepy” to the seductive psychological mystery he has set squarely at the intersection of the fine art world, mobsters and mind games.
Originally titled Toy's House when it became a fan favorite at Sundance in January, the back-to-nature, coming-of-age dramedy The Kings of Summer now has a tantalizingly spare first clip for consumption and a release date—May 31—albeit in predictably limited fashion.
Stayed up till zero dark thirty watching Zero Dark Thirty last night. Man, I've been waiting forever to use all my military time jokes.
The Jindal administration is proposing a change to the state's film production incentive program, whereby salaries above $1 million would not count as qualifying expenses eligible for tax credits. "The changes that are being suggested right now would have a dramatic impact on the industry," says David Tatman, executive director of the Louisiana Film & Entertainment Association. He argues the $1 million cap is far too low. While his association hasn't made a specific counterproposal, Tatman says a more realistic number could be derived by side-by-side comparisons with other states. When states such as New Mexico and Michigan scaled back their incentive programs, Louisiana picked up a lot of business; Tatman doesn't want Louisiana to lose business to other states such as Georgia, for example. The association estimates the industry employs about 14,000 people in Louisiana, Tatman says. Department of Revenue head Tim Barfield says Louisiana still will have one of the most attractive film...
Just as the Twilight film franchise ends, another new slate of films based on Stephenie Meyer's books is coming.
Without even counting the continued de-Potterization of this year's indie star-on-the-rise Emma Watson, there are three good reasons to see Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring. First, Paris Hilton—yes, the genuine article not her playing a character, thank the Lord—gets robbed in this movie. In a justifiably degrading way, too.
When I was 17, one of my best friends came to me with a hilarious want ad he'd just read about online. It went a little like this: "Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid when we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before." Of course, the first thing we did was duplicate this prank verbatim in our school newspaper, but then we began discussing other possibilities presented by this bizarre piece of pop culture whatever.
Having stormed back last year with the 1960s-set young adult ramble Moonrise Kingdom—his first live action critical darling since 2001's The Royal Tenenbaums and an Oscar nominee for Best Original Screenplay—all eyes are on what quirky auteur Wes Anderson has in store for audiences with his second period film in a row, the 1920s-Euro comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Faire attention! The Center for French and Francophone Studies at LSU will host its seventh annual LSU Night of French Cinema: Une Nuit Blanche à Baton Rouge Saturday at the Manship Theatre. The evening will feature four films screened from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. with appetizers served between each film. This year's event will kick off with Starbuck at 7:30 p.m., La Rafle at 10:30 p.m., Eldorado at 1:10 a.m., and Laurence Anyways at 2:50 a.m. After the fourth film, a breakfast of croissants, baguettes, and coffee will be served. Tickets are $25, $15 for students. Visit manshiptheatre.org for more details.
Maybe I'm just a sucker for a movie that says a reporter can make a difference (and that journalist is played by Shia LeBeouf? See, anyone can do it!), yet Robert Redford's upcoming thriller The Company You Keep is one film that is strangely under the radar—perhaps a lack of major distributor has something to do with it—but definitely on my must-see list for 2013.
Fans of Ryan Gosling's moody getaway thriller Drive ought to buckle up again. This month sees the star take on a similar role for director Derek Cianfrance (Half Nelson, Blue Valentine) in his epic new crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines.
I still don't get how these characters can be so familiar with The Smiths' album cuts, but remain in the dark on one of David Bowie's biggest hits, but if the spirited and winning coming of age drama The Perks of Being a Wallflower is, at times, too clever by half, it is not in vain.
Was his shirtless scene in the movie indulgent? Perhaps. I mean, we get it Ben, you're still in good shape. But with Argo taking home statues for Best Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Picture at an awards ceremony with more parity among nominees than any in recent memory, Affleck the Director's career is, now more than ever, in great shape, too. Despite the bizarre Oscar snub in the director's category—Affleck wasn't even nominated—he can do pretty much whatever he wants behind the camera from here on out. And, apologies to those waiting for Armageddon 2: Here Comes Another One, but I think we'll see a lot less of the star on screen in favor of more directing projects in the near future.
Catch a screening of this year's five Oscar-nominated, animated shorts at the Manship Theatre, Sunday at 2 p.m. The lineup includes Disney's acclaimed Paperman, starring characters from The Simpsons. Tickets are $8.50. Then at 5 p.m., you're invited to watch a free live telecast of the Oscars, beginning with red-carpet arrivals, in the company of other Capital City film buffs, again at the Manship. Come cheer and jeer with other Baton Rougeans and let the drama of the evening become a social event. More details and tickets can be found here. For extra fun, 225 will be live-tweeting the Oscars this year. You can follow the action at @225batonrouge; hashtag #225oscars. Find out what else is happening this weekend in the Capital Region by...
Predicting Oscar winners often gets compared to picking ponies, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Deciding the highest quality movies and movie performances year after year will always be more subjective than who can cross the finish line fastest. And subjectivity, by definition, is incredibly difficult to forecast. Besides, the collective mind of the Academy is a complete labyrinth. Shakespeare in Love won Best Picture, am I right?
He's either a chameleon or a literate, but only half-talented, filmmaker in desperate search of his own voice. Noah Baumbach has made his Ben Stiller film, the Reality Bites-esque post-college slacker mediation movie Kicking and Screaming, his John Cassavetes film—the perfunctory melodrama Margot at the Wedding—and his Wes Anderson film—the delightfully dark and funny The Squid and the Whale, which remains his crowning achievement.
It's easy to look at Side Effects and consider the film to be “small.” That's what many said about Soderbergh's first feature sex, lies and videotape, too, in 1989, and look how that turned out. That Baton Rouge-set film won Cannes and launched the modern indie film movement in America. So now, at the age of 50, and with just one more film on the way—HBO's Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra—the lauded director and former Baton Rougean who has made lavish epics like Traffic, Ocean's Eleven and Contagion is retiring as a filmmaker to focus on painting, photography and whatever else a wealthy Oscar winner wants to do.
You have to hand it to them. They never make the same movie twice. The first trailer for Joel and Ethan Coen's upcoming drama Inside Llewyn Davis is online now, and the requisite speculating can begin. What are they really trying to say? Where are the thematically prismatic Barton Fink and A Serious Man undertones? Can it really just be about a hard-working Greenwich Village folk singer struggling to make ends meet and something of his career?
The big game isn't just an opportunity to be target marketed by Budweiser, Samsung and Taco Bell. It's a great chance to see new footage from some of the year's hottest blockbuster releases. So which flicks scored big, and which fumbled the opportunity to impress more than 100 million viewers? Here's a quick breakdown of what we saw, best to worst:
Houma native and Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis is the youngest Best Actress Academy Award nominee in the 85 years of the Oscars. She was just 6 years old when Louisiana-set Beasts was shot, and Oscar-nominated director Benh Zeitlin tells 225 she even fibbed on her application to audition for the role at the age of 5.
When Steven Soderbergh opens the box on a genre, he doesn't exactly play by the rules. The same director who brought a 1970s European pulse to his revenge thriller Haywire and giddy Billy Wilder-worthy overtones to the true-life whistle-blower tale The Informant! is sure to have a trick up his sleeve with Side Effects.
You knew it was inevitable. A Lance Armstrong biopic is on its way, and thanks to the passage of time and a little bit of image-altering news, the J.J. Abrams-produced film is being based on Juliet Macur's impending biography Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong. So which actors are best suited and brave enough to personify the world's reigning disappointment?
Are Star Wars fans doing this (see Han to right) after an insider report broke yesterday that Star Trek director J.J. Abrams has been tapped to direct Episode VII of the now Disney-owned intergalactic series? Fans worldwide might be in existential crisis today over the apparent rip in the space-time continuum caused by having the same filmmaker helm both storied science fiction franchises. It certainly is a lot of nerd power for one Force user to wield.
The Shining is pretty hot right now. Last spring, Room 237 explored director Stanley Kubrick's approach and the deeper themes of the horror film at Cannes. Then in September, news broke that Stephen King, author of the ESP novel on which Kubrick's iconic film was based, is set to revisit the world of The Shining for a sequel called Dr. Sleep, arriving Sept. 13 and following an all grown up, post-“redrum” Danny (See footage of King reading a excerpt from the book here.)
Though still very much ensconced in the Red Stick, The Movie Filter has a few spies on the ground in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. Here are eight of the films I'm getting good feedback on for you to tag on your radar in 2013.
Hate-watch was one of the biggest buzz words of 2012, and few televised events elicit more hate-watching than the Oscars, if for nothing else than the fact that everyone can rattle off at least a few names or movies they feel were royally snubbed by the Academy. Following the Critics Choice Awards last week and yesterday's Golden Globes, I went through the list of major Academy Award categories and picked one snub from each that I would gladly swap out. And here they are:
Going on seven years showcasing fascinating Jewish films, the Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival even has its name in the credits of a documentary screening this year. Named after the founder of the festival who died in 2011, the Harvey Hoffman Film Fellowship Fund provided some financing to the film Hava Nagila, which traces the history of the famous song with interviews from Harry Belafonte, Glen Campbell, Regina Spektor and others. “I'm glad to say it's the first time we've been able to do something like this,” says festival co-chair Ara Rubyan. Screenings begin Wednesday, Jan. 16, with Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story at the Manship Theatre. The festival is giving away a select number of free tickets to that opening night feature at brjff.com/free.
When elites of the film world gather in Park City, Utah, next week for the Sundance Film Festival, among the events they'll want to put on their schedule is a Louisiana feast prepared by local chef Chris Wadsworth of Restaurant IPO, which is on Third Street downtown, and local food blogger Jay Ducote. The event—which will be held at Cicero's restaurant next to the Egyptian Theater, where many of the Sundance films are screened—is designed to help promote the inaugural Louisiana International Film Festival, which will take place in Baton Rouge and New Orleans in April. Ducote is culinary ambassador for the Louisiana festival and is helping organizers create a buzz about the event—hence the party at Sundance. "We thought it would be a good way to get the Hollywood crowd excited about our festival," says Ducote, who volunteered to cook at Sundance and enlisted the help of his friend, Wadsworth. At a Jan. 21 party, Wadsworth and Ducote will be showcasing homegrown foods...
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for its 85th Annual Academy Awards this morning, and Louisiana has once more received a good deal of recognition.
The problem with bootlegging isn't the law, it's that everyone wants a cut. And in the Depression-dusted hills of Franklin County, Virginia, every cut runs deep. Don't let the direct-to-DVD title fool you, John Hillcoat's Nick Cave-written period shoot 'em up Lawless is an intriguing paradox of historical fact and the type of heady myth-spinning that could make most syrupy fan fiction feel, excuse the pun, but dry by comparison.
They always wanted to go to McDonalds.
Remember nearly two years ago when President Obama appeared on television to announce the death of Osama bin Laden? Many Americans rejoiced that night, but a few had to go back to the drawing board.
In Nicolas Winding Refn's moody getaway drama Drive, Ryan Gosling stars as a mythical stunt driver who turns to abetting a crime to save the woman he loves, was one of my favorites from 2011. If I could have figured out how to sew a scorpion onto a white jacket, my Halloween costume wouldn't been on lock-down. Drive's whole cloth take-it-or-leave it bravado was just part of its appeal. The enveloping electro-pop score by Cliff Martinez and Refn's eye for picturesque scenery gave what was a surprisingly lean narrative—at least, for a genre film of this kind—a huge hand. But when it comes to Drive, the chemistry and majesty of the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. You just buckle up and enjoy the ride.
This Friday marks the start of the second annual Third Street Film Festival, an event that attracted a lot of attention during its inaugural weekend in 2011. It's the kind of event that celebrates the film industry's explosion in Louisiana while also highlighting a lot of the independent filmmakers working here in Baton Rouge and around the state.
Based on Victor Hugo’s masterful drama and examination of the elemental struggle of law versus grace, Les Miserables has arrived on screen for the first time as a major motion picture that is also true to the form of the original stage performance as a wall-to-wall musical.Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) tackles the struggles and tangential characters flowing through the life of Jean Valjean, a French peasant who is finally freed after 19 years in prison for stealing bread to feed his family and repeated attempts at escape. An all-star cast of vocally gifted thespians, led by Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Mamma Mia! star Amanda Seyfried, plus a few surprises like Russell Crowe—though to be fair, the Gladiator star has sung in his share of rock bands in the past—and Eddie Redmayne, one of England’s fastest rising young actors, anchors this epic retelling of Hugo’s classic tale.
Lost in the shuffle of the pre-Christmas holiday rush was the release late last week of the first trailer for enigmatic director Terrence Malick's latest drama To the Wonder. The clip, starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko and Rachel McAdams feels almost profanely romantic and emotionally tragic with a sweeping score of strings vibrating just on the cautious side of danger.
…And who feels fine? The Mayan calendar “ends” at midnight on Dec. 21, and you could do worse than curling up with a bowl of popcorn and one of these global disaster movies. They'll bring the 'splosions. You bring the snarky commentary.
To quote Lena Dunham on Girls, “Okay, wow.” The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey—the latest in a series of movies “about walking” according to Kevin Smith, just racked up the biggest December opening weekend of all time. Granted most films of the blockbuster persuasion debut in the summer months while the more dramatic, critic-baiting, heart-tugging fair arrive every Christmas season, but no matter how you look at it, $84.8 million in three days is remarkable.
I hope Christopher Nolan gets a royalty check for this one. The first official glimpses of Star Trek: Into Darkness have arrived, and from the bleak, destroyed city buildings that form the shape of the series' logo in the (a la The Dark Knight Rises") promotional poster, to the deep bass bongs pounding through the teaser trailer's soundtrack (a la Inception), it appears Trek director J.J. Abrams is shaping his follow-up to 2009's Star Trek in the mold of his Batman-steering counterpart.
I've never had so many friends ask me to inform them when a certain indie film was going to be available for rent or download. But then, Louisiana has never produced a movie quite New Orleanian Benh Zeitlin's Sundance-winning epic Beasts of the Southern Wild. So here it is, friends, the much-lauded film, and essential viewing for anyone from or with ties to the Bayou State, arrives on Blu-ray tomorrow. Watch it as soon as you can.
There's a benevolent force in children's media named William Joyce, and his creative haven is Shreveport. By any measure, 2012 has been a banner year for him.
This month's new films are about adventure and movement—through the Deep South, through the tunnels of Paris and even Middle Earth, and through the minds and the poetic souls of seekers. As Oscar season ramps up, here are six films for your consideration.
Kansas City-based AMC Entertainment Inc., which operates 332 movie theaters nationwide, announced Monday it has reached a deal with Rave Reviews Cinemas to purchase four Rave Motion Pictures theatres—including the two in Baton Rouge. Along with the Rave theaters at the Mall of Louisiana and off O'Neal Lane, the deal includes one theater in each Montgomery, Ala., and Destin, Fla. The four theaters contain a total of 61 digital screens, 46% of which are 3D capable. The average age of the theaters is nine years, says AMC, which did not disclose any financial terms of the deal. "With this strategic acquisition, we are adding new markets to our footprint and serving a new audience in the South and Southeast," says AMC CEO and President Gerry Lopez in a prepared statement. Monday's deal with AMC comes on the heels of a separate deal Rave annouced with Cinemark USA Inc., the nation's third largest theater chain, earlier this month. Cinemark is in the process of acquiring nearly all of...
Ever since Marvel's The Avengers racked up nearly $1.5 billion worldwide, archrival DC Comics has been grappling with how to combine its own constellation of super heroes into a single mega-blockbuster team-up movie. With Christopher Nolan's self-sustaining Dark Knight trilogy officially done and dusted and the Nolan-produced, Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot Man of Steel on its way next year, the stage seems set for DC to finally bring a worthwhile version of The Justice League to the big screen in 2014 or 2015.
People said Don DeLillo's 2003 novel Cosmopolis was "un-filmable," and they were right. At least in the hands of veteran art house director David Cronenberg. Sure it has violence and infidelity and intrigue, all the markings of a classic Cronenberg head trip, but what may read well on paper just doesn't translate onto screen in this flat, uninspired and patronizing effort.
Is this it? The first of the last? The initial trailer for Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh's (allegedly) final feature film, a prescription drugs drama called Side Effects. In case you've missed the former Baton Rougean's last half dozen interviews or so, the 49-year-old workhorse filmmaker is calling it quits to paint and travel and do whatever it is artists do when they retire long before most in their line of work even consider it. Sure the Traffic, Ocean's Eleven director has wracked up 35 directing credits and 33 producing gigs since shocking the world at age 26 with the Cannes-winning, Baton Rouge-set sex, lies and videotape, but it is still hard to believe that Soderbergh is hanging up his camera while, in all likelihood, he still has another decade “in his prime.”
You know the routine. James Bond gets his mission, meets the villain and his dame at some extravagant villa or elaborately high-tech hideout, and Bond saves the world from a giant laser, an atomic bomb or certain financial ruin. Not this time. This time it's personal. Skyfall is Bond stripped to the bone, a lean revenge story that shows the super spy's emotions and priorities, strengths and weaknesses laid bare.
Wes Anderson's Billy Wilder-inspired period comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel has found its star resident in Saoirse (pronounced “Sir-shah”) Ronan. So who is she?
The year is 1982; the place is Baton Rouge. An undercover police officer nabs the biggest criminal of his career and turns him into an informant in an effort to close several unsolved cases.
That was fast. Yesterday, Disney purchased Lucasfilm for a whopping $4 billion (I guess if anyone needs George Lucas, he'll be swimming in a pool of Benjamins) and plans to have a new Star Wars film in theaters by 2015. Read about it at USA Today.
“Trust me, this is the best worst idea we have,” Ben Affleck's Tony Mendez tells the Secretary of Defense in the burgeoning director's taught, nerves-frying political thriller Argo. And he means it. Posing six American diplomats as a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a cheesy Star Wars rip off in order to extract the group from a hostile, revolution-ravaged Iran sounds just as insane as any of the tripe that spills out of Hollywood's mouth and into theaters, but truth is often stranger than fiction, and this is just what happened in 1980 as the world watched the hostage stand-off at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
That headline is sarcastic, by the way. Of course, Marvel Studios would have the world stop to pour over a few new frames of Robert Downey Jr. in heavy metal, and that's what many did yesterday with the release of a few blink-and-you'll-miss-them clips to drum up interest in the actual teaser trailer that is set to premiere online tomorrow.
Greta Gerwig may be more typecast than even Jason Statham. She's certainly branded and sold as plainly and consistently as the perennial, iron-jawed action star. Indeed the actress is very good at appearing uncomfortable but never overly awkward, cute but never downright beautiful, relatable but never routine. Gerwig burst onto director Joe Swanberg's mumblecore scene six years ago as his singular muse in LOL and Hannah Takes the Stairs and hasn't turned her barretted, quirky head back since.
Is James "Whitey" Bulger headed back to Louisiana?
I wish Johnny Depp would find something else to be obsessed with besides Tim Burton and Disney. I'm not opposed to fantastical roles that rely on wild or whimsical costuming, but Depp seems to have taken his love of the make-up kit to the extreme in the last few years. Maybe it is the only thing that can motivate him to try new things, but it is a shame to watch this once bold and unique actor ease back into a safer, more cartoonish version of himself, one that is as predictable as it is endearing.
Baton Rougeans have a unique opportunity this Friday to pretend they're sitting on the judges' panel at Cannes. Well, perhaps it's not quite that prestigious, but the 15th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival promises to be a lot of fun nonetheless. Ten directors put themselves at the mercy of a worldwide audience, as their short films screen at the Manship Theatre and at other venues across the globe. Each audience member receives a voting card along with his or her ticket. Watch the films, judge their merit and vote for your favorite—at the end of the night, the worldwide votes will be tallied. Who'll be the winner? That's up to you and your fellow filmgoers to decide. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $11 and available at manshiptheatre.org. Find out more about the festival at manhattanshort.com.
A lot of people are now dubious of Steven Spielberg's upcoming historical epic Lincoln after hearing star Daniel Day-Lewis' high, nearly whiny voice as “Honest Abe.” According to experts, Lincoln's voice probably was closer to the Oscar-winner's new interpretation than all those booming “Four score” baritones that proceeded it. Bill and Ted, I'm looking at you.
The state's generous tax credits for filmmakers may have brought in plenty of productions and jobs, but they also unleashed some destructive, terrifying and often ridiculous monsters on our cities and defenseless masses. Kudos to SyFy and Louisiana-based Active Entertainment for often forgoing Louisiana as stand-in-for and instead setting the campy terror right here in the Pelican State.
It's election season, and one former president making a surprise return to the spotlight—and the theater, actually—is “Honest Abe,” with director Steven Spielberg's long-awaited passion project Lincoln arriving next month. With the blockbusters of summer in the rearview mirror, here are five intriguing fall movies to keep an eye on.
The Baton Rouge native, graphic artist and veteran documentary filmmaker spent the better part of the last half-decade exhaustively researching, cataloging and documenting the history, traditions and icons that have made LSU football such an indelible thread in our cultural fabric.
War does strange things to men. Auteur Paul Thomas Andersons' first film in nearly five years finds him meditating on two divergent characters navigating post-WWII America with all of the confusion, opportunity and sudden change that era ushered in. In one corner is Philip Seymour Hoffman's burgeoning cult leader Lancaster Dodd. The other is Joaquin Phoenix's sex-obsessed, paint thinner swilling drifter Freddie Quell. Their performances are gripping, and the concept that Man cannot live without serving a master is rich narrative territory for sure, but unfortunately, Anderson's film is more ponderous than revelatory, more intellectually aberrated—to use one of Hoffman's phrases—than emotionally engaging.
At a quick glance, while cruising past on Interstate 10 at 60 mph, the UA CitiPlace Stadium movie theater looks closed, the movie titles absent on its marquee facing the freeway. It has been that way since Hurricane Isaac, says Assistant Manager David Reynard. A CitiPlace employee who used to regularly post movie listings left his job just before the hurricane, and since the storm blew the lettering away, he says, a replacement hire has yet to start work. And if you think it’s a simple job that anyone could do, Reynard says you'd better think again. It takes training to put a movie usher on a motorized lift and let him raise it to the sky, he says. After that, the movie theater has to send a full training report back to its corporate office. But situation is likely to change soon, such that current movie titles again grace the marquee and distract motorists. Reynard says the theater just made a new hire and will have that person in training for the job as soon as Monday.
TIFF, The Toronto International Film Festival, that great arbiter of awards-contender dramas, ponderous art films and headline-grabbing documentaries, has come and gone, and there's been a fairly significant surprise in the Audience Award Category. Silver Linings Playbook, adapted from Matthew Quick's heart-rending mental illness novel by director David O. Russell who had a career renaissance in 2010 with Oscar-winner The Fighter, was the clear fan favorite in Canada last week.
Baton Rouge snagged a big win today when iconic British rock band Led Zeppelin announced Oct. 17 screenings of its new concert film Celebration Day—shot during the group's 2007 reunion at London's O2 Arena for educational charities.
It was just a few years ago that everyone thought Joaquin Phoenix was insane. A few bizarre non sequiturs on the red carpet soon turned into full-blown crazy town as the formerly private and seemingly reserved actor grew a bushy beard, turned in a series of detached talk show appearances and launched a new career as something resembling a gangster rapper spitting a lethargic brand of confused white guy jibber jabber. Of course, this troubling dissent turned out to be little more than shenanigans perpetrated for I'm Still Here, a self-indulgent conceptual art “documentary” that would have made Andy Kaufman do a spit-take. But if an Oscar-nominated actor is going to spend a year acting crazy, he can't be totally sane either, right? Fans are still wondering.
Tired of the lackluster end-of-summer fare at the box office? Buy a ticket for a show at Manship and enjoy a selection of incredible art films, local films, documentaries, and classics on the big screen. This week, you can catch a free screening of the new film T-Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story on Thursday, the acclaimed documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry on Friday, a screening of the full-length ballet La Raymonda on Saturday, and Hitchcock's classic thriller Vertigo on Monday. Visit manshiptheatre.org for more information.
GQ recently listed its picks for the most stylish movies of all time, including a pretty nifty video super cut video, and with 225's Fall Fashion issue upon us, I thought I'd add some of my own stylish favorites that GQ missed.
Doodling in a notebook is a way of passing time for most kids. For set designer Matt Gatlin, it was the beginning of his career.
James Hebert knows exactly how it feels to put everything on the line for a passion project. In true independent spirit, the bright-eyed 23-year-old risked his own earnings from part-time jobs to put on the Third Street Film Festival last fall.
'I know you're trying to calm me down, but just say something that's true!” a resurrected Joaquin Phoenix exclaims in Paul Thomas Anderson's period drama The Master, new in theaters this month.
No, not from Hurricane Isaac. A flood of Biblical proportions is brewing at Paramount Studios. Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky is finally bringing his passion project to the screen with Noah, an epic retelling of the Old Testament tale of God letting loose his wrath on sinful humanity but sparing one man, his family and the animals of the Earth in a giant boat called an ark.