October 7, 2012
End of Watch Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña are best friends and patrol car partners, cruising the mean streets of South Central L.A. in David (Training Day) Ayer's visceral, violent cop thriller. R Looper A slam-bang blast of a time-travel thriller, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as a guy named Joe - yes, they're the same guy, separated by 30 years in the dystopian future and brought together when Young Joe, a hit man, gets a job to kill Old Joe. Emily Blunt co-stars, as the mother of a kid with weird powers.
August 9, 2012
Robert Hughes, 74, the eloquent, combative art critic and historian who lived with operatic flair and wrote with a sense of authority that owed more to Zola or Ruskin than to his own century, died Monday at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. He died after a long illness, said his wife, Doris Downes. With a Hemingwayesque build and the distinctively rounded vowels of his native Australia, Mr. Hughes became as familiar a presence on TV as in print, over three decades for Time magazine, where he was chief art critic and often a traditionalist scourge in an era when art movements fractured into unrecognizability.
February 22, 2013
By Steve Hallock This year's menu of Oscar-nominated short documentaries offers not only compelling viewing but also hope for those who despair over the decline of a robust, independent press that serves as investigative watchdog over government, business, and society. Not only are some newspapers going out of business, but those remaining - other than a few major city dailies - are eliminating investigative reporting teams and closing foreign and national bureaus. Broadcast television, meanwhile, long ago saw its special reports and foreign bureaus wither as the networks and the cable brethren exponentially increased sports and entertainment fare.
January 30, 2012 |
WHEN ALL of Comcast's legal and financial minds got together to discuss a purchase of NBC, do you think any of them raised the hypothetical question: "Do we have a corporate position on donkey semen?" That was the question du jour for the media conglomerate after "Fear Factor" shot an episode this past summer in which contestants were challenged to drink a glass of donkey semen (and one of urine, you know, as a cocktail) and some of them did - because one's thirst for cash knows no limits.
January 23, 2013 |
PITTSBURGH - FrackNation is a new documentary that attacks opponents of fracking for oil and gas, but it also raises a bigger question: Is it possible to criticize environmentalists without being a tool for big industry? Fracking - or hydraulic fracturing - is a method of stimulating oil and gas from deep underground that has led to a historic boom in U.S. production while also stoking controversy over its possible impact on the environment and human health. FrackNation , an independent documentary produced by Los Angeles-based filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, addresses the issue from an unusual perspective.
April 27, 2012 |
Alma, a jonquil-thin blonde with a passing resemblance to Taylor Swift, is 15 and sprouting in the Norwegian town of Skoddeheimen, where there's one bus stop and many, many sheep. She lives with her single mother in a state of chronic frustration, sexual and social. Awash in hormones, Alma has two outlets: sexual fantasy and pleasuring herself. Turn Me On, Dammit!, the disarming and droll first feature from documentary filmmaker Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, is that rare thing, a movie that says shame on sexual shame and double shame on the double standard.
February 6, 2012 |
THE TOYNBEE tiles are embedded within the very fabric of Philadelphia. Found in seemingly random spots throughout the city, the license-plate-size tiles are etched with a cryptic message: "TOYNBEE IDEAS IN KUbrick's 2001 RESURRECT DEAD ON PLANET JUPITER. " The tiles also have been found up and down the East Coast and even in Chile and Argentina. Many have investigated the mystery behind the tiles. Who placed them? What do they mean? But until the documentary "Resurrect Dead," the only person who knew the answers to those questions was the one placing the tiles.
January 30, 2012 |
The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, ended Sunday, after honors to a mythical film starring an 8-year-old girl and a documentary about the war on drugs. Beasts of the Southern Wild won the grand jury prize in the U.S. dramatic competition, and The House I Live In won the same honor in the U.S. documentary category. Directed and cowritten by filmmaker Benh Zeitlin, 29, Beasts follows a girl named Hushpuppy who lives with her father in the southern Delta; it also won the cinematography prize.
March 9, 2012 |
BOBBY LIEBLING was a trainwreck. The frontman of beyond-cult metal band Pentagram admitted at the beginning of the documentary "Last Days Here" that he has been a drug addict for some four decades. At 54, he was living at his parents' house in Germantown, Md., and had delusions that parasites were are eating away his hands. But to some, Bobby Liebling is a god. "Last Days Here," directed by Philly filmmakers Don Argott and Demian Fenton ("Rock School," "The Art of the Steal")
June 12, 2015 |
THERE IS a fascinating documentary to be made about "Saturday Night Live," the comedic institution that celebrated its 40th anniversary this season. But Bao Nguyen's "Live from New York!" acts more like a primer for newbies unfamiliar with the show's history, giving no real insight into Lorne Michaels' long-running creation. Nguyen, making his full-length documentary debut as a director, relies on cast members and regular guests of old to do the narration (the riotously funny Leslie Jones is one of the rare members of the current cast to get a chance to speak)