October 14, 2013 |
Angela Duckworth is the genius in socked feet. Named a MacArthur fellow last month, the Penn psychology professor snacked on candy and padded around her Positive Psychology Center corner office, cluttered with papers, a Wheaties box sporting her freckled likeness, and multiple copies of True Grit . Grit is the plucky four-letter word that Duckworth owns, defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals, "sticking with your future,...
October 5, 2011 |
ST. LOUIS - Like the spinning numbers on a slot machine, the pitch count for Cole Hamels was adding up quickly in Tuesday's Game 3 of the National League division series at Busch Stadium. More important from the Phillies' perspective, the Cardinals' hit count and run count weren't. Hamels' job was to prevent the Phillies from facing a Wednesday elimination game in a postseason that's supposed to fill up most of the days in October. The 27-year-old lefthander did his job well, if not efficiently.
August 23, 2011
"THE HELP" is now the nation's most popular movie, and officially a word-of-mouth hit. The film, which stars Viola Davis, crushed "Conan The Barbarian" and "Fright Night" and retained 80 percent of its audience to claim the top spot for the first time, after opening two weeks ago in the second spot. It's the first movie to climb from two to one in successive weeks since "True Grit" in January, and before that, since "The Blind Side," said Box Office Mojo. Note that the summer's other wide-release word-of-mouth phenomenon, "Bridesmaids," also held 80 percent of its audience week to week.
June 17, 2011
1. Just Go With It . (PG-13) 2. True Grit . 1/2 (PG) 3. The Dilemma . 1/2 (R) 4. I Am Number Four . (PG-13) 5. Drive Angry 1/2 (PG-13) 6. No Strings Attached . (R) 7. The Mechanic . (R) 8. Gnomeo and Juliet . (G) 9. The Roommate 1/2 (PG-13) 10. The Company Men Top DVD titles at Redbox kiosks for week ended June 12.
June 10, 2011
GIMME FIVE "True Grit" gave the Coen brothers their first box office smash and membership in the $100 million club. 1. "True Grit," $171 million. 2. "No Country for Old Men," $74 million. 3. "Burn After Reading," $60 million. 4. "O Brother, Where Art Thou," $45 million. 5. "The Ladykillers," $39 million.
June 10, 2011 |
The top DVD choices this week include the remake of a western classic and a long list of TV shows. True Grit, Grade A: Sibling directors Ethan and Joel Coen combine the grandeur of a traditional western with their quirky sensibility. It takes an actor of Jeff Bridges' caliber to step into the big boots of Rooster Cogburn, a role that earned John Wayne his only Oscar. With strong supporting performances from Hailee Steinfeld and Matt Damon, the film is one of the best of the West to come moseying along in years.
June 10, 2011
SOME GOOD movies in the bin this week, starting with the Coen brothers' Oscar-nominated "True Grit. " It's their more grounded-in-reality take on the iconic John Wayne classic, with Jeff Bridges as the U.S. marshal who helps a girl (Hailee Steinfeld) find the man (Josh Brolin) who killed her father. Superb support from Matt Damon, though I fear this movie will suffer in a small-screen downsizing. There's a featurette on "True Grit" novelist Charles Portis - it's a great book, well worth a read.
April 8, 2011
STRANGE-BUT-TRUE Jeff Bridges fact: His last two movies, "Tron: Legacy" and "True Grit," each made almost exactly the same amount of money, $171 million. They were, however, of differing quality. "Tron: Legacy" is a wacky sequel to the ahead-of-its-time 1982 animation/effects movie (the DVD extras include an informative look back at the original), slicker and better-looking, but strapped with a story that managed to be incomprehensible and predictable at the same time. Bridges, though, had fun as the digitized hippie locked in a virtual world of his own design, visited by his son (Garrett Hedlund)
February 7, 2011 |
IF WE THINK of the Coen brothers' career as Jeff Lebowski's living room, we realize that despite the eight Oscars on the mantelpiece, something's missing. Something that would really pull the room together. No dude, not a rug. A blockbuster. A hit movie that would earn these fringe artists and cult filmmakers the warm embrace of the general moviegoing public. "True Grit" is that movie, and, in true Coen style, it's not behaving like a regular hit. At more than $150 million and counting, it's a word-of-mouth rocket that refuses to obey the laws of box-office gravity.
January 26, 2011
TODAY, OSCAR snubees are wondering what they have to do to get a nomination. Cut off an arm? Possibly. It worked for James Franco in "127 Hours," for "True Grit," and for "Winter's Bone. " All of these limb-rending epics scored nominations for cast and crew yesterday, while other folks went home . . . empty-handed. Like Chris Nolan. His hit "Inception" scored nine nominations, second only to "True Grit" (10) and "The King's Speech" (12), but he was again shut out in the race for best director (shades of "The Dark Knight")