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NEW YORK — This year's Academy Awards nominees reflect a Hollywood truism: The margin between the dust bin and the Oscar red carpet is often razor thin.
The City of Mesa Office of Diversity, City of Mesa Human Relations Advisory Board, Mesa Arts Center, ITVS Community Cinema and Eight Arizona PBS will host “Community Cinema,” a series of documentaries on the award-winning PBS series Independent Lens.
It’s pretty ironic that a comedy called “That Awkward Moment” is radically lacking in awkward moments. The film isn’t without some potentially uncomfortable setups like walking in on two people having sex, realizing you’ve just had sex with a hooker, and showing up to a fancy party in a racy outfit. “That Awkward Moment” never goes all the way with its awkward humor, though. Scenes often feel incomplete, as if the director yelled, “cut,” before getting to the punch line. As a result, the film fails to deliver any genuine awkward humor or humor in general.
Lone Survivor is based on the biographical book of the same title and tells the story of Petty Officer First Class Marcus Luttrell and three other members of Navy SEAL Team 10, who were ambushed while on a mission to capture a Taliban leader in the mountains of Afghanistan. Their day goes from bad, to worse to catastrophically FUBAR-ed, and Luttrell becomes the only survivor of the traumatic ordeal.
In a year so rich with captivating cinema, it feels almost criminal to try and narrow it down to a mere 10 favorites.
In Japan, the story of the 47 ronin is so central to the country's national identity that a special word exists for the act of retelling it: Chushingura. But despite this long tradition of flexible reinterpretation, the Hollywood-backed "47 Ronin" takes such liberties with the underlying legend that a different term comes to mind, one better suited to American actor Keanu Reeves' involvement: "bogus." So far, Japanese audiences have been slow to embrace a CG-heavy version of the story that offers Keanu as a previously unsung "half-breed" accomplice. Meanwhile, domestic crowds are being deliberately misled to think he's the star — a high-stakes bait-and-switch sure to backfire on this narratively stiff but compositionally dazzling production.
LOS ANGELES — Marketed as Ben Stiller's bend toward drama, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" finds the actor, who also directed the feature, seemingly exuding super-human strength while jumping between buildings and battling his nemesis as they surf asphalt.
Director David O. Russell has a knack for bringing out the very best in his actors, whether it’s Christian Bale and Melissa Leo in “The Fighter,” or Jennifer Lawrence in last year’s “Silver Linings Playbook” – all of whom won Academy Awards for their performances. With his latest, “American Hustle,” Russell assembles a cast of veterans (Bale, Lawrence, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper) and newcomers (Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K.) to his work, who may not achieve similar Oscar glory come February, but are clearly having a ball sinking their teeth into a smorgasbord of outrageous characters.
Underscoring deeply conflicted characters, who are on a mission to reconceive their unsatisfying circumstances, has become director David O. Russell's sweet spot. From his raw 1996 film, "Flirting with Disaster," to last year's acclaimed "Silver Linings Playbook," he effectively unravels the disarray.
Ask any good chef: why do some recipes work, while others, with the very same ingredients, do not? Ah, but it's the QUALITY of the ingredients that matters, that chef will probably say.
NEW YORK — Today's travelers want to be comfortable, organized and connected. With those themes in mind, here are some gift ideas, starting with suggestions from three folks who travel for a living.
A child is born, a family is healed, and a sermon on forgiveness is delivered with sledgehammer subtlety in "Black Nativity," a bold but clumsy attempt to bring Langston Hughes' popular musical to life onscreen.
Lance Armstrong didn't just repeatedly lie about doping during his seven Tour de France wins, but he maintained and even flaunted those lies through ill-gotten power — and he still believes his own hype.
Is it possible to convey, through the experience of just one man, the sweep and enormity of the horror that was American slavery?
Ripped from headlines that still feel wet, "The Fifth Estate" dramatizes the fast, controversial rise of anonymous-whistleblower website WikiLeaks and its figurehead, Julian Assange.
Novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously declared “there are no second acts in American lives.” But the writer didn't live long enough to see The Rascals prove him wrong.
If you saw Paul Greengrass's "United 93," a terrifying depiction of one of the doomed flights on 9/11, you know this director can evoke a harrowing, real-life event like few others. In fact, you may not have recovered yet from the experience.
Robert Rodriguez's "Machete Kills" is a sequel based on an end-credits joke from a film that was itself based on a joke trailer contained within a half-joke grindhouse homage. Exactly how many degrees such an endeavor is removed from anything resembling serious cinema would require Jean Baudrillard to calculate, yet for more immediate filmgoing purposes, all there is to see here is a surprisingly long-lived gag finally running out of gas. As violent as its predecessor yet noticeably duller and less outrageous, "Machete Kills" is dragged to the finish line entirely by its director's madcap energy and an absurd cast of major stars in strange cameos.
WASHINGTON — Miss Piggy is finally joining her love, Kermit the Frog, in the Smithsonian Institution's collection of Jim Henson's Muppets, and Bert and Ernie will have a place in history, too.
It’s a marriage of high culture and pop culture: The Phoenix Symphony is teaming up with “American Idol” for two concerts at Symphony Hall.
Tom Hanks didn’t know where the cameras were.
Is Morgan Spurlock selling out?
Typically whenever a movie succumbs to the redundant car chase, it means that the screenwriter officially ran out of story to tell. It’s clear that the people behind “Getaway” never had any story to start with, as the entire film plays out like an extended car chase from its opening scene to its ridiculous ending.
"We're the Millers" is an identity comedy with identity issues.