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Film

 

Birth Movies Death, November 2016

40 years ago, Carrie White went to the prom. It did not go well.

Curbed LA, April 2019

As realistic depictions of Los Angeles go, the 1990s did not start out promisingly. Less than three months into the decade that would eventually give rise to a highly lucrative, culture-defining independent film movement, director Garry Marshall’s Pretty Woman served up an impossible fairytale about a fresh-scrubbed Hollywood Boulevard sex worker who hops in the right Lotus and becomes a Rodeo Drive princess virtually overnight.

Los Angeles Times, October 2018 (A-1 story)

For SaraRose Orlandini, the original “Halloween” isn’t just a movie — it’s a way of life.

Curbed LA, December 2017

John Marshall High School's Hollywood dream nearly died on February 9, 1971. The 6.6-magnitude Sylmar earthquake struck that day, just before dawn, killing 64 people and spreading a swath of destruction across the Southland. Among the casualties: A number of buildings at John Marshall High School, designed by George M. Lindsey in the Collegiate Gothic style.

Boxoffice Pro, October 2019

Spoiler alert: Terminator: Dark Fate isn’t as good as Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Take it from Tim Miller.

The Hollywood Reporter, June 2017

Some critics have called Cruise’s The Mummy the worst film of his career. Others are advising that he needs to go back to doing some character work to atone for his franchise fever. A key question that also must be asked: Why did the previously franchise-shy star join a project launching a cinematic universe in the first place?

Uproxx, April 2017

In 2014, Michael Keaton satirized his most famous big screen role with Birdman, an ambitious showbiz satire in which his character is followed around by the superhero he played in a film trilogy 20 years earlier. An obvious nod to Keaton’s own association with Batman, the film was a massive critical and commercial success, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture and netting Keaton his first Oscar nomination. For the sixty-something star, this played like a triumphant, if belated, bookend to his superhero career. Then, less than two years later, he was cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Uproxx, April 2017

As movie posters go, the latest one-sheet for Spider-Man: Homecoming pretty elegantly encapsulates the film everyone involved seems to have set out to make. In it, the teenage superhero reclines on a wall bordering the East River, wearing a bright yellow jacket imprinted with the name of his high school. Across the wide body of water that separates Manhattan from Long Island, the Avengers Tower looms. He is almost literally lying in its shadow.

Curbed LA, July 2017

Early in Roman Polanski’s 1974 classic Chinatown, private investigator Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) sits across from widower Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) in a dark LA restaurant with blood-red leather banquettes. Evelyn wears a funereal hat with a black veil. Jake wears a bandage across his nose and arches those famous Nicholson eyebrows as he prods her: “Mrs. Mulwray, I think you’re hiding something."

Boxoffice Pro, September 2019

Alejandro Landes hasn’t directed a movie since 2011’s Porfirio—though you’d be forgiven for not knowing he’d directed at all. While it received some acclaim following a screening at that year’s Cannes Film Festival, Porfirio—a matter-of-fact drama that blurred the lines between narrative and documentary filmmaking—received extremely limited distribution in the U.S. But Landes’s profile is about to get a major boost with his haunting new film, Monos, which won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award at this year’s Sundance and is getting a North American release courtesy of Neon on September 13.

Los Angeles Times, March 2019

As a young director just embarking on what would become a long and successful career, Bill Norton could never have predicted that, nearly 50 years later, one of his best-loved films would be his low-budget, made-for-TV horror movie for CBS called “Gargoyles.” But that’s exactly what happened.

Boxoffice Pro, November 2017

Stephen Chbosky graduated from USC’s prestigious screenwriting program in 1992, but it wasn’t until he wrote a book that his career took flight. Published in 1999, The Perks of Being a Wallflower was an instant success and ultimately spawned a successful 2012 film adaptation written and directed by Chbosky himself. His latest film is Wonder, an adaptation of the best-selling novel by R.J. Palacio about a 10-year-old boy named Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) who was born with a rare facial condition and enrolls in a mainstream school for the first time.

Boxoffice Pro, June 2020

On May 30, Showcase Cinemas opened a “pop-up” drive-in theater at their Patriot Place location in Foxborough, Massachusetts with a screening of Steven Spielberg’s 1981 classic Raiders of the Lost Ark. The sold-out event— which doubled as a fundraiser for the local Foxboro Food Pantry—amounted to a full-circle moment for the exhibitor, which was one of the first chains to embrace the drive-in concept beginning in the late 1930s.

Curbed LA, December 2019

Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place is one of the greatest examples of film noir ever produced—a deft thriller that doubles as a spellbinding meditation on love and its limitations. Nearly as intriguing is what happened behind the scenes.

HitFix, December 2015

“Eckhart saw Hell too. He said: The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you, he said. They're freeing your soul. So, if you're frightened of dying and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth."

Curbed LA, September 2017

“I remember the first time I got off the plane in LA. I came up to Hollywood, on La Brea or La Cienega, I can't remember, through the oil fields,” says L.A. Confidential production designer Jeannine Oppewall. “And I thought to myself: ‘What the hell kind of city is this, with oil fields in the middle of it?'"

Boxoffice Pro, November 2018

Hirokazu Kore-eda has long been a darling of the festival circuit, but he reached the pinnacle of art house esteem in May, when his latest film, Shoplifters, won the coveted Palme d’Or at Cannes. Following the lives of a poverty-stricken family living in Tokyo who steal from local shops in order to survive, the film is what Kore-eda has called his first “socially conscious film.” Like many of the director’s other works, Shoplifters revolves around the question of what makes a family, and it is filled with moments of startling intimacy and heartbreaking revelation.

Curbed LA, December 2019

There’s a black-and-white photograph taken in 1953 that shows a crowd of enraptured onlookers staring through the bullet-riddled windows of a Los Angeles diner, one woman cocking a painted fingernail at something unseen on the other side of the glass.

Curbed LA, October 2017

In the cinema of the early- to mid-1980s, the San Fernando Valley was depicted as a cultural dead zone of gargantuan shopping malls, Valley girls, and sedate tract housing, but the image was essentially innocent. Valley adolescents stayed out past their bedtimes, occasionally smoked too much pot and even had sex, but they were essentially good kids. Then we met Rollergirl.

Boxoffice Pro, April 2021

The same as every year, New York’s IFC Center is seeing sellouts for its screenings of this year’s Oscar-nominated short films. Then again, selling out means something different during a pandemic.

Curbed LA, July 2019

Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-nominated Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been described as the director’s love letter to late ’60s Los Angeles—but as the title suggests, it plays more like a fantasy version of the city, a vivid reflection of a place that never really existed. Nonetheless, Barbara Ling’s production design brilliantly recreates 1969 LA in vibrant, period-accurate detail, while Robert Richardson’s expressive camera work makes the flamboyant landscape pop.

Boxoffice Pro, August 2019

Apocalypse Now is coming back to theaters for its 40th anniversary—and you’ve never seen or heard it quite this way before.

The Hollywood Reporter, January 2018

In the first two installments of James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s long-running Insidious franchise, the ostensible leads were a pair of gorgeous thirtysomething stars: Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson, who played a young couple tormented by malevolent spirits. But as any fan knows, the films were secretly a showcase for Lin Shaye, the longtime character actor who stole nearly every scene as pastel-loving parapsychologist Elise Rainier.

Boxoffice Pro, January 2019

While the idea of immersive cinema has been around since at least the late 1950s, thanks to such early adopters as William Castle and Hans Laube (inventor of the short-lived “Smell-O-Vision”), it’s never come close to reaching the level of mainstream acceptance enjoyed by other premium theatrical formats in the United States. But that’s all beginning to change with the rise of such companies as D-BOX, CJ 4DPlex (makers of 4DX), and MediaMation, which produces the immersive seating technology known as MX4D. While the concept has been able to break through overseas, skeptics have pegged the format as a cheap gimmick that’s destined to remain a niche concern, at least within the U.S. Those with skin in the game, however, maintain the concept has already proven its viability.

Boxoffice Pro, February 2018

Over the last five years, Francis Lawrence has made a total of four films with Jennifer Lawrence, including three installments of the blockbuster Hunger Games series. Their first collaboration outside that franchise is Red Sparrow, a new espionage thriller in which the latter Lawrence plays Dominika, a Russian ballerina-turned-secret-agent (aka “Sparrow”) who is schooled in the art of seduction.