With its terrific central performance and 1960s soul tunes, the musical dramedy “The Sapphires” scores undeniable irresistibility points. But they’re not enough to give the movie the emotional resonance that a story about soul singers needs as its heroines bicker, shimmer and belt out their way to Supremes-like glory. Read More
“Spring Breakers” director Harmony Korine made a rambunctious, daring debut at age 22 with his screenplay for the notorious 1995 movie “Kids.”
Two years later, he directed his first feature, the astounding “Gummo.” Although The New York Times called it “the worst film of the year,” it is considered a masterpiece by many others.
Sixteen years and a handful of films later, Korine, 40, hasn’t lost his edge. Read More
In the mid-1980s, actor and stand-up comedian Charles Fleischer, who had appeared on “Welcome Back Kotter” in the 1970s, landed a job as the voice of a cartoon character in a major motion picture.
He became synonymous with Roger Rabbit, the character that interacted so effortlessly with Bob Hoskins in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” The groundbreaking movie is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a new Disney Blu-ray Disc release. Read More
“The Croods” continues DreamWorks Animation’s winning streak.
Even though DreamWorks’ movies historically have employed a chunky look that’s not as smooth or warm as some other studios’ animated offerings, and crude humor has taken precedence over strong narratives, lately things have changed. The sequel “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” and spinoff “Puss in Boots” were far better than their obnoxious predecessors.
Like last fall’s “Rise of the Guardians,” “The Croods” takes the blocky look and runs with it. The movie looks great in motion. Read More
“Spring Breakers” is a bikini, beer and bong romp in which writer-director Harmony Korine colorfully embraces the silliness of beach-party flicks while simultaneously enhancing and warping the material into something darker, bolder and deranged.
As his four heroines experience wild times in the Sunshine State, Korine’s film, at first, is promising. But by allowing luridness to dominate over story and character, he ultimately dooms the day. Read More
Likely to become known as the Romanian exorcism drama that nobody saw, “Beyond the Hills” is an inimitably harrowing and immensely human story about friendship, devotion and what happens when faith goes horribly wrong. A wealth of merits compensate for an excessive running time in this serious, satisfying 152 minutes of world cinema.
The director is Cristian Mungiu, who made “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 days,” an abortion-themed thriller. Read More
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” starts with a flashback. On his birthday, young Burt is chased and harassed by bullies and left alone by a busy, absent mom.
He opens his present, a Rance Holloway magic kit, and gapes, wide-eyed with wonder, at the illusions he will learn.
He grows up to be a supremely successful and arrogant Las Vegas headliner, forgetting that moment of wonder. Read More
Featuring cooking salons and demonstrations, rock concerts, parties, lectures, workshops and more, the Center for Asian American Media Festival also happens to be a film festival. CAAMFest 2013 opens Thursday in The City and runs through March 24.
Festival director Masashi Niwano says the event’s name, formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, is significant.
After celebrating the festival’s 30th anniversary last year, organizers wanted to explore new kinds of programs and remain “as relevant and innovative as possible,” he says. Read More
Director Sam Raimi has managed to hang on to his joyous enthusiasm for movement and shock throughout his career, from his $375,000 feature debut “The Evil Dead” to the new $200 million “Oz the Great and Powerful.”
Some might describe his directorial touches as surface-level, or call his movies shallow. Read More
Playing a formidable, crusty history maker in supporting mode, Tommy Lee Jones keeps things watchable, but a dull lead character and a fabricated romance doom vitality and credibility in “Emperor.”
This latest release from Hollywood's history-as-entertainment tap dramatizes an investigation led by U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur into whether Japan Emperor Hirohito should be tried for war crimes. Read More