After “Independence Day,” “Skyline” and the repeated doomsday threats imagined by TV’s “24,” you’d think Los Angelenos would have tired of watching their city reduced to so much smoldering rubble.
Christopher Bertolini, author of the alien-invasion thriller “Battle: Los Angeles,” obviously hasn’t. Read More
Opening Thursday and running through March 20, the 29th annual San Francisco International Asian American International Film Festival is screening some 100 feature films and documentaries from China, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Thailand and other countries. It also includes local films from or about Asian Americans in places ranging from the Mongolian desert to The City. Read More
Growing up in Ukiah, Shiloh Fernandez — Amanda Seyfried’s brooding love interest in the new thriller “Red Riding Hood” opening Friday — rarely made it to The City. But he can’t forget the time he and his best friend tried to impress their girlfriends with a trip two hours down U.S. Highway 101.“We took them to a musical — I don’t remember the name — and we planned a picnic,” said Fernandez, 26. “It ended up raining all over us. On the way home, our tire blew, and we had to pull over and wait for hours in a church parking lot. Read More
It’s easy to get the feeling — after three surreal, increasingly confounding “Pirates of the Caribbean” swashbucklers and now “Rango,” an animated Western that plays like “Fear and Loathing in the Mojave” — that Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp can’t resist a bizarre flight of fancy. Read More
After years of scolding documentaries warning how terrible things are in the world comes Tom Shadyac’s “I Am,” which opens today. It’s not only upbeat and enjoyable, it also offers a measure of hope.What business does Shadyac, who directed “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” “Liar Liar” and “Bruce Almighty,” have in making a documentary about fixing a broken planet?It turns out, all the business in the world. The 52-year-old filmmaker of comedies says his already cockeyed worldview began to change as he grew more successful, but not happier. Read More
As its deceased title character’s final wishes play out for a resentful ex-husband and a house full of quirky guests, “Nora’s Will” emerges as a winning pairing of a good gimmick and something genuinely lovely.
Written and directed by newcomer Mariana Chenillo, this modest charmer from Mexico both carries serious emotional power and qualifies as one of the most entertaining films about a suicide that you’ll ever see. Read More
What does a water buffalo look like at night? It’s a shadowy presence on the screen, difficult to follow, but viewers do.
This opening scene of “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” is typical of much of the film’s complex, quirky story. At the same time, the tale is anchored in the very real Thai countryside.
Recipient of the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or, “Uncle Boonmee” is another iconoclastic, puzzling work from Thailand’s most famous director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Read More
What is Matt Franklin doing? His high school’s resident genius, who always admired the pretty girls but never dared speak to them, he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and came home to reap the benefits. Then he started working at Suncoast Video.
What happened to his ambition? His dad (Michael Biehn) wonders. His sister (Anna Faris), preoccupied by misgivings about her dimwitted boyfriend Kyle (Chris Pratt), politely skirts the topic. All Matt (Topher Grace) knows is that he wants out of the video store. The rest is a mystery. Read More
“The Adjustment Bureau” is a metaphysical thriller about love, fate, free will and some rather novel hat tricks. It centers on a politician whose love for a dancer puts him in dangerous conflict with cosmic authorities when it bucks destiny’s master plan.
Buoyed by breezy direction and terrific actor rapport, the movie is a potential springtime sparkler. But a dearth of original ideas and a reliance on Hollywood hooey as a romantic condiment bring it down. Read More
If Topher Grace seems a natural fit in “Take Me Home Tonight,” an ’80s-themed coming-of-age comedy opening Friday in which he plays an underachieving MIT grad stuck working a dead-end job at the mall, the reasons could be twofold.For one, Grace, 32, starred for eight years in “That ’70s Show,” the TV comedy in which he played Eric Forman, a bright but directionless teen struggling to find his path, often while partying with his hapless friends. Matt Franklin, his character in “Tonight,” could be Eric a decade removed. Read More