Hollywood

‘Love and Monsters’ Is Frightfully Fun

Forrest Hartman

Love and Monsters may not become a classic, but it’s a truly great time. It’s scary enough to work as a Halloween film, romantic and funny enough to transcend the horror genre, and written with both an edge and wit. Writers Brian Duffield and Matthew Robinson deserve significant credit because – while genre-crossing films are sought after – they don’t always work. But Love and Monsters succeeds exceptionally well.

Wars Fought, Scores Settled in Oliver Stone’s ‘Chasing the Light’

Lee Polevoi

The child of a doomed marriage, Stone vividly describes the domestic turmoil of his early years in New York and Connecticut. The restless son of a stockbroker and a vivacious French woman, Stone attended Yale, but dropped out and enlisted in the Marines at the height of the conflict in Vietnam. His experiences there, together with a sobering return to the States, were channeled into the making of Platoon, which remains among his signal achievements.

Music Movie ‘Mighty Oak’ Collapses Under Its Own Weight

Forrest Hartman

Ragen, Parrish, PenaVega and the rest of the cast are charming enough, but some elements of the story are underdeveloped, while others batter the audience like a sledgehammer. One doesn’t watch Mighty Oak so much as he/she is manipulated by it. Some filmmakers – Steven Spielberg chief among them – can get away with this type of manipulation. But Spielberg is nuanced. With Mighty Oak, one can feel McNamara and Allen tugging at the heartstrings, and it’s more uncomfortable than effective.

‘7500’ Is a Suspenseful, Must-Watch Thriller

Forrest Hartman

Vollrath makes the most of the confined setting -- something that could hurt a weaker filmmaker. In some respects, 7500 must have been easy to produce. A single location, small cast, and minimal set dressing all speed the shooting process, but these things come with restraints. When all the action is set in an airplane cockpit, there are no astonishing backdrops or special effects to use as a crutch. The weight of the storytelling is relegated to the script and its handful of actors.

New Book Explores Travails of Producing ‘Chinatown,’ Hollywood’s Greatest Film

Lee Polevoi

Is Chinatown the best American film ever made? It certainly belongs in the top ranks, as many can attest. After its release in 1974, Chinatown garnered nearly a dozen Academy Award nominations, although the only winner was for Best Original Screenplay. Its Los Angeles-noir atmospherics—and its theme of deeply ingrained political corruption—seem as fresh and powerful today, over 40 years later.

Arde Madrid! (Burn Madrid Burn!) -- With Help From Ava Gardner

Sandra Bertrand

There are enough allusions to the star’s life in this tale for a younger audience to be intrigued.  References to her great affection for “Papa” Hemingway are well founded.  Ava made three films based on his stories: The Killers with Burt Lancaster, The Snows of Kilmanjairo with Gregory Peck, and The Sun Also Rises with Humphrey Bogart, forming a fast friendship with the author.  Mazar’s free-wheeling character defends her “Papa’s” philosophy that “it’s the castration of desire that is indecent.”

Hollywood Suffers the Sting of Coronavirus as Cinemas Shutter Nationwide

TRT Editors

U.S. movie theaters have closed nationwide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, turning dark nearly all of the country's 40,000-plus screens in an unprecedented shutdown. With most of Hollywood's March and April releases already postponed, the Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday also cleared out its May releases as well, including Marvel's Black Widow. The largest chains had tried to remain open even as Hollywood postponed its upcoming release plans and guidelines for social distancing steadily diminished the recommended size of crowds.

Still Rowdy, Raucous & Rockin’: L.A. Landmark Barney’s Beanery Turns 100

The Editors

Travelers, as a rite of passage, would leave behind countless out-of-state license plates to prove to the world they had arrived in the promised land. Those license plates still decorate the bar at Barney’s Beanery today. Embraced by Hollywood royalty as a down-to-earth alternative to the region’s growing number of snooty formal dining establishments, Barney’s soon became a home away from home for such early movie stars as Clara Bow, John Barrymore, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn and Bette Davis.

Film Legends De Niro, Pacino, Pesci Aren’t Enough to Save ‘The Irishman’ From Itself

Christopher Karr

The shortsightedness of the filmmakers is on display in an unsettling way; they didn’t take into account two fundamental aspects of acting that make all the difference: eyes and physicality. Scorsese expressed concerns about how the de-aging affected the eyes of the performers earlier this year on A24’s “A Bigger Canvas” podcast, saying, “Certain shots need more work on the eyes.” But an even bigger problem is the fact that the actors, now in their mid-70s or older, don’t have the physicality of their younger selves.

Tarantino Delivers a Genius – and Peculiar – Masterpiece in ‘Once Upon a Time…’

Christopher Karr

The ending notwithstanding, there are times when the movie soars: The opening sequence that accompanies the credits is a breathtaking collage that plunges you completely into the headspace and milieu a different totally time. Brad Pitt gives the coolest performance of his career, and I mean “coolest” in the purest possible sense: cooler than Brando at his coolest, cooler than Steve McQueen (who appears as a character in the film long enough to give a monologue before disappearing completely). Pitt’s rapport with his dog is one of the more touching elements. 

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