When The Force Awakens landed two years ago, it was everything Star Wars fans wanted yet not entirely what we needed. It was a rousing tribute missing its own vision, introducing new characters and crises hinting at old ones.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi launches the franchise to another level of action and humor thanks to incoming writer-director Rian Johnson, whose imagination seems boundless as George Lucas' 40 years ago....
Guillermo Del Toro's romantic creature feature The Shape of Water soaked up seven Golden Globes nominations Monday, kicking off another marathon awards season.
The Shape of Water is nominated for best dramatic motion picture alongside Christopher Nolan's World War II drama Dunkirk, the revenge tale Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Steven Spielberg's The Post and Call Me By Your Name, a same-sex romance set in Italy....
A new documentary about comedian Gilbert Gottfried reveals someone more mild-mannered than his stage persona, married with children, verging on dull.
His voice doesn't grate, dropping half its nasal quality and all of its foul-mouthed bluster. Shy winces replace Gottfried's stand-up squint. Nobody would pay a two-drink minimum to meet this guy.
"I always think of that scene in The Wizard of Oz where it's, like, please ignore that man behind the curtain," Gottfried said by phone from New York. "Now a movie is revealing the man behind the curtain, so it's scary."...
Hollywood is backloading December, waiting for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to bring moviegoers back to multiplexes. After no major releases last week, only James Franco's The Disaster Artist is making any new impression at box offices this weekend. (Click here to read a review.) ...
Winter is still weeks away but everyone's favorite snowman is already melting from view.
In a cruel twist on Frozen's showstopper, Olaf is being let go.
Olaf's Frozen Adventure, the 21-minute animated "short" preceding Disney-Pixar's Coco in theaters won't be part of the show starting Friday.
Disney claims that was always the plan. If so, a limited run ending Dec. 7 wasn't made clear in Coco's advertising. Neither was the featurette's running time....
James Franco found a kooky, kindred spirit in Tommy Wiseau, The Disaster Artist whose 2003 cine-trocity The Room is hailed as one of the worst movies ever.
Like Wiseau, Franco can be accused of stretching his talent way too far. Unlike Wiseau, Franco has talent. The Disaster Artist is his smudged valentine from one undaunted artist to another, an imperfect re-enactment of misplaced optimism. All of The Room's perverse fun without the pain of watching it....
For a few bewildering days, R. Presley Stephens thought his Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival would welcome a notorious celebrity.
The fourth annual shoestring cinema showcase runs Thursday through Sunday at Britton 8 Theater, 3938 S Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.
Hollywood bad boy Shia LaBeouf won't be there.
Stephens said LaBeouf personally submitted his on-the-road documentary #takemeanywhere online for inclusion in this year's lineup....
11/29/17 Music & Concerts
For 17 years, Eliot Weisman did things Frank Sinatra's way.
Weisman was the Chairman of the Board's manager and confidant during Sinatra's last hurrahs, first gaining the legend's ear by keeping his mouth shut.
In 1981, Weisman left federal prison after serving time for racketeering charges connected to his theater, where Sinatra often performed. Investigators were intrigued by a photo of Sinatra and Weisman surrounded by organized crime bosses....
NOW IN THEATERS:
Disney-Pixar's animated dramedy Coco (PG) is inspired by Mexico's annual Dia de los Muertos, the "day of the dead" when departed ancestors are celebrated. Good for diversity, although the movie isn't as good as its intentions.
Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) defies his family and runs away to be a musician after one abandoned his great-great-grandmother. The boy's quest leads to the afterlife, where his late singing idol (Benjamin Bratt) and a skeletal peasant (Gael García Bernal) pull the plot strings....
The last thing this world needs is another rendition of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, likely the most remade, reimagined and ripped off literary property ever.
At the same time, the world would be poorer without seeing Ebenezer Scrooge interpreted by Christopher Plummer, an actor if not born to play the role then certainly, finely aged into it.
Plummer, soon to be 89, gets his chance in Bharat Nalluri's The Man Who Invented Christmas, a movie also managing a welcome fresh approach to Dickens' sentimental perennial. At last, the author takes center stage in his story, played charmingly by Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens....
Denzel Washington's labored portrayal of a shambling legal savant named Roman J. Israel, Esq. is the least of the movie's worries. This is a story of shifting ethics that should be dramatic, but shaky logic prevents that from happening.
Dan Gilroy's follow-up to his bracing 2014 debut Nightcrawler is toothless by comparison, written as detached from reality as his hero. Roman's mouse-click case memory is likely somewhere on the autism spectrum, camouflaged by grumpy old mannerisms. He's stuck in the '70s with shoulder-wide lapels and an Eddie Kendricks ringtone, clinging to Angela Davis' values....
Richard Linklater called 2016's Everybody Wants Some!! a "spiritual sequel" to his last-century breakout Dazed and Confused. Different characters, same youthful, life-exploring vibe.
Linklater's latest, Last Flag Flying, can be considered a spiritual sequel to 1973's The Last Detail, each based on Darryl Ponicsan's U.S. Navy-based novels. It's a tough act to follow: directed by Hal Ashby at his peak, starring Jack Nicholson on the cusp of a cuckoo's nest....
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is where Mildred Hayes vents grief over her daughter's rape and murder, and anger toward a police chief who hasn't solved the case. Ten words on stark canvases setting off a powder keg of poetic cruelty and unexpected redemption.
The setting and Martin McDonagh's movie are no country for weak women. No problem. As played ferociously by Frances McDormand, Mildred is no one to underestimate, not for her callousness or ease of violence when necessary, which is for her alone to decide....
Disney-Pixar's Coco was more enjoyable three years ago when it was titled The Book of Life and came from Twentieth Century Fox.
Both animated features spring from Mexico's Dia de los Muertos celebration, the annual "day of the dead" when departed relatives are honored, so they'll show the way to the afterlife. Each movie spends most of its running time there.
Only the Fox flick takes full advantage of the occasion visually, evoking the macabre iconography more authentically than Pixar's Tim Burton-esque skeletons with dislocating bones. The Book of Life was produced by Guillermo Del Toro, the superior fantasist....