The most talked-about movie at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and the winner of the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival, The Kids Are All Right is directed by Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon) from an original screenplay that she wrote with Stuart Blumberg (Keeping the Faith). It’s a richly drawn portrait of a modern family. Nic and Jules (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) are married and share a cozy suburban Southern California home with their teenage children, Joni and Laser (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson). Nic and Jules – or, when […]
In the comedy Lottery Ticket, Bow Wow plays Kevin Carson, a poor kid in the projects whose winning numbers in a Friday night drawing on the Fourth of July 3-day weekend may make him an instant multimillionaire — if he can hold onto the ticket long enough to claim the prize with so many of his neighbors trying to steal it from him. With friends, neighbors, local thugs and even his minister hot on the trail of the ticket, Kevin is going to have one wild weekend. Bow Wow says of the predicament his character finds himself in, “Kevin’s just […]
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a deft blend of action, comedy and music based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Michael Cera plays the title character, a slacker musician in an indie rock band who starts dating the girl of his dreams (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but must defeat her seven evil exes if he wants to win her heart. Scott’s journey to winning the heart of Ramona involves achieving enough self-awareness, self respect and maturity along the way that he doesn’t become just another evil ex himself. As he fights his way through the “League of Evil […]
By Elaine Bergstrom Charlie St. Cloud, the story of a young man so overcome by grief and guilt over the tragic death of his kid brother that he retreats into a fantasy world where he believes he can still see him, is based on a novel by Ben Sherwood. Sherwood says the inspiration for his book came from two sources, “First, the sudden and unexpected loss of my father and the accompanying feelings of profound sadness and being frozen in place. … Second, the liberating, transformative power of love.”
By Elaine Bergstrom In the film Grown Ups, a group of old friends get together for a vacation for the first time in 30 years. The film’s stars, including Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph and others, have also known each other for years. It wasn’t hard to get them to sign on, particularly when the filming turned into a family affair. “Adam’s whole idea was that everyone would bring their families and we’d all have a nice summer at the lake house,” director Dennis Dugan says. “It was one of the best summers […]
By Elaine Bergstrom Ralph Macchio was in his 20s when he played a bullied teen in The Karate Kid. Jaden Smith — best known for his role alongside father Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness —was just 11 when he took on the role in the remake, which makes the bullying his character endures far more painful to watch. But Smith had a pair of allies on his side who aided his transformation in the film: Wu Gang, the stunt coordinator of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team, and Chan himself, who plays the role made famous by Pat Morita.
By Elaine Bergstrom Growing up means becoming your own person, moving away from the expectations of parents who, though they love you, may not quite understand what will make you happy. It’s the theme of some of the greatest animated features, such as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast and How to Train Your Dragon — a film about a teenage Viking short on brawn but long on empathy, with an independent spirit that changes the relationship between Vikings and dragons.
“I wanted to portray a bigger worldview of women because when we opened the first movie in cities like London and Berlin and France and Tokyo, I started to see that this was reaching more than just American women, that women around the world were identifying with these storylines and these issues and these characters,” says director Michael Patrick King on his decision to set Sex and the City 2 in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Unfortunately, the film was banned in that conservative country because of its “salacious” content and the word “Sex” in the title. Women there will be able […]
Jonah Hex is an action adventure about one man’s personal quest for redemption against the canvas of the battle between good and evil. This theme has been a standard of classic Westerns, but here the story also has a supernatural element and is based on a series of DC Comics. Merging comic book and Western took a good sense of balance. To bring Jonah Hex to life, director Jimmy Hayward and the producers worked to create an original world with one foot in history and the other in fantasy. “As he meanders across the West, through the Southwest, and eventually […]
By Elaine Bergstrom Among the legion of vampire films, a few stand out for their perfect blend of comedy and suspense. One of the best was The Lost Boys, a 1987 film that introduced the world to the vampire-hunting Frog brothers, Edgar and Alan. Surprisingly, it took 21 years before the sequel Lost Boys: The Tribe — again featuring Corey Feldman as Edgar Frog — was made. Now Feldman and Jamison Newlander, who played Alan Frog in the first two films, are back in Lost Boys: The Thirst. Here, the pair battle a vampire peddling vampire blood as a designer […]