REVIEW: ‘Rise’: dance film earnestly misses its pointe
by stephan koplowitz
The French film En Corps, curiously translated as Rise and presented by Blue Fox Entertainment, is a well-made, earnest, and thoroughly innocuous movie. It will interest anyone who watched Natalie Portman in Black Swan and railed to the heavens, “Why didn’t they cast a real dancer in the role!?” This new film will more than ...
For the kid in you! Saturdays with Max Fleischer cartoons at The Panorama
The great Polish-American animator Max Fleischer (1883-1972) and his production studios created iconic animations with characters like Betty Boop, Koko the Clown, Felix the Cat, Popeye the Sailorman, Superman and more. In 1926, Fleischer released the first cartoon with synchronized sound, My Old Kentucky Home. His love of jazz led to cartoons (live action & ...
Through the doors of Abbey Road Studios — at The Wallis
Remember the famous shot …? Taken a few seconds after this one? The crosswalk photo of the Beatles crossing in London’s St John’s Wood before their recording session at Abbey Road Studios, in which the image of a barefooted Paul McCartney spawned a crazed conspiracy theory that Paul was dead? And that John Lennon’s subterfuging ...
Movie-viewing happiness @ The Montalbán
When I like something, I like it. And, lately, I like the summer movie-viewing series high atop the venerable Ricardo Montalbán Theatre, aka The Montalbán, located dead center of Hollywood, on Vine Street just south of Hollywood Boulevard. The above image of director Quentin Tarantino’s single-card credit for his kick-butt KILL BILL, VOL II (2004), ...
Up on the roof: summer movies at The Montalbán
It’s a fun and cool thing to do. It’s Rooftop Movies at The Montalbán where a summer screening series kicked off the other night with The Greatest Showman, the Hugh Jackman/Michelle Williams movie-musical we had never seen. We had a ball. You can have one too. It goes like this. Find your way to the vaunted ...
How to blow up a pipeline – and blow your mind
by stephan koplowitz
What end justifies the means? If the end is radical environmental change and the survival of our planet, can violence be justified? In actions against private property, what if life is lost? How To Blow Up a Pipeline, the new eco-political film from Neon, directed and co-written by Daniel Goldhaber (whose last film was the ...
A sculptor’s inner life: Michelle Williams in Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Showing Up’ 2
I was entranced by the generically titled, but otherwise awfully good example of ‘slow cinema,’ Showing Up, directed by down-to-earth filmmaker Kelly Reichardt. This movie, opening April 7, is made by a woman artist; it concerns a woman artist, who is played by Michelle Williams, one of the foremost actresses of our time, in her ...
Charming ‘Moving On’ cast has celebratory premiere-party
the great lily tomlin The new comedy from Roadside Attractions, produced, written, and directed by Paul Weitz (About a Boy; executive producer of Pinocchio) concerns Claire (Jane Fonda) and Evelyn (Lily Tomlin), two estranged friends who meet at the funeral of a third. The two ladies cart decades of baggage — and its not by ...
Jonathan Baker’s lively Oscars viewing party 2023 honors Paul Sorvino
Gotham Chandna, Jonathan Baker, Nicole Muj Consul General of Croatia in Los Angeles Renee Pea Sweet Magnolia’s Anneliese Judge & Caroline Lagerfelt Jonathan Baker’s Annual Oscar Viewing Party, presented in collaboration with French Riviera Film Festival and Indie Entertainment Media was held on the eve of March 12 at Baker Manor in Beverly Hills — ...
REVIEW: ‘Champions’ wins at ‘all the feels’
by stephan koplowitz
As a feel-good movie, Champions, the winsome new basketball comedy directed by Bobby Farrelly and starring Woody Harrelson, does its job; it consistently dispenses good feelings. Presented by Focus Features with a screenplay by Mark Rizzo, it’s a remake of the celebrated 2018 Spanish film Campeones by Javier Fesser. This American version (I have yet ...