My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 5/8/2015-5/15/2015


First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,
 
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My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 5/8-5/15/2015
winter sleepON NETFLIX: Winter Sleep, by writers Ebru Ceylan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan (who also directed), is about a hotel keeper in Turkey and his difficult relationship with his wife and sister, as well as his own ennui. Inspired by plays and stories of Anton Chekov, it’s leisurely and methodical, but also a fascinating character study about a man at an existential crossroads in life. Continue reading

My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 5/1/2015-5/8/2015


First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,
 
And check out my script consultation services http://ow.ly/HPxKE
My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 5/1-5/8/2015
hot fuzzON NETFLIX: HOT FUZZ, written by the star Simon Pegg and the director Edgar Wright, is a satire of both buddy cop movies and a peculiarly British genre, the dirty dealings going on in a small, sleepy country village. Very funny and often inspired (especially the opening). A fun romp.
shootON HULU: SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER, written by Marcel Moussy and the director Francois Truffaut (from the novel Down There by David Goodis) is Truffaut’s first feature after his debut The 400 Blows. It’s also his first foray into post noir in this story of a piano player who in a bar who helps his brother who is being pursued by two mobsters. One of Truffaut’s finest films. Continue reading

My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 4/24/2015-5/1/2015


First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,

 

And check out my script consultation services http://ow.ly/HPxKE

 

My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 4/24-5/1/2015
babadookON NETFLIX: The Babadook, Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent’s debut feature, a very scary horror film about a widow and her six year old son and what happens a mysterious book shows up at their house about a monster called The Babadook. Very well directed and truly creepy with a wonderful performance by Essie Davis as the mother.
amarcordON HULU: Amarcord is Frederico Fellini’s tone poem about the year in the life of a young boy and his small town as fascism is arriving.   Semi-autobiographical and without a real plot, it’s a series of scenes, at time very impressionistic, it’s a rapturous movie and one of Fellini’s finest. Continue reading

GROWING UP IS HARD TO DO: While We’re Young and Cupcakes


First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
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Warning: SPOILERS
while were youngThere is much to like in writer/ director Noah Baumbach’s musing on growing older, though not necessarily wiser, in his new film While We’re Young.
It’s almost never less than entertaining. And it’s a technically solid piece of work. Baumbach, as a director, feels fully in control of the how the movie looks. As a writer, the characters are often very well drawn and the dialog has a nice rhythmic feel to it, a sort of stylized realism of people from an intellectual background.
At the same time, I’m not sure the movie really comes together as a whole in a fully satisfactory manner. For me, the story itself seemed to flounder at times as it was trying to figure out just what is was supposed to be about.
Overall, my feelings were often those of puzzlement. Is While We’re Young a modern day version of All About Eve that constantly gets off subject, or is it a generation gap morality tale that Baumbach had difficulty finding a strong structure for and sorta, kinda tried to fit it into that of the great film by Joseph L. Mankiewicz? Continue reading

My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 4/10/2015-4/17/2015


First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,
 
And check out my script consultation services http://ow.ly/HPxKE
My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 4/10-4/17/2015
boundON NETFLIX: Bound, a superb thriller neo noir, the first film (and probably the best) directed and written by the Wachowski siblings. Jennifer Tilley and Gina Gershon as Violet and Corky start a love affair and conspire to rob Violet’s boyfriend of millions of dollars of mob cash. First rate.

 

hidden fortressON HULU: The Hidden Fortress, one of Akira Kurosawa’s samurai film and one of his most fun. A general and a princess in disguise must make it through enemy lines to some allies, the two carrying gold so they can rebuild their clan. A movie that served as inspiration for Star Wars, especially with a plot revolving around the saving of a princess and two bickering peasants who are obviously models for R2D2 and C3PO. Continue reading

My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 4/3-4/10/2015


dead zoneON NETFLIX: The Dead Zone is one of the better adaptations of Stephen King. It stars Christopher Walken as a man who ends up in a coma, but when he awakens can see the future if he touches someone. It’s well acted with Walken, Brooke Adams and Martin Sheen in the leads. A clever and satisfying screenplay Jeffrey Boam and solid direction by David Cronenberg.
magicianON HULU: Ingmar Bergman’s The Magician stars Max Von Sydow as a magician who may or may not have supernatural powers. Also with Bergman regulars Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Anderson and Erland Josephson. A metaphor for how the filmmaker was being treated in Sweden at the time.
film noirSPECIAL NOTE: Starting Friday, 4/3/2015, American Cinemateque at the Egyptian begins their annual Film Noir festival. This is one of the best things that the Egyptian does (especially since the programming at this location has really been going downhill the last couple of years). This is a must check out and the full schedule can be found at http://ow.ly/L9mGU Continue reading