Poor California gets split in half by seismic activity in "San Andreas," director Brad Peyton's earthquake thriller starring Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino and Alexandra Daddario.
Not unlike the Golden State itself, film critics have also been divided by the disaster flick: Some appreciate its unabashed spectacle, but others can't get past its CGI sheen and wooden dialogue.
In an ambivalent but somewhat favorable review, The Times' Kenneth Turan writes, "'San Andreas' has the technical might to make the post-quake horrors it depicts all too plausible." On the other hand, the movie is "woefully by-the-numbers from a dramatic point of view. Even by the non-Olympian standards of the disaster genre, 'San Andreas' is chock-full of cliche characters, staggering coincidences and wild improbabilities. And its dialogue is so of the 'this is gonna hurt' variety that I tallied close to half a dozen 'Oh, my Gods' before I stopped counting."
And yet, Turan writes, "films this preposterous can be engaging...Read more
Life has been anything but a beach for "Aloha," Cameron Crowe's Hawaii-set romantic comedy starring Bradley Cooper as a jaded defense contractor, Emma Stone as his new love interest and Rachel McAdams as a former flame.
After being criticized for cultural insensitivity, badmouthed in leaked Sony emails and pushed back on the release calendar, the movie is now being panned by many film critics who find it overstuffed and incoherent.
One of the few favorable reviews comes from The Times' Mark Olsen, who writes, "Even with its off-balance, overstuffed storytelling, ['Aloha'] maintains a charm and energy that never flags, with brisk pacing and generally engaging performances from its deep-bench cast." (Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski are among the supporting players.)
Olsen adds, "With its unguarded emotions and romantic earnestness, 'Aloha' may simply be a movie not for this moment, its pre-release bad luck run a sign of some core disconnect. Rather, it is a film of moments,...Read more
We're gonna need a bigger screen.
"Jaws," Steven Spielberg's 1975 thriller about a great white shark terrorizing a seaside resort town, is headed back to theaters to mark its 40th anniversary.
On June 21 and 24, Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Universal Pictures will present afternoon and evening screenings of the film at about 500 theaters nationwide. An introduction by TCM's Ben Mankiewicz will precede the movie.
Based on the Peter Benchley novel, "Jaws" tells of a New England police chief (Roy Scheider), an oceanographer (Richard Dreyfuss) and a shark hunter (Robert Shaw) who tangle with an undersea menace. The film was a critical and commercial hit upon its release, and four decades later it's credited with ushering in the summer blockbuster and turning Spielberg into a major player in Hollywood.
"'Jaws' is a classic thriller enjoyed by generations and it is ready for a comeback," Kymberli Frueh-Owens, Fathom's vice president of programming, said in a statement. "Movie buffs...Read more
The late novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace is best remembered for writing "Infinite Jest," a sprawling 1,079-page opus full of ironic wit and dynamic, digressive prose.
The new trailer for James Ponsoldt's biographical drama "The End of the Tour," however, finds Wallace -- as played by Jason Segel -- standing on the precipice of fame and clinging to normalcy.
"I got a real serious fear of being a certain way," the long-haired, bandanna-clad writer says. "I treasure my regular-guyness."
Wallace is speaking to Rolling Stone journalist David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg), who tagged along for five days of the "Infinite Jest" promotional tour in 1996 and recounted the experience in the 2010 memoir "Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace."
A fellow writer thoroughly in awe of his subject, Lipsky counters: "You don't crack open a thousand-page book because you heard the author is a regular guy. You do it because he's brilliant."
Fame, identity,...Read more
Five-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Caleb Deschanel -- father of actresses Emily and Zooey Deschanel -- will receive the American Film Institute's 25th Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal.
The honor recognizes the creative talents of alumni from the AFI Conservatory or the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women, someone who embodies the qualities of the late Oscar-winning director of "Patton." Schaffner was on the board of trustees of the AFI from 1975 until his death in 1989.
Caleb Deschanel earned Academy Award nominations for 1983's "The Right Stuff," 1984's "The Natural," 1996's "Fly Away Home," 2000's "The Patriot" and 2004's "The Passion of the Christ." He won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for 1979's "The Black Stallion." He will receive the Schaffner award June 4 during the AFI Life Achievement Tribute to Steve Martin at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
FOR THE RECORD
1:02 p.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that the AFI award...Read more
Run-of-the-mill bank heists not doing it for you anymore? Stealing gold getting old? The new trailer for "Point Break" has you covered, combining daring robberies with eye-popping extreme-sports stunts like skydiving, off-road motorcycling and wingsuit flying.
Set for release Christmas Day from Warner Bros., "Point Break" is of course a remake of Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 action flick starring Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah, an FBI agent who infiltrates a ring of surfing criminals led by Zen-spouting alpha-dude Bodhi (Patrick Swayze).
Given the original's cult status — earned with plenty of SoCal vibes, bromantic bonding and over-the-top action — it's easy enough to forget that Bigelow's film isn't winking or ironic. Like Bodhi and his gang, it's deadly serious about its mission.
That straightforward approach appears to have carried over into director Ericson Core's remake, which stars Luke Bracey as Utah and Edgar Ramirez as Bodhi. Set against globe-hopping backgrounds, the trailer is all cool...Read more