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'A Walk in the Woods' takes a not-so-interesting path

4 hours agoEntertainment / Film : LA Times

As "A Walk in the Woods" opens, Robert Redford, playing author Bill Bryson, suffers through a morning talk-show appearance. He smiles and nods and vaguely agrees with the clueless host without saying much as he is told various things about himself and his work. It is a moment of small comedy played...

Wes Craven's retirement plan? 'My goal is die in my 90s on the set'

Los Angeles Times reporter Susan King interviewed director Wes Craven as he was about to be the subject of a retrospective -- "Merchant of Nightmares: A Tribute to Wes Craven" -- at the Aero Theater in 2010.

'Mad Max: Fury Road' roars into new blockbuster territory

New Releases: 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' 'The D Train,' 'Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me,' 'Bessie'

Cinecon 51 refocuses on film, with Stooges, Arbuckle, Laurel and Hardy rarities

A seldom-seen Three Stooges comedy, one of the few surviving Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle feature comedies and a new print of an Oscar-winning Laurel and Hardy short are among the hot tickets at this year's Cinecon Classic Film Festival.

'Unsullied' a thoughtful woman-in-distress thriller

When her car breaks down on the way to a track meet, sprinter Reagan Farrow (Murray Gray) gets a lift from two strangers who turn out to be cannibalistic serial killers.

'The Second Mother' raises class issues with an engaging spirit

"The Second Mother" is a satisfying contradiction. It's a soap opera with a social conscience that casually mixes dramatic elements about serious class issues with a crowd-pleasing audience picture sensibility.

1952's lauded 'Forbidden Games' from France remains in a class by itself

"Forbidden Games" may be one of the acknowledged classics of post-war French cinema, the winner of both the Golden Lion at Venice and the 1952 Oscar for foreign language film, but it is also a difficult motion picture to put in a bo...

Dystopian 'Z' fails to deliver at the end

An intriguing set-up yields a disappointingly ponderous payoff in Craig Zobel's post-apocalyptic drama, "Z for Zachariah."

'Steak (R)evolution' doc goes in search of world's best cut

The documentary "Steak (R)evolution" chronicles the quest for the best steak in the world, the hunt undertaken by Franck Ribière, a first-time director with cattle-breeder lineage, and Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec, a top Parisian butcher profiled by the Wall Street Journal in 2012 and an associate...

Documentary 'Butterfly Girl' celebrates life amid medical struggles

Sometimes it's those with the hardest struggles in life who remember to appreciate life more than anyone else. This message comes through loud and clear in Cary Bell's documentary, "Butterfly Girl."

'Guidance' gets an A for its subversive silliness

Canadian funnyman Pat Mills was born to play David Gold, a former kid actor who's now a floundering, alcoholic, sexually confused man-child living in an epic state of denial. David is at the epicenter of "Guidance," a wacky, subversive comedy also written and directed by Mills. It's a creative...

'Rosenwald' reveals a philanthropist with a mission

"Rosenwald" used to be a name to conjure with, but no more, and that is a shame this vivid, engaging documentary attempts to do something about.

Family drama 'A Reason' is overwrought yet underdone

Interfamily drama takes center stage in writer-director Dominique Schilling's "A Reason."

'Blood Punch' is a weak shot at a comedy-thriller

In the malevolently unfunny comedy-thriller "Blood Punch," three meth cookers at a cabin in the woods find themselves in not merely a violent love triangle but a repeating nightmare of betrayal with seemingly no exit.

'We Are Your Friends' director Max Joseph on Zac Efron, EDM and that thing called stress

He was warned against working with Zac Efron: "Don't. Be careful. He's a party kid."

'We Are Your Friends' takes itself too seriously

The style of music known as EDM, short for electronic dance music, can sometimes be made by someone alone on a laptop with a pair of headphones, then played at throbbing volume for enormous high-energy crowds. That tension between intimacy and boisterousness motivates a lot of the movie "We Are...

'We Come as Friends' illuminates big issues by digging deep

Documentarian Hubert Sauper goes where other people don't go, sees what the crowd doesn't see, and creates unsettling, provocative political documentaries that are unlike anyone else's. His latest trip to Africa (following the Oscar-nominated "Darwin's Nightmare") is so audacious that the Sundance...

Grown-up humor, sensitive story, costar chemistry fuel 'Learning to Drive'

A film about lessons big and small, in "Learning to Drive" New York literary critic Wendy Shields (Patricia Clarkson) decides she must finally learn to drive after a divorce. Her instructor, Darwan Singh Tur (Ben Kingsley) is himself undergoing a transition as he prepares for his impending arranged...

Owen Wilson on getting serious for new film 'No Escape'

Movie audiences love to laugh at Owen Wilson - as the excitement about the "Zoolander" sequel in which he'll once again play obnoxious supermodel Hansel can attest.

Indie Focus: Watching 'Grandma,' listening to a Paul Weitz podcast

Subscribe to the newsletter Hello! I'm Mark Olsen, and welcome to your weekly field guide to a world of Only Good Movies. Last week we wrapped up our powerhouse August of Indie Focus Screening Series events with "Z for Zachariah," followed by a Q&A with star Chiwetel Ejiofor, and "Learning to Drive"...

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