April 20, 2012
Critics Consensus: The Lucky One Can't Catch a Break
This week at the movies, we've got a picture-perfect romance (The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling), relationship advice (Think Like a Man, starring Michael Ealy and Meagan Good), and a curious little monkey (Disneynature's Chimpanzee, narrated by Tim Allen). At this point, we know what we're getting from a film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel: syrupy romance and melodramatic plot twists. Sometimes an excellent cast can elevate even the most shopworn material. Case in point: Think Like a Man. Since 2009, Disneynature has celebrated Earth Day with a feature length nature documentary. This year's selection is Chimpanzee, and critics say it's a remarkably intimate look at our primate friends.
April 20, 2012
Five Favorite Films with Lawrence Kasdan
As any student of popular American cinema knows, the name Lawrence Kasdan is synonymous with some defining movie experiences among audiences of a certain age. One of Hollywood's hot young screenwriters in the '70s, Kasdan was enlisted by George Lucas to help pen The Empire Strikes Back, the film that -- along with the Kasdan co-written Return of the Jedi -- helped transform Star Wars from blockbuster movie into cultural myth. Soon after, Kasdan's second film as director, The Big Chill, effectively captured -- for better or worse -- the feelings (and musical tastes) of a generation of Baby Boomers entering thirtysomething adult life. And between those films, Kasdan's screenplay for Raiders of the Lost Ark was turned into another massive hit -- and enduring piece of movie iconography -- by Steven Spielberg. Kasdan returns after a lengthy hiatus with this week's Darling Companion, a comedy starring Kevin Kline and Diane Keaton about the search for a lost dog that brings on some typically Kasdan-esque moments of life assessment. We sat down for a chat with Kasdan earlier this week, in which he talked about his new film, his long collaboration with Kline, and his favorite memory writing on Empire. Read on for that, but first, he talks about his five favorite movies.