December 20, 2011
Five Favorite Films with Emile Hirsch
Whether he's piloting futuristic racing cars around a kaleidoscopic funhouse or perishing earnestly in the North American wilderness, Emile Hirsch has been steadily building a solid acting resume that surely hints of some great work to come. And though he's been relatively quiet since roles in Gus van Sant's Milk and Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, the young actor is set to return with a bunch of new films, the first of which -- opening in theaters this week -- is the sci-fi action thriller The Darkest Hour, the debut feature for visual effects expert-turned-director Chris Gorak, produced by Timur Bekmambetov. Hirsch stars, alongside Olivia Thirlby, as a young American traveler in Moscow who finds himself pitted against a deadly, literally electric invasion by power-hungry aliens. Well now, that's not good for tourism, Timur. We had a chance to chat with Hirsch recently, where he obliged us with his five favorite films... and an impromptu exegesis of Terrence Malick.
May 27, 2011
Critics Consensus: The Hangover Part II Could Use Rehab
This week at the movies, we've got men behaving badly? again (The Hangover Part II, starring Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms) and the return of a bamboo-eating martial artist (Kung Fu Panda 2, with voice work from Jack Black and Angelina Jolie). What do the critics have to say? Hey, remember The Hangover? It was pretty funny, right? What if they did basically the same thing, only this time in another country? Well, critics say that's essentially the problem with The Hangover Part II -- it's got hilariously bawdy gags and manic energy, but it's lacking the element of surprise that made the first film so fresh.
May 22, 2011
The Tree of Life Wins Palme d'Or At Cannes
Terrence Malick's much-anticipated The Tree of Life has lived up to its hype by taking home the Palme d'Or for Best Picture at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival -- though, true to form, the reclusive director did not appear on stage to accept the prize. This is the filmmaker's first Cannes win, having previously been nominated for 1978's Days of Heaven. Meanwhile, Kirsten Dunst was awarded Best Actress for her role in Melancholia, the dark drama from the festival's favorite wacky persona non grata, Lars von Trier. Dunst thanked her director in the acceptance speech, noting, with wry reference to von Trier's "controversial" remarks, "what a week it's been."