What’s there to be thankful for today? Well, MGM wants me to let you know that Mr. Brooks debuts on pay-per-view and video-on-demand. Now that’s Thanksgiving, baby. So if football isn’t your thing, enjoy instead some Kevin Costner, with a side dish of William Hurt as his murderous id. As far as careening serial killer ensemble pieces, it has to be the film of the year, and probably, in a close finish, the second best flick set in Portland, if only because of the copious nudity in Feast of Love. Costner’s bare haunches just don’t do it for me, sorry. For the movie’s trailer, click here.
One needn’t spend their Thanksgiving weekend at Kohl’s, sighing deeply while their sister/girlfriend/wife/mother weighs the pros and cons of four different throw rugs as a gift for their aunt. For those in the Southern California area, at least, respite comes in the form of a stunning, 70mm presentation of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. The 1962 epic — starring Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence, the man who helped the Arabs revolt against European and Ottoman hegemony — screens at multiple times on November 23 through 25 at the Egyptian Theatre, and on Sunday, November 25 at the Aero Theatre. For those looking to take in cinematographer Freddie Young’s expansive vistas or just enjoy all over again the winner of seven Academy Awards, this is the definitive big screen experience.
historic Egyptian Theatre is located at
information on tickets, directions and the theaters’ upcoming schedules,
phone (323) 466-FILM, or visit
the Cinematheque’s eponymous Web site by clicking here.
It’s a happy birthday to Scarlett Johansson, who turns 23 today, and no doubt celebrates with a smoke or three. I wonder if Isaac Mizrahi will send her an email or a Target gift card or anything.
while I think she’s talented, she’s not been particularly well served by her choices, including continued collaborations with Woody Allen (two down, one yet to release); better to have done Match Point and skipped out, really. This fall’s The Nanny Diaries didn’t catch fire at the box office (there’s no cuddly relatability factor with Johansson among slightly older females), and I don’t know that other, forthcoming projects with a historical bent (The Other Boleyn Girl, Mary Queen of Scots), in the loose mold of over-acclaimed indie Girl with a Pearl Earring, are necessarily any more likely to give Johansson that much heat or traction. She’s kind of a “tweener” talent, in my opinion — the curvaceous figure and breathy voice of a starlet of years gone by, but with something intrinsically modern about her countenance. Johansson’s best performances (Ghost World, Lost in Translation) rely on an understated petulance or frustration, qualities with which most female lead characters are not typically infused.
The picture above, meanwhile, from the same Golden Globes where Mizrahi committed his carpet-walk grope, to me, umm, robustly embodies Johansson’s off-screen image makeover. It smacks of the ever-so-slightly plump high school ugly duckling who goes off to college, sheds a few pounds and takes their newfound self-esteem out for an over-sexualized test drive. And you know what? I’m fine with that… though I do think there’s a much shorter shelf life for that sort of occupational play.
In the 1980s,
Church Street Station provided a welcome stopover for many country crooners and
autumn-of-their-years pop and R&B acts. It was a perfect alignment of venue
and audience. After all, with the theme park rides and attractions of Disney
World and Epcot Center nearby, this provided a chance for future boomers to
kick back, relax and, if they so desired, prove they could still cut a rug. It’s
against this backdrop that George Jones’ 1984 performance, now available on
The erstwhile husband of Tammy Wynette, and probably at
least partial inspiration for her hit “Stand by Your Man,” Jones is arguably
one of the greatest country singers of all time — a quiet, captivating
personality with plenty of dramatic power in his voice. Though probably best
known for his somber song canon, Jones has also shown a fondness for
lightheartedness through novelty tunes like “White Lightning.” Those two
different sides of his personality get trotted out in equal measure here on George Jones: Live in Concert, an
hour-long DVD that also features special guests Johnny Rodriguez and Mark Gray.
Most of the popular chart-toppers from Jones’ days of
dueting with Wynette — tunes like “We’re Gonna Hold On,” “Golden Ring” and
“Near You” — aren’t included here, which may be a bummer for fans of that era.
But plenty of other staples are, including “When I’m Gone,” “The Race Is On”
and 1980 Grammy winner “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Other tracks include “The
One I Loved Back Then (The Corvette Song),” “Who’s Gonna Chop My Baby’s
Kindlin’,” “Bartender Blues,” “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” “Chicken Reel,”
“She’s My Rock” and “No Show Jones,” the song coined after the nickname Jones
earned for ducking out on announced concerts. Rodriguez sits in on “I Always
Get Lucky with You,” “North of the Border” and “Love Me with All Your Heart,” meanwhile,
while Gray guests on “Diamond in the Dust” and “Back When Love Was Enough.”
Presented in full-screen with 5.1 surround sound, George Jones: Live in Concert comes
housed in a regular Amray case, with a bonus quiz section on Jones’ life and
career serving as the only supplemental extra. Though it’s somewhat yawningly produced, hardcore fans will still find worth in this release. To purchase the disc via Amazon, click here. C+ (Concert) C- (Disc)