Charlize Theron

Theron heats up a cold city

Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) smokes, drinks, kicks, and kills with the best of them.

Take a world nearing collapse, a main character with oodles of bitchy beauty, add some cold-war cloak and dagger spycraft, throw in some “fluid sexuality,” lots of fight scenes, and just a pinch of back story. Good so far? Not so fast. Take away the script. Take away the music. Take away much of the acting. Not so great? Ok, so put one truly fantastic fight scene back in, and you’re served Atomic Blonde, the Charlize Theron vehicle opening wide today.

First time helmer David Leitch, a former stunt man with co-directing credits on John Wick has taken the graphic novel series The Coldest City and turned it into a mostly a muddled mish-mash that owes much of its existence to Luc Bresson’s La Femme Nikita and Leon: The Professional, as well founding father Doug Limon’s The Bourne Identity.
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‘Kubo’ is a visual masterpiece!

Beetle, Kubo, and Monkey looking high...

Beetle, Kubo, and Monkey looking high…

I’ve never seen stop-motion animation as inventively crafted or as embedded in the storytelling as I saw in Kubo and the Two Strings. Laika, the animation studio behind Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls, releases their most ambitious film yet with Kubo. Part parable and part fantasy epic, Kubo has a bit of everything, and though it gets a little over-indulgent in the final ten minutes, the film never feels overcrowded. Credit is due to first time director Travis Knight (son of Phil Knight, of Nike), who does a solid job of executing on an intelligent script by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler. The filmmakers infuse Kubo with unique action sequences, family-friendly humor, some nightmarish chills, and strong emotional themes. When these aspects are woven together with solid voice acting and stunning visuals, Kubo becomes a memorable cinematic tapestry.

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It’s a mad, mad, mad, Mad Max world!

WHAT A LOVELY DAY!

WHAT A LOVELY DAY!

It’s been 30 years since we last saw Max Rockatansky AKA Mad Max roam the dystopian post-apocalyptic landscape created by the great visionary filmmaker George Miller. During that time, Miller directed only a handful of films, primarily talking animal family films such as Babe 2: Pig in the City and the Oscar winning Happy Feet. Despite it being a work-in progress for many years, Mad Max: Fury Road seems to be Miller’s way of delivering a strict how-to lesson to all the action director wannabes who are flooding cineplexes these days with CG-filled shlock. Fury Road has its fair share of CG, but only when necessary…or when super cool. The practical effects (you know… actual people and actual cars and actual explosions) are unparalleled. Fury Road will set the precedent for what all forthcoming action films will be compared against, and not only for its action. Mad Max: Fury Road manages to showcase some of the greatest frenetic visuals in at least a decade while still delivering a worthy story and characters. It’s style AND substance — a rare treat. ‘What a lovely day!’ indeed.

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Logan Marshall-Green, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender in PROMETHEUS

starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Guy Pearce

written by: Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof

directed by: Ridley Scott

MPAA: Rated R for sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language

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Charlize Theron in SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

starring: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost, Toby Jones

written by: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini

directed by: Rupert Sanders

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality

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Charlize Theron and Jason Reitman on the set of YOUNG ADULT

On Wednesday we chatted with Patton Oswalt about his scene-stealing turn in Young Adult, the unnerving black comedy opening in San Francisco today. And now we’ll check in with its director, Jason Reitman. In the six years since his beloved feature debut, Thank You For Smoking, Reitman has become one of the most celebrated and in-demand directors in the film industry. In addition to earning back-to-back Best Director Oscar nominations for his second and third features, Juno and Up in the Air, he has established himself as one of the few filmmakers who can create acclaimed character-based films that also resonate with mainstream audiences at the box office. But with Young Adult, his second collaboration with Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody, he is taking a bold and risky step away from the accessibly charming and likable protagonists of his earlier films.

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Spinning Platters Interview: Patton Oswalt on “Young Adult”

December 7, 2011

It has been proven many times over the years that comedians can bring an unexpected and singular potency to their performances when given the opportunity to play a dramatic role. Actors from Tom Hanks to Robin Williams to Jim Carrey have graduated from broad comedy to dramatic leading-man status when finally given the chance to […]

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