The nicest thing I can say about Nima Nourizadeh’s American Ultra is that it’s so all over the place, it took me at least an hour to decide it was …Read More
The lovely 1994 adaptation of Little Women featured Gen-X angst icons Claire Danes and Winona Ryder, playing beloved sisters no less. With a pre-angry Christian Bale as Laurie, a smoldering Gabriel Byrne as Professor Bhaer, and Susan Sarandon as the feisty feminist Marmee, the film could not be a better period drama — for the ’90s.
There’s a part of this superhero-fatigued moviegoer that wants to just endorse This Is Where I Leave You on general principle and be done with it. This is, on paper, everything I hope for from mainstream, middlebrow cinema these days, the kind of movie tentpole-obsessed studios rarely bother to make anymore: a mid-budget, R-rated, serio-comic drama with a brain, a heart, and a good cast. “Good” is an understatement, really; this is a movie all but bursting with terrific actors. Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Debra Monk, Abigail Spencer, Ben Schwartz — even the bit players are terrific. And it speaks volumes about the current shortage of this type of project that so many talented people were willing to attach themselves to a picture as subpar as this one.
Hey there reader, been to the movies lately? If the box office reports are any indication, I’m guessing not — and who can blame you? We’re currently in the weird dead zone between the tentpole blockbusters of the summer and the prestige, Oscar-friendly pictures (and, increasingly, tentpole blockbusters) of the fall. But relief will be here soon enough, so in the interest of helping you mark up your movie-going calendar, we’re looking ahead to the fall films we’re anticipating most.
‘Nashville’ Is Finally Getting Country Music Right — But a Location Change Threatens to Kill Its Authenticity
Late last week, as fan favorites like Community and Trophy Wife were getting the axe, a series in the midst of change was renewed for a third season. ABC’s Nashville has remained on the bubble between cancellation and renewal for much of its second season, as its melding of the country music business and network television continues to extend beyond just plotlines. The show has transcended commentary on country music to become both a microcosm and a mirror of that world. But in order to continue building its TV viewership among country listeners, the show must continue to shoot in Nashville — a choice that’s up for debate at the moment. The authenticity that makes the show succeed depends on it.