Last week, a trailer for director Alfonso Cuarón’s new feature “Gravity” was released online, causing a stir among movie fanatics and casual moviegoers alike. The film, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, Cuarón’s first feature since 2006’s “Children of Men,” depicts the terrifying experience of two astronauts on a spacewalk disrupted by flying debris that destroys their shuttle.
Already causing a stir within the Billboard and Recording Industry Association of America sales figures, is the album an intelligent marketing strategy or just a ploy for attention?
Saturday brought me to “Ernest & Celestine,” the most adorable children’s movie I’ve seen in, well, ever, and “Life of a King,” a not-at-all cute but equally lesson-oriented film on the true story of Eugene Brown, who started a widely adopted inner-city chess program.
Another day at the L.A. Film Festival brings me to remarkable debut film “Concussion,” a subtle, almost European in temperament film about lesbians and transgression, and “The Spectacular Now,” the much anticipated new film by the writers of “500 Days of Summer.” Miraculously, they manage to work the magic of “500 Days” again with “The Spectacular Now,” bringing the same sort of cliche-busting honesty to a genre (high school romance) chock full of eye-rolling formula.
The fourth day of my coverage of the LA Film Fest brings me to two very different films: “Casting By,” a fairly by-the-numbers documentary on the unsung heroes (casting directors) of the film industry, and “Only God Forgives,” a purposefully button-pushing gorefest by provocateur Nicholas Winding Refn, working again with “Drive” buddy Ryan Gosling.
My third day at the fest brings two not completely satisfying movies: the sci-fi “Prometheus” miniature “Europa Report” and the literary adaptation “Winter in the Blood.” As both were rather uninnovative, I was unimpressed, but depending on your affinity for genre film or literary fiction they could both plausibly please the right crowd.
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