Science fiction flicks about NASA pioneers lost in outer space are a dime a dozen. But cool special effects, applause-milking technical bravura and advance film-festival raves make Gravity more highly anticipated than usual. For the most part, it lives up to the hoopla. It’s a thrill ride in an amusement park for kids and eggheads alike.
Guess Who Reviews
Today’s Weekend Arts section of The New York Times had a pretty tepid review of the Melissa McCarthy/Sandra Bullock buddy-cop movie The Heat as its cover story. But they forgot to add a byline! Can you guess which noted movie critic wrote the following passages? (And no Googling the actual review online, because the by-line does appear in the Times’ web version, so that’s just cheating.)
The Ziegfeld Theatre has had a busy week, and it was overrun again last Thursday night for the world premiere of Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, the film adaptation of the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, which fictionalizes a young boy’s experience post 9/11.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a bold and honorable film, beautifully made, and sensitively acted (especially by a kid named Thomas Horn, in his first acting role, who literally steals the movie right out from under everyone else). It is meticulously directed. It is richly photographed, with the kind of dreamscape quality that makes New York look like a museum mural. It is also preposterous.
Every talent involved with this endeavor is first-rate. Based on the 2005 best seller by Jonathan Safran Foer, it boasts a screenplay by Eric Roth (Forrest Gump). The cast is exemplary. The direction is by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot). Chris Menges (The Killing Fields) is behind the camera and the music is by Alexandre Desplat (The King’s Speech). The word “quality” is stamped on every frame, and as movies go, it does indeed tower above the norm. In addition, the story is a wrenching mix of hope and despair about disrupted lives in the aftermath of 9/11. So what’s wrong with this picture? Or what’s wrong with me? I was told going in to bring a box of Kleenex. But nobody around me was sobbing. It was two hours and 10 minutes long. I kept checking my watch. I admired all the good work by so many good people, but clearly I found something about Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close labored and muddled, and it wasn’t just the title.
By the Numbers
This morning Keith Kelly drilled down into Audit Bureau of Circulation numbers for the celebrity weeklies from the first half of the year. People is still the country’s widest-circulating weekly by a nose (32,000 copies), and In Touch has been making serious gains on second-place Us Weekly. The title was regularly moving well Read More
The sexts between Tiger Woods and Joslyn James are perhaps the worst PR for extramarital hanky-panky since pizza aficionados Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. “Where do you want to be bitten,” the golfer asks the porn star in one exchange, perhaps indicatively forgetting the question mark. And Ms. James’ shapely buttocks were not all he Read More
The Academy Awards may belong to Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean that The Observer and fellow New Yorkers can’t boldly declare what Ought To Be. We give you Oscar picks by coastal sensibilities–and who’s got the edge in the end.
View the Slideshow > Read More
The Academy Awards may belong to Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean that The Observer and fellow New Yorkers can’t boldly declare what Ought To Be. We give you Oscar picks by coastal sensiblities–and who’s got the edge in the end.
View the Slideshow > Read More
A year ago, Natasha Vargas-Cooper, a California-based contributor to the Awl and Gawker, named 26-year-old Manhattanite Katie Baker among her favorite female bloggers in a blog post. Ms. Baker linked appreciatively to the post on her Tumblr, calling Ms. Vargas-Cooper, whom she’d never met, “a lady I luv.” After that, “the lovefest continued,” said Ms. Read More
It’s déjà vu all over again. The top three films remained unchanged at the box office, meaning the first weekend of 2010 felt a lot like the last weekend of 2009. Once again, Avatar, Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel were win, place and show according to moviegoers. Buoyed by Read More