'Eight-Legged Freaks' runs out of gas scarily fast - its one-joke premise lends itself more to a short than a feature.
Inarritu's films focus on the repercussions of a single act that draws people together and simultaneously throws their lives into chaos.
I think there are some people who have this thing where, from the very beginning, some part of them rejects convention.
I'm honored to be asked by Stephanie Allain - whom I've long admired - to add to the scope of my programming purview at Film Independent. I salute David Ansen for his work with the festival and look forward to continuing to follow his example.
Spending time with Mexican-born writer and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, you'd never guess that he's the filmmaker behind a series of movies known as the 'Death Trilogy.' The way he dotes on his children and talks about his wife makes it clear that he has a crackling passion for life.
It's true that a smile can take years off a person - not that such a thing matters in Yoko Ono's case.
What we're most aware of in 'Eight-Legged Freaks' is how similar it is to other movies, a recombinant mutated species itself, the product of the crossbreeding of the suffering-from-gigantism movies of the 1950s and the 1990 B-picture classic 'Tremors.'
When Bruce Lee gets his cameo in 'The Green Hornet' - as one of the drawings in Kato's notebook - it clarifies what the film is: an unrealized sketch. A sketch can afford to allude to a point of view. Moviemakers need to show their point of view, something this shrug of a movie never gets around to doing.
Like his countryman, Kiefer Sutherland, Seth Rogen has a voice that's 10 years older than he is - a combination of world-weariness and exuberance, an instrument that he's mastered for specific comic shadings.
There's a great deal of echoing going on in 'Old School.' Mr. Piven, who played the upstart outsider in the 1994 campus comedy 'PCU,' has crossed over into playing the stiff martinet.
Each country has its own way of communicating a narrative and, through that, expressing family experiences in emotional stories.
It's an oddity that will be avoided by millions of people, this new 'Pinocchio.' Osama bin Laden could attend a showing in Times Square and be confident of remaining hidden.
Stewart's interest in serious acting gives her something in common with Theron - and, like Theron, some of her most provocative work has come through working with women.
If a movie requires the lead actor to spend a good chunk of his onscreen time talking to himself, and Popeye is unavailable because of contractual disputes, it's hard to do better than Johnny Depp.
Scene by scene, you can't help being impressed by 'Mean Girls;' it's like a group of sketches linked by a theme, with some playing much better than others.
Berry was a transitional and, to my mind, revolutionary black figure who had to find a place for the rage that the crucible of racism created.
Justin Lin, the writer and director of the teenage-wasteland drama 'Better Luck Tomorrow,' a shrewdly tense piece of storytelling, recognizes that sometimes it's good for a filmmaker to stir up trouble.
Music is a big part of the director's life; Ms. Coppola's previous feature, a screen adaptation of 'The Virgin Suicides,' was informed more substantially by the score by the group Air than by the narrative.
I dress well. I travel; I seem to be relatively glamorous for a film guy - which, to me, is like being the fastest midget in the circus.
Before he became 'a working actor,' as he now proudly calls himself, Jamie Dornan initially caught the public's attention as a model - you may remember him from those greasy underwear ads with Eva Mendes, among many others.
I saw Berry in concert a couple of times in the late '70s - and like almost every North American male of a certain age, I went because a friend was hired by Berry that very day to be part of the legend's backup band.
'Ravenna' is, in many ways, the ultimate example of how a woman's perception of herself can lead to this horrible road being taken.
One of the best things Gwyneth Paltrow has done in years was her mesmerized, good-sport cameo in a 'Pootie' sketch, when she was melted over him like butter on an English muffin.
It may be a bit early to make such judgments, but 'Battlefield Earth' may well turn out to be the worst movie of this century.
The picture is being promoted as Disney's 'Spirited Away,' although seeing just 10 minutes of this English version of a hugely popular Japanese film will quickly disabuse any discerning viewer of the notion that it is a Disney creation.
If you start off as a fearsome figure in pop culture, it's almost axiomatic that at some point, years under the lights softens you into a cuddly family figure.
In 'Windtalkers,' the director John Woo is meticulous in melding his own intimate style into the cliches of a large-scale war movie, paying homage to all the tired conventions of the genre. But it's an honor that these cliches don't deserve.
Tina Fey, a performer and head writer for 'Saturday Night Live,' has deftly adapted Rosalind Wiseman's nonfiction dissection of teenage girl societal interaction, 'Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence.'
The funniest thing in the world to me is the idea of a white guy in his thirties going, 'Wait - I'm going to go into hip-hop.'
The documentary 'Certifiably Jonathan' has engrossing moments in it. How can it not? It's got a great subject - the extraordinarily voluble comedian Jonathan Winters, whose constant rush of words can be like a blizzard: beautiful, maddening, exhausting, and finally beautiful again. But it's not a great film.
What makes 'Pootie Tang' the motion picture enjoyable is its no-brow ambitions; it's a joke action film. It slides through enough African-American pop culture signifiers to raise laughs out of those who will appreciate the references; it revels in more cheese per square inch than a soul food diner.
It's so funny: whenever there's a new technology introduced, there's always this fear it's going to end entertainment as we know it. When records came around, they were going to be the end of live music. Nobody would ever want to go see live music again.
'Infernal Affairs' uses a vibrating terseness usually found in the writer and director Michael Mann's work. Thematically, this film deploys the techniques Mr. Mann brought to bear on 'Heat,' right down to using a similar cold-blooded electronic score.
The kind of filmmaking excitement that director Peter Weir brings to movies is bone deep.
I thought that, as a black audience member, I would like to see something that reflected an experience that's not normally exhibited in documentaries, or is so much about black people as victims in this country, and black people not taking control of their own lives and their own destinies.
In 'Requiem for a Dream,' the director Darren Aronofsky's adaptation of Hubert Selby Jr.'s lower-depths novel, Jared Leto has lost so much weight, he looks like another person altogether.
Real-life conduct aside, LaBeouf, a Los Angeles native, has been working steadily as an actor since he was 12 years old.
When an actor commits himself to a role as fully as Russell Crowe does in the grandiose and silly 'Gladiator,' you may ask yourself why and at the same time thank him for his absorption in the part.
His work isn't all glower. Even though he hasn't smiled in a movie since the underrated 'Proof' in the early 1990s, Mr. Crowe is given to a hurt swallow when he's uncomfortable and to a look of suffering in his eyes.
In the early '60s, it was still a fairly subversive thing, though, to say that you should take a painting, cut it, set it on fire, step on it, hammer nails into it.
The Comedy of Emasculation that Judd Apatow and his disciples have made into a separate economy was invented by the Farrelly brothers, 'Kingpin' being the strongest version of that.
I've been cheered by the reaction to what I've done with Film Independent at LACMA and the organizational support I've received in pursuing it.
Do you remember where you were when Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died?
Some people bring their work home with them. You might suppose that Sid Mashburn is one of those guys - the man was born with a name so brand-ready he basically had to become an entrepreneur.
One of the funniest things about Mr. Kaufman is that all of his filmed scripts - 'Being John Malkovich,' 'Human Nature,' 'Adaptation' and now 'Sunshine' - sound like titles from REM's 'Reckoning.'
The pleasantly crude 'Hall Pass' reminds us of what's been missing from movies: Those squirm-inducing moments in comedy that produce enough discomfort that, at points, what we're watching is half a heartbeat away from a horror film.
One thing that I've noticed about big families is that they usually break down into two camps: the talkers and the watchers.