A galaxy far, far away is coming to the happiest place on Earth. Walt Disney Co. announced Saturday that it will create 14-acre “Star Wars”-themed areas for Disneyland in Anaheim and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla.
Spike Lee's relationship with the Oscars was defined nearly 25 years ago when the Motion Picture Academy gave its best picture award to "Driving Miss Daisy," a musty, modest movie about the relationship between a cranky Georgia widow and her black chauffeur while largely ignoring Lee's beautiful, uncompromising look at American race relations, "Do the Right Thing."
The style of music known as EDM, short for electronic dance music, can sometimes be made by someone alone on a laptop with a pair of headphones, then played at throbbing volume for enormous high-energy crowds. That tension between intimacy and boisterousness motivates a lot of the movie "We Are Your Friends," which stars Zac Efron as an aspiring musician with a laptop and a dream.
"The Second Mother" is a satisfying contradiction. It's a soap opera with a social conscience that casually mixes dramatic elements about serious class issues with a crowd-pleasing audience picture sensibility.
Inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), Julius Rosenwald partnered with African-American communities to fund some 5,300 schools for African American children in the Jim Crow-era South.
A film about lessons big and small, in "Learning to Drive," New York literary critic Wendy Shields (Patricia Clarkson) decides she must finally learn to drive after a divorce. Her instructor, Darwan Singh Tur (Ben Kingsley) is himself undergoing a transition as he prepares for his impending arranged marriage. In their time together both in and out of the car, each becomes less set in his and her ways as Wendy and Darwan come to learn that life lessons are a two-way street.
"Learning to Drive," not to be confused with the Corey Haim/Corey Feldman vehicle "License to Drive," comes from an autobiographical 2002 New Yorker article by essayist Katha Pollitt. In the magazine piece, later published in a Pollitt collection of stories, the longtime non-driving Manhattan resident bounces back from a breakup with a womanizing jerk (I'm taking her point of view) by grabbing the wheel of her own life, through driving lessons. At one point Pollitt imagines using her newfound skills to commit vehicular homicide on her ex.
We don't get to choose when or where we fall in love with a performer; sometimes it happens when they're doing Ingmar Bergman, and sometimes it's "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In." Lily Tomlin joined the cast of that cherished relic of a sketch comedy TV show in 1970, and very quickly millions became her comedy slaves, thanks to Ernestine, her purse-lipped telephone operator, and to Edith Ann, the fidgety wonder of a girl in the oversized rocking chair.
There are so many movies and TV series about surviving in a post-apocalyptic world that, at first glance, "Z For Zachariah" seems more of the same. In fact, the story - two men and one woman who somehow live through the cataclysm that has killed everyone else - is reminiscent of the 1985 cult film "The Quiet Earth."
Existential questions of faith, humanity and loneliness are pondered in Craig Zobel's low-key but deeply felt drama "Z for Zachariah." Falling into a rather recent genre that could be described as "post-apocalyptic farm," the film takes an intimate magnifying glass to one speck of human life left after nuclear fallout, and inspects the little dramas that erupt when one or more new people are added. In weighing desperate isolation and interpersonal messiness, the only answer that "Z for Zachariah" offers is that one or the other is inevitable.
"Are we ever gonna be better than this?" Cole Carter (Zac Efron) entreats his hyped, pulsating crowd. "We Are Your Friends," directed by Max Joseph, isn't quite sure of the answer to that question. But, as an audience, you wish that this promising, but generic film were better than this. "We Are Your Friends" injects a throbbing beat and fresh style into a classic coming-of-age tale, but all the electronic dance music and formal experimentation can't keep it out of the mire of a well-worn narrative.