RogerEbert.com — Why Him?

Bryan Cranston and James Franco are stuck in one-note roles as an uptight father and his wild, would-be son-in-law, respectively, in this raunchy, R-rated comedy. Meanwhile, the young woman at the center of their squabble, a Stanford University senior played by Zoey Deutch, doesn’t seem to have much agency in her own future. Merry Christmas […]

5 Songs That Remind Me of Movies

I haven’t done one of these lists in a while, which is a bummer, because they’re always a lot of fun and they inspire spirited feedback. But when a dear childhood friend of mine mentioned on Facebook that he can’t hear the song “Just Once” by James Ingram without thinking of the heart-wrenching ending of […]

The Interview

Columbia Pictures Rated R for pervasive language, crude and sexual humor, nudity, some drug use and bloody violence. Running time: 112 minutes. One and a half stars out of four. This is what all the fuss was about? A movie composed almost entirely of dick jokes, ass jokes and bromantic homoeroticism was the cause of […]

A Secret Protest Screening

One of the many great parts about living in Los Angeles is the wealth of repertory theaters offering an array of eclectic fare for serious film lovers. The Cinefamily, at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax, is prime among them. These people dig deeply and care passionately, and they enjoy a loyal following. So when […]

RogerEbert.com — The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Watching “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” made me long for a low-budget, indie version of the same movie — one that took out all the numbing action sequences and focused instead on the character’s inner struggle. I also realize this is a ridiculous proposal in my two-star review for RogerEbert.com. Read the review here

Hollywood’s Biggest Morning

Oscar nominations morning is actually really fun, despite the ungodly hour. For years, I’d cover the nominations from the Academy on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills alongside all the other reporters and producers. Everyone’s in a good mood, if a bit bleary-eyed, buzzing on a combination of caffeine and expectation. This morning, I rolled out […]

What the Flick?! — Interior. Leather Bar.

James Franco “re-enacts” 40 minutes of cut footage from the 1980 drama “Cruising,” in which Al Pacino starred as an undercover cop exploring New York’s gay-bar scene, in his pseudo-documentary “Interior. Leather Bar.” Alonso and I appreciated this as an ambitious experiment.

On Gravity, All Is Lost and the Allure of Solitude

Is “All Is Lost” “Gravity” on a boat, or is “Gravity” “All Is Lost” in space? The proximity of the release of these two films — which surely will rank among the year’s best — offers an intriguing juxtaposition. Where would you rather be stranded: floating in the middle of nowhere in the stars, or […]

Five Most — James Franco Performances

Last night was “The Comedy Central Roast of James Franco,” with comedians and friends including Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Sarah Silverman and Nick Kroll tooling on the actor for his eclectic filmography and for just being an odd dude in general. That got me thinking about my favorite Franco performances. Here are five of them, […]

This is the tree …

In MacArthur Park where I interviewed David Gordon Green yesterday. Well, not in it. And we weren’t doing what Seth Rogen and James Franco are doing. But we sat underneath it and had a nice chat about “Pineapple Express,” and his new film “Prince Avalanche,” and the eclectic career he’s put together at just 38. […]