Is there a better American city for walking than New Orleans? And is there a better place to escape buzzy French Quarter activity than the Garden District?
If you happen to be driving along the 8-mile stretch of Martin Luther King Boulevard that begins in Wellston and ends in downtown St. Louis, it wouldn’t take too long to realize that there aren’t a lot of options for purchasing fresh, healthy foods in and around the neighborhood. But this urban food desert is on the verge of change—thanks to the efforts of the Beloved Streets of America and its vision of community stabilization, according to Derek Lauer, who is the architect coordinating the master-planning for the nonprofit.
It seems most of what comes out of Hollywood these days are sequels and prequels…and remakes and re-imaginings and reinterpretations. It’s green, actually: Reuse, reduce, recycle. If there’s an additional dollar to be made…like I said, green. So it may surprise you to know that at some point, industry executives dropped the ball. Either that or they exercised some discretion and halted work on an ill-conceived sequel. Perhaps someone learned a valuable lesson from Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and Weekend at Bernie’s 2. Believe it or not, according to screenanswers.com, these sequels were actually in the works until the plug—for whatever reason—was pulled.
A great sports movie needs to have three things: an unsung hero, a heart-stopping victory and an inspirational message. I am happy to report that this movie has those thee components. And fortunately, great acting and compelling subplots are not a requirement for a great sports film.
I have to admit I've been curious about this film. As an Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature, I thought to myself that it must drive these animators nuts to create something so precious, only to be trampled by the Goliath that is Disney. Nothing against Frozen, it’s a delightful film, but this is art.
As we near the end of Hollywood’s self-proclaimed dead time (why on earth one exists is a question for another day) movie goers approach the Cineplex with the caution of a squirrel. And much like that squirrel, you may discover that the treat is not where you left it. So if you aren’t interested in seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to convince everyone that he’s 45, or witnessing a lot of teen drama—both on screen and in the audience—you may want to wait a few more weeks before venturing back to the big screen. Here’s what’s new and interesting:
Story: A dark, brooding Irish musician is at an unpleasant crossroads in his life. His girlfriend left Dublin six months ago for New York City, and he’s been carrying the torch for her ever since.
Story: To paraphrase protagonist Clifford Bradshaw, “there was a place called The Kit Kat Klub in a city called Berlin in a country called Germany…and we were all fast asleep.” Bradshaw, an American novelist wannabe, has traveled to Europe in 1929 in search of his muse, first in London, then in Paris and now in Berlin.
In the late 19th century, France was amid an epic transformation: Its lush, natural landscapes were rapidly altered by the impact of industrialization and tourism. All the while, artists and photographers of the time were capturing this significant shift in its national identity. As St. Louisans celebrate the 250th anniversary of their own French heritage, they can explore this period of historic art and change in the expansive new exhibit, Impressionist France, on view through July 6 at Saint Louis Art Museum's new East Building.
I don’t want to give anything away. No matter your religious beliefs, you really can’t argue the fact that Bible stories make wonderful theatrical productions: The Ten Commandments, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Passion of the Christ. Frankly, it’s surprising no one has brought the story of Noah’s ark to the big screen before now. Well, actually, they have. There was a respectable feature film in the '20s—you can almost picture the stagehands throwing buckets of water from off-stage—and a somewhat embarrassing mini-series in 1999 starring Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen that just about everyone seems to want to forget. This new movie version fares the flood waters with greater success.
I think it’s fair to say that Jason Bateman is one of the most likable actors working today. In movies like The Change-Up and Horrible Bosses, he puts an edge to the classic straight-man role. On top of that, he seems like a smart guy, which is why I was eager to see his directorial debut, this black comedy. I have no doubt Bateman himself would like the film referred to as a 'twisted' black comedy, sadly there is no plot to twist.
Let’s face it: Tragic career spirals are as common in Hollywood as Botox and traffic jams. Nobody seriously asks the question, Whatever happened to (fill in the blank)? because the answer is obvious and unsurprising: He chose a couple of bad projects (Zac Efron); his ego got the better of him (Vin Diesel); drugs (Lindsay Lohan); bad reviews (Ryan Reynolds); people forgot about him (whatshisname). It’s the nature of the business. Did you know, for example, that the actor who portrayed the magnetic bad boy Kelly Leak form the original Bad News Bears movie, Jackie Earle Haley, is a renowned and busy character actor these days; or that Karate Kid nemesis William Zabka has been popping up in television shows of late?
For the first time ever, the intimate story of a struggling street musician and the woman who gave him new hope will take centerstage at the Fox Theatre with the original Broadway show, Once. Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Once is a unique theatrical experience featuring live onstage musicians playing what becomes the soundtrack to the characters’ romance and dreams. LN spoke with British lead actor and musician Stuart Ward about the musical, performing it live, as well as the power music has to captivate us all.
Let me state for the record that I have never met Wes Anderson. Let me also state that I would very much like to. If I am ever stuck on an elevator with a stranger or stranded on a desert island with an unknown companion, or pinned next to someone on an international flight, I would like that person to be Wes Anderson. That being said, I don’t know where to begin with this movie. Like most of his films, it has the beaming charm of a French children’s book, but it also has a similar tendency to meander.
And coming up next in the seemingly endless line of young adult fiction that tackles the insurmountable and painfully obvious problem of 'fitting in' (wrapped in one blanket metaphor or another), we have Divergent. The Mortal Instruments, The Hunger Games, Twilight, X-Men, The Host...the $2-dollar word here is dystopian. In a dark future or parallel world, an unlikely hero takes on the system…
Story: Banker Sam Wheat and his girlfriend Molly Jenson, a potter, have moved into an old brownstone in Brooklyn to renovate it and make it their home. Meanwhile, at work Sam notices some major and troubling discrepancies in some accounts he’s managing, and confides the problem to his friend and colleague Carl.
It may not feel like it, but it is that time of year again: Time to pack your bags or your car or your kids, and head for what you hope will be sun and surf and peace and quiet. Spring break can have many different interpretations. It can mean chaperoning a high-school trip—or trying to avoid chaperons on a high-school trip. It can mean shuttling kids around an Orlando theme park, or it can even mean two weeks of It’s time for the kids to see Europe. It any event, whether land-locked, in flight or seaside, spring break always involves one thing: the beach read.
Home Buy Design Now Casting in St. Louis
And the Oscar goes to…Webster University alum Leah Latham! Latham, who graduated from Webster’s animation program in 2010, served as editorial production coordinator for Disney’s latest worldwide box-office smash, Frozen.
Filmmakers Harrison Macon and Jason Chen
The weather may be warming, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything in theaters worth seeing. If you remain firmly planted to your couch, rightfully suspicious of the thaw, you have options. Here’s what’s new on DVD:
To get you in the mood for this Sunday's 86th Annual Academy Awards, we have LN's longtime movie critic, Debbie Baldwin, comparing notes with Brandon LaMew, who's been ranked No. 15 among Netflix's top film reviewers worldwide.