Since its beginning in the 1870s, the Central West End has served as a sought-after St. Louis residential district. These days, the CWE is an urban oasis full of homes, restaurants, bars, art, entertainment, and—of course—shopping.
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:
News is a 24-hour-a-day business. Correction: It’s a 60-minute-an-hour, 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week…you get the idea. Furthermore, the news simply is not a nicely groomed anchor reading today’s top stories before handing the ball off to 'Storm,' the weather guy, or 'Champ' for sports. A news channel has an anchor reciting the news. It also has a crawl along the bottom explaining, in brief, top stories. There also is a picture-in-picture of some breaking event. And, in case you were curious, there is a list of bullet points of what’s up next. It’s like staring at a strobe light. Breaking news: The cable news channel is giving me a seizure.
I have a very clear picture in my head—I didn’t say it was accurate, just clear. It’s George Clooney and Matt Damon at a high-end steakhouse. They eat giant ribeyes and the maitre d' gives George two long puffs on a Cuban before he insists he put it out. Then George tells Matt that it’s been too long since they had a guys’ trip cleverly disguised as a movie, and—as fun as it may be—Ocean’s Fourteen seems out of the question. So, they round up a great group of actors and find themselves a suitably manly script and…show time!
Frankly, this is one of those movie reviews where the space would be better filled by giving you my savory beef stew recipe than actually discussing the film. I mean, I could tell you that halfway through the movie, pigmies run in and jab the audience with pointy sticks. But if you’re going to see it, you’re going to see it. On the flip side, I could tell you that going to see this movie is like watching Pretty Woman, sitting next to George Clooney, while getting a foot massage, eating Champagne truffles on Prozac. But if you don’t want to see it, you’re not going to see it.
I hate setting the bar too high with a film like this, because one of the things that can really blow you away is the unexpected. Considering the huge amount of pre-release press and Oscar buzz, I knew surprisingly little about this film. I will try to extend the same courtesy.
With the early horses out of the gate and a smattering of expected disappointments out of the way, it’s time to get serious--awards-show serious. Here’s what to look forward to in October.
Good news: The kids are in bed at a decent hour. Bad news: It’s getting darker earlier. Good news: There’s a refreshing crispness in the air. Bad news: The rainy chill of autumn has arrived. Good news: Vin Diesel and Channing Tatum have been locked up until next summer. Bad news: George Clooney and Michael Fassbender haven’t been let out yet. Good news: There are some outstanding films to watch at home. Bad news: There are some that are so appalling, you will wonder why no one warned you. Well, consider yourself warned...
As a teenager, Peter Martin would get up an hour-and-a-half before school to practice jazz, then go right back to his piano after the last bell rang. All that dedication certainly paid off, as he went on to attend Juilliard School of Music, earn multiple Grammy Awards and perform with his music idols throughout the world—even in the White House. Soon, the St. Louis native will return to his favorite place to play: The Sheldon. His Peter Martin Music Series has become a crowd favorite on the famed concert hall’s schedule, which also will include performances by Americana musicians Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn (Sept. 20), Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriters Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin (Oct. 4), and folk artist Rickie Lee Jones (Nov. 8) this year. LN recently caught up with Martin to talk about the series, his CD set for release in February and some highlights of his prolific career.
There’s something about a courtroom drama that piques our interest—but with shows and movies about lawyers hitting the air waves every week, we wondered what the professionals watch. Here, we’ve asked area attorneys for their all-time favorites. (And we’re adding them to our list!)
The Tenderloin Room was the latest stop on our tour of local steakhouses. Ensconced in the elegance of The Chase Park Plaza, the restaurant has long been a destination for visiting celebrities like Frank Sinatra and George Clooney, as well as dignitaries of all types. Though it's been around a good long while, this classy eatery has lost none of its luster.
It’s an exciting year for Oscar: Lots of firsttime nominees and incredible performances and as always, lots of snubs. Here are the nominees in the six big categories:
Due to popular demand, here are the films currently in release that I recommend: Michelle Williams has become an Oscar frontrunner with her stirring portrayal of Marilyn Monroe.
I know what most people are thinking when they learn of a movie that is adapted by, directed by and starring the notoriously liberal George Clooney: agenda film. And while yes, the character Clooney portrays is the perfect amalgam of Bill Clinton and President Obama—down to the campaign posters—the film is something else entirely. It is a tightly wound political thriller that unfolds in front of a naïve campaign wunderkind who must quickly figure out that in high stakes politics it’s eat or be eaten.
Every fan of the romantic comedy has the same likes and dislikes about the genre. The thing is, the likes are the dislikes. The plot structure is about as predictable and formulaic as you can get in film, and in the end, the boy always gets the girl. This film takes a slightly different tack, and the result: an original romantic comedy. And they said it couldn’t be done.
I have a theory about this movie. It is so impossibly bad that I have to wonder how George Clooney could have gotten involved with it. Then it occurred to me. It’s a movie with one, and only one, even mildly attractive man and several extremely beautiful women shot in an impossibly charming and remote European village. Maybe Clooney just did the math. Because other than that I can’t see any reason anyone would be drawn to this script. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, It’s about nothing.
George Clooney with girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis. photo courtesy of Splash News Online
Gorgeous George…In case you missed him, GEORGE CLOONEY was spotted biking in Italy near his Lake Como home this week sporting a souvenir from his St. Louis stay in spring 2009. Clooney’s Affton High School Basketball T-shirt was a gift from the school. The actor, co-star VERA FARMIGA and crew members of Up in the Air spent days filming at the school, which was transformed into ‘Ashton High School’ for the movie.
Play: “That Championship Season”
What do you get when you take a good-looking guy, add some cool fashion and put him in some killer cars? The recipe for style—on wheels! Dr. Zach LaBoube is the owner of InsideOut Wellness in Clayton, and one heck of a fashionable guy—whether he knows it or not. photos by Suzy Gorman — Shot on location at St. Louis Motorsports
Christmas has come early: It’s Oscar time (March 7). Time to pour yourself a glass of champagne and park it on the couch for three hours of mediocre comedy, mind-numbing live performances and 47 ridiculous speeches where self-involved actors (redundant) thank their people. I do this in the hope one or more of the following will happen: Someone will say something really, really funny, something really, really stupid, something clearly under the influence, or someone will fall (I’m not proud of it).
The 82nd Annual Academy Awards will be handed out Sunday, March 7. This year, like every year, the nominations brought some No-Brainers, some Surprises and some Snubs. The Academy also shook thing up by going with the old 10 best picture nominees format—no doubt to help DVD sales, but that’s the cynic in me. Let’s take a look:
They made a tactical error promoting this movie. They make you think you’re about to become privy to a bizarre, unbelievable conspiracy theory about psychic warfare. What it actually is, is a bizarre semi-engaging story about pseudo-psychic soldiers and their ability, or lack there of, to overwhelm the enemy. It’s not a complete waste of time, but it’s underwhelming.