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Cinema Chat: Enough Said, Dumb and Dumber To, Inequity for All, Parkland and More

Oct 3, 2013

After a week away, Michigan Theater Executive Director Russ Collins made his return to Cinema Chat, and sat down with WEMU's David Fair to discuss Hollywood news and new movie offerings. 

Credit The Michigan Theater

Indie Hit 'Enough Said' Is Oscar Race Dark Horse

The day after the Emmy Awards, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss was exhausted but elated from her Best Actress win for "Veep," a smart HBO comedy series that she seems to carry effortlessly. At an industry screening on the Twentieth Century Fox, she and her writer-director Nicole Holofcener talk about their fruitful collaboration on "Enough Said." Of course a lot of work goes into any series, but finally, as "Veep" demands fewer episodes than a broadcast season like "Seinfeld" or "The New Adventures of Old Christine,"Louis-Dreyfus now has more hiatus time to devote to movies. "Enough Said" provides a perfect vehicle for this smart comedy actress, who co-stars with James Gandolfini in what unfortunately turned out to be his penultimate movie role. This rarely glimpsed sweet and lovable Gandolfini is close to the real man, say Louis-Dreyfus and Holofcener. Holofcener's fifth feature film in 17 years is by far her most accessible movie to date.

Paramount Stalwart A.C. Lyles Bows Out at Age 95

A.C. Lyles – producer, publicist and one of the last links to Hollywood’s early years – has died at the age of 95.  He was 10 years old in 1928 when he handed out fliers at a Paramount owned theater in Jacksonville, Florida and 20 when he had saved enough money working as an usher to take the train to California and arrive at the Paramount gate expecting to get a job.  He got one in the Paramount mailroom. In a career at Paramount that lasted more than 80 years, he moved from the mailroom to the publicity department to the producer of low budget westerns to a role as Paramount’s unofficial ambassador.  Immensely likeable, he knew everybody during the golden days of the studio system and in 1988 was awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Andrew Craddock Lyles, Jr. was born on May 17, 1918 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Jennifer Lawrence lined up for Dumb And Dumber To cameo

Production has just got underway on Dumb And Dumber To, and there’s already some exciting news about a cameo appearance from none other than Jennifer Lawrence. THR reports that the Oscar-winning star spent a day on-set recently, and will be appearing as a younger version of a new character to be played by Kathleen Turner. No word as yet on who that character might be, or how she will fit into Harry and Lloyd’s quest to track down the former’s estranged daughter, but we can’t wait to find out. Directed by the Farrelly brothers and co-starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, Dumb And Dumber To is expected to arrive in cinemas mid-way through 2014.

Opening Downtown

“Inequity for All,” the acclaimed documentary film that features Robert Reich, professor, best-selling author, former Secretary of Labor, has at its heart a simple proposition: what is a good society, and what role does the widening income gap play in the deterioration of our nation's economic health? Reich demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy. The film is an intimate portrait of a man who’s overcome a great deal of personal adversity and whose lifelong goal remains protecting those who are unable to protect themselves. Scott Bowles of USA Today says, “Directed by Jacob Kornbluth, “Inequality” works by avoiding most of the political minefields that have made the economy mulch for partisan consumption.” “Inequality for All” opens Friday at the Michigan Theater. Join us for a special post-screening panel discussion on Tuesday, October 8, at 7 PM. The panel includes Bob King, President, UAW; Rashida Tlaib, MI State Representative; Kate Andrias, Professor, UM Law School; and Bob Gillett, Executive Director, Legal Services of South Central Michigan.

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle -- Reich is no condescending intellectual. He has no contempt for people of the opposite point of view. He even has nice things to say about Bill O'Reilly.

Nicolas Rapold, New York Times -- Mr. Reich ties together his talking points with a reasonable-sounding analysis and an unassuming warmth sometimes absent from documentaries charting America's economic woes.

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times -- Smart, funny and articulate, Robert Reich is the university professor we all wish we'd had. He's so accessible and entertaining he takes a subject that sounds soporific and makes it come alive like you wouldn't believe in "Inequality for All."

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal -- Mr. Kornbluth's documentary argues eloquently for such unassailable goals as investment in education and infrastructure, and complements Mr. Reich's exposition with compelling interviews ...

Recounting the events that occurred in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, “Parkland” weaves together the perspectives of a handful of ordinary individuals suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances: the young doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital, Dallas’ chief of the Secret Service, and the unwitting cameraman who captured what became the most watched and examined film in history. Starring Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver and Paul Giamatti, “Parkland” opens Friday at the State Theatre.

David Noh, Film Journal International -- Briskly edited and excitingly photographed with admirable attention to myriad detail, 'Parkland' features a battalion of good actors mostly working with laudable conviction and intensity.

Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter -- The film is otherwise engrossing, quietly revelatory, and often profoundly moving as it retells a story we only thought we knew.

Xan Brooks, Guardian [UK] -- If the film finally doesn't tell us anything we did not already know, the approach makes a worn-out old tragedy feel supple and urgent.

Opening at the Multiplex

In “Gravity” Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter says, “At once the most realistic and beautifully choreographed film ever set in space, Gravity is a thrillingly realized survival story spiked with interludes of breath-catching tension and startling surprise.” “Gravity” opens Friday. Directed by Alfonse Cuaron (Keh-ROAN)

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly -- What's astonishing about the film is its hypnotic seamlessness - the way that the director, Alfonso Cuarón, using special effects (and 3D) with a nearly poetic simplicity and command, places us right up there in space along with the people on screen.

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine -- If the film past is dead, Gravity shows us the glory of cinema's future. It thrills on so many levels. And because Cuarón is a movie visionary of the highest order, you truly can't beat the view.

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter -- At once the most realistic and beautifully choreographed film ever set in space, Gravity is a thrillingly realized survival story spiked with interludes of breath-catching tension and startling surprise.

“Runner Runner” follows Richie, a Princeton college student who pays for school with on-line gambling, as he bottoms out and travels to Costa Rica to confront the on-line mastermind, Ivan, whom he believes has swindled him. Ivan sees a kindred spirit in Richie and brings the younger man into his operation. When the stakes get incredibly high and dangerous, and Richie comes to fully understand the deviousness of his new boss, he tries to turn the tables on him. “Runner Runner,” starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck, opens Friday.

Katherine McLaughlin, ViewLondon -- A bland and unsophisticated crime thriller set in the world of online gambling which sees Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck go head to head and through the motions.

Nigel Andrews, Financial Times -- A crime-and-gambling thriller with Ben Affleck going head to head with Justin Timberlake. Result: they knock each other out like football players rising to head the same ball.

Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph -- Runner Runner starts off with a solid draw, then folds on the flop.

Special Screenings Downtown

The University of Michigan Nam Center for Korean Studies presents the Ann Arbor Korean Independent Film Festival. A2KIFF presents a critical selection of independent films screened in an intense four day long period in the fall term. Starting tonight with “Jiseul” and running until Sunday at the Michigan Theater with free admission. Check http://www.ii.umich.edu/ncks/eventsprograms for more information.

Monday Funnies continues with Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War satire “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” on Monday, October 7 at 7PM.