Author: Zoe Hewitt

“Phantom Thread” true art house cinema

There’s no mistaking a Hollywood Popcorn Flick. Between the big laughs and over-the-top action sequences, audiences don’t have to think too hard: it’s escapism. Art house cinema is the opposite in every way and generally appeals to a very niche market. Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s films generally skate a thin line between the two realms, though his latest, “Phantom Thread”, settles solidly into the latter category. “Phantom Thread” tells the story of Reynolds (Daniel Day-Lewis), a respected dressmaker, and his model-turned-muse Alma (Vicky Krieps). There’s very little dialogue and the actors are challenged to emote wordlessly, trusting that the...

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Bill Pullman, Peter Fonda, Tommy Flanagan talk “The Ballad of Lefty Brown”

Traditional Westerns have fallen out of favor in recent years, though the values they espouse remain timeless. Writer/director Jared Moshe’s “The Ballad of Lefty Brown” may fit the mold of a Western but with one distinct difference: it focuses on the overlooked sidekick rather than the standard hero. Moral codes like integrity and loyalty, however, remain at the forefront. In fact, it was this code of ethics in particular that drew Peter Fonda (“Edward Johnson”) and Tommy Flanagan (“Tom Harrah”) to the film. For more about “The Ballad of Lefty Brown” directly from Bill Pullman (“Lefty Brown”), Fonda, Flanagan...

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Pixar’s “Coco” exceeds expectations

The trailers for Pixar’s newest animated film “Coco” aren’t particularly captivating. At first glance, the story seems confusing and vaguely reminiscent of last year’s motion-capture feature “Kubo and the Two Strings”. As it turns out, trailers can be misleading and skipping “Coco” would be the biggest mistake of the year. Miguel’s (Anthony Gonzalez) search for his father through the land of the dead is a visual masterpiece. The production design is rich with detail and the character design is fabulous. Whoever first imagined skeletons could embody a range of emotions as sympathetic characters had tremendous foresight. “Coco” is a...

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“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” not quite comedic

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” is officially billed as a darkly comedic drama, but it’s far more drama than comedy.  Mildred (Frances McDormand) pays for three billboards questioning the local police chief’s investigation into her daughter’s murder when the case stalls after seven months.  The murder mystery, though, is more a device than actual plot point as the case takes backseat to Mildred’s grief, actions and evolution. The local police chief (Woody Harrelson) and detective (Sam Rockwell) are as multi-dimensional as Mildred.  However, particularly with Mildred and Detective Dixon, it’s up to viewers to decide if they are truly...

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“Thor: Ragnarok” revitalizes franchise

“Thor: Ragnarok” may be the third stand-alone Thor movie, but it revitalizes the franchise, as well as the superhero genre, in a way that the previous chapters have not.  Director Taika Waititi’s vision presents Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as more smart-alecky yet relatable than ever before. The movie’s opening scene shows a new Thor.  While there’s never really a fear that he’s not as all-powerful as ever, there’s also a different tenor to his wisecracking jokes.  He’s cocky, but not standoffish. A good portion of “Thor: Ragnarok” takes place on Sakaar, a planet ruled by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum).  He’s...

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Upcoming Events

all-day Barbara Morrison’s I Wanna Be Loved @ Pasadena City College, Sexton Hall
Barbara Morrison’s I Wanna Be Loved @ Pasadena City College, Sexton Hall
Feb 24 all-day
Barbara Morrison's I Wanna Be Loved @ Pasadena City College, Sexton Hall |  |  |
Award-winning Jazz and Blues Musical “I Wanna Be Loved,” the story of Dinah Washington, Queen of the Blues, starring three-time Grammy-Nominee vocalist and two-time NAACP Theatre Award Winner Barbara Morrison as Dinah Washington. With an[...]
7:00 pm Alex Theatre Fundraiser @ PIRCH Glendale
Alex Theatre Fundraiser @ PIRCH Glendale
Feb 24 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The Illuminate Dinner fundraiser benefits and celebrates the Alex Theatre art deco neon tower and marquee, featuring food by a guest chef and specialty wines, plus a wine auction, from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets[...]
8:00 pm Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Co... @ Matt Denny's Ale House
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Co... @ Matt Denny's Ale House
Feb 24 @ 8:00 pm
The orchestra presents “Regal Classics,” performing works by Britten, Haydn and Ellen Reid, starting at 8 p.m. Douglas Boyd conducts. Featured soloist is Toby Spence, tenor. Tickets are $27 and up.
8:00 pm Red Hen Press Poetry and Music a... @ Boston Court Performing Arts Center
Red Hen Press Poetry and Music a... @ Boston Court Performing Arts Center
Feb 24 @ 8:00 pm
A concert, “Water and the Future: Red Hen Press and the Music of Toru Takemitsu” features Red Hen Press Poets Florencia Ramirez and Tess Taylor reading their works, accompanied by music by Boston Court guitarist[...]
10:15 am Film Critic, Jazz Vespers at All... @ All Saints Church
Film Critic, Jazz Vespers at All... @ All Saints Church
Feb 25 @ 10:15 am
Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan offers his annual pre-Academy Awards look at what’s hot and what’s not in recent film festivals and the race for the Oscars at 10:15 in the Rector’s Forum.[...]

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