Review: The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game PosterI’m a sucker for a tragic genius period film with an Oscar-worthy lead, and it’s a good thing, because there seems to be a proliferation of them lately. But the abundance in the genre takes nothing away from The Imitation Game’s dramatization of the life of the brilliant Alan Turing, whose efforts and intellect played a huge role in the Allies’ World War II victory, and who could well be considered the father of the computer.

Hello Kitty Crazy: Too Sweet Suite?

Hello Kitty Suite Sitting RoomWhy was I surprised to learn that they held an international “Hello Kitty Con” in Los Angeles? After all, they have a con for just about everything else. And while I’m not a particular fan of the iconic character, I have to give kudos to Korea Town’s Line Hotel for jumping in with both paws and creating the most lavish Hello Kitty experience ever. Hello Kitty Suite Mirror

Review: The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay—Part 1

mocking jay posterFans of the franchise, give a sigh of relief and a squeal of anticipation — you will not be disappointed! More than a space filler between Catching Fire and the big franchise finish, Mocking Jay Part 1 is a darkly intriguing film in its own right, even though there are no Hunger Games to speak of. This time, there are millions of contestants in Panem playing for their lives.

You’ll get a lot more out of the film if you quickly review the first part of the book it’s based on, or at least scan the last film installment, so you won’t spend the first part trying to catch up. The action starts quickly, without any explanation, exposition or preamble, although there are references to what previously happened scattered through the dialogue.

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon Embrace ‘Big Little Lies’

Nicole_kidman headshotreese-witherspoon Proving once again that it’s no longer a fall from grace for an A-List movie star to appear on television, both Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are developing the popular novel ‘Big Little Lies’ as a limited episode TV series. And TV’s finest David E. Kelley (Alley McBeal, The Practice, L.A. Law and Boston Legal, among others) is teaming up with them on the project. If that’s not a recipe for Must Watch TV, I don’t know what is.

There’s No Place Like Hollywood Auction: Priceless

There's No Place Like Hollywood Auction Casablanca Piano Cinephiles–You must remember this: You currently have a once in a lifetime opportunity to own the very piano Sam played again in Casablanca, original posters from your favorite classic movies — even an Esther Williams bathing suit or one of Dorothy’s blue pinafore dresses from The Wizard of Oz! Bonham’s and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) have teamed up to stage a classics auction on November 24th, and your online presence is requested.

Review: The Theory of Everything

theory_of_everything_PosterIt’s impossible for anyone not to love some aspect of The Theory of Everything, about Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) in his formative years as one of the greatest intellectuals of our time, and his relationship with his first wife, Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). It’s a biopic, it’s a love story, it’s a challenged genius drama, it’s a British period piece. And it’s also a tour de force for actor Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables), who will doubtless be nominated for an Oscar for his amazing portrayal of Hawking.

AFM and AFI – Oh, My!

Sophia-Loren AFI

By Staci Layne Wilson

It’s November sweeps for movies in L.A. Two of the most high-profile and important events took place simultaneously over the past week.

AFM (American Film Market) is all about the pitch, the sell and buy, and is expensive to attend; while AFI Fest (American Film Institute Festival) is all about a cornucopia of finished but as-yet unreleased films from around the world, and the screenings are completely free to anyone lucky and persistent enough to score tickets online.

AFM

Review: Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible-Bosses-2Stop at the title. It ain’t called “horrible” for nothing. I was willing to give this charmless sequel a chance, because I found the original Horrible Bosses somewhat amusing, and because I generally love anything Christoph Waltz does. But I’m afraid that he, and everyone else in the film, let us down. Horrible Bosses 2 is cringingly unfunny and downright painful.

This time around, the three bumblers are attempting to become bosses themselves by manufacturing their own invention, making the obligatory pratfalls every step of the way. Jason Bateman plays the voice of reason, while Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis (both talented in other vehicles) continuously shout over each other in inane babble speak. The first time they do this it’s funny, the second time confusing, and the next 200 times it’s annoying as hell.

Lady Gaga Buys Malibu Mansion with Bat Cave

Bat Cave Estate ExteriorA unique property for a unique lady. And although the Bat Cave part of the property is quite extraordinary, it’s hardly the estate’s most impressive feature. This is a one-of-a-kind, 6-acre property overlooking Zuma Beach in Malibu, with a 10,270-square-foot designer mansion containing top-of-the-line everything, and extensive and luxurious equestrian facilities, not to mention some of the best ocean views in Southern California.

The developer/former owner of the estate is Dan Romanelli, the founder of the Consumer Products Division of Warner Bros., who worked with merchandise from some of the studio’s most successful films. The Batman franchise was his baby, so he decided to equip his home with his own personal idea of the ideal “Bat Cave.”Bat cave bowling Alley