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.

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

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

The Theory of Everything Vs. Foxcatcher

foxcatcher postertheory_of_everything_Poster
Editor’s Note: From time to time I let my lovely and talented husband weigh in on current films, because, as many of you know, he has a unique and entertaining perspective that is often contrary to my own. You’ll find what follows to be pretty amusing:

 

It’s Brooding Wrestler Vs. Brooding Physicist Smackdown, and the clear winner is…

By James Mandell

Heavy hitter Vs. a heavy witter? Let’s rumble:

Film Fashion and Movie Posters of Yesteryear Now on Display in L.A.

By Staci Layne Wilson

The late great comedienne Gilda Radner famously quipped, “I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn’t itch.” But for the film stars who must be trussed, corseted, stitched and SpandexedHollywood Costume in to certain iconic costumes, there’s not much choice when it comes to comfort.

It’s quite eye-opening to see the genuine, ingenious engineering that has gone into some of the iconic threads now on display at the historic Wilshire May Company Building (which is the future location of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles).

Review: Big Hero 6

BigHero6_PosterIt isn’t often that an animated films ranks as one of my favorites of the year, but Big Hero 6 is just that. And I’ve seen enough of the year’s big releases to believe that Big Hero 6 will stay on my Top Ten list. This smart and sophisticated, yet warm and friendly flick clicks all the right buttons.

Jason Bateman Shows No Arrested Development in Real Estate

Jason Bateman's Family RoomJason Bateman, star of the soon-to-be released Horrible Bosses 2, is not showing any Arrested Development when it comes to real estate deals. He recently listed the Hollywood Hills home he bought for $885,000 in 2002, and is now asking $2.25 million for it. Yes, the MidCentury Modern has been almost completely redone so it no longer has that hippy dippy feeling, but he’s still expecting to make quite the profit for a four bedroom, 2.75 bath home in L.A.’s fabled but flawed Laurel Canyon area.