Tom Hardy

REVIEW: Keeping It Together While It Falls Apart in ‘Locke’

I have to admit I was reluctant to see Steven Knight’s Locke for two reasons. The minor one was that I gleaned from the trailer that this was some sort of cerebral Speed (I rarely read about a film before I see it), in which the hero, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy), is forced to keep driving because of a ticking bomb in the trunk — or a ticking bomb somewhere else, or his family is being held hostage — all the while negotiating his/their survival on the car’s speakerphone. It isn’t that, but it sort of is: he is forced to drive, but it is for moral and compassionate reasons, not a life-threatening situation. The major reason I was reluctant to see this: It’s playing on the big, huge screen at the Cinerama Dome at the Arclight Hollywood, which means that if it isn’t a blockbuster — and it isn’t — it’s got to be so genius that it would likely thrust me into an existential funk that would make me want to throw in the towel on my own endeavors.

Sandra Bullock Gravity

REVIEW: ‘Gravity’ Soars

I’m still not sure if it was the three beers I had before the screening or the raw influence of Alfonso Cuarón’s filmmaking that made me list bodily about thirty degrees to the left during the last half of Gravity (I pat myself on the back for the foresight of booking an aisle seat). When they were serving me, both the bartender and waiter of the restaurant at the Arclight Hollywood scanned me with that singular American Puritanical opprobrium, you know, that pursed look they get when they’re thinking you might be better off at an AA meeting or preferably in rehab than at sneak screening of what everyone knows is an instant classic;

Greta Gerwig by Alexandra Molotkow

REVIEW: References to Things Past in ‘Frances Ha’

A side perk of going to see sneak previews at the Arclight Hollywood is the audience that a particular film will attract, a group that is willing to catch it so late at night before it officially opens. Last week at The Great Gatsby, for instance, it was girls and gheys in Jazz Age costume, many of who clapped and cooed when Leonardo Di Caprio first spun around and faced the camera with that Titanic smile. Last night at Noah Baumach’s Frances Ha I was seated in front of a half row of hipsters,

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

REVIEW: ‘Looper’ Stuns, Over and Over, and Back Again

When I was discussing my review for The Master with PFC contributor Chris Cramer the other day, he said, “Paul Thomas Anderson is the Truffaut of American cinema, and Tarantino is the Goddard.”  I mention this because there is something vaguely Tarantino-as-Goddardian about Looper, although I’ll be damned if I can put my finger on exactly what that is.