Nothing softens up a hard-hearted auteur quite like the presence of a beloved animal. The Coen brothers demonstrated this conclusively a few years ago with "Inside Llewyn Davis," an exquisite ode to loserdom that was brightened, and at times upstaged, by a winsome orange tabby cat. And even that most snappish of cinematic eminences, Jean-Luc Godard, seemed freshly energized when, while making his 3-D extravaganza "Goodbye to Language," he had the wisdom to turn the camera on an adorable pup named Roxy Mieville.
Parents need to know that "The Shallows" is a tense, bloody, jump-out-of-your-seat thriller starring Blake Lively as a young med school dropout who goes surfing at a secluded beach. After being chomped on by a shark, she must figure out how to survive and get to safety. Many scenes could scare the pants off of kids (and adults), including a shark jumping out of the water with its jaws open (then chomping down on a surfer) and a man crawling onto the beach with half his body chewed off. It's very exciting, but it's not for the faint of heart. That said, Nancy is a strong, determined woman who never loses her cool, though she does swear a few times (including "f--k" and "s--t"). Bottom line? "The Shallows" is both terrifying and entertaining, but it's not for young kids or anyone afraid of the water or blood. If you couldn't handle "Jaws," skip this one, too.
Parents need to know that "Independence Day: Resurgence" is the sequel to 1996's blockbuster alien-invasion thriller, "Independence Day." When the aliens come back, angrier and in bigger ships than ever, there's another round of destructive, cataclysmic violence: Whole cities are destroyed, ships are blown up, and notable characters die, some in particularly upsetting ways. There's also some strong language ("s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," etc.), a little drinking, and a few kisses.
Carnegie Hall will host a benefit screening this fall of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" with some special guests — author J.K. Rowling, actor Eddie Redmayne and other cast members from the film.
It started years ago as a home movie with a friend telling stories of his roller coaster life as a writer/director of subversive comedies and bloody psychological thrillers. Co-directors Noah Baumbach ("The Squid and the Whale") and Jake Paltrow ("The Good Night") kept their cameras rolling meeting after meeting, detailing virtually every phase of Brian De Palma's creative history in chronological order.
On the fine line separating the fearless from the reckless is where you'll often find Werner Herzog. Again and again over his five decades in film, the German director has turned his lens on figures who walk that tightrope, frequently in exotic landscapes - the bear-obsessed loner of "Grizzly Man," the Irish rubber baron who wanted to build an opera house in the Peruvian jungle in "Fitzcarraldo," the oddball Antarctic poets of "Encounters at the End of the World."
Israeli director Eran Kolirin shook up the 2007 Cannes Film Festival with "The Band's Visit," a movie that earned some of the best reviews of the year by examining the intercultural lives of everyday Egyptians and Israelis. The film was so intercultural, in fact, that its mix of Arabic, Hebrew and English languages disqualified it, controversially, from foreign-language consideration at the Oscars.
Two aquatic tales - one geared for families, the other for scare-seeking teens and adults - helped to buoy the weekend box office, with Disney/Pixar's "Finding Dory" retaining the No. 1 spot and the shark-attack thriller "The Shallows" exceeding expectations in its first weekend to come in fourth.
Michael Herr, the author and Oscar-nominated screenplay writer who viscerally documented the ravages of the Vietnam War through his classic nonfiction novel "Dispatches" and through such films as "Apocalypse Now" and "Full Metal Jacket," died after a long illness. He was 76.
Michael Herr, the author and Oscar-nominated screenplay writer who viscerally documented the ravages of the Vietnam War through his classic nonfiction novel "Dispatches" and through such films as "Apocalypse Now" and "Full Metal Jacket," died Thursday after a long illness. He was 76.
The story - which The Bee gave three-and-a-half stars - follows a one-time bullied geek who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent (Dwayne Johnson), coming home for his high school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of the former “big man on campus” (Kevin Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he’s getting into, it’s too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than he can count.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Watch movie trailer for 'Central Intelligence' with Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart
'Finding Dory' movie clip: Jewel of Morro Bay, California