October 28, 2016
        Ten Contenders will compete for Best Documentary Short Subject                "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster        

Hollywood Movie Roundup: No Trip to “Bounty”-ful


For the third straight weekend, “Alice in Wonderland” figures to rule the box-office roost facing little competition from this week’s three new wide releases.

As with so many movies that are preceded by tabloid coverage of stars’ off-screen chemistry, this action comedy arrives with the leaden impact of a belated sequel. Gerard Butler merges his two established screen persona — brutish violence and brutish romance — teaming with Jennifer Aniston in this battle-of-the-exes tale, written by Sarah Thorp and directed by veteran Andy Tennant (“Fool’s Gold”). Butler and Aniston play a formerly married couple who are reunited when his title character is assigned to grab her bail-jumping newspaper reporter. His gambling woes and her investigation of a murder cover-up bring them into contact with some of New Jersey’s less desirable ambassadors, giving them a common foe but that doesn’t stop them from wailing on one another.
Little of the real-life spark seems to have made its way into the movie with critics loudly panning the film. A.O. Scott of the New York Times and Carrie Rickey of the Philadelphia Inquirer both yearn for the more genteel, verbal sparring of classic romantic comedies, with Scott lamenting that “Bounty’s”, “bloodshed produces an undercurrent of ugliness that the strenuously jokey high spirits cannot dissolve.” Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times acknowledges the stars’ talents (Butler is “a hunk who can also act,” while Aniston is a “gifted comedienne”) but asks, “If you could pay their salaries, wouldn’t you try to put them in a better movie?” Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Glieberman charitably gives it a passing C, but finds that “it’s certainly not a formula for romantic-comedy magic.”
Even with the bad reviews, the movie looks to be the top-grosser of the week’s newbies, earning somewhere in the low $20 millions — but less than half of what “Alice” should rake in.


Jude Law and Forest Whitaker star in this sci-fi thriller formerly known as “Repossession Mambo,” in which the objects being repo’d are not cars but artificial organs. It marks the feature directing debut of former storyboard artist Miguel Sapochnik. Eric Garcia (“Matchstick Men”) and Garrett Lerner adapted Garcia’s novel.

No one is thanking Universal for dusting this one off their shelf, certainly not critics. In the New York Times, Stephen Holden call it a “nasty, comic thriller. But when it “subsumes its satire to strenuous action sequences, it loses its edge and turns into a chase movie of no special distinction.” Robert Abele, writing in the Los Angeles Times, says the movie owes a debt of its own, to the better movies to which it references so heavily. Ebert isn’t sure “if the makers of this film intended it as a comedy” — which is seldom a good sign.

Box-office estimates have “Repo Men” chugging in at about $15 million.


Fox continues to be a prime purveyor of kid-friendly fare with this live-adaptation adaptation Jeff Kinney’s popular web-comic turned best-selling series of books. Zachary Gordon stars as the lad chronicling the misadventures of his first year of middle school.

The film is getting mixed reviews, seemingly divided between those who like it on its own merits and those lamenting the losses in translation. Ebert found the movie to be “bright, nimble and funny.” A.O. Scott, on the other hand, writes that “the director, Thor Freudenthal (“Hotel for Dogs”), and the four credited screenwriters have stripped away nearly all the humor, insight and energy. The movie looks drab and drained of color.” His “At the Movies” cohort, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, concurs, missing the “the doodly, episodic energy of Kinney’s journal entries.”

There doesn’t appear to be nearly the enthusiasm that greeted previous YA lit-to-screen phenoms such as “Harry Potter” or “Twilight.” Prognosticators look for “Kid” to gross about $10 million this weekend.

Also worth noting, Roman Polanski’s well-reviewed THE GHOST WRITER expands to 819 screens, and THE RUNAWAYS, starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning and garnering mixed-to-good reviews, opens in ten cities before going wide next week.






About Kevin Crust

KEVIN CRUST is a Southern California-based writer and editor of the Eclectic Odeon Review, an online guide to seeing movies in Los Angeles, launching in March 2010. In 18 years at the Los Angeles Times, he worked as a copy editor, senior researcher and staff writer. For most of the past decade, he was a key part of the Times' award-winning film department, coordinating the Calendar section's popular Sneaks issues, writing columns on alternative cinema and DVDs, and reviewing hundreds of movies. His work has also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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  • March 19, 2010 | Permalink |

    I just watched the trailer for Diary of a Whimpy Kid and it looks funny, I will definitely be seeing this

  • March 19, 2010 | Permalink |

    I’m disappointed to see that Repo Men is getting bad reviews, I was excited to see this movie, but now I’m not so sure

  • March 20, 2010 | Permalink |

    I saw Avatar last time and i became fan of Hollywood movies.Avatar has thing which make a movie good and Superhit.i like that.

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