'The Wrecking Crew' played the American soundtrack to the 1960s

Feb 17, 2016

'The Wrecking Crew' played the American soundtrack to the 1960s

The 2002 film “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” is a documentary about The Funk Brothers, an anonymous band of studio session musicians that defined the sound of classic 1960s soul music. Now we have “The Wrecking Crew,” a documentary about the West Coast ...

'Unbroken' opens in Tokyo with few complaints

| Feb 17, 2016

'Unbroken' opens in Tokyo with few complaints

In a small victory for freedom of speech, independent distributor Bitters End opened Angelina Jolie’s controversial World War II prison camp movie “Unbroken” at Shibuya’s Theatre Image Forum, and in the end there were no fascist sound trucks or other harassment — just a ...

An unforgiving look at 'Unbroken' in Japan

Feb 3, 2016

An unforgiving look at 'Unbroken' in Japan

Flashback to 1983: Director Nagisa Oshima’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence,” set during World War II in a Japanese-run POW camp in Java, is opening in theaters across Japan. It starred David Bowie with two huge local stars: comedian Beat Takeshi and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. ...

Johnny Depp as a sociopathic crime lord in 'Black Mass'

Jan 27, 2016

Johnny Depp as a sociopathic crime lord in 'Black Mass'

‘Black Mass” may sound like a classic horror film featuring Vincent Price or Barbara Steele, but it’s actually a modern crime film about a gangster nicknamed “Whitey,” played by Johnny Depp. Confusing? Yes, even more so when you examine its promo photos of a ...

| Jan 15, 2016

The man who sold the world on music

The Starman has departed for his home planet. I can’t imagine a world without David Bowie, but the strange thing is, he never was in my world, at least physically. So why do I feel the loss as dearly as I would my closest ...

The darker side of young adulthood

Jan 13, 2016

The darker side of young adulthood

The opening shot of “Little Birds” tells us all we need to know about its heroine Lily, a 15-year-old stuck in a deader-than-dead-end town. As she lies in the bath, the camera pans across the pale white skin of her legs until it lands ...