The decidedly retro World War II-era melodrama "Shanghai" is a throwback in every sense of the word. Not only is its aesthetic firmly placed in the 1940s, it almost feels like it could have been made in 1990s Hollywood, when "Greatest Generation"-type nostalgic films like "The Rocketeer" were made.
A highly enjoyable, zestfully acted team-building exercise, with Matt Damon playing the team of one, director Ridley Scott's "The Martian" throws a series of life-or-death scenarios at its resourceful botanist-astronaut, stranded on Mars but making the most of it. It's one of the most comforting science fiction films in years.
It’s not often that a master’s thesis has the makings of a best-seller, but after Leanne Brown’s student project appeared on the social networking site Reddit, traffic to her own website jumped to 50,000 from 80 people per day.
It was a challenge to play Bobby Fischer in chess, and it's a challenge for an actor to play him on the screen. Anyone taking on the task needs to be careful not to get carried away with the man's eccentricities, to make sure to retain the pathos beneath the sideshow.
What's the point of watching horror movies? An often argued reason is catharsis. Horror movies have a unique way of dredging up cultural anxieties and playing them to their worst ends on screen, so when the lights come up, we can say, "it's only a movie," and dismiss those fears away.
There's plenty of running in "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials," as the movie's teen heroes, survivors of last year's surprise hit "The Maze Runner," hurtle from one spectacular crisis to another and another and ... If you can lose yourself in the eye-popping set pieces, and don't expect much in the way of character development (or dialogue), you may conclude that it's OK as a sci-fi action sequel.
"Everest" is not an easy movie to watch. No entertainment that contains such tragedy should be. The truly breathtaking spectacle and technical achievements can make you feel like you too are on a vertical slope at 29,000 feet.
It was a dark and stormy night. No, wait, that's what we've been having here in Honolulu for the past few days. The premiere of the sixth season of "Hawaii Five-0" merely looks that way, opening with a gloomy moon glowing over the ocean.
Spin your most haunting tale of horror and the supernatural in the Honolulu Star-dvertiser Today section's annual Halloween Fiction Contest. Entries are limited to 650 words and must be original work never before published.
Kuakini Auxiliary’s annual bazaar: 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Kuakini Health System’s Hale Pulama Mau Auditorium. Features clothing, jewelry, handmade crafts, household items, potted plants, baked goods, sushi, waffle dogs, andagi and more. Proceeds to benefit Kuakini Foundation. Call 547-9184.
Among the charms of "Learning to Drive," a small, observant dual portrait of a New York book critic and her Indian-American driving instructor, are the detailed, lived-in performances of its stars, Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley.
The South Korean romantic drama "The Beauty Inside" has both an intriguing back story and a fantastical plot. Based on a series of early American shorts from 2012, in which a man goes to sleep and wakes up every day in a new body, it's an often charming, magical-realist illustration of the old maxim that beauty is only skin deep.
"Jimmy's Hall," Ken Loach's loving dramatization of the life and times of the Irish communist James "Jimmy" Gralton, begins with jumpy black-and-white archival footage of Depression-era New York. The buildings going up, the teeming crowds, the soup kitchen lines.
"Meru" will open your eyes, and more than once. Not just visually, as you might expect from a documentary on the obsessive quest to be the first to climb the most difficult peak in the Himalayas, but psychologically as well.
On a sultry afternoon, in his basement office lair tucked beneath a sports car dealership and private jet showroom, Jackie Chan is flipping gleefully through photos on his MacBook. The martial arts master and multimillionaire is eager to show off not his latest stunts, exotic automobiles or private plane, but his prized stuffed animals.
Anne Marie Price taught herself mosaic art, creating intricate designs and portraits with cut pieces of stained glass. Recently she began balancing her usual large projects with smaller ones: She turns her mosaic touch to smooth stones that she picks up on beachcombing and mountain hikes near her Huntington Beach, Calif., home.
"The task of understanding the past is never-ending," Susanna Moore observes late in "Paradise of the Pacific: Approaching Hawaii," her fascinating account of the "short 120 years from the arrival of Captain Cook in 1777 to the annexation of the Islands in 1898 by the United States."
Even for freewheeling 1970s San Francisco, Minnie Goetze isn't your typical 15-year-old. An aspiring cartoonist, Minnie (the magnetic Bel Powley in what is rightly being lauded as the breakout performance of the year) roams the city with minimal supervision from her party-girl mother (Kristen Wiig), drinking, doing drugs and failing at school.
Part electronic dance music tutorial and part love letter to Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, "We Are Your Friends" is a surprisingly accessible and sweet story of a group of friends standing on the cusp of adulthood with big ambition and little direction.
Long before Laverne Cox made the cover of Time magazine as a “transgender tipping point,” and long before Caitlyn Jenner made global headlines as a former Olympian transitioning from male to female at age 65, there was Candis Cayne.
Wild weather has become more common with climate change, the experts say, and homeowners can prepare for natural disasters by making home inventories — detailed lists of household belongings and their approximate value.
The idea of the high-tech, emotionless super-soldier is so popular in movies, it's practically a convention. The "Terminator" and "Bourne" franchises, and even last year's animated "Big Hero 6," imagine characters programmed to kill and the would-be world destroyers who want to control them.
The likably awkward chemistry of Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg remains intact in “American Ultra,” a violent stoner action-comedy that’s half “Pineapple Express,” half “The Bourne Identity,” and not as good as either.
Though some might find it hard to conceptualize “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet” as a cartoon, animation turns out to be a nifty way to visualize this collection of world-famous poems about spiritual enlightenment.
It’s summer and your grill is in overdrive. At the start of the season, you were probably content to cook up perfectly seared but otherwise unadorned steaks, chops and portobello mushrooms. But at this point you may be feeling like dressing them up a bit. Flavored butters do the trick beautifully.
If you’ve been out to eat at any trendy restaurant during the past five years or watched any food competition, you’ve heard of umami, a pleasant savory flavor resulting from the interaction of certain amino acids with receptors on the tongue.
TV watchers, meet the five channels you selected to add to the Today section’s prime-time program grid: NHK World, Smithsonian, Nat Geo Wild, Science and History 2. As a bonus, we found room to add a sixth favorite: Ovation.
"The Gift" is old-fashioned in the way it conjures up scares. It's filled with creepy characters who are one emotional jolt from going over the edge, scares that come more through psychological twists and more plot curves than in a Major League Baseball game.
For many years I was hooked on Thai red curry paste, a thick, unctuous seasoning that packs a little heat and a lot of savory deliciousness. It’s great whisked into vinaigrettes and marinades, smeared straight up onto steaks and chicken, blended into meatloaf and burgers, even pureed into hummus.
After more than 16 years and nearly 2,600 telecasts, Jon Stewart can feel proud of his scads of Emmys and his pair of Peabody Awards, his cultural gravitas (he hung with the Prez, both on and off the air!), even his reprobate status at Fox News. • 10 highlights of "The Daily Show" • 'The Daily show' alums
There was a time when a lunchbox was just that, a box into which your parents packed your lunch. For many years they were metal and came emblazoned with your favorite cartoon or movie characters, as well as a matching thermos.
Not long after the panicky protagonist of “A Hard Day” avoids hitting a dog with his car on a dark highway — only to run over some guy, stuff the guy’s corpse into the trunk and be comically waylaid at a sobriety checkpoint by some Keystone clowns — you may wonder how long writer-director Kim Seong-hun can keep this Rube Goldberg machine going.
Claude Chabrol is dead, but there’s Anne Fontaine to take his place, as a French director who is prolific, reliable and always accessible, and whose work is like an ideal hybrid between French and American influences.
A flurry of haymakers in the form of boxing movie cliches, “Southpaw” was conceived as a loose remake of “The Champ” — Wallace Beery in 1931, Jon Voight in 1979 — tailored for Marshall Mathers, also known as Eminem.
“Pixels” had promise. The combination of director Chris Columbus — whose credits include the high-energy comedy “Mrs. Doubtfire” and the action-heavy “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” — with classic 1980s video games seemed like a match made in arcade heaven.
The best thing about "Ant-Man" is that, for much of its running time, it doesn't seem like a Marvel Comics superhero movie. The worst thing about it is that it eventually does. Sooner or later, men in skintight suits are shown doing battle, probably to save humanity or something like that.
Over the past decade, Bill Condon has been directing big, splashy movies such as "Dreamgirls," not to mention two entries in the "Twilight" series. Yet "Mr. Holmes" feels more like the real Bill Condon, the one who gave us "Gods and Monsters" and "Kinsey."
Sidekicks rarely shine when thrust into the spotlight, but what about a few hundred of them? The Minions, having been the best part of the two previous "Despicable Me" movies, have swarmed the screen in "Minions."
In June 2011, Amy Winehouse performed in Serbia for what would be her final concert. By then Winehouse's struggles with drugs and alcohol had made her a punch line for late-night hosts and a choice target for gossip rags and relentless paparazzi.
"Self/less," if you couldn't tell from the preposterous title, is a deeply silly movie that takes itself very, very seriously. The premise is interesting enough: A dying man (Ben Kingsley) undergoes a procedure to save his mind by ditching his failing body for a shiny new model (Ryan Reynolds).
"Testament of Youth," James Kent's stately screen adaptation of British author Vera Brittain's 1933 World War I memoir, evokes the march of history with a balance and restraint exhibited by few movies with such grand ambitions.
There’s an early scene in “Magic Mike XXL” that hints at what this much-ballyhooed sequel woulda, coulda, shoulda been. Mike Lane, played by the well nigh irresistible Channing Tatum, is alone in his furniture workshop.
Touching and wise, cute and occasionally cloying, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is a dramedy that taps into both real teen angst and behavior, and our fantasies of what we hope teens are thinking and feeling and doing.
A critic enjoys celebrating great theater. Just as a playwright, the actors and everyone else involved with producing a show want it to be a magical and memorable experience for the audience, a critic simply wants a play to do something peculiar, something worth writing about.
"Dope" is the most daring comedy of the summer, a funny film that hunts for laughs in the everyday menaces that face black teens growing up in the corner of Los Angeles named Inglewood, in the neighborhood its residents call "The Bottom."
There are few better ways right now to spend 80 movie minutes than to see "Iris," a delightful eye-opener about life, love, statement eyeglasses, bracelets the size of tricycle tires and the art of making the grandest of entrances.
French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent earns a "Gandhi" length, disjointed and arty film biography in "Saint Laurent," a patience-testing period piece that skips through the designer's glory years, catches up with him near the addled end and fails to deliver details of his greatest trauma.
To the lengthening list of well-mannered films aimed at moviegoers who have reached an age when, to quote Shakespeare, "the heyday in the blood is tame," add "I'll See You in My Dreams," a modest, quietly touching portrait of an older woman radiantly embodied by Blythe Danner.
"When Marnie Was There," the delicate, evocative new Japanese animated film from Studio Ghibli, does not fall neatly into any conventional narrative category. But that doesn't get in the way of it being visually spectacular.