Bob Mondello http://www.kplu.org en Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula http://www.kplu.org/post/sci-fi-kid-flick-earth-echo-broadens-et-formula Movie theaters were swarming with <em>Transformers</em> this past weekend, and that'll also be true over the July 4 weekend. So this may not seem to be the best moment to bring out a sci-fi flick made on a budget that wouldn't cover catering for Optimus Prime. But "small" has its virtues sometimes, and the kid flick <em>Earth to Echo</em> is one of those times.<p>It opens with eighth-grader Tuck about to lose his two best buds. Their families are moving from Nevada, and it's their last night together, so they're doing what kids do — taping goodbyes for YouTube. Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:21:03 +0000 Bob Mondello 17546 at http://www.kplu.org Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula Mike Myers Steps Behind The Camera With 'Supermensch' http://www.kplu.org/post/mike-myers-steps-behind-camera-supermensch When you've played Austin Powers, Shrek, The Cat in the Hat and the title dweeb in <em>Wayne's World</em>, what do you do for an encore? If you're comedian Mike Myers, the next logical step, evidently, is to direct a documentary about your agent. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 18:51:17 +0000 Bob Mondello 17023 at http://www.kplu.org Mike Myers Steps Behind The Camera With 'Supermensch' Son Of? Bride Of? Cousin Of? How Many Godzillas Are There, Already? http://www.kplu.org/post/son-bride-cousin-how-many-godzillas-are-there-already The world has already seen 28 Godzilla movies — 29, if you count Roland Emmerich's 1998 Hollywood remake (which most of us don't). So why is another one opening this week?<p>Well, the fiduciary logic is no doubt compelling if you're a studio executive — even that widely derided '90s version made $379 million — but for the rest of us, director Gareth Edwards needs to make a case. He starts in the opening credits, by letting you know that everything you think you know about this story is suspect. Thu, 15 May 2014 20:06:34 +0000 Bob Mondello 16601 at http://www.kplu.org Son Of? Bride Of? Cousin Of? How Many Godzillas Are There, Already? Feminine, Foreign, And Struggling To Come Of Age http://www.kplu.org/post/feminine-foreign-and-struggling-come-age Sex and violence mean one thing in Hollywood, quite another overseas. At any rate, it'll seem that way to anyone watching this week's most alarming foreign-language films: Francois Ozon's coming-of-age saga <em>Jeune et Jolie</em>, and the Argentine thriller <em>The German Doctor</em>.<p>The latter is directed by Lucia Puenzo, who is the daughter of Luis (<em>The Official Story</em>) Puenzo, and is equally adept at conjuring a mood of gathering dread from a story based in reality. The year is 1960, the place Patagonia. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 21:00:32 +0000 Bob Mondello 16283 at http://www.kplu.org Feminine, Foreign, And Struggling To Come Of Age Big Names, High Production Values ... And These Are Indie Flicks? http://www.kplu.org/post/big-names-high-production-values-and-these-are-indie-flicks A small budget doesn't mean a film can't have big-name stars or high production values. Witness the rural Southern drama <em>Joe</em>, which brings Nicolas Cage back to indie films, and Jim Jarmusch's <em>Only Lovers Left Alive, </em>which turns the city of Detroit into an otherworldly landscape. Their low-budget aesthetic also allows these films to turn Hollywood conventions inside out.<p>The title character in <em>Joe</em> poisons trees for a living. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:32:51 +0000 Bob Mondello 15953 at http://www.kplu.org Big Names, High Production Values ... And These Are Indie Flicks? Stay Classy, Norwich: 'Alan Partridge' Aims For American Success http://www.kplu.org/post/stay-classy-norwich-alan-partridge-aims-american-success Say the name Alan Partridge in Britain, and everyone knows who you're talking about: An airheaded, funny and entirely fictional broadcaster prone to saying things like, "You can keep Jesus — as far as I'm concerned, Neil Diamond will always be King of the Jews."<p>British comedian Steve Coogan has been playing Partridge on radio and TV for more than 20 years. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 20:17:28 +0000 Bob Mondello 15697 at http://www.kplu.org Stay Classy, Norwich: 'Alan Partridge' Aims For American Success Addicted To Sex, But Not Really Having Much Fun http://www.kplu.org/post/addicted-sex-not-really-having-much-fun Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has found all sorts of ways to provoke moviegoers in the past — with metal spikes in <em>Antichrist</em>, by ignoring narrative conventions in <em>Dogville,</em> by presenting depression as the only reasonable reaction to the world as we know it — and then destroying that world — in <em>Melancholia.</em> And as if this last weren't enough, he told a Nazi joke to a crowd prepared to shower him with adulation at Cannes.<p>So it's reasonable to expect something decently outrageous, or perhaps indecently outrageous, from a four-hour opus called <em>Nymphomaniac</em> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:16:28 +0000 Bob Mondello 15133 at http://www.kplu.org Addicted To Sex, But Not Really Having Much Fun Middle-Aged Souls Channel Teen Rebellion, Just For A 'Week-End' http://www.kplu.org/post/middle-aged-souls-channel-teen-rebellion-just-week-end <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB6508I35Mo</p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 03:11:56 +0000 Bob Mondello 14837 at http://www.kplu.org Middle-Aged Souls Channel Teen Rebellion, Just For A 'Week-End' A Meet-Cute Romance With A Delicious Twist http://www.kplu.org/post/meet-cute-romance-delicious-twist <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENgWVvQYCxg</p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 01:01:55 +0000 Bob Mondello 14241 at http://www.kplu.org A Meet-Cute Romance With A Delicious Twist Harold Ramis: A Big-Screen Comedy Nerd, Eager To Please http://www.kplu.org/post/harold-ramis-big-screen-comedy-nerd-eager-please <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSVeDx9fk60</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 03:23:08 +0000 Bob Mondello 14059 at http://www.kplu.org Harold Ramis: A Big-Screen Comedy Nerd, Eager To Please One Conflict, One Wall, Two Sides Of The Arab-Israeli World http://www.kplu.org/post/one-conflict-one-wall-two-sides-arab-israeli-world American art-house audiences are being offered an intriguing exercise in double vision over the next couple of weeks: two movies about Palestinian informants and their complicated relationships with Israel's secret service, one directed by a Palestinian, the other by an Israeli. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 01:47:10 +0000 Bob Mondello 13907 at http://www.kplu.org One Conflict, One Wall, Two Sides Of The Arab-Israeli World Sun And Water, And A Dangerous Brand Of Desire http://www.kplu.org/post/sun-and-water-and-dangerous-brand-desire <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgcEGKn7waI</p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 23:57:15 +0000 Bob Mondello 12842 at http://www.kplu.org Sun And Water, And A Dangerous Brand Of Desire From An Oscar Winner, A 'Past' Still Hauntingly Present http://www.kplu.org/post/oscar-winner-past-still-hauntingly-present Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi came to international attention last year when his film <em>A Separation</em> won the Oscar for best foreign language film. His latest picture, <em>The Past,</em> has been showered with awards, too — at the Cannes Film Festival and from critics groups in the U.S. Thu, 19 Dec 2013 23:48:55 +0000 Bob Mondello 11913 at http://www.kplu.org From An Oscar Winner, A 'Past' Still Hauntingly Present 5 By O'Toole: What To Watch Beyond 'Lawrence Of Arabia' http://www.kplu.org/post/5-otoole-what-watch-beyond-lawrence-arabia <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTbLkYmWZJo</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOWpf7tuCXo</p> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 19:13:11 +0000 Bob Mondello 11742 at http://www.kplu.org 5 By O'Toole: What To Watch Beyond 'Lawrence Of Arabia' Bob Mondello Remembers Columbus Day 1963, And A Visit To Camelot http://www.kplu.org/post/bob-mondello-remembers-columbus-day-1963-and-visit-camelot Fifty years ago, President Kennedy hosted a Columbus Day ceremony in the Rose Garden, and I was there. Fourteen-year-old me, with my family. This was a fluke. The President had cracked a politically uncool Mafia joke a few days before. Mon, 14 Oct 2013 20:21:23 +0000 Bob Mondello 10455 at http://www.kplu.org Bob Mondello Remembers Columbus Day 1963, And A Visit To Camelot