Bob Mondello http://publicradioeast.org en How To Name Your Sequel II: Not Just Roman Numerals Anymore http://publicradioeast.org/post/how-name-your-sequel-ii-not-just-roman-numerals-anymore Remember when movie companies just put Roman numerals at the end of titles when they made sequels? <em>Rocky II</em>, <em>Rocky III</em>, <em>Rocky IV</em>. Well, not anymore.<p>This summer, we've had <em>X-Men: Days of Future Past</em>, with no mention that it's either the sixth or seventh X-Men movie, depending on how you're counting. Also <em>22 Jump Street</em>, the across-the-street follow-up to <em>21 Jump Street</em>. And <em>Begin Again</em> (which ought to be a sequel, but isn't).<p>Do you suppose they stopped numbering sequels so we wouldn't do the math? Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:28:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 47167 at http://publicradioeast.org How To Name Your Sequel II: Not Just Roman Numerals Anymore Oh, 'Boyhood!' Linklater's Cinematic Stunt Pays Off http://publicradioeast.org/post/oh-boyhood-linklaters-cinematic-stunt-pays Filmmaker Richard Linklater breezed through plenty of genres in his career, establishing that he's comfortable making loose comedies like <em>Slacker,</em> animated sci-fi thrillers like <em>A Scanner Darkly,</em> and even messing with longer-form studies in time with his <em>Before</em> trilogy, <em>Before Sunset</em>, <em>Before Sunrise</em> and <em>Before Midnight</em>.<p>Still, it's safe to say that he's never done anything even remotely like <em>Boyhood,</em> his latest film, because neither has anyone else.<p>It sounds like the most ordinary of stories: just a boy growing up. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:54:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 46152 at http://publicradioeast.org Oh, 'Boyhood!' Linklater's Cinematic Stunt Pays Off Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula http://publicradioeast.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 21:14:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 45441 at http://publicradioeast.org Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula It's A Summer Sequel Spectacular With 'Dragon' And 'Jump Street' http://publicradioeast.org/post/its-summer-sequel-spectacular-dragon-and-jump-street In a summer of sequels — 16 in all — this weekend is the sequelliest, offering blockbuster deja-vu (<em>How To Train Your Dragon 2</em> AND <em>22 Jump Street</em>) as well as a few object lessons in how to train your audience. One film goes all meta with its concept, the other goes back to basics, and for a change, both approaches work.<p>Meta's the mantra for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who're managing three franchises these days — <em>Lego</em>, <em>Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs</em>, and <em>Jump Street</em> — and who're going to have to get off the sequel train pretty soon. Fri, 13 Jun 2014 18:18:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 43894 at http://publicradioeast.org It's A Summer Sequel Spectacular With 'Dragon' And 'Jump Street' Mike Myers Steps Behind The Camera With 'Supermensch' http://publicradioeast.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 18:48:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 43325 at http://publicradioeast.org Mike Myers Steps Behind The Camera With 'Supermensch' James McAvoy As A Creep? In 'Filth,' The Anti-Typecasting Works http://publicradioeast.org/post/james-mcavoy-creep-filth-anti-typecasting-works Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) swaggers down the street at the start of <em>Filth</em> swiping balloons from children, ogling their mothers, flipping off foreigners and smirking as he ticks down a list of what makes Scotland a place where he feels he can be cock-of-the-walk.<p>"This nation brought the world television, the steam engine, golf, whiskey, penicillin and, of course, the deep-fried Mars bar," he snorts. "We're such a uniquely successful race."<p>He's the kind of soulless, racist, drug-and-alcohol-addled operator you might call the police to protect you from. Fri, 30 May 2014 20:47:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 42775 at http://publicradioeast.org James McAvoy As A Creep? In 'Filth,' The Anti-Typecasting Works Multiplexes Heat Up For Summer Blockbuster Season http://publicradioeast.org/post/multiplexes-heat-summer-blockbuster-season Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The long Memorial Day weekend usually marks the start of Hollywood blockbuster season. But it's been well underway with "Godzilla" and "X-Men" already in theaters. That said, there are another 87 would-be hits scheduled before Labor Day. We asked critic Bob Mondello for a selective preview.<p>BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: What's the plural of apocalypse? Apocali (ph)? Apocalypses (ph)? Whatever. A whole bunch of coming to the multiplex. Mon, 26 May 2014 21:17:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 42379 at http://publicradioeast.org Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain http://publicradioeast.org/post/seeing-new-x-men-take-along-teenager-explain The final "X" in the 20th Century Fox logo glows for an extra second as <em>X-Men: Days of Future Past</em> gets started, but what follows is darker than dark — a bleak, dire future in which all of Manhattan is a mutant prison camp. Fri, 23 May 2014 20:43:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 42199 at http://publicradioeast.org Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain Son Of? Bride Of? Cousin Of? How Many Godzillas Are There, Already? http://publicradioeast.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 18:42:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 41470 at http://publicradioeast.org Son Of? Bride Of? Cousin Of? How Many Godzillas Are There, Already? 'Double': Double Toil And Trouble For Eisenberg http://publicradioeast.org/post/double-double-toil-and-trouble-eisenberg In <em>The Social Network</em>, Jesse Eisenberg invented Facebook. In <em>Now You See Me</em>, he mastered magic tricks. In <em>Rio</em>, his animated macaw learned to fly, and his Lex Luthor will soon be nemesis-ing the caped crusader in <em>Batman Vs. Superman</em>. Fri, 09 May 2014 16:39:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 40961 at http://publicradioeast.org 'Double': Double Toil And Trouble For Eisenberg In 'Belle,' A Complex Life Tangled In Class And Commerce http://publicradioeast.org/post/belle-complex-life-tangled-class-and-commerce Here's a unique specialty for a movie studio: slavery films. Last year, Fox Searchlight brought us an Oscar winner about a free black man hauled into 12 years of slavery. Fri, 02 May 2014 20:21:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 40441 at http://publicradioeast.org In 'Belle,' A Complex Life Tangled In Class And Commerce Feminine, Foreign, And Struggling To Come Of Age http://publicradioeast.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 19:05:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 39852 at http://publicradioeast.org Feminine, Foreign, And Struggling To Come Of Age 'Fading Gigolo' Full Of Loneliness And Longing http://publicradioeast.org/post/woody-allens-fading-gigolo-full-loneliness-and-longing Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>Actor John Turturro is known for his work in films like "Quiz Show" and "The Big Lebowski." With his long face and hang-dog look, he's probably not what you'd call a matinee idol. But he went ahead and cast himself as the title character in his new movie, "Fading Gigolo." And he cast Woody Allen as his pimp. Sun, 20 Apr 2014 14:01:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 39363 at http://publicradioeast.org Loneliness And Longing — And Woody Allen — In 'Fading Gigolo' http://publicradioeast.org/post/loneliness-and-longing-and-woody-allen-fading-gigolo With his long face and hangdog appearance, actor John Turturro is no one's idea of a matinee idol — not even his own — so he raised a lot of eyebrows when he cast himself as the title character in <em>Fading Gigolo</em>. Even more when he cast Woody Allen as his pimp. So it may come as a relief when things don't go as wrong with what turns out to be a surprisingly sweet little dramedy as they might have.<p>The film begins in an Upper West Side rare books emporium with a going-out-of-business sign in its window. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:09:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 39257 at http://publicradioeast.org Loneliness And Longing — And Woody Allen — In 'Fading Gigolo' Mickey Rooney, All-American Boy For More Than 90 Years, Dies http://publicradioeast.org/post/mickey-rooney-all-american-boy-more-90-years-dies Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Mickey Rooney, who lived a long life on stage and screen, died last night at his home in Los Angeles. He was 93. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 38322 at http://publicradioeast.org Send Out The Doves: 'Noah' Lands On Solid Ground http://publicradioeast.org/post/send-out-doves-noah-lands-solid-ground The story of Noah's Ark is getting blockbuster treatment in Hollywood's new biblical epic <em>Noah</em>. Darren Aronofsky's film about the Old Testament shipbuilder has been sparking controversy — but there's no denying that the Great Flood, digitized, is a pretty great flood.<p>"In the beginning there was ... Fri, 28 Mar 2014 22:01:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 37579 at http://publicradioeast.org Send Out The Doves: 'Noah' Lands On Solid Ground Addicted To Sex, But Not Really Having Much Fun http://publicradioeast.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 17:09:07 +0000 Bob Mondello 36997 at http://publicradioeast.org Addicted To Sex, But Not Really Having Much Fun Middle-Aged Souls Channel Teen Rebellion, Just For A 'Week-End' http://publicradioeast.org/post/middle-aged-souls-channel-teen-rebellion-just-week-end <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB6508I35Mo</p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 36380 at http://publicradioeast.org Middle-Aged Souls Channel Teen Rebellion, Just For A 'Week-End' Review: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' http://publicradioeast.org/post/review-grand-budapest-hotel Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Filmmaker Wes Anderson makes movies that are eccentric, pointedly artificial and, to his fans, very funny. From his early comedies "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tannenbaums," to last year's Oscar-nominated "Moonrise Kingdom," Anderson's movies have looked and sounded different from everyone else's in Hollywood. And critic Bob Mondello says that streak continues with his spoof of extravagant 1930s melodramas. It's called "The Grand Budapest Hotel."<p>BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: The hotel looks a bit like a pink wedding cake perched atop a Swiss Alp. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 21:09:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 35930 at http://publicradioeast.org Alain Resnais, Director And Master Of Disorientation, Dies At 91 http://publicradioeast.org/post/alain-resnais-director-and-master-disorientation-dies-91 Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>The French filmmaker who shook up European cinema and offered inspiration to directors as varied as Woody Allen and David Lynch died on Saturday. Alain Resnais caused a sensation with his films "Hiroshima Mon Amour" and "Last Year at Marienbad" in the 1950s and '60s. Critic Bob Mondello offers an appreciation.<p>BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Memory, or rather how unreliable memory can be, fascinated Alain Resnais. Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 35581 at http://publicradioeast.org