ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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August 2018

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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FILM!

Christopher Robin!

Christopher Robin opens August 3rd (starring Ewan McGregor)

Christopher Robin!

  • By Kenne Hoffman
  • Photo Courtesy of Disney

“Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, where Christopher Robin plays, you’ll find the enchanted neighborhood of Christopher’s childhood days”. Walt Disney brings us Christopher Robin the live action/CGI extension of the franchise based on A.A. Milne & E.H. Shepard’s book Winnie the Pooh. Following a similar pattern to Alice In Wonderland, Maleficent, and Cinderella, Christopher Robin delivers exuberant, or as Pooh would say, ex-Pooh-berant elements of magical realism and an emotional journey with heart-warming adventure.

Christopher Robin  (played by Ewan McGregor) is the continuation of the story with adult Christopher Robin returning to the Hundred Acre Wood to spend time with Pooh and the gang. Pooh and friends re-enter Robin’s life, now grown, to help find his lost sense of imagination. McGregor is joined by an all-star cast bringing life to all our childhood favorites. Jim Cummings (Aladdin), Brad Garrett (Tangled), Toby Jones (Jurassic World), and Dr. Who’s Peter Capaldi voice Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Rabbit. Newcomer Orton O’Brien plays young Christopher Robin and Agent Carter’s Hayley Atwell and Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss round out the live action portion of the cast as Robin’s wife and boss. Directed by Marc Forster, scored by Johann Johannsson and Klaus Badelt and recorded by Jon Brion, legendary Disney composer Richard Sherman delivers three original songs to join the iconic Winnie the Pooh theme song. Relive the wonderment you felt as a child with Christopher Robin and friends.

For more details, click here.

Kate & Mila!

The Spy Who Dumped Me opens August 3rd (starring Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis)

Kate & Mila!

  • By Kenne Hoffman
  • Photo Courtesy of Lionsgate

According to Imagine Entertainment and Lionsgate’s opening line of the trailer for the new Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon and Sam Hueghan, comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, “In 2018, women are killing it.”  Thirty-year-old Angelenos and best friends Audrey and Morgan are unexpectedly thrust into an international conspiracy when Audrey’s (Kunis) ex-boyfriend shows up at her apartment with a team of deadly assassins on his trail. Surprised by their own actions, the duo jumps into action and hatches a plan, even though they’re wildly (and comically) unprepared. They find themselves on the run in Europe from the assassins and a suspiciously charming British agent (Outlander’s Sam Heughan) as they hatch a plan to save the world.

Mila Kunis as Audrey and Kate McKinnon as Morgan are both known for their comedic skills, so teens and up will likely enjoy the humor and action. Expect plenty of explosions and violence, as well as some sexual references, swearing, and crude humor. Directed by Susanna Fogel and filmed in Hungary, the visuals are stunning. While the promotional tag line invokes the spirit of the current feminist moment, what follows seems to play into stereotypes from an earlier time, like women being bad drivers as they are then shown struggling with a stick shift.

For more details, click here.

DESTINATION WEDDING!

Destination Wedding opens August 24th (starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder)

DESTINATION WEDDING!

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of REGATTA

The first rule in wedding etiquette is to never steal focus from the bride and groom, but in this latest romantic comedy, the bride and groom can’t compete with the explosive chemistry between Keanu Reeves (John Wick: Chapter 2) and Winona Ryder (Stranger Things) as misanthropes who are about to blow this Destination Wedding like a powder keg.

Reeves plays Frank to Ryder’s Lindsay, two sad sacks stuck at the misfit table with no one else drunk enough to put up with their anti-social antics but each other. As they hurl barbs, the sparks fly, and Frank and Lindsay disagree on everything from soul mates to boarding passes, learning they have absolutely nothing in common — except their mutual hate for everything and everyone at this presumptuous display of pomp and self-importance.

No stranger to comedy, Reeves holds onto his devastating charm despite Frank’s acerbic tongue. Ryder is absolutely delightful, and on a dime she masterfully turns her bubbly sweetness sour to embody that ranting busybody who can’t help but have the last word. After these cynics have exhausted themselves from unleashing all that venom, what they find in the rubble is perhaps the one person who is able to tear down their walls. Written and directed by Victor Levin (Survivor’s Remorse), Destination Wedding is the ultimate in star-crossed lovers, and for Hollywood, that’s a match made in heaven.

Destination Wedding” hits theaters August 24th.

JULIET, NAKED!

Juliet, Naked opens August 17th (starring Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne and Chris O’Dowd)

JULIET, NAKED!

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of LIONSGATE

Juliet, Naked revitalizes the romantic comedy genre by amping it up with a rock-n-roll edge. In a story about second chances, writers Evgenia Peretz (Our Idiot Brother), Jim Taylor (Downsizing), and Tamara Jenkins (Private Life) succeed in capturing the soul of the book by Nick Hornby, but the heart of the film comes directly from the endearing Rose Byrne.

Byrne plays Annie, under-appreciated and upset that she’s wasted the last fifteen years on Duncan, a dolt of a man more excited about a washed up rocker than he is about their relationship. What finally does them in is Duncan’s obsession over Tucker Crowe’s new music, an acoustic version of his old album, and Annie’s online scathing review of it. Yet the first person to agree with Annie is Tucker himself, and so begins an unlikely dialogue that ends with them on a date. Annie discovers that like his album Tucker is now an acoustic version of himself, stripped of ego and expectation with nothing left but his heart laid bare.

Director Jesse Peretz (Glow) certainly delivers on this film’s rock star power in his choice of cast. Tucker is played by Ethan Hawke (The Magnificent Seven), an actor adept at twisting washed up grunge into old school American charm. Chris O’Dowd (Molly’s Game) manages to infuse his bad guy boyfriend with unexpected warmth. And combining her impeccable comedic timing with nuanced depth is Rose Byrne (Insidious), whose performance is so poignant that you can’t help but fall in love with Juliet, Naked.

Juliet, Naked” hits theaters August 17th.

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