ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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September 2019

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FILM!

Judy

Judy opens in theaters Sept 27 (Starring Renée Zellweger)

Judy

  • By Michael Jacobo
  • Photo Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

No doubt you’ve heard of Judy Garland; as a child you rooted for her as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Just from that little piece of nostalgia alone, we almost push aside the story that followed Garland’s role in that film, up until her death by drug overdose in 1969 at the age of 47. It’s a tough story, and not at all the happiest, which is probably why we tend to just revisit Garland’s early spectacles than focus on her later struggles.

However, coming face to face with that story can be beneficial. There has to be a silver lining because Judy, which follows Garland in her final days in London, is not at all the uplifting Hollywood biopic you expect it to be. Renée Zellweger makes a solid career comeback as the entertainer, who moves with her young children to London where she’s been scheduled to play a series of sold shows at the Talk of the Town. Her career is practically non existent at this stage, yet she strives to give it her all, while still struggling with her drug addiction and creating a stable life for her kids.

The screenplay, written by Tom Edge (The Crown) is an adaptation of Peter Quilter’s Tony nominated play The End of the Rainbow. Rupert Goold (True Story) directed the film.

Judy” hits theaters Sept 27.

HUSTLERS

Hustlers opens in theaters Sept 13 (Starring Contance Wu and Jennifer Lopez)

HUSTLERS

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of STX FILMS

Writer-director Lorene Scafaria (The Meddler) has turned the New York Magazine article by Jessica Pressler into both a topical commentary on how gender plays into our demented American Dream — and a hilarious romp about a bunch of strippers who turned themselves into some high class Hustlers.

Leading the pack is superstar and dancer extraordinaire Jennifer Lopez (Shades of Blue) as she dons the platform stilettos of Ramona, the ringleader of a sisterhood of strippers working hard for the money but sadly finding themselves hard up for cash. She takes rookie dancer Destiny under her wing, teaching her how to survive amid their lifestyle of self-doubt and sexploitation. Ramona convinces her whole crew that the only way to unrig the corrupt patriarchy is to hunt down those wolves of Wall Street — and finally make them pay. Their simple credit card theft soon turns into conspiracy, their greed into grand larceny, their spiked drinks into deadly assault, but watching these women weaponize their feminine wiles against the Gordon Gekkos of the world and ultimately dominate is what makes this film so devilishly fun.

With a bevy of bad-ass actresses that includes Constance Wu (Fresh Off The Boat), Julia Stiles (Riviera), Keke Palmer (Scream: The TV Series), Lili Reinhart (Riverdale), Lizzo (Ugly Dolls), and Cardi B (Being Mary Jane), Hustlers is a hella good time.

Hustlers” hits theaters on Sept 13.

Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt The Sound of My Voice hits theaters Sept 6

Linda Ronstadt

  • By Alex Brown
  • Photo Courtesy of Telling Pictures

It is true what they say—timing is everything. Sometimes extraordinary voices get lost in the noise, and the true talent that is right under our noses remains elusive. Such is the story of one of my all-time favorite voices, Linda Ronstadt.

In a new documentary, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, filmmakers explore this extraordinary artist’s rise from her humble beginnings in Arizona, to present day. Afflicted with Parkinson’s, Ronstadt is seen speaking in the present tense only once during the film—at the end—but nonetheless her impact is clear.

From before she was a known quantity, to her big break opening for Neil Young, to the misogynist and hostile environment for women rock stars in the 70s and 80s, the movie seeks to portray Ronstadt as a singular talent. Underrated because of decisions made by her marketing team during her career, the songstress’s contemporaries and fellow musicians from Dolly Parton to Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and Don Henley detail why it is her time to be honored.

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein (The Times of Harvey Milk) and Jeffery Friedman (End Game), the film had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 and won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2019 Provincetown International Film Festival.

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” opens in theaters on Sept 6.

IT: CHAPTER TWO

It Chapter Two hits theaters Sept 5

IT: CHAPTER TWO

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of NEW LINE CINEMA

In Chapter One, Pennywise spooked us, and a talented young cast stunned us with performances so frighteningly good that stars like Jessica Chastain were dying to join the sequel. Based on Stephen King’s bestseller, It: Chapter Two rains down utter horror on the town of Derry.

Twenty seven years have passed. And the Loser Club comes home — their childhood traumas now turned adult psychoses. Once again, Derry’s innocent kids are disappearing with a trail of ominous red balloons leading our Losers to the sewers of Pennywise dreadful. Director Andy Muschietti (It) succeeds in a much darker tone and a more nuanced pace with chilling performances from the stellar adult cast, including the always scene-stealing Bill Hader! This gorefest throws enough shattered mirrors and bloody madness to keep you on the edge of your seat and finally deliver the head of Pennywise on a platter.

With an epic ensemble that stars Bill Skarsgård (Castle Rock), Bill Hader (Barry), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Jessica Chastain (Dark Phoenix), Sophia Lillis (Sharp Objects), James McAvoy (Glass), Jaeden Martell (Low Tide), James Ransone (Captive State), Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam!), Jake Weary (Animal Kingdom), Andy Bean (Here And Now), Wyatt Oleff (It), Jay Ryan (Mary Kills People), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Schooled), Isaiah Mustafa (Shadowhunters), and Chosen Jacobs (Castle Rock), catch the last time It: Chapter Two sends in the clown.

It: Chapter Two” hits theaters on Sept 6.

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