Bob Mondello http://kvpr.org en Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula http://kvpr.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 35112 at http://kvpr.org Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula Multiplexes Heat Up For Summer Blockbuster Season http://kvpr.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 33282 at http://kvpr.org Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain http://kvpr.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 33177 at http://kvpr.org Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain In 'Belle,' A Complex Life Tangled In Class And Commerce http://kvpr.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 32117 at http://kvpr.org In 'Belle,' A Complex Life Tangled In Class And Commerce Mickey Rooney, All-American Boy For More Than 90 Years, Dies http://kvpr.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 20:03:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 30835 at http://kvpr.org Send Out The Doves: 'Noah' Lands On Solid Ground http://kvpr.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 30408 at http://kvpr.org Send Out The Doves: 'Noah' Lands On Solid Ground Review: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' http://kvpr.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 29393 at http://kvpr.org Alain Resnais, Director And Master Of Disorientation, Dies At 91 http://kvpr.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 21:23:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 29199 at http://kvpr.org On Philip Seymour Hoffman, And His Many Appearances http://kvpr.org/post/philip-seymour-hoffman-and-his-many-appearances <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzY2pWrXB_0</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ_4m2ocxhI</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRud1so-Z-M</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 21:27:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 27994 at http://kvpr.org On Philip Seymour Hoffman, And His Many Appearances A Century Ago Today, Chaplin Made His Film Debut — In A Dud http://kvpr.org/post/century-ago-today-chaplin-made-his-film-debut-dud <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LoLw4TJKdU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j2K3A1S5ak</p> Sun, 02 Feb 2014 22:18:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 27958 at http://kvpr.org A Century Ago Today, Chaplin Made His Film Debut — In A Dud Peter O'Toole, Exuberant From 'Lawrence' To His Last Role http://kvpr.org/post/peter-otoole-exuberant-lawrence-his-last-role Blond, blue-eyed and wearing blazing white robes in <em>Lawrence Of Arabia</em>, Peter O'Toole was handsome enough — many said beautiful enough — to carry off the scene in which director David Lean simultaneously made stars of both his title character and his leading man.<p>The scene: a wrecked train, blown up by Lawrence and surrounded by his Bedouin followers, one of whom has just smashed a news photographer's camera. O'Toole's Lawrence explains that the man thinks the camera will steal his soul. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 07:59:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 25914 at http://kvpr.org Peter O'Toole, Exuberant From 'Lawrence' To His Last Role Chasing Money, And Meaning, In 'Nebraska' http://kvpr.org/post/chasing-money-and-meaning-nebraska Woody Grant has white hair, a cranky disposition and a stubbornness that just won't quit. When we meet him, he's being stopped by a highway patrolman as he's walking down the shoulder of a Montana interstate. Wed, 13 Nov 2013 23:59:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 24477 at http://kvpr.org Chasing Money, And Meaning, In 'Nebraska' Biography Of Director Bob Fosse Razzles, Dazzles And Delights http://kvpr.org/post/biography-director-bob-fosse-razzles-dazzles-and-delights <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX-24Zm0bjk</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuTPupqrTDo</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX-24Zm0bjk</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF0I-9p_yDM</p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 20:57:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 24181 at http://kvpr.org Biography Of Director Bob Fosse Razzles, Dazzles And Delights This 'Time,' Supernatural Love Story Falls Flat http://kvpr.org/post/time-supernatural-love-story-falls-flat There's a phrase in French — "<em>L'esprit de l'escalier</em>," meaning "staircase wit" — for that moment when you've lost an argument and are walking away, and <em>waaay</em> too late, think of the perfect comeback. If you could just rewind your life a few minutes, you'd win the argument.<p>That's pretty much the setup in the new British comedy <em>About Time</em>.<p>We meet shy, young Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) as he's making a total mess of an opportunity to kiss a girl on New Year's Eve. Sat, 02 Nov 2013 20:38:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 23948 at http://kvpr.org This 'Time,' Supernatural Love Story Falls Flat Matthew McConaughey, Fiercely Committed To This 'Club' http://kvpr.org/post/matthew-mcconaughey-fiercely-committed-club Texas good ol' boy Ron Woodroof was a player — drugs, alcohol, women, gambling. As <em>Dallas Buyers Club</em> starts, he's at a rodeo, snorting cocaine, with a fistful of bets, when he gets it on with two prostitutes. Not a "healthy" lifestyle — one that's left him gaunt, weak, coughing.<p>With the advantage of hindsight, what's ailing him seems obvious now. Back in 1986, it didn't, until doctors did a blood test and told him he had 30 days to live.<p>Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) won't accept that. Fri, 01 Nov 2013 20:25:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 23906 at http://kvpr.org Matthew McConaughey, Fiercely Committed To This 'Club' For A Free Spirit, A Grim '12 Years' In Chains http://kvpr.org/post/free-spirit-grim-12-years-chains Just a few years before the start of the Civil War, two anti-slavery books became best-sellers in the United States. Fri, 18 Oct 2013 16:40:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 23224 at http://kvpr.org For A Free Spirit, A Grim '12 Years' In Chains Beat Manifesto: 'Kill Your Darlings,' Figuratively And ... http://kvpr.org/post/beat-manifesto-kill-your-darlings-figuratively-and Hollywood's been trying to get a handle on the Beat Poets for years. Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac led wild — and influential — lives. But films about them, like <em>Naked Lunch</em> and <em>On the Road</em>, have never really clicked with audiences. Wed, 16 Oct 2013 21:59:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 23130 at http://kvpr.org Beat Manifesto: 'Kill Your Darlings,' Figuratively And ... Bob Mondello Remembers Columbus Day 1963, And A Visit To Camelot http://kvpr.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 18:29:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 22995 at http://kvpr.org Bob Mondello Remembers Columbus Day 1963, And A Visit To Camelot Libraries' Leading Roles: On Stage, On Screen And In Song http://kvpr.org/post/libraries-leading-roles-stage-screen-and-song When I was 9, I spent a lot of time at a public library just down the street; I was already a theater nerd, and it had a well-stocked theater section. Not just books, but original cast albums for Broadway shows old and new. Wed, 07 Aug 2013 20:31:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 19656 at http://kvpr.org Libraries' Leading Roles: On Stage, On Screen And In Song 90 Years Later, 'Safety' Still The Last Word With Harold Lloyd http://kvpr.org/post/90-years-later-safety-still-last-word-harold-lloyd There may be no film image more iconic: Harold Lloyd, high above the street, dangling from the minute hand of a giant department-store clock.<p>The face of the clock swings down; the minute hand bends. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 22:16:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 18836 at http://kvpr.org 90 Years Later, 'Safety' Still The Last Word With Harold Lloyd