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Amy Nicholson

Amy Nicholson 

Bio:
Amy Nicholson is the head film critic for the LA Weekly, and is syndicated across the 11 papers in the Voice Media Group chain and co-hosts its weekly Voice Film Club podcast. She has screened submissions for Sundance, AFI, and the Los Angeles Film Festival, and holds a double B.A. in Film Studies and Anthropology... more
Film,

How Kevin Smith Got Young Again

This summer, a prankster stole Kevin Smith's Twitter account and tweeted, "Before this comes out I want to state that I am a gay proud...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle <i>Tales of the Grim Sleeper</I> Uncovers New Victims and Shames the LAPD

Tales of the Grim Sleeper Uncovers New Victims and Shames the LAPD

Sixty-six-year-old British documentarian Nick Broomfield didn't blend in when he went cruising around South Central Los Angeles to retrace a 22-year serial killing spree for his upcoming doc Tales of the Grim Sleeper. Even with local prostitutes, crack addicts, and know-it-alls riding shotgun, the fearless filmmaker and his cameraman stuck...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle <i>Maps to the Stars</i> is David Cronenberg's Horrifying, Incestuous Version of L.A.

Maps to the Stars is David Cronenberg's Horrifying, Incestuous Version of L.A.

Director David Cronenberg sees monsters in everything: a pack of children (Brood), a television (Videodrome), entomology (The Fly), car wrecks (Crash), and even a woman with a vagina in her armpit (Rabid). It's not surprising that with his 22nd film, Maps to the Stars, Cronenberg is finally savaging Hollywood. It's...…
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Film,

In The Identical, Elvis Lives — and His Twin Does, Too

The Identical is Elvis slash fiction that could have been written by a spinster church organist. Its premise is intriguing: What if Jesse Presley, Elvis' twin brother who was stillborn at birth, was in fact secretly given to a traveling minister (Ray Liotta) and his infertile wife (Ashley Judd)? What...…
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Film,

The Future Is Stranger Than He Thought: Zero Theorem Director Terry Gilliam Explains What Brazil Got Wrong

"I'll always be anti-authoritarian, as long as I live," says Terry Gilliam, the comic provocateur who's been taking aim at the establishment for more than four decades. The only thing that changes: his targets. In Life of Brian, it was religion. In Brazil, the government. And in his latest film,...…
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Film,

Bill Hader Can Make You Cry: The SNL Star on Digging Deep in The Skeleton Twins

Four years ago, comedian Bill Hader told his agent he wanted to do a drama. It took a while. "I used to think typecasting wasn't a thing, and it totally is," Hader admits. "That's an industry feeling: ‘How can I take that person seriously when I know they're capable of...…
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Film, Film Reviews

A Chopped-Up Eleanor Rigby Suffers a Fate Worse Than Loneliness

In two minutes, The Beatles captured the empty life of sad singleton Eleanor Rigby. Director Ned Benson is devoting three films to her namesake — a New York divorcée (Jessica Chastain) — and this first entry, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, barely explains her at all. Wan and adrift,...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle We Need to Talk About <i>Forrest Gump</i>

We Need to Talk About Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump has turned 20 and is celebrating its birthday with a weeklong IMAX release. It's a significant milestone for the six-time Academy Award winner. Today, 1994 is as far away from the present as the Vietnam War was from it. Forrest Gump was a fable without a moral, the...…
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Film, Film Reviews

The Congress, a Sci-Fi Hollywood Satire, Stars Robin Wright as Robin Wright

After The Princess Bride made Robin Wright a star, she shocked Hollywood by saying no. No to The Firm and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. No to Jurassic Park, Dirty Dancing, Born on the Fourth of July and Batman Forever. She even said no to the cover of Vanity Fair...…
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Film, Film Reviews

In Frank, Michael Fassbender Plays a Musician Who Wears a Giant Fake Head

Genius is hell, both for the blessed and those stuck in the shadows, cursed to spend a lifetime smashing their heads against the glass. In its presence we find ourselves dwarfed and dumb, like moths. We know we're before brilliance we can't comprehend — and we know we'll never have...…
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Film, Film Reviews

The Women of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Live to Suffer — and Little Else

Sin City, population unknown but dropping every minute, is a gorgeous place, but you wouldn't want to live there. Even the shadows and broken glass are beautiful in this black-and-white world. Only the women — all gorgeous — give the streets a pop of color. That is, only the women...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle The Best Movie Theater Chain in America is Coming to Downtown L.A.

The Best Movie Theater Chain in America is Coming to Downtown L.A.

It takes a movie theater chain from Austin to prove that LA's downtown revitalization is permanent. After four years of scouting locations in Los Angeles—some as far west as Westwood—The Alamo Drafthouse has finally chosen a spot to build a nine-screen multiplex: right off the subway at 7th and Metro. “The...…
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Film, Film Reviews <i>The Expendables 3</i> Refuses to Be Expendable or Especially Interesting

The Expendables 3 Refuses to Be Expendable or Especially Interesting

Titles don't get more ironic than The Expendables 3. The franchise claims to be about death-seeking mercenaries yet stars '80s action heroes who refuse to die. Three films in, everyone in the sprawling team is still alive and ass-kicking, save for Bruce Willis, whose million-dollar-a-day asking salary has caused his...…
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Film, Film Reviews

The Giver Teaches What Humanity Has Forgotten

The Giver is more simple and raw than the rest of today's teen dystopias that try to cram in unnecessary backstory and love triangles. (Author Lois Lowry published her novel in 1993, which makes it officially the cool aunt of Katniss and the kids.) The story picks up several generations...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle Misused by Hollywood, Robin Williams Found Joy on Stage

Misused by Hollywood, Robin Williams Found Joy on Stage

In Robin Williams' last great film, 2009's World's Greatest Dad, a black-as-pitch comedy directed by his old friend Bobcat Goldthwait, he played a miserable monster—a teacher who manipulates his son's death for his own popularity. His boy (Daryl Sabara), the school loser, has accidentally strangled himself while masturbating, and Williams...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle With <i>Step Up All In</i>, a Great Dance Franchise Stumbles

With Step Up All In, a Great Dance Franchise Stumbles

“Does this always have to end up in a big, giant dance battle?” sighs Step Up 2 and 3 stalwart Moose (Adam G. Sevani) in the franchise's fifth and newest film, Step Up All In. Well, yes—that's the idea. Every entry has climaxed in sweaty, glorious success: these successive bands...…
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Film,

Daniel Radcliffe Knows He Makes You Feel Old

Daniel Radcliffe's first trip to Comic-Con kicked off like the world's cuddliest Nuremberg rally. This summer, just minutes after he walked into Hall H, the hangar-sized sardine can of 6,500 people sang him "Happy Birthday." It was an emotional moment for everyone. "The fact that I was turning 25 slightly...…
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Film, Film Reviews <i>Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles</i> Betrays Everything Grand and Grimy About the Original

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Betrays Everything Grand and Grimy About the Original

Before you buy that tiny box turtle in Chinatown, know that it can live for 100 years. Which means that among all the Mad Libs nonsense of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — a comic book–turned–media phenomenon that has always half-admitted it's a goof — at least the teenage part...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle Raccoons Have Real-Life Superpowers: An Expert Fact-Checks <i>Guardians of the Galaxy</i>

Raccoons Have Real-Life Superpowers: An Expert Fact-Checks Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy doesn't pretend to be accurate. It is, after all, a space romp starring a laconic tree. But the surprise is its science holds up—kinda. Yes, Star Lord could survive in space without protection for a full minute. And yes, according to raccoon expert Dr. Suzanne MacDonald,...…
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Film, Film Reviews

In Calvary, Brendan Gleeson Shows He's One of the Best Actors Alive

In Calvary, Brendan Gleeson plays a Catholic priest who plods through a rustic Irish village that's more brutal than beautiful. The beach is gray, the waves are choppy, and the wind whips his ankle-length black cassock as though every step were a fight against nature. In some ways, it is...…
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