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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,

Tom Hiddleston Wants to Play a Normal Guy Who Wears Jeans

Tom Hiddleston can pull off extreme looks. In The Avengers, he strutted around in Loki's 2-foot-tall, horned helmet. In Midnight in Paris, he finessed F. Scott Fitzgerald's prim finger waves. And in his latest, Jim Jarmusch's vampire romance, Only Lovers Left Alive, Hiddleston lounges bare-chested in velvet-cuffed robes. The only...…
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Film,

Nicolas Cage Captures the Hardships of Rural Texas in Joe

It's been 5 million years since humanity hauled itself from the swamp, and according to Joe director David Gordon Green, we're devolving back into muck. While the stoners of Green's Pineapple Express regressed from men to boys after a few puffs of weed, this grimly beautiful drama starring Nicolas Cage...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle Can Pussy Riot Conquer Hollywood?

Can Pussy Riot Conquer Hollywood?

America isn't sure what to make of Pussy Riot. The Russian protest group disguised as a band appears to fit a mold that we think we invented - the rock and roll riot grrl - but the women refuse to play along. To them, rebellion is serious business. Sunday night...…
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Film, Errol Morris Says He's Tired of Interviewing People

Errol Morris Says He's Tired of Interviewing People

"I've interviewed a lot of nasty characters over the years," a cheerful Errol Morris says over lunch on a bright Los Angeles day. "I'm a connoisseur of bullshit." He's sampled some of the finest: Holocaust deniers, murderers swearing their innocence, a beauty queen who claims she only kidnapped and raped...…
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Film, Captain America Goes to Washington

Captain America Goes to Washington

Tucked into a pocket of his workout sweats, Steve Rogers — aka Captain America, the serum-enhanced Yankee Doodle Dynamo who's spent the last six decades in deep freeze — keeps a notebook of cultural beats he's missed: Star Wars, Marvin Gaye, Thai food. ("We used to boil everything," he mock-groans.)...…
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Film,

In Dom Hemingway, Jude Law Goes for Greatness

Going bald is the best thing that ever happened to Jude Law. Britain's prettiest export did the best he could with his burden of good looks. He played a genetic ideal in Gattaca, a robotic ideal in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and in The Talented Mr. Ripley, his golden-god perfection got...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle Relax - Closing Rumors About Los Feliz's Vista Theatre Are "100% False"

Relax - Closing Rumors About Los Feliz's Vista Theatre Are "100% False"

Last week, early news of a proposed hotel at Los Feliz's tricky five-way intersection of Sunset, Hollywood and Hillhurst led to nervous rumors that the 91-year-old Vista Theatre may lose its lot and close. The gossip even alarmed the Vista employee who runs the company's Facebook, who wrote a since-deleted...…
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Film,

The Raid 2 Is 148 Minutes of Kill, Kill, Kill

A grave has been freshly dug in the opening shot of director Gareth Evans' ultra-violent Indonesian flick The Raid 2. It's a start, but Evans is going to need 400 more. In the first few minutes, Evans dispenses with three-quarters of the survivors of 2012's The Raid: Redemption, the writer-director's...…
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Film, What Separates <em>Nymphomaniac</em> From Porn? A Lot

What Separates Nymphomaniac From Porn? A Lot

Let's start with Nymphomaniac's ending, the closing credits disclaimer that insists that none of the lead actors in Lars von Trier's two-part erotic epic filmed penetrative sex. If there is real sex in the movie, and it sure looks like there is, it must have been the duty of the...…
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Film, Shailene Woodley Proves More Human Than <em>Divergent</em>

Shailene Woodley Proves More Human Than Divergent

Dystopian movies don't have to make sense. As the audience, we're obligated to sit down with our popcorn and soda and pretend that, yes, of course, in the future monkeys rule the earth, women can't bear children, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is an everyday construction worker. It's a mutual contract of...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle To Fed-Up Texans, Pro-Choice Doc <i>Vessel</i> Was the Best of SXSW

To Fed-Up Texans, Pro-Choice Doc Vessel Was the Best of SXSW

The Texas State Capitol is just three blocks north of the State Theater. If you stretch your legs between movies during SXSW, you could squint up the appropriately named Congress Street and see the small, green park that climbs to the Capitol's dome. And at the world premiere of Diana...…
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Restaurants, Squid Ink Jon Favreau's <i>Chef</i>, a Romantic Comedy Between a Man and a Sandwich

Jon Favreau's Chef, a Romantic Comedy Between a Man and a Sandwich

Chef, the back-to-his-roots indie flick that Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Iron Man 2) just premiered at SXSW, is to modern foodie culture as his own Swingers is to '90s swing revival. Favreau plays Carl Casper, a culinary bad boy, barreling egotist and divorced father with a chef's knife tattoo stretching...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle We'll Cure Death in a Decade, Say the Stars of the SXSW Doc <i>The Immortalists</i>

We'll Cure Death in a Decade, Say the Stars of the SXSW Doc The Immortalists

Immortality is a decade away, insist scientists Bill Andrews and Aubrey de Grey, the stars of the SXSW world premiere documentary The Immortalists. The two make a good advertisement: Andrews is a 61-year-old molecular biologist who runs a 100-mile marathon every month, de Grey is a trim Cambridge-educated PhD with...…
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Film,

Aaron Paul Vehicle Need for Speed Goes Nowhere Fast

Think adapting War and Peace is hard? Try adapting the race-car video game Need for Speed. Tolstoy's 1,225-page behemoth has nothing on the Electronic Arts franchise's irreconcilably complicated, 20-year, 20-installment history: Sometimes cars are subject to physics; sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they're invulnerable; sometimes they break. Maybe you're in London;...…
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Tyler Perry's Single Moms Club Isn't Bad if you Bring a Bullshit Detector

Tyler Perry probably wishes he'd been raised by a single mom. As he has said in interviews, his father, Emmitt, was abusive and once beat him so hard with a vacuum hose that his skin felt flayed. In response, the writer-director reveres mothers, synthesizing his mom and aunt into the...…
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Film,

The Grand Budapest Hotel Is Wes Anderson's Least Precious Movie, and That's Why It's Fantastic

Leave it to Wes Anderson to make a film about World War II without mentioning Germany. In The Grand Budapest Hotel, a wundercabinet set in the fictitious Eastern European republic of Zubrowka circa 1932, Anderson captures the collapse of a kingdom and rise of a reich without so much as...…
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Elijah Wood Explains Grand Piano, Which Is Like Speed But With a Concert Pianist

Like James Bond, Elijah Wood spends his latest film in a tuxedo trying to save a beautiful blonde from an assassin. Only he's gotta do it sitting down. In Spanish director Eugenio Mira's tidy thriller Grand Piano, opening in L.A. March 14, Wood plays first-class concert pianist Tom Selznick, a...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle Brad Pitt Wears a Gimp Mask and Kisses a Dolphin in His Lost Film Debut (VIDEO)

Brad Pitt Wears a Gimp Mask and Kisses a Dolphin in His Lost Film Debut (VIDEO)

In 1988, Brad Pitt was a 24-year-old wannabe actor scraping by with uncredited bits in Less Than Zero, tiny guest roles in Head of the Class, Growing Pains, and Dallas, and a side gig wearing a chicken mascot costume outside El Pollo Loco. He needed a memorable starring role. And...…
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News, Features Who Killed the Romantic Comedy?

Who Killed the Romantic Comedy?

The corpse lay crumpled on the conference table, close enough that the studio executive could tug on the red heel of her Louboutins. She'd been lying there unnoticed, or perhaps just ignored, for quite some time. Her wedding veil was tattered, and someone had spilled coffee on her white satin...…
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Film, Film Reviews

3 Days to Kill is Nonsense, but Kevin Costner Remains The Man

In 1990, the same year that Kevin Costner released the massive global hit Dances with Wolves, a curious thing happened in France. The name Kevin became the country's most popular for new babies, a Gaelic moniker edging out national stalwarts like Antoine and Jules. Imagine if everyone in America suddenly...…
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