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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, Film Reviews

Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo Gets Richer as It Gets Less Bizarre

Mood Indigo is bitter candy, a heartbreaker that uses sugar as a trap. The director, Michel Gondry, has a brilliant, contradictory brain. He's a swoony pessimist, a big-dreaming romantic who believes in love at first sight but never lets his films end with a kiss. Instead, his idea of a...…
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Film,

Anna Kendrick Had Her Heart Broken by a Hot Dog

"I forget that people think that I'm the girl with a ponytail and a briefcase," says Anna Kendrick, perched on a couch in a T-shirt and jeans. Her career-launching role as a prim go-getter in Up in the Air is so far removed from her actual self that she's still...…
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Film,

Richard Linklater Explains His Crazy Experiment to Shoot a Film Over 12 Years

"It's the secret films you have to watch out for," Richard Linklater jokes about his new movie, Boyhood, a furtive experiment that he kept quiet for more than a decade. In 2002, he chose a first-grader named Eller Coltrane, the 6-year-old son of two Texas artists; cast Patricia Arquette and...…
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Film, Film Reviews

Land Ho!, a Road Trip Movie About Horny Seniors in Iceland

Land Ho! is a How Grandpa Got His Groove Back for the geezer set, a buddy road trip through Iceland, starring two divorced men with a combined age of 150 years. The writer-directors, Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz, are 30 and 34, respectively, young enough to be their leading men's...…
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Film, Film Reviews

Earth to Echo Updates E. T. for the iPhone Age

Earth to Echo is a slender kiddie flick about a quartet of preteens and their palm-sized alien pal, which is at once bland, well-intentioned and utterly terrifying about the mental development of modern children. As in the most honest kids films, our pint-size heroes admit to being isolated, unhappy and...…
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Film, Film Reviews

Deliver Us From Deliver Us From Evil

Horror, like porn, can be judged only by its effect on your pulse. If you jerked in your seat, it served its function. Biology requires us to react to jump scares, just as it urges a lonely man to thrill to a great set of tits. But triggering a coronary reaction...…
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Film, Film Reviews

Nothing Bad Can Happen Mixes Horror, Punk and Jesus

Katrin Gebbe's Nothing Bad Can Happen is a gutting German drama that asks if martyrs can be accomplices to their own torture. Its modern saint is a homeless teenager named Tore (Julius Feldmeier), a born-again punk rocker who rolls with a group called The Jesus Freaks. He doesn't attend an...…
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Film, Film Reviews <i>Transformers: Age of Extinction</i>: At Least the Product Placement Is Interesting

Transformers: Age of Extinction: At Least the Product Placement Is Interesting

Believe it or not, during Transformers: Age of Extinction, Michael Bay's fourth rattling of the toy box, I felt one moment of near transcendence. Three-fourths of the way through the punishing 165-minute runtime - and fifteen minutes after my seatmate took off her 3-D glasses in exhaustion - my brain...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle Don't Be That Guy: Basic Summer Outdoor Screening Etiquette

Don't Be That Guy: Basic Summer Outdoor Screening Etiquette

Lounging with wine and cheese sounds civilized, unless you're picnicking at one of Los Angeles dozen-plus outdoor summer movie screenings. The crowds at Cinespia and Electric Dusk look relaxed, but are roiling under the surface with unspoken - and unagreed-upon - rules for proper social conduct. Failing ushers to maintain order, nature screenings are...…
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Film, Film Reviews

Paul Haggis' Third Person Is an Embarrassing Rough Draft of a Movie

If a toddler tried to re-create the mystifying behavior of adults, it would look a lot like Paul Haggis' Third Person, a drama where grown-ups scream and cry and kiss for reasons that are confounding even to those who understand speech. The film follows a handful of couples, or really,...…
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Film, Film Reviews Wet Hot American Love: <i>They Came Together</i> Hilariously Wrecks the Rom-Com

Wet Hot American Love: They Came Together Hilariously Wrecks the Rom-Com

Romances are Hollywood's most anxiety-inducing fantasy. Like superhero flicks or horror films, they exist in a phony world of big scenes and breathtaking climaxes. But while audiences know that geeks can't meld with spiders and that the bogeyman isn't real, they still hope to fall in love, and boy, it'd...…
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Film, Film Reviews

Robert Pattinson Stars in Post-Apocalyptic Western The Rover

The Rover, Australian filmmaker David Michôd's follow-up to his brutish family drama Animal Kingdom, is a post-apocalyptic Western from the Outback, a stretch of land that already looks like the world's been blown away. All Michôd needs to convince us of the devastation is a title card pegging the events...…
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Film, L.A. Film Fest 2014: What You Should See

L.A. Film Fest 2014: What You Should See

You don't have to watch movies during the L.A. Film Festival. Instead, you could attend the master-class discussion "Re-Imagining L.A.," co-hosted by production designer K.K. Barrett of Her, which dreamed of a future L.A. where the subway stretched to the Pacific. The all-star panel "Women Who Call the Shots," headed...…
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Film, Film Reviews In <i>Edge of Tomorrow</i>, Tom Cruise Is Back! (and Back! and Back!)

In Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise Is Back! (and Back! and Back!)

In 1986, peaceniks were mad at Tom Cruise. That year, the Navy credited Top Gun for boosting enlistment by another 20,000 recruits. Since then, Cruise has made more critiques of military than advertisements, most of which (Lions for Lambs, Born on the Fourth of July, The Last Samurai, Valkyrie) accuse...…
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Film, Film Reviews With <em>Obvious Child</em>, Hollywood Finally Made an Abortion Comedy  -  and It's Good

With Obvious Child, Hollywood Finally Made an Abortion Comedy - and It's Good

For all the Fox News fearmongering that Hollywood is out to indoctrinate us with liberal values, when it comes to pregnancy, the movies have for years been curiously conservative. If a woman gets knocked up, she either loses the baby by accident (cue waterworks) or carries it to term (cue...…
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Film, Again and Again, <i>22 Jump Street</i>'s Lord and Miller Turn Crap Ideas Into Movie Gold

Again and Again, 22 Jump Street's Lord and Miller Turn Crap Ideas Into Movie Gold

When Phil Lord and Chris Miller pitched their idea for a 21 Jump Street movie, a film everyone thought was, at best, a moronic moneymaker, they had one bold proposal: "What if the twist is that we try to make it really good?" Lord says. "That's basically a summary of...…
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Film, Film Reviews <em>A Million Ways to Die in the West</em>: Seth MacFarlane Proves (Almost) Worthy of Mel Brooks Comparisons

A Million Ways to Die in the West: Seth MacFarlane Proves (Almost) Worthy of Mel Brooks Comparisons

We're still adjusting to Seth MacFarlane as a big-screen star. Not just because his breakneck, absurdist humor often demands that viewers pause and rewind, but because the man himself looks like a hand-inked cartoon, with his black, pupil-less eyes and an alabaster baby face that, lacking cheekbones that could carve...…
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Film, Film Reviews In <em>Maleficent</em>, Why Is Angelina Jolie Hung Up on Some Loser?

In Maleficent, Why Is Angelina Jolie Hung Up on Some Loser?

Boil Maleficent down to one newt's nose–size piece of advice and you'd get this: Don't dump Angelina Jolie. It's not a problem most mortals will face but, as seen through director Robert Stromberg's lens, the antlered arch-villain of Sleeping Beauty is a sympathetic scorned woman, equal parts Gloria Gaynor, Princess...…
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Film, James McAvoy Explains Why He Loved Wallowing in <em> Filth</em>

James McAvoy Explains Why He Loved Wallowing in Filth

James McAvoy knows not to trust the British tabloids. While flogging his grotty drama Filth, based on the Irvine Welsh novel about a coke-addicted, double-crossing cop, they breathlessly reported that the Scottish actor had dived so deep into Method acting that he'd convinced a German hooker to punch him in...…
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Film, Film Reviews

Film Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

America's sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence truly can do anything. In the course of three months, she has managed to graciously lose an Oscar (her third nomination in four years), swan above the mansplaining condescension of a male pundit who tsk-tsked her for getting drunk in public, and burst into the summer...…
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