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Bentonville readies for inaugural film festival

Event expected to draw big crowds, Hollywood talent

Subscriber onlyAlmost five months after announcing the Bentonville Film Festival, Trevor Drinkwater remains resolute in his initial belief in the concept. Continue reading...

Ex Machina

Well-made film explores the ups and downs of artificial intelligence technology

By nearly any measure, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac) is a phenomenal success. At the age of 13 he wrote the initial search algorithm that eventually would go on to power his megawatt company, Blue Book, to become the most powerful Internet search client in the world. By now a multi-billionaire, the reclusive Bateman spends his days on his pristine natural estate somewhere in the rolling mountains and flowing streams of what appears to be the Pacific Northwest, working tirelessly on a new, quintessential project designing the world's first true AI interface. Continue reading...

Previews

New this week

The Age of Adaline Continue reading...

Director continues moody sci-fi genre

A few years back, I had the opportunity to speak to a director about the difficulty of casting for royalty. It seemed a tricky business, being able to capture the particular confluence of wealth, prestige and to the manner born that would read to a movie audience as suitably removed from the rest of us. Continue reading...

Coming Attractions

Avengers: Age of Ultron, PG-13 The Avengers must assemble to combat the threat of Ultron. With Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, James Spader. Directed by Josh Whedon. May 1 Continue reading...

The Age of Adaline

The Age of Adaline is not really a movie. It's more like two movies fighting for the same screen at the same time. On one hand, it has a juicy setup. The script by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz thoughtfully explores the pros and cons of living forever. It's too bad they didn't devote the same mental effort toward the limp romance that keeps intruding. Continue reading...

The Water Divier

Making his directorial debut with the brawny and big-hearted Australian war drama The Water Diviner, Russell Crowe taps a deep well of symbolism, cultural empathy and good old-fashioned storytelling. Crowe, who also stars as a grieving father stoically bulldozing through Turkey in search of three sons missing in action after the WWI battle at Gallipoli, is on shakier ground with a gooey romantic subplot, which brings to mind the actor's out-of-his-element performance in the Ridley Scott romantic comedy A Good Year. Continue reading...

Wild Tales

People are capable of amazing acts of love, generosity and self-sacrifice. They can also be vain, bitter and vengeful creatures who use their terrifying intelligence in precisely calibrated ways. The wonder of Argentinian writer-director Damian Szifron's Wild Tales is that it is somehow able to demonstrate the extremes of human unkindness while never reducing its characters to props. Continue reading...

Furious 7 continues record haul

LOS ANGELES -- Furious 7 finished atop the box office for the third consecutive weekend with about $29.2 million in ticket sales in U.S. and Canadian theaters, but it was the international market that pushed the Universal Pictures film to be the highest grossing release worldwide in the studio's 103-year history. Continue reading...

The Wrecking Crew

Tommy Tedesco was a minor hero of mine; I used to read his "Studio Log" column in Guitar Player magazine religiously. It was a witty and insightful read that demystified the life of a studio musician. In each column, Tedesco would give the details of a particular session date, informing us who the date was for, what gear he'd used, what particular problems he'd encountered, how he'd modified the music, and even how much he'd been paid. He also included a lead sheet from the session, usually decorated with his own hand-scribbled notes. Continue reading...

Wrecking director makes it personal

As part of my standard procedure for conducting interviews, I let subjects know they're being recorded. When I told director Denny Tedesco know that, unlike the National Security, I let people know when the microphone is on, he half-jokingly replied, "I only wish somebody would listen to me." Continue reading...

Super Quiz: Burial Sites

Subscriber only1. John F. Kennedy Continue reading...

Helpful Hints

DEAR READERS: If you will be traveling with your pet (or pets), here are a few hints for you and your furry friends. Some hints below are from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and some are from Heloise Central: Continue reading...

Softball game added to Bentonville Film Festival events

Subscriber onlyThe schedule for the Bentonville Film Festival was rounded out Monday courtesy of the announcement of several new events. And participants in one of the festival's newly announced events will be rounding the bases, as well. Continue reading...

Wading into Waters

Filmmaker and author John Waters to speak about his hitchhiking narrative during Arkansas Literary Festival

Subscriber onlyJohn Waters is more likely than most 68-year-old cult authors and moviemakers to hitchhike to Little Rock and the Arkansas Literary Festival. Continue reading...

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