Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi are the human co-pilots who mind-meld to control the giant Jaegers — massive robots engineered to fight rampaging sea monsters — in <em>Pacific Rim</em>, a <em>kaiju</em>-film homage from director Guillermo del Toro.
The simple pleasures of watching Godzilla or Ultraman doing battle on Saturday afternoon television have proved difficult to re-create since their heyday in the '70s and '80s. Big-budget Hollywood attempts to replicate the experience tend to not just be failures, but disastrous, highly polished failures on an epic scale: Roland Emmerich's 1998 take on Godzilla, for instance, or Michael Bay's Transformers series.
<strong>Take It Or Leave It:</strong> The legalese you accept when you use Facebook or iTunes (or <a href="http://www.npr.org/about-npr/179876898/terms-of-use">NPR's digital platforms</a>) may have you agreeing to some surprising things. Cullen Hoback's documentary <em>Terms and Conditions May Apply</em> illustrates just how many — and just how much control we've obligingly signed away.
Credit Variance Films
Irish tourist Leigh Bryan (left), here with director Cullen Hoback, sent a tweet to a friend before a U.S. vacation, joking that he intended to have a few drinks and "destroy America." As he tells it in <em>Terms and Conditions,</em> immigration authorities were less than amused.
I'm 45, single, substantially in debt and way too susceptible to jokes about redheads. And I'm telling you these things upfront because ... why not? It wouldn't be all that hard for you — or your Big Brother — to find out.
Augusta Scattergood was in the fifth grade when she decided she wanted to become a librarian. She now reviews books for magazines and websites, including <em>Delta Magazine </em>and <em>The Christian Science Monitor</em>. <em>Glory Be </em>is her first novel.
In July, NPR's Backseat Book Club traveled to Hanging Moss, Miss., where Gloriana June Hemphill, better known as Glory, is just an ordinary little girl. But this is no ordinary summer — it's 1964 and the town has shut down the so-called "community" swimming pool to avoid integration.
Is it the summer of Shakespearean comedy? You might not guess it from the box-office grosses, but with the release of Joss Whedon's delightful Much Ado About Nothingand now Matias Piñeiro's wondrous Viola, the spirit, if not the strict content, of Shakespeare's less bloody-mindedplays is sneaking into theaters, offering an invaluable lesson to other films in how to be lighthearted without being empty-headed.
Improbably or not, Salma Hayek (left) and Adam Sandler (far right) are a couple again in <em>Grown Ups 2.</em> Billed as a comedy, the film also features Kevin James, Alexys Nicole Sanchez, Chris Rock, Maria Bello and David Spade, who in this scene are all pretending to laugh at something that in all likelihood involves poo.
Two decades ago, when stupid Hollywood comedies were relatively smart, they lampooned their own sequelitis with titles like Hot Shots! Part Deux. The genre has become less knowing since then, so the follow-up to 2010's Grown Ups is named simply Grown Ups 2.
Grown Ups Minus 2 would be more apt.
Like its predecessor, this is a vehicle for Adam Sandler, his pals and whatever they think they can get away with. That means some creepy sexual insinuations, if not so many as the first time.
Michael B. Jordan plays Oscar Grant, an Oakland man with a checkered past and a new determination to get his life right — until one terrible night at <em>Fruitvale Station.</em>
Credit The Weinstein Co.
Oscar's interactions with 4-year-old daughter Tatiana (Ariana Neal) help layer Ryan Coogler's warm portrait of a family that's seen its share of upheavals, but that's solid nonetheless — until tragedy intervenes.
Fruitvale Station, on the Oakland side of the San Francisco Bay: Grainy cellphone video from a day, four years ago, that commanded the nation's attention. Several young black men sit on a transit station platform, white transit police officers standing over them. There's shouting, scuffling, but nothing that looks worrisome.
Lukas works in a Danish kindergarten, and it's clear he's in the right place: When the kids look at him, they see a great big toy.
That's especially true for 5-year-old Klara, the lonely daughter of Lukas' best friend, Theo. Klara's folks fight a lot, and her teenage brother is too busy looking at dirty pictures with his buddies to pay her much attention.
Now 43 years old, Jay-Z has become the Jay Gatsby of hip-hop: a man with a checkered background playing host to endless parties, celebrating excellence, the good life and himself. It's no wonder that he was asked to oversee the music for director Baz Luhrmann's amusement park ride version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's romantic fantasy.