LAUREL CANYON

Now Playing: LAUREL CANYON, THE HURT LOCKER and DINER

Now Playing: LAUREL CANYON, THE HURT LOCKER and DINER

Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale half-naked in a swimming pool. Need we say more to entice you to watch our featured films this week? Well, for those who do remain unswayed, we’ve also got a Meg Ryan/Mark Ruffalo thriller, a realistic war drama from Kathryn Bigelow, and a Kevin Bacon classic.

Read on for more!

Two artists: going in, going out

Two artists: going in, going out

It’s getting to be that time – Golden Globes coming this weekend; non-stop awards season chatter until February. I happened to be watching LAUREL CANYON the other night, and seeing Christian Bale in that 2002 Lisa Cholodenko flick; I started thinking about these two artists, then and now. They currently exist in the same universe once again for said upcoming awards madness, as Bale makes a hard Method-acting hit with THE FIGHTER and Cholodenko goes the emotional distance with THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. Both artists have made enviable progress in their careers since they were splashing around the pool in LAUREL CANYON (well, Bale splashed; Cholodenko ostensibly was at the monitor, poolside). While Bale has continued to take his craft outward, going beyond his typical detached cool-guy role (think AMERICAN PSYCHO), Cholodenko has successfully traveled even further in, going deeper into the modern American psyche with regard to family and love. Outward and inward – it’s inspiring.

We don’t see many movies about middle-aged lesbian couples

We don’t see many movies about middle-aged lesbian couples

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival 2010

It’s easy to see why Lisa Cholodenko’s THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT has scored the biggest distribution deal to date at this year’s Sundance. (Focus Features acquired it for a reported $5 million.) Enthusiastically received at its packed premiere on Monday night, this lively crowd pleaser appears to take a conventional form (family dramedy) and give it an unconventional spin (it’s about what you might call a modern family).