Scene Stealers

A Halloween comedy tradition comes to Liberty Hall big screen

Eric Melin

The ongoing Film Church series at [Liberty Hall][1] rolls on this month with three screenings on Sunday of **Mel Brooks**’ comedy classic **“Young Frankenstein,”** a movie that brings a personal Halloween tradition for Maggie Allen, cinema and video store manager, into the public, albeit five days early. No matter where ...

Spoiler alert: 'Gone Girl' is gussied-up trash!

Eric Melin

I knew this movie wouldn’t go away. On its opening weekend, I issued my [spoiler-free review][1] of director **David Fincher’s “Gone Girl,”** based on the novel by **Gillian Flynn.** I knew as soon as I saw the film that it would be the movie everyone *had* to see, and three ...

Arts Center hosting tribute to bizarre cult film 'Phantom of the Paradise'

Eric Melin

Lawrence musician Jeremy Sidener has always been interested in fringe culture, which in the pre-Internet days, was wherever one could find it. Growing up in Olathe the 1980s, he would make regular road trips to the now-iconic Lawrence punk-rock shack The Outhouse. When he got to stay up late, he ...

'Frank' puts a face on the creative process

Eric Melin

Frank, the fringe musician who never takes off his giant papier-mache head (played by **Michael Fassbender**), isn’t going to kowtow to the rules, and neither does **“Frank”** the movie, opening Friday at [Liberty Hall][1]. Directed by **Lenny Abrahamson** and written by **Jon Ronson** and **Peter Straughan**, “Frank” is loosely based ...

Modern marriages go bad in 'Gone Girl' and 'The One I Love'

Eric Melin

Buried somewhere beneath the button-pushing gender politics and all-too-convenient plot twists in **“Gone Girl,”** there are some mildly interesting points being made about modern marriage. But after two and a half hours of soapy ridiculousness that wouldn’t be out of place on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” the movie just ...

New reissues challenge views of the Holocaust and man's capacity for murder

Eric Melin

The famous German playwright Bertolt Brecht fled his home country when Hitler came to power, and in 1942 at the invitation of renowned film director Fritz Lang, co-scripted the only screenplay he ever wrote for Hollywood. The result is **“Hangmen Also Die,”** a stirring piece of anti-Nazi propaganda that blends ...

Take a 'Trip to Italy,' and a cult 'Raiders' remake comes to KU

Eric Melin

In 2010, British comedians **Steve Coogan** and **Rob Brydon** had an unexpected indie hit on their hands with “The Trip,” a road-trip comedy in which the actors played heightened versions of themselves — like Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” albeit not as extreme. **“The Trip to Italy,”** opening at ...

Hoffman's last great lead performance, and local vampires in Paris!

Eric Melin

Shades of sadness and defeat simmer just below the surface of **Philip Seymour Hoffman**’s subtle performance in **“A Most Wanted Man,”** opening today at [Liberty Hall][1]. Knowing the late actor’s personal troubles while he was filming the spy thriller, it’s hard not to wonder how much of that informed his ...

Why the Blu-ray format is essential to film literacy, and a local 'Triumph'

Eric Melin

At no other time in the last hundred years have there been more movies available to the general public as there are right now. Thanks to streaming video, hundreds of thousands of movies from the dawn of film to today can be accessed and played back on all kinds of ...

Boy to man: 'Boyhood' captures 12 years in 2 and a half hours

Eric Melin

Now playing at Liberty Hall, **“Boyhood”** is the challenging new movie from writer/director **Richard Linklater**, and it follows 12 years of the life of a boy named Mason, who is first seen at age 6. **Ellar Coltrane**, who plays Mason, is the centerpiece of this ensemble movie, but the real ...

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