Scene Stealers

Filmmaker brings Western shot in Kansas to Liberty Hall

Eric Melin

Wichita-based filmmaker **Nicholas Barton** formed production company Prestigious Films in 2009, and has since worked on projects for high-profile clients like Walmart, Cargill, and Dell Computers. But he always had an itch to make a feature film. Being a big fan of the classic film noirs of the 1940s and ...

A grand 'Budapest Hotel,' an American hero returns and a festival for young filmmakers

Eric Melin

All the hallmarks of a Wes Anderson film are present in his latest comic concoction “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” opening today at Liberty Hall: Ornate production design, symmetrical framing, cheeky self-awareness, miniature models, obscure references, and at least 10 former cast members of his ever-expanding American Empirical repertory company. In ...

'Sabotage' suffers from a fetish for shocking gore

Eric Melin

There is a moment in **David Ayers**’ moving police drama “End of Watch” when the two affable and dedicated LAPD officers played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña discover a pile of dismembered bodies in a house. It is an uncharacteristically gruesome moment in a movie filled with rich characterization ...

If you're truly 'Divergent,' you should see 'Tim's Vermeer'

Eric Melin

It may be a documentary, but **“Tim’s Vermeer,”** opening at [Liberty Hall][1] this weekend, unfolds like a mystery novel and then plays like a suspense thriller. Directed by **Teller** and narrated by his partner-in-illusion **Penn Jillette** (who also appears on camera), it’s a crackling how’d-he-do-it — rather than a whodunit ...

Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises' breathes new life into the biopic

Eric Melin

At age 73, legendary filmmaker **Hayao Miyazaki** is still finding ways to challenge himself and his audience. Known for his elegant and emotionally stirring animated movies, the Japanese director tackles the usually rigid world of the biopic in **“The Wind Rises,”** which he has said will be his last film. ...

More stylized '300' nonsense and Marx Madness!

Eric Melin

Using the overtly stylized, CGI-heavy parameters created by the director **Zack Snyder**’s “300” back in 2007, “300: Rise of an Empire,” which is produced and co-written by Snyder, tells a broader story about the Greco-Persian Wars. Where the first film mainly covered the Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonidas led ...

Baker graduate, Oscar nominee on how visual effects become special

Eric Melin

For **Patrick Tubach**, who graduated from Baker University in 1996, this Sunday won’t be his first trip down the red carpet for the Academy Awards ceremony, but it will be his first time as a nominee. “I think everyone gets excited about seeing the celebrities, and that’s absolutely a fun ...

My official 'Beat the Critic' Oscar predictions — can you do better?

Eric Melin

The 86th Academy Awards are almost upon us and next Sunday, March 2, Hollywood will hand out Oscars to its best and brightest while 225 countries and territories worldwide watch the televised broadcast. This year, we’re giving you a chance to win prizes by playing our [Beat the Critic contest][1]. ...

If you have '3 Days to Kill,' it's best to check out other film options

Eric Melin

I guess the best thing you can say about the new action movie **“3 Days to Kill,”** starring **Kevin Costner** as a grizzled old CIA hitman living in Paris, is that the 59-year-old actor has more charm and better comic timing now than Bruce Willis. Costner is essentially playing the ...

'RoboCop' remake a surprising success, and our Beat the Critic contest gets underway

Eric Melin

I’ll admit it: the thought of Hollywood remaking a violent, scrappy, go-for-broke hard-R satire like **Paul Verhoeven**’s 1987 classic “RoboCop” into a PG-13 movie really boiled my blood. For those who haven’t seen the original recently, I dare you to revisit it again. You may have forgotten how hateful and ...

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