Bob Mondello http://tspr.org en Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula http://tspr.org/post/sci-fi-kid-flick-earth-echo-broadens-et-formula Movie theaters were swarming with <em>Transformers</em> this past weekend, and that'll also be true over the July 4 weekend. So this may not seem to be the best moment to bring out a sci-fi flick made on a budget that wouldn't cover catering for Optimus Prime. But "small" has its virtues sometimes, and the kid flick <em>Earth to Echo</em> is one of those times.<p>It opens with eighth-grader Tuck about to lose his two best buds. Their families are moving from Nevada, and it's their last night together, so they're doing what kids do — taping goodbyes for YouTube. Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:14:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 55912 at http://tspr.org Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula A Leap Too Far? 'Venus' And 'Jersey Boys' Bounce From Stage To Screen http://tspr.org/post/leap-too-far-venus-and-jersey-boys-bounce-stage-screen An intellectual play about sadomasochism, a musical about a '60s pop group, and a pair of famously cinematic directors. There's always going to be a bit of a leap when a play moves from stage to screen — but Roman Polanski's <em>Venus in Fur</em> and Clint Eastwood's <em>Jersey Boys</em> leap a little further than usual.<p>A director is casting a new play at the start of <em>Venus in Fur,</em> and auditions have been ghastly. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 55234 at http://tspr.org A Leap Too Far? 'Venus' And 'Jersey Boys' Bounce From Stage To Screen It's A Summer Sequel Spectacular With 'Dragon' And 'Jump Street' http://tspr.org/post/its-summer-sequel-spectacular-dragon-and-jump-street In a summer of sequels — 16 in all — this weekend is the sequelliest, offering blockbuster deja-vu (<em>How To Train Your Dragon 2</em> AND <em>22 Jump Street</em>) as well as a few object lessons in how to train your audience. One film goes all meta with its concept, the other goes back to basics, and for a change, both approaches work.<p>Meta's the mantra for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who're managing three franchises these days — <em>Lego</em>, <em>Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs</em>, and <em>Jump Street</em> — and who're going to have to get off the sequel train pretty soon. Fri, 13 Jun 2014 18:18:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 54833 at http://tspr.org It's A Summer Sequel Spectacular With 'Dragon' And 'Jump Street' Mike Myers Steps Behind The Camera With 'Supermensch' http://tspr.org/post/mike-myers-steps-behind-camera-supermensch When you've played Austin Powers, Shrek, The Cat in the Hat and the title dweeb in <em>Wayne's World</em>, what do you do for an encore? If you're comedian Mike Myers, the next logical step, evidently, is to direct a documentary about your agent. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 18:48:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 54476 at http://tspr.org Mike Myers Steps Behind The Camera With 'Supermensch' James McAvoy As A Creep? In 'Filth,' The Anti-Typecasting Works http://tspr.org/post/james-mcavoy-creep-filth-anti-typecasting-works Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) swaggers down the street at the start of <em>Filth</em> swiping balloons from children, ogling their mothers, flipping off foreigners and smirking as he ticks down a list of what makes Scotland a place where he feels he can be cock-of-the-walk.<p>"This nation brought the world television, the steam engine, golf, whiskey, penicillin and, of course, the deep-fried Mars bar," he snorts. "We're such a uniquely successful race."<p>He's the kind of soulless, racist, drug-and-alcohol-addled operator you might call the police to protect you from. Fri, 30 May 2014 21:01:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 54107 at http://tspr.org James McAvoy As A Creep? In 'Filth,' The Anti-Typecasting Works