Bob Mondello http://nhpr.org en Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula http://nhpr.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 51255 at http://nhpr.org Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula Multiplexes Heat Up For Summer Blockbuster Season http://nhpr.org/post/multiplexes-heat-summer-blockbuster-season Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The long Memorial Day weekend usually marks the start of Hollywood blockbuster season. But it's been well underway with "Godzilla" and "X-Men" already in theaters. That said, there are another 87 would-be hits scheduled before Labor Day. We asked critic Bob Mondello for a selective preview.<p>BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: What's the plural of apocalypse? Apocali (ph)? Apocalypses (ph)? Whatever. A whole bunch of coming to the multiplex. Mon, 26 May 2014 21:17:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 49202 at http://nhpr.org Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain http://nhpr.org/post/seeing-new-x-men-take-along-teenager-explain The final "X" in the 20th Century Fox logo glows for an extra second as <em>X-Men: Days of Future Past</em> gets started, but what follows is darker than dark — a bleak, dire future in which all of Manhattan is a mutant prison camp. Fri, 23 May 2014 20:43:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 49087 at http://nhpr.org Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain Son Of? Bride Of? Cousin Of? How Many Godzillas Are There, Already? http://nhpr.org/post/son-bride-cousin-how-many-godzillas-are-there-already The world has already seen 28 Godzilla movies — 29, if you count Roland Emmerich's 1998 Hollywood remake (which most of us don't). So why is another one opening this week?<p>Well, the fiduciary logic is no doubt compelling if you're a studio executive — even that widely derided '90s version made $379 million — but for the rest of us, director Gareth Edwards needs to make a case. He starts in the opening credits, by letting you know that everything you think you know about this story is suspect. Thu, 15 May 2014 18:42:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 48563 at http://nhpr.org Son Of? Bride Of? Cousin Of? How Many Godzillas Are There, Already? In 'Belle,' A Complex Life Tangled In Class And Commerce http://nhpr.org/post/belle-complex-life-tangled-class-and-commerce Here's a unique specialty for a movie studio: slavery films. Last year, Fox Searchlight brought us an Oscar winner about a free black man hauled into 12 years of slavery. Fri, 02 May 2014 20:21:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 47817 at http://nhpr.org In 'Belle,' A Complex Life Tangled In Class And Commerce Mickey Rooney, All-American Boy For More Than 90 Years, Dies http://nhpr.org/post/mickey-rooney-all-american-boy-more-90-years-dies Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Mickey Rooney, who lived a long life on stage and screen, died last night at his home in Los Angeles. He was 93. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 46342 at http://nhpr.org Send Out The Doves: 'Noah' Lands On Solid Ground http://nhpr.org/post/send-out-doves-noah-lands-solid-ground The story of Noah's Ark is getting blockbuster treatment in Hollywood's new biblical epic <em>Noah</em>. Darren Aronofsky's film about the Old Testament shipbuilder has been sparking controversy — but there's no denying that the Great Flood, digitized, is a pretty great flood.<p>"In the beginning there was ... Fri, 28 Mar 2014 22:01:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 45831 at http://nhpr.org Send Out The Doves: 'Noah' Lands On Solid Ground Review: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' http://nhpr.org/post/review-grand-budapest-hotel Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Filmmaker Wes Anderson makes movies that are eccentric, pointedly artificial and, to his fans, very funny. From his early comedies "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tannenbaums," to last year's Oscar-nominated "Moonrise Kingdom," Anderson's movies have looked and sounded different from everyone else's in Hollywood. And critic Bob Mondello says that streak continues with his spoof of extravagant 1930s melodramas. It's called "The Grand Budapest Hotel."<p>BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: The hotel looks a bit like a pink wedding cake perched atop a Swiss Alp. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 21:09:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 44718 at http://nhpr.org Alain Resnais, Director And Master Of Disorientation, Dies At 91 http://nhpr.org/post/alain-resnais-director-and-master-disorientation-dies-91 Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>The French filmmaker who shook up European cinema and offered inspiration to directors as varied as Woody Allen and David Lynch died on Saturday. Alain Resnais caused a sensation with his films "Hiroshima Mon Amour" and "Last Year at Marienbad" in the 1950s and '60s. Critic Bob Mondello offers an appreciation.<p>BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Memory, or rather how unreliable memory can be, fascinated Alain Resnais. Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 44457 at http://nhpr.org On Philip Seymour Hoffman, And His Many Appearances http://nhpr.org/post/philip-seymour-hoffman-and-his-many-appearances <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzY2pWrXB_0</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ_4m2ocxhI</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRud1so-Z-M</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 21:27:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 42930 at http://nhpr.org On Philip Seymour Hoffman, And His Many Appearances A Century Ago Today, Chaplin Made His Film Debut — In A Dud http://nhpr.org/post/century-ago-today-chaplin-made-his-film-debut-dud <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LoLw4TJKdU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j2K3A1S5ak</p> Sun, 02 Feb 2014 22:18:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 42872 at http://nhpr.org A Century Ago Today, Chaplin Made His Film Debut — In A Dud Screen Time: Bob Mondello's Favorite Films Of 2013 http://nhpr.org/post/screen-time-bob-mondellos-favorite-films-2013 Conventional wisdom has it that television is where the creative action is these days, and yes, there are some <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2013/12/30/258413489/remote-control-it-was-hard-to-turn-off-the-tv-in-2013">terrific shows on cable</a>.<p>But there are things it's hard to do on the small screen, and the year's most cinematic film delighted in reminding audiences why they like seeing movies in theaters.<p>Spacesuited figures in orbit. Serene, breathtakingly gorgeous. Tue, 31 Dec 2013 21:13:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 41038 at http://nhpr.org Screen Time: Bob Mondello's Favorite Films Of 2013 5 By O'Toole: What To Watch Beyond 'Lawrence Of Arabia' http://nhpr.org/post/five-otoole-what-watch-beyond-lawrence-arabia <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTbLkYmWZJo</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOWpf7tuCXo</p> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 17:18:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 40222 at http://nhpr.org 5 By O'Toole: What To Watch Beyond 'Lawrence Of Arabia' Peter O'Toole, Exuberant From 'Lawrence' To His Last Role http://nhpr.org/post/peter-otoole-exuberant-lawrence-his-last-role Blond, blue-eyed and wearing blazing white robes in <em>Lawrence Of Arabia</em>, Peter O'Toole was handsome enough — many said beautiful enough — to carry off the scene in which director David Lean simultaneously made stars of both his title character and his leading man.<p>The scene: a wrecked train, blown up by Lawrence and surrounded by his Bedouin followers, one of whom has just smashed a news photographer's camera. O'Toole's Lawrence explains that the man thinks the camera will steal his soul. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 07:59:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 40190 at http://nhpr.org Peter O'Toole, Exuberant From 'Lawrence' To His Last Role Among The Holiday Glut, 3 Movies About The Creative Life http://nhpr.org/post/among-holiday-glut-3-movies-about-creative-life It's movie-binge time — that month-long surge of Oscar hopefuls and would-be blockbusters Hollywood always winds up the year with. Mon, 02 Dec 2013 16:30:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 39403 at http://nhpr.org Among The Holiday Glut, 3 Movies About The Creative Life