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Audi celebrates Emmys Week 2014 - Arrivals

Kip Pardue - An Array of celebrities attend the Audi celebrates Emmys Week 2014 event which was held at Cecconi's Restaurant - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 21st August 2014

Kip Pardue
Kip Pardue

Hallmark TCA Winter 2014 Party

Kip Pardue - Hallmark Television Critics Association Winter 2014 Party at the historic Huntington Library - San Marino, California, United States - Sunday 12th January 2014

Kip Pardue
Kip Pardue

'Phantom' LA premiere

Kip Pardue - 'Phantom' premiere of at the Chinese Theatre - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 27th February 2013

Kip Pardue

Los Angeles premiere of 'Phantom' at the Chinese Theatre - Arrivals

Kip Pardue - Los Angeles premiere of 'Phantom' at the Chinese Theatre - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 27th February 2013

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'Phantom' Los Angeles Red Carpet Premiere

Kip Pardue - 'Phantom' Los Angeles Red Carpet Premiere at the Chinese Theater - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 27th February 2013

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Hostel: Part III Trailer


Four best friends are on their way to a bachelor party in Las Vegas and they're looking forward to booze, gambling and sex. And it seems they hit the jackpot when they see two sexy escorts who seem eager to meet them.

Continue: Hostel: Part III Trailer

Loggerheads Review


Excellent
North Carolina looks warm and leafy in Loggerheads, a pitch-perfect drama interlocking three stories that take place in three different locations in three different years: 1999, 2000, and 2001. In each vignette, the A-list cast takes Tim Kirkman's beautifully crafted script and brings it to elegant life, with powerful results.

The title refers to -- among other things -- the loggerhead turtles that lay their eggs at the funky little beach resort of Kure Beach. Mark (Kip Pardue) is a twentysomething backpacker who has come to watch the turtles and sleep on the beach (in 1999), but when the cops roust him, he's saved by local gay motel owner George (Michael Kelly), who offers him a spare room. Mark, who's been on the road for a while and has seen a few things, assumes this is a sex-for-rent deal and he's willing to pay the price, but George assures him that's not what he had in mind.

Continue reading: Loggerheads Review

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things Review


OK
Only a month after acclaimed author J.T. LeRoy was exposed by The New York Times as a fictional persona concocted by writer Laura Albert - a revelation that all but demolished the credibility of the scribe's supposedly semi-autobiographical books - cultish actress/diva-turned-director Asia Argento arrives with her adaptation of LeRoy's The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, the tumultuous road-tripping saga of young Jeremiah and the psycho birth mother who introduces him to a world of whoring, pill-popping and delusional paranoia. Having proven herself more than slightly familiar with society's seedy underbelly with 2000's skuzzy Scarlet Diva, Argento attacks LeRoy's (untrue, but still affecting) tale of corrosively corrupted childhood with nasty relish, employing severe close-ups, nightmarishly surreal stop-motion animation, curdled primary colors and a dissonant Billy Corgan score for this descent into degenerate nomad hell. Yet despite such avant-garde showmanship, Argento's second effort behind the camera is significantly more polished than her debut, lacking the truly gonzo verve that might have overcome her film's more pressing, primary failure to capture the boy's-eye-view of LeRoy's tome. Closed off from her protagonist's internal turmoil, Argento's Heart is Deceitful gets the horrific literal facts straight but, disappointingly, captures only a trace of the mental anguish and manipulation that bestowed her source material with its coal-black tragedy.

Taken from the loving arms of his foster parents by unstable mom Sarah (Argento), Jeremiah (Jimmy Bennett for the first half; Dylan and Cole Sprouse for the latter section) finds himself unwillingly thrust into an itinerant life of substance abuse and sex-for-sale, a babe cast into the big bad woods of Middle American tract house communities and interstate truck stops. An odyssey of innocence parentally defiled, Argento's film strives, from the opening shot of a stuffed animal being waved in Jeremiah's face, to assume the perspective of her pint-sized protagonist, both through straightforward knee-high point-of-view shots as well as by grotesquely distorting her carnival-esque compositions to create a mood of terrified awe and dread. The result is a funhouse-mirror vibe rooted in squalor, from the decrepit apartments that Sarah and Jeremiah temporarily occupy with her assortment of boyfriends, to the parking lots where she plies her trade as a prostitute, to a combustible crack kitchen where the filth is so tangible that it can almost be felt creeping under one's fingernails. Still, working with cinematographer Eric Alan Edwards, Argento carefully balances these more out-there inclinations - felt most strikingly in Jeremiah's visions of cawing, flesh-eating red crows - with conventional setups and chronology, thereby deftly maintaining a tremulous sense of coherence even as her narrative begins spiraling into madness.

Continue reading: The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things Review

Imaginary Heroes Review


Good
Considering that Imaginary Heroes starts off with a teenager's suicide and then follows what happens to his family in the following year, it's a surprisingly energetic film that refuses to send its characters through either easy therapeutic resolution or cinematically pretty depression. This is more about how people grieve in reality, how they keep on moving through the days and plowing through the grief. And though it can't avoid all the potential clich├ęs that come into its path, this is a tale of suburban angst that can easily stand beside works like American Beauty and The Ice Storm, if not surpass them completely.

The feature directing debut of Dan Harris, the scriptwriting wunderkind behind X2 and a batch of upcoming superhero flicks (from Superman to The Fantastic Four), Imaginary Heroes is a breathtakingly assured piece of work. Notable are the shimmering cinematography and unusually nuanced performances from both veteran actors we tend to take for granted and several fresh, younger faces. It starts off with Matt Travis (Kip Pardue), a high school swimming legend who always hated swimming and so shoots himself in the head one night. Although we only really see him in retrospect, talked about in narration by his younger brother, Matt (Emile Hirsch), it's quickly obvious that Matt was the shining star of the family and so everything quickly goes to pot in his absence. The dad (Jeff Daniels) collapses into an unshaven, sullen drunk, and the sister (Michelle Williams) dashes back to the safe haven of college. Matt - the film's closest thing to a protagonist - buries everything deep, hiding all emotions from his best friend Kyle (Ryan Donowho) and girlfriend, breaking up with her after she keeps asking how he's feeling and why his body is covered in bruises.

Continue reading: Imaginary Heroes Review

Driven Review


OK
What better way to start an action movie than with... statistics!

From that rousing introduction we are thrown into the world of Driven, the highly anticipated CART-inspired movie that takes us on a whirlwind tour of made-up races.

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This Girl's Life Review


OK
The girl's life in question is one of a porn star, in case you're wondering.

Newcomer Juliette Marquis is the girl -- with the stage name of Moon -- and the film takes us through a smattering of adventures in her life. She has to pick a guy to star with in a scene (with a geriatric applicant among the choices), she takes care of her father (James Woods), who suffers from Parkinson's, and she decides to start a small business playing femme fatale for women worried their significant others may be tempted to cheat on them.

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Undiscovered Review


Terrible
Watch enough movies and after a while you learn a few things. Here's one important lesson: When the number of ushers assigned to a theater showing a movie is greater than the number of people actually watching the movie, you're in trouble. For Undiscovered, the final count during this reviewer's public screening: Ushers 3; Audience Members 1.

This underwhelming romantic drama set against the backdrop of L.A.'s rock music scene doesn't break that rule. Oddly enough, what dooms the movie is its strict adherence to two overused story tactics, "a star is made; a star is destroyed" and "the missed opportunity" romance. Predictably, the results are not pleasant and ushers nationwide will have an easy time cleaning gum and cola off the floors.

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Rules of Attraction Review


Grim
I wondered while laboring through Roger Avary's new film The Rules of Attraction if, now that I'm approaching 30, I've lost my appreciation for early 20s angst. It was a brief wondering, interrupted by a fierce gust of "No, wait, I had a good bout of the angsts yesterday trying to determine whether the future would involve employment or this hazy otherworld of 'freelancing' and 'contract work' I occupy now." Then I ate breakfast and forgot about it. Avary, who hit the career zenith in the gloomy early 1990s by winning an Academy Award for co-writing Pulp Fiction and is now 37, hasn't. He spends the better part of two hours trying to convince us that making James Van Der Beek do cocaine and say "fuck" a lot is some kind of Statement About the Hopelessness and Desperation of This Generation. How's this for a pitch? "It's like Kids...but in college!"

But it isn't. In the hands of a professional angst wrangler like Larry Clark, I'd bite. Clark makes up his mind fairly quickly whether we're supposed to care or not about his waistoid characters and their crappy lives and then creates but honestly and with ugliness in this vain. Avary directs like a nasty teenager, asking you to care and then laughing at you for doing so.

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Remember the Titans Review


Good
Here's the pitch: Take an emotional drama about the racial conflict concerning the integration of a black high school and a white one in the South. Then wrap the entire plot around a hard-nosed high school football coach (Washington) with an unorthodox style but an uncanny ability to get the most out of his players. As an added little twist in this case, the old white head coach (Patton) stays on as an assistant so we can play with a fair amount of racial conflict and power struggle as these two egos collide, and ultimately generate a little more emotion as they become friends.

The last bit aside, we've all seen this movie a couple of times before, so we know what to expect from the feel-good sentiment. To be sure, a lot of bigoted white folks are going to do a lot of mean things until they slowly start to understand that we are all the same on the inside. And a bunch of jaded and underachieving high school athletes will slowly learn what it is their coach is trying to teach them about becoming men and champions. Throw in the fat kid from the wrong side of the tracks who finds his inspiration and a little pride along the way, and we've got the most heartwarming film ever made.

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Thirteen Review


Weak
You can't argue that the film Thirteen doesn't know its teenagers. It gets all the obsessions and silly little dramas just right - the autobiographical script was written by one of the film's stars when she herself was thirteen - but just knowing the milieu isn't always going to create gripping drama.

After an opening scene in which 13-year-old Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) and her friend Evie (Nikki Reed, the writer) suck gas from a can of compressed air, laugh hysterically, and slap each other senseless, Thirteen flashes back to four months earlier, in order that we can get an idea of how Tracy got this way. Tracy's family situation is nothing spectacular, what with a distant father who only occasionally pays child support and a flaky mom (Holly Hunter) who scrapes by as a hairdresser and keeps letting Brady, her former cokehead boyfriend (Jeremy Sisto), sleep over. Her life seems pretty dull and irritating, so when Tracy ditches her nerdy friends to suck up to Evie, the lead Heather in the school's hottest clique, it makes an adolescent kind of sense. But when that friendship quickly morphs into an unending stream of shoplifting and drinking, Tracy also starts lashing out at her mother and pretty much everyone else around her, except Evie, who has essentially moved herself into Tracy's bedroom.

Continue reading: Thirteen Review

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