With a guiding title premise that has little to no bearing on the story, 'The Yellow Handkerchief' is basically a glorified student film. Still, William Hurt gives a worthy performance as Brett Hanson, a convicted murderer released into the hot Louisiana sun after serving a six-year prison sentence. Grade: C-.
Music video director Floria Sigismondi trains her eye on the early days of punkish girl rockers as Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) and Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) hook up with producer impresario Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) and set the stage for what would become the runaway success of women in the game of sex and Rock & Roll. Sigismondi gets a running start at what will likely turn into a long career in the long-form spotlight. Grade: B.
More than a few mouths fell open when it was announced that Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning had been tapped to play leads in 'The Runaways,' a biopic about the pioneering all-girl Punk/Metal group’s rapid rise and debauchery-fueled fall in the late 1970s. Writer/director Floria Sigismondi discusses the fuss around the casting as well as the movie's teen-angst subject matter.
The unexpected box-office success of Catherine Hardwicke’s first installment led to the quick green light of the second of Stephanie Meyer’s source novels, New Moon. Ironically, the latest movie flips the formula of the first: Its elaborate special effects, seamlessly guided by new director Chris Weitz, trump its inert, often incoherent story. Grade: C.
Some will hear the first guitar blast during the opening moments and think nothing of it. For others, The Replacements' "Bastards of Young" is such a touchstone that writer/director Greg Mottola ('Superbad') might have you in the palm of his hand before you've seen a single frame of the actual movie. Grade: B.