I love the Vista Theater in Los Angeles.
There aren't many stand-alone single-screen theaters left in this city, and I can't think of any other theater that features the kind of luxurious legroom that is one of the Vista's most winning features. When Greg Ellwood proposed the Vista as the site for our special screening of James Wan's new film "The Conjuring," I was thrilled.
Monday night, we had a full house turn out, and the film played beautifully. There are few things I love more as a film fan than being in the theater when a horror film is really working on every level. I reviewed the film last week, and seeing it again only underlined for me just how controlled and carefully built it is. I think Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are really wonderful in it, and it would have been so easy for filmmakers to make the Warrens look silly or to overplay things and really ladle on the special effects.
Wan trusts his audience, though, and one of the things that makes "The Conjuring" special is seeing just how slow the slow-burn really is. The other thing that I think makes it work so well is that Wan takes the time to really give us a sense of the Perron family and how lovely they are together. When evil begins to push its way into this family, it is upsetting because they feel so genuinely bonded.
After the screening, Ron Livingston joined us, as did two of the young women who played the Perron sisters in the film. There are roughly 86 kids in the family, and Shanley Caswell and Hayley McFarland are two of the oldest of the daughters. What followed was about a half-hour of loose, fun, informative conversation with a cast that seems justifiably proud of what they've made and excited about the way people are responding to it. I think Livingston really made the evening work, and I was impressed by how he went out of his way to really commend his co-stars and his collaborators on the film.
In addition to "The Conjuring," Livingston is starring in "Drinking Buddies" this year, and I cannot recommend that film enough to you. It's a wonderful, wise little movie, and everyone in it is top-of-their-game good. It's a great year for him. I want to thank him and Caswell and McFarland for coming out, and to all of you who packed that theater.
I especially want to thank the guy who sat next to me and who seemed completely unaware that he was talking out loud for at least a half an hour. "Get out of the house. I would burn the house down. Seriously. Screw that house. You gotta get out. Holy shit. Get out of the house." Warner Bros should hire that guy to tour with the film, because I could not get enough of his blatant, out-of-control terror.
"The Conjuring" is in theaters everywhere July 19.
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
Let Streaming Genie help you.