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Kenneth Turan

Kenneth Turan is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, he is the co-author of Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. He teaches film reviewing and non-fiction writing at USC and is on the board of directors of the National Yiddish Book Center. His most recent books are the University of California Press' Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made and Never Coming To A Theater Near You, published by Public Affairs Press.

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Any documentary about a singer-songwriter can provide great music, but with "Marley" you also get a remarkable personal story. We have a review from our critic Kenneth Turan.

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KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Bob Marley, who was only 36 when he died in 1981, could be a dusty musical footnote by now. Instead, the enormous popularity of this transcendent reggae superstar shows no sign of going away, and "Marley," a moving and authoritative new documentary, explains why.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

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And I'm David Greene.

A documentary that has been stirring up headlines for weeks finally opens today. "Bully," from producer Harvey Weinstein, has made news for its controversial R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. Weinstein argues the R rating prevents the movie's intended audience - children - from seeing it, and so he decided to release "Bully" unrated.

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The Israeli film "Footnote" has racked up a pile of awards - Best Screenplay at Cannes, nine awards at Israel's Oscars, and a nomination for Best Foreign Language film at the Academy Awards.

Film critic Kenneth Turan says it's all deserved.

KENNETH TURAN: "Footnotes"'s subject matter sounds dry, unlikely, even obscure. The film is set in Jerusalem's Hebrew University and deals with the implacable rivalry between two scholars of the Talmud, the complex and sacred text of the Jewish religious tradition.

The new film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen stars Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor. It's a pleasant fantasy whose few attempts at seriousness are best forgotten.

Tintin — star of a series of vintage Belgian comics that have sold hundreds of millions of copies in dozens of languages — is a crime-fighting boy journalist who specializes in solving riddles with the assistance of his intrepid dog, Snowy.

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The title doesn't have the number in it, but anyone who cares knows "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" is really "Mission: Impossible 4." The movie is opening this weekend on huge IMAX screens only. Next week it will be in regular theaters. Film critic Kenneth Turan says sit back and enjoy the ride.

A new film called Shame arrives in theaters with several honors, including the best actor award from the Venice Film Festival. It also arrives with a rare NC-17 rating. Michael Fassbender plays Brandon, a New Yorker who's addicted to sex.

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And let's talk now about a man who served his country out of uniform for generations. J. Edgar Hoover created the Federal Bureau of Investigation as we know it today. In his lifetime, he built up an image as a hero. His career went from the end of World War I to the 1970s. Since death in 1972, many have reevaluated Hoover as a menace. Now, Hoover is the subject of a movie in which he is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in a film directed by Clint Eastwood. Kenneth Turan has a review.

Margin Call Review

Oct 21, 2011

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host: The global financial crisis of 2008 has a lot of dramatic potential. It propelled the Oscar-winning documentary "Inside Job" and HBO's movie "Too Big To Fail." Now comes "Margin Call," in theaters this weekend. Kenneth Turan has a review.

KENNETH TURAN: "Margin Call" brings us into the inner sanctum of a top Wall Street investment banking firm in peril. The film opens on what everyone in the firm thinks – erroneously, as it turns out - will be the worst part of their day. A team from human resources arrives intent on terminating folks.

As long as daughters pout when fathers proclaim, "I don't want you to see that boy," Footloose will endure. As long as kids want to dance and Hollywood wants to profit from that passion, it will do more than endure. It will be remade.

The new film Moneyball opens in theaters this weekend. It is a rare sports movie that deals with more than wins and losses. It follows the entertaining, real-life quest of a sports revolutionary who wanted to rethink how baseball is played.

The new film Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is an unconventional biopic about French musician Serge Gainsbourg. He is celebrated in France for the songs he wrote, and the affairs he had with beautiful women like Brigette Bardot.

Brazil's Ayrton Senna was the boy genius of Formula One racing. He won three world championships before he died in a crash in 1994 at age 34.

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