Back to profile

Stories by Scott Marks

Joe Grifasi on The Deer Hunter and No Pay, Nudity

New film at San Diego Film Festival October 1 and 2

This came about thanks to the kindness of Jean Walcher, public relations sage and President of J. Walcher Communications. Jean’s cousin is the executive producer of No Pay, Nudity, a delightful Broadway Danny Rose-ish comedy ...

Fifty years of Kurt Russell puts him in Deepwater

Well from hell

From Disney to Elvis(es) to Plissken and now Jimmy Harrell in Deepwater Horizon, opening Friday at a multiplex near you, those of a certain age would be hard-pressed to recall a period when they didn’t ...

Stars come out for this year's San Diego International Film Festival

Festival runs September 28 – October 1

“Putting on a festival is kinda like having a baby,” writes Tonya Mantooth, executive and artistic director at the San Diego International Film Festival. “You don't remember the pain until you go into labor, aka ...

Judy Davis is a stitch as The Dressmaker's mad mom

Performance already generating Oscar buzz

Judy Davis had a bad cold, her normally husky voice pitched a few octaves lower. After a couple of postnasal one-word answers, the interview appeared destined to be the shortest on record. One mention of ...

Benefit screening helps retired racehorses

Harry & Snowman plays La Paloma Theatre on October 9

It’s funny the way fate has a habit of yanking the reins when it’s least expected. An Amish plow horse named Snowman was but a few laps away from the glue factory until Dutch immigrant ...

Local actor scores first-class accommodations on Eastwood’s Sully

Shane P. Allen shares what he learned from working with the master

A call came in from Shane P. Allen, a 53-year-old Tierrasanta resident and realtor by day, eager to talk about his performance in Clint Eastwood’s Sully. Here’s how the happily married father of three (“my ...

Hitler goes Hollywood: Top 10 movie Führers

Let’s start the week with a smile and a “heil!” with this video assemblage of Tinseltown’s Ten Best Fascist Dictators. Here they are arranged in order of rank. 10) Considering the variety of top-shelf candidates ...

Does Sully sink or swim?

Reader movie critics talk it out

The title of Clint Eastwood’s latest, Sully, works as a two-edged nod to both titular hero and what the National Transportation Safety Board wanted to do to his reputation. There isn’t an American alive who ...

Dig a hole: Hugh O’Brian

John Wayne’s last on-screen fatality dies

Hugh O’Brian, the lantern-jawed cowboy star who apprenticed at the hands of several Hollywood mavericks and later rose to stardom as TV’s Wyatt Earp, has died. Born Hugh Charles Krampe, O’Brian dropped out of college ...

Reader calls for Wiseman retrospective to play San Diego

Heard any other good jokes lately?

A Frances O’Neill Zimmerman of La Jolla writes: “The first ten films (from 1967 to 1976) of famed aging documentarist Frederick Wiseman are being screened in Los Angeles at Cinefamily on North Fairfax beginning August ...

Director enjoys making his characters suffer in The Light Between Oceans

Steady torrents of anguish

Light is hardly the word to describe the melodramatic slog that awaits viewers in writer-director Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans. After a tour of killing Jerrys in the Great War, bachelor Tom (Oscar®-nominee Michael ...

Dig a hole: Gene Wilder

Face of ’70s comedy dead at 83

Gene Wilder was such a brilliant actor that he fooled audiences into believing one of his most revered creations, Willy Wonka, was something other than a magnetizing Nazi goon offering kids a Golden Ticket to ...

Sing Street and Kan-Kan rock Chula Vista Library

Movie and mini-concert on Wednesday, September 14

The last time Ralph DeLauro brought movies and music to the lives of his followers was at a screening of The Wrecking Crew held last November at the Central Library. It was one of the ...

Exitos del Cine Latino

Coming soon to a theater near you...if you live in the South Bay

Last week brought news of Exitos del Cine Latino, a brand-new week-long film festival, running August 26 to September 1 at AMC Plaza Bonita, that boasts 14 San Diego premieres. Be on the lookout for ...

Ben hurts...but these ten remakes don’t

Ten movie remakes that outclass the originals

If the Chuck Heston interpretation of Ben-Hur is comparable to a Classics Illustrated comic book, M­G­M’s new digital facelift should never have left Turner Network Television. The third (and hopefully final) theatrical reboot, this Ben ...

The single greatest, most influential sports film ever made

Triumph of Olympia

It is the ultimate glorification of sports on film and a testament to the man Max Bialystock would later call, “The Hitler you loved, the Hitler you knew, the Hitler with a song in his ...

SD Surf Film Festival makes a splash with Best of Fest

Five-week celebration comes to La Jolla August 18

Those who missed out on last May’s San Diego Surf Film Festival — I was surfing the net that weekend — are about to be tossed a life preserver. Huey, the God of Surf, has ...

Baked Sausage, undercooked Dragon, and stewed Streep

For a good movie this week, try Hell or High Water

With the Lickona bunch vacationing in New York, this week’s aggregation of new releases falls on my watch. Speaking of aggregation, according to the generally aggravating Rotten Tomatoes, Hell or High Water is Certified 100% ...

Exitos del Cine Latino offers South Bay cinephiles a festival

Runs August 26 to September 1 at AMC Plaza Bonita

The Media Arts Center is nothing if not ambitious. Monday brought news of film curator Moisés Esparza’s inspired commitment to second-run bookings. Next week is a three-film tribute to the late Iranian master, Abbas Kiarostami. ...

Second-run becomes top priority at Digital Gym

“Last chance indies” series extends theatrical life

Second-run theatres appear to have gone the way of video cassettes. The once popular “dollar houses” offered audiences a chance to catch big releases on their way to home video, generally at a cost of ...

Remembering Marilyn Monroe on the anniversary of her death

An exclusive photographic journey of the news of the day

It was 54 years ago today that Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her apartment of an apparent overdose. Suicide? Murder? Accident? Joe Kennedy? The debate rages to this day as the legendary sex symbol ...

Max Rose, from the ashes

Jerry Lewis’s first non-animated performance in two decades

Who is our greatest (hardly) working director? Godard? Scorsese? Wenders? Arthur Hiller? Oh, yeah! Timpani! It’s Jerry Lewis! I’ve spent more of my adult life defending Jerry Lewis than any other pussycat mush genius on ...

Wine and dine minus the swine

Israeli-cuisine documentary highlights Jewish Film Festival kickoff

T-minus six months and counting before the 27th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival comes to town, but there’s no time like the present to start the fundraising matzo ball rolling. SDJFF launches its Underwriter ...

Growing up Elvis

It Happened at the World’s Fair

Aunt Fay had the hots for Elvis, and little Scotty loved going to the movies. So it was that many a Saturday afternoon found us hopping the 96 Lunt Ave. bus to Chicago’s Adelphi Theatre ...

Comic book classics on screen

Ten Con cures

The banners are down, the fanboys back in their parents’ basements, and the convention center no longer a giant roll of flypaper used by corporations to ensnare the costumed souls that make it through the ...

Branded cinema

Studio insiders, not critics, are the pirates

It was the part I was born to play. No, not Kristen Stewart, but the unenviable role of angry critic forced to endure the insidious brands studios impose on their “art” in the name of ...

Ghostbusters reboot scares up spin-off

Sequel to an inferior remake of a film that was lousy to begin with already in the works

I ain’t afraid of no sequels, so long as they are not sequels to inferior remakes of films that were lousy to begin with. The all-girl, effects-powered reboot of Ghostbusters cost producers — among them ...

Meet Damián 666 on July 15

Wrestler in town to promote Lucha Mexico

Believe it or don’t, I was once a big fan of wrestling. Larry used to take me to Chicago’s International Amphitheater to study the squared-circle wizardry of such giants as Bruiser & Crusher, Bob Brazil, ...

San Diego Women’s Film Network debuts July 19

ArcLight and San Diego Filmmakers join forces on new forum

ArcLight Cinemas and San Diego Filmmakers have joined forces to establish the San Diego Women’s Film Network, a new forum to support, inspire, and educate women working in the entertainment industry or looking to wedge ...

Hillcrest Cinema's summer remodel

Complete with electric leather recliners

Changes are in the offing at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas that include the addition of electronic seats, a lobby makeover, reserved seating, alcohol, and even newly designed finishes and fixtures to make every bathroom encounter feel ...

A week of classics at the Ken

Blue Velvet, A Streetcar Named Desire, Breakfast at Tiffany’s...

Far be it from me to deride any exhibition chain that’s okay with showcasing repertoire fare a few weeks out of the year, but have we not heard the chimes at midnight? The last time ...

Oceanside Film Festival announces 2016 schedule

Sixty films to screen August 7 to 14

It’s been five years since Dmitriy Demidov and the Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation revived the Oceanside International Film Festival. In that time it’s grown from a few-day gathering to a weeklong celebration that lays claim ...

Movie lover’s heaven: Rarefilmm

Over 1400 movies not available on DVD are available online

What has four Renoir’s, two Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s, a quartet by Max Ophüls, Tony Bennett’s one and only acting performance (watch and learn), an ace high Diamond straight flush from Preston Sturges, Buñuel leading Brontë to ...

Improv’s no joke

Comedian and director Mike Birbiglia talks about his latest, Don’t Think Twice

Don’t Think Twice, opening August 12 at Landmark’s Ken Cinema, is Mike Birbiglia’s second feature as a director. The comedy introduces us to a six-person improv troupe that dwindles in size as the top floaters ...

Dory goes to a Sausage Party

Inappropriate trailer opens Pixney’s latest

It could have been an ad for Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks. Instead, parents of California kiddies attending a screening of Finding Dory at the Brenden Concord 14 were in for a shock when the pre-show ...

I wanna Liv!

Where have you gone, Liv Tyler?

A promising young luminary beading together a string of pearly performances will gain my loyalty more effectively than yanking a thorn from my paw. After Little Murders and Elliott Gould’s first two pictures for Altman ...

Heeeere’s Johnny, Looking for Love

The King of the Night’s lone foray into cinema

Antenna TV began airing nightly reruns of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson in January. Hour-long shows originally broadcast between 1980 and 1992 run Monday through Friday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. 90 minute ...

Lady Gaga, Born again?

Will the singer hold her own in ancestral remake?

She’s been praised for cutting-edge performances powered by an “assertion of total originality.” If that’s the case, why is Lady Gaga singing a familiar tune by entertaining a remake of the ancestral A Star Is ...

Talking Art Bastard

A Q&A with the film’s star and co-producer

You’ve heard of surrealism in the movies? Here’s a case of surrealism at the movies. Halfway to the lobby, with eyes half-adjusted to the light, you find the subject of the film you just exited ...

Michael Grandage recreates a grand age in Genius

Biopic of famed literary editor Maxwell Perkins opens June 17

For his first tour behind a camera, famed British stage director Michael Grandage chose as his subject nothing less than the Dean of American Literary Editors, Maxwell Perkins. The title Genius could have stood pluralizing ...

The Aristocrats puts funny under the microscope

It’ll put you in the mood for Mike Birbiglia’s upcoming Don’t Think Twice

Try analyzing comedy. The only thing more exasperating is sitting stone-faced through one. Discussing the evening’s drama consumes a drive home from the multiplex, but ask someone why a gag made them howl and all ...

Luis Guzmán will not be voting for Donald Trump

This and more from the star of Puerto Ricans in Paris

“I just got an email that Luis [Guzmán] has completely lost his voice so canceling all phoners and his NY press day for Puerto Ricans in Paris,” read the publicist’s note that arrived an hour ...

Robert Cenedella of Art Bastard comes to the Angelika

Subject of new documentary at a Q&A Sunday, June 19

He’s one of the sweetest, funniest “bastards,” art or otherwise, you’ll ever want to meet. And here’s your chance to do just that. Robert Cenedella, artist, social satirist, and subject of Victor Kanefsky’s moving and ...

“Knup’s” April Fools joyride to Texas

All roads lead to Aretha

The April Fools is one of those terribly mod (and borderline terrible) late ’60s romantic comedies that for reasons both numerous and peculiar, earned its unit of storage in my memory bank. The one-sheet took ...

Art Bastard’s Robert Cenedella talks with the Reader

What gets shown?

Meet Robert Cenedella: painter, pictorial satirist, art teacher, and all around swell guy who also happens to be the subject of a new documentary, Art Bastard, opening June 17 exclusively at the Angelika Film Center ...

A sneak peek at Monster Trucks

Reuse. Recycle. Reduce.

My buddy, John Albert, posted a link to the trailer for the inescapable Monster Trucks with the following comment on my Facebook wall: “Remember this, the next time anybody says that Hollywood ought to stop ...

Melissa McCarthy does Israel

The literary forger, not the country

Variety recently reported that Melissa McCarthy will star as celebrity-biographer-turned-literary-forger Lee Israel in Fox Searchlight’s upcoming biopic, Can You Ever Forgive Me? Israel had a knack for cranking out facsimile correspondences — numbering over 400 ...

The Original Spinner

As I AM: The Life and Time$ of DJ AM

Once upon a time, a little girl walked into her parents’ bedroom to find Daddy in bed with a guy. Mommy promptly retaliated by having an affair that left her expecting another child. Mommy eventually ...

Trailer for War Dogs could use a fleabath

Stoner comedy poised to give pot smokers a bad name

The unpleasantness began even before Neighbors 2 hit the screen. The trailer for War Dogs screamed, “From the Director of The Hangover Series!” My face grew cold, and I started bawling. When Jonah Hill’s traditionally ...

Francofonia, Hockney, The Lobster, X-Men: Apocalypse

All opening this week

Francofonia Credits normally withheld for a closing crawl open Aleksandr Sokurov’s (Russian Ark) latest self important hymn to the importance of art museums. Listen as the disembodied voice of the documentarian expresses disappointment over his ...

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!

Close