Baywatch is a running gag in slow motion, a thong-in-cheek TV retread swapping wholesome jiggles for dirty giggles. There are places for such humor but beaches don't have gutters.
What Baywatch has in its favor is Dwayne Johnson fireman-carrying a dead weight comedy to safety. Johnson handles comedy as effortlessly as any prop weapon, evidenced by his recent SNL hosting gig, Moana and upstaging Kevin Hart in Central Intelligence....
For child actor L.J. Ruth, meeting his idol was easy as falling off a pier.
Ruth, 13, winds up safely in the arms of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Baywatch, an updated version of the 90's TV series opening Wednesday.
The seventh grader at Tampa's Villa Madonna School is billed as "Pier Boy," one of several beach rescues performed by Johnson's lifeguard hero.
"Actually, I auditioned for another role as 'Shark Bite Boy,'" Ruth said Monday after school. "They liked me so they picked me for Pier Boy instead, which is a little more screen time sort of thing."...
Fifteen years ago, Rosanna Arquette's documentary went Searching for Debra Winger, or more accurately why a bankable Oscar nominee in her prime (or any woman) found less opportunity than men.
Debra Winger was Hollywood's face of the 1980s, starring in such touchstones as Terms of Endearment, Urban Cowboy and An Officer and a Gentleman. Then she wasn't.
It was part choice, part circumstance. Celebrity became a drag. Winger's independence — "being difficult" in studio-speak — preceded her....
Chuck Wepner was a tomato can, a heavyweight boxer who practically bled at the opening bell. The pride of Bayonne, N.J., could really take a punch as he proved time after hemorrhaging time.
You probably know Wepner better as Rocky Balboa.
That's because Sylvester Stallone was among millions in 1975 watching the underdog Wepner take Muhammad Ali into the 15th round of a heavyweight championship title fight. Plucked from obscurity to give Ali an easy title defense, Wepner's refusal to quit inspired Stallone to write an iconic movie....
This weekend in theaters: 'Alien: Convenant;' 'Everything, Everything;' 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul'05/17/17Movies
Perfecting outer space terror with 1979's Alien wasn't enough for director Ridley Scott. Now he's reshaping the franchise into sci-fi theology with Alien: Covenant (R), five years after the sideways prequel Prometheus left many fans scratching their heads.
Alien: Covenant stars Michael Fassbender in dual android roles, one a holdover from Prometheus, the other watching over a colony ship's passengers in suspended animation. ...
In 2012, Ridley Scott puzzled viewers with Prometheus, a sideways prequel to Alien posing grandiose questions of sci-fi creationism without answers. Or as much face-sucking, flesh-bursting goo, as it turned out.
Alien: Covenant is more like what the franchise's fans expect, and why not? Scott practically invented the dead-meat-in-space genre with Alien. Here, he adroitly balances lofty ideas rooted in Prometheus and what can be described as covers of alien kills. A mind scramble here, a gut punch there. It works....
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword isn't a movie as much as a feature length montage of bastardized lore and rejected Game of Thrones pitches.
Director Guy Ritchie brings his aggressively kinetic style to a myth in need of a makeover — but not this one. So little of Arthurian legend is preserved that this could be any blade swinger since Conan. No Guinevere, minimal Mordred and Merlin gets only a mention. Not a lotta Camelot....
JOHN CENA:BEHIND 'THE WALL'
Pro wrestling legend and Land O'Lakes resident John Cena adds an indie dimension to his acting career in The Wall (R ), an Iraq War nightmare in broad daylight.
This isn't the gung-ho war movie Cena's WWE fans might expect. Director Doug Liman crafts a sparse, deadly dilemma of two U.S. soldiers (Cena, Aaron Taylor-Johnson) pinned behind crumbling bricks by sniper bullets and taunts from a disembodied radio voice (Laith Nakli)....
Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn's dream pairing in Snatched is an Evolution of Funny Women poster waiting to happen. You won't find a missing link between them.
At this still-early stage of her career, Schumer's boldness reflects modern femininity as Hawn's ditz did in her Laugh-In days and first movie roles beyond. A bikini shimmy then is a drunken twerk today, a foundation for a new level of comedy by and for women. Hawn got classier; Schumer has time....
OPENING Thursday: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
No matter what the calendar reads, the Hollywood solstice says it's summertime.
A season of blockbusters that began with The Fate of the Furious finds another gear tonight, unleashing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PG-13) on an eager public.
Marvel's offbeat space saga doesn't carry an element of surprise this time. Vol. 1 in 2014 caught everyone off-guard except the cosplay crowd. The guardians didn't have Avengers-level name recognition. Chris Pratt wasn't box office gold yet. Bradley Cooper's face wasn't on display. Vin Diesel was a tree (okay, that's not unusual)....
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reveals an inherent flaw in the Marvel universe-building blueprint. Getting to know these sleeper-hit misfits is much more fun than revisiting them.
Starlord. Gamora. Drax. These weren't household name superheroes in 2014. They needed an origins story, some explanation of who, why and how these oddballs came to be. Guardians of the Galaxy was a genre rarity, a truly necessary introduction after too many renditions of radioactive spider bites and the like....
Summer Movie Preview: It's all about females with 'Wonder Woman,' 'Snatched,' 'Atomic Blonde' and more (w/trailers)05/02/17Movies
Women. Can't live with 'em, can't make a summer movie to get excited about without 'em.
I'm kidding, of course. I get along well with women and Dunkirk looks cool. But this summer at the movies it's all about the ladies, or more than usual at least.
There's only one Wonder Woman, but lots of wonderful women in front of and behind the cameras. This summer it's the women having wild and crazy misadventures, rescuing dudes in distress, maybe even causing the distress....
Deborah Kerr's documentary intended to trace a day in the life of a newspaper.
She ended up depicting one's death.
Stop the Presses goes behind the scenes at the Tampa Tribune, which was driven to extinction last year after being purchased by its cross-bay rival, the Tampa Bay Times.
The project was always personal for Kerr, a first-time filmmaker and advocate of print journalism....
St. Petersburg had stars in its eyes Thursday when the Sunscreen Film Festival kicked off its 12th edition.
Award winning actors Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story) and Joe Pantoliano (The Sopranos) walked the red carpet outside the Palladium Theater before the opening night feature Blind co-starring McDermott.
Cheers star Kirstie Alley dropped by during one of her frequent visits to Clearwater....
OPENING Thursday: THE CIRCLE
Tom Hanks and Emma Watson are box office roadkill this weekend, as The Fate of the Furious roars while The Circle (PG-13) looks like a zero.
The Circle is a sci-fi thriller with Hanks as a social media mogul whose latest unethical idea shatters all expectations of privacy. Watson plays a fast-rising associate whose disenchantment with the program leads to danger. Hanks is listed eighth in the cast, suggesting his role isn't large....