Movie review: Undead in East End in 'Cockneys vs. Zombies'

Alan Ford (L) and Honor Blackman (R) in "Cockneys vs. Zombies." (Handout / July 31, 2013)
July 31, 2013, 5:29 p.m.
You don't call a movie "Cockneys vs. Zombies" because you yearn for cinematic subtlety. Matthias Hoene's feature film debut is the umpteenth infection in the undead epidemic rampaging through pop culture. And it's all that the title implies: brash East Enders gone Mum and Dad over a right goppin' bunch of flesh-eatin' nutters, whose Khybers need kickin', mind you!
You don't need a cockney rhyming slang dictionary, however, to grasp that young bank robbers Andy (Harry Treadaway), Terry (Rasmus Hardiker), and Katy (Michelle Ryan) suddenly find themselves in the midst of a zombie outbreak (for which their guns prove handy). Or that besieged old age pensioners — including geezer-gangster staple Alan Ford — having to ward off equally slow zombies is a joke that grows old quickly. The gore-comedy genre already boasts two classics in Peter Jackson's "Braindead" and the spoofy homage "Shaun of the Dead." So there's little that feels fresh, freaky or funny about one more batch of eccentric reactions to hungry corpses, one more attempt to creatively splatter, one more metaphor for zombie invasion.
"Cockneys vs. Zombies" might as well be "Babies vs. Zombies" or "Cats vs. Zombies" — strictly for addicts who don't care where their undead fix comes from.
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"Cockneys vs. Zombies"
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes.
Playing: At Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills.

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The gore-comedy genre already boasts two classics in Peter Jackson's "Braindead"and the spoofy homage "Shaun of the Dead."
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Review: 'The Artist and the Model' delicately walks a fine line

A still from "The Artist and the Model." (Cohen Media Group / July 31, 2013)
July 31, 2013, 5:18 p.m.
The lovely and poignant drama "The Artist and the Model" stirringly presents art, life and death as one irrevocably tangled trio. That it's set against the German-occupied France of World War II — and all the civilian wariness and reflectivity that went with it — deeply dimensionalizes the movie's rich characters and complex themes.
At its heart, this talent-heavy film, directed by Fernando Trueba ("Belle Epoque," "Chico & Rita") from a script he wrote with veteran screenwriter and frequent Luis Buñuel collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière, involves the symbiotic relationship between an aging sculptor, Marc (Jean Rochefort), and Mercé (Aida Folch), a young Spanish activist who becomes Marc's model after she escapes a prison camp in the South of France.
Marc, a renowned if isolated artist who counts Cézanne and Matisse among his friends, slowly rekindles his creative passion by working with the attractive, open-minded Mercé, who in ver futbol en vivo turn gains wisdom and confidence under Marc's intensely discerning eye.
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Though Mercé spends much of the film in the altogether, her modeling moments with Marc never feel gratuitous or creepy as Trueba and Carrière apuestas de futbol delicately explore the.

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fine line between artistic appreciation and sexual allure. Marc and Mercé share several beautifully crafted scenes — their mutual analysis of an inspiring Rembrandt drawing, Marc revealing his singular take on original sin — that skillfully, well, flesh apuestas deportivas out their dynamic beyond simply sculptor and subject.
With his aristocratic face and haunted gaze, venerable French star Rochefort ("Pardon Mon Affaire," "The Hairdresser's Husband" and so many others) turns in a masterful, finely measured performance as the weary Marc; Folch nicely holds her own against him. As Marc's longtime wife — and onetime muse — famed 1960s movie sex symbol Claudia Cardinale ("81/2," "Once Upon a Time in the West") provides generous support and a warm dose of enduring glamour.
Daniel Vilar's evocative black-and-white photography adds grace and authenticity to this unhurried, highly memorable tale.
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"The Artist and the Model"
MPAA rating: R for sequences of graphic nudity.
Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes. In French and Spanish with English subtitles.
Playing: At the Landmark, West Los Angeles.

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Review: 'The Smurfs 2' lives up to predecessor's mediocre standards

Grouchy (George Lopez), Vanity (John Oliver) and Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters) in "Smurfs 2." (Columbia Pictures / Sony Animation / December 18, 2012)
July 30, 2013, 5:21 p.m.
Right down to the brute functionality of its title, "The Smurfs 2" may be the platonic ideal of a major studio sequel — no markedly better or worse than the first and with just enough difference to lay claim to being something new. Just as with the 2011 film "The Smurfs," the new "The Smurfs 2" is a passable mediocrity.
Again mixing live-action with computer animation, the story this time revolves around the bad wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria), who has been apuestas de futbol performing as a magician in modern-day Paris, kidnapping Smurfette (voiced by Katy Perry) as part of a plan to bring about "Smurf-A-Geddon." He is aided by two of his own creations, "the Naughties" known as Vexy and Hackus (voiced by Christina Ricci and J.B. Smoove).
Papa Smurf (voiced again by Jonathan Winters, who died in April) travels from Smurf Village with a B-team of lesser Smurfs: Clumsy, Grouchy and Vanity (voiced by Anton Yelchin, George Lopez and John Oliver). The Smurfs call upon the human couple who helped them in the first film (played by Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays), who now have a son named Blue (Jacob Tremblay).
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the spotlight at 'Smurfs 2' premiere

The big addition to the live-action cast is Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, taking a break from tough-guy roles to play the bungling stepfather of Harris' character. (Though ver futbol en vivo it's hard not to wonder why no French actors were used in the cast, what with the Paris setting and all. Mathieu Amalric wouldn't return calls?)
Directed by Raja Gosnell, who also made the first film, the new "Smurfs" has a screenplay credited to J. David Stern, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick, David Ronn and Karey Kirkpatrick. There are quick references to "Scarface," "The Empire Strikes Back," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and perhaps others presumably to keep the parents in the audience awake, though an incongruous passing joke on "no means no" is the wrong kind of jolt. But there's also a joke about Smurfs farting in the bath, so maybe it evens out.
Current "Daily Show" host Oliver seems to be having the most fun among the voice cast, though there is an awful lot of talent that goes largely untapped, including Paul Reubens, Jimmy Kimmel, B.J. Novak, Kenan Thompson and Shaquille O'Neal, as their characters are in only the short framing scenes set in the Smurf Village. As in the first film, many of the best moments here come from the playfully spiteful exchanges between Azaria's Gargamel and his sort-of talking cat Azrael, with a liveliness the Smurfs themselves somehow lack.
Even though the "Smurfs" films never quite took full advantage of Winters' antic comedic gifts in the role as the softly wizened Papa Smurf, the end credits feature a dedication to the late comedy legend for "making the world a smurfier place." The acknowledgment is a classy touch.
mark.olsen@latimes.com
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'The Smurfs 2'
MPAA rating: PG for some rude humor and action
Running time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Playing: In general release

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Vince Stanzione 10 Tips From a Spread Trading Veteran to Help You Put the Odds in Your Favour

When you have been trading futures, options, stocks and commodities for over 24 years; it can be easy to forget what it was like starting out. In this article I will share with you some of my secrets that I wish I
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