Bob Mondello en A Leap Too Far? 'Venus' And 'Jersey Boys' Bounce From Stage To Screen An intellectual play about sadomasochism, a musical about a '60s pop group, and a pair of famously cinematic directors. There's always going to be a bit of a leap when a play moves from stage to screen — but Roman Polanski's <em>Venus in Fur</em> and Clint Eastwood's <em>Jersey Boys</em> leap a little further than usual.<p>A director is casting a new play at the start of <em>Venus in Fur,</em> and auditions have been ghastly. Sat, 19 Jul 2014 00:46:34 +0000 Bob Mondello 64919 at Mike Myers Steps Behind The Camera With 'Supermensch' When you've played Austin Powers, Shrek, The Cat in the Hat and the title dweeb in <em>Wayne's World</em>, what do you do for an encore? If you're comedian Mike Myers, the next logical step, evidently, is to direct a documentary about your agent. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:42:14 +0000 Bob Mondello 64531 at Sci-Fi Kid Flick 'Earth To Echo' Broadens The 'E.T.' Formula Movie theaters were swarming with <em>Transformers</em> this past weekend, and that'll also be true over the July 4 weekend. So this may not seem to be the best moment to bring out a sci-fi flick made on a budget that wouldn't cover catering for Optimus Prime. But "small" has its virtues sometimes, and the kid flick <em>Earth to Echo</em> is one of those times.<p>It opens with eighth-grader Tuck about to lose his two best buds. Their families are moving from Nevada, and it's their last night together, so they're doing what kids do — taping goodbyes for YouTube. Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:14:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 63781 at James McAvoy As A Creep? In 'Filth,' The Anti-Typecasting Works Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) swaggers down the street at the start of <em>Filth</em> swiping balloons from children, ogling their mothers, flipping off foreigners and smirking as he ticks down a list of what makes Scotland a place where he feels he can be cock-of-the-walk.<p>"This nation brought the world television, the steam engine, golf, whiskey, penicillin and, of course, the deep-fried Mars bar," he snorts. "We're such a uniquely successful race."<p>He's the kind of soulless, racist, drug-and-alcohol-addled operator you might call the police to protect you from. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:47:59 +0000 Bob Mondello 63371 at Multiplexes Heat Up For Summer Blockbuster Season Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The long Memorial Day weekend usually marks the start of Hollywood blockbuster season. But it's been well underway with "Godzilla" and "X-Men" already in theaters. That said, there are another 87 would-be hits scheduled before Labor Day. We asked critic Bob Mondello for a selective preview.<p>BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: What's the plural of apocalypse? Apocali (ph)? Apocalypses (ph)? Whatever. A whole bunch of coming to the multiplex. Mon, 26 May 2014 20:59:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 61472 at Son Of? Bride Of? Cousin Of? How Many Godzillas Are There, Already? The world has already seen 28 Godzilla movies — 29, if you count Roland Emmerich's 1998 Hollywood remake (which most of us don't). So why is another one opening this week?<p>Well, the fiduciary logic is no doubt compelling if you're a studio executive — even that widely derided '90s version made $379 million — but for the rest of us, director Gareth Edwards needs to make a case. He starts in the opening credits, by letting you know that everything you think you know about this story is suspect. Sun, 25 May 2014 21:38:25 +0000 Bob Mondello 61410 at Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain The final "X" in the 20th Century Fox logo glows for an extra second as <em>X-Men: Days of Future Past</em> gets started, but what follows is darker than dark — a bleak, dire future in which all of Manhattan is a mutant prison camp. Fri, 23 May 2014 20:43:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 61263 at 'Double': Double Toil And Trouble For Eisenberg In <em>The Social Network</em>, Jesse Eisenberg invented Facebook. In <em>Now You See Me</em>, he mastered magic tricks. In <em>Rio</em>, his animated macaw learned to fly, and his Lex Luthor will soon be nemesis-ing the caped crusader in <em>Batman Vs. Superman</em>. Fri, 09 May 2014 17:24:45 +0000 Bob Mondello 60451 at In 'Belle,' A Complex Life Tangled In Class And Commerce Here's a unique specialty for a movie studio: slavery films. Last year, Fox Searchlight brought us an Oscar winner about a free black man hauled into 12 years of slavery. Fri, 02 May 2014 20:53:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 59917 at Bob Hoskins: A Specialist In Tough Guys With Soft Hearts British actor Bob Hoskins died last night of pneumonia at 71. He'll certainly be remembered for starring with cartoon characters in <em>Who Framed Roger Rabbit</em> — but that was just one of many films in which he played tough guys with soft hearts.<p>Short, stocky, dyslexic, balding, and with a cockney accent thick enough to spread on toast, Hoskins was hardly conventional leading man material. Wed, 30 Apr 2014 20:48:30 +0000 Bob Mondello 59775 at