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Cutting-Edge 3-D Drives Latest 'Resident Evil' Adventure

For British-born Paul William Scott Anderson – not to be confused with Studio City native Paul Thomas Anderson, the five-time Oscar nominee behind Boogie Nights and Magnolia – the decision to direct Resident Evil: Afterlife, due Friday, was inspired, at least in part, by a fortuitous encounter with James Cameron.
 

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Catch Patricia Clarkson in two movies now playing at the city's Landmark theaters: Cairo Time (see below) and Legendary, opening Friday at the Lumiere, in which the 50-year-old Oscar nominee plays the frustrated mother of WWE star John Cena's boozy, bulked-up former high-school wrestler. Elsewhere:

Robert Rodriguez Assembles 'Dream Cast' Behind Danny Trejo in 'Machete'

It might be one of the first films conceived as a trailer and later expanded into a feature. Machete, Robert Rodriguez’s story of a Rambo-like ex-Federale betrayed by his bosses and out for revenge, began as a tongue-in-cheek teaser for Grindhouse, the director’s 2007 homage to ’70s exploitation fare. But it soon evolved into something more.
 
“Once we made the trailer, I thought that was as far as it was going to go,” says Rodriguez, 42, who cast cousin and longtime friend Danny Trejo as the titular tough guy at the center of his cheerfully gruesome thriller, which opened Friday.
 

Have Gun, Will Travel: 'The American'

Who is Jack, the painfully distant protagonist at the heart of Anton Corbijn’s new thriller? We suspect he might have been an assassin, and indeed, when thrust in harm’s way, he responds with pistols drawn, coldly gunning down friends and foes alike – anyone, it seems, who might compromise his work.
 
He is a difficult man to engage. Personal disclosures are few, and whatever concessions he offers to inquiring strangers – about his job, or his technological acumen – are often misleading. Yet he takes no joy in the deception. Jack, whose real name might be Edward, is hungry for human contact, a luxury his lifestyle doesn’t afford.
 

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

The Clay Theatre remains open this week with nightly screenings of Radu Mihaileanu's The Concert, while Tamra Davis' illuminating documentary Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child makes its regional debut at the Lumiere. Elsewhere:

Heads Roll in the Exuberant 'Machete'

It began as a joke, two minutes of over-the-top mayhem tacked onto the agreeably bloated Grindhouse double feature, a trailer touting a coming attraction that would never be coming. Yet Machete struck a nerve, at least in the mind of director Robert Rodriguez, and three years later the joke, stretched out to nearly two hours, is reborn as a feature.
 

Patricia Clarkson Reflects on 'Cairo Time'

Patricia Clarkson, who stars in the bittersweet romantic drama Cairo Time, earned her first national face time in 1985, appearing in a single episode of TV’s Spenser: For Hire. She went on, three years later, to co-star with Clint Eastwood in his last Dirty Harry movie, The Dead Pool.
 
But it took her another decade before she discovered the niche that has become her calling card, with the help of The Kids Are All Right director Lisa Cholodenko, a San Francisco State graduate.
 

The Show Goes on at the Clay Theatre

Landmark Theatres announced today that they have come to an agreement with Balgobind Jaiswal, the Clay Theatre landlord, to keep the century-old cinema open for the short term.  

"We hope continuing operation at the Clay will give all interested parties the opportunity to pursue mutually beneficial remedies," said Landmark CEO Ted Mundorff.

"I want to thank Mr. Jaiswal, our landlord, for the amicable arrangement that we completed just two days prior to our otherwise expected last day of operation. He went above and beyond and we are so pleased we could reach this resolution."

Roman Holiday: The Empire's Ninth Legion Meets a Bloody End in 'Centurion'

Inspired by the demise of the Roman Empire’s Ninth Legion, a legendary unit founded by Julius Caesar and thought to have met a bitter end nearly two centuries later in what is now Scotland, Centurion is less grandiose than Zack Snyder’s 300 but every bit as brutal. If the sight of severed limbs leaves you squeamish, you’ve been warned.
 
Those seeking a history lesson would be foolish to consult the latest, bloodiest offering from director Neil Marshall, whose past credits include the crudely effective Dog Soldiers (2002) and The Descent (2005), his claustrophobic venture into a subterranean abyss populated by flesh-hungry humanoids.

Idris Elba Talks 'Takers,' Rapper-Actors and Mastering the Mixtape

Idris Elba, who, with Matt Dillon, heads a potent ensemble cast in the new heist drama Takers, doesn’t plan to play a drug dealer anytime soon, as he did most famously in three seasons of HBO’s The Wire. And please don’t ask him about The Wire, either – he cherished the experience, but has been fielding questions about it for eight years. Enough is enough.
 

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