Sunday, June 30, 2013

Santa Brings De Niro-Stallone Movie Christmas 2013

Hollywood Heavyweights De Niro and Stallone to Hit the Big Screen on Christmas Day in “Grudge Match”

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Comedy Makes a Move Up from January to 12/25/13

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“Grudge Match,” a comedy starring film legends Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone as rivals in the boxing ring, will bow in the holiday season with a Christmas Day debut, moving up from its prior release date of January 10. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Fellman stated, “Results of our early screenings have been outstanding, giving us every indication that 'Grudge Match' is a movie that can excel during the Christmas play period. With the iconic pairing of De Niro and Stallone, surrounded by such a terrific cast—including comedy greats Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin—we felt it was a perfect opportunity to jump into the holidays and give audiences of all ages a chance to enjoy the movie.”

Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Grudge Match” stars award-winning movie legends Oscar® winner Robert De Niro (“Raging Bull,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) and Oscar® nominee Sylvester Stallone (the “Rocky” films, “The Expendables”) as old boxing rivals who come out of retirement for one final match. Peter Segal (“Get Smart,” “The Longest Yard”) directs the comedy.

De Niro and Stallone play Billy “The Kid” McDonnen and Henry “Razor” Sharp, two local Pittsburgh fighters whose fierce rivalry put them in the national spotlight. Each had scored a victory against the other during their heyday, but in 1983, on the eve of their decisive third match, Razor suddenly announced his retirement, refusing to explain why but effectively delivering a knock-out punch to both their careers. Thirty years later, boxing promoter Dante Slate Jr., seeing big dollar signs, makes them an offer they can’t refuse: to re-enter the ring and settle the score once and for all. But they may not have to wait that long: on their first encounter in decades, their long-festering feud erupts into an unintentionally hilarious melee that instantly goes viral. The sudden social media frenzy transforms their local grudge match into a must-see HBO event. Now, if they can just survive the training, they may actually live to fight again.

The film also stars Kevin Hart as Dante Slate Jr.; Oscar® winner Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Argo”) as Razor’s former trainer, Louis “Lightning” Conlon, who gets to put Razor through his paces again; and Oscar® winner Kim Basinger (“L.A. Confidential”) as Sally Rose, who was once the love of Razor’s life. Rounding out the cast are Jon Bernthal as BJ, who becomes The Kid’s instinctive but untested trainer; and young film newcomer Camden Gray.

Segal is directing from a screenplay by Rodney Rothman, story by Tim Kelleher. The film is being produced by Bill Gerber, Mark Steven Johnson, Michael Ewing and Ravi Mehta. Peter Segal, Jane Rosenthal and Kevin King-Templeton are serving as executive producers.

Collaborating with Segal behind the scenes are: Academy Award®-winning cinematographer Dean Semler (“Dances With Wolves,” “Apocalypto”); production designer Wynn Thomas; editor William Kerr; and costume designer Mary Vogt. Robert Sale, who was the technical advisor on “Rocky Balboa,” is serving as the film’s boxing consultant. The music is by Trevor Rabin.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Gerber Pictures Production, a Callahan Filmworks Production, a Peter Segal film, “Grudge Match.” The film opens December 25, 2013 and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: Brad Pitt is the Man in "World War Z"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 46 (of 2013) by Leroy Douresseaux

World War Z (2013)
Running time: 116 minutes (1 hour, 56 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for language and some disturbing images
DIRECTOR: Marc Forster
WRITERS: Matthew Michael Carnahan and Drew Goddard & Damon Lindelof; from a screen story by Matthew Michael Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski (based on the novel by Max Brooks)
PRODUCERS: Ian Bryce, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Brad Pitt
EDITORS: Matt Chesse and Roger Barton
COMPOSER: Marco Beltrami


Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, Fana Mokoena, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox, David Morse, Sterling Jerins, Abigail Hargrove, Fabrizio Zacharee Guido, Peter Capaldi, and Pierfrancesco Favino

Sometimes, I see movies that make me feel like a fanboy – so happy and satisfied to be entertained by my favorite movie stars and filmmakers. Recently, Brad Pitt’s new movie made me a Brad Pitt fanboy.

World War Z is a 2013 horror thriller and zombie movie from director Marc Forster. The film is based on the 2006 novel, World War Z, written by Max Brooks (the son of Mel Brooks). The film stars Brad Pitt as a United Nations employee who is trying to solve the mystery of a zombie pandemic that is threatening to destroy humanity.

World War Z opens in domestic harmony as former United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) prepares breakfast for his wife, Karin (Mireille Enos), and his daughters, Rachel (Abigail Hargrove) and Constance (Sterling Jerins). Later, the family is stuck in heavy traffic in Philadelphia that soon turns to mass bedlam. Crazed people are attacking and biting one another, and the ones who are bitten become like their attackers within ten seconds of being bitten.

Gerry and his family are rescued by a former UN colleague, Thierry Umutoni (Fana Mokoena), the UN Deputy Secretary-General. Gerry learns that a virus has turned into a worldwide outbreak that is turning people into ferocious, rabid zombies, and the ensuing chaos has toppled armies and governments. The outbreak is threatening to destroy humanity itself. Gerry is soon forced to travel the world in a race against time and hope to find a cure for this pandemic.

Plain and simple, World War Z is an action movie. Yes, it is an apocalyptic horror film, a horror thriller, a scary movie, and a zombie movie. However, it moves with the precision of a Jason Bourne movie and throws pitched-battles like a movie about military special operations (such as Tears of the Sun). It is fast-moving and jittery, even when Brad Pitt’s Gerry Lane is being thoughtful and observant. And it is the good movie kind of fast-moving and jittery.

Director Marc Forster orchestrates this Hollywood entertainment product so that it transforms mere spectacle into the spectacular. As far as I’m concerned, this is his most passionate and emotionally-charged film since 2001’s Monster’s Ball, for which Halle Berry won an Oscar.

World War Z is also a Brad Pitt movie, and because Brad is a true movie star and a truly fine actor, he carries the audience with his character Gerry Lane. He carries us on a pulse-pounding thrill ride that makes us (at least, some of us) forget some of the holes in the concept. Our cinematic faith in our movie stars is rewarded when they deliver the goods. In World War Z, Pitt delivers some kind of good.

8 of 10

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

"Terminator" Reboot Set to Arrive June 2015



Skydance Productions, Annapurna Pictures and Paramount Pictures have jointly announced they will partner on a rebooted “TERMINATOR” movie, to be released by Paramount Pictures on June 26, 2015.

The first in a stand-alone trilogy, “TERMINATOR” will be produced by Megan Ellison of Annapurna and David Ellison of Skydance. Dana Goldberg and Paul Schwake of Skydance will serve as executive producers. Laeta Kalorgridis (“Avatar,” “Shutter Island”) and Patrick Lussier (“Drive Angry”) are attached to write the screenplay.

Launched in 1984 with star Arnold Schwarzenegger as the title character, “TERMINATOR” spanned 3 subsequent films, which have earned over $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

David Ellison most recently executive produced, along with his partners at Paramount, “World War Z,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”. A 5th installment of in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise is in active development, along with a 3rd film in the “G.I. Joe” franchise, among other films.

Megan Ellison most recently produced the Academy Award®-nominated “Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Master” and executive produced “Spring Breakers” via her Annapurna Pictures banner and has David O. Russell’s “American Hustle,” Spike Jonze’s “Her,” and Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” set for release later this year.

About Skydance Productions
Skydance Productions creates and produces elevated event-level commercial entertainment. In its strategic partnership with Paramount Pictures, the David Ellison-led company co-finances and produces several films per year with the studio in addition to developing their own projects. Paul Schwake serves as chief operating officer and Dana Goldberg is president of production. Skydance recent releases include WORLD WAR Z, starring Brad Pitt, which has already made over $111 million worldwide, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, garnering over $430 million worldwide at the box office and G.I. JOE 2: RETALIATION, starring Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson and has made over $369 million worldwide at the box office. Skydance’s next film, JACK RYAN, from director Kenneth Brannagh and starring Chris Pine, is set for release on December 25, 2013. Skydance’s previous projects include the award-winning Coen Brothers film TRUE GRIT; MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL and JACK REACHER.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

About Annapurna Pictures
Annapurna Pictures is a film production and finance company founded with the goal of boldly creating sophisticated, high-quality and ambitious films that appeal to a variety of audiences. Annapurna’s recent releases include Kathryn Bigelow’s multiple Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated film ZERO DARK THIRTY; Paul Thomas Anderson’s multiple Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated masterpiece THE MASTER; John Hillcoat’s LAWLESS and Andrew Dominik’s KILLING THEM SOFTLY. Annapurna’s most recent project, the 2012 Venice and Toronto break-out hit SPRING BREAKERS, directed by Harmony Korine starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco. Additionally, Annapurna acquired US rights to Wong Kar Wai’s THE GRANDMASTER, the story of martial arts master and Bruce Lee trainer Ip Man will be released later this year. Current projects include the Spike Jonze’s new film HER starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Rooney Mara, and Bennett Miller’s FOXCATCHER which is currently in post-production as well as David O. Russell’s AMERICAN HUSTLE starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, also currently in post-production, and set for a December release by Columbia Pictures. Further, the company has partnered with Nina Jacobson’s Color Force on the best-selling comedic novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette, written by Maria Semple and has partnered with Denver & Delilah and CJ Entertainment on the SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE remake written by William Monahan and starring Charlize Theron. Last spring, the company made a deal to back Panorama Media, which will serve as the international sales agent on select Annapurna projects.

Review: "History of the World: Part I" is as Funny as Ever (Happy B'day, Mel Brooks)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 205 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Mel Brooks’ History of the World: Part I (1981)
Running time: 92 minutes (1 hour, 32 minutes)
EDITOR: John C. Howard
COMPOSER: John Morris


Starring: Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Ron Carey, Gregory Hines, Pamela Stephenson, Shecky Greene, Sid Caesar, Mary-Margaret Humes, Rudy De Luca, Andréas Voutsinas, Spike Milligan, and Orson Welles with Barry Levinson and John Hurt

The subject of this movie review is History of the World: Part I, a 1981 comedy film from writer-director Mel Brooks. The film is a parody the various kinds of historical films, including period costume dramas and sword and sandal epics. The catchphrase “It’s good to be the king” originated in this film. History of the World: Part I contains mock coming attractions for “History of the World: Part II,” but that was a joke, as no actual sequel was planned.

Mel Brooks writes, directs, produces, and plays five roles in his comedy semi-classic, History of the World: Part I. The film can be considered an anthology or a series of vignettes that take a farcical, skewered, and wacky view of history from the dawn of man through the cavemen, the Roman Empire, and the Spanish Inquisition, to the French Revolution. The film also features some appearances by Brooks’ films semi-regulars including Madeline Kahn and Harvey Korman.

I can’t imagine why Brooks picked the particular pre-historical and historical periods he did; perhaps, they were the funniest to him or he found in them the most to send up. However, the film is only mildly funny until the Spanish Inquisition segment, which is a musical number with a dance routine that even features water ballet. Both the song and the dance numbers are both awesome and freaking hilarious. Perhaps, the film’s best bit is the closing segment, the French Revolution. Some of the most famous quotations from Mel Brooks’ films come from this side-splitting section. It alone is more than reason enough to see this film.

Most of the jokes here are sight gags and anachronisms, but when Brooks and his cast are “on” in this film, the picture really works, as in the aforementioned second half. It’s worth noting that History of the World: Part I is not a great work, but because of it does have some great moments, it’s not to be missed.

7 of 10

Updated: Friday, June 28, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: "Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle" Sputters

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 100 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
Running time: 106 minutes (1 hour, 46 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for action violence, sensuality and language/innuendo
WRITERS: John August and Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley, from a story by John August (from the television program created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts)
PRODUCERS: Drew Barrymore, Leonard Goldberg, and Nancy Juvonen
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Russell Carpenter (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Wayne Wahrman
COMPOSER: Edward Shearmur
Razzie Award winner


Starring: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Lui, Demi Moore, Bernie Mac, Justin Theroux, Robert Patrick, Luke Wilson, Matt LeBlanc, Crispin Glover, John Cleese, Shia LaBeouf, Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Pink, Jaclyn Smith, Bruce Willis (no screen credit), and John Forsythe (voice)

The subject of this movie review is Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, a 2003 action comedy from director McG. This movie is a direct sequel to the 2000 film, Charlie’s Angels. Both films are based on the television series, “Charlie’s Angels,” which was originally broadcast on ABC from 1976 to 1981. As in the first film, Full Throttle stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu as three women employed by a private investigation agency and working for the voice known as “Charlie.”

Charlie’s Angels, the 2000 film remake of the 70-80’s TV show of the same name, was a hoot, a delightful and highly entertaining action/comedy with the guile of a cool Frank Miller comic book. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, the 2003 sequel, is an overblown, way over-the-top Hollywood production that’s way too full of crap, and miraculously, it still manages to be somewhat entertaining.

It’s pointless to even attempt to describe the plot, as it’s muddled nonsense. The real plot involves the indelicate manner in which the filmmakers place Charlie’s Angels in positions and situations that create mondo opportunities for shots of tits and ass. Natalie Cook (Cameron Diaz), Dylan Sanders (Drew Barrymore), and Alex Munday (Lucy Lui) return as Charlie Townsend’s (voice of John Forsythe) high tech-trained, super-powered, manga-like cuties. This time the grrrrls have to retrieve two encrypted rings, which when combined give up the locations of people in the FBI witness relocation program, and wouldn’t the bad guys love to have that info.

McG, the director of the first film, returns to helm this gigantic, flatulent cartoon that is Full Throttle. The script is lame, but all McG has to do is make the pictures look good, and, as a music video director, he knows how to do that. Imagine The Matrix on drain cleaner, Japanese cartoons (anime) on fast forward, soft porn on the rag, and comic books conceived by horny, high school upper classmen and dull-witted sorority boys and you have the Charlie’s Angel's sequel. Don’t get me wrong; there are lots of laughs. It’s difficult to tell if the filmmakers were trying to be clever or if they were cynical enough to believe that audiences really would take it ‘tween the cheeks. The end result is this dumb as a low-rent retard movie.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle parodies action movie clichés…badly, and also throws in a stiff riff from Martin Scorcese’s Cape Fear. It’s just too over the top and too much of a crack-addled cartoon. I did like the way the filmmakers tried to created the vibe of a family extended around the Angels; that actually gave me warm feelings. Still, I was half enthralled and half bored out of my mind. For all the fun I had, there were as many moments when I wondered why the experience of seeing this felt so wasteful. This is simply too much candy, and frankly, unless you really crave an empty movie experience, you can wait for the tape. Someone might tell you that this is a sly, wink-wink, nudge-nudge movie and you have to take it for what it is. If he tries to spin trash as something smart, he is a way-too-easy ho for the big, movie making machine in la-dee-da land.

4 of 10

2004 Razzie Awards: 2 wins: “Worst Remake or Sequel” and “Worst Supporting Actress” (Demi Moore); 5 nominations: “Worst Actress” (Drew Barrymore, also for Duplex-2003), “Worst Actress” (Cameron Diaz), “Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie” (All Concept/No Content!), “Worst Picture” (Columbia), and “Worst Screenplay” (John August-also story, Cormac Wibberley, and Marianne Wibberley)

Updated: Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: "Charlie’s Angels" Pure Pop Pleasure

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 99 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

Charlie’s Angels (2000)
Running time: 98 minutes (1 hour, 38 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for action violence, innuendo and some sensuality/nudity
WRITERS: Ryan Rowe, Ed Solomon, and John August (from the television series by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts)
PRODUCERS: Drew Barrymore, Leonard Goldberg, and Nancy Juvonen
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Russell Carpenter (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Peter Teschner and Wayne Wahrman
COMPOSER: Edward Shearmur


Starring: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray, Sam Rockwell, Kelly Lynch, Tim Curry, Crispin Glover, Luke Wilson, Matt LeBlanc, Tom Green, LL Cool J, and John Forsythe (voice)

The subject of this movie review is Charlie’s Angels, a 2000 action comedy from director McG (the stage name of Joseph McGinty Nichol). The film is an adaptation of the television series, “Charlie’s Angels,” which was originally broadcast on ABC from 1976 to 1981. The film stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu as three women employed by a private investigation agency and working for the voice known as “Charlie.”

When I first saw Charlie’s Angels, the big-screen adaptation of the late 70’s television series of the same name, I was sure that it was the best action/comedy that I’d seen in years, if ever. Having seen it again in anticipation of the 2003 sequel, I’m sure that it is one of the best action movies I’ve ever seen and one of the best action/comedies ever made. Although the film’s tongue is firmly planted in the Angel’s cheeks and the film is geared towards men, it’s so very entertaining that everyone should get the joke.

The mysterious Charles “Charlie” Townsend (voice of John Forsythe) has three very special little ladies in his employ: Natalie Cook (Cameron Diaz), Dylan Sanders (Drew Barrymore), and Alex Munday (Lucy Liu). Under the supervision of John Bosley (Bill Murray), Charlie’s Angels use martial arts, high tech skills, and sex appeal in their investigation work for clients who can afford Charlie’s agency. This time the client is kidnap victim Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell) who runs a giant software company. The girls not only have to rescue him, but also have to retrieve Knox’s revolutionary voice-ID software. However, the girls run into more than they were told to expect, including a sleazy billionaire (Tim Curry) and his mysterious, tall, thin, ass-kickin’ bodyguard (Crispin Glover).

Directed by music video maestro McG (videos for Korn and Sugar Ray, among others), Charlie's Angels is a high-octane, comic book-styled, action movie parody and farce. None of it should be taken seriously, least of all its conspiracy-within-a-conspiracy script. This is played for fun, recalling the best action movie scenes and clichés: car chases, exploding buildings, pumping soundtrack, quick-cut editing, and Matrix-style “wire-fu” martial arts. Maybe the funniest thing about this film is that this time women do the butt stomping. Usually in action movies, the girls are just the hang-ons of the male stars, following them around and screaming at the appropriate moments during gun fights, fist fights, car chases, aircraft falling out the sky, explosions, etc. This time the girls are in control. This time their sex appeal rules the story instead of just being sex used to decorate the violence. The ladies kick the butts and leave the men panting.

It’s all done so stylishly, and it’s all good and so cool. The vapid material gets inspired performances from the cast, but the actors really make this fun to watch. Bill Murray is tired though. His Bosley is just him doing his shtick, but it is so uninspired that he should have been embarrassed to see himself in the finished product. He was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

But don’t let that keep you from watching this funny, exciting, and very wild action cartoon. Come on. Pull the stick out. Sit back and be entertained by this delicious serving of popcorn movie.

7 or 10

2001 Black Reel Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Song” (Jean Claude Olivier-Writer, Samuel Barnes-Writer, Cory Rooney-Writer, Beyoncé Knowles-Writer, and Destiny’s Child-Performers for the song “Independent Women Part 1”)

Updated: Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New "Transformers 4" Car - June 25, 2013

Another new car from Michael Bay's Transformers 4!

Considered a masterpiece of design and engineering, this fierce, 2013 blood red Pagani Huayra, is named after an ancient Andean God of Wind.

Review: "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" Surprisingly Good

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 45 (of 2013) by Leroy Douresseaux

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
Running time: 88 minutes (1 hour, 28 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong fantasy horror violence and gore, brief sexuality/nudity and language
PRODUCERS: Will Ferrell, Beau Flynn, Chris Henchy, and Adam McKay
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Bonvillain (director of photography)
EDITOR: Jim Page
COMPOSER: Atli Örvarsson

FANTASY/HORROR/ACTION with elements of comedy

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Pihla Viitala, Derek Mears, Robin Atkin Downes, Thomas Mann, Peter Stormare, Rainer Bock, Bjorn Sundquist, Thomas Scharff, Kathrin Kuhnel, Cedric Eich, and Alea Sophia Boudodimos

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a 2013 action, horror, and dark fantasy film from director Tommy Wirkola. The American-German co-production was presented in 3D during its theatrical release. The film follows a brother and sister team of bounty hunters that tracks and kills witches all over the world.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters introduces a young brother and young sister who enter a gingerbread house and end up fighting horrid old witch for their lives. Many years after surviving that incident, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are famed bounty hunters who merciless eradicate witches for payment.

One day, they arrive in the town of Augsburgh just in time to stop Sheriff Berringer (Peter Stormare) from killing Mina (Pihla Viitala), a young woman accused of witchcraft. While the Sheriff disdains them, Mayor Engleman (Rainer Bock) welcomes Hansel and Gretel, because he hopes they will find and rescue several children that were abducted by witches and their troll ally, Edward (Derek Mears and Robin Atkin Downes). This will be the siblings’ biggest challenge yet. Muriel (Famke Janssen), a powerful witch, has plans for a special Sabbath known as the Blood Moon. Those plans have huge implications for Hansel and Gretel and will reveal the deepest secrets of the sibling’ past.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has a strong current of black comedy running throughout the film. The filmmakers didn’t pretend that their movie should be for children, so the movie is violent and gleefully gory, in ways both shocking and funny. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters mixes the weird Western sub-genre with the hard-charging action-horror film. It’s like Django Unchained meets Army of Darkness.

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are odd as Hansel and Gretel. They really don’t seem to have screen chemistry, which somehow makes them have a peculiar kind of screen bond. Renner is sullen and grim as Hansel, while Arterton often has her nose in the air, like an upper class bratty girl. Whenever they deviate from that, it ends up being a welcomed surprise and twist, giving the characters a little depth.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is by no means a great film. For one thing, Muriel is under-utilized or under-developed as a villain. Still, like a Sam Raimi horror film (The Evil Dead franchise), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a good time. How can I tell? When the movie ended, I wanted more. I even want a sequel.

6 of 10

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Evangelion 3.0" Premieres at 2013 Japan Film Festival


The First-Ever Dedicated Japanese Film Festival For The S.F. Bay Area Premieres The Latest Anime Sci-Fi Feature In Director Hideki Anno’s Rebuild Of Evangelion Saga During The 2013 J-POP Summit

The 2013 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF), the first fully-dedicated annual Japanese film event for the S.F. Bay Area, has just announced an exciting new addition to its programming as it partners with leading anime distributor FUNimation Entertainment to present the exclusive U.S. premiere of Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo. This new, high octane anime sci-fi thriller will be seen for the first time by U.S. audiences exclusively at NEW PEOPLE Cinema on Saturday, July 27th at 11:00am, and also presented as part of programming for the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival. The film will be presented with original Japanese dialogue featuring English subtitles.

Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo will have two encore screenings, on Monday, July 29th at 7:00pm, and again on Sunday, August 4th at 11:00am. Tickets are $13.00 each. NEW PEOPLE Cinema is located at 1746 Post St. (cross street is Webster St.) in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown. A complete schedule and advance ticket information are available on

Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, aka “Evangelion: The New Movie: Q,” is the third of four films released in the Rebuild of Evangelion saga, directed by Hideaki Anno. Fourteen years after the third impact, Shinji awakens to a world he does not recognize and his body has not aged a single day. Earth lies in ruins and those he once fought valiantly to protect have cruelly turned against him. NERV is nothing but a distant memory. Trapped in a harrowing cycle of death and rebirth, Shinji continues to courageously battle the angels – even as the world spirals down towards what could be a tragic end.

“We’re extremely honored to make this U.S. premiere of Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo a special part of the first-ever Japan Film Festival of San Francisco,” says Manami Iiboshi, the Executive Director of Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. “The film was one of the biggest recent movie blockbusters in Japan and its screening at the 2013 J-POP Summit will be a must-see for many anime fans! We know this show may sell-out so we have also announced a pair of encore showings the following week. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch the exciting latest chapter in one of Japan’s most celebrated sci-fi properties on the big screen at San Francisco’s one-and-only NEW PEOPLE Cinema!”

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco takes place Saturday, July 27th thru Sunday, August 4th and will deliver vivid cross-section of the best in recent Japanese anime as well as live-action cinema and is presented in conjunction with the 2013 J-POP Summit. Marking its 5th Anniversary, the annual J-POP Summit takes place Saturday July 27th and Sunday July 28th across the city’s historic Japantown district and celebrates the phenomenon of Japanese pop culture with a colorful array of live bands and artists, panel discussions, film premieres, edgy fashion shows and DJ dance events, celebrity appearances and more.

The J-POP Summit Festival is hosted and organized by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted nearly 65,000 attendees. More information is available at

NEW PEOPLE Cinema is a 143-seat cinema located in the underground floor of NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco. Equipped with a cutting-edge HD digital projection and THX®-certified sound system, NEW PEOPLE Cinema is home for local film festivals and entertaining events.

The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion and DJ dance events, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted 65,000 attendees.

More information about the J-POP Summit Festival is available at

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: "Parental Guidance" Good for Families

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 44 (of 2013) by Leroy Douresseaux

Parental Guidance (2012)
Running time: 105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes)
MPAA – PG for some rude humor
DIRECTOR: Andy Fickman
WRITERS: Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse
PRODUCERS: Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, and Billy Crystal
EDITOR: Kent Beyda
COMPOSER: Marc Shaiman


Starring: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott, Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush, Kyle Harrison Breitkopf, Rhoda Griffis, and Gedde Watanabe

Parental Guidance is a 2012 comedy and family film from director Andy Fickman. The film stars Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as grandparents who agree to look after their three grandchildren whose modern kid attitudes clash with their old-school ways.

Artie and Diane Decker (Bette Midler and Billy Crystal) live in California. Artie is the announcer for the Fresno Grizzlies, until he is fired because he is not familiar with new technology and social media. Diane thinks this is the perfect opportunity to take their daughter, Alice (Marisa Tomei), and her husband, Phil Simmons (Tom Everett Scott), up on an offer to watch their three children, while they attend a conference in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Artie and Diane fly to Atlanta where Alice and her family live, but they have a few misgivings about the week with the children. In recent years, they have not seen their grandchildren much, and are now practically “the other grandparents.” Plus, Artie and Diane are old school, while Alice and Phil are type-A helicopter parents who micromanage their children’s’ lives and overdo it on building self-esteem.

Artie and Diane are quickly reacquainted with the grandchildren: eldest child and daughter, 12-year-old Harper (Bailee Madison); the middle child, 8-year-old Turner (Joshua Rush), who has a stutter; and 5-year-old Barker (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf), who has an imaginary friend, a kangaroo he’s named Carl. The children think their grandparents are weird, and Barker calls Artie, “Farty.” Now, Artie and Diane have a week to get to really know their only three grandchildren, but that means they’ll have to earn these youngsters’ trust and love.

Parental Guidance starts off as one of those movies created by people who criticize the way other people rear their children. People see sports leagues that give every participating child a trophy simply for participating as a sign of the apocalypse. I have to admit that I find parents that won’t tell their children “No” or “Don’t” in order not to inhibit their creativity, ridiculous. But the republic will survive parents that don’t set boundaries for their children… I hope.

The movie, however, is really about the grandparents, Artie and Diane Decker, and their relationship-building with their grandchildren. The movie follows the struggle of the old school grandparents versus the modern, excessively tolerant parents to a lesser extent. And Parental Guidance is better for it. Who wants to see a movie about two people and their daughter and son-in-law exchanging harsh, snide comments about parenting? I don’t, although I don’t know about you, dear reader.

In some ways, Parental Guidance is mediocre, which is most obvious when Crystal and Midler have to over-act and over-react to make up for flimsy character development. Andy Fickman’s direction is professional and functional, but is also colorless and sometimes uneven.

But the magic in Parental Guidance is watching two grandparents bond with their lovely grandchildren. This film is more sweet than sentimental, and there are moments when the interaction between a grandparent and child seems genuine and honest. The kick-the-can and Turner calls the Giants game scenes make this movie a winner in spite of any blemishes. Talk about a feel good movie: Parental Guidance might be a frothy take on the grandparents and grandchildren dynamic, but it is an irresistible treat.

6 of 10

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Have a "K Day" for "K" at 2013 Anime Expo


Hit Action Anime Series Comes To The Nation’s Largest Anime Convention With Exclusive Episodes Premiere And Appearances by Special Guest KANAME☆ And English-Language Cast

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, celebrates the action and kinetic storyline of one of its newest anime properties – K – at the 2013 Anime Expo, taking place July 4th–7th at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA. Now celebrating its 22nd consecutive year, Anime Expo is sponsored by the SPJA and is the nation’s largest anime convention. VIZ Media will host a variety of special activities and panels throughout “K Day,” on Friday July 5th.

Anime Expo Industry Guest and official Fushimi cosplayer from Japan KANAME☆ (appearing courtesy of King Records) will be a special guest for the day. English-language voice actors Patrick Seitz (voice of Reisi Munakata), Stephanie Sheh (voice of Neko), Matt Mercer (voice of Kuroh Yatogami) and Keith Silverstein (voice of Mikoto Suoh) will also be in attendance.

Join the English language staff and cast at the celebration, beginning with the exclusive K Episodes 1 & 2 English Language World Premiere at 11:15am in Room LP1. At 12:15PM, directly following the premiere and held in the same room, Josh Lopez, VIZ Media Dub Producer for K, will join the staff and cast in a Behind the Scenes Q&A on the process of bringing K to North America. At the end of the panel, fans will receive an exclusive commemorative Neko character fan.

The celebration continues with a special autograph session with the K English language dub cast from 2:30-3:30pm in the Anime Expo Autograph Area. Each attendee will receive an premium poster to get signed by the guests. The autograph session will be followed by a photo opportunity at the VIZ Media booth (#1501) with K cast and staff, including Johnny Yong Bosch (English voice of Fushimi), and the K cosplayers of Attendees that show up in K Project cosplay will receive a special gift. Finally, end the day with a photo op with KANAME☆ at the VIZ Media booth K wall at 5:30pm. Meet this legendary cosplay idol as he brings the cool and suave Fushimi to life.

"K is such a gorgeous and action packed series, we knew it was an excellent choice for a special event at Anime Expo,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Manager, Animation Marketing. “K makes its Neon Alley broadcast premiere on July 12th, and we're thrilled to give AX attendees an opportunity to meet some of the staff and cast that helped bring K to North America. We are also honored that one of the most renowned male cosplayers in the world, KANAME☆, will be joining us! "

For those who can’t attend K Day on Friday July 5th, the festivities continue throughout the show. KANAME☆ will appear at the VIZ Media booth on Saturday July 6th at 2PM for a special autograph session and photo opportunity, and will appear at the booth for additional photo ops through the show (please check the daily booth schedule). All days of the show, attendees can find the special ACParadise NEKO cosplayer around the show floor to receive an exclusive NEKO bell (while supplies last). Attendees can also stop by the VIZ Media booth to play the King’s Game for prizes – check the daily booth schedule for game times.

K is set in a world where history has taken a slightly different course from the one we’re familiar with and follows the story of a young boy whose life is caught in a psychic war between seven kings. Yashiro Isana, also known as Shiro, is wanted for a crime he has no recollection of committing. He finds himself being hunted by the groups Homura, led by Mikoto Suoh, “The Red King,” and Scepter 4, led by Reisi Munakata, “The Blue King.” While on the run, another young man named Kuroh Yatogami helps him. Will this fated encounter change Shiro’s life forever?

For more information on K and other animated titles from VIZ Media please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Review: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" Retains its Magic (Happy Anniversary)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 67 (of 2005) by Leroy Douresseaux

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Running time: 104 minutes (1 hour, 44 minutes)
DIRECTOR: Robert Zemeckis with Richard Williams
WRITERS: Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman (based upon the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf)
PRODUCERS: Robert Watts and Frank Marshall
EDITOR: Arthur Schmidt
COMPOSER: Alan Silvestri
Academy Award winner


Starring: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, (voice) Charles Fleischer, Stubby Kaye, Alan Tilvern, Richard Le Parmentier, (voice) Lou Hirsch, Joel Silver, Paul Springer, Richard Ridings, Edwin Craig, and Lindsay Holiday with the voices of Mel Blanc, Mae Questel and Tony Anselmo, with Kathleen Turner

The subject of this movie review is Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a 1988 fantasy and crime comedy from directors Robert Zemeckis and Richard Williams. The film is a mixture of live action (directed by Robert Zemeckis) and animation (directed by Richard Williams). The film is based on the 1981 mystery novel, Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, by author Gary K. Wolf. The film’s initial release renewed interest in the “Golden Age of American animation” (late 1920s to the early 1960s). It also led the modern era of American animation, in particularly the “Disney Renaissance” (which began with Little Mermaid in 1989).

Who Framed Roger Rabbit focuses on a detective who hates “toons” (animated cartoon characters), but who ends up being a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when the rabbit is accused of murder. I have seen Who Framed Roger Rabbit countless times, and it remains one of my all-time favorite films. I also still think that it is a great film, and is arguably the best film of 1988.

Seventeen years ago, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was considered a revolutionary film with its landmark mixture of live-action film and animated characters. Who FramedRoger Rabbit wasn’t the first time that human actors and cartoon characters had mingled, but Who Framed Roger Rabbit was, at the time, the best achievement in live-action/animated film. However, by the time Jurassic Park, which featured the seamless blend of live-action sets and real characters with computer-generated images (or computer rendered characters), appeared, Who Framed Roger Rabbit seemed like an afterthought. After seeing this film for the first time in about 15 years, I’m still impressed by how well this movie’s conceit, that famous animated cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Droopy, and others, are real and live side-by-side with us in the real world, still rings true.

The story: ‘Toons (what cartoon characters are called in this film) are real, and their job is to make animated cartoon films for human entertainment. ‘Toon star Roger Rabbit (voice of Charles Fleischer) is worried that his wife, Jessica Rabbit (voice Kathleen Turner), is cheating on him, and it’s affecting his work on the set of his films with his co-star Baby Herman (voice of Lou Hirsch). R.K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern) hires detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) to learn the identity of Jessica’s sugar daddy, who turns out to me Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye), the owner of ‘Toontown, the Los Angeles cartoon suburb where ‘Toons live.

Things get complicated when Acme is found dead, and Roger Rabbit is suspect number one. Roger goes to Valiant for help to clear his name and save him from a date with annihilation at the hands of the menacing Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd), the dispenser of justice in ‘Toontown, but Valiant is reluctant. He actually took the job snooping on Jessica for money, but he’s hated taking ‘Toon cases since a mysterious ‘Toon killed his brother. However, Roger’s plight strikes a cord of sympathy with Valiant, and he takes Roger’s case. The more Valiant learns, the more intrigued he becomes, especially he learns of a larger and darker conspiracy that threatens not only Roger Rabbit’s life, but the very existence of ‘Toontown.

Beyond featuring the groundbreaking interaction of live and animated characters, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is simply a fine film and both a great technical and artistic achievement; it simply works. The script bears more than a passing resemblance to the municipal conspiracy in Chinatown, and the screenplay’s central mystery plotline develops in a way that keeps the viewer interested in whodunit.

The acting is excellent; from top to bottom the casts sells the idea that they’re interacting with animated characters. This is an especially impressive achievement because the live action was filmed before the animated characters and backgrounds were added. Talk about make-believe, pretend, and plain old acting talent. Christopher Lloyd is a treat to watch as the dark heavy, Judge Dredd-like justice giver – proof positive that he’s a great character actor, especially playing offbeat and wacky characters. Bob Hoskins, who more than anyone in the film, acted with non-existent co-stars, did yeoman’s work, and his performance is an underrated achievement among great comic performances.

The most credit goes to the films directors, and yes, there are two, although Who Framed Roger Rabbit may be listed as “A Robert Zemeckis Film.” True, Zemeckis does an incredible job filming sequences when many of his main actors and some of his sets would have to be added later by the animators. Still, he manages to get the most out of his actors and make the film’s comedy funny and mystery captivating – the best directorial effort of 1988. However, Richard Williams directed the animated sequences, and there aren’t many directors in the history of animated film who outdid his work here. Together Zemeckis and Williams made a classic of live-action and animation that is entertaining, technically brilliant, and a beautiful movie.

10 of 10

1989 Academy Awards, USA: 4 wins: “Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing” (Charles L. Campbell and Louis L. Edemann), “Best Effects, Visual Effects” (Ken Ralston, Richard Williams, Ed Jones, and George Gibbs), “Best Film Editing” (Arthur Schmidt), and “Special Achievement Award” (Richard Williams “for animation direction and creation of the cartoon characters”); 3 nominations: “Best Art Direction-Set Decoration” (Elliot Scott and Peter Howitt), “Best Cinematography” (Dean Cundey), “Best Sound” (Robert Knudson, John Boyd, Don Digirolamo, and Tony Dawe)

1989 BAFTA Awards: 1 win: “Best Special Effects” (George Gibbs, Richard Williams, Ken Ralston, and Ed Jones); 4 nominations: “Best Cinematography” (Dean Cundey), “Best Editing” (Arthur Schmidt), “Best Production Design” (Elliot Scott), and “Best Screenplay – Adapted” (Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman)

1989 Golden Globes, USA: 2 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical” and “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical” (Bob Hoskins)

Updated: Saturday, June 22, 2013

Director Miwa Nishikawa at 2013 Japan Film Festival


Evocative Director Of Dear Doctor And SWAY Makes A Special U.S. Personal Appearance For San Francisco’s First Dedicated Japanese Film Festival Taking Place In July At NEW PEOPLE Cinema

The 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, the popular annual San Francisco summertime Japanese Pop Culture celebration, will welcome director Miwa Nishikawa as a special Guest of Honor for the first-ever Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. The award-winning director is set to appear in-person at NEW PEOPLE Cinema for the premiere of her latest film – Dreams for Sale – on Saturday, July 27th at 7:00pm. An audience Q&A will immediately follow the screening.

Presented in conjunction with the J-POP Summit, the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF) is the first fully-dedicated annual Japanese film event for San Francisco and takes place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema beginning Saturday, July 27th through Sunday August 4th. Tickets are $13.00 per film unless otherwise indicated. NEW PEOPLE Cinema is located at 1746 Post St. (cross street Webster St.) in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown. A complete schedule of films and advance ticket information is available on

Written and directed by Miwa Nishikawa, who’s SWAY and Dear Doctor were screened to great acclaim at numerous international film festivals, Dreams for Sale is a richly evocative comedy/drama about a couple that lose everything in a fire and attempt to make a fresh start by swindling others. Wife Satoko (Takako Matsu) and her husband Kanya (Sadawo Abe) run a small eatery in a corner of Tokyo, but on the 5th anniversary of its opening, a fire erupts in the kitchen and burns the place to a cinder. In desperate need of cash, Satoko and Kanya embark on a hilarious and heartwarming marriage scam in an attempt to put their lives back on track.

“The tremendous critical and commercial success, both in Japan and abroad, of screenwriter/director Miwa Nishikawa’s 2009 film, Dear Doctor, propelled her to international notoriety and she is truly a director who represents the Japanese film world of the 21st Century,” says Manami Iibioshi, the Executive Director of Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. “Dreams for Sale is her fourth feature film and continues to showcase her skilled directorial style that is punctuated by insightful psychological acuity and emotional resonance. We look forward to audiences having the opportunity to meet her and participate in a special Q&A at our premiere screening at the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco.”

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco invites attendees to catch more than 15 films, representing a vivid cross-section of recent Japanese live-action as well as anime cinema, that will have their exclusive U.S. and/or San Francisco premiere at NEW PEOPLE Cinema. The Festival will also be a prominent feature of the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, taking place across Japantown on Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th. Additional details on the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival are available at

Miwa Nishikawa was born in Hiroshima, Japan and began working in film when she served on the production staff for Director Hirokazu Koreeda's Wonderful Life (1999). In 2002, she made her directorial debut with the film, Wild Berries. In 2006, she directed the film Sway, which became a long running hit at Japanese box offices and captured many major film awards. The film was also an Official Selection at the 2006 Cannes International Film Festival where it received rave reviews and was the sole film from Japan at the prestigious Director's Fortnight. In 2009, her third feature film, Dear Doctor, was selected for the World Competition category at Montreal World Film Festival and also several notable awards including the 33rd Japan Academy Awards for Best Screenplay.

NEW PEOPLE Cinema is a 143-seat cinema located in the underground floor of NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco. Equipped with a cutting-edge HD digital projection and THX®-certified sound system, NEW PEOPLE Cinema is home for local film festivals and entertaining events. More information at:

The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion and DJ dance events, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted 65,000 attendees.

Additional information about the J-POP Summit Festival is available at

Review: Didn't Want to Stay for "Stay"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 68 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Stay (2005)
Running time: 98 minutes (1 hour, 38 minutes)
MPAA – R for language and some disturbing images
DIRECTOR: Marc Forster
WRITER: David Benioff
PRODUCERS: Eric Kopeloff and Tom Lassally
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Roberto Schaeffer
EDITOR: Matt Chesse
COMPOSERS: Asche & Spencer (Tom Scott and Thad Spencer)

DRAMA/THRILLER with elements of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling, Bob Hoskins, Janeane Garofalo, Elizabeth Reaser, and B.D. Wong

The subject of this movie review is Stay, a 2005 fantasy drama and psychological thriller from director Marc Forster. The film focuses on a psychiatrist who attempts to prevent one of his patients from committing suicide, while his own grip on reality slips.

A New York psychiatrist, Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor), inherits a secretive and highly unusual young man bent on suicide as his new patient. His name is Henry Lethem (Ryan Gosling), and he is capable of making bizarrely accurate predictions about the future. Henry announces to Sam that he is planning on committing suicide at midnight the coming Saturday – the day of his 21st birthday. After Henry disappears, Sam is desperate to find his patient before he offs himself, but his investigation begins to have reality-shattering effects on him.

Manhattan, where Sam lives, begins to transform into a constantly and wildly shifting dreamscape, and the deeper Sam tries to go into Henry’s subconscious, the more it changes the rational world for Sam. His search for Henry is also causing havoc in Sam’s relationship with his girlfriend, Lila Culpepper (Naomi Watts), a former patient of Sam’s who tried to kill herself. It isn’t long before both Sam and Lila are wondering where Sam ends and Henry begins.

Stay has some big names behind it. Director Marc Forster directed Halle Berry to an Academy Award in 2001’s Monster’s Ball, and his last film, Finding Neverland, earned several Oscar nominations including a Best Picture nod. The cast includes some heavyweights – Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, and a star-in-the-making – Ryan Gosling. In this film, Ryan definitely shows that something that has him marked as a movie star, a quality actor, and a matinee idol.

However, audiences will find Stay to be either fascinating or dull. It’s really a riff on Ambrose Bierce’s famous short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and the 1990 thriller, Jacob’s Ladder. The visuals are dazzling on a few occasions and quite inventive and imaginative most of the time. However, most of the time Stay also seems like an ambitious if not pretentious film from a talented novice, which means the director makes clever visual choices that still amount to a haphazard narrative. Only the film’s last ten minutes redeem everything that came before it, and that’s disappointing.

3 of 10

Friday, April 7, 2006

Updated: Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

DreamWorks and Ford Unveil "Need for Speed" Car

The one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang starring in DreamWork's "Need for Speed."

DreamWorks Studios and Ford Motor Company Announce Exclusive Partnership for Film Adaptation of Electronic Arts’ ‘Need for Speed’ Video Game

‘Breaking Bad’ star Aaron Paul Teams with a One-of-a-Kind Mustang Hero Car Specially Designed for the Film by Ford

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, DreamWorks Studios’ Stacey Snider, Partner and Co-Chair, and Ford Motor Company’s Jim Farley, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service, are pleased to announce an exclusive partnership for the feature film “Need for Speed,” which will include significant integration of Ford products, along with extensive media promotion by Ford at the time of the film’s release on March 14, 2014. The announcement coincides with the unveiling of a one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang for the film, during Electronic Arts’ press conference at E3 Expo in Los Angeles later today.

The Ford-designed and created made-for-movie Mustang will be featured prominently throughout the film and become part of the mythology of the movie. The “Need for Speed” Mustang features a custom-designed wide body, unique 22-inch alloy wheels, and larger air intakes to feed the supercharged V8 engine under its classic Mustang twin-nostril hood.

“’Need for Speed’ is rooted in Americana, and when we were casting our hero car for the film, Ford Mustang was the obvious choice,” said Snider. “With its 50-year history in film, the iconic Mustang is the perfect co-star for Aaron Paul. We are privileged to have such an esteemed partner like Ford working with us on this film and look forward to seeing their Mustang up on the big screen next year.”

Ford also provided the production with an F-450 truck known in the film as “The Beast,” as well as another Mustang to serve as a specially designed camera car, which allows the filmmakers to capture car racing action in new and exciting ways.

“Need for Speed” marks an exciting return to the great car culture films of the 1960s and ’70s, tapping into what makes the American myth of the open road so appealing. The story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey for our heroes – one that begins as a mission for revenge but proves to be a journey of redemption.

“Ford Mustang is a symbol of freedom and optimism that allows you to be the person you dream of being, making it the perfect fit for this story,” said Farley. “Ford is excited to partner with DreamWorks and Electronic Arts as they bring the epic gaming franchise of ‘Need For Speed’ to the big screen, allowing us to go further with them as they tell their great story on the global stage.”

The movie is based on Electronic Arts’ popular video game series of the same name. It is one of the most successful racing video game franchises in the world, with more than 140 million games sold. The film stars Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”), Dominic Cooper (“Captain America”), Imogen Poots (“Fright Night”) and Michael Keaton (“Batman”), and is directed by Scott Waugh (“Act of Valor”). George Gatins and John Gatins developed the story and wrote the screenplay. John Gatins, Patrick O’Brien and Mark Sourian are producing. The Walt Disney Company is distributing the film in the United States and select international territories, while Mister Smith Entertainment is handling distribution in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. DreamWorks’ partner Reliance will distribute the film in India.

“’The Need for Speed’ movie will embody everything that fans of action racing films want to see – hot cars, high-stakes street racing and mind-blowing stunts,” said Scott Waugh, director of the “Need for Speed” film. “The adrenaline-fueled story across America will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.”

The next game in the “Need for Speed” franchise, “Need for Speed Rivals,” will be available Nov. 19, 2013 for the Xbox 360® game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. The game will launch on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation 4 later this year.

About DreamWorks Studios
DreamWorks Studios is a motion picture company formed in 2009 and led by Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider in partnership with The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. The company’s recent releases include Spielberg's "Lincoln," starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. The film has grossed over $270 million at the worldwide box office and was nominated for twelve Academy Awards® with Daniel Day-Lewis winning for Best Actor. Other releases include "Real Steel," starring Hugh Jackman and directed by Shawn Levy, Steven Spielberg’s "War Horse," based on Michael Morpurgo’s award-winning book and nominated for six Academy Awards® including Best Picture, and "The Help," which resonated with audiences around the country and earned over $200 million at the box office and received four Academy Award® nominations with Octavia Spencer winning for Best Supporting Actress. Upcoming films include the comedy "Delivery Man," starring Vince Vaughn, the WikiLeaks drama "The Fifth Estate," and car racing actioner "Need for Speed."

DreamWorks Studios can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

In 2014, Ford Mustang will celebrate a milestone anniversary and become the newest member of a very exclusive club – vehicles in continuous production for 50 years. Mustang’s unique combination of style, performance and affordability sets it apart from other sports cars and it’s why the car connects so well with drivers – with a worldwide base of avid fans to prove it. The Mustang attitude of limitless possibilities is universal and enduring, it’s truly part of our cultural fabric and evokes a variety of emotions – freedom, independence and optimism – just to name a few. Fans around the world will be honoring that heritage with numerous celebrations as the original pony car heads into the next 50 years.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones, tablets and social networks. EA has more than 275 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2012, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $4.1 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster brands such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield™ and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at

Origin, The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Mass Effect is a trademark of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. Battlefield, Battlefield 4 and Frostbite are trademarks of EA Digital Illusions CE AB. John Madden, NFL and FIFA are the property of their respective owners and used with permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Review: Pixar's "Brave" is Brave, But Not Bold

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 43 (of 2013) by Leroy Douresseaux

Brave (2012)
Running time: 100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)
MPAA – PG for some scary action and rude humor
DIRECTORS: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman with Steve Purcell
WRITERS: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, and Irene Mecchi with Michael Arndt; from a story by Brenda Chapman
PRODUCER: Katherine Sarafian
EDITOR: Nicholas C. Smith
COMPOSER: Patrick Doyle
Academy Award winner


Starring: (voices) Kelly Mcdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Sally Kinghorn, Eilidh Fraser, Peigi Barker, Steven Cree, Steve Purcell, Callum O’Neill, Patrick Doyle, and John Ratzenberger

Brave is a 2012 computer-animated, fairy tale film from Pixar Animation Studios. Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, Brave won the Academy Award for “Best Animated Feature” (February 2013), making its co-director, Brenda Chapman, the first female director to win an Oscar in that category. The film was executive produced by three of Pixar’s biggest creative voices: John Lasseter, Pete Docter, and Andrew Stanton.

Brave centers on a defiant princess who must fight a curse she brings upon her family. As Pixar films go, Brave is second-tier and not on the level of such films as Toy Story 2, Wall-E, or Up. It is a good movie, but nothing I would call great. In fact, I would not have voted Brave the best animated feature Oscar over a film like ParaNorman and Madgascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (which was not nominated).

In Scotland of old, Princess Merida (Kelly Mcdonald) is the 16-year-old daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) of the Clan Dun Broch (Dunbroch). Merida’s mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), wants what is best for both the kingdom and her daughter. Thus, the Queen clashes with the rebellious and free-spirited Merida who wants to make her own path in life. Skilled at horse-riding and with a bow, Merida does not want to be a lady.

One day, Elinor informs Merida that she must be betrothed to one of her father, King Fergus’ allied clans. Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson), Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), and Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane) arrive with their first-born sons. These sons will compete in the Highland Games for Merida’s hand in marriage. Merida balks, however, and runs away. Desperate to find her own fate, she makes a deal that unwittingly hurts her family. Now, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

The first half-hour of Brave is an awkward attempt to introduce characters, themes, plot, and setting, with wheezy music making that awkward even more annoying. The first half hour is the usual raucous, kid-friendly, action-comedy material, which is a Disney trait of turning every family in its films into a nuclear family-like unit. It sort of knocked me for a loop, because it seemed to me that in Brave, Pixar had made its first film that could be described as typical Disney animation product.

It is not until Merida’s second encounter with the will-o’-the-wisps and her meeting with The Witch (Julie Walters) that Brave becomes what it is supposed to be, a fairy tale. When it focuses on Merida’s quest, the magical elements, and the mother-daughter relationship, Brave is at its best. Merida’s younger brothers, the identical triplets: Hamish, Harris, and Hubert are excellent comic relief, but are woefully underutilized.

Everything else about this movie is not really special. The animation is good, although some of the characters bounce like Muppets when they walk or run. The animation’s colors are spectacular, especially Merida’s gloriously red hair and the rich greens of the forests and countryside.

You might be surprised at how deeply Brave digs into the mother-daughter relationship; that brought tears to my eyes. Still, the movie misses the mark of perfection. Brave is mostly a great fairy tale, but partly a Disney-movie-by-committee. That’s a shame, and that is not an Oscar winner (or shouldn’t be).

7 of 10

2013 Academy Awards: 1 win: “Best Animated Feature Film of the Year” (Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman)

2013 BAFTA Awards: 1 win: “Animated Film” (Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman)

2013 Golden Globes, USA: 1 win: “Best Animated Film”

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bruce Springsteen Concert Doc Arrives July 2013

“Springsteen and I” to Make Fans’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams Come True in U.S. Cinemas this Summer

NCM Fathom Events and Arts Alliance Media Present Inspiring Documentary Celebrating Bruce Springsteen in Select Movie Theaters Nationwide on July 22 & 30

CENTENNIAL, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With more than 120 million albums sold worldwide and numerous awards, including a staggering 20 Grammy Awards®, Bruce Springsteen’s music defines a generation. In celebration of 40 years of iconic music, NCM Fathom Events and Arts Alliance Media present “Springsteen and I” in select U.S. movie theaters on Monday, July 22 and Tuesday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. local time. “Springsteen and I” will take audiences on an emotional journey through the personal insights and reflections of their fellow Springsteen fans. Directed by Baillie Walsh and produced by Ridley Scott Associates and Mr. Wolf, “Springsteen and I” incorporates the efforts of more than 2,000 fans around the world who submitted personal video clips to make the ultimate collective filmmaking experience about how Springsteen and his music became the soundtrack to so many lives.

Including Springsteen performing some of his greatest hits and exclusive never-before-seen archival concert footage, the cinema event features unreleased big-screen performance highlights from the London Hard Rock Calling Wrecking Ball tour and a behind-the-scenes fan meet-and-greet with their hero.

“This beautifully crafted film provides a unique insight into the powerful bond between a recording artist and those who connect so profoundly with his music,” said Ridley Scott.

“Springsteen and I” will be presented in nearly 500 select movie theaters around the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. Tickets are available at participating theater box offices and online at For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

‘Springsteen and I’ is totally unique – audiences have never seen Bruce and his influence presented like this before,” said Dan Diamond, senior vice president of Business Development for Fathom Events. “This Fathom Event is a rare opportunity for fans to gather together in movie theaters, experience and share their love of all things ‘Bruce’ – as it was produced by the fans, for the fans.”

For more information about “Springsteen & I,” please visit the website, Facebook, Twitter or You Tube.

About National CineMedia (NCM)
National CineMedia (NCM) operates NCM Media Networks, a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology. The NCM Cinema Network and NCM Fathom Events present cinema advertising and events across the nation’s largest digital in-theater network, comprised of theaters owned by AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK), Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) and other leading regional theater circuits. NCM’s theater advertising network covers 183 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50) and includes approximately 19,300 screens (over 18,400 digital). During 2012, approximately 710 million patrons attended movies shown in theaters in which NCM currently has exclusive, cinema advertising agreements in place. The NCM Fathom Events live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is comprised of over 740 locations in 172 Designated Market Areas® (including all of the top 50). The NCM Interactive Network offers 360-degree integrated marketing opportunities in combination with cinema, encompassing 41 entertainment-related websites, online widgets and mobile applications. National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) owns a 46.9% interest in and is the managing member of National CineMedia LLC. For more information, visit or (NCMI-E)

About Mr. Wolf
Founded in 2012 by Alfred Chubb with Arts Alliance Ventures, Mr. Wolf produces and finances live events and music based feature films for worldwide distribution on all formats. Mr. Wolf launched with the release of Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino on Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, produced by PBS, Universal Music and Sugar Entertainment and is following up with the release of Springsteen & I, the Ridley Scott Agency-produced Bruce Springsteen feature, in July 2013.

About Ridley Scott Associates
Founded by Ridley and Tony Scott in 1968, RSA Films has, for more than 40 years, been one of the world's leading commercial production companies. Headed by President Jules Daly, RSA is at the forefront of creating innovative groundbreaking advertising campaigns for some of the world's most recognized brands. Headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in New York, London, and Shanghai, RSA has a roster of over 80 directors, including Kathryn Bigelow, Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, Joe Carnahan, Steven Klein and Neill Blomkamp. RSA has received numerous Golden Lion, Emmy, BAFTA, AICP, Cleo, MTV and MVPA Awards since its inception.

About Arts Alliance Media
Arts Alliance Media, based in London with offices in Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Oslo, Milan and Berlin, is the worldwide leader in digital cinema, offering a complete range of services, as well as VPF financing solutions for digital conversion.

These services include installation, maintenance and support for digital cinema systems; world-class software solutions; management and delivery of content to cinemas; and alternative content and live events. AAM has European Virtual Print Fee (VPF) agreements in place with all six Hollywood studios and has signed over 3,850 VPF screens in multiple territories, including with many leading exhibitors. The company recently activated its Latin American VPF programme with a raft of exhibitor signings in the past weeks. AAM's digital cinema software currently touches approximately 15,000 screens worldwide.

The London-based Network Operations Centre supports over 5,500 digital screens around the world, and the company’s digital cinema lab has mastered over 2500 titles to date, and shipped hundreds of thousands of DCPs. AAM’s strategic partnership with Arqiva allows exhibitors to benefit from satellite delivery of content to cinemas. Arts Alliance Media was founded in 2003 by Thomas Høegh.

Review: "The Interpreter" Has Mixed Message (Happy B'day, Nicole Kidman)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 5 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Interpreter (2005)
Running time: 128 minutes (2 hours, 8 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for violence, some sexual content, and brief strong language
DIRECTOR: Sydney Pollack
WRITERS: Charles Randolph, Scott Frank, and Steven Zallian; from a story by Martin Stellman and Brian Ward
PRODUCERS: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and Kevin Misher
EDITOR: William Steinkamp
COMPOSER: James Newton Howard


Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Jesper Christensen, Yvan Attal, Earl Cameron, George Harris, Michael Wright, Clyde Kusatsu, Eric Keenleyside, Hugo Speer, Maz Jobrani, Yusuf Gatewood, Curtiss I’Cook, and Byron Utley

The subject of this movie review is The Interpreter, a 2005 political thriller from director Sydney Pollack. This is the final film directed by Pollack, who died in 2008 at the age of 73. The Interpreter focuses on an interpreter who overhears an assassination plot and the US Secret Service agent assigned to investigate her allegations.

Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) is a translator at the United Nations, who accidentally overhears the plot to assassinate an African despot scheduled to speak before the U.N. General Assembly. With the words, “The Teacher will never leave this room alive,” Silvia’s world is turned upside down, as she becomes the target of mysterious thrillers who know she overheard the whispered conspiracy. Still, authorities have doubts about the validity of her story, including Tobin Keller, (Sean Penn), a federal agent assigned to protect dignitaries visiting the U.S. Tobin is eventually assigned to both protect Silvia and to unravel the mystery of the assassination attempt and its seeming connection to Silvia’s past. Will Silvia’s reticence about discussing her past and Tobin’s determination to uncover what he believes she is hiding lead to the assassination of a foreign leader on American soil?

Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack’s (Out of Africa) The Interpreter is part contrived melodrama and part riveting suspense story, with the latter winning out to make this a thoroughly entertaining thriller. The characters’ personal histories and tragedies occupy much of the narrative time, and their personality traits both define how their relationship and the mystery of the assassination will be resolved. But that’s mostly window dressing for a rather nice staid, adult thriller. The Interpreter lacks the car chases and has very few gunfights and explosions – the two elements that denote most Hollywood action thrillers meant to draw in teenage boys and young men as much (if not more so) as they are meant to attract older audiences looking for involved drama and quality acting. The Interpreter certainly has evocative drama and both Kidman and Penn are excellent (and award-winning) actors, and while this isn’t their best work, they certainly try to give us something different – just enough to make this more than a run-of-the-mill tense drama.

Every time the film seems as if it will slip into being ordinary, it does something surprising, and while it doesn’t have the intensity that would make it a great film, it does have the smooth charm and the kind of engaging plot that makes it an enjoyable film. The script, co-written by two of Hollywood’s top screenwriters, Scott Frank and Steven Zallian (an Oscar winner for Schindler’s List), is novelistic in its approach to character, situation, and plot. Sydney Pollack uses it to carry us through a complex web of private tragedy, delicate political affiliations, and international intrigue. At the same time, it also gives us a small, but fierce glance at the sectarian violence rampant throughout some of Africa. That’s a lot for your money.

6 of 10

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Updated: Thursday, June 20, 2013


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New "Anchorman 2" Teaser Poster - June 18, 2013

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

With the 70's behind him, San Diego's top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues." Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) - All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy…while taking New York's first 24-hour news channel by storm.

In theaters everywhere December 20, 2013