Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Can't Wait: "Thor: The Dark World"

Ummm, this is all you need to know.  "Thor: The Dark World".  And it hits theaters in November 2013.  Yea, pretty excited to see this!  Some of the same cast of characters are, of course, such as: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba...oh man, I can't wait.

Plus, one of the writers for the first Thor film and this film, "Thor: The Dark World"was Don Payne, who I knew back in the days when I worked on "The Simpsons".  He recently passed away and it is a huge loss to the sci-fi/comedy writing world.  So, go see this film as a tribute to Don!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Go See: "The Sapphires"

"The Sapphires" was such an incredibly cute story that after seeing it - you immediately want to hit up your nearest karaoke bar and belt out a tune by The Supremes.  This Australian film was directed by Wayne Blair who created an inspiring true story of the real Sapphires, who were the first popular all-female aboriginal group, with the help of writers Tony Briggs (ahem, he's the son of one of the original group members, Laurel Robinson) and Keith Thompson.  

 The real members of the group, The Sapphires

Set during the Vietnam war, these four young girls band together to sing and perform their hearts out to the US troops while being managed by the hilarious irish actor Chris O'Dowd (come on people, I've been telling you to watch the "IT Crowd" for years and now he's a big star and in films like "Bridesmaids").  The lead singer is played by pop star in real life and current mentor on Australia's "The Voice" Jessica Mauboy.  With the rest of the group starring Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell. 

Go see this film - you will laugh, you might shed a tear and you'll feel all good inside after watching it!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Can't Wait: "Only God Forgives"

Of course I'm going to see a Ryan Gosling film.  And of course I'm going to see "Only God Forgives" because it was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (he directed Gosling in "Drive").  Even in the trailer, the music may sound oddly familiar to "Drive" and that's because it's composed by the same dude, the uber talented Cliff Martinez.  

This film was shot in Bangkok with Kristin Scott Thomas starring at Gosling's mother out to seek revenge on her other son's death.  You might also recognize Vithaya Pansringarm as he played the minister in the blockbuster hit, "The Hangover 2".  And this is the debut performance for Thai pop star Yayaying.

The film is slated for a July 19th release in the States.  Yay!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Go See: "42"

Perhaps one of the most ironic things about myself is that I am not a sports fan at all.  I couldn't tell you nor identify any professional players if they were standing next to me and I accept that about myself.  What I can tell you is that I absolutely love sports films.  I have no idea why - maybe it's the suspense and excitement of the snippets that you see in the film or the lead actors who play iconic characters much like this film, "42" which is a biopic about the baseball legend Jackie Robinson.  Sure, I'd heard of the guy and maybe knew a little about his significance as the first african american baseball player but wow, Brian Helgeland (the director) did a superior job of telling a tale showing the raw emotions, the prejudicism and racism of the times and the love of the game as told through the eyes of a little boy to an old MLB executive.

Jackie Robinson was played by a somewhat unknown but not anymore actor Chadwick Boseman.  Let me just say that this is not his first time to the rodeo as this multi-talented actor also directs and writes.  He was in shows such as "Lincoln Heights" and "Persons Unknown".  What were his thoughts on portraying Jackie Robinson? 

"The story is relevant because we still stand on his shoulders. He started something - I would even say maybe he didn't even start it, it started before him. But he carried the torch. And he carried it alone for a period of time before other people could help him." -imdb.com

Harrison Ford was amazing as Branch Rickey, the MLB executive who found and signed Jackie Robinson.  I'm feeling a bit of some nominations in the air...Golden Globes, maybe Oscars.  I'll just say you heard it from me first!  Rachel Robinson (Jackie's wife) was played by newcomer Nicole Beharie (maybe you saw her in "Shame") and there were quite a few actors that popped up that I know you know who they are.  Law & Order alum Christopher Meloni plays Dodgers manager Leo Derocher, Lucas Black plays Pee Wee Reese (he was the kid in "Slingblade" and was also on "Friday Night Lights"), Alan Tudyk who plays the very racist Phillies Manager (I swore he was british as he was in the original "Death at a Funeral" and "A Knight's Tale" but he's a southern boy), and Hamish Linklater ("The New Adventures of the Old Christine"), T.R. Knight ("Grey's Anatomy") and John C. McGinley ("Scrubs"). 

Go see this film, it is by far one of my favorite films this year so far.  The acting is incredible and the story will stir your emotions.

The Real Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey signing his contract

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Go See: "The Company You Keep"

I had the privilege of going to a screening of "The Company You Keep" at the Soho House last night.  Quite frankly, that's really the only way to see a film.  Comfy chairs with foot stools, cashmere blankets by The Elder Statesmen, a booze cart and a huge candy buffet.  Yes, yes, and oh yes!

To be honest, I hadn't heard of this film and had no idea what it was all about.  Sometimes that's the best part of watching a film - the element of surprise.  "The Company You Keep" stars Robert Redford, (who also directed), Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Chris Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, Jackie Evancho (what? 2010 "America's Got Talent" runner-up), Brendan Gleeson, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick...oh, and Susan Sarandon.  Are you still with me?  I guess it would be hard to say no to Robert Redford.

This film is based around a former Weather Underground activist who is found out by a local newspaper reporter after having a secret identity for years.  He flees from the FBI and the consistently annoying news reporter who has a knack for following his tracks.  I won't say anymore as I never want to be that spoiler alert girl but let me just say this.  I must not have been paying attention to the opening credits as it wasn't until midway through the film that I had an idea that maybe Robert Redford did indeed direct this film. 

He has a certain style to him that I find similar to Frank Darabont ("The Green Mile", "The Shawshank Redemption") and even throw in a little Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain", "Life of Pi") in there.  There is a certain ease in their style, a certain meditative pause that allows specific scenes and actions of the characters to marinate with the viewer.  It's just the right amount of time and then they get you in the end.  Seems very calculated to me - but very effective.  And let's not forget that Redford directed some great dramatic flicks such as "Ordinary People", "A River Runs Through It", "The Horse Whisperer" and "The Legend of Bagger Vance".  Go see this film!  You will love the cast and momentum of this movie.  Enjoy!

"The Company You Keep" hits theaters April 5th.