Archive for category Film

Choice Quote: Veronica Mars

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“If I had any Facebook friends, they’d be enjoying them already.”

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I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: book review

don't know what you know me from

I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star by Judy Greer. Publisher: Doubleday (April 8, 2014). Memoir. Hardcover. 256 pages. ISBN13: 9780385537889.

“I can’t afford a full-time assistant or organize my life, I don’t have a chef cooking for me and my family, I barely have time to work out or walk my dog (OK, fine, I do have a dog walker, I mean, I’m not going to shortchange my dog Buckley, come on).”

Part one growing up in suburbs outside of Detroit not terribly noteworthy. Part two, where Judy Greer begins to discuss her Hollywood life gets only slightly more appealing. She writes without a clear voice. The tone’s neither funny nor serious. And it’s not well-written or edited. Funny actors and comedians aren’t’ necessarily funny storytellers or have real-life amusing anecdotes or interesting lives off-screen. People expect it and it’s not the case 75 percent of the time. That’s why many people are drawn to acting so that they can become another person or express themselves in another way.

What I learned:

M. Night Shyamalan was the first director to call Greer and offer her a film (The Village). She dully proceeds to describe her three month shoot on location. Bottom line: it’s a job.

She did a short-lived series called Miss Guided. I thought it had a cute premise and seemed promising. Don’t think it got picked up past one season, per most network series I like. Ashton Kutcher was a producer. After filming the pilot he asked her what she would do if ABC picked up the series. He asked her what she wanted to do if the series were to become a success. She told him she wanted to buy her dad a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Ashton told her that if the series was picked up by ABC, he’s buy her dad one. When ABC picked it up for seven episodes, true to his word, Ashton did just that. What a generous, sweet guy.

In the chapter titled “Celebrities I’ve Peed Next To,” Greer only mentions Jennifer Lopez, Debra Messing and Heidi Klum and she was doing films with two of them so how could she avoid peeing next to them at some point?

Her publicist/agents/ manager told her to tweet/ Facebook/ instagram (message: don’t trust celebrity tweets) “I become temporarily obsessed with watching my number of Twitter followers grow, with who is following who, who posts what, how many followers he/ she has, especially in comparison to me. It’s kind of a ridiculous time suck isn’t it?” She SO doesn’t understand Twitter and social media.

RATING: **/ 5

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Net Galley.

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The Trip to Bountiful: TV movie review [Lifetime]

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Carrie [Mother] Watts [Cicely Tyson] lives with her diligent, over-protective son Ludie [Blair Underwood] and conceited daughter-in-law Jessie Mae [Vanessa Williams]. Under Jessie Mae’s rules and clutches, unable to drive, Mother Watts feels suffocated and merely wants to visit her hometown of Bountiful. She tries repeatedly to escape infuriating Jessie Mae and frustrating Ludie. Finally Mother Watts manages to escape to the local bus station where she befriends Thelma [Keke Palmer] who’s on her way home to her parents while her husband’s off fighting the war. The pair proceeds to share endearing moments. This time around Mother Watts may have outsmarted Ludie and Jessie Mae and may make it home to Bountiful one last time.

“People ask me why I don’t have children and I say I have Ludie and Mother Watts and that’s all I need.”

Why watch?

–Based on Oscar, Pulitzer Prize, and Emmy Award-winning author Horton Foote’s Tony-award-nominated play.

–Now you get a chance to see it on Lifetime what Cecily Tyson won a Tony for on Broadway.

–Cecily Tyson brings depth, humor and sensitivity to her character. She’s at times a riot and at times truly moving. Tyson’s a legend and wonderful to watch.

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–Lovely Vanessa Williams is flawless as uptight and stingy daughter-in-law Jessie Mae.

–Gorgeous Blair Underwood plays the subdued Ludie, stuck between his overbearing, demanding wife and his elderly mom. He wants both women to get along and be content which proves a near impossible task.

–Keke Palmer’s always a delight onscreen.

–First Lady Michelle Obama recently screened The Trip to Bountiful at The White House.

The Trip to Bountiful isn’t about an old woman’s hopeless, wanderlust obsession. It’s about persistence. It’s about home. It’s about a sense of place. It’s about belonging.

–Beautifully acted and scripted, The Trip to Bountiful must not be missed.

The Trip to Bountiful premieres Saturday, March 8 ET/PT on Lifetime.

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Picks for Best-dressed at Academy Awards

chiwetel-ejiofor with girlfriend sari mercer

chiwetel ejiofor with girlfriend sari mercer

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner

Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson

Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Laura Dern

Laura Dern

Leo DiCaprio

Leo DiCaprio

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

Viola Davis

Viola Davis

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

Emma Watson

Emma Watson

Jared Leto

Jared Leto

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts

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Choice Quotes: Wadjda

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“Here. I made you a mix tape since we’re friends now. But don’t sell my bike.”

“Interested in your fathers glorious family tree? You aren’t included, it only includes men’s names.”

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Choice Quote: Philomena

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I finally know what a lifetime of Reader’s Digest, The Daily Mail and romance novels does to a person’s brain.

–Philomena

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on DVD: films directed by/ written by women

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Wadjda

Written and directed by: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Starring: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani

–a smart, spunky, brave Saudi girl signs on for her school’s Koran recitation competition to earn the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that she really wants even though it’s frowned upon for girls to ride bikes in Saudi Arabia.

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

–A young Pakistani man chasing corporate success on Wall Street finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family’s homeland.

Directed by: Mira Nair
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Hudson

–riveting, intense film that questions intentions, good vs. evil, nationality, identity and prejudice with Nair’s gorgeous, thoughtful, heartbreaking direction.

Touchy Feely

Touchy Feely

–A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother’s floundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his healing touch.

Written and directed by: Lynn Shelton
Starring: Rosemarie DeWitt, Ellen Page, Josh Pais, Allison Janney

–quirky, charming, sweet

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Adore

–two best friends fall in love with each other’s teenage sons
Written and directed by: Anne Fontaine
Starring: Robin Wright, Naomi Watts

–unsettling topic but with Wright and Watts it’s beautifully acted and as much about friendship as about these affairs with the young men. plus gorgeous, idyllic scenery.

afternoon delight

Afternoon Delight

–Rachel, a savvy stay-at-home mom finds herself stuck in a rut of volunteering at preschool auctions, a lackluster sex life and long-gone career. When she visits a strip club to spice up her marriage and meets McKenna, she ends up adopting her as the family nanny.

Written and directed by: Jill Soloway
Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor

–smart, astute script. unique film.

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The Lifeguard

–29-year-old woman questioning her life’s direction, quits her reporter job in New York and moves home to Connecticut. she takes a job as a lifeguard and falls into a friendship with a teenager.

Written and directed by: Liz W. Garcia
Starring: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gumer, Martin Starr

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RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman [1967-2014]

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–born in the Rochester, New York on July 23, 1967
–attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating with a B.F.A. degree in Drama in 1989.
–died of suspected heroin overdose on February 2, 2014.

My Favorite Hoffman Films:

the savages

The Savages [2007]
written and directed by: Tamara Jenkins
also starring: Laura Linney, Philip Bosco
–siblings (Laura Linney plays his sister) must deal with their father’s rapid demise and thus face their own lives– their presents, their futures, their lost potential.

before the devil knows

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead [2007]
written by: Kelly Masterson
directed by: Sidney Lumet
also starring: Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Albert Finney
–two brothers organize the robbery of their parents’ jewelry and the job goes horribly wrong.

A-Late-Quartet

A Late Quartet [2012]
written by: Seth Grossman, Yaron Zilberman
directed by:Yaron Zilberman
also starring: Catherine Keenar, Chistopher Walken
–members of a world-renowned string quartet struggle to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and lust.

capote

Capote [2005]
written by: Dan Futterman
directed by: Bennett Miller
also starring: Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener
–while researching his book In Cold Blood, an account of the murder of a Kansas family, Truman Capote develops a close relationship with Perry Smith, one of the killers.

the master

The Master [2012]
written and directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
also starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams
–a Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future – until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.

doubt

Doubt [2008]
written and directed by: John Patrick Shanley
also starring: Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams
—a Catholic school principal questions a priest’s ambiguous relationship with a troubled young student.

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Choice Quote: Amy Poehler on FEMINISM

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from the February 2014 issue of ELLE Magazine:

ELLE: You’ve always made it clear that you’re a feminist. It’s a term that a lot of people back away from these days.

Amy Poehler: But then they go on to explain what they support and live by—it’s feminism exactly. I think some big actors and musicians feel like they have to speak to their audience and that word is confusing to their audience. But I don’t get it. That’s like someone being like, “I don’t really believe in cars, but I drive one every day and I love that it gets me places and makes life so much easier and faster and I don’t know what I would do without it.” But that’s everyone else’s trip, not mine. I had a mother who discovered herself in the ’70s and used to go to meetings and wear a sassy scarf.

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Choice Quote: Austenland

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“I am single because apparently the only good men are fictional.”
–Austenland

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