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Archives for : August2013

Movie Review: Instructions Not Included

At first glance this film might seem like a predicable slap stick comedy;  but after a deeper look, you will see there is much more to this movie than meets the eye.

Eugenio Derbez and Loreto Peralta star in “Instructions Not Included”

Eugenio Derbez makes his directorial debut in the family comedy, Instructions Not Included.  Derbez stars in the film as Valentin, the resident playboy in Acapulco.  His life gets completely turned around when one of his ex-flings, Julie (Jessica Lindsey), drops off his unknown baby on his door steps and takes off with out a trace.  In hopes to find Julie and return the baby, Valentin leaves Mexico and heads to Los Angeles.  He ends up finding a job and a home in LA for him and his new found daughter, Maggie (Loreto Peralta).  Not knowing a thing about how to raise a child, Valentin is forced to grow up, and finally make a commitment to one girl.  After six years of raising Maggie, he has established  a comfy life as Hollywood’s top stuntman with Maggie as his on-set coach.  Their lives are turned upside down when Julie returns out of nowhere and Valentin is in danger of losing his daughter.

Even with the cast being mostly new to the big screen, they don’t show any signs of amateur acting.  Eugenio Derbez is one of the biggest actors in Mexico, if not the biggest.  Having already made a few small appearances in American films like Jack and Jill and Girl in Progress, he makes a giant leap as the star, director, and co-writer of Instructions Not Included.  He is a natural comedian and is hilarious in either language.  From his dumb-founded facial expressions to his genuine caring father moments, you’re immediately connected to this character.  Throw in newcomer, Loreto Peralta, as the adorable smart-aleck daughter and you have a dynamic duo.  These two have such great chemistry and a heartwarming father/daughter relationship.  Of course watching Valentin figure out how to take care of baby Maggie using whatever he has around him, including a clever backpack with holes for legs as a baby carrier strap on is priceless.  Maggie’s mother Julie plays a less lovable character.  Jessica Lindsey, does a fantastic job as a selfish and confused baby mama who can’t quite make up her mind on whether or not she’s capable of motherhood.

Instructions Not Included may seem similar to other films where the main character living the single life gets thrown into parenthood.  But this movie isn’t as predicable as Jersey Girl or Raising Helen.  There are moments in this film where you might think you have it figured out, but chances are, you don’t.  The film is in both Spanish and English, but which ever language, the story is clear.  All through the movie Valentin is extremely scared of almost everything, heights, bugs, wolves, commitment.  Once thrown into fatherhood, he naturally starts to conquer all his fears because of the love he has for his daughter.

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language, Instructions Not Included is film the whole family can see.  There’s laughter, there’s tears and most importantly there’s heart.

Instructions Not Included hits theaters today!

Instructions Not Included Official Trailer HD


Interview with Writer/Director/Actor Eugenio Derbez

Eugenio Derbez

Help RivetHead Make their New Music Video!

Indiegogo continues to help the arts.  And now you can help produce their new music video!

RivetHead and the Fans

“We are a band for the fans, and funded by the fans. All of our seventy songs have been independently produced and any profits made went right back into producing our next album. We’ve had our music played on Sirius/XM Octane, The Lex and Terry Morning Radio Network, we even had our music featured in the Lion’s Gate movie “Unrivaled.” Our soul focus for making music has been the fans, and now we want your help to take things up a notch.”

“What we want to do is make you a part of RivetHead. What better way to do it, than to have a music video that is entirely funded by you, our Fans. We want to bring the RivetHead fan-base together and show the world that we aren’t just some independent metal band. We are The Independent Metal Band.”

The Video 

The video will be for the new song released on the Doomsday for Optimism album titled “Cricket Bat.” Cricket bat is a heavy and rocking song about not taking any more flack from the world around you. That’s why the video is about taking the power back at the workplace.

“Once this about how people can get involved and support local art. When you guys contribute/support local art, you will even get great rewards. On the page there are exclusive incentives for people who want to be a part of the campaign. There’s things like a $5 donation gets your name in the credits all the way to $125 will actually get you featured in the video. It’s something that bigger bands or production companies can’t do, and that’s getting the community to have a direct relationship to the product. That’s what makes this campaign new and innovative. That’s what people will be interested in hearing about,” says Brady Tulk (Music Video Director)

Click Here to listen to the Director and Producer of the Video, Talk about the Campaign


Click Here to Donate to the Video!

STILL HERE: A Short Film about Appreciating the Beauty of Life

“A true story about not realizing how beautiful life is until the moment you think it’s gone.”

Inspired by Erfaan Nazemadeh, who was diagnosed with cancer at 19.  A week later he was told that he was misdiagnosed.

The Story

Two strangers receive test results from the hospital —

A young, up-and-coming sports agent has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, while a grim old loner, anticipating his own death, is sentenced… to live. We follow these two men as they are forced to leave behind their old lives — and face the deep yearning in their hearts.

By chance, they each confide in the same woman—she is the mother of one of the men, and the salvation of the other. Then the hospital calls again, with some unexpected news.

Be Apart of Making the Film

Ethan Rains (Sin City, Open Graves, 24) makes his writing and directorial debut with Still Here.   Alongside his brother Dominic Rains (Saving Jessica Lynch, The Taqwacores, Flight 93) who stars and produces the film.  These two are not just telling an incredible story. They are showing all of the film makers out there, that if you have a story and want to share it, you can make it happen.

(Director/Writer Ethan Rains and Actor/Producer Dominic)


Now, there is no studio backing for the film, so YOU can help make this film happen!  With your contributions through Indiegogo they will be able to cover EVERYTHING (Pre-Production, Principal Photography, and Post-Production).  Set to raise $14,888, they have already reached almost 50% of their goal!  But keep the donations coming, even $5.00 is a huge help.   And 5% of total funds will go directly to American Cancer Society.

To learn more about all the cast and crew of Still Here and all the production details about the film, click the link below.  And be sure to donate whatever you can!

Click here to Donate to the film!

Movie Review: JOBS

Ashton Kutcher may be the star of this film, but another actor shines.

“You can’t look at the competition and say were going to do it better, you have to look at the competition and say were going to do it different.”  A compelling quote by Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in Joshua Michael Sterns anticipated new film, JOBS.  That quote is only one of many inspiring moments that showed how driven Steve Jobs was in making products that he truly believed in, even when others told him it was impossible.

Since 1976, the co-founder of Apple Computers went on to revolutionize technology with products like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.  But do we know how it all started?  Steve Jobs was an innovator and a genius.  After watching this film, it appears that he was kind of a jerk.  Albeit a brilliant and passionate jerk!

The film tells the story of Steve Jobs’ life during the period of 1971 to 1991.   From a college dropout all the way to becoming one of the most admired creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century.  Out of his parents’ garage Steve and Apple Co-founder/Childhood friend, Steve Wozniak(Josh Gad), helped make prototypes of small computer boards.  Jobs soon recruits a handful of friends to help assemble the boards.  Eventually with the backing of investor, Mike Markkula (Dermot Mulroney), Woznick’s prototype evolves into the world’s first personal computer.  We then watch as Jobs transforms the world of computing and takes on huge competitors like IBM.  Unfortunately, Jobs’ extreme product focus comes with an appalling lack of compassion that ultimately leads to rejected lovers, betrayed friends, and disappointed colleagues.  But even though Jobs can be inconsiderate and selfish, his determination and inspiring speeches can’t help but make you want to stand by him.

Now let’s get to what you’re all wondering about, how was Ashton Kutcher(No Strings Attached, Two and Half Men) as Steve Jobs?  When Kutcher first appears on-screen as a middle aged Jobs, it’s an uncanny resemblance.  He looks like Steve Jobs, he walks like Steve Jobs, but he talks like Ashton Kutcher.  With in the first two minutes of the film all you hear is the rom-com actor’s voice.  Fast forward to a young Steve Jobs in the 70’s…yeah…it was like watching a smart and mature version of Kelso from That 70’s Show.  It’s not like Kutcher was bad, he really threw all of himself in this role.  And there were some very convincing breakdown moments for the actor; these were usually moments that involved no speaking.  Ashton Kutcher is a great actor, and I do believe that he did try especially hard in this role to break away from his stereotype.  But when a well known actor takes on the role of a well known icon, you expect the actor to become unrecognizable.  Take Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, Heather Ledger as The Joker, or Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Touhy.   All actors who were known for their comedic roles, but gave unbelievable performances that made you forget their past characters.

Luckily there was a breakout performance in this film that I’m even calling Oscar worthy.   Josh Gad (The Internship, 1600 Penn, and Book of Mormon) does an outstanding job as Steve Wozniak.  I had just recently seen Gad in The Internship, and he does have this stand out quality every time I see him in a supporting comedic role.  I had never really thought of him as a “serious” actor.  I should have researched this multi-talent before, because now I’m not surprised by his versatile acting skills.  It’s amazing to see the effortlessness of Gad’s acting.   He is such a natural that you’re connected with his character through out the entire film.  There is an emotional moment between Woznick and Jobs that actually makes your heart break as you see tears falling from Gad’s face.  I still can’t stop thinking about this performance and just wish there was more Steve Wozniak in the movie.

There is a Social Network feel to the movie.  Both films are about creators who will stop at nothing to see their vision succeed.  However, it is kind of hard to compare Steve Jobs to anyone. And the fact that JOBS is in more of an adult setting, as opposed to a college one, makes it stand apart.

JOBS is a film that I would recommend everyone seeing.  It’s incredibly informative.  Overall the acting is fantastic.  I know I already said this, but man is this film inspiring.  I left the theater having a tremendous amount of respect for Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.  They invented something that changed the way we live, forever.  Making such an impact in this world, all because they believed in what they were doing.

JOBS Trailer HD

The film also stars Matthew Modine, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, and James Woods.

JOBS Opens Nationwide Today!

Chazz Palminteri brings “A Bronx Tale” to Dallas!

You know him as the gravelly voiced, Italian actor, usually playing an intimidating mobster in films like A Bronx Tale and Bullets over Broadway.  Academy Award nominee, Chazz Palminteri is finally bringing the one-man show that launched his career to Dallas.  Before A Bronx Tale was a big screen success back in 1993, it was a one-man show, written and performed by Chazz himself.  After rejecting many offers to make a film adaptation of the show, it was Robert De Niro that gave him an offer that would change his career forever.  De Niro directed and co-starred in the film with Palminteri.

Originally performed off-Broadway in 1989, Chazz Palminteri has teamed up with Dallas Cowboy Legend, Drew Pearson, to bring A Bronx Tale Show to The AT&T Performing Arts Center.  The one-man show is based on the time Palminteri saw a man get killed right in front of him when he was only nine-years old.  Palminteri plays 18 different characters in the show.

Since the accomplishment from both the show and film version of A Bronx Tale, Chazz Palminteri has gone on to play various mobster roles.  One of which includes an Oscar nomination for his role in Bullets over Broadway.  But no matter what crook he is playing, it’s with style!

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the film’s adaptation, Palminteri has gone in collaboration with Jay Lombardo (Founder of Lombardo Custom Apparel) to launch “A Bronx Tale Collection” tailored suits.  The fabric of these suits were handpicked and come with Chazz’s classic “Bronx” silhouette and artistry.  The custom collection features hand stitching, Italian red lining, and a personalized label with Chazz Palminteri’s signature.

On Thursday August 8th, Lombardo Custom Apparel held a launch party for the new collection, and presented Chazz and Jay with the North American Italian Award.   The event was entertained with the music of “America’s Got Talent” finalist, Paul Salos.  If you don’t remember him, he was the singer on the show that sounded very much like Frank Sinatra.  It’s unbelievable.

Eventually, Palminteri allowed for quick interviews with the press.  I have to say, as disturbing as some of his roles can be, Chazz Palmenteri is anything but scary.  He was one of the most down to earth actors I have met, and a truly talented one at that.


chazz and me 2

What made you finally bring the show to Dallas?

“I just thought hey, I’ve always loved Dallas.  I’ve always read about it.  I said I’m going to try and bring it down to Dallas!  And they called me and said can we do it down here?  And I said absolutely!  It was a hit all over the world, so why not a hit in Dallas?”

Of course, we’re grateful you brought it to Dallas.

“Well thank you so much.”

Can you tell me a little bit about the Bronx Collection?

“If you see some of the movies that I’ve done, Analyze This and A Bronx Tale.  I’ve always worn these incredible suits.  I came down here and met Jay and saw his incredible clothes.  And I thought yeah, I would put my name on that.”

You always mention how Robert De Niro launched your career.  If there is one thing you could say about him, what would it be?

“Well, what I always say about him.  As great as he is as an artist, he’s an even greater man.  He’s a great, great guy.  A really good person and one of my close friends”


A Bronx Tale will run from August 22nd to 24th.

For tickets and more information on the show visit

Coming Soon: Prisoners

How far would you go to save your child?

Film Synopsis: After his six-year-old daughter and her best friend are kidnapped on Thanksgiving, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) butts heads with detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) in charge of the investigation. After searching, Dover’s son mentions an old RV, owned by Alex Jones (Paul Dano). Feeling failed by the law, Dover captures Jones, the man he believes responsible, holding him captive in a desperate attempt to find out what he did with the girls, whom he is convinced are still alive. But the further he goes to get the man to confess, the closer he comes to losing his soul.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve and Written by Aaron Guzikowski

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, and Paul Dano

First Impressions:  You had me at Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, but when you throw in the rest of this strong, all star cast you have my full attention. Although, the storyline alone has enough of a hook to pull me in.  With so many remakes and every possible superhero movie, it’s rare to watch a trailer and think, “Whoa! I have to know how this movie ends!”  But that was the exact reaction I felt after seeing the trailer for Prisoners.

Kidnappings in films are always intriguing.  It brings mystery and the classic “who dun it” feel for audiences, allowing us to solve the case alongside the characters.  And when kids are involved, we tend to empathize, usually wanting the parents to go to the extreme and take the law into their own hands. Films like Gone Baby Gone and Ransom, are great examples.  And even though there wasn’t a kidnapping in Mystic River,  Sean Penn going insane trying to find out who killed his daughter is what came straight to mind when I first saw this trailer.  All three are great films and hopefully Prisoners  will follow in their footsteps by giving us a thrilling, original ending.  Besides being excited to see this movie, I’ll be very interested to see the response it gets during this upcoming awards season.  For now, I’d love to hear what you guys think after watching the trailer below!

Prisoners makes its release in theaters on September 20, 2013.

Prisoners Official Trailer HD