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Archives for : March2014

Interview: “Jinn” Star Dominic Rains Discusses New Thriller

In the Beginning, Three were Created…

Man made of Clay.

Angels made of Light.

And a Third…made of Fire.

From the beginning, stories of angels and men have captured our imaginations and have been etched into our history crossing all boundaries of culture, religion, and time. These two races have dominated the landscape of modern mythology for countless centuries, almost washing away the evidence that a third ever existed. This third race, born of smokeless fire, was called the jinn. Similar to humans in many ways, the jinn lived invisibly among us and only under dire or unusual circumstances were our paths ever meant to cross.

As humans became the dominant force on Earth, contact between man and jinn steadily decreased.

Modern man has all but forgotten the jinn.

“Jinn” is the new thriller set to make its theatrical release in Dallas on April 4.  I got a chance to speak with the star of the film, Dominic Rains to discuss the movie, his character, and projects he hopes to work on in the future.

 

How did working on “JINN” compare to any other production you have worked on?

Well first of all it was the first time I was carrying a film the whole way through. It was by far one of the most physically exhausting experiences I’ve had which in turn was emotionally exhausting.  I mean there were days where I was drenched in water in Michigan 30 degree biting weather, and that’s just one part of it. The majority of the shoots were night shoots so my hours were completely off. I also played three characters in the film which made it ever so interesting. But given the material at hand, the most challenging place was trying to find the arc of the character.  Sometimes you’re shooting out of sequence, time is against you, you’re shooting on 35mm film so you’ve got to get it right or you’re just burning film, unlike digital where you can shoot endlessly, and you’ve got to focus all your energy to make sure that you know in the grand scheme of things, you’re giving just enough for the 180mm lens that’s focused on your eyes. One exaggerated expression here or there and it’s a 15 foot difference on the silver screen. AJ, the writer/director, loved to tell me, ‘its all in the eyes!’ haha… But learning to focus and harness that energy was important. And knowing what the scene was about was imperative.

What can you tell us about the character (Shawn) you play in this film?

Shawn is an automotive engineer living a quiet idyllic life with his wife Jasmine when one day it is interrupted by a package delivered by a sketchy dude that contains an encrypted message. It warns him of imminent danger and that this ‘thing’ the Jinn is coming after him. At first Shawn tries to disregard the message but weird things start to happen and after a number of events test his belief, his wife is kidnapped and Shawn is forced to face his fears and is tossed through a gauntlet of emotional, physical and mental tests. He is helped along the way by three men who aid him in what to do to fight and overcome the Jinn, but ultimately he’s the only one that can save himself and his family.

What was your favorite scene to shoot?

I had two favorite scenes in the film; the first was with his parents when he’s trying to piece everything together and the second was at the end of the film where he rises to the occasion. I won’t say anymore than that but that it’s a very cool scene and you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it. Everything came together, AJ’s direction, our stunt performers, Ray Park, and the incredible genius of our VFX supervisor Joe Coleman. It was a test of many things that evening and it’s a testament to the work of a great team. On a personal level it was a test of the physical and mental for myself.

Why should audiences go out and see this film?  How does it stand out above other mystery thrillers?

Well besides the fact that it’s based on an ancient mythology that over 2 billion people believe in around the world, it’s mentioned or alluded to in the books of the leading three religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism.  Also, it’s a fun family film for all ages; it’s essentially a hero story of courage and the will to fight to overcome our fears. We see the slow rise of a man who finds it in himself to become the man he never thought existed.

You have worked on a variety of different TV shows and film.  What genre of film do you hope to work on that you haven’t done yet?

I’d really like to go into more heavy dramas, dark comedies and twisted psychological thrillers. It would be a dream to work with filmmakers like Gasper Noe, PT Anderson, The Coen Brothes, Lars Von Trier. Very avant garde, art house, challenging character pieces. I love playing heavy character pieces.  I enjoy the leading men as well but since they tend to be closer to me they’re more a naked vulnerability.  With character heavy roles you get to be vulnerable as well but you get to funnel them through a lot more so you can indulge a bit more, it seems.

Who are some actors that you admire and hope to work with in the future?

There are so many actors I admire.  So many actors of all ages that inspire me and push me to do great work that I don’t have enough space to say them all but in the meantime I’ll express a few. God bless Phillip Seymour Hoffman, he was a titan, he’ll stand as one of my all time greats. I would love the pleasure to work with Ethan Rains, Daniel Day Lewis, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, Willem Defoe, Susan Sarandon, Matthew McConaughey, Brad Pitt, JACK NICHOLSON for sure, Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett and the list goes on.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

Movie Review: “It Felt Like Love” Feels Uncomfortably Real

Rating: 4/5

Oh, young love.  It is amazing how strongly you can feel for the first guy you fall for.  However, this film isn’t a sappier and dramatic copy of Endless Love.  Instead, It Felt Like Love is a realistic portrayal of a young teen desperate to experience the same sexual activities as her best friend, as she forcefully pursues an unreciprocated relationship with a guy who will “sleep with anyone.”

In Eliza Hittman’s debut feature, we follow Lila (Gina Piersanti), a fourteen year old, spending a hot summer in a blue-collar Brooklyn neighborhood away from the city.  Often tagging along with her best friend Chiara (Giovanna Salimeni) and her boyfriend, Lila is the awkward and quiet third wheel.  But as she is riding in the back seat of her friend’s love life, she is taking detailed mental notes of what she feels she should be experiencing with a guy as well.  Cue the first semi attractive boy that acknowledges her!  Yup, meet Sammy, the “bad boy” with a reputation to sleep around.  Seems like the perfect guy for Lila to fixate on for the rest of summer.  Completely delusional in her endless attempt to pursue Sammy, Lila puts herself at risk in multiple situations.

As a girl who has never been in love, I painfully related to this film; to an extent of course.  Seeing your friends “in love” and doing what couples do can have a strong impact on you.  It makes you want what they have, feel what they feel, and experience what they are experiencing.  In your teens, this mostly stems from wanting to be at the same level as your friends.  Now, I was nowhere near as foolish or extreme as Lila, but the desperation that Hittman wrote in her character is something that almost all girls can understand.  We have all had that crush (guys have them too) we liked so much that we begin to imagine what a relationship would be like with that person, specifically thinking of certain scenarios with them.  Usually, we all keep these delusional thoughts to ourselves.   However, Lila decides the best tactic is to make those fantasies a reality, even if she has to force the hangouts and manipulate the truth.   And I have to give props to Lila, because this girl can lie.  She lies really well!  I couldn’t say half of the lies she told with a straight face.

The fresh cast led by Gina Piersanti is naturally effortless in their roles playing genuine teens dealing with sex, urges, and curiosity.  Characters like these have a tendency to be overacted.  It was nice to see Hittman’s powerful script didn’t get ruined by heavily dramatic performances.  And though you will probably be yelling at Piersanti’s character, she does a fantastic job as Lila, ranging from the harmless school girl crush to becoming the borderline Swimfan.  The uncomfortable squirming from Lila’s naïve actions will all be worth it after seeing this film.

Honestly, I expected something completely different going into this movie based on what I saw in the trailer.  What I got was much better.  I can’t say that this premise will be everyone’s cup of tea.  It Felt Like Love is a beautifully shot and twisted, coming of age story focusing on the pressures of sexual relationships for young teens.  Though the film has a simple plot, there are many layers to each character.  Watching the layers brilliantly unfold is what makes this movie hypnotizing.  I only wish the film was longer.

It Felt Like Love opens in Los Angeles on March 28.

“It Felt Like Love” Official Trailer HD

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

Local DFW Contestants Compete on FOOD COURT WARS

Premiering Sunday, March 23rd at 7pm CST

“Full Circle Sliders vs. Jonathon’s Gravy Train”

Newlyweds Jennifer and Lara plan to turn their fun neighborhood gastropub “Full Circle Tavern” into a food court concept. Lara gave up her job to join self-taught chef Jennifer in the business, so they’ve got to make sure it’s a success. Jonathon and his wife Christine own and operate a small neighborhood restaurant called Jonathon’s Oakcliff. In the two years they have been open they have received high praise from the local “foodie” scene. It’s time for this husband and wife team to take their brand to the next level and expose more people to Jonathon’s amazing food. Which team will emerge victorious with a chance to win their own local mall food court spot in Lewisville, Texas.

More information about FOOD COURT WARS can be found here!

Patricia Heaton Exec-Produces & Co-Stars In “MOM’S NIGHT OUT”

PATRICIA HEATON EXEC-PRODUCES AND CO-STARS IN THE NEW FEATURE FILM COMEDY: ‘MOMS’ NIGHT OUT’

America’s Top TV Mom Ignites Family Humor with Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, and Trace Adkins . . . In Theaters May 9

MomsNightOutMovie.com

With a laugh-packed mix of big-screen, small-screen and music stars, Patricia Heaton and her husband, David Hunt have executive-produced MOMS’ NIGHT OUT, a new kind of family comedy in theaters May 9, 2014–just in time for Mother’s Day.

From TriStar Pictures, distributors of SOUL SURFER and COURAGEOUS, MOMS’ NIGHT OUT has early audiences raving about its laugh-out-loud portrayal of the chaos of parenting. With its PG rating this clean comedy will be a hit with families everywhere.

Heaton is one of America’s top female comedic actresses and the well-known star of Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle, two of the most popular television comedies of all time. She joins Sarah Drew, (Grey’s Anatomy), Sean Astin (LORD OF THE RINGS and RUDY), and platinum-selling country recording artist Trace Adkins (THE LINCOLN LAWYER) in a story both hilarious and endearing for its spot-on view on parenting and real-life family relationships.

VIEW TRAILER, CLICK HERE

 In the story, Allyson (Sarah Drew) and her friends long for a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and talk–a long-overdue “moms’ night out.” But to indulge in high heels, adult conversation, and not having to cut anyone else’s meat, their husbands will need to watch the kids for a few hours. What could go wrong?

“Every mom and dad in America–whether they have toddlers, tweens or teens–is going to love this movie,” Heaton said. “It’s a hilarious family-friendly celebration of the trials and triumphs of parenting–a joyous affirmation of the world’s hardest but most important job.”

Drew loves the layered storylines–a family comedy several times over. “And then it’s a full-on love story about two people who already know each other,” she said. “Every mom knows that juggling act.  And every audience that sees it says, “That’s my life!”

Co-writer/director Jon Erwin says the best humor begins at home. “My brother, Andy, and I love being dads, and everything in this movie happened to us . . . just last week!”

MOMS’ NIGHT OUT is a Kevin Downes Production of an Erwin Brothers Film.  MOMS’ NIGHT OUT is directed by The Erwin Brothers, and produced by Kevin Downes in association with Four Boys Films and Pure Flix Entertainment.  MOMS’ NIGHT OUT also features David Hunt (24), Andrea Logan White (REVELATION ROAD), Robert Amaya (COURAGEOUS), Abbie Cobb (NCIS: LA), Harry Shum, Jr. (Glee) and Alex Kendrick (COURAGEOUS).

Written by Andrea Nasfell and Jon Erwin, MOMS’ NIGHT OUT was filmed in Birmingham, Ala., and is being distributed by AFFIRM Films and Provident Films.  MOMS’ NIGHT OUT is rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action.

For interviews, contact: Kelsey Clark kclark@alliedim.com 972-957-3156

To learn more, visit:     MomsNightOutMovie.com

Facebook.com/MomsNightOutMovie

Movie Review: “McCanick” Features a Dark and Powerful Performance by Cory Monteith

Before the young Glee star passed away last July, he had finished production on the buzzed about crime-drama mystery, McCanick, where Monteith hits close to home by playing a drug addict.  Fans of the late actor will enjoy a bitter-sweet performance, as Monteith is the best thing about this slow and slightly anticlimactic film.  And I’m not just saying this as a biased “Gleek.”

Detective Eugene “Mack” McCanick (David Morse) finds out that Simon Weeks (Cory Monteith), a young criminal, has been released from prison.  He sets off for a brutal manhunt along with his partner (Mike Vogel) who is in the dark about his intentions, and fails to get permission from the Chief of Police (Ciaran Hinds).   His paranoia of Weeks exposing a secret from his past causes Mack to lose all morality and respect for the law.  As he continues to search for Weeks, Mack leads his partner and himself down a dangerous and violent path.

I had hopes for this film given it was one of Monteith’s last.  Monteith’s performance didn’t fail me, but the story and execution did.  The beginning will intrigue audiences.  The mystery of why Simon Weeks was in prison and why Mack cares so much that he is out will keep the film barely alive for an hour and forty minutes.  There are a number of theories that will roll through your head as you watch.  But one by one, as those theories become improbable, you are left with complete confusion until the very end.  Sadly, once the secret is revealed, be prepared for disappointment and possibly even more confusion.

Morse does a decent job as the enraged detective hunting his prey.   It is his unknown motive and all his actions before catching Simon that make you lack care and empathy for his character.  He just comes off as a psychotic, dirty cop.  Although, if the goal was to have you sympathize with Monteith’s character as a lost, orphaned druggy that has seemingly changed his ways since prison, then mission accomplished.

McCanick is more of a character development film rather than a thought provoking, interesting story.  The past from both of the lead characters’ lives have molded who they are now.  We are shown flashbacks of the two before Weeks’ arrest, giving more insight as to who these characters were.

I would refrain from having high expectations of this film.  But for fans of Cory Monteith, McCanick will be a poignant reminder of how this rising talent passed on too soon; and that he was more than just Finn Hudson.

McCanick opens in theaters March 21.

McCanick Official HD Trailer

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

Interview: “Divergent” Stars Miles Teller & Jai Courtney talk Heart Throb Status and More!

It’s the most anticipated film of the year.  Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now) and Theo James (Underworld: Awakening) is sure to have as much success as The Hunger Games and Twilight trilogies.

The first installment of the saga is set in a futuristic Chicago where people are divided into five distinct factions based on their personalities.  Tris (Woodley) discovers that she is Divergent, meaning she does not fit into any of the factions; and soon discovers that in order to stay alive she must hide in a faction.  The only problem is she chooses the most physically challenging one, Dauntless meaning “the brave.”  As she struggles and fights through most of the film to prove herself to her new faction, she encounters many obstacles.  This includes the hard-headed, tough leader Eric (Jai Courtney) and a non-stop competitive bully, Peter (Miles Teller).   While training for Dauntless, Tris uncovers a horrifying plot forming in her seemingly perfect society.

The film held a special premiere in Dallas a couple weeks back.  The “bad boys” themselves, Miles Teller and Jai Courtney, walked the red carpet and took pictures with many extremely enthusiastic Divergent fans.  The next morning I got a chance to sit down with the two stars at Dallas’ Ritz Carlton Hotel to discuss the movie, the fans, and their fears.  Now don’t be fooled by the characters they play.  Their kindness and dry sense of humor made for one hilarious interview.

Miles Teller and Jai Courtney: “Divergent” Video Interview

I have to give you guys props for last night on the red carpet.  You handled your fans really well.  I mean right when you (pointing to Miles) walked in, I saw you take a picture with a girl and she just grabbed your face and kissed you on the cheek.

Miles: “Yeah, yeah…”

Jai: “He’s use to that though; that happens all the time.”

Miles: “Yeah that’s, uh, you know, that’s a part of the business when you’re a heart throb (Jai laughs)… No.  This one girl was like can I touch your hair?  And I was like, yeah, sure.  And she was like “oh God!” (Pulls hair and shakes head aggressively)  Alright, so now I know if somebody asks “can I touch your hair?”  I’m going to say “no.”  So, like, you learn as you go.  It’s hard in the moment though.  It’s like; you (points to Jai) kissed a girl last night.  You kissed a girl on the cheek, you told me.”

Jai: “I was kissing girls all over the place.  It’s a free country.”

Miles: “Yeah, it’s a free country (laughs).”

                                                                                                                                             

Clearly your fans are very bold.  What’s the boldest thing so far on this tour that a fan has done to you guys?

Miles: “Well this is our first stop on the tour…”

Jai: “Yeah that was it.  You saw all of it.  But it’s only going to get bolder from here.”

Miles: “…but teenage girls, they can be aggressive.  I see One Direction videos, they’re…I mean no I don’t, (whispers) love them, Harry Style’s is my fav.” (Jai laughs)

                                                                                                                                             

Well you two play some not so nice characters in this movie. But I’d say the biggest “jerk moment” from both of y’all is probably when Eric had Peter beat up Tris.

Jai: “Woah!”

Miles: “Well that’s a little; I mean it’s not really revealed like that.”

Jai: “I mean, it’s part of the training.  I didn’t have Peter beat up Tris.”

Miles: “Yeah.”

I mean you basically set it up.

Miles: “Oh my God, obviously she’s on Tris’ side were not going to win this argument.”

Jai: “You’ve misinterpreted things grossly.”

Miles: “I mean we’re just trying to survive Dauntless; is all we’re trying to do.”

Jai: “It’s a training exercise.  She’s going to face tougher guys than Peter out there in the real world.”

Miles: “Yeah, I mean not tougher, but (Miles takes at a tough man sniff) taller.”

Jai: “Yeah, taller.”

                                                                                                                                     

So obviously that scene wasn’t hard for you guys to shoot at all then?

Jai: Morally?  No (Shakes head).

Miles: “Well I mean Shai, at first; they did it with Shailene’s stunt double.  And they said look three guys grab her.  And they told the stunt double to; you know, kick and do all that.  And she beat the crap out of these three dudes.  So I was nervous to get in there.  But then they said, yo, choke Shailene out.  And I was, like, get in here.  Come to daddy.  So, you know, just a little bit of that.”

                                                                                                                                         

The funny thing is that there are some fans that want Peter and Tris together, even though he’s so horrible to her.

Miles: “I know right?”

And I think that stems from a girl wanting a bad boy still.  Why do you guys think girls want the bad guy, even when they’re so horrible to them?

Miles: “I mean we’re more exciting.  You know, like, nice is very cliché.  You want a nice guy to go to the donut shop.  If you want a bad boy, you better be able to role with the punches.  (Jai laughs) We’re sexy.  We look good in leather.

Jai: “Right?” (Looks to me)

Miles: “You tell me.  What are you into?  Do you like a bad boy?”

I think I like a… well there is an excitement to them, but I prefer a gentleman, and you can be a bad boy as long as you’re a gentleman.

Jai: “You can be a bad boy and a gentleman.”

Miles: “Right, well I think that girls think that they can make a bad guy change.  I think for girls that’s the challenge.  But most of the time, they don’t change.  But I’d love for Peter and Tris to hook up.”

I think I’d like to see that.

Jai: “Yeah I’d watch that.”

Miles: “Yeah, right?”

                                                                                                                                                  

We get to see a lot of the characters greatest fears in this movie, and like Four said, “Everybody is afraid of something.”  So what is something that you guys are afraid of?

Jai: “I’m not much into arachnidan.”

Miles: “What is, is that a spider?

Jai: “Yeah, Not into spiders.”

Miles: “Spiders or snakes, what would freak you out more?  Cause there’s two different movies about them?”

Jai: “See snakes don’t freak me out.  I don’t want to get bitten by one, but like I would hold one.”

Miles: “You would hold one?  You’re cool with that?  What about sharks, great white sharks?”

Jai: “Grew up wrestling them dude.”

You (To Jai) are a bad boy.

Jai: “You know it.” (Miles laughs)

Miles: I don’t like cats, I’m not afraid of them…

Jai: “Cats suck!  I’m with you on that.”

Miles: “…I’m allergic to them.  I feel like a cat is, like, plotting to kill me.”

Jai: “We’re going to lose fans here.”

Miles: “Were going to lose our cat audience here.  That’s fine; we got our dog audience…Oh, losing my youth!  I’m afraid, I mean, I’m not afraid of getting old.”

Jai: “You’re getting old man.”

Miles: “Dude, you’re like 32 years-old man.”

Jai: “We’re the same age brother.”

Miles: “No we’re not!”

Jai: “Yes, we are (Laughs).”

Miles: “There’s no way this (Points to himself) is the same age, man.  Look at you.”

Jai: “He can’t come to grips with that.”

 

To set the record straight, both Miles and Jai are 27 years-old.

 

Divergent hits theaters March 21.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

Interview: Aaron Paul & Scott Waugh talk “Need for Speed”

Aaron Paul, widely known for his two time Emmy winning role as Jesse Pinkman on the hit series Breaking Bad,  skips the the meth and focuses on revenge in the new action blockbuster, Need for Speed.

Need for Speed is a fun thrill ride that is enjoyable for all audiences.  The script does lack depth and may not be the most original premise, but Paul’s always incredible acting and the amazingly shot sequences will have you so captivated you may not even notice.

I got a chance to sit down with Aaron Paul and the director of the film, Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) to discuss the movie, horrible past jobs, cars, and more!

Click Here for Aaron Paul & Scott Waugh Interview

aaron and scott

Need for Speed hits theaters today!

TV Movie Review: “The Grim Sleeper” is a Disturbing Murder Mystery

Once again, Lifetime is reiterating the fact that you should never accept rides from strangers.  Only this time they have taken a frightening and sympathetic route.

The film is based on the true story of a serial killer who went unknown for nearly 20 years killing dozens of women in Los Angeles beginning in the 1980s.   Known as “The Grim Sleeper,” he would shoot or strangle his victims before having sexual contact with them.  He would then take Polaroids of the dead, naked women and store them in his garage as keepsakes.  The film follows LA Weekly reporter, Christine Pelisek (Dreama Walker), as she persistently investigates these unsolved murders.  Things turn slightly more emotional when Christine finds out the families of the victims have no idea that their loved ones were killed by the same psychopathic murderer.  Accusations of racial discrimination surface when it becomes known that the killer is targeting African American women.  The victims’ families and Christine unite to finally push the police into finding “The Grim Sleeper” and put him to rest.

I particularly enjoyed this Lifetime murder mystery more than most for many reasons.  The lead actors all performed remarkably well, especially the star of the film, Dreama Walker.  Her portrayal as the feisty and amusing LA reporter was not only fun to watch, but touching as well.  There was much more to her character besides getting a career changing front page story.  She cared about the victims, and realized they all had someone that loved them.  It was interesting to see a reporter care from the start, instead of halfway through their investigation where they “grow a heart.”  The scene stealer was the man behind the eerie voice of “The Grim Sleeper.”  I prefer not to say who played the role of the terrorizing killer.  I know you can just look it up like I did before watching the film, but I recommend that you go in blindly if you haven’t heard anything about this story before.

Director Stanley T. Brooks did such an incredible job of keeping you locked in and dying to know “who done it,”  that I would hate to spoil that reveal for you now.  I will say that when you finally see “the sleeper” in the end shot, it is one of the most haunting faces that is almost impossible to forget.

There are a lot of elements to this film that will seem familiar to past Lifetime dramas; rape, murder, mystery, strong woman.  But after a repetitive streak of the usual story-line, “The Grim Sleeper” stands out among the rest with actually succeeding in getting the audience to care and look beyond a crazy killer.  We are reminded that every life matters, and if there is anything we can do to prevent actions like these from happening again, we should take them.  An example of that action in this film was notifying the press.  If you make enough “noise” somebody is bound to listen.

The film wasn’t perfect in every aspect.  There are some forced relationships and a few subpar supporting actors, but it doesn’t matter.  “The Grim Sleeper” achieves its goal as an entertaining and intriguing film that sends a valuable message.

“The Grim Sleeper” premieres Saturday, March 15 at 8pm ET/PT.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

TV Movie Review: “The Trip to Bountiful” is a Dull Ride

Oh my goodness, I don’t even know where to begin.  What was supposed to be a touching story of finally reaching to the place you once called home became a never ending marathon of monotony.

Based on the 1985 original film, The Trip to Bountiful tells the story of Mrs. Watts (Cicely Tyson), an elderly woman, who miserably lives with her overprotective son and his domineering wife in Houston, TX.  As she is getting older, she desperately wants to visit her home town in Bountiful, TX one last time before it’s too late.  After getting fed up with her suffocating treatment, she tricks her daughter-in-law and sets out on a journey to finally see her childhood home in Bountiful.

I don’t know if that premise even sounds interesting to you, but I had hoped Lifetime would have added their usual flare to their often interesting TV movies.  This sadly, was not anything but a slow, dragged out trip to nowhere.  Usually in these films where the main character runs away, we are treated with memorable characters along the way, or mishaps that create an obstacle and slightly worry us.  However in this film, the moment something came close to being an obstacle for Mrs. Watts, it would be followed by the easiest and quickest resolution.  And her brief travel companion, Thelma, played by Keke Palmer didn’t make the film any less boring.  Palmer fails to supply any real depth or emotion to her character.

I can’t just rag on Palmer’s performance.  The entire cast seemed as though they were just reading off a script they had memorized an hour or so before.  They all came across so fake, making it hard to believe in or care for their characters.  The only one who managed to actually give a compelling performance as Mrs. Watts’ compassionate son was the always talented, Blair Underwood.   Of course the Oscar nominated Cicely Tyson was not bad either, she just wasn’t great.  She still nails that defeated facial expression that makes you want to hug her.  But overall you still have to hold her to a higher standard than the other actors.  I have seen her do much better.  Her ten minutes in The Help drew me in more than any moment during the hour and half she spent on screen as Mrs. Watts.

The Trip to Bountiful may not want to be your first choice to see on Lifetime this weekend.  I recommend you check your TV guide and see if The Happy Face Killer or Flowers in the Attic is replaying.

The Trip to Bountiful airs on Lifetime Saturday March 8 at 8pm ET /PT.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

The First Ten Films for the 2014 Dallas International Film Festival have been Announced!

THE DALLAS FILM SOCIETY ANNOUNCES THE FIRST TEN FILMS FOR

THE 2014 DALLAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

AutoNation Returns as Presenting Sponsor

And Lascaux Films Presents Debut of Audience Awards

DALLAS, TX, March 3, 2014 —The Dallas Film Society announced today the first 10 films chosen to screen at the 8th edition of theDallas International Film Festival, presented by AutoNation April 3 – 13, 2014. Also announced is the debut of Audience Awardssponsored by Lascaux Films.

“Approximately 150 films from all over the world will be screened during the 11-day Festival and selecting the first ten films is like completing the first mile in a marathon,” said James Faust, artistic director, Dallas Film Society.  It’s exhilarating and exhausting selecting the best among the thousands of outstanding entries we receive and announcing the entire line-up is the moment I reach the finish line and the fun of the festival begins!”

“We are incredibly grateful for all DIFF sponsors.  The return of AutoNation further substantiates their commitment to community and we are very excited to welcome them back as the Presenting Sponsor in 2014,” added Lee Papert, president and CEO of the Dallas Film Society.  “As a true filmmaker’s festival, we are so happy to offer the Audience Awards this year.  The debut of Audience Awards, offering a cash prize of $5000 in the categories of Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature and Short Film, made possible by Lascaux Films, provides filmmakers a level of recognition that confirms their film resonated with the audience.”

“AutoNation is thrilled to return as the Presenting Sponsor for 2014 DIFF,” said Wendi Madden Inglis, Regional Marketing Director for AutoNation.  “At AutoNation, we consider our customers to be our top priority and supporting the arts is a way we can give back to the communities in which they live.  DIFF brings great films to the Dallas area and it is our pleasure as a company to assist in such an important Film Festival.”

The DIFF 2014 films will not only represent works from America, and Texas in particular, but also films from Poland and Hong Kong and classics from years gone-by — truly an international and timeless offering.

 

WORDS AND PICTURES  

 

(USA)

DIRECTOR: Fred Schepisi

Cast: Keegan Connor Tracy, Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche

SYNOPSIS: An art instructor and an English teacher form a rivalry that ends up with a competition at their school in which students decide whether words or pictures are more important.

 

JOE   

                         

(USA)

DIRECTOR: David Gordon Green

Cast: Nicholas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Ronnie Gene Blevins

SYNOPSIS: An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.

 

HELLION 

                

(USA)

DIRECTOR: Kat Candler

Cast: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins

SYNOPSIS: When motocross and heavy metal obsessed, thirteen-year-old, Jacob’s increasing delinquent behavior forces CPS to place his little brother, Wes, with his aunt, Jacob and his emotionally absent father, Hollis, must finally take responsibility for their actions and for each other in order to bring Wes home.

 

QUEENS & COWBOYS: A STRAIGHT YEAR ON THE GAY RODEO 

(USA)

DIRECTOR: Matt Livadary

SYNOPSIS: QUEENS & COWBOYS: A STRAIGHT YEAR ON THE GAY RODEO chronicles a complete season of the International Gay Rodeo Association. Roping and riding across North America for the past 30 years, the IGRA’s courageous cowboys and cowgirls brave challenges both in and out of the arena on their quest to qualify for the World Finals at the end of the season. And along the way, they’ll bust every stereotype in the book.

 

RICH HILL  

                                                                                                 

(USA)

DIRECTOR: Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo

SYNOPSIS: RICH HILL intimately chronicles the turbulent lives of three boys living in an impoverished Midwestern town and the fragile family bonds that sustain them.

 

ABOVE ALL ELSE  

(USA)

DIRECTOR: John Feige

SYNOPSIS: One man will risk it all to stop the tar sands of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from crossing his land. Shot in the forests, pastures, and living rooms of rural East Texas, ABOVE ALL ELSE follows David Daniel as he rallies neighbors and environmental activists to join him in a final act of brinkmanship: a tree-top blockade of the controversial pipeline. What begins as a stand against corporate bullying becomes a rallying cry for climate protesters nationwide.

 

IDA

                                                                                                        

(Poland)

DIRECTOR: Pawel Pawlikowski

SYNOPSIS: Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.

 

FIRESTORM (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE)  

                                        

(China/Hong Kong)

DIRECTOR: Alan Yuen

Cast: Andy Lau

SYNOPSIS: A storm is heading to the city of Hong Kong, and with it comes another occurrence so destructive, it vows to bring down everything it touches. A crew of seasoned criminals led by the notorious Nam (Hu Jun), armed with high-powered weapons, pulls off another smooth and violent armored car heist in broad daylight in a crowded street. Whoever tries to get in their way, they will show no mercy. This puts the police force to shame and humiliation.

 

BELIEVE ME (WORLD PREMIERE)  

                                                      

(USA)

DIRECTOR: Will Bakke

Cast: Nick Offerman, Johanna Braddy, Christopher McDonald

SYNOPSIS: Desperate, broke, and out of ideas, four college seniors start a fake Christian charity to embezzle money for tuition

 

PARIS, TEXAS (1984) 30th Anniversary Screening reuniting cast and crew at the Historic Texas Theatre. 

(West Germany/USA/France/UK)

DIRECTOR: Wim Wenders

Cast: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell

SYNOPSIS: A man wanders out of the desert after a four year absence. His brother finds him, and together they return to L.A. to reunite the man with his young son. Soon after, he and the boy set out to locate the mother of the child, who left shortly after the man disappeared.

Passes and Tickets

DIFF passes are on sale at the online Prekindle box office at www.DallasFilm.org and range from $125 for a Festival Lounge Pass to $750 for an all-access Star Pass, which includes:

  • All-access pass to all screenings
  • One invitation to the Opening Night Screening & Gala on April 3, 2014, subject to availability.
  • Admission for one person to all Centerpiece screenings and parties during the Festival
  • Access for one person to the Festival Lounge. (Must be 21 or over to enter the Festival Lounge or to consume alcohol.)
  • Admission for one person to all regular film screenings and panel discussions
  • Dallas International Film Festival swag bag full of unforgettable merchandise

Starting March 17, individual tickets and passes can be purchased at the Prekindle Main Box Office in Mockingbird station, and online atwww.DallasFilm.org.