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Archives for : April2014

Spike & Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation Comes to Texas Theatre!

This festival, which tours over 100 independent theaters annually, is making its 2014 debut in Dallas Texas on May 23rd at the Texas Theater!

The 2014 Festival of Animation is an epic cultural event that has lasted for more than 30 years!  This years show is full of international, award winning and hilarious short animated films that we have curated and brought to the big screen.

Movie Review: “The Other Woman” is an Irritating Farfetched Story with a Few Laughs

Going into this comedy, I expected to see an adult version of John Tucker Must Die.  However, the idea that teenage girls in high school would team up to get back at the same boyfriend is a much more believable plot than the friendship that is developed in The Other Woman.

Carly (Cameron Diaz) has finally found the perfect man to settle down with.  Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is handsome, charming, and successful.  Only one problem…he’s married!  A shocking surprise for Carly when she makes an unexpected visit to Mark’s home and comes to find his wife, Kate (Leslie Mann), answering the door.  Eventually Kate realizes her husband is a two-timing, no wait, THREE-TIMING cheater.  That’s right.  Mark has a busty, blonde-bombshell on the side as well.  Queue super model and now “actress” Kate Upton for her Baywatch-style slow motion run.   In almost no time at all, the three women become besties and plot to take down the lying scum bag.

For the most part, we have seen this similar story-line before.  I do appreciate the attempt at originality in The Other Woman, but it’s difficult to stay fully engaged when you don’t care about the characters.  It’s clear that first time screen-writer, Melissa Stack, favored her character, Carly.  Cameron Diaz is the only reason I wanted to see this film through.  She is the only normal and smart woman in the movie.  There still could have been more development in her character, but seeing as how the other two women drove me completely nuts; Diaz is a breath of fresh air.  In fact, I would have rather just followed her small romantic story-line with Kate’s brother (Taylor Kinney).

It should come as no surprise that Kate Upton has not grown into her full acting potential, if she has any that is.  Each time she delivered a line, it was as if she had to think twice afterwards to make sure it came out correctly.  Although, I will admit, she is gorgeous. All you guys who get dragged along to see the movie will have some nice eye candy to help endure this disaster.

What I didn’t expect was how unbelievably bothered I would be by Leslie Mann’s character.  She was the reason I wanted to see The Other Woman in the first place.  Honestly, there were moments where I almost didn’t blame Mark for cheating on her…almost.  Why did they have to make her such an annoying and half-witted wife?  As if smart and successful women don’t get cheated on ever.  Kate’s only redeeming quality is that she is sweet.  Other than that factor, it is hard to root for her.  Her character is weak, a crybaby, and fails at producing any genuine jokes.  Her attempt at a “funny” repetitive ramble comes off pointless and dragged out.   And to think that she would have no friends of her own, that she would need to resort to her husband’s “other women” is just sad.

If most of the film was more about seeking revenge on a womanizer, The Other Woman could have been a decent fun comedy.  However, wasting the first half of the film on these three women trying to bond and confirm what they already know: Mark is a cheating bastard, does no favors for this inevitable flop.

The potential was there.  Had the film provided different characters and maybe a better central focus, it could have followed in its clever and humorous predecessors, The First Wives Club or John Tucker Must Die.   In a movie about girls uniting together to get back at the man that’s wronged them, these two films managed to give audiences laughs, a yearning for revenge, and maybe what was truly missing from The Other Woman, a heart-felt friendship.

Rating: 1.5/5

The Other Woman hits theaters April 25.

 The Other Woman Trailer HD

Originally posted on


Movie Review: “A Haunted House 2” Is An Example of How A Spoof Should Be Done

Before I dive right into the hilarity of this film, I want to mention that I am fully aware of how ridiculous and dumb movies like A Haunted House 2 appear.  But I have to review this film for what it is, and it is a spoof.  Believe it or not, it’s a good spoof; one that doesn’t highlight so much product placement that you lose all focus of the story.  And let’s face it; this is what the past years of parody disasters have produced.

Of course there shouldn’t be too much worry when you have comedian, Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie, White Chicks) behind the screenplay.  Wayans is able to combine various horror film plot lines into his 87 minute spoof without going completely off track of his main premise.  This is a task that is usually failed in films like Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie.

A Haunted House was a great display of how Paranormal Activity and The Exorcist should be made fun of.  In this sequel, the film picks up right where it left off.  After having exorcised the demons of his ex and trying to leave that terrifying supernatural experience behind him, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) is starting fresh with his new girlfriend (Jaime Pressly) and her two children. But once they move into their dream home, Malcolm once again encounters bizarre paranormal events.

In comparison to the first, A Haunted House 2 is an overall bigger production.   There are more characters, more horror films that are being spoofed and even more racist jokes.  What is probably one of the most comical parts of the film is how Malcolm’s relationship with his new white girlfriend, Megan, differs so much from his first girlfriend, Kisha (Essence Atkins).  Racial stereotypes are a long running joke in both films, and are presented in an enjoyable and tasteful manner for audiences.

I will admit that there are still plenty of moments in this movie that might be a little too much, or a scene that could have been shown in half the time.  However, the continuous plot and constant references from the first film keeps you engaged enough in the story to forgive any over exaggerated scenes.  What is so frustrating about the Scary Movie franchise is that it started out as this outrageously funny story of Anna Faris’ character.  But as it went on, it was as if the films before never even happened.  I hope that if A Haunted House continues to produce sequels, Wayans will maintain a solid story that will eventually come full circle for all the main characters.

Expect to see some of the most popular scary flicks parodied, like The Conjuring, The Ring, and Insidious.  Cedric the Entertainer is even better the second time around as Father Williams, and even though she is only on screen for a limited amount of time, Essence Atkins is still the most entertaining “crazy bitch.”  If you enjoy spoofs and even mildly liked the first film, A Haunted House 2 will surely satisfy.

Rating: 3.5/5

A Haunted House 2 Trailer HD

Originally posted on

Theatre Review: “Beauty & the Beast” is a Terrifically Enchanting Musical

Rating: 4.5/5

It’s as true as it can be.  Disney fans will be in bliss as they watch one of the most beloved classics come alive on stage. Beauty & the Beast performed as a Broadway musical may seem like a tough feat with the surely difficult theatrics that the play would need to pull off.  Fortunately, AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House put on a magical show that the whole family will enjoy.

Beauty & the Beast is one of the most beautiful tales of how the beauty within prevails over any outer appearance.  When Belle (Hilary Maiberger) sacrifices her own freedom in exchange for her fathers, she is forced to stay in an enchanted castle that is run by an angry and bitter Beast (Darick Pead).  To ease her distress, Belle is comforted by the other unusual members of the house who happen to be a candle stick, a clock, and tea pot.   Little does she know that the fate of everyone around her, including the Beast, hinge on whether or not she can fall in love with someone who looks like a monster.

Following the original Disney animated feature, this musical still contains the same script and music, but has added a few originals songs that go along with the familiar score.  The new songs blended in perfectly with the story, but they were no match for the classic soundtrack we all love to sing.  When “Gaston” is performed by the tavern patrons and the well-played arrogant Gaston (Tim Rogan), you might think “it doesn’t get any better than this.”  The musical number is humorous, creatively choreographed, and thoroughly entertaining.  But you have spoken too soon, because you have yet to witness the luminous, breath taking, work of art that is “Be Our Guest.”   The song begins with the voice of Hassan Nazari-Robati, who gives a stand out performance as the hilarious talking candle stick, Lumiere.  Hassan, along with the eloquent Kristin Stewart (not Twilight) who plays Mrs. Potts, lead the rest of the enchanted objects in a colorful dance that is enhanced by the vibrant set design (Stanley A. Meyer) and well produced lighting (Natasha Katz).  I am delighted to know that I will surely dream about dancing plates and silverware tonight.

They could not have cast a more perfect Belle.  Hilary Maiberger is no stranger to playing a Disney princess.  Having played Cinderella and Jasmine in previous musicals, she handled the role of Belle with such ease, and not once did she over act her character.  Her vocals are incredible, best out of the entire cast.  When she sings, goose bumps appear, as well as a smile on your face.  Her leading man played by Darick Pead did a fantastic job as the intimidating, yet sometimes juvenile Beast.

Beauty & the Beast the musical throws in some extra comedic moments that will only add to your laughter, and music that you will want to add to your play list.  I could go on and on about this lively performance, but I’d rather you allow yourself to be a guest and take pleasure in this remarkable “tale as old as time.”

Disney’s ‘Million Dollar Arm’ Offers A Chance To Win $1 Million!

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Contestants Can Test Their Fastball Skills at

Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif., ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World®Resort in Florida or

the Tribeca Family Festival in New York

Nine Finalists Will Advance to the Final Contest Held at

Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” World Premiere in Hollywood, California

Burbank, Calif.  (April 11, 2014) –Disney is giving amateur baseball pitchers in the nation a chance to compete for a $1 million prize in the Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest. The Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest is being held to celebrate the opening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm,” an incredible true story about two young men who went from never throwing a baseball to getting a Major League tryout.

Amateur baseball pitchers—male or female, who are legal United States residents at least 18 years of age or older—are invited to qualify to compete in the preliminary rounds of the Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest at either Walt Disney World®Resort in Florida, Disneyland® Resort in California or at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day at the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City. The three contestants from each location who throw the fastest pitches will advance to the finals and have a chance to compete for a $1 million prize at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” in Hollywood, California. Official rules are available on’s “Million Dollar Arm” homepage at

Presented by SUBWAY® restaurants, the three qualifying events will take place on April 25 and 26, from 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at both Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif. and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World® and on April 26 only, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day during the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City. Contestants will throw three pitches, each tracked by a radar gun, in an attempt to throw the fastest pitch. All participants will receive tickets for themselves and a guest to see an advance screening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” at an AMC Theatres location later that evening.

Nine finalists chosen during these qualifying events will have a chance to compete for the $1 million prize at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm.” The top three eligible pitchers with the fastest pitches from each qualifying round location will be flown with his or her guest to the final contest, which will take place at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” in Hollywood, Calif., on May 6.  Each of these finalists will throw three pitches on Hollywood Boulevard. Any eligible finalist who throws one 100 mph strike (out of three pitches) will become a potential winner of the $1 million grand prize.

The nine finalists and their guests will be VIPs at the film’s premiere along with stars, filmmakers, major league players, coaches, scouts and celebrities.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Subject to Official Rules available at event or at


Based on a true story, sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) finds that business has changed and things aren’t going well for his career. In a last ditch effort to save his livelihood he concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket pitcher he can turn into a major league baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “The Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin), he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18-year-old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home to America to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India, the boys, who have never left their rural villages, are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball, JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell), learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.

Directed by Craig Gillespie from a screenplay written by Tom McCarthy, Disney’s drama “Million Dollar Arm” stars Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell and Alan Arkin. The producers are Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray and Joe Roth. The executive producers are Palak Patel, Kevin Halloran, Bill Simmons and Connor Schell. The film will be release in the United States on May 16, 2014.

DIFF 2014 Quick Movie Reviews Pt.1


Director/Screenwriter: Eric Hueber

Cast: Lindsay Pulsipher, Glenn Morshower, Jesse Plemons, Jonathan Huth Jr.

Rating: 3.5/5

Flutter follows Jo Lynn (Pulsipher) and her struggle to provide for her son, who has severe narrow angle glaucoma.  In an attempt to treat his condition and prevent him from going blind, Jo Lynn starts growing her own marijuana to bake into his brownies.  As time goes on, the trouble of maintaining finances and her son’s “medicine” leads Jo Lynn down a desperate and dangerous path.  The film is full of nail-biting moments, and features a painfully, touching performance by Lindsay Pulsipher that you won’t forget.  Flutter is a gut-wrenching portrayal of how a mother’s love can drive her to do almost anything in order to protect her child.

About Mom and Dad

about mom and dad

Director/ Screenwriter: Rachel Shepherd

Cast: Farah White, Brent Anderson, Katy Rowe, Alisha Revel, Johnny Mars

Rating: 3.5/5

What better way to celebrate your daughter’s upcoming nuptials than feuding with your husband over his recent unfaithful act.  Terri (White) has to deal with more than just her relationship problems, as her children seem to have gotten raveled up with their own matters of infidelity.  For the most part this film is well acted, with strong performances by Farah White and Brent Anderson.  But it’s the brilliantly written script that made me thoroughly enjoy this realistic, hilarious, and at times sad movie.  About Mom and Dad shows how the people we love most can cause our greatest anger and happiness.

I Believe In Unicorns

Director/ Screenwriter: Leah Meyerhoff

Cast: Natalia Dyer, Peter Vack, Julia Garner, Toni Meyerhoff, Amy Seimetz

Rating: 3/5

When there isn’t much going on in your life, and all you do is go to school and take care of your ailing mother; a first romance couldn’t come at a better time.  For Devina (Dryer), bad boy Sterling (Vack) is the perfect birthday present: excitement, sex, and an escape from reality all rolled into one!  However, relationships are never easy and it can be even more difficult when both parties involved may not be on the same page.  Devina sums it up best when asking her newfound lover, “Do you really like me or is it temporary?” I Believe in Unicorns is a compelling coming of age story that takes an uncomfortable look at the desire for an adventurous love.


Director: David Gordon Green

Screenwriter: Gary Hawkins, based on a novel by Larry Brown

Cast: Nicholas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Ronnie Gene Blevins

Rating: 5/5

15-year-old Gary (Sheridan) is desperate to find work so that he may be able to take care of his sister and mother who live in squalor.  His abusive, alcoholic father lends no helping had to his family, as he is lazy and only thinks to provide for himself.  Luck briefly turns around when Gary begins working for Joe, an ex-con who has gone straight but is still haunted by his past.  Joe is easily one of the best films of the year.  Nicholas Cage gives one of the best performances of his career and Tye Sheridan steals every scene he is in.  This powerful drama is one everyone must see when it opens in theaters April 11.

Check out the full list of films playing at the Dallas International Film Festival.