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Archives for : November2014

Top 5 Appetizing Scenes from Films

Thanksgiving is tomorrow!  Besides watching football and spending time with family, we will also be stuffing our faces.  If you’re looking to get that hunger started and ready for a turkey day feast, then be sure to watch my top 5 most appetizing scenes from films!

5. Honey I Shrunk the Kids– Cookie Scene

After Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) accidentally shrinks his son, daughter and two other neighborhood teens, the children end up taking a long sweaty, dirty, journey in the backyard trying to get home.  It’s a rough voyage without food or water.  So when the four kids stumble upon a giant oatmeal cream pie, we’re not only relieved for them; we’re wishing we too could be scooping gallops of cream on our cookies.

 

4.  Harold& Kumar Go to White Castle– Eating White Castle Burgers Scene

harold-and-kumar-go-to-white-castle-burgers-560x330

Nothing makes the hunger grow fonder than being under a certain influence.  Once Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) make it their mission to have some White Castle burgers, the audience must endure an endless amount of ridiculous obstacles which creates anxiety and angers our stomachs.  Spoiler Alert: When the two finally make it to White Castle, the concluding gorge is deliciously satisfying.

 

3. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory– “Pure Imagination” Scene

Let’s face it, as a kid (hell, even as an adult) we wished we could have tasted the scenery of this factory.  Chocolate waterfalls, giant gummy bears, and even an editable tea cup flower!  “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it”—Valid lyrics toward an epic scene, because we can only hope that Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory is a replica of heaven.  Until then, visits to underwhelming candy stores will have to do.

 

2. Hook– The Imaginary Dinner Scene

peter

As we ache for Peter (Robbin Williams) and these children, our stomachs begin to growl watching a character that is starving get taunted by children mock eating invisible food.  Thankfully, we receive a massive payoff when Spielberg pulls the camera back to reveal a real-life spread of piping hot meats, fruits, cheeses and colorful pudding-type desserts.
This scene is quickly followed by an unforgettable food fight.

 

1. Chef– Grilled Cheese Sandwich Scene

grilled cheese

Most of you haven’t heard of this movie and might be wondering why a film released just this year has landed in the top spot.  Chef is the definition of food porn!  I challenge anyone to see this movie and not feel tormented by the close up shots of Chef Carl Casper’s (Jon Favreau) delectable dishes.  This entire film features continuous scenes of enticing meals, but the masterful preparation of a simple grilled cheese will make you long for that very sandwich.  Watching the Chef and his son take a crunchy, cheese-oozing bite, gets your mouth watering and leaves your taste buds in envy.

 

Honorable Mentions: Pulp Fiction: Five-dollar Milkshake Scene, A Little Princess: Waking Up to Breakfast Scene, Julie and Julia: I Love Butter Scene

Interview: “Foxcatcher” Director Bennett Miller Discusses Pressures And Friendships

I sat down with  Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller (Director) for his latest film, “Foxcatcher.” We discussed the pressure of not wanting to let someone down, the definition of a “real” friend, and more! FOXCATCHER opens Wednesday, November 26 at Cinemark West and Angelika Dallas.

Click Here to Watch “Foxcatcher” Interview with Bennett Miller

Bennett Miller

Movie Review: “Beside Still Waters” is a Promising Directorial Debut for Chris Lowell

Chris Lowell is most popularly known for his role on Veronica Mars and The Help.  But now he’s stepping behind the camera and taking a shot at directing/screenwriting.

After his parents’ recent passing, Daniel (Ryan Eggold) struggles to find closure.  He invites six of his old friends to visit for the weekend, so that they can say goodbye to the lakeside cabin they spent the majority of their childhood in.  Attending this somber reunion we have… the old flame (Britt Lower) who has brought her new flame (Reid Scott), the jackass (Beck Bennett), the free-spirit (Jessy Hodges), the high school sweet hearts (Will Brill and Erin Darke), and the TV star (Brett Dalton).  Needless to say, the weekend creates drama, rekindles a romance, and reveals “shocking” secrets.

I’m aware we’ve seen this many times before, i.e. The Big Chill, and even the recent indie, drama that came out this past August, About Alex.  So why is Beside Still Waters worth watching?  Because Chris Lowell manages to successfully portray a genuine group of friends who are struggling with their own issues while trying to be there for the one that needs them most.  This is not always the case with films that touch on the same premise.  Take About Alex; their reunion was forced because of a friend’s suicide attempt.  Sounds interesting enough, but sadly, About Alex chose to engage the audience with numerous, unresolved issues that lead nowhere versus any real character development.  This is where Lowell differs.  He keeps his storyline simple and does not veer from the growth of his characters, allowing us to care for each one of them.

Solid performances are given by the entire cast, effectively balancing their selfish tendencies with compassion.  In addition, the film fittingly includes subtle flashbacks of the group when they were kids playing in the cabin.

Beside Still Waters may not stand out as a significant film, but Lowell’s first attempt at writing and directing shows potential for great things to come.  Don’t turn your nose up at the familiarity of this movie, there’s enough authenticity and heart to make it an enjoyable watch.

Rating: 3/5

Beside Still Waters is now playing in select theaters and VOD.

“Beside Still Waters” Official Trailer HD

Movie Review: “Dumb and Dumber To” Suffices for a Sequel

It’s been 20 years since we last saw Lloyd and Harry traveling together to “sunny Aspen, Colorado.”  Now they’ve come back for another disastrous road trip.  Only this time, the drive is a lot less fun.

For the past 20 years Lloyd (Jim Carrey) has been hospitalized due to his heart break over “Mary Samsonite.”  Harry (Jeff Daniels) has been visiting him every week, changing his diaper and urine bag.  But when Harry tells Lloyd he must stop visiting due to his own new-found illness, we learn that Lloyd is fine and this has just been an elaborate prank.  After the two stop laughing over the unfathomable joke, they focus on the fact that Harry needs a relative to donate a kidney so that he may live.  He soon discovers that he has daughter, Penny (Rachel Melvin), that was given up for adoption by his ex-girlfriend Friada (Kathleen Turner).  With Friada’s resources, the two are able to seek out Penny and hopefully gain her kidney.  What follows is an inappropriate love interest, new enemies, deceit, and of course, the predictable slap stick comedy.

If you hated the first Dumb and Dumber for some reason, refrain from ever watching this sequel.  The Farrelly brothers have basically recycled the premise and numerous jokes from the previous movie only to result in what I’d call a weak synonym.  Fans will either find their formula nostalgic or just plain lazy.

It is obvious Carrey came prepared to give 110% for his return as the dim-witted Lloyd Christmas.  However, I can’t say the same for his best friend.  Daniels does an adequate job playing Harry Dunne, but it’s clear Jim Carrey has taken full control of the wheel during this second ride.

Dumb and Dumber To is worth the watch for fans of the original.  Go in with low expectations, enjoy as many laughs as you can squeeze out from the film, and come out somewhat content.

Side note: Stick around for the end of the closing credits.

Rating: 2.5/5

“Dumb and Dumber To” Official Trailer HD

The Dallas Film Society to Honor Academy Award® Winner Marisa Tomei at The Art of Film

Previously Scheduled Guest of Honor, Toni Collette, Regretfully Unable to Attend Due to Scheduling Conflict

DALLAS (November 10, 2014) – The Dallas Film Society is thrilled to honor Marisa Tomei at the 5th annual The Art of Film gala on Friday, November 21, 2014. Tomei made an unforgettable impression on Hollywood with her breakthrough role as Mona Lisa Vito in MY COUSIN VINNY for which she received the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress. Her extensive range of film, television and theater credits includes Academy Award® nominated performances in IN THE BEDROOM and THE WRESTLER, and a Drama Desk Award® nomination for her role in the Broadway production TOP GIRLS.

Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning actress Toni Collette was previously scheduled as the guest of honor at The Art of Film. Collette has regretfully withdrawn from this year’s event due to an unforeseen and unavoidable change in her overseas filming schedule. “We wish Toni all the best and look forward to honoring her at a future time,” stated James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas Film Society.

The Art of Film is an annual fundraising event during which Dallas film lovers gather to celebrate talent within the film community. Guests at this year’s gala will enjoy a moderated conversation with the very gifted Marisa Tomei followed by an elegant dinner at the Perot Museum of Nature & Science. The premiere Dallas fundraiser has honored some of the biggest names in film including Robert Duvall, Lee Daniels, John Lithgow and Val Kilmer. Proceeds from the evening are directed to the year-round programming of the Dallas Film Society, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, and more specifically the 2015 Dallas International Film Festival, presented by AutoNation and the 2015 DFS Summer Camp, presented by SMU – Division of Film & Media Arts.

On the silver screen, Tomei has tackled a wide variety of roles including performances in PARENTAL GUIDANCE; CRAZY STUPID LOVE; THE IDES OF MARCH; THE LINCOLN LAWYER; ANGER MANAGEMENT; CYRUS; BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD; WHAT WOMEN WANT; SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS; HAPPY ACCIDENTS; WELCOME TO SARAJEVO; UNHOOK THE STARS; FOUR ROOMS; THE PAPER; and CHAPLIN. A veteran of the theater, Tomei and the cast of THE REALISTIC JONSES won the 2014 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance earlier this year. Additional theater credits include MARIE AND BRUCE; OH, THE HUMANITY AND OTHER GOOD INTENTIONS; BEIRUT; DESIGN FOR LIVING; WE WON’T PAY! WE WON’T PAY!; WAITING FOR LEFTY; ROCKET TO THE MOON; DEMONOLOGY; SLAVS!; THE COMEDY OF ERRORS; THE ROSE TATTOO; and WHAT THE BUTLER SAW. Tomei is a founding member of the Naked Angels Theater Company in New York. Tomei can currently be seen in LOVE IS STRANGE, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Tomei also recently wrapped production on a number of upcoming feature films – Marc Lawrence’s THE REWRITE, Judd Apatow’s TRAINWRECK, and Lionsgate’s SPARE PARTS. Marisa made her directorial debut with a short film based on the Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn’s book Half the Sky. Tomei continues to bridge the gap between rich, dramatic performances and smart, comedic turns. Whether working with large studios or independent houses, she consistently brings her independent spirit to every project with which she is involved.

Elvis Mitchell, former NY Times and Fort Worth Star-Telegram Film Critic and newly appointed Artistic Director of the L.A. Film Festival, will serve as guest moderator for the evening. The conversation between Mitchell and Tomei will certainly be filled with compelling and engaging dialogue. “Marisa has established one of the longest and most impactful careers in Hollywood,” said Faust. “We look forward to honoring her accomplishments by presenting her with the Dallas Star Award.”

The Art of Film is supported by Pam and Mark Denesuk, on board as Event Chairs, and Barbara and Steve Durham as Honorary Chairs. “The Dallas Film Society has really raised the profile of the film and arts scene in Dallas,” states Mark Denesuk, Founder and Managing Principle of Commerce House and The Art of Film 2014 Event Chair along with his wife Pam. “The world of film has been a passion of ours for many years, and we’re grateful to be a part of an annual event which attracts great talents like Marisa Tomei. We look forward to uniting with other film lovers from around the Metroplex to celebrate great filmmaking and empower future filmmakers through camps, high school programs, and the Dallas International Film Festival.”

Individual tickets from $500 are available for purchase, and underwriting opportunities are available from $5,000-$40,000. The Art of Film begins with red carpet arrivals at 6:30PM, the reception at 7:00PM, the conversation at 8:00PM and the seated dinner at 9:00PM. Additional information regarding The Art of Film can be found on Dallas Film Society’s website, www.dallasfilm.org. Contact Jennifer Dworkin atjdworkin@dallasfilm.org or call 214.720.0555 for more information.

THE ART OF FILM SPONSORS:

PRODUCER LEVEL SPONSORS:  Barbara & Steve Durham/Durham Family Foundation

DIRECTOR LEVEL SPONSORS: Pam & Mark Denesuk/Commerce House; Earth Day Texas; Cindy & Phillip Eichenholz; Ruth O. Mutch

WRITER LEVEL SPONSORS: Cinemark Theaters; Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau; Dallas Film Commission; Embrey Family Foundation; Kara & Randall Goss/U.S. Risk Insurance Group, Inc.; Jan Miller & Jeff Rich; Deborah & Jim Nugent; Stephanie & Michael Seay; Deborah & Don Stokes; Jackson Walker

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT: ABCO; BUYLEDS; Dallas by Chocolate; Deep Eddy; El Creative; Great One Cookie Company; J.R. Ewing Bourbon; The Joule Hotel Dallas; The Levenson Group; Line 39 Wines; Post Asylum; Pure Evil Music & Sound Design; Tesla

PRINT PRESS SPONSOR: PaperCity

ADDITIONAL PRESS: My Sweet Charity

Quick Review: “Laggies” Charms But Only Scratches the Surface of Its Alluring Premise

Director: Lynn Shelton

Writer: Andrea Seigel

Stars: Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell

In the throes of a quarter-life crisis, Megan (Keira Knightley) panics when her boyfriend proposes.  Taking an opportunity to escape for a week, she hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz), who lives with her world-weary single dad (Sam Rockwell).

“Laggies” tells a familiar tale of kids trying to grow up too fast, and adults trying to avoid growing up at all.

Moretz continues to appeal with her charismatic performances, while Knightley manages to transition from annoyingly naive to endearingly confused.  And Sam Rockwell, who is best known for playing the slacker (i.e. The Way, Way Back), takes on the role of a mature adult that’s pushing everyone else to grow up.

Overall “Laggies” is a cute film, especially during a time where the most intense Oscar baits are being released.  It is just frustrating when a story fails to reach its potential of being more than the typical “chick flick.”  Had the film dug a little deeper with Megan and explored the concept of why a woman is still acting like a child in a slightly more serious light, this movie could have been a real stand out.  Instead, “Laggies” chooses to be content with being a fun, yet average Rom-Com.

“Laggies” opens in theaters November 7.

 

“Rosewater: Live Preview Event w/ Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert

Fathom Events and Open Road Films to Give Audiences Sneak Peek at

Jon Stewart’s Directorial Debut in ‘Rosewater’ Followed by

Live Q&A on the Eve Before Its National Release

DENVER – November 3, 2014 – Fathom Events and Open Road Films are partnering to present the exclusive “Rosewater: Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert LIVE” event, including the feature film Rosewater followed by a Live Q&A with Jon Stewart, the film’s screen writer, director and producer, interviewed by Stephen Colbert, host and executive producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award Winning series “The Colbert Report,” broadcast from New York City. Fans can join the conversation by Tweeting questions now via Twitter using the hashtag #RosewaterLive.  This special event will be showcased in select cinemas nationwide for only one night on November 13 live at 7:30 p.m. ET and tape delayed to 7:30 p.m. local time in all other time zones. Rosewater is based on The New York Times best-selling memoir “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival,” written by the BBC journalist Maziar Bahari, which is now available in paperback and titled after the upcoming movie. Following the exclusive Fathom Events preview on November 13, Rosewater will be in theaters nationwide on November 14.

Tickets for “Rosewater: Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert LIVE” are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. The event will be presented in more than 300 select movie theaters nationwide through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

A true story, Rosewater marks the screenwriting and directorial debut of “The Daily Show” host and executive producer Jon Stewart, and stars Gael García Bernal, leading an international cast.  Rosewater is produced by Scott Rudin, Stewart and Gigi Pritzker, with Lila Yacoub, Eli Bush and Chris McShane serving as executive producers.

Rosewater has a direct connection to Stewart, who since taking over as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in 1999, has turned the nightly half-hour satirical look at newsmakers and news-coverers into not only a perennial Emmy-winning juggernaut, but also an important touchstone on the zeitgeist. Stewart and “The Daily Show” covered Bahari’s saga nightly and the journalist appeared on the show to talk about his ordeal once he was released from prison.

Rosewater follows the Tehran-born Bahari, a 42-year-old broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship living in London. In June 2009, Bahari returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was the prime challenger to controversial incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  As Moussavi’s supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad’s victory declaration hours before the polls closed on election day, Bahari endured great personal risk by submitting camera footage of the unfolding street riots to the BBC. Bahari was soon arrested by Revolutionary Guard police, led by a man identifying himself only as “Rosewater,” who proceeded to torture and interrogate the journalist over the next 118 days. In October 2009, with Bahari’s wife leading an international campaign from London to have her husband freed, and Western media outlets including “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” continuing to keep the story alive, Iranian authorities released Bahari on $300,000 bail and the promise he would act as a spy for the government.

“Rosewater has been celebrated by early festival audiences as well as critics,” said Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films. “Moviegoers have expressed incredible enthusiasm about the upcoming release of Jon Stewart’s directorial debut and we are thrilled to be able to bring this special event with two icons to theaters across the country.”

“Rosewater is an important story that must be told to the world,” said Fathom Events CEO John Rubey. “The chance to see it first and hear the thought-provoking insight directly from the film’s creator should not be missed.”

View the event trailer on our YouTube page and visit our press site for event photos.