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Archives for : Alia Shawkat

Interview: Ben Dickey talks “Blaze”

You shouldn’t count Blaze Foley among the legendary musicians who never made it to the top. He is also properly at home in the more exclusive list of legendary musicians who died before their time. A talented songwriter and musician, Foley was popular among his friends and respected by other musicians who have recorded a number of his songs on award-winning albums of their own. Ethan Hawke has produced, written and directed a new film, starring Ben Dickey, that tells the story of Blaze Foley. Ben Dickey visited the ICTN studios and talked with me about life, music and Blaze Foley.

“Blaze” hits theaters August 24.


Movie Review: Should The To Do List be on your Must See List?

Most of us make a list of things we need to do before heading off to college.  We write typical things like, registering for classes, buying a new mini fridge, losing your virginity to a hot life guard…What? Was that last item not on everyone’s list? Well for Brandy Klark, it’s at the top of hers.

While making her valedictorian speech, Brandy is humiliated after getting called out for being a virgin in front of her entire class.  After meeting her dream hunk and now feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced, she makes a to do list of things she needs to accomplish before she starts college.

New to writing and directing for the big screen, Maggie Carey proves that she knows how generate some big laughs.  The film features an all star cast, which includes Maggie’s husband, Bill Hader(SNL) as the lazy, smart ass boss.  Aubrey Plaza(Parks and Recreation) as Brandy Klark, the super controlling, virgin. Rachel Bilson(The OC, Heart of Dixie)  plays the popular, slutty/bitchy sister.  Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights, Heart of Dixie) as the guitar playing hunk with perfect abs. Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) and Sarah Steele (Spanglish) play the all knowing and supportive best friends.  But it was Johnny Simmons (Jennifer’s Body, The Greatest) character, Cameron who ended up being a surprise stand out.  Usually seeing Simmons play darker roles and not often a lead, it was nice to see him cut loose and go all out as the pathetic, lovesick, lab partner.  He reminded me a lot of a sad, pitiable version of Ducky from Pretty in Pink, except much more crying.

I think that’s why I liked the film so much. It had all the recipes of a John Huges classic, like 16 Candles meets Pretty in Pink in the 90’s.  Only WAY more crude and Molly Ringwald isn’t looking for love, just sex and all the sexual activities that come before it.

The storyline does resemble many other films about losing one’s virginity, like American Pie or 40 Year Old Virgin.  Except, this film lacks the heart that those movies tend to have.  It’s not meant to be a coming of age film, it’s just fun.  Though they do manage to throw in some forced lessons we all already know…Don’t ever screw over your friend for a boy.  And sex should be more about the feelings not just the physical act.

The music is “totally awesome,” as it includes a lot of the hits from the 90’s.  The characters are oddly enjoyable to watch.  It’s hilarious watching Brandy attempt the foreplay( i.e. fingering, hand job, oral, etc.) leading up to the climax. And though it may not seem like the most original plot,there is originality in seeing the “must lose V-Card”  mission from a girls perspective.  A girl’s mind set tends to be completely different than what boys hope to accomplish when losing their virginity.  Maggie Carey does a great job of capturing a huge insecurity girls worry about before having sex, while still delivering constant laughs through out the process.

Rated R for strong crude and sexual content including graphic dialogue, drug and alcohol use, and language.

The To Do List hits theaters today.

The To Do List Red Band Trailer