• linkedin

Archives for : Kate Winslet

Movie Review: “Steve Jobs” is a Fascinating Character Study

In 2013 we were subjected to a Steve Jobs biopic that offered no real emotion, a sloppy story line, and an underwhelming performance by Ashton Kutcher.  Two years later, we can wash that bad taste out of our mouths as Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Moneyball) have treated us to a captivating film with a brilliant script.

Let’s be frank.  This film was going to be better than that first attempt of Steve Jobs’ story by default.  This cast, this director, and this screenwriter already had the upper hand.  Fortunately, the talented combination delivered.

Steve Jobs is set in three acts; each containing a few necessary flashbacks built around Jobs’ (Michael Fassbender) first three big product unveilings.  Essentially, we are seeing three days in his life spread out over 14 years.  Adding to the authenticity of the movie, each day is filmed using the technology of that specific time period.

In each of the three acts, Jobs has what seems to be some of the most pivotal and confrontational conversations with the same five important people: His PR person (Kate Winslet), Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen), Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg), John Sculley (Jeff Daniels), and his daughter.  All of which are equally captivating.  Within these fast-paced moving acts, we get emotionally invested in all these characters, including Jobs.  Oddly enough, you can’t help but root for all them even though at times they are on opposing sides.  Though all his relationships were enthralling, I mostly enjoyed watching Jobs’ development with his daughter, who was played by three different actresses (Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, and Perla Haney-Jardine).  It’s touching to see the gradual transformation of Steve Jobs, as he first goes from denying any paternal role to eventually proving just how much he cares for his daughter.

The acting is superb.  Michael Fassbender gives a mesmerizing performance as Steve Jobs, and Seth Rogen is no laughing matter as he succeeds to show off a more serious side as “Woz.”

It’s a film that will make you feel as though we have been given an inside look into three of the most significant moments of Jobs’ life.  This is how Steve Jobs’ story should be told.

Rating: 4/5

Steve Jobs opens in theaters October 16.

“Steve Jobs” Official Trailer HD

Movie Review: “Insurgent” is an Action-Packed Sequel that Partially Excites


For those who didn’t like the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s young adult novel, Divergent, I advise you stop reading this review and don’t bother wasting your time watching this sequel.  I highly doubt you’ll find Insurgent to your liking as the first film provided more thought and care into its story-line. Though Insurgent supplies much more action, this movie comes off as a fun-filler until its anticipated conclusion.

The film is still set in a futuristic Chicago society, where people are divided into five factions based on skill and aptitude (Abnegation = selfless; Erudite = intelligent; Candor = honest; Dauntless = brave; Amity = peaceful). And as we found out from the last film, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her brooding, tatted boyfriend, Four (Theo James) are “divergent,” meaning they don’t conform into any category and are considered extremely dangerous.

Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off. Tris, her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort), Four, and Peter (Miles Teller) are on the run from the evil, Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) and are now hiding out in the Amity faction. However, this safe house doesn’t last long, Jeanine is hell bent on hunting down every Divergent her squad can get their hands on, and unfortunately for Tris, she’s the “special one” that’s capable of opening up a magical box that supposedly will help Euridites rule the world and get rid of the Divergents forever.

The action sequences may feel forced at times, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable to watch. The first half of Divergent focused on Tris’ training and the real action in that film didn’t happen till the end. It’s nice to jump right into the excitement and watch some entertaining fight scenes. Like the first film, this sequel shows off some breathtaking visual effects, especially when we delve into Tris’ subconscious and try to decipher whether her visions are real or fake.

Insurgent may get criticized for its cheesiness and at times the confusing plot, but just like Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games, Shailene Woodley transcends with her compelling performance as the kick ass heroine. Woodley’s co-stars are adequate. But, even with the addition of Naomi Watts, it’s Miles Teller who shines as the mischievous Peter, providing some much needed comic relief.  I do wish we got to dig deeper with Caleb.  He is clearly a significant character, but yet I feel no attachment or interest towards him. Keep in mind that Caleb is being played by the same guy who had us bawling our eyes out in The Fault In Our Stars. Hopefully we get know and understand Caleb a little better in the next film.

It is possible that I am still reeling off the first film. Divergent was a great movie and took time to really develop the characters which had me already caring for Tris and Four before the movie started. It’s doubtful that Insurgent will be as memorable as the previous film. The premise is simple and is only stretched out by romance and numerous amounts of action. Fans of the series should be satisfied with this sequel, at least for its entertainment value.

The final book, Allegiant will of course be split into two films. Part 1 of this final installment is set to be released in theaters on March 18, 2016.

Insurgent opens in theaters on March 20, 2015.

Rating: 3/5 


Top 5 Most Lovable Male & Female Movie Characters

Valentines Day is Friday!  What better way to get in that romantic mood than by watching some of the best characters in film.   You can’t help but fall in love with them every time you watch.

Top 5 Male Characters…

5. Preston Meyers- Can’t Hardly Wait

“I really believe that there’s one person out there, and for me it’s gotta be Amanda.”

Though his high school crush (Jennifer Love Hewitt) didn’t know who he was till the end of the film, Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry) was highly spoken of by every classmate that knew him.  It was that likeability factor, and the relentless determination of finally giving the letter that would admit his true feelings to his crush that makes him endearing and adorable.

4. Jack Dawson- Titanic

“Winning that ticket, Rose, was the best thing that ever happened to me… it brought me to you.”

Let’s face it; for the good part of the late 90’s, Leonardo DiCaprio was the biggest tween heart-throb.  And his iconic role as Jack Dawson in the Academy Award winning film, Titanic, had every girl swooning at the sound of his name and his “Tiger Beat” posters.  I will admit Jack and Rose (Kate Winslet) did fall in love quickly, but how can you resist Jack’s enthusiasm?  And of course there’s the moment he selflessly froze to death in the ocean just so Rose could have all the room on the debris to stay alive.

3. Tom Hansen- 500 Days of Summer

“It’s love. It’s not Santa Claus.”

First off, this film is one the best portrayals of a realistic one-sided relationship.  The only thing that is hard to believe is how Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) did not reciprocate the same feelings that Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) felt.  Tom was smart, handsome, caring, and they even seem to have the same sense of humor.  By the end of this film you feel an enormous amount of empathy for Tom, making you want to either date him yourself or just hug the guy.

2. Lloyd Dobler- Say Anything

“The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.”

Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) goes down in history as pulling off one of the most romantic, and bold gestures to get his girlfriend back.  You know the scene, the epic boom box over the head blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” outside of Diane Court’s (Ione Skye) bedroom.  Now most girls could find this a tad creepy. Add the fact that Lloyd’s goal in life during the entire film is to spend as much time with Diane as possible.  But the truth of the matter is Lloyd is just a good guy.  He is genuine and kind to everyone, making him impossible to turn down.

1. Noah Calhoun- The Notebook

“I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.”

This should be no surprise to anyone.  Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) is the epitome of the perfect guy that every girl wishes they could date/marry.  He is the guy we know doesn’t really exist, but we sure like to dream about the possibility of him.  Let’s put aside his unbelievable good looks.  Noah falls in love with Allie (Rachel McAdams) immediately; he goes through extreme measures to just get a date with her.  He then charms her like no other; she then of course falls for him.  They have a summer romance for the ages…but it doesn’t stop there.  Even after they break up, Noah doesn’t stop loving Allie.  He writes her multiple letters, and builds the dream house she always wanted.  All in hopes that one day she will return and they can be together.  And let’s not forget the fact that when Allie gets older and suffers from Alzheimer’s, he reads to her every day so she can remember and come back to him.

And to be fair to the guys, I decided to take a stab at the Top 5 Female Characters…

5. Uhura- Star Trek

“No. I’m assigned to the Enterprise!”

Uhura (Zoe Saldana) is smart, sassy, and faithful to Spock even though he shows lack of consideration for her feelings.

4. Zooey Rice- I Love You, Man

“So is he your best man?”

Zooey (Rashida Jones) loves her boyfriend so much; she wants him to have friends and a life of his own! “That’s like one of the most romantic things I could ever think of.”

3. Rachel Jansen- Forgetting Sarah Marshall

“Are you gonna jump or what?”

Rachel (Mila Kunis) is the fun, sexy girl who will make you jump off cliffs and help you get over Kristen Bell. This is not an easy feat.

2. Claire Cleary- Wedding Crashers

“True love is the soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another.”

Claire (Rachel McAdams) is a genuine girl who is down to earth and has a contagious laugh that follows a beautiful smile.

1. Wichita- Zombieland

“I mean you got the guts of a guppy but I could hit that.”

Emma Stone has a number of lovable movie characters that you could easily want to date.  From Jules in Superbad, to Hannah in Crazy, Stupid, Love.  But when it comes down to it, her role as the kickass, protective sister who will do anything to survive the zombie invasion is kind of the whole package.

Originally posted on

Interview: ‘Labor Day’-Gattlin Griffith And Joyce Maynard Discuss Josh Brolin’s Pie Making Skills

Interview: ‘Labor Day’-Gattlin Griffith And Joyce Maynard Discuss Josh Brolin’s Pie Making Skills

“When life gives you peaches, make peach pie!”  I guess that’s not exactly the way the saying goes.  But in Jason Reitman’s latest film, one “crucial” pie making scene proves to be a turning point for a broken family that gets a second chance to become whole.

The film is an adaptation of author Joyce Maynard’s critically acclaimed novel.  

Star Gattlin Griffith (Changeling, The Green Lantern) and Joyce Maynard both visited Dallas to talk about the film, the movies that make them cry, and of course, pie.

What was your initial reaction when you got this role?

Gattlin: “I was out of this world!  I was stunned you know?  I couldn’t really get my head wrapped around it.  You always want a role like this, but like once you have it, you’re like: Can I do this role?  I mean you start to think: I don’t know if I’m ready.  But you know, I prepared a lot.  I read over the script a lot.  I don’t really do a whole lot of acting lessons.  But I read over it, and I did my homework.”

Now Joyce, I heard that you taught Jason how to make a pie?

Joyce: “First Jason called me up.  He read my book, and he said the words that I love to hear.  “Your book made me cry.”  Um, then he said, “Can I come over to your house, and see how you make a pie.”  Which if people haven’t seen the movie, they may not understand why.  But it’s a crucial scene in the movie that Josh Brolin’s character, the convict hiding out in Kate Winslet’s house, makes a pie for and with them.  And Jason realized that this was a really important scene, and came over to my house and made a little Iphone movie of my pie.  And then on the first day of the shoot, actually before Gattlin showed up, they flew me to this little town in Massachusetts to teach Josh how to make the pie.  Because I didn’t want it to look like one of those perfect pies that you see on the cover of a magazine, they had, in fact, brought in consultant who was wearing the perfect white jacket.  And that’s not me at all.  I’m a very messy pie maker, and my pies are messy.  My pies look like a pie made by a convict on the run.  But they taste really good, which is sort of what the story is about.  It’s people piecing together, you know, this imperfect thing that ends up turning out good.  You don’t expect it.  If you just looked at my pie, you would say what on earth is this?!  And then you taste it!”

Did you teach him (pointing to Gattlin) how to make a pie at all?

Gattlin: “I kind of just, I guess I winged it.”

Joyce: “And I wouldn’t have wanted to teach him, because, you know, he was learning in the scene. So if he had already been a good pie maker, that would have been a problem.  The person who needed, in fact, Kate didn’t even want to pay too much attention to the lesson.  The person who needed to have command of that pie was Josh, and so I took the tough job of teaching him, and as I understand, I wasn’t around but you (pointing to Gattlin) were…”

Gattlin: “Yeah, he uh, all he talked about was pie making (laughs).  He was like, ‘yeah after my two hour workout I’ll go home and make a couple pies.’ (laughs)  He’d bring them to set everyday.”

Joyce: “Supposedly, by the end he couldn’t give them away, although he makes a really good pie.”

Gattlin: “No, everybody at first was like, ‘Oh my God Mr. Brolin made me a pie!’  By the end of it, everybody was like kind of swaying away (laughs) in the mornings from him bringing pies.”

My favorite line in the film is, “Nothing misleads people like the truth.” I love that line.  Why do you guys think that statement’s so true?

Gattlin: “Well I mean, I don’t know what you went for. (looking at Joyce)  I kind of took it as, there’s so many dishonest people in the world.  I guess that when somebody is telling the truth, it’s so rare.”

Joyce: ”There’s a great scene at the end of this movie, and I’m not going to give away what happens.  But when Gattlin and Kate are there trying to make their getaway, and they go to the bank.  And it’s a question of whether this is going to work or not?  And we’re rooting for them!  We’re rooting for these people to be together and make a family.  And the bank manager is looking really suspicious, and he says, you know, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s going on?’ And then Gattlin’s character, Henry…” (she points to Gattlin to finish)

Gattlin: “Mmhmm, I mean, can I say it?”

Joyce: “Yes, please!”

Gattlin: “Ok, um, I actually had a really hard time with this line.  It was something about stacking up all our money, and we’re going to make a break for the border, you know, like Bonnie and Clyde .”

Joyce: “Which is exactly what they were going to do.” (laughs)

Gattlin: “And it’s quiet for a second, and then it’s like, did he just give away the secret? And then the bank manager’s like laughing, ok, yeah sure.”

I remember that scene. That’s why I was like, thinking, “God, it’s so true.”

Joyce: “The other great line that I love in this movie, and it is the Valentines day line is, ‘I’d take another 20 years, for 3 more days with you.’  And that’s what we want to hear from the person that loves us.”

It’s one of those films that when you come out of the theater, you’re in a romantic mood and you just want to love love.

Joyce: “Luckily, Valentines day is coming!” (laughs)

For you guys, what other films give you that feeling?

Joyce: “Um, The Way We Were is one that always gets to me, and it has some of that feeling.  And I didn’t sit down and say, I want to make a movie with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.  I said, I want to give people a love story that will make them cry and make them feel.”

Gattlin: “You know there’s this old movie called Fluke.  And it’s actually about a dog, and he has all these friendships.  And he loves all these people, but everybody that he loves goes away at some point.  It’s an old movie.  And I don’t know if anybody’s heard of it, but it’s called Fluke.  It was sad cause he’d make a friend, she’d be lost; he’d make another friend she’d be lost.  And I remember that movie use to make me cry all the time as a kid.”

Rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief violence and sexuality.

Labor Day hits theaters today.

Joyce Maynard and Gattlin Griffith Video Interview

gattlin and joyce

Originally posted on