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Interview: Jake Johnson and Steve Berg talk “Digging with Fire”

digging for fire
I sat down with Jake Johnson (writer/actor) and Steve Berg (actor) to discuss their latest film, Digging for Fire. We talked about love, the key to a healthy relationship, and Jared from Subway?  It was definitely an interesting interview!

Digging for Fire is available to watch on VOD.

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Interview: Michiel Huisman discusses “The Age of Adaline”

I sat down with Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones) to discuss his new film, The Age of Adaline. We talked about the blessing of growing old with someone you love, which decade he would have enjoyed living in, and the importance of banter in a relationship.  Click the link below to see the full interview with the star.  The Age of Adaline opens in theaters on April 24.

“The Age of Adaline” Interview with Michiel Huisman

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Interview: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, & Nicholas Sparks talk “The Longest Ride”

I got a chance to sit down with Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook), Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland), and Scott Eastwood (Fury) to discuss their latest film, The Longest Ride.  We talked about love, how to impress someone you’re dating, sacrifices made in relationships, and the teachers who impacted them.  It was a fun and interesting interview! 

 Click Here to Watch “The Longest Ride” Interview

longest ride

The Longest Ride opens in theaters April 10th.

Finding “The One”-Top 5 Films that put your Love Life in Perspective

Are you looking for “The One” this Valentine’s Day?  Or maybe, you’ve already found that person.  In honor of this heart-filled holiday, I’ve made a list of the top 5 films that can put your love life in perspective.  These films are geared toward everyone, whether you’re in a relationship or not.  For couples, these movies could shed light on issues you may be having, or just make you appreciate that special someone in your life.  For singles, this list can maybe help you better understand what you’re realistically looking for in a relationship.  Either way, all 5 romantic movies are great choices to watch this V-Day.

Here’s what I take away from these films…

5. Don Jon (2013)

Listen and Connect

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, Don Jon, discusses how the media can often lead us to objectify people and treat them more like things instead of humans.  A lot of times movies and television can give us a false expectation of what we’re looking for in a partner.  Though it can be fascinating to watch a Hollywood romance or adult films, we must separate fantasy from reality.  Maybe the person you’re dating or crushing on fits the mold of what you expect in a partner, but is it really what you want?  Truly listen to that person and make sure you connect with them on both, a psychical and emotional level. (Don Jon is currently available to stream on Netflix)

4. Ruby Sparks (2012)

Nobody’s Perfect

We’ve almost all had that check list which bullet points the requirements for our partners.  Whether it’s based on their looks, or their jobs, or even their sense of humor, it DOES NOT matter.  That list needs to be deleted from your brain.  We have no idea what we want until we meet “that someone.”  Ruby Sparks is about a novelist (Paul Dano) who writes an ideal female character (Zoe Kazan) that comes to life overnight.  The film focuses on how there is no perfect person.  Part of really loving someone is seeing their imperfections and dealing with them in a way that isn’t bothersome to you.  When you wish your partner was a different way, it can actually speak more about something in you.

3. 500 Days of Summer (2009)

Different Points of View

I’m aware I’ve referenced this film a few times for my top 5 lists, but that’s only because you can take away so many lessons from the story and characters.   In 500 Days of Summer, Tom (Gordon-Levitt) believes his entire relationship with Summer (Deschanel), up until they break up, was perfect.  He’s in love and she’s almost so clearly not.   I truly believe the cruelest feeling we can experience is strongly caring for someone who doesn’t reciprocate that same feeling.  It makes you wonder how it was even possible to have those feelings in the first place.  Unfortunately, people are stuck in this situation all the time.  In the film, Tom copes with his heartache by reflecting back and noticing the signs.  For the most part, entering a relationship shouldn’t be that complicated, both people need be on the same page.  If one person is stalling to commit, then he or she may not be right for you.

2. TiMER (2009)

Do you Believe in Soul Mates?

If you could install a device that counts down the exact moment you’re going to meet your soul mate, would you want to?  Oona (Emma Caulfield) got one.  Only problem is her TiMER is blank, meaning her soul mate hasn’t yet signed up for the service.  This film raises the question of whether or not you believe that there is ONE perfect person out there for each of us.  And for those who have doubts in their own relationships, do you think there is someone else out there better suited for you?  Though very few have heard of this movie, TiMER is a charming, thought-provoking story that everyone should make time for.  (TiMER is currently available to stream on Netflix)

1. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Life is Too Short

I’m sure many people don’t want to ball their eyes out this Valentine’s Day, but I assure you The Fault in Our Stars is much more than a movie about teens with cancer.   Gus (Ansel Elgort) and Hazel’s (Shailene Woodley) inspiring, genuine love story reminds us to make the most of each day.  In a romantic aspect, life is too short to not be with someone you care about.  If you’re lucky enough to truly fall in love, then don’t take that love for granted.  Because even if it’s short-lived, you won’t regret the time spent with each other.

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.”

Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

There’s action, there’s romance, and best of all there’s ELVES in the anticipated Hobbit sequel.  Now if only the film could have been one hour shorter, we might have had a consistently enjoyable adventure.

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf companions pick up right where they left off in the last film.  They continue their journey to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug the dragon(Voice by Benedict Cumberbatch) .   During this part of their quest there is more excitement and a bit more obstacles that occur.  Including giant spiders, imprisonment by elves (which brings us familiar faces), and a hefty amount of fish!  All while, Bilbo is still in secret possession of the mysterious and magical ring.

The Desolation of Smaug is far more thrilling than the last film.  There is much more action, better visual effects, more interesting sub plots, and of course there are elves in this film.  The only race that knows how to kick ass!  The first appearance of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) returning to the big screen caused applause in the entire theater.   And toward the end of the film, I wanted to applaud for any appearance of those smooth, deadly archery skills.  I wish the primary focus of this movie was the elves.  There was never a dull moment when they were on screen.  And I must say, Evangaline Lilly fit in perfectly with the Elven clan as the heroic Tauriel, who will seemingly be caught in an interesting love triangle.

The reason I didn’t absolutely love this film is not because it was 2 hours and 41 minutes.   Please, almost half the Oscar contenders I watch are that long.  It is because it felt like 2 hours and 41 minutes.  I can deal with a long movie that has a purpose for every scene, and needs to be almost 3 hours long to convey all the important details.  What I can not handle is unnecessary and dragged out scenes that make you loose the escape that a film like The Hobbit usually creates for its audiences.

Regardless of the irritating lag times throughout the film,  Lord of the Ring fans will still be pleased with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  And Peter Jackson leaves the audience with a hell of a cliff-hanger that will guarantee another box office hit for his future installment.

Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is in theaters now!

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Official Trailer HD

Movie Review: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Burns Brighter than the First

If for some reason you thought Jennifer Lawrence would get lazy or dial it back a bit after her Oscar win last year, you would be incredibly wrong.  If anything, she’s proving that she would be worthy of many more!

Now I loved the first Hunger Games, but Catching Fire is in every way better than the first.  The actors seem more mature and comfortable.  There is more character development and much more chemistry between Katniss and both of her love interests, Peeta and Gale.  And overall the directing was better.

In the second installment of the Hunger Games franchise, Katniss has returned home to District 12 after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta.  As Katniss and Peeta are about to start a victory tour around the country, President Snow pays her a visit.  He explains that when she defied the Capitol by breaking the rules so that she and Peeta could both survive the last Hunger Games, she inspired rebellions in the districts.  Now she must continue to pretend to be in love with Peeta, or her family will be killed.  The two play along well and keep up the charade to avoid any conflict with Snow.  However, after Peeta, Katniss and Haymitch save Gale during a dispute with the Commander, Snow becomes angry over a “once again” defiance.

Snow announces that the 75th Hunger Games will be the Quarter Quell, meaning a new rule will be added to the games.  In an attempt to show the Capitol is still powerful, the new rule states that existing victors from each district much compete again!

This film allows us to get to know all the characters a lot better.  It was nice to see Effie as part of the Katniss team along with Peeta and Haymich.    Stanley Tucci as Caasar still makes for some great comic relief.  And thank you Jena Malone, who plays the blunt Johanna Mason, for continuously saying what everyone in the theater was thinking.  The best thing about Jennifer Lawrence’s performance is how you could feel every emotion Katniss was feeling.  Whether it was the reminder of Rue’s death, or even the love she feels for Peeta and Gale.  Whatever the emotion, she nailed it and it will be the reason that you may tear up at multiple times through out the film.

Though the premise may sound like a repeat of the first film, it’s not.  They are heading in a completely different direction, and with a more central focus of “remembering who the real enemy is.”  With the films just picking up right where they left off, the build up has audiences anticipating something big.

It is an absolute must see for everyone, even if you haven’t read the books (like me).  I assure you it is a film that not only entertains visually and mentally, but it accomplishes one of the main reasons I love film; an escape from the stress of our lives.  Catching Fire might just be one of the best films of the year so far!

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is in theaters now!

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Official Theatrical Trailer HD

Movie Review: “About Time” will Capture your Heart

Lately, I have been a little bit of a cynic when it comes to romantic comedies.  As much as I still enjoy a really cute predictable one, Don Jon managed to slap some sense into me.  The false expectations that we get from romantic films can really alter your view of a relationship.  So even though I was excited to see this film, I expected that I wouldn’t be able to relate to the time traveling and romance.  However, About Time is the kind of movie that makes you want to fall in love.

The creators of Love Actually and Notting Hill have brought us another charming and delightful love story.  This time they have added a bit of time travel.

At age 21, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers that he can travel back in time.  His father (Bill Nighy) explains to him that the men in his family have always been able to do this, and that it must be kept secret.  Now, he can only go back to a time that he remembers and was actually a part of.  So no, he can not go back in time and stop Abraham Lincoln from getting shot.

For Tim, this power was meant to be used to find love.  Sadly, this is not as easy as you would think.  “All the time travel in the world can’t make someone love you.” Finally one night, with out having to use his powers, he meets the girl of his dreams.  Mary (Rachel McAdams) is a smart, adorable, and oddly insecure woman who could not be more perfect for Tim.  They hit off immediately.  Unfortunately, after Tim foolishly travels back in time to help a friend, Mary knows him as a complete stranger.  This leads to multiple “first time” meetings, until he can win her over again.

I have to say, this is one of the best onscreen couples I have ever enjoyed watching.  Though you would think the time travel aspect of it would maybe lessen the relationship, it only makes you appreciate it more.  McAdams and Gleeson portray such a realistic relationship with a genuine love for each other.  It may not be steamy, sexual, off the charts chemistry.  But it is the real respect and caring for one another that makes them so engaging.  Not to mention some super cute moments.  But this romance is only part of the story.

Surprisingly enough, the bigger picture behind this film isn’t about love, it is about life.  Through some incredibly touching moments between Tim and his father, we are shown just how important is to take time and notice the little things in life.

The film really makes you wonder.  If you had the power to travel back in time, what would do? Where would you go?  Who would you talk to?  Ultimately, you are given a second chance and you want to take advantage of it.  Tim gets braver and bolder at each “try again” he attempts.  What About Time really teaches you is how we should not waste time wishing for second chances.  Instead, we should be treating every moment like it is our last.

Rated R for language and some sexual content.

About Time hits theaters November 1st.

About Time Official Trailer HD

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com