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Archives for : music

“Hard Luck Love Song” Interview w/ Michael Dorman & Sophia Bush

Roadside Attractions’ new film, “Hard Luck Love Song” is based off the song “Just Like Old Times” by Todd Snider. It’s a gritty love story about a troubled musician living out of motels and making bad choices. One night he reconnects with his old flame and the two experience an emotional and unforgettable evening. I spoke with the stars of the film, Michael Dorman and Sophia Bush, to talk about personal discoveries, what puts them at ease when meeting new people, and more.

“Hard Luck Love Song” opens in theaters October 15, 2021.

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Movie Review: “The Green Knight” and “Paper Spiders”

David Lowery is an Irving High School alum who has gone on to make critically acclaimed films like “Pete’s Dragon” and “A Ghost Story”. His new movie, “The Green Knight,” is a Medieval, fantasy re-telling of Sir Gawain based on the 14th century Arthurian poem. Watch the video below to find out my thoughts on the movie, along with a review of the independent film, “Paper Spiders”, starring Lili Taylor (“The Conjuring”).

“The Green Knight” opens in theaters July 30, 2021 and “Paper Spiders” is available to rent on various VOD platforms.

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“Finding You” Early Virtual Screening!

Want to take a trip to Ireland on the evening on May 12, at 7:00pm, well here is your chance!  Join Roadside Attractions to watch the new release of “Finding You.”  Be the first to see this delightful film and tell your friends and family about your fun journey… before it hits theatres on May 14! 

You can RSVP now and the first 100 RSVPs will receive a confirmation to view the film on May 12, at 7:00pm.

RSVPs are now being taken FOR THE VIRTUAL SCREENING on May 12 at 7:00pm at   https://watch.eventive.org/findingyou/play/606f780897f06600a1eb8c7b

Use this code to login—-   Code:  25EZXT

You will receive a confirmation email once you have RSVP’d.

FINDING YOU is an inspirational romantic drama full of heart and humor about finding the strength to be true to oneself. After an ill-fated audition at a prestigious New York music conservatory, violinist Finley Sinclair (Rose Reid) travels to an Irish coastal village to begin her semester studying abroad. At the B&B run by her host family, she encounters gregarious and persistent heartthrob movie star Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre), who is there to film another installment of his medieval fantasy-adventure franchise. As romance sparks between the unlikely pair, Beckett ignites a journey of discovery for Finley that transforms her heart, her music, and her outlook on life. In turn, Finley emboldens Beckett to reach beyond his teen-idol image and pursue his true passion. But when forces surrounding Beckett’s stardom threaten to crush their dreams, Finley must decide what she is willing to risk for love.

Runtime 115 minutes

Rating PG

Based on the Book “There You’ll Find Me” by Jenny B. Jones

Cast – Rose Reid, Jedodiah Goodacre, Katherine McNamara, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Patrick Bergin, Tom Evertt Scott, Vanessa Redgrave

This film opens wide in Theaters on May 14th, 2021

Enjoy the trip!

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Movie Review: “Voyagers” Gets Lost in Space

Neil Burger’s new sci-fi thriller, “Voyagers” fails to make any significant impact.

The start of the film explains how earth is growing hotter. Drought and disease have caused severe damage to the population. Scientists are looking for a new planet that can support human life, and they find one in 2063. They decide to send a group bioengineered teens into space in order to populate the new world that is hundreds of light years away. The trip will take them 86 years. Meaning their future grandkids will be the ones carrying out the end of the mission. The only adult on board is Richard (Colin Ferrell), who leads and counsels the kids as if they were his own. To prevent chaos and create order, the teens are given a “blue drink” that has essentially been drugging them, and inhibits them from feeling, really, anything. Two of the voyagers, Christopher (Tye Sheridan) and Zac (Fionn Whitehead), figure this out. Zac angrily stops taking the substance, then all hell breaks loose.

Suddenly, the movie turns into “Lord of the Flies” IN SPACE. It becomes so predictable and wild, that you just want to skip to the end. It’s not that the storyline is boring. In fact, at times it can be engaging; but it offers nothing new. The beginning makes you think this familiar tale will have a refreshing spin. But when it’s over, you’re left wondering if this really needed to be a movie?

Story wise, “Voyagers” is nothing special. But perhaps, the purpose was to showcase the talented, young actors. However, most of their impressive diverse cast were merely background noise. The film primarily focuses on Sheridan, Whitehead and Lily-Rose Depp, who plays Sela. Depp and Sheridan play off each other well and have great chemistry, but the film never dives too deep with its characters. We get to know everyone at a surface level, except for maybe Zac whose villain-like qualities gradually grow, the more jealous he gets of Christopher.

“Voyagers” is well shot. The cinematography by Enrique Chediak is beautiful. The music by Trevor Gureckis compliments the tone of the film, and provides the right amount of suspense.

Burger’s script is not bad, either, it just feels derivative. It’s disappointing when the premise of the film allowed for so much more. I mostly wish we explored the other world. The concept is realistic, and it would have been interesting to learn more about why they chose to create new life on this particular planet. Instead, “Voyagers” chooses to focus on the characters resenting their isolation, and their lack of “feeling”. They want to take advantage of getting to experience pain and all sorts of pleasure. This raises the question of whether or not they prefer a wild-life of “freedom”, or to go back to their routine, monotonous life that serves a greater purpose; one they won’t be alive to see come to fruition.

“Voyagers” may still be worth the watch for purely entertainment purposes. It’s plays out like a teen drama you’d watch on the CW. So if that’s your cup of tea, then this film is right up your alley. Otherwise, keep your expectations low, and be prepared for a rushed and underwhelming ending.

Rating: 2/5

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Interview: Writer Mike Jones talks “Soul”

“Soul” follows Joe (Jamie Foxx) , a music teacher who has lost his passion for music and sense of purpose. But when he is transported into another realm to help someone find their spark, he discovers a new appreciation for life. I chatted with writer Mike Jones to discuss the film, what little things he appreciates about life, the value in asking people questions, and much more.

“Soul” is available to stream on Disney+ December 25.

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Movie Review: “Bill & Ted Face the Music” is Not Going to be Everyone’s Jam

It’s been over 30 years since we first met Bill Preston (Alex Winters) and Ted Logan (Keanu Reeves). In their first adventure, they had to travel back in time to pass a history class. In their second trip, it was a mission to win the battle of the bands. Now they are back to fulfill the prophecy of saving the universe with their rock and roll in “Bill & Ted Face the Music”. Too bad their band, the Wyld Stallions, is pretty much washed up and haven’t made a good song in years.

Bill and Ted are now middle-aged men still married to their wives, Joanna and Elizabeth (now played by Erin Hayes and Jayma Mays), and fathers to two teenage girls, Thea and Billie (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine). The two still have hearts of gold, but are more clueless than ever. It seems as though their daughters take after their fathers.

As the plot begins, Bill and Ted are assigned by Kelly (Kristen Schaal), daughter of George Carlin’s time-traveling tour guide, to write a song that will save the world from temporal collapse. Only problem; they only have 75 minutes to do it. To make the deadline, the two dudes set out to travel in time to find versions of themselves that have already written the song so they can plagiarize their own work. Meanwhile, their daughters embark on a parallel quest to put together the best back-up band ever, which includes past icons like Jimi Hendrix (DazMann Still) and Kid Cudi, as himself.

It pains me to say I was not the biggest fan of this film. And yes, I enjoyed the first two movies. Don’t get me wrong. The entire cast does a great job with the material they are given; and it is so wonderful to see so many of the original cast back together again, especially, William Sadler as Death. Even a new addition, like Anthony Carrigan as Dennis Caleb McCoy had hilarious one-liners.  The issue here is the script.

The premise is solid and simple, which with I have no problem. It’s the dialogue and in-between that is so ridiculous. Even though the film is around the same runtime as its predecessors, it feels rushed due to the multiple characters and chaos. The film is just all over the place.

By the time the movie finally finds its rhythm, it’s basically over. There’s an over-the-top ending that has a decent but surface-level message about how we should all try to be more excellent to each other, but it’s not worth the hour and 20 minutes of disarray it took to get there.

Unfortunately, “Bill & Ted Face the Music” didn’t capture the same whimsy and charm we’ve seen before. I’ll admit, even if I knew the film was bad I’d still want to see these guys finish out their journey. So that being said, if you’re a newbie to the franchise, I suggest you skip this one. But, if you are a fan of the original films you may be too curious not to see if, and how they finally save the world.

Rating: 2/5

“Bill & Ted Face the Music” is available On Demand and in Select Theaters.

Movie Review: “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is a Musical Delight

Image result for mamma mia 2 poster

The whole Mamma Mia gang is back! But this time we’re looking back to see how it all started.

Ten years ago the first “Mamma Mia!” introduced us to Donna (Meryl Streep) and her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried). At the time, Sophie was engaged to her then fiancée Sky (Dominic Cooper), and wanted to know her father was so that he could attend the wedding. Given that there were three possible candidates, she invited all three of her mother’s past lovers, Sam, Harry, and Bill (Pierce Brosnon, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgard) to her wedding. After meeting the three men, they fall in love with Sophie and they all commit to being her father.

Now in “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” Sophie is pregnant and this sparks a stroll down memory lane. Flashbacks allow us to see when her mother met her fathers, and how it eventually led to her birth. Right after college, young Donna (Lily James) decides to take a European trip. Along the way she runs into a much younger Harry (Hugh Skinner), Bill (Josh Dylan), and Sam (Jeremy Irvine). All three newcomers do a fantastic job and leave lasting impressions.

But it’s Lily James who steals the show with her striking beauty and incredible voice. Who knew this girl could sing!? James’ energy and charisma leaps off the screen. However, she’s not the only one with popping vocals. Amanda Seyfried continues to sing with voice of a Disney Princess, and her on screen Grandma played by the one and only, Cher, brings down the whole house with her powerful vocals.

The only thing more stunning than the music was the setting in Greece. The crystal blue waters and landscape is eye candy to even someone who doesn’t care about what else is going on.

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is a film that moves quickly. Since we are given brief moments in about a song length capacity with each man Donna meets, the film never lags. Although, I would not have minded seeing a longer storyline between young Donna and Sam. James’ and Irvine’s romantic chemistry makes us realize why the two characters immediately fall for each other again in the first film.

Though the plot is corny and the random bursts into song can be cheesy at times, it just doesn’t matter. Take “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” for what it is; and that’s a fun, toe-tapping musical that everyone can enjoy.

Rating: 3.5/5

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” opens in theaters July 20.

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Concert Review: ‘Jason Mraz’ Mesmerizes At The Winspear Opera House

Jason Mraz continues to let his voice do all the work.  Not relying on flashy lights, crazy props, or even choreography to distract from his hauntingly gifted vocals.


Have you had a bad day?  Or maybe you just think life sucks in general?  If that’s the case, it might be time to alter your negative perspective and start looking on the bright side of things.  Jason Mraz performed his latest uplifting album, YES!, in a packed opera house filled with audiences who were entranced by every word spoken and every lyric sung.  Mraz is probably one of the most genuinely grateful and happy artist out there, and he makes sure to spread that positive aura.

This is my third Jason Mraz concert. And I will tell you that, besides the incredible music, the best thing about his live performances is his banter in-between songs.  He is quick-witted, funny, and a smart story teller.  He understands how to be philosophical without being preachy.

Mraz introduced his opening band, thanked his audience for their support and choosing to spend a night with him instead of in their beds.

Mraz’s opening act/partners, Raining Jane, were the perfect addition to his special, stripped down, instrumental show.  After Raining Jane sang three of their own songs, Mraz joined them on stage for a magical collaboration.  These girls were no background singers.  In fact, they stood by Mraz’s side during the entire show.  Raining Jane gave Mraz the unique flair he was hoping for in order to keep each concert tour fresh.  The band only heightened the Grammy winner’s voice, by actually letting us clearly hear all his beautiful lyrics.

Though the show primarily featured songs from YES!, including the hit single, “Love Someone,” Mraz also played many old favorites, including “Remedy” and “I’m Yours.”

I love going to concerts, and seeing a singer that can get me dancing up out of my seat is of course great.  But, watching an artist truly hold an audience for nearly 2 ½ hours solely on their voice is the reason I love listening to live music.  Jason Mraz never disappoints, and this latest performance at Dallas’ Winspear Opera House is hands down Mraz’s best concert tour yet.

Back to School! Top 5 Teachers from Film

School starts back up this Monday, and I’m sure a lot teachers and students are dreading the early mornings and the long hours of class.  So in hopes of making people a little less upset that summer break is over,  I thought I’d pick my top 5 favorite teachers from film, and remind ourselves how much EVERY teacher can impact our lives.

5. Dewey Finn- School of Rock

“I have been touched by your kids… and I’m pretty sure that I’ve touched them.”

Low on cash; Dewey Finn poses as his brother so that he may substitute teach at a very posh school.  He ends up teaching his students about classic rock and roll, and turning them into his own miniature rock band.  If there is one thing I love, it’s someone who’s excited about what they do.  Dewey isn’t the best academic teacher.  But when it comes to teaching these students about music, he instills a passion in them that they never knew they had.

4. Sharon Norbury- Mean Girls

“You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores.”

Tina Fey played the sympathetic math teacher in the popular teen comedy, Mean Girls. Not only is Ms. Norbury unintentionally hilarious, but she also tries to help pull Cady (Lindsay Lohan) away from the vicious Plastics and gear her into the Mathletes.  And of course, who could forget how she led all the female students in a giant confession and apology to one another, pleading with them to quit hating on each other.

3. Jaime Escalante- Stand and Deliver

“It’s not that they’re stupid, it’s just they don’t know anything.”

Based on a true story, Stand and Deliver portrays a rebellious math teacher who transforms his seemingly hopeless, uninterested students into the top-scorers in the state. Their achievement is so astonishing that the school board accused the Latino students of cheating. Proof, that if you have enough faith in your students and don’t give up on them, they can accomplish anything.

2. Miss Honey- Matilda

“I can’t abandon my children. And if I couldn’t teach, I’d have nothing at all.”

She’s the unbelievably sweet teacher we wish we had as a kid.  Miss Honey bonds with Matilda (Mara Wilson) over their troubled childhoods and eventually adopts Matilda as her own.  As if Matilda wasn’t lucky enough already with her magical powers and finally escaping from her grotesque family, she gets to split a piece of what I can only imagine taste like heaven, chocolates with Miss Honey every night.

1. John Keating- Dead Poets Society

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”

In a school of young men who have their lives laid out for them, one teacher dares to define the system with his unorthodox methods of teaching.  The late, great Robin Williams gave an incredibly touching performance as a teacher who inspires the lives of his prep school students.  His lessons are active, they’re lively, and he motivates his students to explore their true callings.  He taught his kids that there is more out there than just the jobs their parents have on hold for them.  They can become writers, actors, or whatever their creativity guides them to do.  If there were ever a film that made me want to teach, it was and still is Dead Poets Society.