Rss

  • linkedin

Archives for : Susan Kamyab

Interview: Josh & Jonathan Baker talk “Kin”

The indie sci-fi, drama “Kin” follows  a recently released ex-con (Jack Reynor), and his adopted teenage brother (Miles Truitt) as they are forced to go on the run from vengeful criminals.  Luckily they are armed with a powerful weapon of mysterious origin as their only protection.

I sat down with the directors of the film, Josh and Jonathan Baker, to discuss the movie.  We talked about characters, being “what makes a real man”, what they’ve taught each other, and more!

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

Movie Review: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” Fails its Predecessor

Jurassic World was everything we had been waiting for since the first Jurassic Park was released in 1993. The park was opened and running smoothly. It was also set in some attractive green scenery. Of course, one day everything goes wrong when a wild test subject is let loose and the whole park falls apart! A simple premise with so much entertainment. Now what happened to that kind of writing with this sequel?

Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom starts off okay enough. It’s been three years since the tragic incident and the Jurassic World theme park is no more. But now an impending volcanic eruption on the island will wipe out the existing dinosaurs and render them extinct once again. The question is do we save the dinosaurs and bring them to the states, or do we let them die? For Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), the decision is easy. Let the dinosaurs die and save humanity from a potential life-threatening attack. However, previous park staffer, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) still feels a connection to the dinosaurs and jumps at the opportunity to save them when approached by Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), the one time partner of Jurassic Park mastermind John Hammond. Mr. Lockwood and his caretaker/right-hand man, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), plan to rescue the remaining species from the island and bring them to a sanctuary where they will be allowed to live in peace.

Only problem is they need the skilled velociraptor trainer, Owen (Chris Pratt), to come along this mission and find Blue, the only raptor left of its kind. FYI, the best thing about this movie is the connection between Blue and Owen. Luckily, Claire finds Owen in his new quiet life, building a cabin in the middle of nowhere. How convenient and cliché. After some banter about their previous relationship she convinces him to join the mission and save Blue.

I won’t go into the plot any further than that to avoid spoilers, but eventually we are taken on a chaotic ride.

There are many problems with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; beginning with its characters. With the exception of Pratt, Howard, and the best character, Blue, I could careless about anyone else on screen. In fact, who are all you people? Claire brings along two new faces, feisty “paleo-veterinarian” Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda), who knows everything about these creatures but has never actually seen one in person, and tech-geek Franklin (Justice Smith), who constantly screams at any sign of danger. They had no business being in this movie. Because again, who even are you?

The villain is weak and their “evil” motive is just lazy writing. There were other characters too but, honestly, I just don’t care enough about them.

Though the film has intense action-packed sequences that will keep you enthralled till the end, the ridiculous story is unforgiving. Oddly enough, I’d still say it is worth watching the action on the big screen, but don’t go in with high expectations. Grab some popcorn and try not to think too much while watching.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom leaves the door wide open for another sequel, and maybe, the writers will get it right on their third try with what will hopefully be the final chapter.

Rating: 2.5/5

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits theaters June 22.

Share

Interview: Joonas Suotamo brings Chewbacca to Life in “Solo: A Star Wars Story”

I sat down with Joonas Suotamo, the new Chewbacca, for “Solo: A Star Wars Story”.  We discussed how he captured Chewie’s characteristics, his strong bond with Han Solo, the movie that inspired him to want to act and more!

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” opens in theaters on May 24.

Share

Interview: Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal talk “Blindspotting”

Image result for blindspotting movie

There was lots of buzz surrounding the new drama/comedy, “Blindspotting”, at the 2018 Dallas International Film Festival.  While at the festival, I got a chance to sit down with the stars and writers of the movie, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal.  We discussed their film, the idea of blind spots, should you ignore your best friend’s ex, and more!

“Blindspotting” is a powerful film and one that will leave you thinking about its message long after you finish watching.

“Blindspotting” hits theaters July 27.

Share

Movie Review: “Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare” – A Convoluted Plot, Scattered with a Few Scares

I’ll be honest; when I first saw the trailer for this film, I was immediately intrigued. Turning a game that I have loved playing with my friends since childhood into a horror flick sounded surprisingly clever. Think about it. The actual game of truth or dare is kind of scary. You could be forced to share secrets that would ruin friendships, or do things that could ruin you. With that thought in mind, Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare had the potential to really shine. Unfortunately, the film is just a commercialized knock off of The Ring (2002) and Would You Rather (2012).

We first meet our protagonist, Olivia (Lucy Hale), while she is posting a video on social media about her Habitat for Humanity plans this spring break. But, those plans quickly change. Olivia’s best friend, Markie (Violett Beane), begs her to spend the break partying in Mexico instead of helping people in need of homes. After about five seconds of deliberation, Olivia agrees and the girls are off to Mexico with four other close friends.

Once they get to Mexico, we see a cliché montage of the group having fun, partying, and taking selfies. But of course, they couldn’t just leave it at that. Nope, the group foolishly decides to follow a stranger they met at the bar to “a fun place”. Yup, it was that easy. They are led to an abandoned church, and the mysterious new friend suggests they play truth or dare. They soon to come to find out that the game is haunted by a demon, and now they are forced to play the game forever or die.

As silly as the premise sounds, the film still manages to conjure up a few screams. The actual dares keep you on edge and can be a little gruesome at times. So in that sense the film is effective. But as a whole, the film flounders. The dialogue is cheesy, and feels more like a teen drama series. Dare I say like Pretty Little Liars? There is also way too much crammed into this movie. The few character backstories are rushed, and the journey to finding out how to the end the game is confusing.

The acting is decent; lots of controlled tear drops. There’s a ridiculous love triangle in there somewhere between Markie, her boyfriend Lucas (Tyler Posey), and Olivia. But I chose not to put much thought into that because, clearly, the writers didn’t either. I blame most of my qualms on the script. These young actors are capable of giving better performances in a more solid film.

Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare may entertain its target teen audience with its attractive cast and tense moments, but their money might be better spent if they save this one for a rental.

Rating: 2.5/5

“Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare” opens in theaters April 13.

Share

Interview: Greg Berlanti, Nick Robinson and Alexandra Shipp talk “Love, Simon”

There’s a reason why “Love, Simon” is getting so much love.  The film is a charming coming-of-age story that everyone can relate to.  It’s one of my favorite movies of the year and I was thrilled to get a chance to sit down with director Greg Berlanti, and stars, Nick Robinson and Alexandra Shipp.  We discussed the pros/cons of social media, best romantic spots, what kind of characters they’d like to see represented in big studio movies and more!

“Love, Simon” is playing in theaters everywhere.

Share

“Waitress” at Music Hall at Fair Park

Waitress the Musical

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) and Broadway Across America (BAA) are thrilled to announce Waitress will play the Music Hall at Fair Park for a limited two-week engagement March 28 – April 8, 2018.

Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam), choreography by Lorin Latarro (Les Dangereuse Liasons, Waiting For Godot) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin, Finding Neverland).

Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna – a waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.

“It’s an empowering musical of the highest order!” raves the Chicago Tribune. “Waitress is a little slice of heaven!” says Entertainment Weekly and “a monumental contribution to Broadway!” according to Marie Claire. Don’t miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.

For more tour information, please visit http://waitressthemusical.com

Single tickets for the Dallas engagement of Waitress, starting at $20 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1 (800) 745-3000. They can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Interview: Dennis Quaid talks “I Can Only Imagine”

Country music is full of stories that can make your eyes leak,  and “I Can Only Imagine” is even more poignant because it really happened (at least in a cinematic sense.) I sat down with one of the stars of the film, Dennis Quaid, to discuss, the movie, his character and never giving up on your dream.

“I Can Only Imagine” hits theaters March 16.

Share