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Archives for : true story

Interview: Jeannette Walls talks “The Glass Castle”

I sat down with writer and journalist Jeannette Walls, author of “The Glass Castle.”  We discussed the new film based on her memoir, the proper way to raise a family and much more!  Check out the interview below.

“The Glass Castle” opens in theaters on August 11.

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Interview: Jennifer Garner talks “Miracles from Heaven” on the Red Carpet

“Miracles From Heaven”, a feature film produced in the DFW area, recently had its red carpet premiere. Stars and local celebrities like Jennifer Garner and the Beam family were in attendance and we got to speak to them about the powerful faith-based film.  It’s beautiful film with a touching message of how miracles are all around us in our daily lives.  Side note– Bring a box of Kleenex for this one!

“Miracles from Heaven” opens in theater on March 16.

Click Here to Watch the “Miracles from Heaven” Red Carpet

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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

Interview: “Foxcatcher” Director Bennett Miller Discusses Pressures And Friendships

I sat down with  Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller (Director) for his latest film, “Foxcatcher.” We discussed the pressure of not wanting to let someone down, the definition of a “real” friend, and more! FOXCATCHER opens Wednesday, November 26 at Cinemark West and Angelika Dallas.

Click Here to Watch “Foxcatcher” Interview with Bennett Miller

Bennett Miller

“Rosewater: Live Preview Event w/ Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert

Fathom Events and Open Road Films to Give Audiences Sneak Peek at

Jon Stewart’s Directorial Debut in ‘Rosewater’ Followed by

Live Q&A on the Eve Before Its National Release

DENVER – November 3, 2014 – Fathom Events and Open Road Films are partnering to present the exclusive “Rosewater: Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert LIVE” event, including the feature film Rosewater followed by a Live Q&A with Jon Stewart, the film’s screen writer, director and producer, interviewed by Stephen Colbert, host and executive producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award Winning series “The Colbert Report,” broadcast from New York City. Fans can join the conversation by Tweeting questions now via Twitter using the hashtag #RosewaterLive.  This special event will be showcased in select cinemas nationwide for only one night on November 13 live at 7:30 p.m. ET and tape delayed to 7:30 p.m. local time in all other time zones. Rosewater is based on The New York Times best-selling memoir “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival,” written by the BBC journalist Maziar Bahari, which is now available in paperback and titled after the upcoming movie. Following the exclusive Fathom Events preview on November 13, Rosewater will be in theaters nationwide on November 14.

Tickets for “Rosewater: Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert LIVE” are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. The event will be presented in more than 300 select movie theaters nationwide through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

A true story, Rosewater marks the screenwriting and directorial debut of “The Daily Show” host and executive producer Jon Stewart, and stars Gael García Bernal, leading an international cast.  Rosewater is produced by Scott Rudin, Stewart and Gigi Pritzker, with Lila Yacoub, Eli Bush and Chris McShane serving as executive producers.

Rosewater has a direct connection to Stewart, who since taking over as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in 1999, has turned the nightly half-hour satirical look at newsmakers and news-coverers into not only a perennial Emmy-winning juggernaut, but also an important touchstone on the zeitgeist. Stewart and “The Daily Show” covered Bahari’s saga nightly and the journalist appeared on the show to talk about his ordeal once he was released from prison.

Rosewater follows the Tehran-born Bahari, a 42-year-old broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship living in London. In June 2009, Bahari returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was the prime challenger to controversial incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  As Moussavi’s supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad’s victory declaration hours before the polls closed on election day, Bahari endured great personal risk by submitting camera footage of the unfolding street riots to the BBC. Bahari was soon arrested by Revolutionary Guard police, led by a man identifying himself only as “Rosewater,” who proceeded to torture and interrogate the journalist over the next 118 days. In October 2009, with Bahari’s wife leading an international campaign from London to have her husband freed, and Western media outlets including “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” continuing to keep the story alive, Iranian authorities released Bahari on $300,000 bail and the promise he would act as a spy for the government.

“Rosewater has been celebrated by early festival audiences as well as critics,” said Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films. “Moviegoers have expressed incredible enthusiasm about the upcoming release of Jon Stewart’s directorial debut and we are thrilled to be able to bring this special event with two icons to theaters across the country.”

“Rosewater is an important story that must be told to the world,” said Fathom Events CEO John Rubey. “The chance to see it first and hear the thought-provoking insight directly from the film’s creator should not be missed.”

View the event trailer on our YouTube page and visit our press site for event photos.

Quick Reviews: “Tracks” & “Good People”

Tracks

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Lily Pearl

Directed By: John Curran

Written By: Marion Nelson (Screenplay), Robyn Davidson (Novel)

Rating: 3.5/5

I guess by now, we can expect that at least one film a year will be about someone’s struggling, isolated travels.  Though, unlike Life of Pi and All Is Lost, Robyn Davidson’s (Wasikowska) rough journey was by choice. Tracks follows the true story of Davidson as she treks 1,700 miles across the Australian desert with four camels and her faithful dog.  Since National Geographic ends up sponsoring her trip, Robyn agrees to the monthly drop-in of the magazine’s pestering photographer Rick Solman (Adam Driver), who must take pictures of her progress.

Unfortunately, this film does lack a certain amount of excitement that we would expect from most dangerous adventures.  Nevertheless, Tracks portrays an authentic voyage that is heightened by its stunning cinematography and the brilliant performances led by Wasikowska and Driver.

 

Good People

Rated: R

Starring: James Franco, Kate Hudson, Tom Wilkinson

Directed By: Henrik Ruben Genz

Written By: Kelly Masterson (Screenplay), Marcus Sakey (Novel)

Rating: 3/5

What good has ever come to people who find large sums of money in the movies?  None you say?  Well you’re right!  And that redundant premise that we have so often seen follows just as predictably in Henrik Ruben Genz’s thriller, Good People.

Tom and Anna Reed (Franco and Hudson), a young American couple, fall into serious debt while renovating Anna’s home in London.  As they begin to accept their losses of having a dream home and finally starting a family, they discover the dead body of their tenant who lives below them and the bag of cash worth $400,000 that he stashed away.  Since no one comes forward to claim the cash, Tom and Anna agree to only spend money that they need.  Unaware that this loot was stolen from a deadly enemy, they are now the crook’s latest target.

Good People is as formulaic as they come.  There are no twist or turns.  However, the story manages to stay engaging the whole way through and ends with a climactic, suspenseful conclusion.  Even though this movie probably won’t even get a bleep on the cinematic radar, Good People does pass for a solid rental.

Good People and Tracks are currently playing in select theaters on September 26.

Movie Review: “Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs” Might be the Most Disturbing Lifetime Film Yet

Parents I seriously advise you to make sure the kiddos are in bed before watching this one.

Get ready to see Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) like you’ve never seen him before.  Goldwyn stars as Warren Jeffs, the infamous Polygamist cult leader who spent more than a year on the FBI’s “10 Most Wanted List” for his unlawful flight on charges related to his arrangement of illegal marriages involving underage girls.

After his father (Martin Landau) passes away leaving behind 56 wives, Warren (Goldwyn) takes on his leadership role as the prophet for Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Basically, the community follows “God’s Law” and believes that women must be obedient wives.  The prophet is the only one who can speak to God and relays the message to the citizens.   A man can have numerous wives and the women have no say in the matter, because apparently God chooses who they are given away to.  If this doesn’t sound gross enough, Jeffs was arranging marriages to girls as young as 12 years-old!

The film itself is grotesque and continuously uncomfortable. Lifetime allows the audience to see some in-depth sex scenes that I wish I hadn’t.  The words spoken to these young girls by Jeffs while having intercourse will haunt me for years to come.  However, the story of Warren Jeffs was conveyed so well that it is worth the watch.

Besides a few small characters, all the leads did a fantastic job in the film.  Goldwyn morphs into his sickening character and Joey King (Fargo) continues her streak as a star on the rise.  This girl is incredible in any role she plays.

I can handle most Lifetime dramas, but Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs was tough to sit through.

Rating: 3/5

Premiering Saturday, June 28, at 8pm ET/PT.  Immediately following the movie’s world premiere, Lifetime will air the hour-long documentary Beyond the Headlines: Warren Jeffs, at 10pm ET/PT.

Disney’s ‘Million Dollar Arm’ Offers A Chance To Win $1 Million!

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A HOT ARM COULD LEAD TO A COOL MILLION! 

DISNEY’S MILLION DOLLAR ARM PITCHING CONTEST OFFERS A CHANCE TO WIN $1 MILLION

Contestants Can Test Their Fastball Skills at

Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif., ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World®Resort in Florida or

the Tribeca Family Festival in New York

Nine Finalists Will Advance to the Final Contest Held at

Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” World Premiere in Hollywood, California

Burbank, Calif.  (April 11, 2014) –Disney is giving amateur baseball pitchers in the nation a chance to compete for a $1 million prize in the Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest. The Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest is being held to celebrate the opening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm,” an incredible true story about two young men who went from never throwing a baseball to getting a Major League tryout.

Amateur baseball pitchers—male or female, who are legal United States residents at least 18 years of age or older—are invited to qualify to compete in the preliminary rounds of the Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest at either Walt Disney World®Resort in Florida, Disneyland® Resort in California or at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day at the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City. The three contestants from each location who throw the fastest pitches will advance to the finals and have a chance to compete for a $1 million prize at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” in Hollywood, California. Official rules are available on Disney.com’s “Million Dollar Arm” homepage at http://disney.com/PitchingContest.

Presented by SUBWAY® restaurants, the three qualifying events will take place on April 25 and 26, from 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at both Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif. and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World® and on April 26 only, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day during the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City. Contestants will throw three pitches, each tracked by a radar gun, in an attempt to throw the fastest pitch. All participants will receive tickets for themselves and a guest to see an advance screening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” at an AMC Theatres location later that evening.

Nine finalists chosen during these qualifying events will have a chance to compete for the $1 million prize at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm.” The top three eligible pitchers with the fastest pitches from each qualifying round location will be flown with his or her guest to the final contest, which will take place at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” in Hollywood, Calif., on May 6.  Each of these finalists will throw three pitches on Hollywood Boulevard. Any eligible finalist who throws one 100 mph strike (out of three pitches) will become a potential winner of the $1 million grand prize.

The nine finalists and their guests will be VIPs at the film’s premiere along with stars, filmmakers, major league players, coaches, scouts and celebrities.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Subject to Official Rules available at event or at http://disney.com/PitchingContest.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Based on a true story, sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) finds that business has changed and things aren’t going well for his career. In a last ditch effort to save his livelihood he concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket pitcher he can turn into a major league baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “The Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin), he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18-year-old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home to America to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India, the boys, who have never left their rural villages, are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball, JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell), learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.

Directed by Craig Gillespie from a screenplay written by Tom McCarthy, Disney’s drama “Million Dollar Arm” stars Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell and Alan Arkin. The producers are Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray and Joe Roth. The executive producers are Palak Patel, Kevin Halloran, Bill Simmons and Connor Schell. The film will be release in the United States on May 16, 2014.

TV Movie Review: “The Grim Sleeper” is a Disturbing Murder Mystery

Once again, Lifetime is reiterating the fact that you should never accept rides from strangers.  Only this time they have taken a frightening and sympathetic route.

The film is based on the true story of a serial killer who went unknown for nearly 20 years killing dozens of women in Los Angeles beginning in the 1980s.   Known as “The Grim Sleeper,” he would shoot or strangle his victims before having sexual contact with them.  He would then take Polaroids of the dead, naked women and store them in his garage as keepsakes.  The film follows LA Weekly reporter, Christine Pelisek (Dreama Walker), as she persistently investigates these unsolved murders.  Things turn slightly more emotional when Christine finds out the families of the victims have no idea that their loved ones were killed by the same psychopathic murderer.  Accusations of racial discrimination surface when it becomes known that the killer is targeting African American women.  The victims’ families and Christine unite to finally push the police into finding “The Grim Sleeper” and put him to rest.

I particularly enjoyed this Lifetime murder mystery more than most for many reasons.  The lead actors all performed remarkably well, especially the star of the film, Dreama Walker.  Her portrayal as the feisty and amusing LA reporter was not only fun to watch, but touching as well.  There was much more to her character besides getting a career changing front page story.  She cared about the victims, and realized they all had someone that loved them.  It was interesting to see a reporter care from the start, instead of halfway through their investigation where they “grow a heart.”  The scene stealer was the man behind the eerie voice of “The Grim Sleeper.”  I prefer not to say who played the role of the terrorizing killer.  I know you can just look it up like I did before watching the film, but I recommend that you go in blindly if you haven’t heard anything about this story before.

Director Stanley T. Brooks did such an incredible job of keeping you locked in and dying to know “who done it,”  that I would hate to spoil that reveal for you now.  I will say that when you finally see “the sleeper” in the end shot, it is one of the most haunting faces that is almost impossible to forget.

There are a lot of elements to this film that will seem familiar to past Lifetime dramas; rape, murder, mystery, strong woman.  But after a repetitive streak of the usual story-line, “The Grim Sleeper” stands out among the rest with actually succeeding in getting the audience to care and look beyond a crazy killer.  We are reminded that every life matters, and if there is anything we can do to prevent actions like these from happening again, we should take them.  An example of that action in this film was notifying the press.  If you make enough “noise” somebody is bound to listen.

The film wasn’t perfect in every aspect.  There are some forced relationships and a few subpar supporting actors, but it doesn’t matter.  “The Grim Sleeper” achieves its goal as an entertaining and intriguing film that sends a valuable message.

“The Grim Sleeper” premieres Saturday, March 15 at 8pm ET/PT.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

TV Movie Review: David Arquette Gives a Deadly Smile in Lifetime’s Original Film ‘Happy Face Killer’

We should already be weary of accepting rides from strangers.  But when that stranger is an unhinged, truck driving, murderer, we should probably avoid hitch-hiking all together.

David Arquette (Scream) stars in the latest Lifetime drama, “Happy Face Killer.”  The film is based on the true story of Keith Jesperson, a Canadian serial killer who drew smiley faces on his victims.  Jesperson had a troubled childhood. He was abused mentally and physically by his father, and tormented by other children.  At a very young age he began torturing and killing animals.  He married at age 20, and fathered three kids.  It was after his divorce 14 years later that Jesperson began to unravel.  Once he was denied his dream job as a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman, he snapped and began to release his frustration on the helpless women he would pick up.

Lifetime once again takes a twisted and sick true story, and turns it into an amusing guilty pleasure.  This enjoyment is due greatly to Arquette’s unsettling portrayal as the deranged Keith Jesperson.  After some knowledge of his background and a quick set up for the film, the story moves rapidly into his multiple killings.  The audience is shown how Jesperson rapes, beats, and strangles the women to death.  We also see how the authorities dealt with the psychotic killer that taunted them by sending letters signed with a happy face.

The head detective on the case, Melinda Gand, was played adequately by Gloria Reuben (Lincoln ).  Lifetime films in general tend to have a weak supporting cast; made up for by strong leads.  However, in this case, Reuben’s performance lacked emotion and energy, providing only one facial expression throughout the entire film.  Luckily, Arquette’s switch from loving dad to enraged truck driver was delivered well enough to distract audiences from noticing any lack of talent from the other actors.

In comparison to other Lifetime true stories, “Happy Face Killer” does not drag.  This movie will keep you intrigued and dying to know what will set the killer off next.  Set your DVR’s and make sure the kiddos are in bed before watching this exciting and disturbing thriller.

“Happy Face Killer” premieres Saturday, March 1 on Lifetime, at 8pm ET /PT.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com