Hollywood

‘Film Fest’ Is a Solid Satire of the Indie Movie Scene

Ulises Duenas

The biggest laughs and most interesting moments come one after another towards the end of Film Fest. Film Fest shows that making a movie is just the tip of the iceberg for filmmakers and how crazy and seedy the marketing side of the industry can be even at the lower levels of the industry. It also shows the heart of the indie movie scene and how filmmakers will struggle through all the nonsense to see their vision realized.

Studios Should Respect Filmmakers’ Vision and Not Restrict Their Artistic Efforts

Garrett Hartman

Some have blamed Whedon for the failure of the original film. However, many of the fixes to the film's biggest issues come in the form of the two hours of additional footage. It seems unlikely that Warner Bros. would have approved sending out a four-hour film regardless of which director was behind it. The problem with Justice League was never Whedon or Snyder; the problem was with Warner Bros. itself. 

Rita Moreno Documentary Shows the Story of a Living Legend

Ulises Duenas

After the cheerful opening it’s not long before the documentary delves into the pain and suffering Moreno felt in her early career. Being typecast as a Native or Polynesian girl despite being Puerto Rican, abused by the Hollywood system, and never having the freedom to just be herself. The documentary does a great job of making you empathize with Moreno and because of that, you feel elated when she talks about how her life and career eventually turned around dramatically.

‘Cruella’ Doesn’t Deliver the Evil Villain We Have Come to Hate

Forrest Hartman

Stone and Thompson are great talents when they have solid material to work with, but Cruella never finds sound footing. The allure of a classic-villain backstory is – presumably – to show fans how the person they’ve despised for all these years became so despicable. Questions abound. Were they born the epitome of evil, like Damien in The Omen, or were they overcome by all-consuming power, like young Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise? The answers to such questions are often ridiculously satisfying. The problem, of course, is that they can also be frustrating, especially when -- as happens in Cruella -- the filmmakers don’t pay proper homage to story canon.  

Actor Kristoffer Polaha’s Journey to Stardom

Forrest Hartman

Rather than follow “America’s Prince” with increasingly important TV and movie roles, Polaha landed a string of starring appearances in television shows that seemed promising, launched … and then stalled … time and again. From 2004 to 2012, Polaha had key roles in the nighttime soap “North Shore,” the sitcom “Miss Guided,” the romantic comedy “Valentine,” the relationship drama “Life Unexpected” and the Sarah Michelle Gellar thriller “Ringer.”

‘The Courier’ Retells True Story of Spy Caper During the Cuban Missile Crisis

James Fozard

The well-written, poignant drama includes the famous speech, “We will bury you” by  Kruschev, the memorable speech by President Kennedy on the Cuban missile build-up, and several dramatic meetings between British intelligence and the CIA regarding  the merits of using the businessman as the courier. The cinematography and music are quite effective in capturing the settings and transfers of the spy materials and clandestine meetings of the traitor and courier.

Watching the Golden Globes: And the Best Films of 2020 Were…

Forrest Hartman

If Boseman wins a Golden Globe for his performance (he is nominated for best actor in a drama), some will believe it is out of sympathy. That thought should be dispelled now, as it diminishes his incredible work. In “Ma Rainey,” based on the like-titled August Wilson play, Boseman plays Levee Green, a trumpet player in a music world where black artists are mercilessly abused. Although capable of writing and playing with the best, Levee is relegated to backing Ma Rainey (Viola Davis, also nominated for a Globe), a black diva who has achieved enough fame and success to hold sway over white record producers.

‘Lapsis’ Paints a Picture of a Realistic but Grim Future

Ulises Duenas

While director Noah Hutton does a great job of illustrating the world he’s created through small scenes that show you how disingenuous the cabling company is and how desperate people are to make some extra cash, the film is still lacking. On one hand, Hutton replicates the dialogue and actions of human beings quite well. On the other, he does it so well that it becomes dull. The whole movie feels like a pilot to the miniseries.

A Chilling Cat-and-Mouse Game Ensues in ‘The Little Things’

Garrett Hartman

The performances are terrific, with Jared Leto giving a particularly superb performance as the  prime suspect, Albert Sparma. Leto creates an eerily charming antagonist who perfectly plays to the air of mystery, doubt, and confusion the film aims to create.  In typical noir style, the film offers no heroes -- which is utilized to serve the film’s theme on obsession and the nature of justice. Instead of conflicted characters who falter clearly behind the lines of right and wrong, these  characters always seem to be in the middle of the road.

Hollywood Veteran Dennis Dugan Tackles Modern-Day Romance in ‘Love, Weddings and Other Disasters’

Forrest Hartman

Dugan’s career has many highlights, including a much-loved acting stint as Captain Freedom on the TV drama Hill Street Blues. He has been even more successful in the director’s chair, with credits garnering more than $1 billion total. His directorial works include Problem Child (1990), Happy Gilmore (1996), Big Daddy (1999) and Grown Ups 1 and 2 (2010, 2013). For Love, Weddings and Other Disasters he tapped into his talent, not only writing, directing and producing, but playing the key supporting role of Eddie Stone.

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