‘The Intern’ Trailer

Not a whole lot needs to be said before rolling this trailer.  You’ve got 7-time Oscar nominated Robert De Niro (who won two of the golden statuettes – for 1974’s “The Godfather Part II” and 1980’s “Raging Bull”) and Anne Hathaway–also an Academy Award winner for 2012’s “Les Miserables” (more on that below).

theinternDe Niro is “the intern”, who at 70 years of age, I assume is tired of watching “The Price Is Right” every morning during his lunchtime, eating dinner by 3 p.m., and calling it a night after his local 6 o’clock news…all with the steady reliability and precision of a Breitling watch.

Hathaway’s character, founder and CEO of an e-business, appears to be the one with the meatier script and need for more serious acting in “The Intern”.  By the way, Hathway–as we saw in the Les Miserables‘ eye-poking musical (though no fault of her own)–has one of the best singing voices in Hollywood.  I’m still waiting to see her take a “Begin Again”-type film and run with it completely.  People didn’t take notice of her singing chops as much as they should have in “Les Mis”, probably due to it being a musical and that obnoxious Wolverine guy.

Also competing for laughs in this one is Adam DeVine (from the wildly successful “Pitch Perfect” twin-set) and movie veteran Rene Russo.

Nancy Meyers (2009’s “It’s Complicated”) directs this one and knows how to balance humor, romance and relationships.

But enough, already.

Roll the tape!

Guys, just plan on this being a Date Night flick and accept it.  You’ll get paid overtime later by your CEO at home.

“The Intern” hits theaters next month (September 25th).

More on De Niro and Hathaway:

Silver Linings Playbook

Hathaway Ready to Slip Back into Catsuit

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Preview: ‘Madden: The Movie’

“Colin Kaepernick shines as Al Pacino from “Scent of a Woman”.  The San Francisco 49er quarterback’s best performance since the NFC Championship game win over the Falcons during the 2012 season.  Madden NFL 16 will keep audiences guessing and laughing. Remarkable!”  – REEL BRIEF.com      

NFL 16 cover

This video game’s mini movie debut marks the reappearance of Dave Franco, following his benchmark work in last year’s “Madden NFL 15”.  Franco, as Blade Johnson, must fight to win back his kidnapped girlfriend–played by WWE sizzling vixen AJ Lee–in this sure-fire blockbuster hit.  Action, suspense and thrills hasn’t been this entertaining since Ralph Macchio’s character, Daniel, was chased by bad apples dressed in skeleton costumes in 1984’s “Karate Kid”.

NFL Madden

A Taste of India – WWE superstar AJ Lee.

Colin Kaepernick shines as Al Pacino from “Scent of a Woman”.  The San Francisco 49er quarterback’s best performance since the NFC Championship game win over the Falcons during the 2012 season.  “Madden NFL 16” will keep audiences guessing and laughing. Remarkable!  Rounding out this powerful starting offense are Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan as ‘Lil Pepper, “Superbad” funny man Christopher Mintz-Plasse and the New England Patriot’s tight end Rob Gronkowski.

One day everything changed. Forever.

Roll the tape!

The movie’s money quote – “I’m going to beat you so hard”.

“Madden NFL 16” is a game-changer.  EA Sports has once again outdone themselves.  And that’s saying a lot.  The actual NFL season begins on Thursday night, September 10th, with a battle between the Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the New England Patriots.

“Madden NFL 16” is rated E for everyone.  Its running time is much longer than men will admit to their wives and girlfriends. 

 

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Special Tucson Showing: ‘Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival’

devils-carnival-alleluia

ATTENTION TUCSON AREA MOVIEGOERS

Tucson area people are being offered a special screening opportunity for the well-received “Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival” horror musical tomorrow night only (Wednesday, August 26th) at The Loft Cinema–located at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ.  Yes, I said horror and musical.  But I should have included comedy too.

This B-rate feature follows the success of 2012’s “The Devil’s Carnival” and brings together all the campy, dark goodness and humor you’d expect from a hit horror musical.

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Tucson’s own adopted son, David Hasselhoff, joins Adam Pascal (who played Roger Davis in “Rent”) and Paul Sorvino, who is best remembered for starring in 1990’s “Goodfellas” and the television series “Law & Order”, as top headliners for “Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival”.

Cult horror extraordinaire Terrance Zdunich, who also stars, will be in attendance at this Tucson screening. Appearing on-screen for this musical are many well-known musicians such as hip hop sensation Tech N9ne, Danny Worsnop of We Are Harlot/formerly of Asking Alexandria, Butcher Babies’ Carla Coates & Heidi Shepherd, as well as “Mindless Self Indulgence’s Jimmy Urine.

Here’s the preview.  Roll the tape!

For more information on ticket purchases and film information, click on the link below:

Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival

1-night only showing, tomorrow–Wednesday, August 26th, 9:30 p.m., at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd, Tucson.

This film screening is open to ALL AGES, but is UNRATED, and contains some adult language and subject matter, and violence.  The live introduction of the film is unscripted and may (and probably will) include some strong language and off-color humor.  Additionally, each night of the tour includes a local opening act–in the past these opening acts have included burlesque performers and clowns making risqué balloon sculptures.  Proceed with caution.

alleluia

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Movie Review: ‘Straight Outta Compton’

“The gravity of this narrative is not mine to tell. Nor should it be left up to the media to report. No, this film’s shocking story belongs to those who lived it and survived it… 

“What the rest of us can take away from the movie is a better understanding of our cross cultures that can’t be captured in 10-second soundbites or three-minute news stories.”          – REEL BRIEF.com

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The origins of hip hop gangsta rap music trace back to the mid ’80s and a trio of young, hard-pressed blacks attempting to escape the dangerous streets of Compton, California. Facing a nearly certain future of either being “locked-up or laid down”, the group musters together to produce the only thing they know—hard-hitting, profane rap music.

This biographical film follows the controversial lives of Andre Young, O’Shea Jackson and Eric Wright as they achieve notoriety, fandom and their more commonly known rapper names of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E. Creating music with incendiary lyrics and violent rhymes, these street-savvy rappers take on everyone and everything standing between them and platinum-selling albums.

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“Straight Outta Compton” is an intense and raw film. The movie’s story is yet another key dot which must be connected in order to have an honest, complete conversation on black-white relations in America.

These hip hop rapper rants which spewed anti-police lyrics, derogatory comments towards women and glorified drug use 25 years ago all remain in abundance today, though championed by other voices within our society. But “Straight Outta Compton” doesn’t just take on cops, drugs and women. This film expounds the powerful backdrop of black-on-black violence, providing historic context on how we’ve gotten to where we are in 2015.

Straight-Outta-Compton

The gravity of this narrative is not mine to tell. Nor should it be left up to the media to report. No, this film’s shocking story belongs to those who lived it and survived it…Ice Cube (played by his real-life son O’Shea Jackson Jr.), Dr.Dre (6-time Grammy Award winner) and Eazy-E’s widow, Tomica Wright—all producers on this true life gem. What the rest of us can take away from the movie is a better understanding of our cross cultures that can’t be captured in 10-second soundbites or three-minute news stories.

An intense and riveting red meat film, “Straight Outta Compton” pulls no punches and should expect the same in return from moviegoers. Between the constant use of the N-word, graphic sex and violence, and ruthless subject matter from these rappers’ music, this film warrants viewer caution. Lots of caution. From the 1988 album that this film is titled after, comes this group’s warning; “Parental Discretion Iz Advised” (sic).

For those able to keep an open mind with a willingness to see and hear other points of view, you’ll gain fascinating knowledge of a music period that still influences our lives on the radio and television today. And knowledge is power.

Grade: A

“Straight Outta Compton” is rated R for language throughout, strong sexuality/nudity, violence and drug use.  Its running time is 2 hours and 27 minutes.

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Preview: ‘Unbranded’

The film’s money quote: “Things are going to go wrong.” – REEL BRIEF.com

This documentary chronicles the 3,000 mile journey of sixteen wild mustang horses through the United States, starting from our southern border and ending up in the cold territory along the Canadian-U.S. line.  Four cowboys attempt to match wits with these beautiful four-legged beasts in an effort to adopt, train and ride them up north–all in test to show us the worth of these likable horses.

Along the way, spirits are raised and tempers tamed for all involved…Mustangs and Man.

This film’s mantra draws viewers’ attention, rightfully so, to the plight of 50,000 wild horses being sent to government holding facilities to await adoption.  You can only imagine the consequences for these mustangs if adoption doesn’t arrive soon enough.

Roll the tape adventure…

Giddyup!  The film’s money quote: “Things are going to go wrong.”

‘Unbranded’ arrives in select cities and theaters in September.  For example, in Tucson, AZ, this film will be screened on Sept 24 at the Foothills AMC Loews theater.  Click here to find a showing in a city near you.

Additionally, you can pre-order your own HD digital version DVD (with bonus material) of ‘Unbranded’ here for $14.99–starting after September 25th.  Likewise, although this film can be added to your Netflix “Queue” right now–no official date has been determined for its Netflix release.

Also check out the Mustang Heritage Foundation website for more information on this wild horses and the problems facing these mustangs.  And, again, here’s the ‘Unbranded’ Film Page for ordering a DVD, learning more about this movie and buying western apparel.

Let’s move ’em out!

‘Unbranded’ is rated PG-13 for some language and unsettling images.  Running time is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

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Preview: ‘Sicario’

**UPDATE**

Newest trailer for the upcoming ‘Sicario’ movie that hits theaters on September 18.  Just in time for political border discussions.  My full preview is below.


Coming in mid-September, with wider release later that month to U.S. theaters, ‘Sicario’ showcases three top-shelf performers – Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow, 2014), Academy Award winner Benicio del Toro (Traffic, 2000) and Oscar nominated Josh Brolin (for 2008’s Milk).

The trio meet along the blurred borders of corruption, deception and drug cartels within Mexico and the southwestern U.S.  A frustrated and naive Blunt (FBI) finds herself embedded between a tough CIA Operations Chief (Brolin) and a mercenary (Toro) who tends to lean in the direction of the highest payer.  Together, they fight drug lords and a jurisdiction system that still tilts in favor of the criminal minds.

Blunt’s savvy street smarts and keen instincts are all she’s left with after thrown into a dangerous environment where nothing is as it appears to be.  Talk about trust issues.

This movie isn’t about cooperation between neighboring countries or an eager FBI agent seeking her “by-name request” into a clandestine U.S. unit. And its sure not about curbing the drug war by the time the film credits roll.  No, this action thriller–with a superb music score–is about enlightening and educating audiences to the violent crime that already exists, and operates, inside our southern U.S. border–and illustrates the dangers associated with this fact.

Filmed mostly in Albuquerque, New Mexico, last June, Sicario made the shortlist for the top prize (Palme d’Or) at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Roll the tape….

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Movie Review: ‘The Gift’

The Gift this year’s mind-blowing Gone Girl offering. And in a time when movies are becoming more and more predictable, that’s saying a lot.” – REEL BRIEF.com

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With a significant number of movies either made from successful bestselling novels or based upon true events, audiences more than ever are filing into theaters already knowing how these story-lines will unfold. Therefore, when a film is able to shock, surprise and keep movie-goers guessing until the final scene, a true cinema feat has been achieved and deserves to be applauded. The Gift now joins the ranks of 1999’s The Sixth Sense and last year’s well received Gone Girl for delivering a chilling psychological thriller that keeps its plot cards close to the vest.

Joel Edgerton writes, directs and stars in this tense conundrum, playing Gordo—an awkward creeper to a young couple moving into their new house. Nicknamed “Weirdo Gordo” back in high school, Edgerton’s character enters into the married life of Simon (Justin Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) after a random chance encounter that escalates quickly into troublesome meddling.

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In her breakout leading-lady role, Rebecca Hall provides the film’s best performance as wife Robyn. Hall’s perfect blend of graciousness and caution towards the misfit Gordo keenly balances out the shrewdness and anger displayed by her controlling husband, Simon. Hall’s slow simmer to acknowledge her intuitive Spidey senses while Simon goes overboard prejudging Gordo, reverberates an eerie feeling for viewers throughout.

The GiftA thoughtful but terrifying mystery adventure with several twists and turns, The Gift takes an awkward, creepy character and stresses audiences with clever, timely plot changes.

The young married couple that must cope and work together, learns more about each other with every menacing act and conversation posed by Weirdo Gordo. The Gift works because each character further develops in a seamless manner as circumstances and events unravel before our unbelieving eyes. Stellar work—particularly from Hall’s timid Robyn and Edgerton’s puzzling Gordo—make The Gift this year’s mind-blowing Gone Girl offering. And in a time when movies are becoming more and more predictable, that’s saying a lot.

Grade: A-

“The Gift” is rated R for language with a running time of 1 hour and 48 minutes.

A link to more on this movie:  “The Gift”

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My few minutes with Robin Williams downrange

UPDATE: I can’t believe it’s been a year this we lost this exceptional entertainer and supporter of our U.S. troops.

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I’ve always thought USO tours downrange to support the troops we’re a big hit. Not only for us service members, but also for the performers. The “troops” have obviously enjoyed getting a taste of entertainment from the good ol’ U.S. of A ever since the USO began doing their shows in 1941. These performances provide the deployed soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coasties, with something to look forward to besides our departure dates. The USO tours also offer a few hours of time to decompress and think about something besides our mission.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many USO performances across the globe; the Dallas Cowboy and New England Patriot cheerleaders in South Korea and SW Asia. Radio talker Delilah visited us in 2007 at Doha, Qatar, and I’m positive she enjoyed herself as much as the troops. One of my craziest USO moments was the “live” performance I witnessed by the Fox NFL Sunday cast of Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Rowdy sports fans all armed to the teeth to support their favorite team.

From a purely entertainment perspective, the most enjoyable USO show I’ve experienced was the Lt. Dan Band, led by Oscar-nominated actor and HUGE military supporter, Gary Sinise. His November 2009 show in Afghanistan, was accompanied by model Leeann Tweeden and the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kristy Swanson. Great music and Sinise told the crowd about visiting Afghan villages in order to bring them school and medical supplies.

The most memorable USO show I’ve seen took place during my last Afghanistan tour in 2010-11. On December 15, 2010, comedian Lewis Black, country music star Kix Brooks (Brooks & Dunn) and others warmed up the audience on a bitter cold, Afghan night. The headliner was Oscar-winning actor and comic Robin Williams.

Most of the air base knew Robin Williams was coming to visit our sandbox; the densely populated location that’s nearly surrounded by mountains and hillside Taliban fighters—who could be counted on like clockwork for twice-weekly mortar rounds over our fence. With prior knowledge that Robin Williams was coming, the squadron flew an American flag in his honor and as a gift to be presented to him. My aircrew was excited to sign the certificate of authentication, (noting the exact date the American flag flew) knowing that it would be for Dr. Patch Adams, aka Robin Williams.

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I presented Robin Williams with his American flag just prior to his USO performance (picture attached). He seemed very flattered that the crew would go to such lengths to provide him with a token of appreciation for his visit.

After his USO comedy routine, which featured the unmistakable “Goooooooood morninnnnnnnnng Afghanistaaaaaaaaaaaan!” line, the several hundred audience members were herded onto the stage to take group photos with the entire visiting USO cast: Kathleen Madigan, Lewis Black, Bob DiPiero, Kix Brooks, and yes, Robin Williams. In order to get the 500-700 people through these photos fast and the stars to their next location, the line was kept moving at a very brisk pace.

About 15 troops were ushered up and behind the sitting stars every 30-seconds for the quick pic. As my group approached the stage, I took up a spot standing in the back row to the far right. Just as everyone was ready for the photographer to snap this shot, I heard a “Hey Boss” coming from my left. I looked over and noticed that it was Robin Williams reaching out behind Kix Brooks and Lewis Black with his outstretched right arm ready to shake my hand. The voice and tone of his “Hey Boss” was straight out of the “Good Will Hunting” script. I leaned over and shook his hand as the troops next to me backed up to give us more space. “Thanks again for the American flag,” Williams ended with. And I could tell he meant it. You’re welcome, Sir.

RIP, Robin Williams.

 

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Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’

Unorthodox director/screenplay writer and Academy Award winner Quentin Tarantino (for 1992’s Pulp Fiction) rides into the upcoming Christmas season with another spaghetti Western.  Although his last Old West adventure left me underwhelmed, it did earn 5 Oscar nominations (winning Best Original Screenplay for Tarantino and the Best Actor for Christoph Waltz).  And Pulp Fiction remains a classic on anyone’s All-Time Best Films list.

Now, teaming up once again with Samuel L. Jackson, Tarantino’s desired taste for disjointed plot-lines, satire and violence appear in full force in this latest trailer.

Set in a post-Civil War period, The Hateful Eight brings eight strangers together on a poaching expedition, all connected by one person.  Then things go very bad.  Almost this bad. It’s too early to tell how this cowboy round-up is going to go down, but the outstanding old-school western music from Django Unchained is also found in this film.

Roll the tape…

A great cast.  An exceptional, talented director and writer.  A very good December movie month is getting better and better by the day.

Here’s a link to this year’s Comic Con in San Diego and discussion of this film:

Comic Con – Quentin Tarantino and The Hateful Eight Cast

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To Boldly Go….

How cool is this?  The next Star Trek movie recruiting you (and a friend) for a walk-on role.

Beam yourself to this link and drop $10 for charity and the chance to meet The Green Chick.

To Boldly Go Crew

For more on The Green Chick from the original Star Trek television series and an upcoming film on this unique cast member, click here.

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