Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Who is This Hans?! A Very Cute Guy, That's Who!


Well, Once Upon a Time has found its Hans.  Since I obviously can't stop talking about anything Frozen-related, I have to write about it.  The not-so-charming prince is going to be played by Tyler Jacob Moore.  Moore is most known for playing Tony on Showtime's Shameless alongside William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum.  He's done some other television work as well, but it appears this will be his most publicized role to date.  

Moore sort of looks like a mixture of Armie Hammer and Ryan Gosling.  I ain't complaining, girl.  He will join Georgina Haig (Elsa), Elizabeth Lail (Anna), and Scott Michael Foster (Kristoff) in the upcoming Frozen story arc.  Does anyone have any casting suggestions for Olaf?  

Baaahhh!!!


I feel very unmotivated this week.  My job hunt is very frustrating at the moment, and it's affecting my desire to sit at my computer and write.  I'm just being a big baby, so just ignore me.  I'll post something about trailers or a review soon.  Ugh.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Katniss Promises She'll Fight in New 'Mockingjay' Tease


The new teaser for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part I (yeah, that title is already too long) features two of my all-time favorite things: Julianne Moore and female-driven dystopian drama!  We've had two small teasers for the latest installment, but nothing has really been seen of the newest film itself.  A special preview was shown on Friday at Comic-Con in San Diego.  

The minute long tease shows us District 13 President Coin (Moore) expressing her doubts of Katniss Everdeen's ability to lead the rebellion against The Capitol.  Philip Seymour Hoffman's Plutarch Heavensbee assures her that people will follow Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss.  We don't get to see Peeta or Johanna like we did in the first two propaganda teasers.  The future is looking pretty bleak.






I'm not going to lie.  As soon as I saw that Mockingjay crop circle I started looking for Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix.  

'Boys' Will Be Boys


Jersey Boys seems like a man's musical.  There's no big, fluffy production numbers, sequins, or showgirls in sight.  It's the kind of movie musical that a man could say he went to see without his masculinity being threatened.  After all, Jersey features a predominantly male cast and has plot strings that involve the mob.  I originally thought that Clint Eastwood would be a natural choice to direct the big-screen adaption of the Broadway smash, but I'm starting to wonder if Eastwood ever thought he was in over his head.

Confession time: I've never seen Jersey Boys on stage, so seeing it on the big screen was my first time learning about the rise and fall of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.  All I really knew about it was that little old ladies love it and the word fuck is used a lot.  We meet Frankie (John Lloyd Young) as a 16 year-old living in New Jersey in 1951, and he's already known around the neighborhood for his unique singing voice.  Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) is Frankie's no-good friend and the film's cocky narrator.  He's responsible for not only eventually putting Frankie at the center of a singing trio, but he always ends up getting Frankie in trouble.  Thinking ahead isn't Tommy's strong suit.  


The narrator switches to Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen), a songwriter and fourth member of the group.  Narrating to the screen works on stage.  You feel a connection to the characters, and it can feel a lot more intimate.  In Jersey Boys, however, it doesn't work.  When Tommy or Bob would start jabbering away to us, I was waiting for the other characters to notice and to ask them who the hell they were talking to.  

Jersey Boys doesn't really feel like a musical.  It's a biopic of Valli and the Four Seasons--which is totally fine.  I wanted something bigger and more lavish.  As the credits roll, all the characters come out and dance with each down a city street.  They have instruments and they interact with each other.  It's vibrant and colorful.  This movie is drained of all color and energy.  It's pale grey and silver and black.  The musical aspect of it doesn't even kick in until twenty minutes into the film, and the performances are nice to watch.  They're pleasant enough, but those little snippets of energy can't save the movie.  

I applaud Eastwood's decision to cast all stage actors in the roles of The Four Seasons.  Young, as Valli, is earnest and his voice is great.  Piazza's Tommy is so frustratingly stubborn, and I loved Mike Doyle as Bob Crewe, the record producer who records their music.  Normally, a fey character like Crewe would annoy the living hell out of me, but his presence contrasts nicely with all the tough guys surrounding him.  The one person who isn't given enough to do is Renee Marino as Mary, Frankie's first wife.  She and Young's first date is great, but she disappears a quarter way through the film.  Move over, Mary, this is a guy's musical.  If they ever decide to do a Patti LuPone biopic, please cast Marino.  

Movie musicals don't come around a lot, but, when they do, they can be great.  Thanks to a confusing timeline and muddy palette, this isn't one of them.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bullying Doc 'Same Difference' Contrasts Coming Out Experiences


The coming out experience coupled with the high school experience can be very dangerous.  Teenagers, especially those in middle school and early high school, can be very vicious and unforgiving.  I don't think anyone in our community will be able to forget seeing headline after headline about gay teens committing suicide in the last few years.  You could barely check CNN online without seeing another notice of a gay teen taking his or her life.  The bullying pandemic is discussed in the documentary Same Difference, and the film is currently still looking for funding.  

Difference mainly focuses on two very difference gay high school students.  Graeme Taylor seems like a very articulate young man, and he is surrounded by a very loving, supportive environment.  He has friends that support him, and it appears that he is very open.  His experience is compared with the high school experience of Justin Aaberg, a 15 year-old Minnesota teen who hanged himself in 2010.  Aaberg was one of nine students who committed suicide between 2009 and 2011 in the Anoka-Hennepin school district.  The fact that nine students took their own lives is unfathomable.  The Minnesota state health officials deemed the district as a 'suicide contagion.'  Same Difference also delves into the investigation that followed in the school district.  

The two young men featured in the film: Taylor and Aaberg, respectively.

I briefly chatted with the director and producer of Same Difference, Josh Sweeny.  I actually know Josh from college (when I was an awkward theater major and he was a not-so-awkward dance major), and I know he's been working on Difference for a while.  When I asked him what drove him to make this movie, Sweeny said: 

"When I was a teen I was afraid people were going to stop loving me.  I had the hardest time coming out...so much shame.  Being gay is the number one best part of my life, and it's led all of my best experiences.  I want little boys and girls to have the chance of going through the coming out phase without any shame.  That's why I made this film.  Someday soon, the majority of queer kids are going to tell their parents with excitement and joy instead of fear.  I want to be part of that shift.  

As of right now, Same Difference is short of its funding goal of $135,000.  Sweeny, along with co-prodcer and cinematographer Kyle Wentzel, have a donation page on IndieGoGo.  You can watch the trailer for Same Difference on their donation page.  At the end of the trailer, Sweeny and Wentzel go into more detail about what the money is going towards.  The trailer looks really emotionally engaging, and, hopefully, Same Difference can earn some more support.  You can also like their Facebook page, and follow the film on Twitter. 

Random Poll: Who Is Going to Kick Your Ass This Weekend?


Two big action movies come out today.  Both titles are the name of its respective lead.  Each title character kicks everyone's ass around them.  My question is...who are you going to give your money to: Dwayne I'm not going by The Rock anymore Johnson or Scarlett Johansson?  




Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why So Stubbly?!


Director Zack Snyder has tweeted a picture of Ben Affleck in the Caped Crusader's cowl on Thursday evening.  I'm prepared for all the fanboy bitching, but I think Affleck looks pretty good!  He's definitely got the chin for it.  

I'm game for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (and that's saying a lot since I kind of hate Snyder's other work).  Are you?