Showing posts from September, 2011

"Answer This!" red carpet premiere at Emagine Royal Oak

The feature film Answer This! has finally found distribution, and will be playing in selected theaters in Michigan, Ohio, and New Hampshire soon. To kick off its theater run, a red carpet premiere will be held at the new Emagine Theater in Royal Oak, MI, on Thursday, October 13th.

$75 gets you dinner, drinks, popcorn, a ticket to the movie, and a chance to "hobnob" with the stars and producer/writer of the film. UM alum and Michigan native Chris Farah, the writer and director of the film, will be present, and I am hoping that Chris Gorham and Arielle Kebbel, the stars of the film, will be attending as well - I got to meet them at the world premiere at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor last October (click here for event coverage). Dress for the red carpet is "cocktail casual."

If $75 is out of your price range, $10 will get you a ticket to the movie, which starts at 8pm on the 13th.

Synopsis of the movie from the website:

A brilliant trivia whiz, Paul Tarson (Christop…

"What's Your Number?"

Anna Faris has been in a lot of good movies over the past few years - I enjoyed her in The House Bunny, for example - but What's Your Number? makes me wonder if she only did the movie because she needed a paycheck. WYN looked like it was going to be a cute chick flick, but instead took a turn for the worse and employed dumb raunchy comedy like far too many movies these days.

Ally Darling (Anna Faris, "Take Me Home Tonight") has a bad track record when it comes to guys. After breaking up with her last boyfriend, Rick (Zachary Quinto, TV's "Heroes"), a vegetarian bicyclist, she realizes that her sister's wedding is soon approaching and she needs a date for it. After subsequently getting fired from her job - perhaps because she was late every day, but it's never actually said - Ally reads an article in a women's magazine entitled "What's Your Number?" which says that 96% of women who have had twenty or more lovers end up not finding s…


Cancer is generally not a funny thing, so making a humorous movie on the subject is a tough proposition. 50/50 presents a few light laughs throughout, however, and tries to tackle a topic that most films deal with only in the saddest of situations.

Twenty-seven-year-old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "Inception") is dating Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard, "The Help"). He works for a radio station with his buddy Kyle (Seth Rogen, "The Green Hornet") and overall has an okay life, at least until his doctor diagnoses him with a rare form of cancer. Adam gives Rachael an out, saying that if she wants to break up with him, he'll be fine with it, but she insists that she will be there to support him, as do Kyle and also Adam's mother, Diane (Anjelica Huston, "When in Rome"). He starts to do therapy at the hospital, his therapist being 24-years-old (Anna Kendrick, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse") and in the process of getting her PhD, and that …

Upcoming movie: "War Horse"

War Horse will be in theaters on December 28th of this year, and Disney has just sent out their official "one-sheet" regarding the movie. Newcomer Jeremy Irvine plays Albert, and the film is being directed by Steven Spielberg.

See below:

Genre: Drama
Rating: PG-13
U.S. Release date: December 28, 2011

Cast: Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irvine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Kebbell
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
Executive Producers: Frank Marshall, Revel Guest
Screenplay by: Lee Hall and Richard Curtis
Based on the book by: Michael Morpurgo
and the recent stage play by Nick Stafford, produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain and directed by Tom Morris and Marianne Elliot

DreamWorks Pictures’ “War Horse,” director Steven Spielberg’s epic…

"Real Steel"

Real Steel just might be the most unique movie of the year. I had decent expectations for it, since it's a Disney/Dreamworks movie, but the actual film blew those expectations out of the water, and it is one of the most enjoyable movies I have seen in 2011 thus far.

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"), a former boxer, is always on the lookout for the next big robot boxing opportunity, and he owes a lot of money to a lot of people. He has an 11-year-old son, Max (Dakota Goyo, "Thor"), whom Charlie hasn't seen since he was born, but when Max's mother dies, Charlie suddenly gains custody of him. He makes a deal with Max's uncle (James Rebhorn, TV's "White Collar") that he will take care of him for the summer, since the uncle and aunt have plans to summer in Italy - for $50,000 up front, and $50,000 at the end of the summer. Charlie then uses the $50,000 to buy Noisy Boy, an international robot ... and promptly destro…


The film Moneyball is based on the real-life story of the Oakland A's, one of the least winningest teams in baseball before they started applying "moneyball" theories to make up their roster. From what I can tell, a lot of the story has been changed or altered for the movie, but the story presented in the film is a captivating one, especially with Brad Pitt playing the lead character, Billy Beane.

Billy Beane (Brad Pitt, "The Tree of Life"), the general manager of the Oakland A's, has just lost three of his best players, and he's looking to recruit some new ones. On a trip to the Cleveland Indians office, he meets Peter Brand (Jonah Hill, "Get Him to the Greek"), a Yale whiz kid who is great with statistics. Instead of buying an Indians player, he buys Peter, and together they start to put together a team based on statistics rather than actual playing ability, or at least what they have seen in footage of the players. The manager (coach) of th…

"Dolphin Tale"

Dolphin Tale was definitely better than I thought it would be, and the interesting thing is that it is based on a true story, parts of which they show footage of at the end of the movie. At some points, though, the movie tries too hard to be "cutesy" and family-friendly.

Sawyer (Nathan Gamble, "The Dark Knight") is stuck in summer school and isn't too happy about it. His cousin Kyle (Austin Stowell, TV's "The Secret Life of the American Teenager") is shipping out to the army and Sawyer knows the summer is going to be super boring. On his way to school one day, however, he finds a dolphin stranded on the beach, and a crew of people come to take her to the marine hospital nearby. Sawyer stops by to visit the dolphin - now named Winter - one day and meets the people who run the hospital: Dr. Clay Haskitt (Harry Connick Jr., "P.S. I Love You") and his daughter Hazel (newcomer Cozi Zuehlsdorff), and since Winter likes him, he makes it a point…

"I Don't Know How She Does It"

I just read the book that on which this movie is based, and the movie is barely recognizable when compared to the novel, except for the names of the characters. Ages, locations, and even characteristics have been changed, as well as entire scenes cut out from the novel to the movie, so it will be easy for me to separate the movie from its novel; though I will say, as in the case of 99% of novel-to-movie adaptations, the novel was better. The movie ended up being cute, though, and I still recommend it for a fun night out.

Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker, "Sex and the City 2") does it all. She has two kids, a little boy and a girl, and she's married to Richard (Greg Kinnear, "Salvation Boulevard"), who also works full-time. They have a nanny, Paula (Jessica Szohr, TV's "Gossip Girl"), who takes care of the kids when they are both gone during the day, but she often shows up late, when both Kate and Richard need to dash off to work. Kate lands a big …

"The Lion King 3D"

This review is a little unusual, because it is about a movie that was released 17 years ago: The Lion King. The movie is now out on Blu-Ray this year and, as a result, is being re-released in theaters for a limited time in 3D. When the movie originally debuted, I was 7 years old and living in Chicago; now I am 24. Does the movie stand the test of time? Read on to find out.

The plot summary, in case you were born after '94 or have been living under a rock for the past 17 years: Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas when young; Matthew Broderick as an adult) is born to the lion king Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Sarabi (Madge Sinclair). He is in line to inherit the throne, and his uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) isn't too happy about that, because previously Scar was second in line to the throne. Scar enlists his hyena friends to kill both Mufasa and Simba, but only Mufasa is killed; he makes Simba believe it's Simba's fault, and tells him to run and don't look back. Simba is luck…


Any movie with Ryan Gosling is a must-see for me, especially after his great performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love, so I was excited to see Drive - it looked like it would be an action movie with some gangsters thrown in. Unfortunately, as one reviewer commented, Drive ended up being more of a "film" than a "movie," and once it took a turn for the violent, I lost interest.

Driver (Gosling) has a part-time job doing stunt driving for the movies. At night, he drives for heists, his one rule being that his criminal clients get 5 minutes and then he's gone, with or without them. He lives in a small apartment in LA and mostly keeps to himself, until he meets one of his neighbors, Irene (Carey Mulligan, "Never Let Me Go"), and her son Benicio (newcomer Kaden Leos). He starts to fall for her, although she tells him that her husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac, "Sucker Punch"), is in jail. When Standard gets out of jail early, he owes people money for &quo…

Muppets spoof trailer: "Pig with the Froggy Tattoo"

I actually kind of like this trailer more than the real one ... check it out, and click here to be taken to the Muppets Facebook page.

The Muppets is in theaters on November 23rd.

Win a copy of Disney's "Spooky Buddies: The Curse of the Halloween Hound" on DVD/Blu-Ray!

Walt Disney's Spooky Buddies: The Curse of the Halloween Hound is out in stores on September 20th, but why buy a copy when you can WIN one?

Check out the giveaway over at my Examiner page.

Interview with Kenny Wormald, star of the new "Footloose"

I got a chance to speak via phone recently with Kenny Wormald, who plays Ren McCormack - the role formerly played by Kevin Bacon - in the new Footloose remake, which comes to theaters on October 14th. I have seen the movie already at a screening, and it's great; I actually liked it more than the original film from 1984.

Here's what Kenny had to say:

I know you and the cast and director have been on tour promoting Footloose. What has been your favorite city to show it in, and how many times have you actually seen it so far?

I’ve seen it about 6 times now, maybe 6 and a half, and I’d have to say it was the best to screen it at Boston and see it at home in front of my family and friends. My character is from Boston as well, so even the people that did know me … I feel like they were rooting for me by the end. But every city has been great – even Minneapolis was a blast. We went to state fairs, and are doing all this cool stuff, and in Chicago we went to a Cubs game. But obviously …

"I Don't Know How She Does It" - book review and movie

The movie adaptation of I Don't Know How She Does It, by Allison Pearson, hits theaters on September 16th, and I will be seeing a screening of it on Thursday, so check back on the 16th for my review.
Meanwhile, I read the book that the movie is based on to see if I would like it, and it's hilarious. The main difference that I can see between the book and the movie is that the novel takes place in England, whereas I assume the movie will be taking place in the US, probably in New York, since Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't have an English accent in the trailer.

In the movie, we have:
Kate Reddy .... Sarah Jessica Parker
*Kate is the main character, a mom with two kids who also works 40+ hours a week as a hedge fund manager.

Richard .... Greg Kinnear
*Richard is Kate's husband, and works full-time as well as an architect.

Jack Abelhammer ... Pierce Brosnan
*Kate and Jack have an "email affair" of sorts. In the novel, he lives in NYC and she lives in London, but she…

"Real Steel" premieres in Paris

Real Steel, which was filmed in Detroit, had its Paris premiere on September 6th. Real Steel will be out in theaters on October 7th.

Some "fun facts" about the movie, as provided in the press release:
• “Real Steel” is set in the near future, where robots have replaced boxers in the ring, and is directed by Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum,” “Date Night”).

• “Real Steel” stars Hugh Jackman (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “The Prestige”) as Charlie Kenton, a financially strapped, risk-taking former boxer who now makes his living on an underworld robot boxing circuit, operating the metal pugilists that made his human profession obsolete.

• The robots each have a distinctive look, personality and color scheme and range in size from 7’6” to 8’5” in height. Based on human form, they each have two legs, two arms, a torso and a head—with the exception of a two-headed bot aptly named “Twin Cities.”

• In addition to their distinctive personas, every robot has a specific sound personality.…


This movie is definitely not one for the germaphobes, and in the bathroom after the film, people were scrubbing their hands maybe a bit more vigorously than usual. With a cast of many A-listers, Contagion will do well at the box office, as it should: it's an interesting take on the global virus phenomenon, and it shows how the country and its people might eventually deteriorate if such an outbreak were to actually happen.

There are a few different stories going on during the film. Mitch (Matt Damon, "The Adjustment Bureau") and Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow, "Country Strong") live with Mitch's two children from a previous marriage. Beth comes home from an overseas trip to Hong Kong and is not feeling well; it's clear she has something serious when she has a seizure and dies two days later. Mitch's son soon has these same symptoms, and quickly dies as well. Mitch, luckily, is immune to the disease, but is still kept at a hospital for further testing.


I was curious to see Warrior, because friends of mine had seen screenings of it previously and had raved about it. It ended up being an interesting movie that had complex characters, or, as another reviewer says (to paraphrase), "a family drama disguised as an MMA fighting movie."

Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy, "Inception") took off with his mom as a teen because his father (Nick Nolte, "Arthur") was a heavy drinker, leaving behind his brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton, "Animal Kingdom"). Now Tommy's back, and he wants to enter the Sparta MMA (mixed martial arts) fighting competition, a "winner take all" tournament for the huge prize of $5 million. What he doesn't know is that his brother, now a high school physics teacher, has entered the competition as well, and badly needs the money; his house is in danger of being foreclosed upon soon, and without the money he and his family will have to move out. Brendan used to be a UFC fighter a…


On August 31st, Fathom Events had a special nationwide screening of Scarface, presumably to celebrate the release of the film on Blu-Ray this month. As an Examiner, I was invited to attend, and I actually had never seen the movie before - to be fair, it came out in theaters in 1983, four years before I was born - and since since it has become something of an iconic movie, I was interested to see it. The screening I went to, at AMC Livonia, has a respectable 30-40 people attending, though I heard that the screening at AMC Star Southfield only had about 10-15, and a featurette was played beforehand, giving away some plot points of the film to me. I enjoyed the movie, and it is probably one of the defining movies in Al Pacino's career.

For those who don't know the story: Tony Montana (Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack") comes to the United States on a boat from Cuba. He and his best friend Manny (Steven Bauer, "Primal Fear") are put into a holding camp of so…