Hot Pursuit 01Hot Pursuit starts with a simple idea. Let’s team up the diverse ends of Hollywood’s hot list, Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. We should be excited about this team-up, but the movie just does not live up to its potential.

Release Date: May 8, 2015
Rated PG-13
Writer: David Feeney
Director: Anne Fletcher
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara

Hot Pursuit 04In Hot Pursuit, Reese Witherspoon is Officer Cooper. Cooper is an ambitious, by-the-book police officer banished to the evidence locker after tazing the Mayor’s son because he called “shotgun” with his friends at a party. Sofia Vergara is Daniella Riva, the wife of a mob informant. Daniella and her husband, Felipe (Vincent Laresca) are in witness protection and about to testify against the mob boss, Vincente Cortez (Joaquin Cosio).

Of course, things go wrong, and Cooper and Riva are on the run hiding from mob enforcers and corrupt police officers. During this “tense” journey, our heroines start off as adversaries, eventually handcuffed together, forced to see the world through one another’s eyes, betray each other and then come to respect the other. In the end, they become the best of friends. Yep nothing new.

I had a few issues with the characters. As a police officer, there is a moment when Cooper can’t climb out of a bathroom window because she lacks upper-body strength. That feels a little insulting to actual female police officers. Vergara plays the wife of a rich mob enforcer. She’s running away from killers but insist of toting a suitcase of expensive shoes. Really? This is a smart comedy? Let’s through this out there. What if you switch the roles of Vergara and Witherspoon? That would be more interesting than this mess.

Hot Pursuit is a formulaic buddy movie with nothing original for the film fan. The script is not very funny. The acting is decent. Fans of Witherspoon and Vergara will have a mildly good time watching the movie played in the background on the television as they get housework done.

Today, audiences expect more from a movie. Hot Pursuit fails as a story. It’s not smart and barely takes advantage of the comedic potential of putting Witherspoon and Vergara in a movie together. As actors, there is no challenge to show why they are good at their craft. It’s almost as if filmmakers just assumed that if you put these two actresses together the result will be an amazing film. Instead, we have an uninspired movie that will get lost on a large shelf of buddy movies. If you want to see a well thought out buddy movie, then grab Lethal Weapon.

The Verdict

4Poor

The Bad: Waste of Good Acting Talent | Unoriginal story | Unfunny Script

Fathom Events, in partnership with Broadway Near You, presents Driving Miss Daisy in select U.S. cinemas on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. local time. Shot during the play’s Australian tour, after sold out seasons on Broadway and London’s West End, the “Driving Miss Daisy event offers fans the chance to see one of the most enduring and popular stage productions of our time in advance of this year’s Tony Award season. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry stars two iconic Broadway and Hollywood veterans, five-time Tony Award and three-time Academy Award® nominee Angela Lansbury and two-time Tony Award winner and Academy Award® winner James Earl Jones and four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines.

Tickets for “Driving Miss Daisy” can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com, or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 300 movie theaters. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Of this stagecast, playwright Alfred Uhry said, “Every playwright dreams of having a perfect rendition of his play last forever. I am blessed to have it happen for me with this production of Driving Miss Daisy.”

“Driving Miss Daisy” tells the affecting story of the decades-long relationship between an elderly Southern Jewish woman, Daisy Werthan (played in the film by Jessica Tandy), and her compassionate African-American chauffeur, Hoke Colburn (played in the film by Morgan Freeman). Their iconic tale of pride, changing times and the transformative power of friendship has warmed the hearts of millions worldwide.

“’Driving Miss Daisy’ is one of those classics you love seeing over and over. Not only is the cast phenomenal, but the story always leaves a lasting impression,” said Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh-Owens.

“We are thrilled to work with Fathom Events to bring Broadway Near You’s first production to life on the big screen,” said CEO of Broadway Near You, LLC Lee deBoer. “The Driving Miss Daisy stagecast features two endearing and seasoned professionals in an emotionally charged rendition that not only captures the essence of live theatre, but also allows the viewer to see the up close and personal emotions that are usually missed in live performances.”

– See more at: http://press.fathomevents.com/press-release/featured/driving-miss-daisy-starring-angela-lansbury-james-earl-jones-and-boyd-gaines-#sthash.b7ummcCH.dpuf

True Story 01The movie, True Story, starts the moment journalist Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) and accused murderer Christian Longo’s (James Franco) lives intertwined. In a moment of lapsed judgment, Michael Finkel is fired from the New York Times because of a story he fabricated in order to enhance the drama of the piece. When Finkel returns in disgrace to his hometown, he is informed that a murderer has used his identity in order to escape the United States.

Release Date: April 17, 2015
Rated R
Writer: Rupert Goold, David Kajganich, Michael Finkel
Director: Rupert Goold
Cast: Jonah Hill, James Franco,

True Story 02Christian Longo is accused of murdering his wife and three small children. While in prison, Finkel seeks him out to why he used his identity and to see if there is a story there. In exchange for the story, Longo wants Finkel to teach him to write. This begins a sort of chess game, as Finkel starts a relationship with Longo in hopes of publishing a book and to also see if Longo committed the crime. The deeper Finkel gets; the darker the facts become.

For all intent and purpose, True Story is a two-man play between Jonah Hill and James Franco. It is the interplay between the two actors that is the most compelling moments of the movie, and it is this interplay that takes up most of the movie. It feels that the sole reason the movie was made because Hill and Franco got together and wanted to make an actors’ movie with one another.

True Story 03That said, I did like the interplay between the two. Franco always feels natural in the roles he takes. Hill does, at times, look like he’s overacting, but as the movie progresses this feeling fades.

Acting aside, the movie is about a disgraced journalist, Michael Finkel, who drawn in by a charismatic sociopath, Christian Longo. The movie traces this emotional and psychological roller coaster ride that Finkel is suffering. Is Christian guilty? Can he be the heinous killer that he’s made out to be? The ride is like a roller coaster it’s riveting and nauseous at times.

But in the end, rather than immersing yourself in an intriguing story, we are still left with a showcase of two of today’s young actors.

The Verdict

6Fair

The Good: Good Acting

The Bad: Feels like an actors seminar than a movie about facts.

Marvel Universe LIVE! features the greatest collection of Marvel Super Heroes and Villains ever to assemble in one place! The cast will include Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Storm, Wolverine, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Falcon, Black Cat, Maria Hill, Captain Marvel, Cyclops, Loki, Green Goblin, Rhino, Doc Ock, Lizard, Electro, Red Skull, Chitauri Warriors, Aldrich Killian and Madame Hydra.

The show will center on the Cosmic Cube, an all-powerful item that’s split into pieces by Thor to keep it out of the hands of evildoers. However, that doesn’t stop his trickster brother Loki from devising a plan to clone the Cube’s powers and threaten the universe.

Alan and the Kid review Marvel Universe Live’s performance at the Honda Center.

 

The Verdict

7Good

The Good: Good stunt show | Appropriate for children

The Bad: The show is for children

The final piece to the Human Centipede trilogy (sure…there will only be three) is getting its theatrically release on May 22 through IFC Midnight.

The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)

100% politically incorrect

Bully prison warden Bill Boss (The Human Centipede Part I’s Dieter Laser) has a lot of problems; prison riots, medical costs, staff turnover, but foremost he is unable to get the respect he thinks he deserves from his inmates and the state Governor (Eric Roberts). He constantly fails in experimenting with different ideas for the ideal punishment to get the inmates in line, which drives him completely insane. Under threats of termination by the Governor, his loyal right hand man Dwight (The Human Centipede Part II’s Laurence R Harvey) comes up with a brilliant idea. An idea based on the notorious Human Centipede movies, that will literally and figuratively get the inmates on their knees, creating the ultimate punishment and deterrent for anyone considering a life of crime.

 DISTRIBUTOR: IFC Midnight

DIRECTED BY: Tom Six

WRITTEN BY: Tom Six

PRODUCER BY: Ilona Six and Tom Six

CAST: Dieter Laser, Laurence R. Harvey, Eric Roberts and Bree Olson.

TRT: An hour and 42 minutes

Release Date: May 22nd in New York / Los Angeles / VOD / Digital Streaming Services

Internet pioneers, Wong Fu Productions, took a giant step forward with their first feature film, “Everything Before Us.” The Geek Lab spoke with filmmakers Wesley Chan and Philip Wang, writer Chris Dinh and producer Christine Chen. We spoke about the transition from web video to the big screen and their unique brand of storytelling.

DISNEY INFINITY 3.0 REVEALED

To catch you up, here are the Top 5 things to know about today’s announcement:

#1 – Disney Infinity 3.0 is joining forces with Star Wars™!

There will be three Star Wars™ Play Sets:

Twilight of the Republic is an all-new, original chapter of the Star Wars™ Saga, set in the Episodes I-III timeline. Get ready to use the Force™ and Lightsabers™ in epic battles as Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Darth Maul.

Rise Against the Empire features galaxy-spanning missions with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader. This Play Set is set in the timeline of the original trilogy and will send you piloting X-Wing Fighters and the Millennium Falcon to planets like Tatooine, Hoth, and Endor.

The third Star Wars™ Play Set – coming later this winter – will be based on Star Wars™: The Force Awakens™.

Additionally, you will have the unique opportunity to play with all of the Star Wars™ characters in all of the Star Wars™ Play Sets.

#2 – You asked for it, and the TRON characters Sam Flynn and Quorra will be available as physical figures at the release of 3.0!

#3 – You also asked for more Disney and MARVEL, and Disney Infinity 3.0 will include both!

There will be a Play Set based on Disney•Pixar’s upcoming film Inside Out featuring all five Emotions Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust as playable characters. Fan-favorite characters Mickey, Minnie, Mulan, and Olaf will also be joining Toy Box 3.0.

From the Marvel Universe, there will be a MARVEL Play Set (to be announced later!), along with more MARVEL characters including Hulkbuster Iron Man and Ultron.

#4 – All-new multiplayer Toy Box Expansion Games will allow you to play with all of your Disney, DisneyPixar, MARVEL, and Star Wars™ characters from Disney Infinity 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 together.

Toy Box Expansion Games Toy Box Takeover (action-adventure) and Toy Box Speedway (kart racing) will bring all-new, structured multiplayer gameplay to Toy Box 3.0.

#5 – We listened to you, and the Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Starter Pack will now sell for a lower suggested retail price of $64.99.


In direct response to your feedback, the Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Starter Pack will now sell for a lower suggested retail price of $64.99. The Starter Pack includes the Twilight of the Republic Play Set, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano Figures, and the new Toy Box 3.0. In addition to that, 3.0 Power Discs will come in labeled packs instead of blind packs.

This isnt funny 04This Isn’t Funny is the love story of Eliot Anderson (Katie Page) and Jaimie Thompson (Paul Ashton). It is also a testament to the power of the independent film. If you have a good story to tell; a small budget; and backers, who believe in you, the final product is funny, well-thought out story.

Newport Beach Film Festival
Running Time: 86 minutes
Writers: Paul Ashton, Katie Page
Director: Paul Ashton

Eliot is a young adult, who takes a healthy dose of psych medication in order to cope. She is a talented stand-up comedian by night and struggles to remain balanced during the day. Jaime runs a Juice Shop in Los Angeles.  Having achieved nothing in life, the perpetual traveler Jaime believes he is a failure in life. Elliot and Jaime meet when Jaime crashes his bike into Eliot’s parked car.

Under hostile circumstances, Eliot and Jaime fall in love and immediately clash. While their love is sweet, it’s clear they press each other’s button. Their problem is Eliot and Jaime are pressing the right buttons, but the expected result is emotionally disastrous.

This isnt funny 02This Isn’t Funny is a thoughtful story of love in the day of heightened anxiety and first world problems. The story of Eliot and Jaime is elevated even higher by the best supporting cast I’ve seen in a movie. Eliot’s parents, Joseph (David Pasquesi) and Elaine (Mimi Rogers) are sympathetic characters, who have learned to walk on eggshells around Eliot’s “moment.”

Eliot’s best friends are also stand-up comedians. Russ (Ahmed Bharoocha) and Hannah (Beth Sterling) not only serve as comedic foils to Eliot, but also produce the funniest stand-up moments in the movie. Be sure to stay during the credits and catch Ahmed’s stand-up routine. Trust me it’s worth the price of the movie.

Jaime’s employees offer no help to Jamie at all except for their friendship. Ryan (Edi Gathegi) wishes Jaime would stay in one place. Jaime’s other friend, Mike (Anthony LaPaglia) is all over the place. Mike is a semi-effeminate, always-high friend of Jamie, and you won’t recognize that it’s Anthony LaPaglia until late in the movie.

This Isn’t Funny is a movie of hope. By the end, you hope these two kids can get their “stuff” together and be happy together.

The Verdict

8Great

The Good: Well Told Story | Hilarious Stand-Up Routines

Jenna Ushkowitz (Executive Prod. of TWINSTERS; Co-Founder of KINDRED FOUNDATION; Actress on GLEE) Ryan Miyamoto (Co-Director/Producer/Cinematographer) Samantha Futerman (Co Director/Prod. and Docu Subject; Co-Founder of KINDRED FOUNDATION) Kanoa Goo (Producer) Jeff Consiglio (Producer/Editor) Photo credit: Steven Lam Photo courtesy of: LAAPFF/StevenLamPhoto.com

Jenna Ushkowitz (Executive Prod. of TWINSTERS; Co-Founder of KINDRED FOUNDATION; Actress on GLEE)
Ryan Miyamoto (Co-Director/Producer/Cinematographer)
Samantha Futerman (Co Director/Prod. and Docu Subject; Co-Founder of KINDRED FOUNDATION)
Kanoa Goo (Producer)
Jeff Consiglio (Producer/Editor)
Photo credit: Steven Lam
Photo courtesy of: LAAPFF/StevenLamPhoto.com

The real story of twins separated at birth, finding one another, and their lives changed forever, Twinsters is awarded the Festival Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Ryan Miyamoto (Co-Director/Producer/Cinematographer) Samantha Futerman (Co Director/Prod. and Docu Subject) Photo credit: Steven Lam Photo courtesy of: LAAPFF/StevenLamPhoto.com

Ryan Miyamoto & Samantha Futerman. Photo credit: Steven Lam. Photo courtesy of: LAAPFF/StevenLamPhoto.com

ABOUT THE FILM: In February 2013, Anaïs Bordier, a French fashion student living in London, stumbled upon a YouTube video featuring Samantha Futerman, an actress in Los Angeles, and was struck by their uncanny resemblance. After discovering they were born on the same day in Busan, Korea and both put up for adoption, Anaïs reached out to Samantha via Facebook. In Twinsters, we follow Samantha and Anaïs’ journey into sisterhood, witnessing everything from their first meeting, to their first trip back to Korea where their separation took place.Twinsters explores the meaning of family and connection through a story that would have been impossible just 10 years ago without the creation of YouTube and Facebook. TWINSTERS had its world premiere at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival, where it received a Special Jury Recognition Award for Editing. On its festival premiere, TWINSTERS screened at the Stateside Theater. The venue was completely full. It was a must-see sold-out screening at the fest.