Tuesday, July 31, 2012
FYI: This interview was conducted with considerable assistance from Clementine Hauger and Martha Cryan, a couple of fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid who are the same age as co-stars Zach Gordon and Robert Capron. The interview was conducted in the press box at Waterfront Stadium in Trenton, New Jersey. The stars and creator of Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: Dog Days were there to sign autographs and throw out the first pitch at a Trenton Thunder minor league baseball game.
Zach Gordon, Robert Capron, David Bowers and Jeff Kinney
The “Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: Dog Days” Interview
with Kam Williams, Martha Cryan and Clementine Hauger
Tete-a-Tete with the Wimpy Kid Co-Stars, Creator and Director
Zachary Gordon (Greg)
Zachary Gordon was born in Oak Park, California on February 15, 1998. Following his work as the title character of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” Variety called him "The next Bill Murray." While filming its sequel, he received the Danville Children’s Film Festival’s Rising Star Award. His Young Artists Award-winning film debut in "Georgia Rule” led to work in "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," "The Brothers Bloom" and TV series including "How I Met Your Mother," "Desperate Housewives" and "24."
Zach’s voiceover work includes "Ni Hao Kai-lan," "Bubble Guppies," "Afro Samurai: Resurrection," "Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” "Robot Chicken" and the big screen’s "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2." He’s also hosted the "Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus" DVD. Zachary enjoys basketball and ping-pong, and plans to produce or direct some of his favorite stories.
Robert Capron (Rowley)
Robert Capron was born on July 9, 1998 in Providence, Rhode Island where he began taking afterschool acting classes at the Trinity Repertory Company at the age of 8. After auditioning for a role in "A Christmas Carol" that same year, he knew he wanted to pursue an acting career.
Robert is best known as Rowley in the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" franchise. He has also appeared in “The Three Stooges,” "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," "Bride Wars” and Lasse Hallstrom's motion picture drama "Hachi: A Dog's Story." In addition to classic movies, Robert loves reading, from American history to Spider-Man comics. He also enjoys writing, and wrote his first film treatment while filming “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
David Bowers (Director)
Born in Cheshire, England in 1970, David Bowers is an artist-turned-director who started out as an animator for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” He made his directorial debut in 2006 with “Flushed Away,” following-up that feature-length film with “Astro Boy,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules” and now “Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: Dog Days.”
Jeff Kinney (Creator/Author/Cartoonist)
Jeff Kinney was born in Fort Washington, Maryland on February 19, 1971. He has written and illustrated the entire ”Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, selling over 75 million copies and counting thus far.
Kam: Hi guys, thanks for the time. I have asked a couple of Wimpy Kid fans, Martha Cryan and Clementine Hauger, to help me conduct the interview.
Zach, Robert and Jeff: Nice to meet you!
Martha: What’s it like making another movie together?
Zach: It’s cool! It’s really cool! You get to bond with all of the cast and crew. And it’s really nice to get to see them for a third time now. I’ve got to say, every time we film these movies, it’s like a little Wimpy reunion. It definitely helps getting into character. We all play off each other so well, and that’s what I like about coming back to film these movies. It’s a great feeling!
Martha: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?
Robert: Is there any question no one ever asks, that I wish someone would? [Stops to think] I don’t know… People have asked a lot of questions. Like I had one interviewer ask if I liked KFC bargain buckets. [Chuckles] So, I don’t know. I think they’ve pretty much covered everything for me.
Zach: This question doesn’t really work that well, but if some person ever asked, “Zach, why are you so awesome and very muscular?” that would be pretty cool. That’s not really going to happen, ever, but I can dream.
Martha: Do you ever get nervous acting?
Robert: I wouldn’t say we get nervous anymore. When you’re doing your first play, your first movie, or whatever the first thing you do you is, you can get nervous. I remember acting in a play for the first time, and I was nervous because all my friends were watching, and I was worried that they might laugh at me, if I messed something up. But after awhile, you get kind of used to it, and eventually it gets to the point where you’re like, “That’s okay. That’s alright.” So, you generally get used to it, although you do still feel a little anxious right before you film a scene.
Zach: It really depends on the scene. For instance, we were filming a scene where we were supposed to go on this roller coaster-type of amusement park ride that was 160 feet tall and went 62 miles per hour. Plus, you got spun around at the top of it. That was definitely nerve-wracking! That was probably the only scene I was afraid filming.
Clementine: Are you happy?
Zach: Definitely! I’m basically happy all the time. But filming these movies is really a blast. It’s a great experience and you learn so much new stuff that you couldn’t in school.
Jeff: That was supposed to be a one-word answer, Zach.
Zach: [LOL] I know, I was going to stop, except that happiness can be described in many ways. I was only answering at length because I didn’t know if she meant was I happy in general or happy making the movies. They’re totally different, because…
Jeff: [Cuts him off] Robert? Robert’s allowed to answer as well.
Zach: Okay, I get it. [Laughs]
Robert: Yeah, I’m always happy, except when I have to do chores.
Clementine: When was the last time you had a good laugh?
Zach: A good love?
Clementine: [Who has a French accent, repeats] A good laugh.
Robert: Do you mean love or laugh?
Kam: [Clarifies] Laugh! Laugh!
Zach: Oh, laugh! [The boys snicker] My last laugh? Definitely after Jeff teased me about that last answer. I laugh all the time, which is good, except during class when I sometimes get in trouble for it. Laughing’s good for you!
Martha: What was the last book you read?
Jeff: [Playfully] You should first ask them if they can read.
Robert: I currently can’t read, but I’m working on it. [Laughs]
Zach: The last book I read was “The Maze Runner.”
Robert: The last one I finished was a summer reading assignment from school called “The House of the Scorpion.” It was pretty good.
Jeff: I never read books. I only listen to books. I’m currently listening to Game of Thrones. It’s a very good series.
Clementine: What music are you listening to?
Zach: Music? I love Sixties music, in general. I love The Beatles. I like some of today’s music, but the older stuff clicks more with me.
Robert: Yeah, I’m probably going to answer the same way. I like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, those kind of bands. And Barbara Streisand, too. [LOL] I’m just kidding.
Jeff: I like Third Eye Blind and Def Leppard.
Kam: Jeff, to what do you attribute your success as a writer?
Jeff: I think kids like to laugh and to read for pleasure, just like adults do. That means they’re inclined to pick up a book they think is going to entertain them. So, I believe it’s that I entertain kids.
Kam: The last best-selling author I interviewed was Nicholas Sparks, who has enjoyed the same, stratospheric success as you, but with romance novels. I think both of you have tapped into something that has jettisoned you to another level.
Jeff: I’d say that it’s the ordinariness of the stories. They’re very plain, very small stories. But because of that, people can see themselves in the characters. There are no dragons or wizards or vampires. It’s just real-life stories, and I think kids like that.
Martha: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Robert: I see myself, a person who has a lot of zits.
Kam: I didn’t even notice any. I see a handsome young man.
Zach: When I look in the mirror, I see a kid being hit by a truck when it comes to puberty. It’s definitely happening too fast. Obviously, it’s a part of life, but you have to get used to it. Also, I see someone who’s is hopefully becoming a famous actor.
Robert: I see…
Zach: [Cuts him off] Batman!
Robert: Yeah, I see, and a person who hopefully is going to grow up to be an actor, writer, producer and director. I guess I’m talking too much.
Jeff: That’s alright, you still have a long way to go to catch up to Zach. [Everybody laughs] when I look in the mirror, I see a guy who’s lost 20 pounds in the last year, but nobody’s mentioned that.
Kam: Congrats on the weight-loss, Jeff. Zach, do you want to direct, too?
Zach: Absolutely! I want to direct because I still have so much to learn about the film industry. My knowledge increases with every movie I work on, especially Wimpy Kid where I learned all about camera angles and lighting techniques. I also want to go to film school. Every aspect of the film industry is fascinating to me.
Clementine: What is your earliest childhood memory?
Zach: Being in the stroller at Disneyland with my family. And no, Jeff, it wasn’t at 14. I was about 2 and I guess I remember it because of the good memory. I can clearly recall everybody laughing and having fun. I wish I could remember more of it.
Robert: My earliest memory is really weird. It’s popping a balloon and playing in a bouncy house at my 4th birthday party which is when I got my first Batman mask. I’m secretly Batman.
Jeff: I remember being asked in pre-school what was my favorite vegetable. I answered cucumber. Then they let me taste one, and I realized I’d made a terrible mistake.
Martha: What is your favorite dish to cook?
Zach: Ooh! I don’t know, but when I was younger I used to watch the Cooking Channel, because I never understood why people would eat such weird stuff. Then, one day, I watched a show about how to make an omelet. That’s the only dish I can really make, so I guess that would have to be my favorite.
Robert: Mine is toast, because it’s the only thing I can make.
Jeff: I like 2 eggs over hard.
Clementine: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?
Zach: It might sound silly, but if I had one wish, I would choose that I could always be happy. A lot of people aren’t content with their lives. I’m happy now, but I hope to remain happy when I get older.
Robert: I’d like to end world hunger. Or else I’d wish for world peace or maybe for more wishes.
[At this juncture, director David Bowers joined the conversation.]
Kam: Hi David, what challenges did you encounter in making Wimpy Kid 3?
David: One of the challenges was to find something new, something that we hadn’t already covered. The first film was about school. The second was mostly about brothers. This one was about summer vacation, and about the sort of trouble Greg gets into when he isn’t in school. It also has a big father/son story that provides the emotional spine of the film. It afforded Steve Zahn a chance to do a bit more than he had in the previous movies.
Kam: What’s it like working with Jeff? Is he a nuisance to have hanging around the set, always complaining about how his words were being adapted to the screen?
David: Not at all. Our relationship is different from the usual relationship between filmmaker and author in that Jeff was integral to the making of the movie. He was always very supportive and available on the set as a critical resource, like if we needed help with gags.
Kam: Jeff is also a cartoonist who illustrates all his books. Did that talent come into play at all while making the movie?
David: One of the things I was really keen to see happen was making sure the animation in the movies reflected the animation in the books. Jeff worked very closely with the animators to ensure that the animations were in the style and spirit of the books, and that they’re funny.
Martha: Can you go to the supermarket or the mall without getting mobbed by fans?
David: Yes I can, thank you. [Laughs]
Robert: Once in awhile I get recognized maybe, but for the most part, it’s pretty good.
Zach: I get recognized occasionally, especially if I go to a place like Universal Studios or Disneyland. All it takes is for one person to recognize me and then it turns into a crowd. That happened recently at the Teen Choice Awards’ after-party. Somebody recognized me, and they had to escort me out through security. That was kind of cool, but I would have liked to have been able to stay and meet everybody. You sort of feel bad when you can’t.
Martha: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?
Zach: I would have to say a positive attitude, especially when anything goes wrong. For example, every time I go out for an audition, I stay positive, and look for good feedback, even when I might not get the role.
Robert: Another key quality is to be modest.
Jeff: I’d say persistence is the key quality. There are a lot of people who are very successful just because they’re persistent, and I think I’m one of those people.
Martha: What was your best business decision you ever made, and what was your worst?
Zach: I had to turn down a role I had landed in order to audition for Wimpy Kid. That was definitely a big business decision that worked out. So, I was lucky.
Robert: I can’t think of a bad business decision I’ve made yet.
Clementine: What is your favorite charity?
Zach: I work with the Starlight Foundation and visit hospitals with the Lollipop Theater Network which screens movies for kids who can’t go out to see them. It really makes you appreciate life and you really feel good at the end of the day.
Kam: Thanks again for the interview guys.
To see a trailer for Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: Dog Days, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P82CNPxjqk
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Mosquita y Mari
Film Review by Kam Williams
Coming-of-Age Drama Revolves around Lesbian-Curious Latinas
Besides being 15 year-old Chicanas, Yolanda “Mosquita” Olveros (Fenessa Pineda) and Mari Rodriguez (Venecia Troncoso) are about as different as night and day. The former is a straight-A student and the only child of overprotective parents (Joaquin Garrido and Laura Patalano) with high expectations for their dutiful daughter. The latter, by contrast, is a relatively-troubled rebel being raised by an overwhelmed widow (Dulce Maria Solis) who’s been struggling just to keep a roof over their heads since entering the U.S. illegally after the death of her husband.
The Rodriguez’s plight as undocumented immigrants means that Mari has to work part-time to help out her mom financially, a burden that has taken a toll on the kid academically. Consequently, the grieving, underachieving street urchin has learned to mask her pain with a tough “I could care less” veneer.
Mari and Mosquita’s paths do cross when the Rodriguez family moves next-door to the Olveros in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood located in the Huntington Park area of L.A. The two sophomores initially forge a grudging friendship at school, trading off tutoring in geometry for protection from a clique of mean girls.
But soon, they’re happily spending so much time together in the afternoons and evenings that Mari loses her job while Mosquita’s grades start to suffer. The plot thickens as it becomes clear that these polar opposites are not only lesbian-curious but experiencing barely-contained pangs of puppy love for each other.
Tension builds as the schoolgirl crush blossoms into a passion simmering close to the surface as each waits for the other to make the first a move. But the best these awkward neophytes can do is snuggle under a blanket while studying and scribble their names in a dirty automobile’s dust.
Finally, the moment of truth arrives after a handsome boy asks attractive Mosquita for a date around the same time that a seedy man offers cash-strapped Mari money for sexual favors. At that point, obviously, something’s gotta give.
The question is whether or not they’re ready to take a big leap.
Marking the marvelous writing and directorial debut of Aurora Guerrero, Mosquita y Mari is a subtle exploration of coming out from the perspective of introspective adolescents at an awkward age. However, the movie has much more to offer, as it is equally sensitive in its examination of a variety of issues of urgent concern to the Latino community.
To think that in just one generation we’ve gone from Chico and the Man to Chica and the Girl!
Excellent (4 stars)
In Spanish and English with subtitles
Running time: 85 minutes
Distributor: The Film Collaborative
To see a trailer for Mosquita y Mari, visit:
Posted by Kam at 2:42 PM
Friday, July 27, 2012
Laurel J. Richie
The “WNBA” Interview
with Kam Williams
WNBA President on Her Life, the League and the Olympics
Laurel J. Richie has more than three decades of experience in consumer marketing, corporate branding, public relations, and corporate management, with a long track record of developing award-winning campaigns that transform brands and drive business results. As President of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), she oversees all of the league’s day-to-day business and league operations.
Prior to joining the WNBA in 2011, Richie was Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Girl Scouts of the USA, where she was responsible for the Girl Scouts’ brand, communications, publishing, marketing, and web-based initiatives. She also spent time at the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, where she worked on a series of campaigns for prominent clients, including American Express, Pepperidge Farm, Pond’s, Huggies, and Kotex. She sat on Ogilvy New York's Operating Board and was a founding member of the agency's Employee Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion.
Richie's pro-bono clients have included the Museum for African Art, the Hospital for Special Surgery, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights. In addition, she has mentored young women and girls as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the 4A's Multicultural Advertising Intern Program, Xavier University's Youth Motivation Task Force, and the Advertising Educational Foundation.
A recipient of the YMCA's Black Achiever's Award and one of Ebony Magazine's Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications, Richie was named one of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business in 2011 by The Network Journal. A graduate of Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in policy studies, Richie lives in New York City.
Kam Williams: Hi, Laurel, thanks for the time.
Laurel J. Richie: Thanks, Kam.
KW: What interested you in going from the Girl Scouts to the WNBA?
LJR: Early on in my career, when I was working at an advertising agency, I went to a very senior-level meeting and I distinctly remember the inside of the boardroom: every single seat was occupied by a man. In that moment, I made a private promise to myself that I would do everything in my power to bring more diversity to these rooms where leaders gathered and decisions were made. As my career unfolded and I worked on a wide range of clients and gained experience across lots of different industries, the businesses I enjoyed the most where those that focused on women. This passion really came to the forefront when I made the move from advertising to the Girl Scouts and then, very clearly, when I made the decision to join the WNBA. As the longest-running women’s professional sports league in the country, the WNBA is a great product comprising 132 of the best female athletes in the world. And when you look beyond the players to owners, coaches, trainers, accountants, and chief operating officers -- it's a wonderful example of what women can achieve in sports and in business.
KW: How do you hope to generate greater interest in the league and its superstars like Maya Moore and Candace Parker?
LJR: The summer of 2012 is turning out to be very special. We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX and the Olympics are taking place in London, and we have seen increased interest in and exposure of our players. The WNBA is very proud of the fact that all 12 members of the U.S. Women’s Senior National Team are WNBA players. For them to represent our country on an international stage is terrific. Millions around the world will see them and have the opportunity to get to know them not only as great athletes, but as interesting and inspiring women.
KW: Why is there seemingly a stigma on women’s athletics which is reflected in a lag in the WNBA’s ratings in comparison to the NBA’s?
LJR: We are a young league – now in our 16th season – and we have seen our attendance and viewership increase for each of the past five years. Our growth is a direct result of the fact that our game is exciting and highly competitive, and our in-arena experience is a ton of fun. Once people come to a game, they are hooked. In many ways, I think the WNBA is changing the way America views women and is having a positive impact on the way America views professional athletes. We’re showing the world what women can be as athletes and what athletes can be as citizens.
KW: To what do you credit you’re not only climbing the corporate ladder but breaking the glass ceiling and reaching the pinnacle of success in the business world, a rarity for African-American females?
LJR: My parents. As far back as I can remember, their commitment to making a positive impact on the communities in which they lived and worked was equal only to their commitment to helping my sisters, brother, and me achieve our dreams.
KW: Tell me a little about what mentoring young black girls means to you?
LJR: Throughout my career, I have benefitted from the experience and counsel of a wide range of people who took a very personal interest in me. As a result, I am always happy to share lessons learned from my journey with others. I am particularly passionate about mentoring young black girls. While we are a very diverse group, there is a special bond that connects us to each other. When I work with them, I see them in me and I believe they see me in them. By coming together, we are able to show the world the power and the promise of black girls.
KW: Will part of your mission involve also encouraging your WNBA players to see themselves as role models and to devote more of their free time to mentoring?
LJR: I don't have to encourage our players to be positive role models, as that is something that has always been important to them and something that they very willingly embrace. Whether it’s through the WNBA Cares program or through their own initiatives, WNBA players give as much off the court as they do on the court. They are committed to making a positive impact on the communities in which they live and work, and they do it in very different ways: Tamika Catchings and Swin Cash mentor young girls on self-esteem through their foundations; Tina Charles helped build a school in Africa with her personal donation; Ruth Riley travels the world to bring attention to global diseases. The list goes on. I am very proud of all our players as they truly are inspiring role models for young girls – and young boys.
KW: How would you like the world to perceive the WNBA players participating in the Olympic Games this year?
LJR: On a professional level, these athletes are quite simply 12 of the best female basketball players in the world. On a personal level, each one has an interesting and unique story to tell about her journey to the Olympics. Over the next two weeks – and beyond -- I would like the world to get to know them as athletes, citizens of the world and fabulous women.
KW: What other changes do you envision implementing during your tenure?
LJR: We will continue to focus on attendance and income, as those are our key measures of bringing more and more people to the game and growing our fan base. We are actively doing outreach to organizations that appreciate and value the WNBA in order to build an even more robust group of sponsors and partners.
KW: What do you hope will be your WNBA legacy?
LJR: I don’t spend much time thinking about my legacy; my focus is on the legacy of the league and of the athletes who give their all on and off the court. We are, and will continue to be, the destination for the best women’s basketball players in the world. Every day we strive to provide our fans with an exciting and entertaining experience.
KW: Do you think there is a need to expand the participation of African-American females in the field of sports media?
LJR: I would love to see more African-American females engaged in all aspects of sports. All of the research tells us that participation in sports has a very positive impact in both the short and long term. Girls who participate in sports have a higher self-esteem and are more likely to graduate from college, and 80 percent of female executives played team sports growing up.
KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
LJR: Dream big and stay true to yourself as you pursue your dreams.
KW: Thanks again for the interview, and best of luck with the WNBA and the Olympics.
Posted by Kam at 2:07 PM
Thursday, July 26, 2012
This Week’s DVD Releases
by Kam Williams
Top Ten DVD List for July 31st
Marilyn: The Premiere Collection
Audrey Hepburn Collection
Ingrid Bergman Collection
The Weight of the Nation
Jodi Picoult Collection
Grace Kelly Collection
We the Party
Elizabeth Taylor Collection
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes [Blu-ray]
Natalie Wood Collection
Viven Leigh Collection
How to Marry a Millionaire [Blu-ray]
Dora’s Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure
Marilyn Monroe Collection
Surviving High School
Posted by Kam at 11:44 PM
The Queen of Versailles
Film Review by Kam Williams
Headline: Billionaire Builds McMansion for Trophy Wife in Dysfunctional Family Documentary
Real estate mogul David Siegel founded Westgate Resorts back in the Seventies and went on to strike it rich selling luxury time shares in 28 locations around the country. Unfortunately, his obsession with work took a toll on his first marriage, but after a messy, decade-long divorce battle, he started another family with a gorgeous trophy wife 30 years his junior.
The 74 year-old CEO now has 7 children with Jackie, 8 if you count her orphaned niece they adopted. Although Siegel was already keeping his flamboyant, young spouse in the lap of luxury, against his better judgment he also agreed to build her the biggest and most expensive single-family home in the United States.
A replica of Louis XIV’s 17th Century Palace of Versailles, plans for the sprawling, 90,000 square-foot estate included 10 kitchens, a grand ballroom with a staircase at either end, a skating rink, a bowling alley, a health spa, tennis courts, a baseball field, a performance theater, maids quarters, etcetera. But when the real estate bubble burst in 2008, the economic recession took a terrible toll on Siegel’s entire empire.
Not only did he have to lay off 7,000 corporate employees at Westgate Resorts, but he also had to scale back his on his lavish lifestyle. The household staff shrank from 19 to 4, the kids were moved from private to public schools, and the family started flying on commercial airliners instead of by a private Gulfstream jet. In addition, the dream mansion project had to be halted halfway to completion when the bank threatened to foreclose on the property.
The stress started taking a toll on the Siegel marriage, too, especially after David tried to put Jackie on a budget. And when the reckless 43 year-old failed to implement some of the suggested cost-cutting measures, he went so far as to threaten to trade her in for a couple of cute 20 year-olds.
All of the above was captured on camera by Lauren Greenfield, the masterful director of The Queen of Versailles. The dysfunctional family documentary is compelling because it invites the audience to see just how decadently the other 1% lives which only makes it that much easier to take pleasure in their subsequent misfortunes.
A brilliant biopic which elicits an emotional response that’s the epitome of schadenfreude!
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG for mature themes and mild epithets.
Running time: 101 minutes
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
To see a trailer for The Queen of Versailles, visit:
Posted by Kam at 4:15 PM
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening August 3, 2012
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG for rude humor) Third installment in the underdog-friendly franchise finds hapless protagonist Greg (Zachary Gordon) hanging out with his portly pal Rowley (Robert Capron) and pretending to be employed at a country club after all his summer vacation plans fall through. With Steve Zahn, Devon Bostick and Rachael Harris.
Total Recall (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, brief nudity and intense violence) Colin Farrell stars in this remake of the Schwarzenegger, sci-fi classic as a factory worker plagued by disturbing nightmares who ends up on the run from the brain police accompanied by a member of the resistance (Jessica Biel) of corporate mind control. Co-starring Ethan Hawke, Bill Nighy, Kate Beckinsale, John Cho and Bokeem Woodbine.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
360 (R for sexuality, nudity and profanity) Screen adaptation of La Ronde, Arthur Schnitzler’s class-conscious play exploring the sexual mores of a peripatetic jet set spread out over Vienna, Paris, London, Denver, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro and Bratislava. Ensemble includes Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz.
Assassin’s Bullet (R for violence) International thriller about a U.S. Ambassador stationed in Europe (Donald Sutherland) who enlists the assistance of a former FBI Agent (Christian Slater) in order to track down the vigilante killing terrorists on America’s 10 Most Wanted list. With Elika Portnoy, Timothy Spall and Marian Valev.
The Babymakers (Unrated) Biological clock comedy about a sterile, wannabe daddy (Paul Schneider) who recruits his buddies and an East Indian mobster (Jay Chandrasekhar) to steal the sperm he sold to a fertility clinic years ago so that he might still impregnate his miserably-childless wife (Olivia Munn). With Aisha Tyler, Wood Harris and Noureen DeWulf.
Celeste and Jesse Forever (R for profanity, sexuality and drug use) On the rocks dramedy revolving around the effort of an almost-divorced couple (Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg) to remain friends while simultaneously pursuing new relationships. Cast includes Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts, Ari Graynor and Eric Christian Olsen.
Craigslist Joe (Unrated) My brother’s keeper documentary chronicling 29 year-old Joseph Garner’s attempt to survive for a month relying on the kindness of strangers he met on the internet for food, shelter, transportation and companionship.
Dreams of a Life (Unrated) Maudlin post mortem revisiting the unnoticed demise of Joyce Vincent (Zawe Ashton), a British woman of Caribbean extraction whose body wasn’t discovered until several years after she passed away of natural causes while ironically wrapping Christmas presents for family and friends. With Neelam Bakshi, Jonathan Harden and Lee Colley.
Mosquita y Mari (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama, set in Southern California, about a 15 year-old Latina (Fenessa Pineda) who bonds with a new neighbor (Venecia Troncoso) her age only to be surprised when their friendship blossoms into a lesbian relationship. Support cast includes Joaquin Garrido, Laura Patalano and Dulce Maria Solis. (In Spanish and English with subtitles)
Soldiers of Fortune (R for profanity and violence) Action adventure about wealthy thrill seekers who encounter a lot more than they bargained for after paying to tag along on a military mission led by a former U.S. Special Forces soldier (Christian Slater). Starring Ving Rhames, James Cromwell, Freddy Rodriguez and Colm Meaney.
Sushi: The Golden Catch (Unrated) Raw fish documentary traces the evolution of sushi over the past 30 years from a fast food sold by Japanese street vendors into an international delicacy popular at restaurants all over the world.
You’ve Been Trumped (Unrated) David and Goliath documentary about the legal battle mounted in Scotland by locals to block Donald Trump’s application for a zoning variance that would allow the smug billionaire to turn a picturesque seaside village into a luxury golf resort.
Posted by Kam at 8:01 PM