entertainment, film

Donate to this AFi thesis film

Blackbird is an AFI thesis film about a boy who searched for a magical blackbird in the sky. And when George is put to a decisive test, his conviction in what he believes shows the world around him that even the smallest of people can change the world in the most unlikely way.

If you’ve ever had a dream, or a blackbird you’ve searched for in the sky, then help support these filmmakers as they go after their own dream of making this film. They’re taking donations, and it’s tax deductible. No donation is too small.

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entertainment, film

‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ review



By Rebecca Ford

A week ago, I was perusing the bookshelves at my local dollar bookstore, when I noticed it. There, next to a Hillary Clinton biography, it sat screaming at me with its pink and green cover.

“He’s Just Not That Into You”

This instant-hit of tough love advice took the world of single, clingy, broken-hearted women by storm a few years back. It’s combination of honest-ugly truth and empowering mantra was just what women needed.

I admit I’d never read the thing, but with a screening of the new film a week away, I thought I should do some research.

While the book is clearly self-help, it’s also funny and not quite as painful as you’d think. Sure, the authors, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, give it to you straight (some guys just won’t think you’re all that special), but they also remind you that you are worth someone thinking you are special.

Now, to the film. Based on the book, I would expect this film to be a lot of really insecure women crying over their men, and making excuses for their bad behaviors. And, sure, there is some of that.

But the movie surpasses the book on so many levels. It’s funny, and real, and imaginative all at the same time. I’m not saying it’s going to change the world any time soon, but it is a valiant effort in examining the messy dating game, and the causalities it can leave behind.

“He’s Just Not That Into You” tells the story of a group of interconnected Baltimore-based twenty- and thirty-somethings involved in all levels of the dating scene from casual dating to married.

The cast is all-star, to say the least. Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Connolly, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Kris Kristofferson, Bradley Cooper and Ginnifer Goodwin play the main characters, and do it well. The real standouts are Goodwin, who plays Gigi, an insecure, and somewhat clingy single girl, and Bradley Cooper, who plays a married man whose eyes are straying towards Scarlett Johansson. Both of their performances are honest, and endearing, even when their characters are doing all sorts of embarrassing and hurtful things.

Perhaps the best thing about this movie is that we finally get to see how we act in the dating game. And the reflection isn’t pretty. Overanalysis, stalking, and passive aggressive behavior are just a few of the tricks that we all know too well.

The dialogue is genuinely funny, mostly because it’s so relatable. Often, it is secondary or tertiary characters who have the best lines. Each “chapter” of the movie is introduced with a random person talking straight into the camera (like the Sex and the City TV show of yore) about their troubles of the heart. These monologues are witty, creative, honest and a nice addition to the film.

There were a few problems with the film, especially with such a large cast of characters. While having so many main characters was important to exploring all the different types of relationships, it also meant that you had to keep straight how all these people knew each other.

Also, because—by movie magic—all of these characters are somehow connected, it begins to feel a little incestual. Really, when I thought about it, I realized there were a set of best friends, that through a chain of five hookups, had been passing around the same germs, but never realize it.

Finally, the movie can’t help but slip into the Hollywood happy endings for some of the characters. After spending two hours trying to tell us that the kind of love you see in movies is “the exception,” while most of us are just “the rule” in real life, it feels like a cop-out to give these love sick puppies their own happy endings.

But I can’t help but notice that those are the moments everyone loves. It feels so good to watch things end happily ever after, even if we know that’s not how it really works. It’s a lot like how I feel about this movie actually: You know it’s wrong to love it, but it just feels so right.

Rating: B+

………See the whole article at The Cinema Source


Hold on to those coattails, buddy

I’ve always known that this city is saturated with leeches. You know, people riding on the coattails of their successful family member or friend. It seems that famous people are always just one degree away. “[Famous action director] is my 40-year-old boyfriend.” “[Famous director] is my brother.” “I’m [famous actor]’s cousin.”

And sometimes those people become successful. You can argue that talent and hard work are required at some point to really make it. Or not. Who knows?

But never have I seen such a blatant attempt to use someone else’s fame for their own success as in a recent email I received from a famous film director’s UNCLE. Here’s a sample of the email after I asked him what he was looking for me to write:

“i was trying to give u a story of one of the most famous directors in LA, You obvious dont have a clue to who [famous director] is?
I found u online, never read anything you wrote, I was giving you an opportunity of a life time , to interview my life , which is probably one of the most thrilling stories of our time , We have written a script on the story of my life called — which will knock you of your chair, Being am his uncle i thought it might be something you might of been interested in . LA times journalist approached me coming out of [director’s] house last year. and i said no , but i think its just the right time in my life , my projects, and my story.”

Now, I know a PR sceme when I see one, but I was shocked with how aggressive he got so quickly. I do of course know who this director is (and had double-checked with him that this was in fact his uncle), but I can’t quite see how this uncle thinks that any REAL journalist wouldn’t be able to see right through this poorly written attempt to sell the director’s story as his own.

I’m keeping this anonymous because I don’t want said UNCLE to receive any publicity from me, since that’s what he was going for in the first place. And I doubt this is the director’s fault, so he doesn’t deserve the bad press. And who knows, maybe the UNCLE’s intentions were genuine, but I think the words speak for themselves.

I wish people like this all the best. And I’m sure some of them make it. But their hands must get so tired from gripping so tightly on their relative’s coattails.

Hold on to those cottails, buddy
Hold on tight


“Pride and Glory” Review

Pride and Glory

Review By: Rebecca Ford

For the life of me, I could now remember the name of this movie. “Pride and Glory.” I think it’s because it’s so general. I mean, it says nothing about what the film is about. Is it a war movie? A period piece? A samurai film?

Turns out it’s a cop drama. And it’s the same-old-same-old, we’ve seen it before good-cop-bad-cop story line. Dirty cops in New York City?! Shocking!

Directed by Gavin O’Connor, who also directed “Miracle” (look at that title!), the Olympic hockey movie, “Pride and Glory” feels far too familiar because it is just another cop movie where violence trumps story, and sensationalism trumps substance….

see the rest here


Lars and the Real Girl- Review

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a film, and I am going through withdrawals, so I thought I’d whip out my thoughts on my latest viewing, Lars and the Real Girl.


I remember hearing about this movie when it was out in theaters back in October, and again when it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay, but I somehow missed it. So, Netflix provided me with yet another reason to love those little red envelopes of love (sidenote: did you know red envelopes are also a traditional way to give money in Chinese culture?)– a second chance.

When explaining the plot of the movie as “a guy who has a life-size  doll as his girlfriend,” it’s pretty easy to assume it is a cheesy, low-blow joke movie of the “Dumb and Dumber” genre. But that is far from the case. “Lars and the Real Girl” is so great because while it runs the risk of being over the top, the writer succeeds in making a beautiful, sweet film instead. That’s talent.

Ryan Gosling plays Lars, who lives in the garage of the house he shares with his brother and pregnant sister-in-law. He’s a little odd- anti-social and maybe obsessive compulsive. He hates to be touched, and isn’t the most social guy. But then he gets a girlfriend, sort of.

Gosling is one of the few actors who could have really made this role sing. He’s endearing in a deer-in-headlights sort of way. It’s perfect for Lars.

The magic of this movie is the way an entire universe is created. Where a town loves Lars so much that they go along with his delusion. And learn something along the way. It’s a really smart film.

At times, the interactions with the doll reminded me of when I was a kid and barbies had their own world. I really believed they were real, for a while. And maybe that’s why this film is so great. We are right back where we were when we were six- anything’s possible.