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.

You can donate online:


entertainment, film

Review: ‘Finishing Heaven’

By Rebecca Ford


Robert Feinberg is some people’s worst nightmare. The 59-year-old was once a 22-year-old with the world at his feet, working on a movie that could have made him the next big director.

But he never finished the movie. And perhaps, he believes, never really fulfilled his destiny.

HBO Documentary Films’ Finishing Heaven follows the director as he tries to finally finish his film Heaven, a very ’70s psychedelic film with no real story line, just a lot of heavy eye shadow and dramatic scenes.

As unique as Feinberg’s tale may seem, however, this film is just another story about another dream that died in the process. There are plenty of people in this world who dreamed of being an astronaut or a film star and instead ended up as a grocery store clerk, a bank teller or (in Feinberg’s case) a cruise greeter…

See the rest here.

entertainment, film

DVD review: Seven Pounds

The trailers for Seven Pounds before its release in theaters last December were purposefully vague and mysterious. The main character, Ben Thomas (Will Smith), has a secret, and that’s about all viewers get. He runs in the rain, meets a beautiful woman (Rosario Dawson) and somehow has the ability to change people’s lives.

If you didn’t see the film in theaters, you may still not know what the secret is all about. And you won’t when you watch Seven Pounds on DVD, either—at least not for an hour and a half…
See the review at socal.com


“Sunshine Cleaning” review


By Rebecca Ford

When I was in college, I went home one weekend to my parents’ house. My parents were away for the night, and my younger sister who was in high school at the time asked if she could have a few friends over. A few friends turned into a drunken high school party, where one kid threw up in the sink and clogged the disposal, and my sister passed out on her bedroom floor. Needless to say, I was left alone to clean up the mess till six in the morning.

I didn’t speak to my sister for a week after that. It was maybe the angriest I’ve ever been at her.

But that doesn’t matter because when it’s your sister, you get over it. No matter what, there’s this unspoken bond between two girls who lived through a childhood together.

That’s the bottom line with Sunshine Cleaning,” the new film starring Amy Adams andEmily Blunt. They play two grown-up sisters, struggling to make ends meet and overcome their mother’s suicide. When Rose (Adams) can’t pay for her son’s private school, she opens a crime scene cleaning company with her younger sister, Hannah (Blunt).

Much like my own sibling, Norah is young and rebellious. She’s tattooed, irreverent and lacks in direction. Her older sister, Rose, is the responsible one, who is raising a kid alone.

Sunshine Cleaning, brought to you by the producers of the lovable “Little Miss Sunshine” , has the same optimistic-in-the-face-of-sadness feel to it, finding the beauty in life—and death. It’s similar to the 2006 hit (Alan Arkin reappears, and the story is again based in Albuquerque), but not quite at the same high level of thoughtfulness.

Still, Sunshine is, well, a beam of sunlight in what’s been a dreary, sad movie season of late. Even while approaching a topic as sad as death, the film is able to reflect the beauty and promise in life and human kindness.

Death is one topic that really gets examined in a great way here. The sisters, still dealing with their mother’s suicide from when they were kids, see death in all forms, and—more importantly—the effect it has on the people left behind.

The chemistry between Adams, Blunt and Arkin is what makes this movie soar. Their comedic timing and expression sets off laughter at just the right time. All three, however, smoothly embody the sadness that comes with losing a loved one.

Because the acting is stellar, it assists in masking the fact that their characters are lacking in some development. Sure, we learn that Rose was a popular high school cheerleader who is sleeping with a married man and has some self-esteem issues now. But last time I checked, I didn’t like those types of girls in high school, and I’m damn glad that they peaked when they were mentally bullying around the less popular and parading down the halls in their cheerleading outfits. How are we supposed to root …

See the rest here.

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