My brother shared this video (actually, Audi commercial “Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: “The Challenge” that was posted May 6 on YouTube) with me on Facebook and I just had to share it with you. It made this sci-fi girl happy. Plus, it gives me an excuse to tell everyone how much I loved “Star Trek Into Darkness.” It’s AWESOME! Beehiver Rick Bentley shares that enthusiasm, read his “A” review here. You can also watch video interviews with cast members Simon Pegg, John Cho and Alice Evehere. Enjoy.
Actors are fortunate if they are part of one large film franchise. Not only does it often mean multiple paychecks but there is a notoriety that comes from being associated with such endeavors.
I had the chance to interview Simon Pegg in San Francisco for his upcoming portrayal of Scotty in “Star Trek Into Darkness.” During our talk, I pointed out that his role in the relaunch of the “Star Trek” franchise, coupled with appearing in the long-running British science fiction series “Doctor Who,” makes him the only actor to have appeared in the two biggest sci-fi franchise on the planet.
He portrayed a character called The Editor in the 2005 episode of the British series “The Long Game.”
The 9th Annual Fresno Film Festival kicks off tomorrow night at the Tower Theatre. The festival, presented by Fresno Filmworks, runs the full weekend, with five feature-film presentations, more than a dozen short-film screenings and a number of post-screening discussions and other fun stuff for all you cinephiles.
Our movie critic Rick Bentley screened two of the features (“Paris-Manhattan” and “Blancanieves”) and word around the office is they were stellar. You can read his reviews in tomorrow’s 7 Section.
In the mean time, we have tickets to festival to give out to couple Beehivers (that’s you). Because the festival starts tomorrow, this is a quickie. Leave a comment on this post. Tell us why your love Fresno Filmworks (or haven’t yet been introduced). We’ll pick two winners at random. Contest will close at 4 p.m. today and winners will be notified by email. NOTE: These are actual physical tickets, so winners will need to come down to The Bee’s front lobby by 5 p.m. tomorrow to pick them up.
No repeat entries, please. Check your email tonight to see if you’re the winner. Complete rules are on the jump.
It seems like this is the week of cool new movie trailers. I shared the one for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” earlier this week. A couple other big names released new trailers this week. Maybe it’s just the geeky fangirl in me, but I’m super excited for what’s dubbed summer movie season. There’s a lot of action coming our way, so be on the lookout for Rick Bentley’s summer movie preview in print this Sunday.
If you look closely at the poster for this year’s Fresno Film Festival (which kicks off next weekend), you will see the woman has the Fresno Filmworks’ logo tattooed on her arm. A bold choice, if I do say.
Playing on that theme, Fresno Filmworks and Faithful & True Tattoo are offering up two festival passes to anyone willing to get the Filmworks’ logo tattooed on their body. Just stop into the shop anytime between noon and 8 p.m. tomorrow. Looks like tattoos are $30. So you’ll get a cool tattoo and save some money on the festival passes. That is a win-win. It’s really too bad Travis Sheridan isn’t in town anymore.
For more info on the festival itself, here’s a video:
It’s always funny how minor characters can become so popular. Ask someone who has seen “Despicable Me” and they will talk more about the Minions than anything else.
In the case of “Oz the Great and Powerful,” the breakout supporting player should have been Finley, the flying monkey voiced by Zack Braff. It’s a cute character. But the supporting player who steals most scenes is the China Girl. She’s the most interesting film character made of porcelain since Chip from “Beauty and the Beast.”
The steady stream of 3-D movies continue to invade theaters and most don’t offer enough visual splendor to make it worth the extra cost for the ticket. Sadly, 3-D movies are here to stay. Because there’s no end in sight, directors like Sam Raimi, the magician behind “Oz the Great and Powerful,” are getting educated about the process to help them deal with some of the complaints about 3-D — such as the headaches they can cause.
Raimi visited special effects houses to hear what the different visual effects artists had to say about working with the 3-D systems. After the meetings, the director went so far as to shoot some test scenes to see how the convergence was going to affect the audience. He didn’t want anyone to get a headache. He knows what that’s like because he’s got a headache from watching 3-D movies.
I just finished chatting with Leslie Mann (“Funny People”) about the upcoming release of her movie, “This is 40,” on DVD. We talked about: how the comedy is a spinoff of “Knocked Up”; working with her husband, director Judd Apatow; and having her own children play her children in the movie.
Would-be film makers: It’s time to pull that cardboard out of recycling, sharpen up the box cutters and get to work on costumes for the next Swede Fest.
You have until May 13 to come up with your take on a film classic for entry into Swede Fest 11. Once again, only the first 20 entries will be accepted, so even though the deadline is two-months out you’ll want to get to work ASAP.
Other stuff to remember: The time limit is 4 minutes, the film must be suitable for all ages and contain no content that violates any law.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and three new movies are opening if you are looking for a date option: “Safe Haven,”“Beautiful Creatures” and “A Good Day to Die Hard.” The first two have a romantic element that make them obvious picks. “Dies Hard” doesn’t seem like the kind of film that fits a romantic date but the studio is promoting it as a film where “you can get some action.”
All three are good selections but don’t forget “Warm Bodies.” The romantic comedy about a girl and her zombie is a great date movie because it blends falling in love elements with killing zombies.
If you go see the movie, you might recognize Analeigh Tipton who plays Nora, the best friend to the zombie lover. Before getting into acting, she appeared on the 11th edition of the TV reality competition series “America’s Next Top Model” and finished third.
Here are five questions with the young actress/model:
Alden Ehrenreich has two movies coming out in the next few weeks — “Beautiful Creatures” on Valentine’s Day” and “Stoker” March 1 — but he’s done little else that would make you think he’s one of the major players in Hollywood. That’s why it was a surprise to hear that despite his limited acting credentials, Ehrenreich initially turned down the leading role in “Beautiful Creatures.” And, he turned it down without reading the script.
To be fair, the 23-year-old actor wasn’t shown the script by his agents because they didn’t think it was the kind of movie he wanted to make. The kind of movies he’s trying to avoid are the ones where a mortal teen feels the angst of falling for some type of vampire, zombie, mummy or Frankenstein type monster.
When producers pitched him the idea again, he read the script and signed on to play the lovestruck Ethan Wate. The object of his attention is Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), a young woman who on her 16th birthday will either become a very good or very bad witch.
I know. It sounds like all of the other teen angst movies. But, Ehrenreich saw a real humor and intelligence in the script that made him confident this wouldn’t be just another mortal-meets-supernatural-creature story.
If he had read the script earlier, Ehrenreich would have had a chance to do some research so that he wouldn’t have been caught off guard by the high heat and humidity of working in New Orleans during the summer.
“It was very, very hot. We had a lot of people spritzing us,” Ehrenreich says.
An earlier read also would have given him a chance to read the books in the “Beautiful Creatures” series before filming started. During his down time — when he wasn’t battling the heat — Ehrenreich read the books. They ended up being an instruction manual as to how to play the character.
The one thing about his character he didn’t need to research was how the teen longed to leave the sleepy little town where he’s lived his entire life.
“I know exactly what it’s like to want to leave somewhere,” Ehrenreich says. “I hated summer camp but my mother sent me to 10 different ones when I was growing up. I would write long letters to family members to tell them how much I hated being at camp.”
If you’re like me, you love the Academy Awards. Every year, I try to see all the Best Picture nominees, though I usually end up a couple shy. And every year, I scour a bunch of entertainment sites (even though I read all about the movies for this job) and then apply my knowledge to a pick-the-winners contest with a bunch of my movie-buff friends. I love it!
Emma Thompson says she has a deep dislike for Fresno’s own Audra McDonald. I find this out while talking to Thompson — England’s answer to Meryl Streep — about her upcoming movie “Beautiful Creatures” that opens Valentine’s Day. She plays a witch who has gone the dark side, not much of a stretch by the way she talks about McDonald.
The source of the discord started when the pair filmed the 2001 cable movie “Wit.” Thompson turns in a brilliant performance as a professor who’s forced to reassess her life after being diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. McDonald is equally as wonderful as the nurse who helps her deal with the terminal illness. Both picked up Emmy nominations that year.
“I’m quite bitter about working with Audra,” says Thompson in such a sarcastic tone it becomes clear that she doesn’t really have any dislike for her former co-star but is a big admirer. This is just an example of the Thompson sense of humor that all of her co-stars in the movie say made the filming process so much fun.
Here are a few reactions to today’s Oscar nominations.
Tim Burton – “Frankenweenie”
“Frankenweenie is a very personal film for me. The idea of telling a feature length version was in the back of my mind for many years. Stop Motion was the perfect medium for this project, and one I’ve always loved for its expressiveness and dimensionality. I’ve worked with so many incredible artists: animators, cast members, set builders, and puppet makers, all who have helped bring this film to life one frame at a time. I’m so honored that the Academy has recognized this film as one of its nominees.”
Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy – “Lincoln”
“We are absolutely thrilled and astonished with the 12 nominations. It is such a tribute to the work of those who joined us in this 12-year journey to bring LINCOLN to the screen. We humbly thank the Academy members who honored so many of us.”
Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Lining Playbook”
“I’m so honored and grateful for this nomination and to be in the company of such talented actresses. Having the fortunate opportunity to work with David O. Russell was an extraordinary gift and I am so thrilled for my fellow cast members Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver who are all nothing short of amazing. This was a labor of love. ”
Amy Adams – “The Master”
“It is such an honor to receive this recognition from the Academy. Working with Paul Thomas Anderson was a unique and wonderful opportunity that I am so grateful for. I’d also like to send congratulations to the other nominees and to my co-stars Philip and Joaquin.”
Sally Field – “Lincoln”
“I’m spinning and beyond thrilled on so many levels. To be included in this amazing group of extraordinary craftsman and exquisite talents has been an honor in itself. But now for us all to receive so much recognition from the Academy I’m deeply appreciative and overwhelmed, and basically, I still can’t believe I got the role.”
Seth MacFarlane, host of this year’s Oscar telecast, and Emma Stone will announce the nominees for the “85th annual Academy Awards” early Thursday morning. The Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 24.
Who will get nominated is always a source of many discussions. The one thing you can count on is that there will be some names of movies and actors on the list you didn’t expect.
Here’s my predictions for this year’s nominees. There could be as few as five nominees for Best Picture and as many as 10. I picked 10 just in case. Feel free to argue and discuss.
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“The Impossible” “Les Miserables”
“Life of Pi” “Lincoln”
“Silver Lining Playbook’
“Zero Dark Thirty”
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty” Sally Field, “Lincoln”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Lining Playbook”
Emanuelle Riva, “Amour”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible’
NOTE: Zoe Kazan should be on the list for her marvelous work in “Ruby Sparks” but will be overlooked.
Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Javier Bardem, “Skyfall”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
Supporting actress Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Sally Field, “Lincoln”
Maggie Smith, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Quvenzhané Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
The community effort to reopen the Met Cinemas movie theater in Oakhurst succeeded when a group raising support reached its goal of 3,000 subscriptions hours before its New Year’s Eve deadline, said Matt Sconce, one of the project’s three project leaders. The 3,000th subscription for the theater’s membership plan was recorded at 8:20 p.m. New Year’s Eve, ensuring that the new operating group can cover its costs.
Congratulations to Oakhurst. I’m sure there will be lots of people watching to see how this grand experiment works out.
The politicians in Washington, D.C., aren’t the only ones bumping up against a big deadline today. A trio of movie lovers in Oakhurst has hatched an ingenious plan to save the local Met Cinemas, and there are just over eight hours left to reach the self-imposed deadline goal of 3,000 memberships. My Beehive colleague Rick Bentley told readers about the project a couple of weeks ago:
Individual adult memberships cost $19.95 per month, which gives access to see 8-10 new movies, one time, in a month. Members will be given a smart card to track what they have seen. If they want to see a movie more than once, they would have to purchase an additional ticket. There also are discounted packages for couples and families.
For a few seconds earlier this season, it looked like Sarah Hyland’s character of Haley Dunphy was being written out of the popular ABC comedy “Modern Family.” Haley had left home to go to college, which is not always a good sign. On the classic TV show “Happy Days,” Richie Cunnigham’s older brother went upstairs to his room in one episode and never came back down.
There’s no need to worry about the petite actress who’s destined to play the younger sister of Mila Kunis one day. After a few episodes where she was Skyped into the scenes, Haley was sent home after she fell on a police officer.
During an interview with Hyland to talk about her work in the movie “Struck By Lightning” — starring and written by Clovis East graduate Chris Colfer — Hyland says her days of being connected via computer to her TV family were really the easiest work days she’s every had. And despite only being 22 years old, she’s got a long list of work experience to compare to the “Modern Family” work she’s currently doing.
“It was great. They had me in a fake dorm room set,” Hyland says. “All I had to do was sit there and talk.”
Despite not actually being on the same set as her co-stars, like any good actress, Hyland memorized her lines. She soon realized that was a waste of time.
“There was one line of dialogue I just kept having trouble with so I taped the script pages to the side of the computer,” Hyland says. “That’s when I realized that I could just put all my lines up there and read them.”
She didn’t get to resort to that tactic as Haley came home and now she shares her scenes with fellow actors on the same set.
You might have to dig a little harder for cultural events this pre-Christmas weekend — but you can still find some great possibilities.
1. ENJOY A ‘MIRACLE’
The Good Company Players production of “Dad’s Christmas Miracle” at the 2nd Space Theatre has just four performances left: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. This nostalgic comedy is about a boy who has to convince his family and teacher he’s worthy of a visit from Santa. Another theater option for the weekend is the first-rate “Beehive,” which continues at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater. [Details]
“Les Miz” fans still have to wait a few days till the much-anticipated movie opening Christmas Day. But to whet your appetite, I can tell you that I think the film is (mostly) a big success, with an especially amazing performance from Anne Hathaway as Fantine. The one major exception to the strong showing, cast-wise:
I hate to even mention his name in such proximity to the lustrous Hathaway, whom I am sure will snag a best-actress Oscar nomination. Let’s just say it kind of rhymes with “bro.” As in, bro, what made you think you could pull off the role of Javert?
Before the scheduled time for me to begin my interview with Josh Brolin to talk about his upcoming movie, “Gangster Squad,” the actor is standing on the small balcony of his room at the Four Seasons smoking a cigarette. Since the time I have been given with him will be spent talking about the police drama set in Los Angeles, his smoke break is bonus moments and I take the opportunity to tell Brolin how much I enjoyed his work in “Men In Black 3.”
If you haven’t seen the movie, Brolin does a perfect imitation of Tommy Lee Jones as he portrays his Agent K character as a younger man. The impersonation is so perfect, Brolin has been told by many people that they think his voice was redubbed by Jones.
That wasn’t the case. It’s all Brolin.
Doing the impersonation worried him so much, Brolin almost quit the picture seven times.
“It’s one thing to do a Tommy Lee Jones impersonation at a bar after a few drinks. But, this was for a movie that has millions of very loyal fans,” Brolin says.
He was convinced that he was on the right vocal track when on the first day of shooting director Barry Sonnenfeld came from behind the camera with tears of laughter rolling down his face. It’s a good thing Brolin decided to stick with the production because his performance is the best part of the movie.