WISH I WAS HERE Review

by     Posted 45 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my Wish I Was Here review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The film opens in limited release this weekend.]

It’s been ten long years since Zach Braff directed a feature film.  Those that fell hard for Garden State—myself included—looked forward to seeing another directorial effort from Braff, and now the time has finally come with Wish I Was Here.  Written by Braff and his brother Adam Braff, the story explores late-blooming maturity through the eyes of a struggling actor living in L.A. with his wife and two children.  Braff weaves in plenty of themes about loss, marriage, and parenthood throughout the film, but he throws so much into the pot that not all of it sticks.  The result is a disappointing mixed bag, with some of the film hitting just the right note while the rest of it falls completely flat.  Read my full review after the jump.

Zach Braff Visits Temple, Gets Nostalgic in 3 New WISH I WAS HERE Clips; Plus New Images

by     Posted 53 days ago

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Focus Features has released a trio of Wish I Was Here clips and a batch of new images from co-writer/director Zach Braff’s long-awaited Garden State follow-up.  Braff also stars in the film as a struggling actor, father, and husband who is seeking purpose in life and trying to come to terms with the impending death of his father (Mandy Patinkin).  I saw the pic at Sundance (read my review here), and I’d say these three clips are indicative of the film as a whole: really funny, occasionally touching, but also saccharine and a tad pretentious at times.  We see a great scene between Braff and Patinkin, another of Braff taking his children out in the desert to get philosophical, and a third where he visits his temple and has a frank discussion with a rabbi.  The pic is worth seeing (Kate Hudson is fantastic), but I found myself coming away rather disappointed.

Hit the jump to check out the new Wish I Was Here clips and high-resolution images.  The film also stars Joey Lucas, Josh Gad, Pierce Gagnon, Ashley Greene, Jim Parsons, and Donald FaisonWish I Was Here opens in limited release on July 18th.

New Trailer for Zach Braff’s WISH I WAS HERE Starring Zach Braff, Kate Hudson, and Mandy Patinkin

by     Posted 105 days ago

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Focus Features has released a new Wish I Was Here trailer.  Braff co-wrote, directed, and stars in the film as a struggling actor, father, and husband who is seeking purpose in life and trying to come to terms with the impending death of his father (Mandy Patinkin).  This trailer seems pretty much in line with the mixed reviews the movie received when it was screened at Sundance (you can click here to read Adam’s review).  There are funny moments, moments that look like they’re forcing emotions, and some unnecessarily quirky bits (Wigs! Space helmets!) thrown in for good measure.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Kate Hudson, Joey King, Josh Gad, Pierce Gagnon, Ashley Greene, Jim Parsons, and Donald FaisonWish I Was Here opens in limited release on July 18th.

Full Trailer for Ryan Murphy’s THE NORMAL HEART Starring Mark Ruffalo, Taylor Kitsch, and Julia Roberts

by     Posted 136 days ago

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HBO has released a new, full-length The Normal Heart trailer for director Ryan Murphy’s (Glee, American Horror Story) adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Larry Kramer stage play.  The film follows the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, and it looks at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fought to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.  Though Murphy is a bit hit and miss (his last two films were Running with Scissors and Eat, Pray, Love), I’m encouraged by The Normal Heart’s stellar ensemble cast and the fact that Kramer penned the screenplay.  Mark Ruffalo and Taylor Kitsch, in particular, look to be standouts, and the tone feels reminiscent of the heartwrenching documentary How to Survive a Plague, in which Kramer plays an integral role.

Hit the jump to watch the full-length The Normal Heart trailer.  The film also stars Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Jonathan Groff, Denis O’Hare, Corey Stoll, and Julia RobertsThe Normal Heart premieres on HBO Sunday, May 25th at 9pm ET/PT.

First Trailer for Zach Braff’s WISH I WAS HERE Starring Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, and Josh Gad

by     Posted 145 days ago

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Focus Features has released the teaser trailer for director Zach Braff’s comedic drama Wish I Was Here.  Braff co-wrote, directed, and stars in the film as a struggling actor, father, and husband who is seeking purpose in life and trying to come to terms with the impending death of his father (Mandy Patinkin).  I am in no way surprised that this trailer is set a song by The Shins (they provided two of the tracks on the Garden State soundtrack) and plays like a music video minus the musicians.  It’s a montage of clips from the movie, and based on the tone, it’s not going to change anyone’s mind about how much they want to see this flick.

Hit the jump to watch the Wish I Was Here trailer, and click here to read Adam’s review from Sundance.  The film also stars Kate Hudson, Joey King, Josh Gad, Pierce Gagnon, Ashley Greene, Jim Parsons, and Donald FaisonWish I Was Here opens in limited release on July 18th.

THE BIG BANG THEORY Renewed for Three More Seasons

by     Posted 173 days ago

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In a big yet unsurprising move, CBS has renewed ratings juggernaut The Big Bang Theory for three more seasons.  Though networks typically renew shows on a season-by-season basis, there are a few cases in which multiple-season pick-ups have been ordered (most notably Fox’s Glee), and in the case of The Big Bang Theory it feels quite warranted given its ratings performance.  The CBS sitcom just so happens to be the highest-rated comedy on television and has been for some time, and its current seventh season has been scoring the show’s highest ratings yet.

Variety reports that the three-season renewal for The Big Bang Theory will keep the series on air through the 2016-17 season, and contract renewal negotiations with key cast members are ongoing.  The Big Bang Theory is executive produced by Chuck Lorre, and the report notes that CBS is also expected to renew Lorre’s other sitcoms on the network: Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, and freshman series Mom.

Teaser Trailer for THE NORMAL HEART Starring Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, and Julia Roberts

by     Posted 176 days ago

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Earlier tonight, HBO released the first teaser trailer for The Normal Heart.  Directed by Ryan Murphy (Glee), the film follows the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, and looks at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fought to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.  While I’ll certainly tune in to see it, I’m not a big fan of Murphy’s work, and I’m worried this is going to come off as schmaltzy and melodramatic.  I hope I’m wrong, because it’s certainly an important story and one worth telling.

Hit the jump to check out the teaser trailer.  The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, and Julia RobertsThe Normal Heart airs Sunday, May 25th at 9pm on HBO.

The Cast and Crew of THE BIG BANG THEORY Surprise Audience and Showrunners with Flash Mob

by     Posted 1 year, 289 days ago

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The audience at a recent taping of the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory was treated to a bit of a surprise, as the show’s cast and crew spontaneously broke into a flash mob just before a scene was set to begin.  Set to that song that will not go away, “Call Me Maybe,” the ratings-dominating comedy’s crew was joined by cast members Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and more in what was actually planned as a surprise for the series’ showrunners, Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady, and Steven Molaro.  The video is worthwhile if only to see Blossom’s Mayim Bialik get down behind a very enthusiastic Kaley Cuoco.  Hit the jump to watch the video.

Rihanna and Jim Parsons Lead Voice Cast for DreamWorks Animation’s HAPPY SMEKDAY!

by     Posted 2 years, 72 days ago

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It seems Rihanna isn’t going to let one leaky blockbuster sink her fledgling acting career. Today comes word that the pop singer will join with Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) to star in DreamWorks Animation’s Happy Smekday!. It’s an adaptation of Adam Rex’s children book The True Meaning of Smekday, which finds a group of aliens invading earth on Christmas Eve (renaming the holiday “Smekday”) after being booted from their own planet by a villainous race called the Gorg. The story takes the form of an essay written by main character Tip, an 11-year-old human who travels cross-country with the alien that inadvertently put Earth on the Gorg’s radar. It will be helmed by Antz co-director Tim Johnson. Hit the jump for more.

Julia Roberts and Alec Baldwin to Star in Ryan Murphy’s THE NORMAL HEART

by     Posted 2 years, 224 days ago

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The creator of Glee, Nip/Tuck and American Horror Story has a feature film project in the works and is stocking it with an all-star cast. Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Tony Award-winning play, The Normal Heart, can now count Julia Roberts and Alec Baldwin among its stars that will join Mark Ruffalo. The autobiographical drama written by Larry Kramer, who also wrote the feature script, chronicles the rise of HIV/AIDS among New York’s gay community in the 1980s. Roberts will play wheel-chair bound doctor, Emma Brookner, who is one of the city’s few physicians who acknowledges the severity of the disease. Baldwin will play the brother to Ruffalo’s Ned Weeks. Matt Bomer (White Collar) and Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory) are also joining the cast. Hit the jump for more on The Normal Heart.

Watch the Music Video for “Man or Muppet” from THE MUPPETS

by     Posted 2 years, 266 days ago

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Disney has released the music video for the song “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets. The number, penned by Flight of the ConchordsBret McKenzie, is one of the highlights of the movie. Sung by Jason Segel and the Muppet Walter, the music video is just the song sequence from the film, which features a Muppet version of Segel and a well-placed Big Bang Theory cameo. As I noted in our “What Awards can The Muppets Actually Win?” article, I think “Man or Muppet” stands a good chance for a Best Original Song nomination at the Oscars.

Hit the jump to watch the music video. The Muppets is currently playing in theaters everywhere.

2011 Primetime Emmy Award Winners Announced; Winners include Peter Dinklage, Kyle Chandler, and Martin Scorsese

by     Posted 2 years, 348 days ago

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Tonight was the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards and the winner’s list included some great names.  Perhaps the best win of the night was Peter Dinklage picking up Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Game of Thrones.  Not far behind was Kyle Chandler finally picking up an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series for the final season of Friday Night Lights (the show also picked up an Emmy for Best Writing in a Drama Series).  Martin Scorsese picked up an award for his direction of Boardwalk Empire‘s pilot episode, and ubiquitous character actor Margo Martindale won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Mags Bennett on FX’s Justified.

The top awards for Best Drama, Best Comedy, and Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series went to last year’s winners Mad Men, Modern Family, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, respectively.  Best Miniseries or TV Movie was awarded to  PBS’ Downtown Abbey while CBS’ The Amazing Race picked up another Emmy for Best Reality-Competition Program.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

Comic-Con 2011: THE BIG BANG THEORY Panel Recap; Bloopers, Impressions and a Resolution to Last Season’s Cliffhanger

by     Posted 3 years, 40 days ago

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The cast and creators of TV’s “smartest, funniest and now Emmy-nominated” The Big Bang Theory dropped in on Comic-Con today to talk about the upcoming 5th season of the popular series. Executive producers Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady and Steve Molaro joined principal cast Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch on stage. In a nice touch for fans of the show, Carol Ann Susi provided the disembodied voice of Mrs. Wolowitz to introduce the panel. Hit the jump for more behind-the-scenes shenanigans and sneak peeks of the upcoming season.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK Wins 4 Golden Globe Awards Including Best Motion Picture (Drama)

by     Posted 3 years, 228 days ago

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I have just endured three painful hours of the Golden Globes.  Thankfully, folks who deserved awards got them (except for Community, which wasn’t even nominated, so way to screw that up, Hollywood Foreign Press Association).  You can click here to check out my live blog of the entire ceremony, but if you just want a listing of who won what, then hit the jump.  The Social Network took home four Golden Globes including Best Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross), Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin), Best Director (David Fincher), and Best Motion Picture (Drama).

Matt Live-Blogs the 2011 Golden Globe Awards

by     Posted 3 years, 228 days ago

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Tonight I’ll be live-blogging the 2011 Golden Globe Awards.  The Golden Globes continue to receive attention because they used to be seen as a reliable indicator of what films would be receiving Orscar love.  However, due to shifting deadlines, Oscar ballots are already due and there’s no way that the Globes can affect the Oscar nominees.  Also, the Globes, which are hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are known for being delightfully carefree with their integrity and will nominate you if you show them enough love.  They’re basically like the MTV Movie Awards except they serve food and there aren’t any sketches.

However, I think host Ricky Gervais will do a fine job tonight and I’m curious to see if the Globes will follow through on their clearly bought-and-paid-for-love of films like Burlesque and The TouristClick here for a list of the nominees and hit the jump for my on-going live-blog and be sure to keep refreshing the page for my comments.  The 2011 Golden Globe Awards air at 8pm (EST) on NBC.

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