Angela Featherstone and Guest - BOO2bullying's New Summer - Fall Global Campaign 'Take A Bite Out Of Bullying' Launch at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 31st July 2015
Angela Featherstone - A variety of female celebrities were snapped as they attended an Evening With Women Benefitting the Los Angeles LGBT Center which was held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 16th May 2015
Angela Featherstone - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived at the 10th Annual Final Draft Awards which were held at the Hollywood Center Studios in Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 12th February 2015
The movie is billed as the true-life story of the film's director/co-writer Brian Goodman, a South Boston guy who spent a few years in jail before getting his break in Ted Demme's Monument Ave. and showing up in several projects by Rod Lurie (a producer on this film). Being that Goodman made a career in Hollywood as the kind of square-jawed tough who got mowed down by the G-Men in the final reel of an old Republic serial, it's fitting that his first project as filmmaker would be this scrappy piece about his pre-Hollywood life as a second-string Southie hoodlum.
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Skipped Parts, based on a purportedly much-loved book that I've never heard of, tells the unlikely story of a 15-year-old boy (Bug Hall) in the early 1960s, whose trashy mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh, a fright in platinum blonde) encourages him to do whatever he wants. Namely, that involves experimenting with sex, and our buddy Bug does so, frequently, with the local cheerleader (Mischa Barton, the scariest looking young actress in film today, next to Gaby Hoffman). Meanwhile, mom sluts it up with a friendly Indian while the prepubescent teen becomes pregnant during all this boning.
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Track Downwas produced shortly before Mitnick's release amid much controversy. Mitnick, as you might expect, is a cause celebre among the hacker community, while he's been vilified by the corporate and legal communities. The story of his long career as a hacker was the subject of two major books -- The Fugitive Game, written mainly from Mitnick's point of view, and Takedown, written by the man who captured him. The latter book (widely dismissed by the hacker community as propaganda) got optioned by Miramax, and against all odds, the Kevin Mitnick story became a movie, starring Skeet Ulrich as Mitnick and Russell Wong as Tsutomu Shimomura, the man who "captured" Mitnick and the co-author of Takedown.
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However, protocol forces me to do otherwise. Soul Survivors tells the story of four college-bound friends: Cassandra (Melissa Sagemiller) is sweet and innocent. Party girl Annabel (Eliza Dushku of Bring It On) is dating world-weary Harvard student Matt (Wes Bentley). Matt still has feelings for Cassie, who is now dating Sean (Casey Affleck).
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At first I was highly dubious about "200 Cigarettes." From whatI'd seen before hand, it looked like mediocre script at which the producersthrew a lot of hip actors hoping the cast would hoist it up to their level.And after all, it's a soundtrack-driven product of MTV Films -- not exactlya proud pedigree.
I'm delighted to report I was very much mistaken.
An ensemble comedy with a cast of a dozen breakout starsall traipsing through Manhattan misadventures on their separate ways tothe same party on New Year's Eve 1981, "Cigarettes" has a capricioushum about it and the same non-stop brand of comedic timing (although adifferent brand of comedy) that was honed to perfection in "There'sSomething About Mary"
Although it's an unpolished effort from movie newbies ShanaLarsen (writer) and Risa Bramon Garcia (director), there are no wastedscenes, no busted jokes, and a number of comedic crescendos that will sendyou roaring over the back of your chair. This is funny stuff.
The players and their plots shake out like this:
East Village misery-addict Paul Rudd ("Clueless")and his promiscuous, platonic pal Courtney Love battle long-buried romanticpredilections. Katie Hudson -- the 19-year-old daughter of Goldie Hawnwho has inherited her mother's looks and her pratfall proficiency -- losesher virginity to flabbergasted commitment-phobe Jay Mohr ("Mafia!").Gaudily over-dressed Christina Ricci sports an gloriously grating LongIsland accent as she and Gaby Hoffman get hopelessly lost in Alphabet Cityafter misplacing the party address.
Madonna wannabe Angela Featherstone (following "TheWedding Singer" with another '80s flashback) and petulant pal NicoleParker ("Boogie Nights") comb the bars in a superstitious frenzy,convinced if they don't wake up New Year's Day in bed with cute guys they'llspend the whole year alone. One of their candidates is a surprisingly self-mockingBen Affleck, playing a klutzy bartender and inept Casanova.
Meanwhile, the neurotic hostess of the party (Martha Plimpton)is in hysterics because midnight is rapidly advancing and her only guestsso far have been one fair-weather friend who abandons her for peppier pasturesand an ex-boyfriend in the middle of a sexual anxiety crisis.
And I haven't even mentioned the two best performancesin the picture: Janeane Garofalo as a bitter (naturally) budding rock starand Dave Chappelle, who plays the super-smooth, jive-talking cabbie thatties all the stories together.
Of course, the inevitable culmination of all this willbe happy endings and a successful party. But "200 Cigarettes"is not entirely predictable along the way and, unlike "The WeddingSinger," it doesn't depend on '80s shtick for its laughs.
Sure there's neon cowl necks sweaters, florescent fishnets,Aqua Net hair helmets, guys in eyeliner, chunky chokers, two-pound earringsand other New Wave fashion atrocities. There's also the occasional butsubtle pop culture icon (a shouldered boom box, a ring watch, Elvis Costelloin a cameo). But all of this is incidental. The comedy comes first, theself-aware goofs on Generation X, The Early Years come second, and that'swhy it will be just as funny in 2009 as it is in 1999.
And with this cast of edge-of-super-stardom players, "200Cigs" will definitely be remembered in 2009, like "American Graffiti,""Diner" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" are rememberednow for launching or accelerating humongous careers.
Ben Affleck and Christina Ricci have already become marquee-powerstars in the last 12 months, and Love, Garofalo, Hudson, Mohr, Rudd Chappelleand Plimpton (who already has a lucrative indie career) are hot on their
In "Soul Survivors" a relatively inventive horror movie concept is used as a launching pad for a pathetic parade of standard-issue jumps and frights that can't raise a single goosebump.
The concept (which owes a debt to Adrian Lyne's mind-melting "Jacob's Ladder") is that an angelic coed (Melissa Sagemiller, "Get Over It") becomes haunted by nightmares and vision of her dead boyfriend (Casey Affleck) after he's killed in a car wreck while she was behind the wheel. The girl begins to lose her grip on what's real and what she imagines while her cryptic best friends (Wes Bentley and Eliza Dushku) try to keep her sane.
But two post-production revamps -- one without writer-director Steve Carpenter -- left the film with laughably conspicuous trims for the sake of a belated, teen-friendly PG-13 declawing (now that theaters are enforcing the R rating). All that remains of the story's slight creative promise is a transparent and very pedestrian chiller without chills.
Continue reading: Soul Survivors Review
In my opinion, a movie reviewer's most important task is to offer an explanation for...
At first I was highly dubious about "200 Cigarettes." From whatI'd seen before hand, it...
In "Soul Survivors" a relatively inventive horror movie concept is used as a launching pad...