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Mae Whitman - A variety of stars were photographed as they arrived for the 40th Anniversary Gracies Awards which honor programming made for women, by women and about women at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 19th May 2015
Astute and genuinely funny teen comedies don't come along very often; this one starts with a smart script and lets the spirited cast run with it. Director Ari Sandel and writer Josh A. Cagan also acknowledge their debt to high school classics like The Breakfast Club (30 years ago) and Mean Girls (10 years ago) as they poke fun at the various types of teenagers within the school hierarchy. Of course, the focus here is a postmodern type, the "designated ugly fat friend", also known as the duff.
It's 17-year-old Bianca (Mae Whitman) who is horrified to learn that she's a duff. She's neither fat nor ugly, but her casual appearance makes her the most accessible one alongside her hot friends Casey and Jess (Bianca A. Santos and Skyler Samuels). Yes, she's the third Charlie's Angel. So Bianca sets out to change her status, enlisting the advice of sexy jock-next-door Wesley (Robbie Amell) in exchange for helping him with his chemistry homework. Her real goal is to build up some confidence so she can pursue the sweetly sensitive musician Toby (Nick Eversman). But Wesley's on-off girlfriend Madison (Bella Thorne) is the campus queen bee, and doesn't like him hanging out with a duff.
The cast and filmmakers have a great time playing with adolescent stereotypes, constantly undermining expectations while pointing out that of course everyone is actually a duff in one way or another. This sharply observant approach gives every hilarious exchange of dialogue a pointed kick. We can't help but laugh simply because we see ourselves in the characters, remembering that when you're a teen everything seems overpoweringly important. Whitman is superb as the brainy, cute girl who has refused to unleash the hottie within, and her spiky chemistry with the energetic Amell is great fun to watch. Although it's the adults who shamelessly steal their scenes, including Allison Janney in a layered role as Bianca's too-helpful self-help guru mother and an unusually restrained Ken Jeong as her journalism teacher.
Continue reading: The Duff Review
The social pecking order of high schools has to be hard enough without discovering that, without your knowledge or consent, you have received a less than flattering label. When high school senior Bianca (Mae Whitman) is at a party, she discovers that she is supposedly a DUFF, or Designated Ugly Fat Friend. The revelation comes as a shock as she is neither ugly nor fat, and soon she discovers that she is in fact simply being labelled as such because she isn't as popular as some of the other members of her high school. Thus begins Bianca's popularity revolution, in which she fights to clear the name of anyone previously landed with the title of DUFF.
Continue: The Duff Trailer
Long before meeting Peter Pan and his Lost Boys, the islands of Never Land were already the home of adventure. The lands of Pixie Hollow Tinkerbell and her fairy friends notice a bright green comet flash across the sky one night. According to deep legend, when the comet is seen, the dreaded NeverBeast will arrive in Pixie Hollow. All the fairies are terrified, and preparing to defend their home from the monster, when Fawn (Ginnifer Goodwin) stumbles across the beast accidentally. Realising that the NeverBeast is not nearly as bad as anyone thinks, Fawn must convince her friends that they shouldn't judge a book by it's cover before it's too late and they do something they'll regret.
For what he has said will be his final film, animation maestro Hayao Miyazaki tackles a controversial biopic that could just as easily have been shot in live action. It's as if he's challenging filmmakers to use their imaginations and make the best movies they can make in whatever way they can. And the result is utterly magical, transcending the touchy subject matter to tell a story about the purity of creativity.
Based on the life of aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, this Oscar-nominated film opens in the 1920s when young Jiro (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the English version) decides to study aeronautics because his poor eyesight won't let him become a pilot. So he dreams of designing the perfect plane, and his inventive approach catches the attention of Mitsubishi, which assigns him to a secret military project working with Japan's allies in Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, Jiro meets Nahoko (Emily Blunt) and they fall for each other as she struggles to recover from tuberculosis and he grapples with the moral issues of designing a beautiful plane that will be used to kill people in wartime.
Clearly this isn't the kind of animated movie Hollywood would ever produce: it's packed with complex characters who don't always do the right thing, and it takes a perspective that requires sympathy with someone who could be considered a historical villain. But Miyazaki tells the story exquisitely, animating the scenes with such inventiveness that it's impossible not to get lost in the breathtaking imagery. Scenes are also packed with lively side characters, including Jiro's bulldog-like boss (Martin Short), a more grounded colleague (John Krazinski) and a suspicious foreigner (Werner Herzog) who seems to be following Jiro.
Continue reading: The Wind Rises Review
'Dolphin Tale' saw Sawyer Nelson and Dr. Clay Haskett save the life of a beached dolphin named Winter who was so badly injured, she needed a special prosthetic fin fitted in order to survive. She was thus housed in the Clearwater Marine Hospital with a motherly dolphin named Panama. However, following Panama's tragic passing, Winter's future could look very lonely indeed unless the staff at the hospital can find her a new friend to share her life with; an action that is stringently required lest she is moved to another aquarium. That's where Hope comes in; an incredibly tiny dolphin who the Clearwater staff have shipped over to join Winter. The question is, is Winter's heartbreak over Panama's death too much to deal with in spite of new company?
Continue: Dolphin Tale 2 Trailer
Jiro Horikoshi is an aeronautical engineer whose childhood was filled with dreams about becoming a pilot. His poor vision meant that he would never realise his ambition, but he is encouraged to keep up his passion by Italian plane designer Caproni. Resolving to design aircrafts instead of fly them, Jiro studies the art at university, during which time he meets an attractive young woman named Naoko. Their relationship was born out of the dangerous circumstances of the Great Kanto Earthquake, throughout which they helped one another off a fast moving train. As their life together progresses, Naoko falls ill and Jiro struggles to bring in a regular income. He must succeed in the challenge of building the most exquisitely beautiful aeroplane in the world in order to get back on his feet, as his career could be the only thing he has left.
'The Wind Rises' is romantic, heart-wrenching animated adventure directed and written by the Oscar winning Hayao Miyazaki ('Spirited Away', 'Princess Mononoke', 'Howl's Moving Castle'). This Japanese drama, loosely based on Tatsuo Hori's 1936 short story 'The Wind Has Risen', features the voices of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci in the English version. It is due for release in the UK on May 9th 2014.
Pixie Hollow fairy friends Tinker Bell, Vidia, Iridessa, Fawn, Silvermist and Rosetta are all blessed with a unique talent to manipulate certain areas of nature. During an ice show, they discover that estranged fairy Zarina is responsible for the poppy decorations which send all the guests to sleep allowing her to steal the Blue Pixie Dust for her pirate friends at Skull Rock. Tink and the others must get the Dust back as soon as possible as it is essential in their ability to fly, but when they manage to anger Zarina by approaching her, they find that all their talents have been swapped between them. Struggling to control their new found powers, they must continue their quest to retrieve the Pixie Dust for when the rest of Pixie Hollow awaken - but that all proves to be easier said than done as time is quickly running out.
When Jiro Horikoshi was a young boy, all he ever dreamed about was flying planes - at least he did until one night he came across Italian plane designer Caproni in one of his dreams, who subsequently told him that his poor vision means he'll never be a pilot. Jiro instead resolves to take up aeronautical engineering and design aircrafts himself . While at university, he meets a young woman named Naoko who he helps off a train during the Great Kanto Earthquake and the pair become close. His life begins to spiral, however, with his work projects becoming few and far between and Naoko's health deteriorating. But will Jiro finally realise his dream and build an aircraft of pure beauty? Or will his dream come crashing to the ground?
Continue: The Wind Rises Trailer
Prepare to jump onboard Disney's new sugar-coated adventure.
No sooner than Walt Disney Pictures' Frozen has enchanted boys and girls the world over this season, we're already looking forward to the next big animated movie.
Tinker Bell & Her Friends Team Up For A New, Swashbuckling Adventure.
Spring 2014 will bring the arrival of a new Tinker Bell adventure and another spin-off from the Peter Pan franchise, The Pirate Fairy. The fifth film in the DisneyToon Studios' Tinker Bell film series will see the brave little fairy in her green dress team up with her distinctively talented friends, Vidia, Iridessa, Fawn, Silvermist and Rosetta, for a real swashbuckler of an adventure.
Tinker Bell, Vidia, Iridessa, Fawn, Silvermist and Rosetta are fairies of Pixie Hollow who each have a different talent. However, their lives and identities are turned upside down when a newly turned Pirate Fairy named Zarina steals the Blue Pixie Dust which enables them to fly and joins the lawless seafarers of Skull Rock. In a bid to take back their magic, they venture forth to Zarina's pirate ship but only wind up angering her. She lashes out with her own powers and transforms them all so that all their talents are swapped. While trying to work out who has whose power, they must continue their quest to retrieve the Pixie Dust - but without their natural instincts and limited flying ability, just how difficult is that going to be?
Continue: Tinkerbell: The Pirate Fairy Trailer
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