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Shelby Stone, Lili Fini Zanuck, Shakim Compere, Randi Michel , Ron Schmidt - 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater- Press Room at Microsoft Theater, Emmy Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 12th September 2015

Shelby Stone, Lili Fini Zanuck, Shakim Compere, Randi Michel and Ron Schmidt
Shelby Stone, Lili Fini Zanuck, Shakim Compere, Randi Michel and Ron Schmidt

Bandslam Review


Good
With its squeaky-clean characters and simplistic plotting, this film is clearly targeting the High School Musical audience. It even has the same lead actress.

And it's just bright and sunny enough to work.Will (Connell) is a nerdy music obsessive who is thrilled when his mother (Kudrow) announces that they're moving from Cincinnati to New Jersey. He plans to reinvent himself at his new high school, and quickly gets caught up in the upcoming BandSlam competition, helping hot girl Charlotte (Michalka) turn her talented but scruffy bandmates (Saxton and Jo) into a first-rate band with the addition of a few more members (including Donowho, Yost and Chung). Meanwhile, Will is falling for his moody study partner Sa5m (Hudgens). The 5 is silent.The formula dictates the plot, as we know things will fall apart before they come together in the end. And where this film surprises us is in the way it approaches teen life with a blast of intelligence. The characters are recognisably complex, with some pretty serious issues in their lives and relationships that feel relatively organic and real. And the conflicts feel vaguely authentic as well, even though we know the smiles will be back before too long.

These teens are all overachievers with a lot of talent, and it's clear that the same can be said about the cast, although the rampant overacting may grate on older audience members. It's mainly Michalka's show; Charlotte is by far the most interesting, magnetic character. But everyone else gets a chance to cut loose as well, including Porter as Charlotte's cool-kid ex. Meanwhile, Kudrow adds class, and some fine comic timing, to the whole thing.Of course, this is a Disneyfied fantasy version of high school, where everyone is virginal and straight, and even the geeks are cute. And this blanding-down makes the whole thing feel less like a proper film than a pilot for a TV series that combines harmless adolescence with an introduction to rock history. But the music is terrific, and director-cowriter Graff resists the temptation to indulge in the usual hackneyed moralising. He also stirs in some terrific moments along the way that subvert the genre just a little bit.

Black Snake Moan Review


Excellent
Such an unfortunate title for this interesting movie about kindred spirits on a slow, low rumble to personal salvation. Yet for Memphis-bred filmmaker Craig Brewer, Black Snake Moan represents more than your conventional character study. It is a suspension bridge stretched over the dreaded sophomore slump that swallows far too many promising young directors these days.

Brewer's debut feature Hustle and Flow took open-minded viewers on a realistic foray into the world of do-it-yourself hip-hop, proving how hard life can be out there for a pimp (unless, of course, you are a member of Three Six Mafia on Oscar night). Moan continues to bathe in Tennessee hardship and failure as it alternately convinces us that life isn't much easier for backwoods Southern skanks and the men they love but who done them wrong.

Continue reading: Black Snake Moan Review

Hellraiser: Hellseeker Review


Weak
It was only a matter of time. The Hellraiser series, which began with a creepy as hell opening in 1987 and managed to stay fairly scary through Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, has finally gone the way of Leprechaun and Children of the Corn.

Hellraiser #4 took place in outer space. Number 5 went straight to video.

Continue reading: Hellraiser: Hellseeker Review

Hellraiser: Deader Review


Bad
It doesn't take long for most horror franchises to peter out. Eventually all of these series take their cast to space, end up on direct-to-video discs, and feature Kari Wuhrer in the starring role.

Hellraiser: Deader is the impossible seventh film in the increasingly staid Hellraiser franchise (and believe it or not, an eighth DTV title is due out in September).

Continue reading: Hellraiser: Deader Review

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Ron Schmidt Movies

Black Snake Moan Movie Review

Black Snake Moan Movie Review

Such an unfortunate title for this interesting movie about kindred spirits on a slow, low...

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