TFF Review: ‘Woman Walks Ahead’

Woman Walks Ahead
Feature Narrative
Country: USA
Director: Susanna White
Writer: Steven Knight
Starring: Bill Camp, Ciarán Hinds, Sam Rockwell, Chaske Spencer, Michael Greyeyes, Jessica Chastain
Based on a true story, 19th-century Brooklyn artist Catherine Weldon journeys west on a mission to paint a portrait of the legendary chief Sitting Bull, only to find a very different world—and man—than she was expecting.
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Toronto Film Festival 2017
In theaters: June 29th, 2018, Distributed by: DirecTV/A24

Although I thoroughly enjoyed Susanna White’s beautiful and building drama, it’s always good to point out that this is historical fiction. It’s based on a true story, so it didn’t entirely happen the way it’s shown on screen.

Some really bright spots are Sam Rockwell as a supposedly well-meaning officer andCiarán Hinds (Mance Raycer in Game of Thrones) as the sheriff. Jessica Chastain is as graceful and determined as you’d come to expect her to be. It’s got just enough originality to draw you into another world.

Review: ‘Don Verdean’ is saved by its cast – Sam Rockwell, Amy Ryan, Jemaine Clement with Will Forte & Danny McBride

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Sam Rockwell is Don Verdean, a Biblical archeologist who is hired by a pastor and his wife (Danny McBride and Leslie Bibb) to excavate artifacts for their ministry to boost their congregation. Jemaine Clement is Boaz, an advantageous man assisting Don, Amy Ryan is Carol, his secretary turned research assistant and Will Forte makes an appearance as a rival minister. Have I got your attention? Oh, one more thing, it’s from the creative minds of Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre and Gentlemen Broncos, Jared and Jerusha Hess.

The best scene is when Boaz picks up Carol and asks her to wear a special dress. Even thinking about it makes me chuckle.The cast is a testament to the filmmakers, as this is the second film with Sam Rockwell and Jemaine Clement.

As with their other films, the comedy is extremely understated, barely requiring more than a chuckle or a smirk in most instances. When given their spotlight, however, each character does not disappoint. Characters don’t necessarily make a cohesive movie. Each scene on its own is subtly brilliant, but when they are all put together, it’s just too much.

New trailer for ‘Don Verlean’ from Jared & Jerusha Hess makers of ‘Napoleon Dynamite’

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With only three films under their belt, Jared and Jerusha Hess leave a mark with every one. First came Napoleon Dynamite, which has since become a cult classic, and then Nacho Libre starring Jack Black. Remember that movie? No. Unless you worked at a video store in 2007, you probably don’t. However, the most memorable and by far the weirdest film was Gentlemen Broncos. (SPOILER: an albino boa constrictor inexplicably gets diarrhea while being held by someone. YEAH. You’d be upset if I didn’t warn you.)DON VERDEAN still 1

The far out wackyness is exactly what you should come for and expect from these too. Two actors are returning to work again for Don Verlean: the very silly and extremely talented Sam Rockwell and Jemaine Clement. They are joined by Amy Ryan, Will Forte and Danny McBride whose humor is perfectly suited for an absurdist comedy like one of Hess’.

DON VERDEAN opens in theaters and On Demand DECEMBER 11, 2015.

Review: ‘DIGGING FOR FIRE’ ignites the funny and poignant.

Digging For Fire_posterThey say curiosity killed the cat. In the new film DIGGING FOR FIRE, curiosity most definitely killed somebody… but who? Jake Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt lead an all star cast in this dark new indie from Joe Swanberg. While house-sitting for a client, Lee and Tim find a bone and a gun in the backyard, sparking a mystery that must be solved. Digging for Fire-4Johnson plays gym teacher Tim and husband to Dewitt’s yoga instructor Lee. While the film appears to tackle the mystery aspect at full force, the screenplay veers off onto the topics of marriage, parenting, and losing one’s identity. As Tim and Lee part ways for the weekend, Tim throws an intimate get together at the house, encouraging his guests to participate in his sleuthing. Lee drops their son Jude (played adorably by Swanberg’s real life son) off with her parents to visit with friends and explore some alone time. As their days and nights progress, the two weave in and out of age and stage realizations and reveal subtle personality quirks that are all too relatable. Digging for Fire-8While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Swanberg‘s Happy Christmas last year, Digging for Fire feels more like Drinking Buddies in it’s organic camera work and down to earth quality. Jake Johnson is always funny as hell and this is no exception. His every-man approachability combined with his genuine comic timing is a real win. Rosemarie DeWitt has the same “making the audience feel at ease” way about her. Their chemistry with one another and the entire rest of the cast including, Judith Light, Sam Elliott, Melanie Lynskey, Mike Birbiglia, Jenny Slate, Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Orlando Bloom, Ron Livingston, and Sam Rockwell (to name a few) is refreshing and fun to watch. I am really digging, no pun intended, the screenplay pairing of Johnson and Swanberg. This is clearly a great team.

DIGGING FOR FIRE opens in theaters and VOD today

 

Battle of The Actors Round 2 Match-Ups!

Untitled-1Last Week Sarah Jessica Parker, Elizabeth Taylor, Vera Farmiga and Helen Mirren moved on with Eva Green beating Marion Cotilaard to move on in the bonus match-up. This week, round 2 begins!

Brad’s Bracket:

Brad's Bracket- Marlon Brando vs Peter Lorre

  • Marlon Brando (75%, 24 Votes)
  • Peter Lorre (25%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 32

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Jeremy’s Bracket:

Jeremy's Bracket- Paul Newman vs Sam Rockwell

  • Paul Newman (66%, 19 Votes)
  • Sam Rockwell (34%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 29

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Liz’s Bracket:

Liz's Bracket: Tom Hiddleston vs Kevin Spacey

  • Kevin Spacey (65%, 20 Votes)
  • Tom Hiddleston (35%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

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Melissas’ Bracket:

Melissa's Bracket- Michael Fassbender vs Guy Pearce

  • Michael Fassbender (64%, 18 Votes)
  • Guy Pearce (36%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 28

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Michael’s Bracket:

Michael's Bracket- Robert Downey Jr vs Brad Pitt

  • Robert Downey Jr (68%, 23 Votes)
  • Brad Pitt (32%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

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Battle of The Actors Round 1 Matchups Part 5!

Untitled-1Last Week Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, Robin Wright and Frances McDormand moved on with Judi Dench beating Jennifer Lawrence by a slim margin in the bonus matchup. This weeks matchups we switch gears and return to the guys…actors showdown! Let’s get it on!

Brad’s Bracket:

Brad's Bracket- Peter Lorre vs Ron Jeremy

  • Peter Lorre (75%, 12 Votes)
  • Ron Jeremy (25%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 16

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Jeremy’s Bracket:

Jeremy's Bracket- Sam Rockwell vs Tom Hardy

  • Sam Rockwell (65%, 11 Votes)
  • Tom Hardy (35%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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Liz’s Bracket:

Liz's Bracket: Kevin Spacey vs Benedict Cumberbatch

  • Kevin Spacey (76%, 13 Votes)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (24%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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Melissas’ Bracket:

Melissa's Bracket- Ben Mendelsohn vs Guy Pearce

  • Guy Pearce (82%, 14 Votes)
  • Ben Mendelsohn (18%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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Michael’s Bracket:

Michael's Bracket- Tom Hanks vs Robin Williams

  • Robin Williams (53%, 10 Votes)
  • Tom Hanks (47%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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The New ‘Poltergeist’ Trailer is Here!

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20th Century Fox and MGM have released the new trailer for their upcoming Poltergeist remake. You can check it out below!

Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi and director Gil Kenan reimagine and contemporize the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is invaded by angry spirits. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and take the youngest daughter, the family must come together to rescue her.

The film stars Sam Rockwell (The Way, Way Back), Rosemarie DeWitt (Kill the Messenger), Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Saxon Sharbino (Trust Me), Jane Adams (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Kennedi Clements as Madison.

Poltergeist is set to hit theaters on May 22, 2015.

Melissa’s Review: ‘Trust Me’ With Clark Gregg As Another Kind of Agent

You probably know Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson from Iron Man, The Avengers and NBC Marvel’s Agents of Shield, but in Trust Me, he’s Hollywood Agent, Howard Holloway. He stars, as well as writes and directs Trust Me, his second feature to direct, the first being Choke, the Chuck Palahniuk book-adapted film starring Sam Rockwell.

I saw this movie at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and to be honest, I hated it. However, I decided to watch again for it’s release and my reaction completely changed. Why?

Well, this is a story about a struggling Hollywood agent who lies, cheats, deceives and all without batting an eye. What’s more is that it’s completely acceptable in his profession. It was for this reason that I didn’t like the movie the first time around, but after a re-watch, I saw more. I saw fantastic acting and a clever script. Read More →