Never Drop the Con: FOCUS

Friday, February 27, 2015


“Rather than diverting their eyes, you must occupy their minds. Their attention is controlled by their dreams, desires and fears. People often see what they want to believe rather than what is really there. So, if you can control their focus, you control their reality.” - Professional Con-Artist Apollo Robbins

Tinsel & Tine's Look at the Movie Focus

by Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

After seeing the movie FOCUS you may become paranoid and start constantly checking for your phone, wallet, watch and other assorted valuables whenever you're in public. One pickpocket you might notice or catch, but when it's a band of seemingly unrelated people working together to distract, pilfer, swipe, hand off and lift, while never slowing down - even the most aware and alert person will and can be a victim. It really makes you wonder how many real life crime rings are out there everyday getting away with taking people's stuff with sleight-of-hand and diverting focus.

Writing and Directing team Glenn Ficarra & John Requa (“Crazy, Stupid, Love.”) takes us into a world where there's honor among thieves, but is it a place for falling in love? After all, relationships, particularly those of a romantic nature, require trust, right?  But then again, think about this, how many times have you or your friends gone through a lover's cellphone to see who they've been calling/texting? Check their computers to see if they're on any dating sites?  Cyber stalk them, or try to catch them in a lie?  There's so many pitfalls when it comes to trusting your romantic partners, now magnify that x10, when you're dealing with two people who make their living deceiving others, and you've got the basis for Warner Bros latest offering, Focus.

QUICK SYNOPSIS: Nicky (Will Smith) is a seasoned master of misdirection who allows an amateur con artist Jess (Margot Robbie "Wolf of Wall Street") to lure him to her hotel room out of professional curiosity, and as Nicky puts it "I like boobs, figured it was a win win". She beseeches him to take her on as an apprentice of sorts, and after testing her abilities, brings her into his ring which consists of among others, operations manager, Horst (Brennan Brown) and computer genius Farhad (Adrian Martinez).  It's all fun and games as they teach Jess the tricks of the trade, until she gets too close for Nicky's comfort and he drops her hard after one particularly interesting game of chance that really has the audience guessing. When the two meet up 3 years later, who do you think gets the upper hand?

OBSERVATION: The camera loves Margot Robbie not just because she's beautiful, there's a thousand sexy blondes that look almost identical to her, but her humor and energy really make her stand out among her "type". I think we all saw it when she proved to be more than a trophy wife to DiCaprio's Jordan Belfort in Wolf of Wall Street (click for T&T post) and she brings all that and more to Focus. I would imagine Will Smith really needs this movie to do well, after After Earth bombed, his production Annie (click for T&T post) pretty much bombed, and remember that strange cameo he did in a Winter's Tale? (click for T&T post).  I think audiences will like him as Nicky, he's pretty much what would happen if The Fresh Prince had been raised by the antithesis of Uncle Phil.

Give the gift of movies. Order Fandango gift cards with free shipping.

AROUND THE WEB: The movie used Apollo Robbins as a consultant on the film. Robbins is referred to as the "Gentlemen Thief". He's perfected the art of sleight-of-hand and has created a business called Whizmob Inc., a brain trust that offers law enforcement officials and ex-cons as subject matter experts on current fraud, theft, and scam trends. Apollo hosted Tru TV's reality show, The Real Hustle, and served as technical advisor on TNT's series, Leverage... READ MORE.

RESULT: What I think really works about the movie is the plot of the cons are interesting and plausible, but they somehow take a backseat to the characters. Yet at the same time, I was often misled; the script seems so straight forward, as if we are only involved in this world of deceit because of Nicky & Jess, and then the movie turns the tables, and you realize you were being conned while your focus was on the relationship. No big crazy twist, turns or surprises, but good writing which reveals things you didn't see coming, or at least I didn't.

T &T's LAMB Score: 4 outta 5

Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog


Social Media Round Up: OSCARS 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

3000+ Products: Posters, Tshirts, Standups, Stills

 Quick T&T Recap of the Oscars 

(87th Academy Awards) 

 (Note:embedded facebook & twitter posts not visible to those receiving Tinsel & Tine via RSS Feed).

By Tinsel & Tine Editor, Le Anne Lindsay

So the awards season has wound down, all the speculation is over and the awards handed out. I saw about 89% of the movies nominated in various categories. If I had just fit in Interstellar, Inherent Vice and Whiplash, I would have been at about a 94% mark. Seeing a nominated foreign film or doc counts as extra points, but I didn't see any of those this past year.

For quick links to T&T posts on the movies we did cover

Food and Film
Once again I started too late to get a restaurant to sponsor Tinsel & Tine's Oscar Social Media Party.  But I had gone to a Whiskey tasting earlier in the week, where I received a bottle of Dad's Hat Maple Syrup infused with Rye Whiskey, this gave me the idea to do a pancake dinner (even though we're into Lent).

Target comfort foods for my Oscars Social Media Red Carpet Picnic: Archer Farms Vanilla Chai Pancakes (w/ black tea, chai spices & cinnamon chips), Archer Farms Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Pork roll, brown n serve sausage, Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn microwave popcorn.

When Diane arrived she brought Vinegar Salt Chips and Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies and next thing you know... this was what our Oscar After Party looked like.

Red Carpet

Pink Ladies - There were probably enough celebs wearing pink for me to have done 3 rows:

Men in Color- Nice to have a variety away from black and white:

 4 Tine Rated Gowns on the Oscar Red Carpet:

Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) was no Ellen DeGeneres but he wasn't James Franco either:

Poll on Hollywood Reporter as of 5pm 2/23/15

Jennifer Hudson & Lady Gaga - Nice!


Best Foreign Language Director Pawel Pawlikowski was awesome
Patricia Arquette using her winning speech time as a pulpit for women's equality

The Best Adapted Screenplay winner Graham Moore for Imitation Game gave a moving speech about embracing what makes you, you, and the fact that he thankfully didn't commit suicide at age16. Still, I couldn't help but be distracted when they cut to Keira Knightley who I had missed on the red carpet. After the poor reviews of her Golden Globes Gown HOW could she have made a similar mistake for the Oscars !?!

We went through the "it's not fair, this is a conspiracy, the Oscars are too white thing", back in January. By the time the Oscars rolled around, we excepted the fate of  Selma as a "non" Oscar contender. However, through their song "GLORY" Common and John Legend really stepped up to the plate all throughout the awards season to give glory to Selma, Ava DuVernay, Oprah, David Oyelowo and everything the movie stands for, in their acceptance speeches.

I was sent these pictures from my Zumba teacher Karen, whose boyfriend Ted has a daughter Nicole Dow, who is part of Common's creative team and a producer of his 2013 movie LUV . That's like a Kevin Bacon six degrees of separation game. Thanks for these Karen & Ted!

Deserved win for Julianne More in Still Alice, between she and Eddie Redmayne incurable illness = Oscar gold.


Well, Joan Rivers wasn't - The Academy says they just couldn't include everyone, but come on to snub the - "Who Are You Wearing?" Queen!?!
 Melissa Rivers spoke out about the Joan Rivers snub at the Oscars

Goodbye my Love - Louis Jordan (Gigi 1958)


One of the ladies accepting the Oscar for Documentary Short for Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press  Ellen Goosenberg Kent or Dana Perry was wearing what looked to us like Star Trek Tribbles and since I recently did a radio guest spot on The Black Tribbles Nation, we couldn't resist tweeting it out -

Congrats to Oscar winner J.K. Simmons for his supporting role in "Whiplash".

Candy n Film: J. K. Simmons is also the voice of the Yellow M&M’S® “spokescandy” for the last 20 years, and was presented with an M&M’S® mosaic to congratulate him on his successful award season.

I want a M&M’S® Peanut Mosaic of myself to bring to the movies as my Cinema Sneak n Snack™, then I can eat my own face - perfect if seeing a David Lynch film.

The Budapest Hotel director Wes Anderson can't complain - the movie won for Costume Design, Original Score, Makeup/Hairstyling, and Production Design - well done!

There's a lot to take in when watching this film, The colors alone! The oddity of each character, Tilda Swinton playing a 80-something grand dame, a ruthless Willem Dafoe with skull knuckle rings and of course Bill Murray makes an appearance. Still, the movie does hone in on a theme, Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) belongs to a time and place of grace, prose and refinement, which he feels is his duty to uphold both inside and outside of his profession. Hence the Society of the Crossed Keys, a symbol of impeccability and connections...READ MORE  Le Anne Lindsay, Tinsel & Tine
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
It really should have been Michael Keaton's win for Best Actor, particularly since Birdman was given the top honors. 

I filled out this year's Oscar ballot, not so much with what I wanted to see win, but what I thought would win. It worked pretty well, except in the category of hair and makeup, which I thought they'd award to Foxcatcher after all the fuss. Loved Big Hero 6, but thought they'd give it to How to Train Your Dragon.

Whew, well there's so much more, but every other outlet will be saying the same thing.  I just like to create a little Oscar night archive each year for T & T.  Past Round Ups:

Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog


KemKlicks Affiliate Marketing Management Expert / Make Money Blogging

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Romance ebooks from

Hey Tinsel & Tine Readers,

Just a brief interlude between our Film, Empire, Food & Philly Event posts.

Like so many others out there, Blogging is what I love to do, and although I intentionally make sure each post takes less than 2 minutes to read. You can not imagine how much time I spend on Tinsel & Tine in general.

We've all read about bloggers making money from their sites, being compensated for all the time invested. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones doing just that.  I've tried Amazon, Google Adsense, Massive Sway and BlogHer Influencer. So far, Google hasn't added up to the $100 needed before they'll send you a check, and I've gotten one $50 campaign from BlogHer.

Enter KemKlicks Affiliate Marketing Management, they want to see the small blogger monetize their sites by driving traffic and managing our affiliate business, so we can continue doing what we love to do!

Stay tuned for updates once I've received my first check. - Our goal is to help you discover and get the best, most delicious and most interesting indie food products and 
to help indie makers grow their business.

Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog


Phillly Events Calendar

ADD YOUR EVENT for FREE! - which includes SOCIAL MEDIA BLASTS!  Click AGENDA VIEW to see complete list of happenings.

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT
If you’re a foodie movie lover who saw Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey (see T&T post), this summer you may be wondering what delicious visual journey might be awaiting you in the theater next. Well, how about a look back at his film Chocolat (2000), which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Hallström’s has a special talent for turning cooking into a dramatic movie journey...READ MORE


...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

Dad's Hat Whiskey

T&T Pinterest Restaurant Spotlight: ROSA BLANCA

T&T Pinterest Restaurant Spotlight: ROSA BLANCA
Our quick look at a new favorite Center City spot ! CHECK IT OUT

Philly Event Coverage: Cake Competition Recap

Philly Event Coverage: Cake Competition Recap
If you read this blog frequently, you know I mention cake quite a lot. I'm a self-confessed cake-aholic, but I'm also a cake snob. I don't want just anything with icing on it, and in fact, it is crucial that the icing not be too sweet, too thick and preferably only on top. It's difficult to put into words what constitutes good cake, it's like describing a sunset or an orgasm, you just know it when you're in the moment of it...READ MORE

Whitney Movie on Lifetime Quick Review


25 TO LIFE chronicles the story of William Brawner, a young man who kept his HIV positive status a secret for over twenty-five years. Now, William seeks redemption from his promiscuous past as he embarks on a new phase of life with his wife who is HIV Negative. We journey with William and his family as he struggles to carve out an open and honest future. 25 TO LIFE is supported by Sundance Institute, Cinereach, The GoodPitch, IFP, Firelight Media Lab, and Tribeca All Access and is the 2014 American Black Film Festival Grand Prize Jury winner. "25 to Life" Opens December 1, 2014 - World AIDS Day

Google Adsense

Bahama Breeze Rumtoberfest

Bahama Breeze Rumtoberfest
This is my 3rd Blogger's Event invitation to Bahama Breeze to celebrate new menu items and specialty cocktails. As a nod to autumn and Oktoberfest, Bahama Breeze introduced RUMTOMBERFEST! READ POST

What Did You Think Of: BELLE

What Did You Think Of: BELLE
#Belle is a beautifully shot film (on the Isle of Mann), the writing gives us many poignant thoughts and thought provoking dialogue. The romantic chemistry between Dido Belle and Mr. Davinier (Sam Reid) is what all us hopeless romantics look for in a movie. And Gugu Mbatha-Raw acts with such expression in her eyes, she's simply lovely (despite her unappealing name). I adore this movie! I also got such a delight every time someone referred to Dido as Miss Lindsay, as that's my last name, of course it makes me wonder, could I be a long, long lost relation?...READ MORE

What Did You Think of : GET ON UP

What Did You Think of : GET ON UP
I know biopics often get a bad name, they can be cliched and predictable or the reverse, so creatively told that you lose the gist of the story and the heart of the intended subject. I tend to like them good or bad, from offerings like The Runaways (Cherie Currie & Joan Jett) which didn't quite hit the mark, to Ray (Ray Charles) and Walk The Line (Johnny Cash) that rightfully became critically acclaimed films. I'm just fascinated with the whole rise and fall aspect of telling life stories READ POST

What did you think of: I Origins

What did you think of:  I Origins
The movie theorizes that eyes are like snowflakes, no two are the same. So if you were to find a match in the eye scanning database (which actually exists) of someone who's already dead, then it begs the question, would that be a glitch in the system? Or has that person returned for a second life, seeing things anew through their old eyes?READ MORE

Did You See: Boyhood

Did You See: Boyhood
How I wish I could have filmed the last 12-15 years of my life, because I swear it often feels like I've done nothing, barely enjoyed myself, have made no progress, can't think of a single anecdote to tell and the small significant moments of in-significances, just don't seem to be stored in my brain. But if I could look back at even one day of each year, I'm sure I would be so much happier with who I am, what I've experienced and how far I've come...READ POST

Think Like A Man Too Philly Interview: Meagan Good & Michael Ealy

Think Like A Man Too Philly Interview: Meagan Good & Michael Ealy
Got a chance to not only be among the media photogs at the "Think Like A Man Too" red carpet, but I also got to interview Meagan Good and Michael Ealy SEE POST

Zach Braff's: Wish I Was Here

Zach Braff's: Wish I Was Here
When a filmmaker is prolific, like a Steven Soderbergh before his "retirement", we tend to allow each movie to stand on its own merit; but when the filmmaker does one movie and then waits 10 years to do another, it's impossible not to compare it to the first offering. Thus, I suppose Wish I Was Here was going to have to be truly, truly brilliant to keep people from saying - it's no Garden State. T &T's LAMB Score: 3 outta 5 READ FULL POST

Philadelphia Magazine » Blog » Foobooz

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tinsel & Tine was nominated for a VBA



group of 10,000 women bloggers dedicated to supporting one another by leaving comments

Women Online

The Blogstress Network

The Blogstress Network
Female Bloggers Unite

Contributor from 2010 - 2012

Listed on

Movie & Film Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Add website

About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

Share it

Camera Tips


  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP