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Movie Blog Post: THE HERO

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Hero, insider look at the movie industry from the prospective of an aging actor

Tinsel & Tine's Look at

THE HERO

By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

THE HERO was written especially for 72 year-old Sam Elliott by Brett Haley & Marc Basch, who also wrote the movie for Blyth Danner (Gwyneth Paltrow's mom) I’ll See You in my Dreams which I saw in 2015 and liked, but never got around to writing a post. Elliott has a small part as Danner’s lover in that movie and working with the actor inspired this movie The Hero, in which Elliott plays an aging actor, named Lee Hayden who is coming to terms with his mortality and a career as a typecast cowboy. His marriage is long sense over (played by real life wife of 33 years Katherine Ross), he’s on the outs with his daughter played by Krysten Ritter and he’s been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It’s definitely a drama, but there’s moments of humor, particularly the scenes with Nick Offerman Hayden's weed connection and friend from a long ago Western TV series they did together. I'm not a fan of the show Parks and Recreation, but learned Elliott has done guests appearances on the show playing against Offerman.

Laura Prepon (That’s 70’s Show and Orange is the New Black) plays Lee Hayden’s love interest. You’d think that would be icky, with the age difference, instead you really get the sense that they’re responding to each as two people who recognize a bit of themselves in the other. And Prepon has that sarcastic bad girl with a heart of gold thing down pat, which allows her to give the audience the impression that she’s just having fun with whatever life experience is in front of her. So their romance actually does work.

"The Hero" mainly deals with Hayden making peace with knowing he sacrificed his marriage and relationship with his daughter to pursue an acting career that's only made him synonymous with one role and genre. This is where art imitates life, as Sam Elliott is well-known for being a mustachioed, mysterious cowboy type. This is why he was cast in The Big Lebowski and The Golden Compass – he said doing those roles helped him be more thankful for his western background. He’s also come to appreciate those commercial voice-overs, you know the one, with his gravelly draw extolling the virtues of beef — “It’s what’s for dinner”.

Note: The below NPR sound embedded interview with Sam Elliott will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS feed.  Click HERE to listen



Bottom Line: The Hero is a quiet movie, kinda dreamy a lot of times, but with a narrative you can follow. It’s the kinda movie I feel Terrence Malick should have made instead of his last two self-indulgent, overly artsy flicks : THE KNIGHT OF CUPS & SONG TO SONG.

T & T's LAMB (movie bloggers association) Score: 3 outta 5
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This film was also discussed during our weekly movie segment, contributing to 









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Movie Blog Post: ALL EYEZ ON ME

Friday, June 23, 2017


Tinsel & Tine's Look at

ALL EYEZ ON ME


By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

I didn’t really grow up on hip hop like my younger brother and older sister did, so I came at the movie, ALL EYEZ ON ME, rather neutral about Tupac Shakur, who still holds deity status in the rap/hip hop culture. Of course, I have basic knowledge of the players & East Coast / West Coast feud, mostly because I've seen the Biggie biopic NOTORIOUS and the N.W.A biopic STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON,  but that doesn't give me the authority to speak back to the critics who say it may be a fine biopic for the uninitiated, but for Pac fans it doesn’t display the depth of his talent. That it feels like a series of events rather than capturing his persona...
There’s no time to explore these relationships nor to let them give us
context for Pac’s later life, save for Pinkett (who took to Twitter to refute the accuracy of scenes involving her). These events just happen, as if they’re mere shout-outs to Pac’s people. This poor pacing and all the melodramatic fade-to-black transitions give the early scenes a Lifetime Movie vibe. Boom and his writing team (Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez, and Steven Bagatourian) seem most concerned with getting the minutiae right for die-hard Pac fans. They prioritize frame-for-frame re-creations of Pac’s most famous interviews, videos, and appearances to the detriment of any real storytelling. READ MORE Marcos Cabrera The Villiage Voice

It might have been good to see the things left out of the movie like a couple of other arrests, a short marriage, dating Madonna and his most famous movie with Janet Jackson Poetic Justice… But even though Pac only lived to 25, there's just too much to get it all in one movie...
Now the stuff of hip-hop mythology, Tupac Shakur and Madonna were once romantically involved, a point that is overlooked in the biopic. The megastar singer/actress opened up about their relationship during a 2015 interview with Howard Stern. “One time, I was mad at [Letterman] when I said the f-word a lot—I was in a weird mood that day,” Madonna said. “I was dating Tupac Shakur at the time and the thing is he got me all riled up on life in general.” Pac’s friend and actress Rosie Perez later admitted to hooking the two celebrities up at the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards. READ MORE John Kennedy Complex.com

I can speak to the fact that I was swept up in the story of his life, that I got a new appreciation for the slain rap star. And that All Eyez does NOT feel like a Lifetime movie to me. Demetrius Shipp Jr. who plays the iconic figure not only has an uncanny resemblance, but I feel he did an incredible job of bringing great energy to the role, even the stage performances; with a lot of that credit also going to the director Benny Boom, who started his career in the music industry making music videos. Boom attended the Philly preview and did a post screening interview which is posted to Tinsel & Tine’s Youtube channel. (See below. Video will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS Feed click HERE)

All Eyez on Me - Director Benny Boom
Post Screening in Philly


This was a screening Tinsel & Tine Subscribers could win tickets to attend:

I had a small issue with the casting of Jada Pinkett Smith (Kat Graham) & Faith Evans (Grace Gibson) because not only did these actors look nothing like the real women, neither actually captured their essence. And Jarrett Ellis as Snoop seemed to have a dead on impersonation, but it never looked like the words were actually coming from his mouth, was there a voice over actor who could immitate Snoop and Ellis just stood in? Cause if so, then why not find someone who looked more like Snoop. However, Suge Knight (Dominic L. Santana) was perfect, just as perfect as R. Marcos Taylor who portrayed Suge in "SOC".

All Eyez on Me CinemaScore
At the end of the day it's not what Critics think, but what the movie going public thinks!

Bottom Line: If you compare N.W.A biopic to Tupac biopic - I feel Straight Outta Compton is the better movie, but it's got a lot of Hollywood spit, shine and polish on it. Where as, All Eyez on Me is more raw, in some ways I like that better. However, I'd watch "SOC" again and again, cause it's such a good ride. "All Eyez" doesn't quite have that vibe, but deserves more props and recognition than it's getting. And Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) who plays Afeni Shakur, Tupac's mother, is so strong. Look for her as Okoye in Black Panther 2018.

T & T's LAMB (movie bloggers association) Score: 4 outta 5
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Movie Blog Post: THE BOOK OF HENRY

Monday, June 19, 2017

Director Colin Trevorrow Interview

Tinsel & Tine's Look at

THE BOOK OF HENRY


By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

Every minute I was walking the tightrope you’re talking about, every step of the way. And as a result…I never had a moment on Jurassic World where I was as consumed with fear and anxiety about what I was doing as I did on The Book of Henry. But I recognize everything that is dangerous about the choices that the movie makes and I know that if not handled with care, and arguably, if not handled delicately, it’s something that could fall apart. Even if the performances were terrible, it’s something that could fall apart. I would argue the same thing about Safety Not Guaranteed. And so that also is a movie that combines genres and creates something that you can’t necessarily put in a box. Director Colin Trevorrow Interview READ MORE Slashfilms.com

I read this heartfelt interview with Colin Trevorrow who really fell in love with this story written 19 years ago by Gregg Hurtwitz, and so the director made "The Book of Henry" not for a paycheck, but from a sincere place, so it makes me feel bad for him to read reviews like this:
Child actor Jaeden Lieberher
I’m sure that I’ve forgotten some of the clichés and nonsense stuffed into “The Book of Henry,” but here’s a partial list: a sensitive child genius; a comically dysfunctional family; an overwhelmed single mother; a sassy waitress with a tattoo on her breast played by a name comedian; children acting like parents; parents acting like children; a young, beautiful female victim; the predator next door; an incompetent (but not unkind!) school bureaucrat; a fatal diagnosis; a ticking clock; a race against the clock; a cute doctor played by a TV actor whose name is on the tip of your tongue; and a female star who deserves far better... Manohla Dargis NY Times

I'm not saying Manohla doesn't make some good points.  but I'm more in mind with these two reviewers:
Gifted_The Book of Henry Comparison
Treverrow has a way with actors that he demonstrated beautifully in his 2012 feature debut Safety Not Guaranteed, a time-travel fantasy that marked an auspicious indie debut. Since then, he's directed one blockbuster (2015's Jurassic World) and is about to embark on Star Wars: Episode IX. Even in the mess of conflicting ideas that is The Book of Henry, you still get a sense of the childlike wonder that drives Treverrow to tell stories. It's a rare gift, and something to help him survive calamitous setbacks like this one. Peter Travers Rolling Stone
OR
The Book of Henry Book to Film AdaptationAfter all, if a movie as muddled and as nutty as the Book of Henry can,
for at least an-hour-and-a-half, entertain me and sort of surprise me, yet, at the same time, still feel way too weird, than what’s that say about me? I do like bad movies? Do I give them a pass just because they try something different? Or, am I just too broken down and beaten-up by the everyday, conventional blockbusters that are pushed in front of my face that, when something comes to me, from someone, somewhere, regardless of how messy it is, still makes me think and expect something different, that I just have to accept it for what it is and yeah, possibly even like it? Dan The Man's Movie Reviews

See what Mom's are saying about THE BOOK OF HENRY


Bottom Line: I found it impossible to hate The Book of Henry because although it's not weirdly different but brilliant, like COLOSSAL, I still have a soft spot for movies about child prodigies - as per my review of Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace in GIFTED or my love of the little seen Disney movie about Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi in QUEEN OF KATWE. I also think Jaeden Lieberher (ST VINCENT) is very believable as Henry, a 12 year-old head of the household, who's not only gifted academically, but has the maturity to raise both his child-like mother (Naomi Watts - CHUCK) and adorable little brother (Jacob Tremblay - ROOM), not to mention, bring home the bacon, by providing a nice income for the family through the stock market. The movie really needed to just stick with this premise and make it a dramedy, leaning more towards comedic overtones. The B story that becomes the A story near the end, about rescuing the girl next door from her abusive step-father with an elaborate step by step operative strategy, feels like another movie. And the tear-jerking twist in the middle, feels completely manipulative, yet effective, as I was balling my eyes out, but still, even for me, this was too many tones in one flick.

T & T's LAMB (movie bloggers association) Score: 2.5 outta 5
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Check out our 2012 Review of Safety Not Guaranteed

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15 Top Food in Film Flicks

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

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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.
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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?
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