COUCH FEST is Coming to Philadelphia, and 35 other Cities Around the World - December 6th

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Anyone familiar with Couch Fest?

I just found out about it, and it's coming right up on Saturday, December 6, 2014. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

Couch Fest is a cozy shorts film fest that brings world-class short movies out of the cinema and into non-traditional venues like living rooms, boats, offices, and more--all over the world, all on the same day.

Upon learning about it, I contacted the host for Philadelphia, Nicole Ayers of Madlab Entertainment for an interview:

T&T: How did you hear about Couch Fest?

Nicole: I’ve supported Couch Fest (click for CouchFest Philly facebook page) since its inception in 2008 by writing about it on my independent film blog, The Madlab Post and also hosted this festival in a Mt. Airy theater, in 2012. It's been so long, how I first heard of Couch Fest escapes me.  I am glad to have watched it grow over the last several years…from a few houses in Seattle, Washington to galleries, boats and other alternative venues all over the globe while maintaining its mission of bringing people together to view, enjoy and discuss short films and supporting the hard work that filmmakers put into these movies by giving them an audience and wide exposure that their work might not otherwise have.
T&T: Are you a filmmaker?

Nicole: I wrote, directed and produced a short film titled “Abyss: The Greatest Proposal Ever,” about an Army Sergeant who gets stranded by SEPTA when a troubling wedding proposal shakes up his homecoming plans. The movie is currently being used to raise funds for the Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania as a way to pay it forward after the help this organization provided to a U.S. Veteran I worked on my film with, who lost his home in a Chester County fire that claimed multiple properties. Since the winter storms that came through Philadelphia earlier this year had a significant impact on our local Red Cross’ disaster relief funds, I’m hoping I can do my part to help them secure the resources necessary to respond to fires in and around the city because they respond to 5-7 fires every night during the winter months.

Prior to making my film, I worked as a freelance videographer and editor for area schools and private clients doing sporting events as well as documenting educational speakers. I am currently working on a television series to be broadcast on PhillyCAM, a local cable station that airs on Comcast & Verison channels, in 2015.

T&T: Why did you choose to screen at a laundromat?

Nicole: I chose to screen at The Laundry Café because Couch Fest is all about watching movies with strangers, so what better place to gather strangers and get them talking to each other than a laundromat, right?! I also had a pleasant experience when doing my laundry there for the first time during the post-production stage of my short film and this make for a great excuse to rehabilitate those who have succumbed to silly daytime talk shows.  The Laundry Café is one of few local businesses that operate with the community that it serves in mind by providing quality, friendly and all-inclusive service that is hard to find in Philadelphia…particularly in neighborhoods heavy populated with minorities and/or a large percentage of low-income families.

This Laundromat puts on many community events such a talent shows, back-to-school celebrations, etc. while providing amenities such as computer access, a gaming area, Starbucks coffee and large flat screen televisions that give customers a way to occupy their time while waiting for clothes to dry or their last rinse cycle to end, so it was the perfect place for me to host Couch Fest in Philadelphia. 

T&T: Where is The Laundry Cafe? And what time does the screening begin?

Nicole: The screening begins at 3:00pm. The Laundry Café (5675 N Front St. Philadelphia, PA 19120) is located in the Olney Plaza Shopping Center at One & Olney Square (Front and Olney sts.), directly across from Shoprite and a few storefronts down from Modell’s Sporting Goods store.(For public transportation just jump right on route 26 bus which goes to One & Olney Square).

T&T: Are attendees encouraged to bring food, and if so, will we be sharing? 

Nicole: There are vending machines inside The Laundry Café and they also sell soft drinks, giving attendees several options for snacks. Any other food items that attendees might want to bring, either for themselves or to share, are optional and available at many of the stores surrounding the Laundromat including Shoprite, Dollar Tree and Subway. Attendees are encouraged to bring themselves and a friend or two, if possible. Everything else is purely up to each individual but I would advise anyone, who likes to eat something that smells like day-old gym socks, to chow down on it before stepping foot into the Laundromat, for the sake of all that is good about humanity.

T&T: Have you seen all the chosen films ahead of time and if so, which one(s) really caught your attention?

Nicole: As a host I get to watch films in the program scheduled for the Couch Fest screening in Philadelphia including “THE BEAST INSIDE,” a hand-drawn animated film featuring spoken word rap about a teenager who sleeps on rooftops, yet, still finds ways to be charitable toward people in his community. I also find the movie merchandising mocking of “CRUISING ELECRTIC” and the cynicism that hopeless romance battles with in “VALENTINE” to be funny. The Seattle film “MAIKARU,” about hope after growing up surrounded by violence and human trafficking, and the British film “VALSE,” about the unfortunate timing of a love story between two snails, are the shorts that caught my attention the most. Some of the chosen films I would watch if I were in the other cities or countries where they are showing at Couch Fest include “A DAUGHTER’S SCARS” about a Cambodia sex worker and her family history and “DVR,” about a tech obsessed couple trying to figure out who to blame for erasing GAME OF THRONES off the DVR.

T&T: Anything else you'd like to add to encourage attendance?

Nicole: You have a chance to travel the world through the semi-big screen without leaving your couch, or in this case…your seat space in the Laundromat. Plus, it’s FREE and space is limited. Expect Foreign films to be in full force…this is an international festival, after all. That means if you believe in the freedom of expression or if you tend to gravitate toward art-house cinema or experimental media, chances are you’ll see a movie (or several) you enjoy at this year’s Couch Fest. 

While I intended to host a family friendly program for the Philadelphia screening, the current lineup appears to have a PG/PG-13 vibe, so I would strongly advise some parental discretion for any attendees with small children. Attendees at this year’s Couch Fest Philadelphia screening also get to vote on the films at the screening

which helps the festival jury choose winners in various categories. Come out to watch a diverse range of films at Couch Fest 2014 and show the rest of the world how much Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection Philadelphians have to offer!

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Check out CouchFest films scheduled for other cities

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


A Revlock Review: HORRIBLE BOSSES 2

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tinsel & Tine is normally rah-rah on most movies, but these last 3 we've highlighted have not been given our full support.  I was fascinated with the subjects of The Theory of Everything (click for T&T post) but not so much with the movie itself.  I hate to miss The Hunger Games movies (click for T&T post), but at the same time, can't really get behind the franchise.  And now Mikhail has written a fantastically scathing review of this black comedy which reunites these bumbling murderers under new direction.  -  Le Anne Lindsay, Editor


By Blog Contributor Mikhail Revlock

We had to know this was coming. The original Horrible Bosses was a surprise smash hit, the most successful black comedy since The War of the Roses (a mortifying statistic in light of all the Big Lebowskis, Pulp Fictions, and Bad Santas produced between 1990 and 2011). The premise wasn’t exactly engineered to generate sequels; the public will endure all matter of derivative fan service, but they will not accept our trio re-saddled with a respective tyrant, seductress, and cokehead. The industry schlockmeisters behind Horrible Bosses 2 (having seasoned their talents for lowest-denomination-catering on That’s My Boy and The Hot Tub Time Machine) skirt the Hangover 2 dilemma by turning Nick, Kurt, and Dale (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day) into entrepreneurs. The utter lack of mental acuity evidenced by the supposed heroes of this farce is screamed at the audience in the first scene, and the proclamations of the gang’s ineptitude do not abate for one instant. They have developed some vaguely explained shower appliance, and they have named it the Shower Buddy. While advertising their product on a morning news show, Kurt and Dale fall into a passionate debate over the name; Dale thinks it should be called the Shower Daddy. Why are they having this fight on live TV? Why didn’t they come to a compromise over this detail before jeopardizing the future of their company with a boneheaded promotional spot?

Though Horrible Bosses 2 is rarely laugh-out-loud funny—it is occasionally smirking-to-oneself funny—every plot machination is in the service of a joke. If half of these jokes stuck, we’d be looking at an impressive gag-minute ratio. Instead, numbed by repetitious jabs to the rib, we gaze upon a husk of flat shock humor. I was struck with the urge to flee the screening as I realized that the only reason these guys were shilling this “Shower Buddy” was to riff about the name and engage in suggestive shadow play in a shower stall. This gag (performed with more aplomb in Austin Powers 2 and comparable tedium in countless others) is a terrifying harbinger of bits to come.

Sans the core trinity’s passable chemistry, the film would be un-watchable. Rather than feeling like a few actors hurled onto a set together, Bateman, Sudeikis, and Day evince an easy, natural rapport in their seemingly improvisational interactions. (Like the average industry laugh machine, the screenplay is credited to six writers, yet seems to have been written on the spot.)

Bateman runs on the collective good will of Arrested Development devotees, Sudeikis is tolerable in small doses, and Day is a brilliant one-trick pony, yet united they exceed the sum of their parts. 

The filmmakers clearly recognize the potency of their stars’ combined forces, for the screenplay is apparently structured around an algorithm that determined how many scenes the actors could co-inhabit. Indeed, as a critic might note that the main character of a film is in practically every scene, the sensation of all-consuming focus is multiplied by three in this case. By bathing such unflinching attention on these idiots, director Sean Anders strips the narrative of any momentum.

The plot hinges on a competing developer who destroys their business and steals their idea, a kidnapping plot botched by an untimely deployment of nitrous oxide, a would-be victim who uses the guys to fake his abduction and squeeze a million bucks out of his negligent father, etc. It moves predictably from point to point, reintroducing erstwhile enemies, providing numerous riffing opportunities, and incorporating myriad supposedly envelope-pushing provocations. Only the diverting gag reel that accompanies the closing credits offers a respite from this persistently humorless material.  T&T Lamb Score: 2 outta 5

to get notices on Free Screenings, Giveaways and Upcoming Philly Events!
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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

Coming in December

Chris Rock's trailer for the Paramount Pictures film TOP FIVE is now live!

Written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock, “TOP FIVE” tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the comedy career—and the past—that he's left behind.

Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Cedric The Entertainer, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Anders Holm, Romany Malco, Leslie Jones, Michael Che, and Jay Pharoah.

The film is produced by Scott Rudin and Eli Bush. The Co-Producers are Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and Kanye West; the Executive Music Producer is Questlove.

Opens in Theaters December 5th select Cities - Wide Release December 12th


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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Opening Christmas Day: Into the Woods

David Oyelowo will star as Martin Luther King Jr in "Selma"

Looking forward to Ava DuVernay's (Producer:Oprah) "Selma" starring one of my favorite actors David Oyelowo who was also in Ava's "Middle of Nowhere"

Opens January 9, 2015

TT Highlights : GET ON UP

TT Highlights : 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: AND SO IT GOES

What Did You Think Of: AND SO IT GOES
Perhaps purposefully, art imitates life, as Oren's son, (Like Douglas' own son) because of or in-spite of a privileged up bringing, has screwed up his life with drugs. The one thing he's done right is produce an adorable 10 year-old daughter, Sarah (Sterling Jerins), who Oren meets when his son drops her off at his doorstep, as he's leaving to go serve time. READ POST


Personally, I still maintain, what made the book(s) a guilty pleasure can't be captured in a movie, it's just not the type of story that will translate well on screen. That being said, I'll still be the first one there come Valentine's Day 2015! Here's Tinsel & Tine's Review of the Books - My Two Cents on Fifty Shades of Grey (Book / Movie)

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


Those that could fit in anywhere are called Divergents, they are considered dangerous because they can't be controlled and molded into one way of thinking. Those that don't fit in anywhere are called Faction-less and they live a miserable, homeless existence, but nobody's much worried about them. I'm thinking, if you choose a faction based on your own free will, wouldn't that automatically make you a Divergent?...READ MORE

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

Recent post: The Trip to Italy

Recent post: The Trip to Italy
Absolutely nothing! But somehow the juxtaposition of so much pop-culture fodder, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's semi-autobiographical characters set against travel porn, makes The Trip to Italy a randomly amusing and thoroughly breathtaking flick.READ MORE


I'm sure every decade has a movie that you love because you're balling your eyes out; however, I truly think Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in #TFIOS could be what Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal were to Love Story for audiences in 1970.READ MORE

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

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"


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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.

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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