Tag Archives: Maria Bello

Review: Prisoners

Prisoners_Poster“Prisoners” is missing some pivotal story details, but has more than enough hauntingly superb assets to deliver a highly successful nightmarish experience.

It’s Thanksgiving and the Dovers are celebrating with their good friends and neighbors, the Birch family. After dinner, their young daughters, Ana and Joy, beg to head outside. Under the impression that they’d ask their older siblings to escort them, Keller and Grace Dover (Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello) and Nancy and Franklin Birch (Viola Davis and Terrence Howard) give them the OK. However, when the parents realize Ana and Joy never brought Ralph and Eliza (Dylan Minnette and Zoe Borde) along, they know something is terribly wrong. Panic turns to devastating dread as the hours pass and the girls fail to return home.

Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is put on the case, confident he’ll maintain his pristine record and find Ana and Joy. He manages to pinpoint a suspect who was in the area at the time of the girls’ disappearance, but he isn’t able to accumulate enough evidence to keep him in custody. Outraged by the local authorities’ lack of progress, Keller opts to take matters into his own hands.

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Review: Beautiful Boy

Tackling inherently emotional and real material on the big screen is nearly impossible. No matter how you approach it, there will always be someone to say the situation was misrepresented or sensationalized. While that is the case to a point with Beautiful Boy, the performances are so captivating, it’s possible to push that instinctive judgment aside.

Moody kids call home from college all the time; they’re stressed over an upcoming exam, having trouble with friends or perhaps are just a little homesick. But little did Kate and Bill Carroll (Maria Bello and Michael Sheen) know that when their son, Sam (Kyle Gallner), finally decided to return their calls, he wasn’t just frazzled over typical college pressures. The morning following their phone call, Kate and Bill got word that a crazed gunman struck on Sam’s college campus and that the gunman was their son.

Not only must they mourn the loss of their only child, but fight off news hungry reporters, angry neighbors and Sam’s distraught classmates all while trying to figure out whether this was their fault. Kate’s brother offers to take them in to avoid the news crews camped out on their lawn, but even in the safety of his home, their marital troubles, the presence of Kate’s young nephew and the constant news reports painting their little boy as a heartless murderer consume them.

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Tribeca Video Interview: Sun City Picture House Executive Producer Olivia Wilde

We all know Olivia Wilde for her work on House, the monster hit Tron: Legacy as well as a slew of other noteworthy films, but what’s the actress up to when she’s not in front of the camera? Ever since last year’s earthquake, Wilde donates a significant amount of her time to working with an organization called Artists for Peace and Justice in an effort to restore Haiti’s hospitals, schools and orphanages. Even while she’s helping get these essentials back up and running, though, she wants to make sure they have a source of entertainment as well.

After the quake took down the last of Haiti’s functioning movie theaters, aide workers David Darg and Bryn Mooser decided to enlist in the help of the local citizens to create a new one, the Sun City Picture House; as they put the theater together they also made a short film about it, and that’s where Wilde stepped in. Wilde and Maria Bello served as Sun City Picture House’s executive producers doing everything and anything they could to not only assist in the production of this short film, but in the completion and preservation of the Sun City Picture House, too.

Wilde calls Sun City Picture House “my proudest moment in my career.” Hear all about her experience working on this production from Wilde herself in the video interview below.

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Tribeca Interview: Sun City Picture House’s David Darg, Olivia Wilde And Bryn Mooser

In the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, many were left without food, water, shelter and other vital necessities. However, while working to restore fundamental essentials, Bryn Mooser and Adam Darg also fought to bring some fun and entertainment back into the local population’s lives. The quake took down the last of the country’s few functioning movie theaters so, with the help of Sun City residents, Mooser and Darg worked to build a new one, the Sun City Picture House.

Having made many fundraising pieces, both Mooser and Darg were familiar with the filmmaking process and opted to put those skills to use by documenting their work in a short film. The duo also attracted the attention of actresses Olivia Wilde and Maria Bello, both of whom donated a great deal of time to the Haiti relief effort and continue to do so today. Between Mooser, Darg, Wilde, Bello and the help of local supporters, it was merely a matter of days before the Sun City Picture House went from a noble idea to a reality.

To celebrate Sun City Picture House’s debut at the Tribeca Film Festival Darg, Mooser and Wilde came out to further support their short documentary and the continued effort to rebuild Haiti. Check out everything the trio had to say about building the theater, creating this film and much more in the video interview below.

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Interview: Tim Griffin

On Super 8 …

We certainly have our fair share of viral marketing for Super 8, but how about hearing about the film from someone who was actually on the set? Actor Tim Griffin worked with J.J. Abrams on Cloverfield, so he’s well versed in “the legendary secrecy.” However, even if Griffin were a poor secret keeper, he wouldn’t even have any information to divulge as he only got to see his pages of the script.

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On The Collection …

The man behind some of the sickest and most twisted death traps on the big screen is at it again. In the midst of writing the final four Saw films, Marcus Dunstan brought us another terrifying tale brimming with sinister snares, 2009’s The Collector. The Collector may not have reached Jigsaw status, but folks out there, maybe not the critics, did find potential in this sadistic killer and now, he’s back for more in the sequel titled The Collection.

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On Prime Suspect …

Tim Griffin is everywhere. You’ve likely seen him in films like Leatherheads and Cloverfield as well as on TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy and 24. Not only is Griffin adding to his resume with films like Super 8, The Collection, A Better Life and more, but with a new TV show as well, an American remake of the British series, Prime Suspect.

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Interview: The Company Men Writer-Director John Wells

Of course most films are aiming to make their subject matter feel real, but in The Company Men’s case, the topic may hit a little too close to home for some. Seasoned TV writer and producer John Wells’ very first feature film focuses on three, well, company men. Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is the young employee on the rise, but when he’s stopped dead in his tracks, thanks to corporate downsizing, he finds that even an impressive resume and skill set aren’t enough during hard times. There’s also Chris Cooper’s character, Phil Woodward. Like Bobby, Phil gets the axe, but in his case, his age makes finding a new spot seemingly impossible. Lastly there’s Gene McClary played by Tommy Lee Jones. He’s the company’s #2, but also finds himself in a tough situation in terms of protecting his employees and himself.

Clearly this is a testy topic for some and Wells was very aware of that. The Company Men was a long time in the making with Wells first developing the concept back in 2000 when the dot-com bubble burst, however, it wasn’t until the most recent economic downfall that filming The Company Men became a reality. During a recent interview with Wells, he told me all about the road to production as well as each member of his all-star cast’s working styles, his experience directing his first film and much more. Check it all out in the video interview below.

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Review: The Company Men

Whether it’s happened to you or someone you know, job loss is a personal matter for the large majority and that makes it a testy topic to manage in a film. If it isn’t represented accurately it could be insulting, then again if it’s dealt with too precisely, it could be too much for some to handle, however, The Company Men approaches the issue quite tactfully. Not only does it deliver a respectable presentation of the hardship, but still manages to maintain a light enough tone making the film a viable source of entertainment rather than just a pity party. In fact, The Company Men might also be a fantastic source for those in need of a little hope.

It doesn’t matter how high you are on the food chain; at GTX, Global Transportation Systems, everyone is on the chopping block during a recession. One of the first to feel the effects of corporate downsizing is Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck), a family man who enjoys cruising around town in his Porsche and improving his golf game. Bobby is certainly angry when he gets the bad news, but pulls himself together quickly and heads into the world of unemployment sure he’ll only be there for a short while. Days turn into weeks and weeks into months leaving Bobby no choice, but to go to work for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) building houses.

Meanwhile, back at GTX, longtime employee Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) is paranoid his day will come, too. Sure enough, he becomes a victim of a second round of cuts as does the company’s second in command, Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones). All three men suffer the same fate, but their roads to redemption are wildly different.

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