Tag Archives: Michael Sheen

Interview: Admissions’ Tina Fey And Paul Rudd

Tina-Fey-Paul-Rudd-AdmissionWhen you’ve got a movie starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, you’re bound to expect an excess of comedy, however, in the case of Paul Weitz’s “Admission,” the pair runs with their more “adult” characters and strike a an ideal balance between humor and honest emotion.

Fey stars as Portia Nathan, a Princeton admissions officer dedicate to the school’s lofty criteria. When the opportunity for a promotion arises, Portia’s determined to get the gig, so tries to impress her superior by expanding her yearly recruiting script to include John Pressman’s (Paul Rudd) alternative school, New Quest. That’s where she meets Jeremiah (Nat Wolff). He may not fit the Princeton mold of sky-high grades and an endless list of extracurricular activities, but Portia sees something in him that compels her to consider deviating from the school’s rigid standards.

While promoting the film’s March 22nd release, both Fey and Rudd sat down for a roundtable style interview. They discussed boarding the project, the appeal of their characters, the art of filming a cow-birthing scene and more, but the highlight might be the duo remembering the good old days, when they first came together to reenact “Sixteen Candles” for a failed VH1 show. Read all about that and more in the interview below.

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Review: Admission

Admission-Poster“Admission” isn’t loaded with rapid-fire laughs, but it’s because director Paul Weitz opts to give the material a chance to breathe and develops it into a more thoughtful comedy, making it more memorable than a mere fleeting attempt at earning a laugh.

Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is an all-business college admissions officer. She’s dedicated her life to plucking the brightest young minds from Princeton’s abundance of applicant folders to help uphold the university’s sky-high standards, so when her boss, Clarence (Wallace Shawn), announces he’s preparing to retire and find a replacement, Portia is hell-bent on getting the job. In an effort to outdo her competition, Portia agrees to expand her annual recruiting trip to visit an alternative school at the request of a former college classmate-turned-teacher, John Pressman (Paul Rudd). Trouble is, John doesn’t just want Portia there to gloat about Princeton’s rigorous application process; he thinks one of his students might be Portia’s son.

When a film’s got a poster featuring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, and a trailer with a cow-birthing scene, it’s easy to brand “Admission” your average commercial comedy. However, Weitz uses a far more naturalistic form of humor and a good deal of honest emotion to turn “Admission” into something relatable, amusing, and particularly charming.

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Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” is a seven – on the “Twilight” scale. If you’re comparing it to films that play by the rules, it’s more of a four. But this is a “Twilight” film and after five of them it’s successfully established its own set of rules.

“Breaking Dawn – Part 2” kicks off just days after Bella’s baby bloodshed. Renesmee is already a rather large infant and Bella’s testing the waters of this whole life as a vampire thing. An indiscernible amount of time later, Renesmee turns into a 10-year-old (Mackenzie Foy) and Irina (Maggie Grace) spots Bella and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) enjoying some playtime vampire-style out in the woods. Horrified that Renesmee may be a vicious “immortal child,” Irina tattles to the Volturi. However, Renesmee isn’t immortal. She’s half human, half vampire. The trouble is, the Volturi are pretty stubborn and the only way the Cullens can save their newest family member is by amassing an army of vampires to defend her.

“Breaking Dawn – Part 2”opens with the best part of the movie, the opening credits. And I’m only being semi-sarcastic. The film’s title sequence is really quite mesmerizing. The text either bleeds from red to white or white to red, and plays over a string of vibrant frosty forest shots mixed with a few of a blood red hue. It works especially well, artfully bringing the viewer back into the world with a rousing hypnotic effect. But again, it’s the best part of the movie. Really.

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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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Review: TRON: Legacy

As a sequel to a film made in 1982 with a premise that lends itself to be visually and mentally stimulating, TRON: Legacy was guaranteed to be a spectacle. First time feature director Joseph Kosinski certainly makes due on that expectation, but not much else. Looks may not be everything, but in the case of TRON: Legacy, they’re enough to keep you entertained for almost all of the film’s 125 minutes, but beyond that, the only possible way the film will have resonance is through the Daft Punk soundtrack.

When we last left Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) in the 1982 film TRON, he’d emerged from the grid and taken over Encom from Ed Dillinger, finally getting him back for when Dillinger stole Flynn’s video game code and called it his own. TRON: Legacy kicks off in 1989. Flynn’s wife passed away, he’s now a single parent to their young son Sam (Owen Best) and Flynn’s strange behavior is creating concern at Encom. Flynn regularly leaves Sam with his grandparents while he works late, but one night, Flynn never returns. Twenty years later, Sam (Garrett Hedlund) is 27 and still without a father. After receiving a mysterious page from the phone in his father’s old office, Sam heads over to Flynn’s Arcade to investigate. He sits down at his father’s computer to see what he’d been working on and, much like Flynn over 25 years ago, winds up being transported to the grid.

With no knowledge of where he is, Sam gets a quick wardrobe makeover and is tossed into the games where he must play to the death, or in this world’s case, to the derez. That’s where Sam meets Clu (Bridges), a program created in his father’s image. Flynn originally instructed Clu to create the perfect system, but Clu wound up usurping his maker and building a dictatorship. Before Clu can kill Sam in the games, Quorra (Olivia Wilde) comes to the rescue, saving Sam and bringing him to his real father who’s been trapped in the grid all this time. Together they must defeat Clu before he can gather the intelligence that would allow his army to invade the real world.

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