Tag Archives: Richard Jenkins

Review: White House Down

White_House_Down_Poster“White House Down” is no “Independence Day,” but it is a major step up for Roland Emmerich primarily because he manages to successfully embrace humor while doing what he does best – blowing things up

John Cale (Channing Tatum) wants to be a good dad to his politics-obsessed daughter Emily (Joey King), but he isn’t around enough to do the job right. As a quick fix, he scores them a pair of passes to The White House so he can apply for a job in the secret service and finally become her hero. Even though John is quickly denied by agent Carol Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhaal) for his lack of respect for authority, he still gets the chance to prove himself when The White House is overrun by intruders and he winds up being the only one who can save the president (Jamie Foxx) and foil their plan.

It’s a summer blockbuster featuring Channing Tatum as an action hero, Jamie Foxx as the President of the United States, and an attack on The White House. There’s really only one way for this flick to work, Roland Emmerich knew it, and seized the opportunity in the best way possible.

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Review: The Cabin in the Woods

If you’ve been paying much attention to the release of The Cabin in the Woods, you’ve undoubtedly heard about how easily you can spoil the experience. Had I not known a lick of information about the feature prior to catching it, sure, the twists and turns would have absolutely blown my mind, but at the same time, I probably wouldn’t have been as excited to see the film having no conception of what was to come. Plus, even after watching all the promotional material, the full feature far exceeded every preconception I made anyway. But still, don’t worry; I’m not about to go and spoil the movie for you. This will be a spoiler-free review save for the information revealed in the trailers.

Curt’s (Chris Hemsworth) cousin has a vacant vacation house out in the woods, so why not use it? Curt rounds up his buddies, the sweet and innocent Dana (Kristen Connolly), his newly blond girlfriend Jules (Anna Hutchinson), the pot-loving Marty (Fran Kranz) and the ultimate nice guy Holden (Jesse Williams) and they all pile into an RV and head out for what should be a getaway packed with sun, sex and booze. The trouble is, they’re not as in control of their vacation agenda as they think.

Richard Sitterson and Steve Hadley (Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) are hard at work at the office planning an event that could finally make their US-based office more successful than the Japan location. What do they need to do to put themselves on top? Kill the residents of the cabin in the woods.

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Interview: Cabin in the Woods’ Jesse Williams

The Cabin in the Woods is a horror-lover’s dream. As a scary movie fantastic myself, you’d think I’d be beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to interview cast member Jesse Williams about the film, but as an easily spoilable piece, it wasn’t easy to both contain my excitement and keep Cabin’s most unique twists and turns under wraps.

Williams plays Holden, one of five college kids heading out into the woods for a weekend away in a secluded cabin. While Curt, Jules, Dana and Marty (Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Kristen Connolly and Fran Kranz) are all close friends, Holden’s a bit of an outsider, brought in by Curt to cheer up the recently single Dana. Once at the cabin, it’s all fun, booze and budding romance until a certain something turns their vacation into a bloody nightmare.

After kicking our chat off with the basics, specifically Williams’ horror movie preferences, we jumped right into the gory Cabin details. If you’re one of those folks who wants to be entirely surprised by what the full feature’s got to offer, I’d advise holding off on reading this interview until after you’ve seen the film. However, for those looking for a Cabin preview, the film’s secrets are safety hidden behind white text. Highlight at your own risk.

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Review: The Rum Diary

Critically, Johnny Depp has been all over the map for the past few years, however, one thing remains consistent, the guy is dedicated. Give him an icon like J.M. Barrie, someone more eccentric like Jack Sparrow or even an animated character like Rango and Depp seizes the opportunity and gives the role everything he’s got. Then again, you can’t forget that acting is only one aspect of the moviemaking puzzle and while Depp stands tall yet again in The Rum Diary, he can’t keep the rest of the piece from crumbling around him.

Depp is Paul Kemp, a failing novelist in need of a quick buck. He relocates from the mainland to Puerto Rico where he snags a gig at the failing local newspaper, The San Juan Star. No matter what he’s doing – attempting to write horoscopes, report on the latest local bowling championship or just rolling around in his co-worker Sala’s (Michael Rispoli) defunct car – Kemp is drinking rum – lots and lots of rum.

Kemp’s booze bubble is invaded by a local real estate mogul. Hal Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) is out to turn a section of lavish land into a hotel property. Nice for tourists, but not for the natives. Sanderson proposes that Kemp puts his writing skills to use to dupe the public into thinking that building the hotel is the best case scenario, citing the example that if a government official proposes a tax hike far higher than necessary and then barters with the public, they’ll think they’re getting a deal, but that official will get what he or she needs. The problem is, the plan is illegal and despite his tendency to drink his life away, Kemp has a conscience.

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Interview: Norman’s Dan Byrd

Thanks to particularly successful productions like Easy A and Cougar Town, Dan Byrd is really making a name for himself in the comedy genre. However, that certainly doesn’t mean he shies away from more dramatic projects. In fact, he’s got no problem at all getting serious for a role and his latest film, Norman, really proves it.

Byrd is Norman, a high school kid with some serious issues. Not only is he perpetually worried about his ailing father (Richard Jenkins) who’s dying of cancer and refuses treatment, but his mother passed away in a car accident and, at school, he’s got a mere friend to lean on. Even though he’s smitten by the new girl, Emily, (Emily VanCamp) and she surprisingly takes a liking to him, Norman reaches the point where everything just boils over and he blurts out that he’s got cancer.

See? Not your typical fare for Byrd, but, boy, does he seize the opportunity. In honor of Norman’s October 21st release, Byrd took the time to talk about his entire process from preparing for the role to bringing him to life on set, even under the pressure of a quick shoot. Read all about that and more in the interview below.

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Review: Hall Pass

Have you ever laughed at a joke, thought about it again and get angry at yourself for laughing at something so cheap, demeaning or derogatory? If not, go check out Hall Pass. When you’re not cringing at the lack of originality and wasted talent, you’re giggling at cut-rate gags that have no chance of earning a laugh the second time around. The fact that you could only get a viewer to laugh by having a character sneeze and poop at the same time is nothing to brag about.

Rick and Fred (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis) are happily married. Well, kind of. They love their wives, but just can’t help themselves when it comes to looking at or talking crudely about other women. Eventually the sneak peaks and dirty talk becomes too much for their wives, Maggie and Grace (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate) respectively, and they decide to issue their men “hall passes.” For one week, Rick and Fred are marriage free. They can do (pun intended) whatever they’d like and it won’t matter.

Turns out, touching isn’t as easy as looking and even with their coveted hall passes, the boys have some trouble sealing the deal – or even initiating it for that matter. Meanwhile, Maggie and Grace are busy spending a relaxing weekend out in Cape Cod. Little do the guys know, their ladies aren’t just indulging in some girl time, but a college baseball team. The team coach warms up to Maggie, and Grace gets her hall pass on cougar-style with a young player.

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Review: Let Me In

It’s one thing to remake a film years after its release, but writer-director Matt Reeves faced one heck of a challenge making an American version of the fantastic Swedish film, Let the Right One In. Not only is Let the Right One In one of the greatest vampire movies ever made, but it only came out two years ago. Reeves’ version, Let Me In, may not quite validate giving this story another go-around so soon, but that’s not to say it isn’t a wildly enjoyable and astoundingly well-done film.

Kodi Smit-McPhee is Owen, a 12-year-old boy living with his mother in Los Alamos, New Mexico. It’s 1983 and Owen’s only salvation from his parents’ divorce and the bullies at school is the time he gets to spend alone at night in the courtyard of his apartment complex. One evening, his privacy is invaded by another 12-year-old (more or less), Abby (Chloe Moretz). Abby just moved into the apartment next door, but informs Owen right from the start that the two cannot be friends.

Regardless, Abby and Owen continue to meet in the courtyard and slowly begin to build a relationship. Owen introduces Abby to the Rubik’s Cube, candy and Morse Code, but she offers little in return for she’s hiding a secret. She can’t stomach the candy, is immune to the cold and must be formally invited inside before entering Owen’s home. To top it all off, Abby needs blood to live; she’s a vampire.

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