NY TIMES JOURNALIST AND ‘PAGE ONE’ STAR DAVID CARR: “I’M NOT THAT INTERESTING”

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Opening in limited release Friday, Page One: Inside the New York Times spotlight’s the inner workings on one of media’s most respected institutions, mainly seen from the eyes of its dedicated journalists.

The documentary’s main “star” is David Carr, a gritty, colorful, and painfully frank journalist and former drug addict who doesn’t suffer fools.

Carr was unsure if director Andrew Rossi could develop a documentary about the struggles facing print journalism, even if its setting was at The New York Times.  “I was not convinced that there was a film there…(newsrooms are) really boring places, they’re full of pasty faced white people,” says Carr. “Really long, drawn out discussions and phone calls that don’t work out.  I just thought ‘Where is the movie in this?’  I really didn’t know until I saw the movie that somewhere in there things had happened.  He didn’t just make a good documentary, I think it’s a real movie.”

Click on the media bar and listen to Carr talk about why he had reservations about being filmed in the documentary.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

MICHELLE BORTH AND ELIAS KOTEAS CHECK INTO ‘COMBAT HOSPITAL’

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Premiering Tuesday, June 21st (ABC, 10 pm et/pt), Combat Hospital focuses on the lives of the doctors and nurses who treat wounded soldiers in Southern Afghanistan (it’s set in 2006).  Elias Koteas (Let Me In) is Colonel Xavier Marks, the principled military surgeon who heads the Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit, and Michelle Borth plays Major Rebecca Gordon, a trauma surgeon with thoughts of home weighing on her mind (she might be pregnant).

“I don’t think we have a specific political point of view that we’re telling it from,” says Borth.  “We’re telling it more from the medical standpoint of the conflicts we have as doctors in trying to understand that you have to put political, ethical…all your religious beliefs aside and (figure out) which priority patient is important first.”

“I think it’s more the human element of functioning in a pressure cooker environment that’s more interesting,” adds Koteas.

Click on the media bar and listen to Borth and Koteas talk about learning the medical jargon for Combat Hospital

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

REVIEW: ‘GREEN LANTERN’S’ LIGHT IS ALL TOO SLIGHT

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Cocky test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a guy who, in his own mind, has no fear.  Being a flyboy requires bravery and a strong sense of will, and when a dying alien (Lantern member Abin Sur) crashes to Earth and offers him an all-powerful ring, Hal becomes a member of the Green Lantern Corps.  It’s a powerful set-up for a comic book film: an above-average Joe holds a ring which can create anything that he invents in his mind.  To successfully use the ring, Hal must truly believe in its power, and in turn, believe in his own heroic abilities.  When world beating monster Parallax invades Earth to kill the newest Green Lantern (and of course, destroy our planet), it’s up to Hal to save our very existence.

With a great ring (and an iconic DC Comics character) comes great responsibility.  Although Martin Campbell is a more than capable choice as director (GoldenEye, The Mask of Zorro, Edge of Darkness), he’s crafts an uninspired, by-the-numbers, and ultimately, forgettable popcorn film.  Reynolds, a scene-stealer as Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, does an able enough job of trying to fit into the skin of Hal Jordan, but unfortunately, it’s just not a perfect fit.  Hal Jordan is an emotionally torn individual who, with his green ring, has the weight of the universe on his shoulders.  The story never digs deep into Hal’s fragile psyche, and his love for his childhood friend (and fellow pilot) Carol Ferris (Blake Lively)  just doesn’t work (Reynolds and Lively have zero chemistry).

If special effects or watching 3D films is your bag, then Green Lantern comes off as passable enough entertainment.  A portion of the film takes place in the CGI created world of Oa, home of the Green Lantern Corps.  During his travels to Oa, Hal is trained to fight by Tomar-Re (voiced by Geoffrey Rush) and Kilowog (voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan), and he also meets his future nemesis Sinestro (Mark Strong), the current leader of the CorpsSinestro believes Hal doesn’t have the stones to be a Lantern, and it doesn’t help that Abin Sur was Sinestro’s closest colleague.  Hal and Sinestro also clash on how to battle Parallax, which leads our hero to forge his own path during the story’s final act.

Peter Sarsgaard (Orphan) also stars as Hector Hammond, a community college professor who grew up under the shadow of his politician dad (Tim Robbins).  Having a lifelong crush on Carol and envious of Hal’s manliness, Hector is a loner who, after being infected by Parallax, lets his angst out in a very destructive manner.  Watching Hector battle his own demons mark the few compelling moments in Green Lantern, a CGI reliant picture that starts with a promising hero’s journey, but fails to deliver.  Mired in an abundance of special effects and elaborate production design, Green Lantern may be a feast for the eyes, but its very soul is trapped somewhere in Oa.

Green Lantern opens nationwide Friday.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

ROCCO DISPIRITO LOVES BEING A HOME COOK AND HOSTING HIS “DINNER PARTY”

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Premiering tonight on Bravo (11 pm et/pt), Rocco’s Dinner Party is a new show headlined by former chef and bestselling author Rocco DiSpirito (Now Eat This!).

“It’s a culinary competition where three chefs compete to throw the most fabulous dinner for me and six celebrity and taste maker guests,” said DiSpirito.  “There are two competing consecutive dinners and a winner at the end of every episode, which is great.  It’s always fun to watch the chefs struggle with their impulse to impress with their culinary skills versus their impulse to please people, which is what I’m asking of them.  When you throw a dinner party, it’s about making people happy.”

Click on the media bar and listen to Rocco DiSpirito discuss his transition from being a chef to a home cook.

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TV host Kelly Choi, actress Christine Ebersole, and actor Bryan Batt (Mad Men) are among the guests invited for tonight’s premiere of Rocco’s Dinner Party.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

JOHN C. REILLY SAYS ACTING POSSIBILITIES ARE “ALMOST INFINITE”

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John C. Reilly plays Mr. Fitzgerald, a vice principal who takes a high school outcast (Jacob Wysocki) under his wing in Terri. Teased by his peers with only an invalid uncle (The Office cast member Creed Bratton), Terri (Wysocki) gradually comes out of his shell, and even befriends two of his classmates (Bridger Zadina, Olivia Crocicchia).

In real life, working in the school system is probably not Reilly’s cup of tea, but in the following clip he explains why respects teachers. 

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After Terri, Reilly will also be seen with Tilda Swinton in the drama We Need to Talk About Kevin and the Roman Polanski directed feature Carnage (based on the play God of Carnage).  “I just try to keep myself interested in my work and to try to keep surprising the audience and pick things that are challenging to me that I haven’t done before,” said Reilly.  “I could pick a million things.  I haven’t been a pirate.  I haven’t been a priest.  I haven’t been a boxer.  That’s the great thing about being an actor.  The possibilities are almost infinite, although I don’t see a showgirl part coming soon.  You never know, with the right kind of movie.”

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi