Michael Cera Teams With Sharon Van Etten For ‘Dina’ Track

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Michael Cera, who previously contributed music for Scott Pilgirm vs. The World and Juno, has teamed up with Sharon Van Etten for the song “Best I Can.” The track is featured in Dina, an upcoming documentary that’s based on the life of Dina Buno and her fiance Scott Levin. Cera was immediately taken with the movie after checking it out at a screening, and he approached filmmakers Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles about scoring the film.

“‘Best I Can’ was put together in a few different stages,” said Cera. “What I wanted to do most was to write a song with Dina and Scott’s narrative in mind that still had a universal feeling or message in it. Once the song was written it was time to do the recording, which took place in an impossibly hot basement over the hottest few weeks of the summer. The instrumentation of the song consists mainly of a drum machine and a Roland Jupiter 4 synthesizer, and Sharon Van Etten’s voice. Sharon is my partner in renting out the swelteringly hot basement rehearsal space, and she very kindly agreed to sing the main part.”

Dina, winner of the U.S. documentary Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, opens in New York October 6 and the following week in Los Angeles.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: Brad’s Status: It’s Complicated

How did we get here? Life can fly by in a flash, and that old adage about it being a race just brings up the idea that when viewed that way, there may be a competitive streak in all of us hoping to “win.” That’s the case for Brad Sloane (Ben Stiller), an angst-filled father whose doubts about his life’s path are only exacerbated by a trip to the East Coast with his son Troy (Austin Abrams) to visit colleges in Brad’s Status.

This pending milestone is leading Brad to sleepless nights wondering if his middle class life in Sacramento that he’s dedicated to starting a non-profit has been enough. Writer/director Mike White, who also makes a cameo in the film, also hits on an all too prominent theme in this social media age, watching Brad measure his life against those of his seemingly more successful college friends who have grown apart, at least from Brad, in their adulthood. Among them are a smug White House staffer turned author (Michael Sheen), a family man hedge fund king (Luke Wilson), a tech maven who retired early (Jemaine Clement) and a Hollywood director (White).

Simply put, Brad is worried he’s not keeping up with the Joneses, wondering how his life would have turned out if he had sold out, if he hadn’t fallen for his wife’s (Jenna Fischer) idealism and had ended up with someone who pushed him more and even questioning if his life would have turned out different with a more prestigious school. All these notions get put to the test over this visit to colleges with his son, as he begins to see that his son might have a chance to even eclipse his own dreams, something that both makes him proud but also threatens him a bit at the same time.

Luckily for Brad, this trip turns out to be exactly what was needed to help set him straight. A meeting with one of Troy’s former classmates at Harvard reminds Brad of his youthful idealism and he sparks a connection with the striking college student (Shazi Raja) who sets him straight after he unloads his life’s doubts. Meanwhile, a scheduling snafu with Troy’s Harvard interview forces Brad to reach out to his estranged friends leading to realizations about his own life and those of others as well as a confrontation that was a long time coming. And, through this bit of catharsis, he’s able to stop competing and rediscover the joy in his life, while embracing this special moment in time with his son as well.

Brad’s Status? It’s complicated. It’s messy. It’s a bit neurotic and self-absorbed. But it is a work in progress that writer/director White fills with understated humor and compassion.

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Posted by Ari Coine

David Shore Builds A Different “House” With ‘The Good Doctor’

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The Good Doctor centers on Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), a talented surgeon who joins the St. Bonaventure hospital’s surgical unit. Murphy, who has autism and savant syndrome, does not gain the immediate trust from his colleagues, and his only support (at least initially) is his advocate Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff). David Shore, best known for his work on the acclaimed series House, is the writer and executive producer on the new show.”

“(Dr. Shaun Murphy) is an atypical doctor, but in a way, they’re all atypical doctors,” said Shore. “that’s what I really want to get into is he’s a catalyst for change within the other doctors, and he has a different way of looking at the world that I think will inspire them.”

Regarding looking at the world in a different way, Shore believes there is a huge distinction between how the main protagonists from The Good Doctor and House view their profession. Click on the media bar below to hear Shore discuss the difference:


The Good Doctor, executive produced by Daniel Dae Kim, airs Monday nights on ABC (10 pm et/pt).



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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Wes Anderson Pays Homage To Japanese Cinema With ‘Isle of Dogs’

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Along with being one of the most acclaimed and singular filmmakers of our time, Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel) is also an avid movie buff. With Isle of Dogs, he pays tribute to Japanese cinema (most notably director Akira Kurosawa) via stop motion animation.

The storyline, set 20 years in the future, centers on a Japanese youth who searches for his lost dog Spots. Canines have been quarantined due to some kind of “dog flu,” and the protagonist is determined to find Spots at whatever cost. Previous Anderson collaborators Edward Norton (Moonrise Kingdom) and Bill Murray (Rushmore) are among the voices, with Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson, and Liev Schreiber among the newbies to the director’s ensemble. One role in the film was actually auctioned off to benefit Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation (further proof of Anderson’s dedication to cinema!).

Isle of Dogs opens nationwide March 23, 2018. Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Kaley Cuoco Plays The ‘Big Bang’ Name Game

THE BIG BANG THEORYQuick — give us the characters’ full names on The Big Bang Theory. Let’s see… there’s Sheldon Cooper, Leonard Hofstadter, Howard Wolowitz, Penny — wait, what’s Penny’s last name? We know what it is now that she and Leonard are married, but if you think about it, her family name has never, ever been mentioned during the show’s first 10 seasons. Does Kaley Cuoco know what her character’s full name is? We asked her if she could solve the mystery for us. (Click on the media bar to hear Kaley Cuoco)

The Big Bang Theory airs Monday nights at 8/7c on CBS.

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Posted by AC