Director Matt Ratner Reflects On Landing Billy Crystal For ‘Standing Up, Falling Down’

Directed by Matt Ratner, Standing Up, Falling Down centers on Scott Rollins (Ben Schwartz), a struggling comedian who leaves Los Angeles and moves back home with his parents (Debra Monk, Kevin Dunn). Scott’s unlikely friendship with a dermatologist (Billy Crystal) helps give him a bit of clarity regarding his own life and career. Eloise Mumford co-stars as Scott’s ex-girlfriend Becky, who has since moved on and married a mutual friend.

Since the film is headlined by Crystal and Schwartz, one may assume the story features its share of improvisation.

“Ben and Billy, in addition to being very talented actors, they’re brilliant writers,” said Ratner. “To be able to work with them and work with Peter and find their voices in these characters – it meant that a lot of the improv happened before we started shooting. Once we shot, there were definitely things that changed. Any time an actor felt (the scene) wasn’t truthful, I would always tell them to talk to me about it and (we would) try to make it feel more organic.”

Click on the media bar to hear Ratner discuss his first face to face meeting with Billy Crystal for the project:

Standing Up, Falling Down, co-starring Caitlin McGee and Grace Gummer, hits theaters and On Demand February 21.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Director Joe Dante Takes On Producing Duties With Supernatural Suspenser ‘Camp Cold Brook’

Directed by Andy Palmer, Camp Cold Brook centers on a reality show host named Jack Wilson (Chad Michael Murray) who, along with his crew (Danielle Harris co-stars as his producer), investigate a camp that is reportedly haunted. Campers were drowned in a nearby creek some 20 years ago, and Jack is determined to uncover this mystery (or at least revive his soon to be canceled show).

Palmer  had the benefit of collaborating with filmmaker Joe Dante (Gremlins, The ‘Burbs) for Camp Cold Brook, as Dante served as an executive producer on the project. During his early years in the industry, Dante worked with producer Roger Corman, and that mentorship has had a marked influence on his respective career. Thus, helping independent movies is a passion of Dante’s.

“At my company Renfield, we’ve been on occasion, getting involved with backing independent pictures that are made by people who can use a little help trying to get them set up,” said Dante. “When this script came along, my partner Mark Alan and I thought that this was probably a pretty good bet as something we understand and could contribute to and hopefully get made. The whole business now is about trying to get your picture made.”

Click on the media bar to hear Dante talk about how he appreciated the steady and suspenseful approach to Camp Cold Brook’s narrative.

Camp Cold Brook is now playing in select theaters and is available On Demand and Digital.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Matthew Lillard Discusses Directing Goals And Success Behind ‘Good Girls’

There are a lot of questions to be answered with Good Girls after the shooting of Rio (Manny Montana). Odds are, considering his popularity on the show, he may still be alive, something which may throw a wrench in the criminal activities of Beth Boland (Christina Hendricks), Annie Marks (Mae Whitman) and Ruby Hill (Retta).

Matthew Lillard plays Beth’s husband Dean, who hopes that after Rio’s shooting life will take a turn for the better, especially with his relationship with Beth. “I think the reason that the show has found such success is that it’s normal, every day women doing extraordinary things,” said Lillard.. “And I think that there is that inner fantasy of a common housewife that wants more and wants that adrenaline or rush or is seeking more from their life. I think that’s why Good Girls strikes a chord,”

Click on the media bar to hear Lillard elaborate on why, if he had his druthers, he’d be a full time director (Lillard helmed the feature Fat Kid Rules The World)!

The season three premiere of Good Girls airs tonight on NBC (10/9c).

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Camp Cold Brook’ Director Andy Palmer Flips The Script With Suspense Filled Thriller

Camp Cold Brook centers on Jack (Chad Michael Murray), a reality host who, along with his crew (horror favorite Danielle Harris, Candice De Visser, MIchael Eric Reid), investigate a summer camp that may be haunted. A group of young campers were drowned in a nearby creek 20 years ago, and these content producers are desperately looking for a good story to shoot (their program is on its last legs).

One of Camp Cold Brook’s strengths lies in its focus on the suspense and mystery elements of horror, so gore and excessive violence are missing from this feature.

“I love that idea of pulling the slasher out of the camp and making the camp haunted with these creepy kids running around,” said Palmer. “I like this idea of this witch that lived on the outskirts. It just had a good mythos to it. It was just a matter of working with (screenwriter) Alex Carl and crafting what we thought were really good scare moments.”

Click on the media bar to hear director Andy Palmer discuss how he wanted to visually flip the script with Camp Cold Brook:

Camp Cold Brook, executive produced by filmmaker Joe Dante, hits theaters, On Demand, and Digital on February 14.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

CinemAddicts Podcast Spotlights Elijah Wood Headlined Thriller ‘Come To Daddy’

If you’re in the mood for a twist driven thriller that also has a bit of emotional resonance, Come To Daddy fits the bill. Elijah Wood delivers a first rate performance as Norval, a guy who reunites with his estranged father (Stephen McHattie). Their meeting,however, is not filled with love or the slightest of affection, and Norval wonders why his dad extended an invite via an emotional letter.

The first section of the film is a two hander, as we delve into the motivations of both father and son. Director Ant Timpson, working from Toby Harvard’s script, turns the movie on its head by the second act, turning the picture into a suspense thriller that exceeds expectations. Other films covered on the latest episode include Birds of Prey, Downhill, and the new Billy Crystal film Standing Up, Falling Down.

Take a listen to this month’s episode of CinemAddicts:

Come To Daddy is now playing in theaters and is available On Demand.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Nat Faxon And Jim Rash Deliver An Authentic Storytelling Experience With ‘Downhill’

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash brought a deft blend of comedy and drama to their Oscar winning screenplay of The Descendants (which was based on the Kaui Hart Hemmings book), and now their adaptation skills are displayed in Downhill. A remake of the acclaimed feature Force Majeure, the tale centers on a married couple named Billie and Pete (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Will Ferrell) who become fractured after Pete acts in a cowardly fashion during an avalanche. Zach Woods co-stars as Pete’s co-worker (aptly named Zach), with Zoë Chao co-starring as Zach’s free-spirited girlfriend Rosie.

The picture’s most eye-catching scenes, upon first blush, is its scenery (it’s set in the Austrian Alps), but the standout sequence comes from a testy exchange between the couple in front of a shocked Zach and Rosie.

“There’s a play like quality to this, so you’re really examining characters in these movies,” said Rash who elaborates on the aforementioned sequence. “They quite literally have a play where there are these people in a living room, in a hotel suite, going at it in front of relative strangers, at least in our version. There is this wonderful sense of watching two people have an incident happen to them and question just the basic nature of their partnership.”

Click on the media bar to hear Nat Faxon and Jim Rash talk about bringing a sense of honesty and authenticity to Downhill:

Downhill hits theaters February 14.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi