Outbreak on the Big Screen: La La Land, White Boy Rick and More

lalalandThough the film has yet to be released wide, the Santa Barbara Film Festival will honor La La Land stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling with their Outstanding Performers of the Year. According to Deadline, the honor will be given to the actors on Feb. 3 at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theatre. The film opens Dec. 9.

According to Deadline, Matthew McConaughey is in negotiations to appear in White Boy Rick. The movie tells the story of Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant at the age of 4 and later became a major drug dealer before landing in jail. McConaughey would play Wershe’s working class father, while the lead role has yet to be cast. The film is being directed by Yann Demange.

Deadline reports that Chloe Grace Moretz and Sasha Lane will star in the film The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Desiree Akhavan will direct the film about a young girl who is forced into a gay conversion therapy center.

According to Variety, Marc Forster has signed on to direct Christopher Robin, the live-action adaptation based on the Winnie the Pooh character. Forster’s credits include World War Z and the James Bond film Quantum of Solace.

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‘CinemAddicts’ Podcast Reviews ‘Manhattan Night’ & ‘Hard Sell’

Manhattan night

On this week’s CinemAddicts, we start off the program with Manhattan Night, an intriguing thriller headlined by Adrien Brody and Yvonne Strahovski.

Based on the novel Manhattan Nocture, the movie centers on Porter Wren, a talented yet tabloid driven journalist who always manages to get to the bottom of a story. A mysterious, beautiful woman named Caroline (Strahovski) immediately catches his eye, and Porter’s investigation of her filmmaker husband’s (Campbell Scott) death leads him down dark terrain that may cost him his sanity and his family’s (Jennifer Beals plays his wife) safety. Strahovski is first rate as the story’s femme fatale, and director Brian DeCubillis’ love for Brian De Palma suspense thrillers (Body Double, Blow Out) and film noir is on full display in Manhattan Night.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, which features the additions of Chloe Grace Moretz and Kiersey Clemons, is actually an improvement over the original hit comedy, and though it has its share of gross out moments, the picture has a ton of heart. The documentary Art Bastard, which centers on the life of New York based artist Robert Cenedella, is also covered.

For our streaming picks of the week, I discuss my love for the new indie comedy Hard Sell, a coming of age story featuring solid performances from Skyler Gisondo and Kristin Chenoweth, and Anderson discusses 24 Hour Party People, a flick directed by Michael Winterbottom.



To enter our CinemAddicts giveaways (the winners are announced at the end of the program), please rate and review the show on iTunes.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising’ Packs Comedic Punch With Empowering Touch

neighbors2If one were to jump to conclusions, the assumption behind Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising was it would be a rehash of the original and an innocuous cash grab from Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and company. Thankfully, that’s not the case, as the sequel actually brings a fresh take to this suburban adults versus energetic college kids scenario.

Though weed is still a prominent part of their household, Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are actually setting into their roles as parents, as their daughter Stella (Zoey Vargas) seems to be a well adjusted kid (even though she’s always using her mother’s vibrator as her own play toy). With another baby girl on the horizon, the couple’s current house is now in escrow as they’ve purchased a newer home in Georgia. Their fraternity nightmares with Teddy (Zac Efron) and his fellow college buddies is long over, and things are definitely looking up for the loving couple.

Trouble comes in the form of freshmen Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz), Beth (Dope star Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (a scene stealing Beanie Feldstein), three ladies who are sick of pledging for sororities that depend on fraternities for most of their social activities. These independent minded women want a sisterhood of their own, where they can throw their own parties, and thus they form Kappa Nu and instantly gain popularity thanks to the re-emergence of Teddy.

As much as Mac and Kelly support girl power, Kappa Nu’s noise level is a bane on their neighborhood and could lead to a failed escrow. Meanwhile, Teddy is still in search of a place to belong and to be valued, so helping them form Kappa Nu is his temporary calling. When they eventually separate from Teddy due to creative differences on how to run the sorority, Teddy teams up with his former enemies to take down Kappa Nu.

The movie opens with Kelly throwing up all over Mac during a lovemaking session, and gross out humor fans should be satiated with some of the comedy’s most lowest common denominator moments (a Zac Efron dance scene that goes south comes to mind). Much of the film’s lasting appeal, however, comes from the likable appeal of Moretz and the women that inhabit Kappa Nu. These ladies want to create a sorority that enables each member to express themselves in whichever manner they choose, and it’s hard not to pull for them when their goals come from a pure place. Credit also goes to writer/director Nicholas Stoller for injecting a ton of humor that seems to actually come from real life (for example, Mac and Kelly’s continuing neurosis about being good parents) rather than simply low brow, raunchy humor.

One of the wonderful surprises behind Neighbors was witnessing the maturation of Teddy from a two dimensional frat boy to a caring friend (Dave Franco, who plays Teddy’s best bud Pete, is also back), and thankfully Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising gives Teddy even more space to grow as a person.

There’s a ton of humor to keep you laughing in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, but there’s also a bit of heart and substance thrown in for good measure. As sequels go, this movie absolutely hits the mark and it’s actually an improvement over the original.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising opens Friday.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


A Young Adult Best Seller Crosses Demographic Lines With ‘If I Stay’

26Currently in theaters, IF I STAY is a romantic tale of life, love and loss that is almost guaranteed to have you reaching for your hankie. Directed by R. J. CUTLER (AMERICAN HIGH), the film’s cast includes CHLOE GRACE MORETZ, JAMIE BLACKLEY, MIREILLE ENOS, JOSHUA LEONARD and STACY KEACH.

Adapted for the screen by SHAUNA CROSS, IF I STAY is based on the best selling young adult novel by GAYLE FORMAN that has managed to capture the hearts and minds of millions of teen readers. Officially classified as a ‘Young Adult’ title, the book actually explores universal themes that have crossover appeal
to several demographics.

During an interview to promote the film, stars BLACKLEY and MORETZ discussed how the film should not just be thought of as a ‘teen movie’.


IF I STAY is in theaters now.

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Posted by Bob Healy

Chloe Grace Moretz Aims Directly For The Heart With ‘If I Stay’

126Opening in theaters later this week, IF I STAY is a heart-wrenching yet hopeful story of love, loss, family and fate. Centering on a beautiful and talented young woman who, because of a tragic accident, finds herself in a coma. While in the hospital, she has an out-of-body experience that allows her to watch as family and friends gather at her bedside and forces her to make a life or death decision. Based on the hugely popular young adult novel by GAYLE FORMAN, the film is directed by R. J. CUTLER and stars CHLOE GRACE MORETZ as the young woman whose story will tug at your heart.

At 17, MORETZ has been acting for over ten years and has taken on all sorts of roles in all sorts of genres. Everything from KICK-ASS and LET ME IN to HUGO and THE TEXAS KILLING FIELDS. Her tendency to gravitate towards darker, troubled characters has been well noted and at last week’s press conference to promote IF I STAY, she explained how she chooses her roles. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

IF I STAY opens in theaters 8/22

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Posted by Bob Healy