March 28, 2013

THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, the latest feature film from BLUE VALENTINE director, Derek Cianfrance, opens in limited release on March 29th. The film centers around how the lives of motorcycle stunt driver Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) and rookie cop Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) intersect and how the decisions they make affect their families over the course of 15 years.

The film also stars Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta, Bruce Greenwood, Ben Mendelsohn, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Dane DeHaan, and Emory Cohen.



WonderCon: The Following, Revolution, Arrow panels announced

March 16, 2013

From Arrow’s Starling City to the Teen Titans’ Jump City, by way ofRevolution’s darkened cities and the darker world of The Following, Warner Bros. Television (WBTV) arrives in Anaheim for another exciting weekend at WonderCon 2013, starting with exclusive screenings of some of this season’s hottest series — including The Following (Mondays 9/8c FOX) — on the big screen on Friday, March 29. Following that, fans can power up their Saturday with a special video presentation and panel session for this season’s #1 new show,Revolution (Mondays 10/9c NBC, new episodes returning March 25), followed by Warner Bros. Animation’s new super funny super hero series Teen Titans Go! (premiering Tuesday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network) on Saturday March 30. On Sunday, March 31, look for another bulls-eye with an edge-of-your seat video presentation and panel session for the hit new action-drama Arrow(Wednesdays 8/7c The CW).


'Venus and Serena': new film and the superstar sisters -- official poster

There's a new poster out the new documentary about the lives of Venus and Serena Williams.
"Venus and Serena" takes an unfiltered look into the remarkable lives of the greatest sister-act professional tennis has ever seen. In a sport where they were not welcomed, the indomitable Williams sisters faced the opposition with grace and courage not only breaking new ground for female and African American athletes everywhere, but dominating the women's game for over a decade. The film tells the inspiring story of how these two women, against all odds, but the help of visionary parents, made it to the top.

"Venus and Serena explores the struggle of these two aging superstars during the 2011 tennis season as they battle life and career-threatening health problems. In "Venus and Serena" we gain unprecedented access into the sisters' lives - both in the spotlight - and behind closed doors, and we watch as they draw their greatest strengths from one another to overcome countless adversities.

The film includes interviews with Bill Clinton, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Arnon Milchan, Gay Telese, Anna Wintour among others.

Coming April 4 on iTunes and On Demand


Review: 'O The Great and Powerful' a must see

March 11, 2013
Rating: PG
Stars: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams
Writers: Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire, screen story by Mitchell Kapner, based on the books by L. Frank Baum
Director: Sam Raimi
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: March 8, 2013

The movie starts out in expected black and white before moving to color once the W

Perhaps the best compliment that can be given to OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL is that Baum would likely have approved of this film, though its interpretation of his famous Wizard is something neither the author nor the famous M-G-M musical THE WIZARD OF OZ ever seems to have contemplated. Yes, James Franco’s Oz (the nickname he goes by, short for Oscar) is a carnival conjurer and con man, but he’s also a dashing youngish womanizer when we meet him as he puts on his show in turn-of-the-century Kansas. He is astonished – though we’re a bit less surprised – when, after he dives into the basket of a hot-air balloon for protection from an angry strongman, the contraption is blown away in a cyclone.

OZ borrows WIZARD’s gambit of beginning in black and white and turning to color once we and our protagonist reach that fabled land. OZ does the old movie one better by also switching from 4:3 to widescreen. Oz soon learns that he and this strange new world share a name and that he’s been prophesized to save the place from enslavement and destruction.

Since we have a pretty good guess from the overall tone, the Disney involvement and other aspects of the movie that this is indeed intended as a prequel to Dorothy’s adventures and that Oz isn’t going to fall to total ruin, we expect Oz the character to succeed, even if he doesn’t. The screenplay by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire, based on Kapner’s screen story, is fairly ingenious, taking what we know of both Oz’s background and some of his favorite tricks from the book and using them in new and organic ways to further the story.

There’s a romantic element here that’s foreign to the books (secondary characters fall in love, but the main characters don’t), but it’s handled with a kind of gentleness that makes it fit the rest of the movie.

Director Sam Raimi displays his customary vigor and vitality – there aren’t many dull or visually uninteresting moments here – but here he also displays a kind of friendly sweetness that matches the source material. There are no gags about harm to innocents and even the villains have understandable motivations well beyond “wickedness,” albeit they tend to overreact hugely to slights real and perceived.

Franco is an amiable presence as Oz, with a twinkle in his eye and a flair for turn-of-the-century showmanship in his manner. The only problem is that the script calls for someone who, deep down, is yearning to be a good person, and Franco doesn’t convey a sense that his Oz is deep down yearning for much of anything. He’s an entertaining companion, but there’s something missing here that prevents OZ from playing all of its intended emotional notes.

No such complaints here about Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis as the witches of Oz whom we meet throughout the course of the story. There are doubtless spoilers galore out there about which witch is which, but if there’s a way of avoiding the information, the discovery of their various identities adds to the experience. All three actresses commit entirely to what they’re doing, and all combine mythic archetypes with accessible individuals.

Stories about Oz in the Baum books are always stories about friendship forged, tested and tempered with adventure, and OZdoes not disappoint on this front – our hero gets a set of traveling companions who are unique, apt and supply both well-earned laughs and pathos. (For those wondering, the China Country is a part of the first OZ novel, though it’s not employed the way it is here.)

The 3D is what most 3D is at present – it’s pleasant, unobtrusive and doesn’t add much to the proceedings.

Overall, OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL is good and effective. It could be better, but it feels like part of the OZ most of us know and love, and that fact lives up to the “Great” in the title.

'Olympus Has Fallen': featurette with Angela Bassett (video) -- opens March 8

March 8, 2013
'Olympus Has Fallen" starring Gerard Butler opens today in theaters across the country. Angela Bassett who also stars in the movie, talks about the movie in the featurette below. 

Synopsis: When the White House (Secret Service Code: "Olympus") is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning¹s inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President and avert an even bigger crisis. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) directs an all-star cast featuring Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd, and Rick Yune.


'Much Ado About Nothing': Joss Whedon's latest movie to be released this summer

Joss Whedon's latest movie is "Much Ado About Nothing." "The Avengers" director has surprised everyone with a softer, smaller budget subject than his usual blockbuster fare.

The movie stars Whedon faves Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese, Sean Maher, Reed Diamond, Clark Gregg and Tom Lenk.

Here is the latest synopsis of the movie:

 Leonato (Clark Gregg), the governor of Messina, is visited by his friend Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) who is returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother Don John (Sean Maher). Accompanying Don Pedro are two of his officers: Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and Claudio (Fran Kranz). While in Messina, Claudio falls for Leonato's daughter Hero (Jillian Morgese), while Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice (Amy Acker), the governor's niece. The budding love between Claudio and Hero prompts Don Pedro to arrange with Leonato for a marriage. In the days leading up to the ceremony, Don Pedro, with the help of Leonato, Claudio and Hero, attempts to sport with Benedick and Beatrice in an effort to trick the two into falling in love. Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, with the help of his allies: Conrade (Riki Lindhome) and Borachio (Spencer Treat Clark), plots against the happy couple, using his own form of trickery to try to destroy the marriage before it begins. A series of comic and tragic events continue to keep the two couples from truly finding happiness, but then again perhaps love may prevail.

For the latest in television news, follow me on Twitter @Phyllis_Thomas and @spotliteonENT

Trailer: 'Oz The Great and Powerful' opening in theaters March 8

March 3, 2013
"Oz The Great and Powerful" opens in theaters on Friday, March 8. It is a "prequel" to :The Wizard of Oz."Check out the trailer below:


Screen legend Greer Garson is TCM's Star of the Month

TCM celebrates the career of Greer Garson as the Star of the Month in March. Garson, the beloved actress known for her earnest performances as morally courageous women, will be featured each Monday night throughout the month in such films as Mrs. Miniver (1942), Random Harvest (1942), Madame Curie (1943), Desire Me (1947), That Forsyte Woman (1949), Strange Lady in Town (1955) and Sunrise at Campobello (1960).
Movies starring Garson will air Mondays throughout the month of March. For more info, check out