Remember that time I was gorgeous and you were gorgeous and we both had really bad luck one night so fate brought us together? Yeah, me neither. But this is the basic premise of Chris Evans' directorial debut Before We Go also starring Chris Evans and Alice Eve.
Nick Vaughan, played by Evans, is hiding out in Grand Central Station when he sees a woman, played by Alice Eve, run past, dropping her phone and sadly missing her train. When he follows her - who we learn is named Brooke Dalton - to return the phone, the situation turns into what can only be described as a slightly aggressive good deed. One which doesn't stop for 2 hours as Nick continuously tangles himself in her personal life's problems and resolutions. At first she seems uncomfortable with his intrusive behavior, but after about 15 minutes of film time she's okay with it and off they go on an all night roam around New York on a multitude of "I have an idea!" poorly thought out but heartfelt obstacles to get from point a to point b.
Can I just stop everyone right here? Remember what I said above about "gorgeous/gorgeous/fate?" I lived in NYC for years and I just want to point out that if this situation happened to me I'd be trying to shake Zach Galifianakis the rest of the night. Never would I have had the unfortunate problem of Chris Evans trying to solve my predicament. Moving on.
Keeping in mind this is a low budget indie film everything moves slowly and I enjoyed that aspect. The characters begin to open up to one another about why they were in Grand Central. Nick is supposed to be at a party where his ex-girlfriend will be. Six years ago he was going to propose to her and on the same day she said they needed a break. He has yet to come to terms. Brooke needs to get home to Boston before her husband, though it isn't until the end of the movie we really find out why. This helps set the tone. They are enjoying one another's company but they really are strangers. Nick wants to change that, Brooke isn't so sure.
Chris Evans has a tendency to play the romantic hero when he isn't fighting super villain crime. As we've seen in the recent Playing It Cool and What's Your Number? from 2001 he falls easily into the 'look how I, as in me right here, can help you have a better life' character. And this is exactly what he's done with Before We Go. It feels good, it feels comfortable. And for his first run out the gate juggling two huge jobs it was a good choice because he nailed it.
It's no surprise Evans is a triple threat this time around. This is his directorial debut but he is also starring in the movie and producing. Oh and he plays a trumpet. For the love is there anything Chris Evans can't do? No, I'm really asking. So if someone has an answer, please feel free to leave it in the comments.
Evans did a good job with what he had in front of him. The problem with Before We Go was the writing. He chose a script with 4 writers. A screenplay with one writer is a good number. A writing partner is never a bad idea and sometimes can bring out the best in both of you. Bringing someone into your partnership is a recipe for disaster. But bringing a fourth writer into your screenplay is just, well I don't even know what to say. Evans took a chance picking up this script and it didn't do him any favors. Critics may use fancier words to describe it but the honest truth is the script was simply bland. And Evans made the best of it.
An aspect I enjoyed was his choice of location in New York City. A recurring theme in Before We Go is that neither Brooke nor Nick have cash, or credit cards or even a working phone. It's like the 1900's. There are even scenes where they find payphones so they can call their past selves as a cute pretend game to pass the time and learn more about one another while revealing more of their character and backstory to the audience. I don't think there are that many payphones left in NYC.
But I digress. They are poor and unplugged therefore we are led to believe there couldn't be a single place they could go so they wander aimlessly around side streets of the city that never sleeps. If he had instead decided to keep them in a central area of the city, heck even the Hyatt Grand Central a step away from their original meeting place, there would have been numerous places for them to spend their time, even at odd hours they could have sat inside hotel lobbies without as much as a second look from the staff. *Side note. They do hit a hotel or two for different reasons. Look for Scott Evans, Chris' brother, as the front desk clerk.*
But then we wouldn't have had much of a movie would we? And on the side streets is where Evans seizes his moment to shine. He takes us to dive bars and to sleazy parts of town that set our story in motion. He gives us the chance to find out if Brooke can sing and then she tells us the secret of hotel graffiti. Evans sets the scene for best friends and broken hearts and it's hard to watch because we knew it was coming and then it still does. We watch the pair visit a psychic they bump into taking out his trash who gives them both a free reading just for the company. We're taken to a well known even if unknown coffee house where things heat up just to fall apart and those are the scenes where Chris Evans gets to sit down in that directors chair and own it.
But here's my fear for Chris, we're gonna go ahead and call him Chris right now because I'm basically looking at him and giving him the low down. He signed the hefty Marvel Universe contract years ago before he had a chance to spread his wings. Now he's taken on a huge fan base that love him for one character unforgivably. This fan base might not be sold on the indie film passion his heart wants to follow.
Now I want to scream at them "Have you seen Iceman? Have you seen SnowPiercer?" The recent limited release Playing It Cool had many admirable romantic Evans character qualities that could have warmed people up to Before We Go, had anyone seen it. But this is where the problem lies, it might take a Marvelotta years for this fan base to catch up.
My point is Before We Go could have possibly been doomed from the beginning. A box office blockbuster movie star goes romantic indie movie for his directorial debut? On top of it he decides to star in it as well surely losing focus on one aspect or the other. So what's the verdict?
My opinion of Before We Go: the movie itself is a bit of a bland cliche even when trying not to be. However I don't hold much of that against the director. I enjoyed it very much because I genuinely enjoy Chris Evans' work and a slow indie film set to a slightly depressing but familiar soundtrack is just so up my alley. As a whole Evans did a good thing here. If he wants to continue down this independent film path he just needs to keep his head above water while the rest of his fan base catches up and think harder before picking scripts. Or I wonder, if Evans would consider adding his name to the writers category as well?
Before We Go will open to limited release Nationwide September 4. You can find it now on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.
Within the past 10 years I have lost both of my grandparents which was difficult. My grandma and grandpa were an important part of my life as I lived with them for years during my youth. My grandma taught me that cleaning the floor boards really is important, which I've probably never...
Twitter, in short, 140-character messages meant to grab someone's attention bait, hook and sinker. With a soft opening in April 2014, Robert Downey Jr. took John Favreau's advice and began his relationship with Larry Bird. And I'm not talking about the basketball player.
As May 3 grows nearer, and the cast of Iron Man 3 sits down with the American press to talk about the movie, I want to share some things I learned about the comic book side of the "Extremis" story line with you. I visited with comic book expert extraordinaire...
As I sat watching Oz the Great and Powerful last night, I knew I was watching history. This movie will be a classic; one our children, our children's children and even their children will enjoy and talk about for years to come. The movie is a prequel at its best, laying out for us everything we would need to know to understand L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Oscar Diggs might surprise you -- he's seems to be a very bad man but quite a powerful magician, or wizard some might say. But if you remember back to The Wizard of Oz, he actually explains himself as "A very good man, just a very bad wizard." This is a long road for Oscar, the would-be great and powerful King of Oz.
Throughout Oz the Great and Powerful his mentor Glinda the Good and all his Munchkinland friends lift him up to help him find the light that lies inside him while he educates them in illusion and sleight of hand. Together, they work to find a happy medium that will keep them alive.
Theodora the Good Witch is a young girl, innocent and full of hope. She believes that the prophecy will one day come true and the Great Wizard will come from the heavens to save the people of Oz. If she can find true love during this time all the better, because she has a big heart and she deserves it. She can be his Queen and rule at his side. What could go wrong?
During these moments I knew history had been made. The audience will shed tears for poor misguided Theodora because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And suddenly the entire series will make sense and you'll have a new layer to cause you inner conflict.
There are other interesting "that explains it" moments as well. We get up close and personal with The Cowardly Lion and find out what spooked him into being afraid of his own shadow. We get to know the Tin Man's father and the creators of the Scarecrow and learn more about Munchkinland.
Most of all, as the title explains, we are introduced to Oz the Great and Powerful. He is a womanizing con man, out for no one but himself. We'll watch as he grows into a man destined to achieve not just greatness, but goodness. And he'll teach us that while you might not be what everyone expected, that doesn't mean you can't still get the job done with the tools you've been provided.
The movie stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Rachel Weisz and Joey King.
Oz the Great and Powerful comes to theaters Friday March 8th.
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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending an event at Fantasy of Flight with four members of the Tuskegee Airmen. For those who aren't aware, the Tuskegee Airmen were the first group of African-American military aviators. They fought in...
On January 25, the movie Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters premiered in theaters around America. It stars Jeremy Renner who typically stars in blockbuster hits that draw crowds and big award nominations. Rarely do patrons have to wonder whether or not a Renner movie will be worthy of their $10, or higher, ticket price. This time however we wondered if Witch Hunters would be Renner's first bad movie since his breakout in Hollywood.
However I'm different than most, I'm a loyal fan to Jeremy. I'd spend money to watch him do just about anything and never regret the decision. My No. 1 bucket list item is an interview with my favorite star. I've interviewed tons of talent and while they are always special and unique I can only imagine the moment I may sit down with Renner. I've explained this in previous blog posts, sometimes you simply have your favorite, someone you just click with. However so far he has been my elusive acorn, like that squirrel in Ice Age.
When I first heard about Hansel & Gretel I was intrigued. It's a fairy tale story that has been done many times before, but this version would be a Van Helsing style thriller, a genre with which I can get on board.
I thought the movie was fun and entertaining and I enjoyed it with friends on the 3D Imax screen. We cheered both Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner on as they horrifically ripped off the faces of Famke Janssen's witch gang. I loved every moment of Jeremy's nude lake scene and trust me, that is where $10 of my $16 was devoted. There are plenty of funny one liners to toss back and forth between friends when you leave the theater as well. Sometimes the weaponry and tools used by the sister and brother team will force you to stifle a giggle (keep an eye out for the wind up defibrillator) but that was what made the movie great. Oh and the part I could most appreciate, Hansel and Gretel have a fan boy, played by Thomas Mann, named Ben who follows them around which makes them highly uncomfortable. I guess Ben had a bucket list as well.
But most of all I basked in the warm feeling that I supported Jeremy once again and I know he'll be able to afford dinner another night. Surely I jest, but as I mentioned before I am a most loyal fan and wish for nothing more than his continued success.
So in closing I ask you all to have an open mind when you start looking over the new movie releases. Keep Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters at the top of your list and treat it all in fun. Because most likely you will laugh and possibly not at appropriate places, but that is okay. At least you showed up -- and that is all I ask.
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Anne Hathaway began her career as a role model for girls everywhere when she took on the role as Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries. So often young girls deal with low self-esteem, which can lead to even bigger problems when they grow up. Mia helped these ladies in making them believe in themselves and realize that anything they set their minds to they could achieve. Of course as the girls grew they found themselves still devoted to Hathaway, their royal hero.
As Anne Hathaway grew older so did her characters but often times she continued in her roles of strong women role models. She plays Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada, an assistant who finally realizes she won't be pushed around. Many young women find themselves in similar situations and this type of movie probably had them raising a drink high in the air chanting "I won't be my boss's slave anymore!"
Soon after Ms. Hathaway took on the role of Jane Austen in Being Jane. Jane Austen is famous for creating female role models all the way back in the early 1800's. Austen is greatly loved by many a romantic woman and the role was one Anne must have taken on quite seriously knowing it had to be delivered perfectly. Of course she did exactly that way.
More recently Anne Hathaway took on a role played out by children and even adults all over the world, that of Catwoman a.k.a. Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises. Selina Kyle doesn't want to be bad, society has just made her out that way. Anne pulled it off with perfection and though the little girls probably didn't get to see it, the grown women who remember her as Mia Thermopolis were once again proud to call her our favorite.
Last night at the Golden Globes Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Fantine in Les Miserables. This character, the struggling mother who will do anything to save her child, is another role to be proud of and to win the Golden Globe is a huge honor. However the best part of all, the best part of the night is when Hathaway gave her speech and said these words:
"Thank you for this lovely blunt object which I will forever more use as a weapon against self-doubt."
Did I hear that right? Does Anne Hathaway, queen of role model movie characters, actually have self-doubt? Of course she does, and this is what makes her real. This moment brought tears to my eyes and really showed me how amazing a person she is in real life.
My message to Anne Hathaway is this: Thank you Anne. Thank you for teaching me that if I work hard enough I can attain my goals. That I can be really awesome if I put my mind to it. That I'm beautiful inside and out even if others may not think so. For 10 years you have been helping shape young girls and growing up along side of those of us who wished to be invited to Mia's princess birthday party. You continue to shape us everyday just by picking great roles. Please keep doing what you do. I for one am very proud of you.
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A few months ago while visiting Hollywood, I attended a red carpet event on behalf of Red Carpet Report for Disney Junior's Sofia the First. Unlike the princesses before her, Little Sofia is the first little girl Princess. The movie Sofia the First : Once Upon...
This morning, my husband read our 2013 horoscope which told us that 2012 was a crummy year for the crabby Cancer, however, the coming year would be full of life. I thought on that for a while and decided 2012 wasn't all bad....
On Christmas night I ventured out with my husband to see Les Miserables starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe. I had been excited about this Broadway musical's theatrical release for some time, especially after learning the actors sang the songs live rather than recording them before or after...
The other night on 2 Broke Girls, Caroline's boyfriend Andy wanted to say, "I love you" for the first time. However, every time he started, Caroline would become preoccupied with something work-related and Andy would be shot down. Max explained to him that Caroline was a romantic, or a rom-com (romantic comedy) kinda girl. He needed to find the absolute most ridiculous setting possible to say 'I love you" to make the situation perfect. For example, could he make it rain on the way to the airport or somehow make it rain while searching for her on top of the Empire State Building? Because that would be the way to go. Andy decided he better download some movies.
So I ask, is it wrong to want to live a rom-com? Do movies like this give us an unhealthy expectation of the men in our lives?
I'm not an overly feminine girl; however, I am a romantic. I listen to love songs all day long. I love the concept of soul mates and true love. The idea that a man would fall so deeply for a woman that he would put all else aside to win her heart sends shivers down my spine and puts goosebumps on my arms. It's a concept that has been around forever and will never grow old. It's a tale as old as time.
I admit to watching rom-com movies on Saturday afternoons when the boys are away; and yes, I always cry. Try not to shed a tear while watching Love Actually when Andrew Lincoln's character Mark holds up the cue cards at Keira Knightley's character Juliet's door professing his love for her. They know they can never be together because she is married to his best friend. But then she chases him down the street and they kiss. It's the forbidden love we've all been warned about but somehow touches us so deeply.
Blogger Lynsey Jones from MoscatoMom.com said her rom-com man ruining moment was when she saw 10 Things I Hate About You. "The 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' scene was awesome. It's like an original flash mob. He even got the marching band involved! That's impressive." She says.
The truth of the matter is, in real life, these things don't happen, or at least not very often. If we hold our significant others up to the standards of the men in these movies are we doing them a disservice? Or instead, should we accept no less than that of rom-com leading men? Blogger Annie Shultz from MamaDweeb.com actually asks her husband to watch rom-coms with her so he gets some fresh ideas. Her favorite is You've Got Mail. She said her husband will write her cute little emails every once in awhile. "They make me smile! Seeing that email from him is just so special," she said. "I love that he takes the time to write to me, even though we are married and live in the same house."
What is your opinion? Are movie star leading men putting too much pressure on real life significant others? And what rom-com ruined it all for you and why?
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When you begin your entertainment writing career as a fan you walk in with a lot of preconceived notions and a lot of misconceptions about actors. You think they must be so much like their characters you've grown to love. But you quickly learn they are not. They are their own person with a skill to become every woman's fantasy, which in their own reality can be a nightmare. The truth is you stop having favorites and you stop being a fan.
When it comes to Jeremy Renner however, something is different. Something about him runs deeper with me than just "that hot actor guy." I haven't felt this way about a talent in a long time. I love this man. I've seen every single thing he's done and then watched it again. I've been a fan since 2002 when he did Dahmer because I love my weird serial killer movies. I've followed him ever since. Then he got huge and it was bittersweet. I'm happy for him, but I figured he'd probably change. Hollywood changes people. Either way though, he's my new Matt Damon. I feel he was actually put on this earth to make me smile. I need more of that in this life. But at the same time "boy's got some issues." This leads me to ask the question:
Jeremy Renner: One Night Stand or the Marrying Kind?
1. Jeremy constantly says he's lonely in interviews. However, he also says that "any woman would take a No 2. seat to my job" (1). Ladies, not sure about you but that doesn't sound so great to me. If I'm going to be dating Jeremy Renner I want to know I'm his earth, moon and stars. Would you be able to handle coming in second place to Hawkeye and Aaron Cross?
2. Jeremy has had a serious girlfriend in the past. However, when he was in the middle of his Oscar nod craziness for The Hurt Locker she was trying to get her acting career off the ground. This wasn't working for him as he quotes "I was going through the Hurt Locker campaign and she's like, 'Where do I get headshots?'"(2). To me this says he wants a suitcase partner. Someone who can pack up and put their life on hold and follow him around with no strings attached. For some women this is a dream come true. Travel the world in luxury, be there for your famous boyfriend when he needs you and just chill out. But for some they'd miss their family and lose a sense of who they really are. How would this work for you, could you give up your identity for a celebrity romance?
3. Renner has a bit of a bad boy streak in him and at 40-plus years-old is that ever going to end? While it's sexy in the movies, is it sexy to have to worry about what story you might wake up to every time he's on location? I can just hear my mother now. No amount of money and fame is gonna shut her up if my partner is humiliating the family in any way. Even if yesterday he was participating in mine clearing efforts in Afghanistan.
4. He has sisters. Okay, I know a lot of people have sisters but I can barely get along with my one sister, so add two more to the mix and I might just be out. Sisters are so much drama and Jeremy is the big brother figure in the family. I can't even imagine what might go down if he brought home a serious girlfriend after becoming a huge celebrity. Hey, maybe they are the sweetest women in the world and I'm praying for his sake they are. But the thought puts ice water in my veins.
5. He has a Bromance. You know, a boy best friend that seems to take up any of his extra time. Think Chandler and Joey of Friends fame or Abed and Troy from Community. These two own a business together that they put a lot of time into. Would you ever be able to come between him and Kristoffer Winters or would it just be yet another obstacle in his life you can't push past?
6. Jeremy smokes. Dealbreaker for many. One of my friends just died of lung cancer at 34 years-old leaving behind a preschool son. He never smoked. But you get the point. I don't think I could even kiss Jeremy with smoke mouth. I'd have a migraine immediately. I get that a lot of actors smoke because it's one thing they can do to get away and they control it. They control so little in their life. But I'd worry about him all the time. Just thinking about what those carcinogens were doing to him. I already worry about him and I don't know him. Of course I could hope he'd love me so much he'd quit because he'd realize how every time he took a drag off that cigarette it was that much less time he'd have with me. But probably not. Would this bother you?
For Heaven's sakes Jeremy, are you reading this story, do you see the walls you throw up? Or maybe this is just one huge story that some women read as the greatest love story ever told?
I want to hear your opinions on whether you think you could adjust your life to fit the part of one of Hollywood's biggest celebrities significant other!
As far as my opinion goes, well, I think I'll hold this card close to the vest. My Renner feelings are something I hold dear because quite honestly I don't have a lot left at this point with Hollywood.
*This story is written fully in jest or gimmick and I wish Jeremy Renner nothing but the very best in his personal life and...
There are honestly no questions that have come before this day and no questions that will come after as important as the one created at the opening of the New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World in Central Florida. That question is, "Did you see the dragon?"
The fire breathing dragon flew over the new Fantasyland and had both children and adults in awe. I felt like a child on Christmas morning standing there staring up at the sky screaming "OMG OMG this is so awesome!" He (or she) simply flies through the sky above the castles and spits fire balls. There are rumors on whether this was a one time event or the dragon will be used nightly in the future. If the answer is nightly, I recommend you start planning your trip to the Walt Disney World theme parks now because this moment alone will create the lasting memories we strive for as parents.
I recommend Disney's Art of Animation Resort. We stayed in the Cars Family Suites, and I was surprised by the amount of detail they've put into the hotel. I'll be sure to fill you in on more about the resort in a later post but for now check out the review I did earlier in the year on the Walt Disney World Art of Animation Resort .
Unfortunately neither my camera or phone would take a good picture of the dragon, but Gary Buchanan from DisneyParks.com took wonderful video and edited it to perfection. Now you can see the dragon from up close and from afar. I must admit it looks much more realistic from far away but I did want to see what it looked like close up and it's pretty impressive. Those Imagineers just knock it out of the park every...
If the world were to end, how would you want to spend your last day? This was the burning question on last week's episode of Go On starring Matthew Perry and Laura Benanti.
When Mr. K realizes that the group Holiday party has been scheduled the same night as the...