Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Lucky One

Despite The Lucky One's dismal rating on Rotten Tomatoes currently, I ended up enjoying it a lot. It's a bit cheesy/sappy in some parts, yes, but both of the leads (Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling) do a great job acting in it - despite that fact that Schilling looks about 10 years older than Zac - and the story is an interesting one. You could also argue that I, as a 20-something female, am within the "core audience" for the movie - it is, after all, based on a Nicholas Sparks book - but the movie managed to hold my attention throughout, and the chemistry between the leads was believable as well.

Logan Thibault (Zac Efron, New Year's Eve) is serving a tour with the Marines, and has just experienced a night raid with his platoon. The next morning, he's standing guard outside when he seems something glinting in the sun. He goes over to retrieve it, and it's a picture of a woman, with the words "Keep Safe" on the back of it. As he's examining the photo, a bomb goes off right where he had been standing; the photo essentially saves him from dying in the blast.

When Logan is done with the Marines, after three tours, he decides to find the woman in the photo, and he walks from Colorado to Louisiana, where he eventually finds Beth (Taylor Schilling, TV's Mercy), who works and lives at a boarding home for pets with her grandmother (Blythe Danner, Little Fockers) and her 7-year-old son, Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart, The Beaver). Logan tries to tell her why he has come to Louisiana, but she assumes it's for the job they posted in the paper. Beth finds Logan to be a little strange (he's a bit of the "strong and silent" type), but her grandmother has sympathy for him, since Beth's late brother was in the Marines as well, and she hires Logan. Logan and Beth soon fall for each other, but complications ensue when Beth finds out that Logan has the photo.

Variety charity gala at Emagine Royal Oak is a success

Last night, Variety, The Children's Charity, hosted its second annual gala event at Emagine Royal Oak, to induct Diana Lewis and the late Jeffrey Zaslow into the Michigan Celebrity Hall of Fame. "Big Al" Muskavito, formerly of 104.3 WOMC fame, accepted Zaslow's award on his behalf.

“Jeff gave so much of himself quietly, without fanfare, without yearning to be recognized. He gave to his family, his friends, and to millions of people around the words. Jeff would certainly be humbled and pleased to have his name associated with an organization like Variety, with such a long and rich tradition of helping children," Muskavito said.

Read the rest of the article at Examiner.com.
Some pictures from the night:

Detroit Junior Jazz Ensemble, playing in the lobby
The theme was the "Roaring '20s"

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Five-Year Engagement

The Five-Year Engagement filmed in Ann Arbor last summer, and since then I have been patiently waiting for it to arrive in theaters. A few of my friends saw Jason Segel at bars and restaurants around town, while Emily Blunt, along with costars Alison Brie and Chris Pratt, was spotted with her husband John Krasinski at Cafe Felix. The movie itself ended up being a little messy, and way too long, but overall it was cute and is worth seeing at a matinee. As a former resident, it was especially nice to see Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan on the big screen.

Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) meets Tom Solomon (Jason Segel, The Muppets) at a New Year's Eve party in San Francisco, and a year later he proposes to her on the rooftop patio of the restaurant where he works. They start to plan the wedding, but soon something unexpected happens: Violet, who had been waiting for an offer from UC-Berkeley, gets an offer from the University of Michigan instead. Tom knows it's an amazing opportunity for her, so he agrees to move with her to Michigan, since her program is only two years long.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Identity Thief currently filming in Atlanta

My friend Joyce spotted Jason Bateman and crew out and about in downtown Atlanta filming the new movie Identity Thief, which will also star Amanda Peet and Melissa McCarthy. There's not much online about the movie yet, except apparently it's McCarthy who will be stealing Bateman's identity, and he wanted her to be in the film after seeing her in the hilarious movie Bridesmaids. The film will be directed by Seth Gordon, who also directed Bateman in Horrible Bosses last year.

Check out the pictures below:

Cell phone break for Jason
Almost looks like he's being handcuffed in this pic!
Fans and maybe a makeup/costume artist? 

GIVEAWAY: New Year's Eve on DVD

New Year's Eve hits DVD and Blu-Ray on May 1st, and I have a copy to give away to one of my lucky readers. The movie follows break-ups and make-ups on New Year's Eve in New York City, and features an all-star cast, including Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Zac Efron, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, and more.

To enter, check out the widget after the break to learn how to do a "Resolution Reset," and use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the contest. Good luck!



*Contest will end Thursday, May 3rd at 12:01 AM EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Timeless Family Classics - 50 DVD set

credit: amazon.com
Mill Creek Entertainment offers a new 50 DVD set of "Timeless Family Classics," including films with John Wayne, Shirley Temple, James Cagney, and more, and I have one of these to give away to one lucky reader.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The contest will end next Tuesday, May 1st at 11:59pm EST.

Mill Creek also offers a "Nifty Fifties" DVD set and "Dark Crimes" set too. Click here to see the full listing of films from Timeless Family Classics on Amazon's site, and here to order the 50 DVD set with a 25% off discount. A discount is also provided for the Nifty Fifties and Dark Crimes collections.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Emagine Royal Oak to host "A Star is Born" charity gala on April 27

Next Friday, April 27, starting at 6pm, Emagine Royal Oak will host the second annual "A Star is Born" charity event, to benefit Variety, the children's charity. The Celebrity Hall of Fame is a focal point of the event, in which local celebrities will be honored for their contributions to the community; this year Diana Lewis (WXYZ-7 news anchor) and the late Jeffrey Zaslow, author of the recent novel The Magic Room, will be honored. 
The gala will feature a movie shown in one of Emagine's auditoriums, a sing-a-long feature film, dueling pianos, an open bar, dinner, and more.
Read the rest of the article at Examiner.com.

Friday, April 6, 2012

American Reunion

American Reunion is the fourth movie in the franchise, not counting the various spin-offs that have popped up over the years. The third movie, American Wedding, was released in 2003, so there has been quite a few years between that installment and this current one. Although they can be quite raunchy, I found the last three movies in the series hilarious and really enjoyed them. Unfortunately, American Reunion is the weakest movie of the bunch, even though there were definitely some hilarious moments throughout.

The first scene in the movie is straight out of the trailer: we see discarded clothes next to a bed that's bouncing up and down, hinting that something raunchy going on. Instead, however, Jim (Jason Biggs, My Best Friend's Girl) is trying to read while his wife Michelle (Alyson Hannigan, TV's How I Met Your Mother) is trying to rock their 2 year-old son to sleep - quite a change from the couple's usual activities in the previous Pie movies. Jim and Michelle haven't had a lot of "sexy time" together lately, as she puts it, and they decide to attend their 13th high school reunion together back in East Great Falls. Jim, especially, is looking forward to spending some time with the guys, including his old pals Oz (Chris Klein, Caught in the Crossfire), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas, Please Give), and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas, TV's American Dad!). The guys unanimously decide not to invite Stifler (Seann William Scott, Goon) because he still hasn't really "grown up." Unfortunately, they run into Stiffler at a local bar, but pretend that his email invite got lost.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Titanic 3D (2012)

I have been obsessed with both the actual story of the Titanic and the movie Titanic since the film premiered in December 1997, when I was almost eleven years old, and to see it again on the big screen was definitely a treat.  Titanic's proof of success is that it reigned at the box office as the highest grossing film ever until, ironically, James Cameron's Avatar beat its record in 2009. The real question with the re-release of Titanic in 3D, as with most of these re-releases, then, is: should you pay to see it again in 3D?

In 1912, Titanic, aka "The Unsinkable Ship," is about to set sail for her maiden voyage, and everyone is excited to board it; everyone except Rose Dewitt Bukater (Kate Winslet, Contagion), that is, who calls it a "slave ship" that will take her back to America and to a life of privilege with her fiance, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane, The Confidant). Meanwhile, Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar) and his friend Fabrizio win a Third Class ticket onto the Titanic in a game of poker five minutes before the ship is to depart, and they run through the crowded English streets trying to catch the ship before it leaves. Rose ends up making Jack's acquaintance in an unusual situation once on-board, and even Cal and his henchman (David Warner, Planet of the Apes) cannot tear them apart. The romance is tested, of course, when the ship hits an iceberg and it is revealed by the ship's architect Mr. Andrews (Victor Garber, TV's Alias) that Titanic will be at the bottom of the ocean within two hours.

The story starts out, however, with a crew led by Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton, Haywire) searching through the Titanic's remains, for one specific artifact: the Heart of the Ocean necklace, rumored to be one of the most expensive diamonds in the world. They find an old safe in the remnants of what was Cal Hockley's suite, and are excited, thinking that the necklace will be there - only to find nothing of value in the safe except for an old sketch. The twist, however, is that the woman in the sketch is wearing the necklace. Rose (Gloria Stuart, The Million Dollar Hotel), now almost 101 years old, sees an interview with Lovett and the drawing, and immediately places a phone call to him; she is the model in the drawing, and she hasn't seen it for the past 85 years.

Monday, April 2, 2012

826michigan to host screening of Ann Arbor-filmed Five Year Engagement

credit: andpop.com
The Five Year Engagement, starring Emily Blunt and Jason Segel, filmed in Ann Arbor last spring and summer, and is finally coming to the big screen on April 27th. You can see an early screening of it, however, at a charity event that will benefit 826michigan, a nonprofit in downtown Ann Arbor that provides free writing workshop and after-school tutoring for kids. 

Read the rest of the story at Examiner.com.