My Fun "Bandslam" Interviews with Vanessa Hudgens, Lisa Kudrow, and Much, Much More! Rock On! 


First of, I love "Bandslam." I didn't know what to expect walking in, and I was clapping like a true fan walking out!

From the production company that gave us "Twilight," Summit Entertainment continues to delight this summer ("The Hurt Locker" is also from Summit, and one of the best films this year).

Gaelan Connell stars as Will Burton, a high school student with extensive knowledge in music. When Will and his mom Karen (Lisa Kudrow) move to New Jersey, his musical dreams come true.

Will, together with the school's most popular girl, Charlotte (Alyson Michalka of Aly & AJ), assemble a fledgling rock band. Now, they much compete against the best of the best in the biggest event of the year, a battle of the bands. Bandslam!

But first, Will must profess his true love for Sa5m (the 5 is silent), a quirky young girl played sweetly by "High School Musical's" Vanessa Hudgens. Oh, and like a die-hard rock fan, Will tells his whole story to David Bowie via email.

I credit the film's awesomeness (:happy) to director Todd Graff ("Camp"). Graff understands music and kids and knows how to blend them well. Graff co-wrote the script with Josh A. Cagan who came up with the story.

"Bandslam" opens August 14th, so make sure you watch it! And "Twilight" fans, you'll get to see the new trailer for "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" with "Bandslam."

So here are my fun one-on-one interviews:

VANESSA HUDGENS AND ALY MICHALKA


Both Vanessa and Aly are super-sweet! We talked about:

*** How they got involved with BANDSLAM
*** How they prepared for their roles? Guitar Heroes anyone?
*** Vanessa Hudgens' Filipino Culture -- she spoke in Tagalog to me! Yay! :happy



LISA KUDROW AND GAELAN CONNELL


The mom and son team have great chemistry in person! We talked about:

*** Their involvement with the film
*** Working with Director Todd Graff
*** Gaelan's kissing scenes with both Vanessa Hudgens and Aly Michalka
*** And why you have to see BANDSLAM right now



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"The Lovely Bones" Trailer! I Can't Wait for This Peter Jackson Film! 


The new trailer for "The Lovely Bones" gives me the goosebumps!

Director Peter Jackson co-wrote the screenplay with his perennial writing partners, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Based on the best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, "The Lovely Bones" tells the story of a young girl named Susie Salmon who's been murdered and watches over her family, and her killer, from heaven.

I think this is a perfect film for Jackson. Prior to making gazillions of dollars and making fanboys weep with "The Lord of the Rings" epic, Jackson made a small film (with the equally-great Kate Winslet) in "Heavenly Creatures." The tone of that film is similar to "The Lovely Bones."

"Atonement's" Saoirse Ronan stars as Susie. I love this young actress, she was so good in "Atonement" and set up the tone for the older Briony actresses to follow (Vanessa Redgrave did a fantastic job bookending Saoirse's performance).

And in "The Lovely Bones," based on the trailer, Saoirse seems to be the heart of the film. Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci complete the cast.

"The Lovely Bones" from DreamWorks opens December 11 of this year. Save the date!

Visit the film's official website here, and see the trailer with an introduction from the svelte Peter Jackson right here.

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Oh No! Hollywood's Going to Remake "The Orphanage!" I hope it's good, I hope it's good, I hope it's good 


"The Orphanage" or "El Orfanato" is getting a Hollywood makeover!

The 2008 Spanish film is one of the best ghost-themed movies in recent years and I truly admired director Juan Antonio Bayona's work. The great Guillermo del Toro produced the film.

Now, New Line, the home of "Friday the 13th" remake, wants to redo the movie and it's going to be directed by actor-producer-director Larry Fessenden. But before you say boo, hold on...

del Toro co-wrote the script with Fessenden and he's also going to produce the film with Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson. So that's a good sign.

The film tells the tale of Laura (the wonderful Belen Rueda) who returns to the orphanage where she grew up. Her son claims to be seeing an invisible friend who happens to be Belen's own invisible BFF in the past. When the son starts missing, Belen's problems start accumulating. Wait for the great twist in the end.

This remake project surely has a silver lining because of del Toro's involvement. At least they're not picking a commercial or music video director to helm the project. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it signals that New Line wants more content and less flash.

Also, Fessenden came from the horror circuit, and is known for his low-budget horror flicks like "Wendigo."

The Hollywood Reporter is saying:

del Toro saw in him (Fessender) a filmmaker who understood the conventions of the horror genre and could execute a movie that would be as scary and disturbing as the original but in an American context.


I agree, but I'm holding judgment until I see the remake.

Oh, by the way, the remake is still in search of a lead actress.

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Leonardo DiCaprio Wants Gothic "Little Red Riding Hood" 


A Gothic reimagining of "Little Red Riding Hood" is in the works, thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production. David Leslie Johnson, the guy who wrote "Orphan," is set to write the screenplay.

The story of "Little Red Riding Hood" is gothic already -- big bad wolf eating kids -- but through the years, it's been sanitized. So I suspect that DiCaprio and company will go back old-school from when the story was first popularized.

The story by Charles Perrault, the author of the first published version, has Red Riding Hood being eaten by the wolf, and has no happy ending.

Don't look for DiCaprio donning a red riding hood anytime soon though, or a Big Bad Wolf costume for that matter. The actor is not going to be in the film, he's just producing the gothic version.

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Jason Segel Teams Up with Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman for Adventure Comedy 


Jason Segel made us appreciate the magic of puppets in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," now he wants to take us to a grand adventure.

Segel is teaming up with Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman for "The Adventurer's Handbook." "Hot Rod" director, Akiva Schaffer, is set to helm for Universal.

Hill co-wrote the script along with Matt Spicer and Max Winkler. The story? The Hollywood Reporter is saying:

Four childhood friends who are bored with the monotony of their lives embark on a global adventure inspired by the stories of explorers detailed in Mick Conefrey's book "The Adventurer's Handbook: Life Lessons From History's Great Explorers."


Segel, Hill, and Schwartzman, in essence, are all going to play losers. Segel is a talented musician who's an alcoholic and ends up being a backup piano player; Hill stars as an engineer estranged from his family; Schwartzman is a three-time Grammy winner but is spoiled rotten!

These lovable losers will test their mettle when production begins early 2010.

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