Reposting: My Interviews with "Beginners" Folks, Director Mike Mills and Ewan McGregor! I'm Supporting This Film 100%!!! 

I've adored Ewan McGregor since his career-making turn in 1996's "Trainspotting." Since then, the actor has jumped from making big blockbusters like the "Star Wars" movies (Episodes I to III) to making small, independent films like his current Focus Features release, "Beginners."

He plays Oliver in the film, an ebullient but depressed artist who never really becomes close to his father, Hal (the wonderful Christopher Plummer), until the latter comes out of the closet at 75. Five years later, he dies.

"Beginners" is a quasi-tragicomic film that is emotionally rich and undeniably human. It's writer/director Mike Mills' homage to his real father who also came out at 75. The film speaks volumes about finding oneself amidst adversities. In this interview, we talked about:

*** How writer/director Mike Mills' letter convinced the actor to play the part
*** Working with Mills
*** How he bonded with Plummer
*** His rollercoaster relationship with Melanie Laurent ("Inglourious Basterds") -- how Six Flags Magic Mountain helped!
*** Working with his canine co-star, Cosmo, and his new dog!
*** Finding our own history of sadness

Mike Mills ("Thumbsucker") reveals that he wrote the movie "Beginners" as an homage to his father who lived his life as a heterosexual male -- married with kids -- and then came out as a gay man at 75. When he passed away five years later, even when he was sick, Mills says "he didn't act like a sick person, he was still thriving."

Christopher Plummer plays the father in "Beginners" and Ewan McGregor stars as his son. The movie is emotionally rich and undeniably human. From Focus Features, "Beginners" is currently showing in NY and LA. It will roll out in theaters near you in upcoming weeks, check your local listings.

In this interview, Mills talked about:

*** The autobiographical aspect of "Beginners"
*** Gay life in the '50s
*** The film's historical yet not preachy perspective
*** The movie's questioning of "what's real?"
*** Did he notice his father's sexual orientation?
*** Finding one's self through their history of sadness

Here's more info on "Beginners" from Yahoo:
Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna only months after his father Hal has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who -- following 44 years of marriage -- came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal's new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they'd ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavors to love Anna with all the bravery, humor, and hope that his father taught him.

Genres: Drama

Release Date: June 3rd, 2011 (limited)

MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content.

Distributors: Focus Features

Cast and Credits

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent

Directed by: Mike Mills

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Go Green! Watch My Fun "Green Lantern" Movie Review! 

For my written review of "Green Lantern," click here.

Here's more info on the movie from Yahoo:

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan. Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris, if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax... he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

Also Known As:
Green Lantern 3D
Genres: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hr. 45 min.
Release Date: June 17th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action.
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures

Cast & Crew


Ryan Reynolds -- Hal Jordan

Blake Lively -- Carol Ferris

Peter Sarsgaard -- Hector Hammond

Mark Strong -- Sinestro

Angela Bassett -- Dr. Amanda Waller

Tim Robbins -- Senator Hammond

Temuera Morrison -- Abin Sur

Jay O. Sanders -- Carl Ferris

Taika Waititi -- Thomas Kalmaku

Jon Tenney -- Martin Jordan

Directed By: Martin Campbell

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"Green Lantern" Movie Review! How Many Green Kisses Does Ryan Reynolds Get? 

I have always thought that Green Lantern was the coolest among superheroes as a child. He fights crime wearing a powerful accessory – the mythical ring that grants him the ability to create anything his mind can imagine.

Plus, Green Lantern was not as popular as Superman or Batman, so as a child, I deemed the character an underdog. I latched on to his every word as he uttered the lines “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight.”

So I was happy as a child getting his first Green Lantern promo ring when I heard that Warner Bros. Pictures was producing the first ever full-feature adaptation of the DC Comics superhero. And I’m still happy after watching the film although it could have been better. Read More...

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My Fun Interview with "Mr. Popper's Penguins'" Animal Trainer! Do the Penguins Dance? 

"Mr. Popper's Penguins," starring Jim Carrey and his mighty penguins, comes out in theaters Friday, June 17th, and I had a great time interviewing Animal Trainer, Scott Schweitzer,
who helped train the penguins in the film.

Learn his secrets with this interview!


Marmaduke (animal trainer - as Scott Schweitzer)

2010 Treasure Buddies (video) (animal trainer: cat)

2008 Beverly Hills Chihuahua (animal trainer)

2007 Evan Almighty (animal trainer)

2006 Eight Below (dog trainer - as Scott Schweitzer)

2000 Meet the Parents (animal trainer)

1999 King of the Jungle (head animal trainer)

Show Stunts (2 titles)
2008 Beverly Hills Chihuahua (stunts)

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Rising Filmmaker Patrick Boivin Wins Openfilm's Competiton! He Gets to Make His Full-Feature Film! Congrats!, an online destination serving the independent film market (I also have an page, check it out here), has announced the winner of the company's second "Get It Made" competition.

Rising filmmaker Patrick Boivin was crowned and given the $500,000 award which will help the Canadian-born talent to produce his full feature film!

More than 100 online submissions were received, and in the end, Boivin's zombie flick, "Le Queloune," emerged as the winner! According to OpenFilm, "Boivin returns to his roots in horror movies to re-explore the zombie genre and give the zombie what other filmmakers never have: feelings. Shot on location in Normandy in only three days, the film follows a clown through his transition into a zombie in a manner that is as gruesome as it is funny."

The top 10 highest-rated films, six of which were selected by Openfilm's member and fan base, were screened by the sites' executive team and Advisory Board - which includes Chairman James Caan, Robert Duvall, Scott Caan and Mark Rydell.

Congratulations Mister Patrick Boivin, now don't waste that $500,000 and make a great film, please? :happy

Here's the full press release:

June 16, 2011 - MIAMI -, an online destination serving the independent film market, today announced rising filmmaker Patrick Boivin as winner of the company's second "Get It Made" competition. The $500,000 award will help the Canadian-born Boivin produce a feature film that showcases the unique skills and storytelling style for which he is rapidly gaining popularity and acclaim.

"Get It Made" competitions are designed with the intent of helping aspiring filmmakers make their dream productions a reality., owned and operated by technology services provider and Internet publisher Net Element (OTCQB:NETE), is a video technology and content delivery platform dedicated to unveiling and supporting talented independent filmmakers in a top-tier social community with other industry elite.

Boivin's winning entry, "Le Queloune," was selected from more than 100 other online submissions. In this production, Boivin returns to his roots in horror movies to re-explore the zombie genre and give the zombie what other filmmakers never have: feelings. Shot on location in Normandy in only three days, the film follows a clown through his transition into a zombie in a manner that is as gruesome as it is funny.

"Since its inception, Openfilm has been a valuable ally for filmmakers to have in our corner, and the 'Get It Made' competition is a prime example of how Openfilm supports our industry and our dreams," said Boivin, 37. "I am honored to have won, and I am excited knowing this financing and support will help me to pursue the most ambitious project of my career to date."

All competition submissions were posted online for members of the film community to view and vote for their favorite short film. The top 10 highest-rated films, six of which were selected by Openfilm's member and fan base, were screened by the sites' executive team and Advisory Board - which includes Chairman James Caan, Robert Duvall, Scott Caan and Mark Rydell. The competition does not put creative restrictions on entrants in order to promote artistic freedom and variety. Winning entries were selected based on criteria that included production value, potential for adaptation into feature-length films, probability for commercial success as well as the filmmaker's compatibility with Openfilm and ability to become a potential long-term Openfilm partner. Rather than turn Boivin's winning short film into a feature-length film, the Film Review Advisory Committee opted to depart from its standard practice and instead finance production of another Boivin film that showcases his unique skills and style. The film will be announced in the coming weeks.

"Choosing a winner was not an easy feat," said Richard Lappenbusch, NETE's president and COO. "All of the submissions were outstanding in their own right, but it was Boivin's range, creative edge and storytelling perspective that led to the final decision."

Apart from winning this competition, Boivin has been commissioned to create and produce several viral videos, including Google's "Nexus One," and is rapidly gaining popularity as an interactive video production pioneer through such sites as YouTube, where his videos have garnered millions of views. Boivin, an veteran and one of the host sites' original 30 members, is best known for his production of stop-motion films. In addition to directing, he often gets involved in almost every aspect of his films, including lighting, editing, animation, special effects and score.

"Boivin's work caught Openfilm's eye from the start -- a wild ride of artistic, cultural and technical mash-ups that keeps viewers engaged and generates a wide array of emotional reactions," James Caan said. "We hope our investment in Boivin helps to further unleash his creativity and inspire other talented minds to pursue their passion."

Recently, the winner of the first "Get It Made" competition, Val Lauren, was cast in the title role for James Franco's upcoming Sal Mineo biopic, tentatively titled 'Sal.' Lauren was selected as the winner in September 2010 for submission of his short film, "Help," which the actor is slated to adapt into a feature film.

"Openfilm was founded with goal and vision to help undiscovered filmmakers succeed in the industry," Lappenbusch said. "The talent in this competition has surpassed expectations, and as an organization we can only hope to see an influx of high-quality, passionate filmmakers."

About Openfilm, with headquarters in Miami, is an online video technology company dedicated to advancing the world of independent film by providing a platform for filmmakers to expand their careers and gain visibility and revenues for their work. Its Advisory Board, which includes Chairman James Caan, along with Scott Caan, Robert Duvall and Mark Rydell, plays an active role in helping Openfilm transform the way independent films are discovered, financed and distributed. Through its $500,000 "Get It Made" competition, which discovers and produces talent, the company is propelling the careers of independent filmmakers. Openfilm is one of several content-driven, vertically focused sites operated by Net Element (OTCQB:NETE), a technology services provider and Internet publisher of digital destinations powered by its rich video technologies (3D, HD and mobile). Its platform supports a network of content-driven, vertically focused applications for consumer, professional and business marketplaces. For more information about Openfilm, visit

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