Emerging Talent -- Meet Roy Kirkland and His "A Cross Burning in Willacoochee" 

Roy Kirkland befriended me through YouTube, and immediately informed me of their film "A Cross Burning in Willacoochee." I do get a bunch of requests to watch and review films from indie filmmakers, and I do devote time to give them love in my own little way. Film is my passion, and I'm passionate towards people who live and breathe movies.

Kirkland is one of those people whose passion is palpable. So I watched "A Cross is Burning in Willacoochee" and I just couldn't stop the film until the very end.

It's a documentary that features filmmakers Kirkland and Doug Sebastian, a gay couple who suffered repeated acts of violence one summer in 1993. When the couple decides to move to Willacoochee, a small town in Georgia, trouble begins.

First, it's the seemingly innocent knocking down of their mailbox, then, a 7-foot cross burning in their front yard, to death threats culminating in the mysterious burning of the Kirkland family home. The documentary shows how the couple's pleas to local authorities for help are met with deaf ears.

"A Cross Burning in Willacoochee" is a thought-provoking film. It's a powerful piece of filmmaking that highlights some ugly truths about rural America we rarely hear about.

What impresses me the most is that neither Kirkland nor Sebastian seek out to be political activists. They experienced something horrible and now they're looking for answers.

What's sad is, almost 17 years later, the couple are still in search for the elusive answers.

"A Cross Burning in Willacoochee" recently won best documentary at the 2009 New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.

Check out the film's website right here. And here's the trailer of "A Cross Burning in Willacoochee."

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New Emerging Talent -- Meet J.C. Calciano and his "Is It Just Me?" 

I met Mr. J.C. Calciano during the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival, where his film, "Is It Just Me?" had its world premiere. "Is It Just Me?" was put under the banners of the John Schlesinger Award and World Cinema Now -- celebrating diversity in humanistic storytelling. Not bad for a first-time filmmaker!

While Calciano is making his feature debut, he's hardly a newbie in the business. He earned an associate producer credit for 1996's "Mission Impossible," as well as running the new media division of Melanie Griffith's One World Networks, and being the former head of production for Tom Cruise's C/W Productions at Paramount Pictures. (Check his IMDB page right here, and an in-depth interview with him right here)

I'm so glad that Calciano shared his film with me. Inundated with watching blockbuster films, seeing "Is It Just Me?" was a treat. The film tells the story of Blaine (Nicholas Downs) and his quest to find Mr. Right. He’s a clever, witty, but miserable young man who believes that suffering nourishes his creativity.

But all of that is about to change when Blaine stumbles upon Xander (David Loren) in an online chat-room. It seems like a match made in heaven until Blaine realizes that he’s been chatting with Xander using the online profile of his go-go dancer roommate (keyword: hot) played by Adam Huss.

“Is It Just Me?” is a fine and funny romantic comedy with a great big heart! It’s a smart love story about finding our one true love and the lengths we have to go through to succeed.

Writer/director Calciano proved that he’s adept in balancing the romance and the comedy, which is a hard thing to do! The cast is game, and I enjoyed their vibrant repartees.

So I’m glad I checked out “Is It Just Me?,” it brightened my day!

For more on the film, check its official website right here. "Is It Just Me?" is headed to the Newport Beach Film Festival April 22 - 29. It recently won the best feature award at the Detroit indie film festival! But the best part? Mr. J.C. will be forever featured in our Emerging Talent section right here :happy

And here’s the film’s trailer:

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R.I.P. -- Corey Haim 

Actor Corey Haim is dead at 38. EW.com is saying his death is due to accidental drug overdose. The perennial screen partner of Corey Feldman, the actor was found unresponsive in an Oakwood apartment and pronounced dead at Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center at 2:15 a.m. According to KTLA, his mother was in the apartment at the time.

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"Remember Me" Movie Review! How Many Kisses Does Robert Pattinson Get? 

Confession Time – I was never a fan of Robert Pattinson. I am basing that assessment on the actor’s most famous role to date, the lovelorn vampire Edward in the “Twilight” films. I thought he delivered wooden performances in both movies.

But after watching Pattinson in the new film “Remember Me,” I can now honestly say, I’m intrigued by this actor. He carried the movie from its shaky start to its heart wrenching conclusion. Read More...

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My Fun One-on-One Interviews with "She's Out of My League" Cast! It's Raunchy, It's Funny! 

First off, I truly laughed my booty off watching "She's Out of My League!" It's a feel good romantic comedy with a raunchy twist! Plus, it's nice to see Jay Baruchel morphing into a leading man, and getting a Hard 10 girl to boot -- Ms. Alice Eve!

I attended a press junket in New York City for "She's Out of My League," and I was so thankful! It's a fun movie, and the entire cast was sweet! So shameless plugging, don't forget to watch "She's Out of My League" this Friday, March 12.

Here are my fun interviews. First stop, Jay Baruchel

*** We talked about his involvement with the film, how it's nice to see the skinny kid from "Knocked Up" star in a leading man role.
*** Baruchel said that his role is very similar to Lloyd Dobler from "Say Anything," to which I retorted, he's missing his boombox, BUT, he did have a hungry dog :happy
*** What's a moodle?
*** The film's "Beauty and the Beast" angle
*** Working in Philadelphia
*** Baruchel is having a magical year!

Then, we have the girls, Alice Eve and Krysten Ritter, we talked about:

*** Their roles, Alice as Molly and Krysten as Patty
*** Eve called the romantic comedy genre the chocolate of the film world!
*** Ritter's character -- the last time I spoke with her was for "Confessions of a Shopaholic"
*** "She's Out of My League" is a Hard 10 of a movie, at least, Eve said so :happy

Then we have the super-funny troika of Mike Vogel, Lindsay Sloane, and Nate Torrence

*** This became a fun, free-for-all interview -- all three of them gave great, positive vibes that day!
*** We managed to talk about their characters, Mike as Jack, the yoda-like sex guru of the group, Lindsay as Marnie, the ex-girlfriend of Baruchel's character, and Nate is Devon, the childlike member of the group
*** Vogel confirmed his "Captain America" audition! He's got the good, old American boy looks, and I could see him as Steve Rogers aka Captain America!

HAVE FUN! :happy

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