"The Lucky One" Movie Review -- How Many Kisses Does Zac Efron Get? 


Nicholas Sparks is a good storyteller. His prose digs deep into the male and female psyches which makes his books intriguing and moving. Most romantic melodramas just favor the point-of-view of the female character so it’s quite refreshing that Sparks understands both sides.


Sadly, the film adaptations of Sparks’ work, with the exception of “The Notebook,” fail to match his fine writing style. Most filmmakers adapting his novels dive right into the story without much care for the characters. That is the inherent problem of the latest movie based on Sparks’ novel, “The Lucky One.”

Zac Efron channels fellow Sparks alumnus, Channing Tatum of “Dear John,” to play our hero, U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault. The actor bulks up and grows a beard to tell us he wants to be taken seriously as a leading man. Yes folks, his “High School Musical” days are long gone.

I was curious to see how director Scott Hicks (“Shine”) and scriptwriter Will Fetters (“Remember Me”) would adapt the novel. “Shine” was a well-told story with a great Oscar-winning performance from Geoffrey Rush while “Remember Me” was an underrated but effective movie starring a capable Robert Pattinson. Read More...

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"The Hunger Games" No. 1 for 4th Consecutive Weekend, "Titanic" Lives On, "Battleship" Off to Great Start 


Not since James Cameron's "Avatar" has a movie been No. 1 for fourth consecutive weekends. That is, until, "The Hunger Games."

Moe, Larry, and Curly were beaten to a pulp, and Joss Whedon's "The Cabin in the Woods" was ultimately scared to the No. 3 position by the phenomenon known as "The Hunger Games."

Based on Suzanne Collins' young-adult novel, "The Hunger Games" stayed at No. 1 with $21.5 million. So far, the film has accumulated $337.1 million at the domestic box office and has earned $531.1 million worldwide!

Meanwhile, the re-imagined "The Three Stooges" from the Farrelly brothers, debuted at No. 2. Starring Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso as Moe, Larry and Curly, "The Three Stooges" nyuked nyuked its way to No. 2 with $17.1 million.

At No. 3 was the fantastic horror film "The Cabin in the Woods" from producer/co-writer Joss Whedon and his partner-in-crime, Drew Goddard. The R-rated film, also from Lionsgate (the home of "The Hunger Games") opened at No. 3 with a solid $14.9 million. ("The Cabin in the Woods" interview with Joss Whedon and Amy Acker right here, with the scene-stealing Fran Kranz right here, movie review right here)

The other new film this past weekend was Open Road's "Lockout" starring Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace. From the producers of "Taken," the film opened at No. 9 with $6.3 million. (Guy Pearce talks about "Lockout" right here, Maggie Grace interview right here, and "Lockout" movie review right here)

But overseas, the rerelease of James Cameron's "Titanic" to coincide with the doomed voyage's 100th anniversary, grossed a huge $88.2 million for the weekend! And in China (the next home of the "Iron Man" franchise), it made a record-breaking debut of $58 million. And get this, since the film's rerelease two weekends ago, "Titanic" has made a very impressive global total of $190.5 million! Wow! Our hearts will forever go on and on and on for "Titanic." (Billy Zane talks about the good and bad of making "Titanic" right here)

Meanwhile, "Battleship" aka "Transformers on Water," did a respectable opening overseas. Universal decided to open it first abroad before its debut in the U.S. Taylor Kitsch aka "John Carter" seemed to have a better box-office chance this time with the film's $58 million debut. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Battleship" is pacing 75 percent ahead of "John Carter" and 78 percent of "Wrath of the Titans."

"Bully," the Weinstein Co.'s thought-provoking documentary, expanded to 158 theaters and has grossed $534,000. It's now rated PG-13, so kids can definitely see the movie. (Director Lee Hirsch talks about "Bully" right here)

Here's the estimated Top 10 domestic box-office films for weekend of April 13th:

1. The Hunger Games, 4/3,916, Lionsgate, $21.5 million, $337.1 million.
2. The Three Stooges, 1/3,477, Fox, $17.1 million.
3. Cabin in the Woods, 1/2,811, Lionsgate/MGM, $14.9 million.
4. Titanic 3D, 2/2,697, Paramount/Fox, $11.6 million, $44.5 million.
5. American Reunion, 2/3,203, Universal, $10.6 million, $39.9 million.
6. Mirror Mirror, 3/3,206, Relativity, $7 million, $49.5 million.
7. Wrath of the Titans, 3/3,102, Warners/Legendary, $6.9 million, $71.3 million.

8. 21 Jump Street, 5/2,735, Sony/MGM, $6.8million, $120.6 million.
9. Lockout, 1/2,308, Open Road/FilmDistrict, $6.3 million.
10. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, 7/2,122, Universal/Illumination, $3 million, $204.5 million.

SOURCE: THR

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“Bully” Director Talks about the Movie, Being Bullied, and Winning the MPAA Battle 


I salute Lee Hirsch! He created a documentary that is timely and much-needed. That movie, of course, is “Bully.” The Weinstein Co. film that was previously in limited release is slowly spreading across North America. So if it’s in your town, go watch “Bully!” ("Bully" Movie Review)

In this interview, we talked about:

*** The beginning of making the movie – how did “Bully” come about?
*** How did he choose the brave kids to be featured in the movie?
*** Why Alex’s story resonate the most
*** The MPAA battle – from R to PG-13
*** The film’s hopeful message – can we, as a society, really get over bullying?

But it’s all not dire seriousness in this interview, in the beginning, we were having mic issues, and Mister Hirsch blurted out that I have a lyrical voice, HA!



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Billy Zane Talks About the Good and Bad in Making "Titanic" Plus How You Can Buy His Artwork for a Great Cause! 


Billy Zane rocks! Not only did he star in one of the biggest movies ever, he’s also an artist and donating his work to benefit the Cancer Support Community. In “Titanic,” we all remember him as Caledon "Cal" Hockley, the rich guy who gave Kate Winslet’s Rose the heart of the ocean.

In this interview, we talked about:

*** How does it feel being a part of the huge, iconic “Titanic?”
*** When they were making the film, did they ever think that it would be this successful?
*** What was his most cherish memory in making “Titanic?”
*** What about the most terrifying moment?
*** Working with the Cancer Support Community?
*** I joked and told him I would love to see his painting of Kate Winslet as Rose, wink wink

To know more information about Billy Zane’s Cancert Support Community, go to cancersupportcommunitybenjamincenter.org



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Movie Reviews -- "The Cabin in the Woods" & "Lockout" 


Two big films are opening this weekend, we have “The Cabin in the Woods” for horror buffs and “Lockout” for action fans. “The Cabin in the Woods” is from the brilliant minds of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and it stars Kristen Connolly (Dana), Chris Hemsworth (Curt), Anna Hutchison (Jules), Fran Kranz (Marty), Jesse Williams (Holden), and Richard Jenkins (Sitterson). (Check out my interviews with Joss Whedon and Amy Acker right here, and with Fran Kranz right here)

In “Lockout,” Guy Pearce stars as Snow, a man in charge to rescue the President’s daughter (Maggie Grace) from inside a prison in space. Directors James Mather and Stephen St Leger crafted a simple plot (they co-wrote the film with Luc Besson) that is full of witty one-liners and features Pearce as an action hero. (Check out my interviews with Guy Pearce right here, and Maggie Grace right here)

So which one is my pick of the week? Let’s take a look:



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