Apes Rise Against LA's Carmageddon! 
Carmageddon getting you down? The planned closure of parts of the 405 is scaring everyone, including me, and I'm supposed to brave the Carmaggedon for "First Avenger -- Captain America!" Heavy traffic or not, I must watch "Captain America" and interview Captain America himself, Chris Evans!

The apes below do not care about Evans nor "Captain America," this is a viral video from Fox surrounding the studio's upcoming release, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." I may have to join them this weekend :happy

Here's more info on "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" from Yahoo:

A single act of both compassion and arrogance leads to a war unlike any other -- and to the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.

Also Known As:
Caesar (Fox)
Untitled Planet of the Apes Prequel
Production Status: In Production/Awaiting Release
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama and Science Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date: August 5th, 2011 (wide)
20th Century Fox Distribution
Production Co.:
Chernin Entertainment
20th Century Fox
Filming Locations:
Mammoth Studios, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Produced in: United States

Cast & Crew


James Franco -- Will Rodman

Freida Pinto -- Caroline

John Lithgow

Brian Cox

Tom Felton -- Dodge

Andy Serkis -- Caesar

Tyler Labine -- Franklin

David Hewlett -- Hunsiker

Directed By:

Rupert Wyatt

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Michael Moore Announces 2011 Traverse City Film Festival Schedule 

This festival is near and dear to my heart? Why? Because of the festival's mission of "helping to save one of America's few indigenous art forms -- the cinema." And its commitment to showing "Just Great Movies!" Plus, I respect Michael Moore and this film festival is truly a work of love! (Check out my interview with Moore for "Capitalism: A Love Story" right here)

The festival's goal is for people to leave the theater with the feeling that they just watched something special. So will the films shown make you really feel special? Check out the full schedule right here, or you can download the schedule right here.

Here's the full letter from Mister Michael Moore himself:


Here we go again! Two minutes ago we posted online the official schedule of films for this summer’s Traverse City Film Festival—and it’s our biggest festival yet. More movies, a new additional venue, AND we have literally doubled the outdoor screen in the Open Space to 100 feet (about ten stories high and wide)! Yes, you will be able to lay on a blanket in Acme and see the free movies.

I will send you a longer letter after the weekend going over more specific information, but let me fill you in right now on a few of the special things we’ll be doing at this year’s fest:

**KICKOFF OF THE STATE THEATRE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION: Over the next five festivals, we will show one great silent movie that will be 100 years old. The celebration will begin at this summer’s fest with the very first Italian feature film ever made: “L’Inferno” (1911). It’s based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, “The Inferno.” The world-renowned Traverse City native and theater organist extraordinaire, Stephen Warner, will accompany the film on the State Theatre organ. We will also have two other silent classics at this year’s fest.

**THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING OF “TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD”: We will host a special screening of the classic film with the actress Mary Badham (who played the lead role the little girl, “Scout,” in the film) right here with us on the State Theatre stage!

**UNION! OUR SALUTE TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES: Our theme this year will be to honor working people everywhere—with a special tribute to the public employees who plow our roads, teach our kids, keep us safe from crime and fire, and give me my parking tickets on Front Street! We will celebrate the rich union history of our state in this, the Silver Jubilee year of the Great Flint Sit Down Strike of 1936—which brought the UAW their first contract and, as historians have pointed out, gave us the weekend, health insurance, the concept of retirement and the American middle class. Check out the schedule for the special movies and guests, including some our state’s original union pioneers.

**HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROY ROGERS! Roy would have been 100 years old this year and we’ve decided to invite some of his family here to celebrate with us by showing two of his classic films.

**A TRIBUTE TO JAFAR PANAHI: The Iranian government has declared this great filmmaker persona non grata and prohibited him from making films for the next 20 years. To honor him, we will show one of his great movies, “The White Balloon,” at this year’s fest. We wanted to invite him to the head of jury this year, but the authorities won’t let him leave. But we’re making him the head of the jury anyway (in absentia). As a festival, one of our missions is to oppose censorship, be it governmental or corporate.

**TCFF KIDS FEST! This year we expand our children’s section into its very own festival. Every morning we will let the kids take over the Lars Hockstad theater for a 9am movie and afterward we’ll host a family-friendly lawn party out on the giant lawn on the Central Grade School (which houses the Lars). Lots of activities to do, performances to see, and fun to be had! The movies are only a buck and the outdoor carnival is free.

**A NEW VENUE! This year for the first time, we will add an “experimental movie” section to the festival. The intimate Dutmers Theater inside the Dennos Art Museum will show a number of movies that push the boundaries of filmmaking and take the audiences to places they donąt usually go to in our fair town! Oooh. do you feel the edge?

**THE FIRST MOVIE EVER PRODUCED BY THE TRAVERSE CITY FILM FESTIVAL! That’s right! Remember last year when you all pitched in with funds to help the Cuban filmmakers produce their next movie? Well you did, and they did, and now the film is finished and on its way to TC for its world premiere! Your/our name will be there in the credits—a remarkable showing of peace and friendship with our neighbors and their creative

**A GIFT FROM GEORGE LUCAS: It is rare, rare, rare that a festival is given permission to show any of the Star Wars films outdoors for free—but this year, the great George Lucas is giving us THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK to show in the open space, under the stars, seating capacity 15,000 people! It’s a one in a lifetime event and you won’t want to miss it!

And the list goes on and on. We’ve got a great crop of foreign films this year, a huge batch of great docs (including two shot right here in Michigan) and an expanded midnight program of horror movies, one of which was shot by two brothers from Royal Oak!

So check out the list of films and the schedule and don’t get too freaked out—there are too many great movies and it’s impossible to see them all. But you can take my word that you can literally throw ten darts at the schedule and, no matter where they land, you will have just programmed yourself one of the best weeks you’ve ever had in northern Michigan!

Tickets for those who are Friends of the Traverse City Film Festival go on sale Sunday, July 10. The box office opens at 11am and online ticketing opens at 6pm. The box office phone number is (231)922-8109.

There is still time to sign up to be a friend! Call the TCFF office at 231-392-1134 or register online at www.traversecityfilmfest.org.

Tickets for the general public go on sale on Saturday, July 16. Once again, the box office opens at 11am and online ticketing opens at 6pm.

We’ve got a great box office this year—in the brand new 101 North Park building three doors down from us on the corner of Front and Park. Yes, you can stand right in the spot where there used to be a hole in the ground and buy all your tickets to this year’s fest. At our very first festival six years ago, we announced that we would fill that hole, reopen the State Theatre and bring high-speed rail service from TC to NYC (3 hours max). We got two of the three. Hey, if a town can produce a movie in Cuba AND turn the Lars Hockstad into a state-of-the-art theater with all new seats in less than two months, what can stop us now?

Thanks again, everybody, for your support of this festival. There’s something for everyone at this year’s fest so invite your friends and relatives up to TC for the greatest week of movies anywhere this side of Hollywood.


Michael Moore

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Watch "Hugo" Trailer! Martin Scorsese Officially Enters Spielberg's Territory and It Looks Fantastic! 

"Hugo" opens Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 23rd! I'm sooooo there!

Here's more info on "Hugo" from Yahoo:

A young orphan living in a Paris train station uncovers a mystery that jeopardizes his secretive way of life in this Martin Scorsese-directed adaptation of Brian Selznick's stunning children's book. THE AVIATOR's John Logan provides the screenplay for the GK Films and Paramount Pictures production, which stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law, and Christopher Lee.

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Watch "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Movie Review! It's Quite Magical! 

For my written review, click here.

Here's more info on the film from Yahoo:

In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort. It all ends here.
Also Known As:
Harry Potter 7
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 3D
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2: An IMAX 3D Experience
Production Status: In Production/Awaiting Release
Genres: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Adaptation and Sequel
Running Time: 2 hrs. 10 min.
Release Date: July 15th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images.
Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Production Co.:
Heyday Films
Birds & Animals Unlimited
Warner Bros. Pictures
Produced in: United States

Cast & Crew


Daniel Radcliffe -- Harry Potter

Emma Watson -- Hermione Granger

Rupert Grint -- Ron Weasley

Ralph Fiennes -- Lord Voldemort

Helena Bonham Carter -- Bellatrix Lestrange

Michael Gambon -- Albus Dumbledore

Alan Rickman -- Severus Snape

Tom Felton -- Draco Malfoy

Bill Nighy -- Rufus Scrimgeour

Bonnie Wright -- Ginny Weasley

Jason Isaacs -- Lucius Malfoy

John Hurt -- Mr. Ollivander

Directed By: David Yates

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"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Receives Critics' Choice Seal! Yay! 

I love "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2!" It's a great ending to an equally great franchise. (Read my "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" movie review right here)

And the final "Harry Potter" film just received the Critics' Choice seal! The Critics' Choice distinction is given to new movies receiving a high Critics' Choice Ratings score in the weekly voting by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Yes, I'm a voting member, and no, I didn't vote a lot! :happy

Oh, and the film is also on track to break box-office records.

A big congrats to Warner Bros. and the "Harry Potter" creative team!

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