"Taking Woodstock" Movie Review -- How Many Kisses Do These Hippies Get? 

If I could have the opportunity to go back in time and visit the 1960s, I will first choose 1969. Two big life-changing events happened that year. First, the Stonewall Riots in June which marked the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement; and second, the “Woodstock Music & Art Fair” in August that changed the face of popular culture forever.

From August 15th to the 18th in 1969, half a million people attended and more tried and failed to get to the Woodstock concert site in White Lake, NY. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most pivotal moments in music history.

Forty years later, director Ang Lee (“Lust, Caution,” “Brokeback Mountain”) captures the event in the new film “Taking Woodstock.” Based on the autobiography by Elliot Tiber called “Taking Woodstock: A True Story on a Riot, a Concert, and a Life,” the film aims to tell more on what happened behind the scenes and less on the concert itself. “Taking Woodstock” is about what Tiber saw at the countercultural revolution. Read More...

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My Fun "Taking Woodstock" Interviews! From Emile Hirsch to Demetri Martin, See Many Secrets of the Film! Far Out! 

I had a fantastic time meeting the main cast of "Taking Woodstock." And the film is equally thought-provoking (I'll post my review very soon!).

Directed by Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") and based on a book by Elliot Tiber called "Taking Woodstock: A True Story of A Riot, A Concert, and A Life," the film is a bittersweet look at the event that changed pop culture forever.

So take a trip with "Taking Woodstock" when it opens this Friday, August 28.

Now, here are my interviews:


The super-fantastic Emile Hirsch and I talked about:

His character Billy
Working with Ang Lee
How he prepared for the role


We talked about:

His character, Vilma, a drag queen activist who is also Eliott's angel
Working with Ang Lee


Demetri Martin is the crux of the film, and in our interview, we talked about:

His real-life character, Elliot Teichberg
Working with Ang Lee
Working with Liev Schreiber as Vilma, his drag queen angel


I sat down with the super-sweet Jonathan. We talked about:

His involvement with the film
His real-life character, Michael Lang
The Michael Lang vibe
Working with Ang Lee
Woodstock and Stonewall

From Focus Features:

Taking Woodstock is the new film from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee and its a trip!

Based on the memoirs of Elliot Tiber, the comedy stars Demetri Martin as Elliot, who inadvertently played a role in making 1969s Woodstock Music and Arts Festival into the famed happening it was. Featuring a standout ensemble cast, and songs from a score of 60s musical icons including The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and Country Joe and the Fish plus a new recording of Freedom from Richie Havens Taking Woodstock is a joyous voyage to a moment in time when everything seemed possible.

Working as an interior designer in Greenwich Village, Elliot feels empowered by the gay rights movement. But he is also still staked to the family business a dumpy Catskills motel called the El Monaco that is being run into the ground by his overbearing parents, Jake and Sonia Teichberg (Henry Goodman and Imelda Staunton). In the summer of 1969, Elliot has to move back upstate to the El Monaco in order to help save the motel from being taken over by the bank.

Upon hearing that a planned music and arts festival has lost its permit from the neighboring town of Wallkill, NY, Elliot calls producer Michael Lang (Jonathan Groff) at Woodstock Ventures to offer his familys motel to the promoters and generate some much-needed business. Elliot also introduces Lang to his neighbor Max Yasgur (Eugene Levy), who operates a 600-acre dairy farm down the road. Soon the Woodstock staff is moving into the El Monaco and half a million people are on their way to Yasgurs farm for 3 days of Peace & Music in White Lake.

With a little help from his friends, including theater troupe leader Devon (Dan Fogler), recently returned Vietnam veteran Billy (Emile Hirsch), and cross-dressing ex-Marine Vilma (Liev Schreiber) and with a little opposition from townspeople, including Billys brother Dan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) Elliot finds himself swept up in a generation-defining experience that would change his life and popular culture forever.

A Focus Features presentation of an Ang Lee Film. Taking Woodstock. Demetri Martin, Dan Fogler, Henry Goodman, Jonathan Groff, Eugene Levy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Imelda Staunton. With Emile Hirsch and Liev Schreiber. Casting by Avy Kaufman, C.S.A. Costume Designer, Joseph G. Aulisi. Music Supervisor, Joe Boyd. Music by Danny Elfman. Editor, Tim Squyres, A.C.E. Production Designer, David Gropman. Director of Photography, Eric Gautier, AFC. Based on the Book by Elliot Tiber with Tom Monte. Executive Producer, Michael Hausman. Produced by James Schamus, Ang Lee, Celia Costas. Screenplay by James Schamus. Directed by Ang Lee. A Focus Features Release.

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I Finally Got Around to Watching "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." See the Good, the Bad, and yes, the Ugly! 

I was disheartened by Paramount’s decision not to show “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” to critics. The studio chose to screen the Hasbro-based film to fans. Upon seeing the movie, I realized why Paramount kept the film from the prying eyes of critics. “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” is the campiest movie I’ve seen this year since the Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter starrer “Obsessed.”

See the good, the bad, the ugly, and the bottom line of "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" by clicking Read More...

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"Hancock" Sequel Hires "The Shield" Writers 

"Hancock 2" is taking flight!

Columbia Pictures has hired Adam Fierro and Glen Mazzara to write the sequel to the reluctant superhero movie. The original team, as well as Will Smith, are expected to return.

Plot is a top secret right now, but Fierro and Mazzara will work with Smith and director Peter Berg on the world mentioned in the first movie. Perhaps a prequel of some sorts to show the relationship between Smith's and Charlize Theron's characters.

Both Fierro and Mazzara wrote for FX's "The Shield." Fierro also worked on Fox's "24" and Showtime's "Dexter," while Mazarra did scribe duties on Starz's "Crash," and NBC's "Life."

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Justin Theroux Joins James Franco, Natalie Portman in "Your Highness" 

Justin Theroux joins the cast of "Your Highness" as the villain. As we reported back in May, Natalie Portman, Danny McBride, Zooey Dechanel, and James Franco star in the medieval fantasy comedy for Universal Pictures.

Franco's "Pineapple Express" director, David Gordon Green, is helming the production currently shooting in Ireland.

McBride, who also wrote the script with Ben Best, will play a lazy prince who, together with his brother (Franco), must go on a quest to save their kingdom and those they love. Portman will star as a warrior princess who falls in love with the lazy prince.

Theroux will play the evil wizard Leezar who kidnaps a princess (Deschanel). He has a bejeweled magical staff! The film marks a return to acting for Theroux, who co-wrote last year's "Tropic Thunder" with Ben Stiller and Etan Cohen.

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