Movie Reviews -- "Rush" and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2!" Which One is My Pick of the Week! 

Two big films this weekend, we have the Oscar-bait “Rush” and the animated sequel “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” In “Rush,” Thor aka Chris Hemsworth trades his hammer for a race car in director Ron Howard and scriptwriter Peter Morgan’s take on the real-life 1970s merciless Formula 1 rivalry between James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Olivia Wilde co-stars in this searing but engaging sports drama.

In “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” Bill Hader returns to voice the role of the genius inventor, Flint Lockwood. This time, he’s working for The Live Corp Company but he soon must leave his post because his infamous machine, the one who turned water into food in the first film, is now creating food-animal hybrids known as FOODIMALS! Also returning for the sequel are Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, and Neil Patrick Harris.

So which one is my pick of the week? Take a look:

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James Hetfield Talks About “Metallica: Through the Never” -- He Says They're a Boy Band Too!  

I thoroughly enjoyed talking to James Hetfield, lead singer, co-founder, main songwriter, and lyricist of the iconic American rock group Metallica. Fresh from the success of their thoroughly engaging documentary, “Some Kind of Monster,” they are back with the concert-documentary “Metallica: Through the Never,” with the title taken from the band’s 1991 self-titled album (interview video below).

Directed by Nimrod Antal (“Kontroll,” “Vacancy,” “Armored,” “Predators”), the quasi-narrative movie follows a young roadie named Trip (Dane DeHaan, the up and coming actor from “Chronicle,” “Lawless,” “Lincoln,” “The Place Beyond the Pines,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”) and his surreal adventure with footage from various Metallica concerts as a rockin’ backdrop.

Truth be told, forget about Justin Bieber or One Direction, this is the concert documentary to watch! Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Robert Trujillo are members of a boy band, according to Hetfield.

In this fun interview, we talked about:

*** What’s the genesis of “Metallica: Through the Never”)
*** Working with Nimrod Antal
*** Working with Dane DeHaan
*** Who came up with the concept of the movie?
*** As a Filipino, I gave a shout-out to Hammett who is part of my race – that good, old Filipino gene
*** Yes, I can’t help but ask him about “twerking”
*** Will they visit Palm Springs for our annual Coachella Valley Music Festival?
*** What about the Palm Springs International Film Festival?

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Billy Bob Thornton Talks About “Jayne Mansfield’s Car” -- Why He Waited Years to Write and Direct This Movie? 

Billy Bob Thornton returns to the world of writing and directing with his new film “Jayne Mansfield’s Car.” Helping him is a great cast (I love the movie for its performances) featuring Kevin Bacon, Tippi Hedren, Ray Stevenson, John Hurt, Robert Patrick, Robert Duvall, Frances O’Connor, and Mr. Thornton himself playing the role of Skip Caldwell.

“Jayne Mansfield’s Car” is now out in limited release and on Video-On-Demand. In this interview, we talked about:

*** How personal and heartfelt was making “Jayne Mansfield’s Car” for him?
*** What made him want to do the movie as his first writing/directing/acting gig in over a decade? His last film where he wrote, directed, and acted (along with Laura Dern) was 2002’s “Daddy and Them.”
*** His directing style and why a movie like “Sling Blade” will not work for this generation.
*** The great performances in the movie
*** What attracted him to play Skip?
*** The film’s 60s setting
*** The film’s intricate balance between sad and funny…and yes, odd!
*** America’s love for muscle cars is featured prominently in the film. What’s his favorite car?

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“PRISONERS” (2013) MOVIE REVIEW -- How Many Kisses Do Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal Get? 

Denis Villeneuve makes his first Hollywood production with “Prisoners.” Fresh from the success of the Oscar-nominated Best Foreign Film of 2011, “Incendies,” Villeneuve directs Hugh Jackman as a father in search of his missing daughter. Maria Bello plays his grieving wife, and Terrence Howard and Viola Davis play the parents of the other abducted girl, the friend of Jackman’s daughter.

Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective solving the case, and Paul Dano is the suspect. But did he really abduct the two girls? The fantastic Melissa Leo stars as Dano’s supportive aunt.

Is “Prisoners” worth your time and money, and is it Oscar-worthy? Take a look!

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“INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2” Movie Review -- How Many Kisses Does the Sequel Get? 

Previously on “Insidious,” we met the Lamberts, headed by the patriarch, Josh (Patrick Wilson), and mother Renai (Rose Byrne). They moved into an old house only to experience otherworldly forces when their young son fell into a coma.

Now, director James Wan, fresh from the success of “The Conjuring,” returns with scriptwriter Leigh Whannell (who also moonlights as the ghost hunter Specs), to give us the sequel to the sleeper hit. Lin Shaye (Elise) also returns, as well as the idea of the Further, the new age purgatory.

Is “Insidious: Chapter 2” worthy of the spooky excellence of the first film? Find out!

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