Bryan Cranston Interview for “Argo” 

Bryan Cranston stars as assistant deputy director of the CIA, Jack O’Donnell, in “Argo.” He’s the boss of Ben Affleck’s character, Tony Mendez. It’s always a pleasure to talk to the fantastic Mr. Cranston, as he is from my neck of the woods, the Coachella Valley. Plus, he’s just plain brilliant and down-to-earth even after getting his career-defining gig in “Breaking Bad.”

In this interview, we talked about:

*** “Argo’s” levity – for a political drama it’s funny
*** What got him interested in making “Argo”
*** Working with Affleck both as an actor and director
*** How did Affleck inspire him
*** How did he find the likeability aspect of his character?
*** Of course, our favorite topic, Palm Desert

Have fun!

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"Argo" Movie Review -- How Many Kisses Does Ben Affleck Get? 

When “Gone Baby Gone” came out in 2007, I thought the idea of Ben Affleck, the director, was just a fluke. Sure, he created one of the finest films of that year, but how could a leading man who once dated Jennifer Lopez craft a thought-provoking film?

And then, “The Town” was released three years later, and I started paying attention. Affleck could be one of the best storytellers of his generation. Fast forward to now with his brilliant “Argo” and you can call me a believer. Yes, Affleck is a master storyteller.

From the informative opening credits to the humanistic ending, “Argo” is a well-told film about the Iran hostage crisis. For a political drama, this film has such levity that it might as well have been an action-packed rescue movie. Read More...

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Hugh Laurie Talks About "The Oranges!" 

It was a pleasure to talk to Hugh Laurie aka Dr. House for his new suburban dramedy, “The Oranges.” In the film directed by Julian Farino from a script by Ian Helfer and Jay Reiss, Laurie stars as David, the head of the Walling family, who falls in love with Nina (Leighton Meester), the prodigal daughter of their longtime friend, the Ostroff family. “The Oranges” features a fantastic ensemble cast including Adam Brody, Catherine Keener, Allison Janney, and Oliver Platt.

In this fun but short (we had to cut it short because of mic problems) interview, we talked about:

*** What got Laurie interested in making “The Oranges?”
*** How did he get into his character David?

Have fun!

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Who's Writing the Film Adaptation of "Fifty Shades of Grey?" 

Focus Features and Universal Pictures have found their scriptwriter for their joint venture in bringing the popular book "Fifty Shades of Grey" to the big screen!

Written by E L James, the scribe who will adapt her book is Kelly Marcel, who wrote a 2011 Black List Script called "Saving Mr. Banks" about Walt Disney Pictures' 20-year pursuit of P.L. Travers' book, "Mary Poppins."

But as you may know, "Fifty Shades of Grey" is not necessarily a spoonful of sugar -- it's a salacious, kinky S&M cornucopia of literature, but people love it!

No word yet on whether Marcel will also adapt the book's sequels, "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed."

Here's the full press release from Focus:


UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, October 8, 2012-Universal Pictures and Focus
Features today announced that Kelly Marcel will write the screenplay to the highly anticipated film adaptation of "Fifty Shades of Grey."
Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti will produce the film based on E L
James' #1 Bestselling book, alongside James. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Co-Chairman, Donna Langley and Focus Features' Chief Executive Officer, James Schamus.

Marcel wrote the 2011 Black List script, Saving Mr. Banks, the story of Walt Disney's twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L.
Travers' novel, "Mary Poppins," and the rocky relationship that formed
between the two. The film is currently in production at Walt Disney
Studios starring Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell with John
Lee Hancock directing. Marcel served as the co-creator and executive
producer of the Amblin/FOX-TV series Terra Nova, for which she wrote the series' pilot episode. She will also produce The Madonnas Of Echo Park for HBO.

"Kelly's work demonstrates her flawless structural technique and
passionate commitment to emotion, humor and depth of character which is particularly visible in the celebrated screenplay for the upcoming
Saving Mr. Banks," said De Luca. "We were all taken with the depth and passion of Kelley's engagement with the characters and world E L James has created and we knew she was the right person to augment our Fifty Shades family," added Brunetti.

Universal Pictures and Focus Features acquired the rights to the three
books in the "Fifty Shades of Grey" Trilogy in March of this year.
Focus Features will market and distribute the first film in partnership with Universal. "Fifty Shades of Grey" has become a global phenomenon and the trilogy has been translated in 45 languages worldwide since its release. In the U.S. alone, the "Fifty Shades" trilogy has sold over 32 million copies in e-book and print making it one of the fastest selling book series ever.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" follows the relationship of 27-year-old
billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele.
Subsequent novels in the series, "Fifty Shades Darker" (September 2011) and "Fifty Shades Freed" (January 2012) explore the couple's deepening relationship. For more information please see the official Fifty Shades of Grey Facebook page:

Marcel was represented in the deal by WME and Casarotto Ramsay &
Associates Limited.

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"Taken 2" Takes Box-Office Crown! 

Liam Neeson proves he's the action star du-jour with "Taken 2" as the sequel claimed the top spot at the weekend box-office. "Taken 2" earned a staggering $50 million domestic take and that's double the debut of the original "Taken" which earned $24.7 when it first made its appearance in 2009.

I didn't quite like the sequel, I thought it was repetitive, but fans love it, so who am I to judge the power of Mr. Neeson and the franchise?

Meanwhile, previous weekend's box-office champ, Adam Sandler's "Hotel Transylvania," fell to No. 2 with $26.3 million. So far, the Sony Pictures Animation flick has earned a total of $76 million in domestic tickets, and a worlwide total of $105.3.

At No. 3 was Universal's on-key "Pitch Perfect" with a $14.7 million debut. Starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, the film is funny, and will make you sing and dance all the way home.

The terrific sci-fi action tale, "Looper," fell to the No. 4 spot with $12.2 million. So far, the Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis starrer has grossed $40.3 million domestic total.

"Frankenweenie," on the other hand," had a soft debut, earning $11.5 million at the box-office for the No. 5 spot. Directed by Tim Burton based on his 1984 live-action short, the film was produced for $39 million so Walt Disney Pictures might be able to recoup its budget.

Here's the estimated Top 10 Box-Office for weekend of Oct. 5:

1. "Taken 2," $50 million ($55 million international).

2. "Hotel Transylvania," $26.3 million ($13.1 million international).

3. "Pitch Perfect," $14.7 million ($480,000 international).

4. "Looper," $12.2 million ($7.5 million international).

5. "Frankenweenie," $11.5 million.

6. "End of Watch," $4 million.

7. "Trouble with the Curve," $3.9 million.

8. "House at the End of the Street," $3.7 million.

9. "The Master," $1.8 million.

10. "Finding Nemo," $1.6 million ($600,000 international).

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