“Frozen” and “Homefront” Movie Reviews 

Two big films this Thanksgiving weekend, we have “Frozen” for kids and “Homefront” for action lovers. In “Frozen,” Disney returns to what they do best – fairy tales, musicals, and an affecting moral story. Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, and Josh Gad are some of the actors lending their voices to the animated flick loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.”

In “Homefront,” Sylvester Stallone produced and wrote the screenplay based on Chuck Logan’s novel. This one stars Jason Statham as an ex-DEA who moves to a small Bayou town to protect his daughter (Izabela Vidovic). James Franco, Winona Ryder, and Kate Bosworth also star.

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

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Jason Statham and Izabela Vidovic Talk About “Homefront” 

Jason Statham was in high spirits when I talked to him about his new movie “Homefront.” I think it was because of the fun energy his co-star brought into the room. Izabela Vidovic was a sweetheart on-screen and off. She plays Statham’s daughter in “Homefront.” Make that an ass-kicking, bully-beating daughter!

In this interview, we talked about:

*** Their lovable chemistry as father and daughter
*** How they got interested in making the movie
*** The audition process
*** His acting muscles in “Homefront”
*** To Izabela – how was it working with Jason?
*** Jason’s “Homefront” character
*** It’s nice to see Jason’s smile again in the movie!
*** Izabela’s character as the catalyst of the movie
*** It’s a Western masquerading as an action-thriller

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James Franco Talks About “Homefront” and Much More! 

This was my second interview with the fantastic James Franco. The first time I sat down with him was for the moving “Milk,” and years later, he’s still as quirky and fun as ever, just like his brother Dave. In “Homefront,” the actor plays the deliciously evil Gator Bodine who uncovers a big secret hidden by our hero, Jason Statham.

In this interview, we talked about:

*** He was very interested about Palm Springs
*** What attracted him to the role
*** He revealed that the script was very different from the book, so he took the book’s cue to give a twist to his evil character
*** His many hats including writing and directing. How does he balance that?

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Kate Bosworth Talks About “Homefront” 

Kate Bosworth is decidedly unrecognizable as the meth addicted mom named Cassie Bodine in the new action flick “Homefront” starting Jason Statham and James Franco from director Gary Fleder. But in person, Bosworth glows and far from having that good, old meth-addicted look. She was divine!

In this interview, we talked about:

*** What attracted her to the role?
*** How she attacked the character? How she gave her humility and redemption?
*** Were the director and producers hesitant in hiring her initially to play the part?
*** She didn’t wash her hair for weeks!
*** Working with Jason Statham

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"12 Years a Slave" Tops 2014 Spirit Award Nominations 

Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" led the pack of the nominations for the 29th Annual Film Independent Spirit Award. The film received 7 nominations including best feature, director, and acting noms for Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o, and Michael Fassbender.

Winners of the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be announced on Saturday, March 1st at a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica with the premiere broadcast airing later that evening at 10:00 pm ET/PT exclusively on IFC.

Congrats and good luck to all the nominees!

Here's the complete list of the nominees of the 2014 Spirit Awards:

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not awarded)
12 Years a Slave
PRODUCERS: Dede Gardner, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Brad Pitt, Bill Pohlad
All Is Lost
PRODUCERS: Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb
Frances Ha
PRODUCERS: Noah Baumbach, Scott Rudin, Rodrigo Teixeira, Lila Yacoub
Inside Llewyn Davis
PRODUCERS: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin
PRODUCERS: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa

Shane Carruth
Upstream Color
J.C. Chandor
All Is Lost
Steve McQueen
12 Years a Slave
Jeff Nichols
Alexander Payne

Woody Allen
Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater
Before Midnight
Nicole Holofcener
Enough Said
Scott Neustadter &
Michael H. Weber
The Spectacular Now
John Ridley
12 Years a Slave

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
Blue Caprice

PRODUCERS: Kim Jackson, Brian O'Carroll, Isen Robbins, Will Rowbotham, Ron Simons, Aimee Schoof, Stephen Tedeschi
DIRECTOR: Stacie Passon
PRODUCER: Rose Troche
Fruitvale Station
DIRECTOR: Ryan Coogler
PRODUCERS: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker
Una Noche
PRODUCERS: Sandy Pérez Aguila, Maite Artieda, Daniel Mulloy, Yunior Santiago
DIRECTOR: Haifaa Al Mansour
PRODUCERS: Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul

Lake Bell
In A World
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Don Jon
Bob Nelson
Jill Soloway
Afternoon Delight
Michael Starrbury
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director, and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.
Computer Chess

WRITER/DIRECTOR: Andrew Bujalski
PRODUCERS: Houston King & Alex Lipschultz
Crystal Fairy
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Sebastiàn Silva
PRODUCERS: Juan de Dios Larraín & Pablo Larraín
Museum Hours
PRODUCERS: Paolo Calamita & Gabriele Kranzelbinder
Pit Stop
WRITER: David Lowery
PRODUCERS: Jonathan Duffy, James M. Johnston,
Eric Steele, Kelly Williams
This is Martin Bonner
PRODUCER: Cherie Saulter

Cate Blanchett

Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy
Before Midnight
Gaby Hoffmann
Crystal Fairy
Brie Larson
Short Term 12
Shailene Woodley
The Spectacular Now

Bruce Dern

Chiwetel Ejiofor
12 Years a Slave
Oscar Isaac
Inside Llewyn Davis
Michael B. Jordan
Fruitvale Station
Matthew McConaughey
Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford
All Is Lost

Melonie Diaz

Fruitvale Station
Sally Hawkins
Blue Jasmine
Lupita Nyong'o
12 Years a Slave
Yolonda Ross
Go For Sisters
June Squibb

Michael Fassbender

12 Years a Slave
Will Forte
James Gandolfini
Enough Said
Jared Leto
Dallas Buyers Club
Keith Stanfield
Short Term 12

Sean Bobbitt
12 Years a Slave
Benoit Debie
Spring Breakers
Bruno Delbonnel
Inside Llewyn Davis
Frank G. DeMarco
All Is Lost
Matthias Grunsky
Computer Chess

Shane Carruth & David Lowery
Upstream Color
Jem Cohen & Marc Vives
Museum Hours
Jennifer Lame
Frances Ha
Cindy Lee
Una Noche
Nat Sanders
Short Term 12

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
20 Feet From Stardom

PRODUCERS: Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers
After Tiller
DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS: Martha Shane & Lana Wilson
Gideon's Army
PRODUCER: Julie Goldman
The Act of Killing
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Joshua Oppenheimer
PRODUCERS: Joram Ten Brink, Christine Cynn, Anne Köhncke, Signe Byrge Sørensen,
Michael Uwemedimo
The Square
DIRECTOR: Jehane Noujaim
PRODUCER: Karim Amer

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
A Touch of Sin

DIRECTOR: Jia Zhang-Ke
Blue is the Warmest Color

DIRECTOR: Abdellatif Kechiche

DIRECTOR: Sebastián Lelia
The Great Beauty

DIRECTOR: Paolo Sorrentino
The Hunt

DIRECTOR: Thomas Vinterberg

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)

Director: Jeff Nichols
Casting Director: Francine Maisler
Ensemble Cast: Joe Don Baker, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Tye Sheridan, Paul Sparks, Bonnie Sturdivant, Reese Witherspoon

17th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 17th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston
Jacob Jaffke
Andrea Roa
Frederick Thornton

20th ANNUAL SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 20th annual Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.
My Sister's Quinceañera

DIRECTOR: Aaron Douglas Johnston
DIRECTOR: Shaka King
The Foxy Merkins
DIRECTOR: Madeline Olnek

19th ANNUAL STELLA ARTOIS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 19th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by Stella Artois, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.
Kalyanee Mam
A River Changes Course
Jason Osder
Let the Fire Burn
Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez

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