Phoenix Film Festival

Interview with a Few Vampires - Erik Odom & Guri Weinman from Breaking Dawn Part 2

Interview with a Few Vampires - Erik Odom & Guri Weinman from Breaking Dawn Part 2  

By Lisa Minzey of The Reel 


Now that the whirlwind of a film frenzy that is the Twilight Saga is coming to a close marked by the release of the Breaking Dawn Part 2 DVD, we had the chance to sit down with two charming additions to the Saga, Erik Odom (Peter) and Guri Weinberg (Stefan). It was a delightful opportunity to get to briefly chat and discuss their experience with the Twilight phenomenon. It’s unfortunate that the fans had to wait until the very last film to be introduced their characters as they are entertaining and charismatic in person and would have been enjoyable to see more of in the film.


PFF: How has this whole Twilight experience been for you guys?





GW:  It’s one of those weird things that you can’t really get used to it. You’re trying to wrap your mind around this huge movie with such a huge fan base; you just don’t know how to handle it. I sure as hell have not figured out how to handle yet so it’s overwhelming, you know?




Erik-Odom-13EO:  It is. It’s one of those things that joining the cast as late in game as we did [joining on the last film], you have an idea in your head what it’s going to be. You think about that; you see it from the outside and it’s this huge thing. That’s what you set your expectations for, but no matter how much you prepare yourself for it. When you’re actually hit in the face with it and it’s there and you’re in the inside of it, it becomes a completely different scenario and it is overwhelming at first. I don’t think anyone could enter into it and be completely neutral about it. It overwhelms you in a positive way; you take it on and learn how to navigate. It’s a controlled fall. You go along and adjust to it, knowing full well that you can’t control it. You embrace it.


GW: Controlled fall - I’m so stealing that!


EO: Pretty smooth, right? That’s the first time I’ve described it that way.


GW:  (pretending to write it down) I’m so using that.


PFF: How eloquent of you.  I like it…


EO’s friend (in background): I trademarked it so deal with it.


( Everyone Laughs)


PFF: Do you have a favorite moment from this whole experience?  After traveling the world and encountering fans, are there any moments that stick out in your mind over the others?


EO: The big one for me was the Part Two premier in Los Angeles. I went to the Part One premier in L.A., where they unveiled our characters and then [San Diego] Comicon but for me it was taking my mom to the Part Two premier as my date.  She has been the biggest Twi-hard since day one and I remember her talking about Breaking Dawn years ago…when she was just reading the book. To be able to say “Mom, come on out and meet everybody”, introduce her to all the actors and others, seeing her enjoy it just made it 100 times better to me.


GW: I guess the biggest one for me was in October, where we had to go to Baton Rouge to do this camera test for make up & hair, talk to the director [Bill Condon] about our characters and other things. When we arrived and told us that “Tonight we’re going to have dinner tonight” on one of the nights, where we thought it was just a few of us; Lee [Pace], Mackenzie [Foy], Rami [Malek] and a few others. We didn’t think much of it but the next thing I know, we walk into a restaurant, directed towards a back room and the whole main cast is there; Stefanie [Meyers] is there; we didn’t realize it was going to happen that way. It was this awesome little welcoming experience with the cast, Bill [Condon - director], the producers and everybody. It was very overwhelming because here we are the new additions into this well established project; it was just a very kind gesture to do.


PFF: Have you guys read the books or any of the series?BD2-DVD


GW: I had read Breaking Dawn.


EO: When I found out about the audition, I had already seen the first two movies [Twilight & New Moon] and Eclipse was already in theaters so I went and saw a late night showing. Then days before the audition I read Breaking Dawn; after I found out that I was cast I went back ready all the parts, honing in Peter’s scenes in Eclipse and even reading his parts in Midnight Sun [unpublished to date]. There was a lot of Peter/Charlotte moments that I wanted to use as much as I could. You’re lucky with adaptations that you have a lot more back story to go off of, because the books just by virtue of the format, much more detailed than the script could ever be.


PFF: Watching some of the Behind-the Scenes footage from the Special Features DVD on B.D. pt. 2, there were a lot of the cool zip line action and vampire stunts. How much of that did you get to experience? How much did you have to prepare for the different fight scenes?


GW: You know how everyone from the main cast was talking about how much they had to prepare with their fight scenes and stuff, but apparently with the new cast they decided not to do that. When we’d show up on set, Noel [Fisher – Vladimir] and I, the crew was like “Yeah, were going to put you up in this harness hooked to a wire, hoist you 50 feet up in the air, in the middle of the woods, then we’re going to drop you. Trust us, we’re going to catch you; it’s going to be fun.” So of course, the first take, you know they put me up and I literally almost piss myself and scream like a little girl because I wasn’t ready for it. You know, they have you hold this rope to steady you and they say “Guri, drop the rope.” So I do and wait for them to say action but they drop me, so AHHHH…. They’re like, “Uh, can we do one with out the screaming?” I’m like can we do one where you call action? They said that was what we meant when we told you to drop the rope. So no, they didn't prepare us.  They put us in the harness and the treadmill. You know with the treadmill with the running and all that, you’re put behind a big truck and that truck has a big exhaust that put out smoke (make a grimacing face) that goes in your face and you’re like, “I’m not breathing hard; I’m a vampire!” So that was more of my experiences with the stunts. With the fight scenes, you get hurt, get kicked in the head; you know they teach you right on the spot but yeah that was my experience. (Laughs)


EO: I can’t top that. There was a lot that was kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants kind of stuff. The choreography was


GW: The thing with Michael, you were on the harness.


EO: Yeah, there was a scene that didn't make it into the movie where, I won’t get to spoiler-y with it, basically Peter picks a fight with Aro and it doesn't go well for me. (Laughs). I pick a fight with Aro and it’s basically where Aro and Edward are about to face off.  As Peter, I try to go in there and cut them off and it doesn't end well, but yeah, I was hooked up to a harness. Thy give you the quick verbal tutorial and pat you on the back, wish you the best and off you go. It was blast for me; the hardest thing was being in the harness; get thrown by Michael’s character and then trying not to laugh as I go off screen because it’s so much fun!


GW: Yeah!


EO: It’s basically like a bungee cord and you’re getting thrown around. As far as the choreography on the battle field fight scenes, the contacts were the most interesting. The contacts would block out all your peripheral vision, so you would have to do this choreography based on 8 counts. You would have to trust the counts because you wouldn't be able to see when the stunt guy would be coming from your right about to swing and knock you in the head. You duck on that 4 count because if you duck on 5 count, you’re going to take it to the side of your head. It was a blast, but yeah there was not too much prep for it. It was pretty much go for it and hope for the best.


GW: It’s like a controlled fall. You like how I brought that back? I toldja I was going to steal it…


(The two high- five)


PFF: Nice call back!


EO: This is a helluva interview we’ve got going on right now… we’re in our afternoon synergy.


PFF: Are there any tip or tricks that you experiences on set that you picked up and have been able to use in current/ future projects?


GW: Ohhhh... that’s a tough one to answer. On every set you pick up something that you haven’t picked up somewhere else because it’s a different experience. This one was more, because they were vampires; it was more about control, due to the lack of human element/ behavior missing.  For me it’s almost mish-mashes into one another. That’s the one thing I would say: control.


EO: When you’re in such a large ensemble cast, I found it so interesting to sit back and watch. Everyone’s process was a little different; for example, take a person like Michael Sheen, whom I respect greatly coming into this project. He’s a brilliant actor. To watch him from take to take, do things completely different each time. He would come in with 5 or 6 different takes on a scene. He would give a speech, for instance, and you’d watch the speech and then ask anyone on set, “Which take do you think was the best? Which one do you think is going to make it?” People were so dead set on certain takes but it was never the same one twice. So you’d talk to some one and they would be like” oh, it’s gong to be the second take, it was amazing; that’s what it is”.  Someone else would ay “Oh no, it’s the forth take, it has to be the one that’s used.” So it’s fun to see the finished product to see which one actually made it into the film. What it a gift and testament that it is to Bill that 1.) He’s able to get that from his actors and 2.) He’s able to go into the editing room and decide that’s the one to use.  You see the finished product and go “That’s the one; it couldn’t have been anyone one, it’s perfect.”


PFF: This last question is a two part question. How did you get your start in acting?


GW: For me it was as a kid watching movies and being inspired by what the actors did and how they made me feel. I wanted to do the exact same thing so that’s why I got into the biz.


EO: I acted as a kid and as I got older, I went away from it. I realized that there was a void in my life as all I wanted to do is tell stories.


PFF: Ok last question because we are running out of time. What are you working on now? What’s up next for you?


GW: I worked on Body of Proof [TV Show] which will be out soon and we’ll see what comes up next.


EO: I have an independent film that I’m shooting in the fall of 2013 that has some fun Twilight connections so stay tuned.



Be sure to keep an eye out for these two, not because they are talent actors but because they are genuinely cool guys.  Connect with them on Twitter @ErikOdom & @GuriWeinman. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is out on DVD starting March 2, 2013.

Movie Review for Red Hook Summer

Red Hook Summer  

Starring: Clarke Peters, Jules Brown, Nate Parker


Directed by Spike Lee


Rated: R

Run Time: 121 mins

Genre: Drama


Opens September 14th


By Lisa Minzey


Calling all Independent Film Fans of Spike Lee!  The new Spike Lee Joint, “Red Hook Summer”, was an Official Selection at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, now coming to a theater near you.


When a middle class kid from Atlanta gets dumped off to his overly religious grandfather’s house for the summer, he is in for a culture shock. Cylus “Flick” Royal (Jules Brown) would rather be making films on his iPad2, skateboarding with a friend or watching T.V. These are all activities that his estranged grandfather Deacon Zee (Thomas Jefferson Byrd) is keeping him from by having him shadows his daily activities and meting the neighborhood.  Nothing can be more tiresome for Flick, as he has to work with his Grandfather doing the “Lord’s Work”.


Back at home in Atlanta, Flick being raised by his single mother, Colleen (De’Adre Aziza) is not an easy feat. He is a 13 year-old-boy without a strong male presence in his life, so pushing buttons has become part of his forte. For the most part, he is accustom to a certain lifestyle; one where he does not have to attend church, eats vegan cuisine and has every modern convenience, that most kids take for granted. Now, that he is spending his summer in Red Hook, the days drag on for Flick; being constantly embarrassed by his grandfather, and now, stuck hanging out with annoying projects girl, Chazz Morningstar (Toni Lysaith).


The more that Flick and Chazz hang out, the closer they become; the closer they become, the further Flick drifts from his grandfather, creating a deeper rift. Deacon Zee’s problems with Flick are just one of the many challenges he is facing; from the neighborhood gangs to people from his past to challenging his own beliefs; will Flick and his grandfather make it through the summer or will it be their first and last together?


“Red Hook Summer” is one of those films that take a while to develop a clear understanding of what direction the story is taking. A viewer may walk away either loving or hating the film, due to the nature of some mature content of the film. I do not suggest bringing young children to this film as the film takes a darker turn towards the end 30 minutes of the film.  If you are a fan of Writer/ Director Spike Lee and his past work, you may thoroughly enjoy this film. You decide when it opens in Phoenix starting September 14th.

The Possession - Movie Review

The Possession   

Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Madison Davenport


Directed by Ole Bornedal


Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 92 mins

Genre: Horror/ Thriller


Opens in theaters August 31st


By Lisa Minzey


Hey Film Fans, we checked out The Possession this week, and a fun fact: this film is inspired by a true story about the Dybbuk Box, which supposedly the evil spirit haunts a wine cabinet. Sensing the irony here?

Jeffery Dean Morgan starts as Clyde, a college basketball coach and the father of two pre-teens, who spends most of his time on the court and away from his family. His now ex-wife Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) is rather protective of their girls Em (Natasha Calis) and Hannah (Madison Davenport) as this divorce has been a difficult time for them. In an effort to be a better father,Clyde surprises his girls with a new house, to help them feel more  like their home with they are with him on the weekends. The girls are moody preteens so they are mildly impressed but appreciate the effort.

On their way back home from the first weekend, the girls plead with Clyde to stop at a yard sale, to pick up a few items for the new house. Em ends up choosing an antique wooden box with a bunch of Hebrew letters carved on all sides. There is no visible way to open the box, but Em begs her father to buy it for her, and he obliges.

Over the following weekend visits to Clyde’s house, strange events begin to happen, as well as noticeable changes to Em’s behavior and well being. Em tells Hannah that she doesn't feel like herself, but her sister blows it off as she’s just in a weird mood; that everything will be fine. The more that Em is around this box, the dybbuk (evil spirit) is latching on to her, causing her to withdraw from her friends, family and suffer in school. Em warns Clyde to stay away from her box, reinforcing the threat with a evil stare-down.

One day she brings the box to school, and another student tries to get too close, violence overtakes the young girl, landing her in trouble with the school administration. The school authorities are blaming her behavior on the divorce which to Clyde and Stephanie, it doesn’t make sense. They have been apart for more than a year, and she has never acted this way.

Clyde figures out that Em’s behavior started to change when the box came into their lives, so he gets rid of it. This causes Em to lash out, have a psychotic breakdown and runaway from her father’s house. Stephanie lashes out at Cyde and refuses to let him see the girls anymore, and Clyde knows that whatever causes Em to breakdown was not of this world. Can he find the answers to save Em before it’s too late or will he lose his family forever?

If you like thrillers and supernatural movies but don’t like to be scared out of your wits, this is an easy, entertaining film to watch.

Check it out when it opens Friday August 31st in a theater near you.






Lawless Movie Review


Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska

Directed by John Hillcoat


Rated: R

Run Time: 115 mins

Genre: Crime/ Drama/ Based on a True Story


Opens Wednesday August 29, 2012


By Lisa Minzey


For this week’s midweek release, we have a film that is not only an adaptation of a book; it’s also based on a true story. Author Matt Bondurant, grandson of the Shia LeBeouf’s role Jack Bondurant, wrote the prohibition historical novel,” The Wettest County in the World” which Nick Cave adapted the screenplay from.


During the Prohibition Era  of the 1920’s & 1930’s, crime was out of control. In Franklin County,Virginia, the Bondurant brothers dominated the moonshine business. Eldest brother, Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy), was the ringleader of the operation; Middle Brother Howard (Jason Clarke), was the brawn and youngest brother Jack (Shia LaBeouf) was the driver. Jack always wanted to run his own operation and be able to spend the money they bring in, but Forrest saw him as weak. Even as a child, when Forrest when try to toughen Jack up, Jack would always back down, leaving Forrest to take the reigns and finish the job.


The Bondurants and the lawmen ofFranklinCountyhad an understanding, as long as they law got their share, they could operate. That all changed when Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) moved into town to cracking down on the bootleggers of the land. A recent transplant from Chicago, Rakes made a beeline to the Bondurant boys to show them who’s in charge.  Forrest does not yield to anyone and defiance is unacceptable to Rakes. The Bondurants have now moved to the number one spot on the crocked lawman’s most wanted list.


When Forrest is viciously attacked one night by some out of town thugs, Jack and Howard are left to keep the family business going. Will Jack be able to use this as an opportunity to prove himself to Forrest by working with mobster Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman)?  Will Franklin County take back control from the mob that has invaded their area or will it fall into dangerous hands? Can the Bondurant family business survive the turf war between the mob/police and the bootleggers of the land?


Films that are based on a book are always tricky, as some people argue that the book is always better. This film, on its own, is a pretty enjoyable film, but it does get rather violent.

Check it out in a theater near you when it opens August 29th.









Cosmopolis Movie Review



Starring: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon, Kevin Durand


Directed by David Cronenberg

Rated: R

Run Time: 108 mins

Genre: Drama


Open in Theaters August 24, 2012

By Lisa Minzey


Hello Phoenix Film Festival fans!  We caught the screening of Cosmopolis, another mid week release, thus bringing you another mid-week movie treat.

Cosmopolis is a strange, highly philosophical story that is culturally relevant to today’s headlines. Based on the novel of the same name, written by Don DeLillo, Director David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method, A History of Violence) ambitiously took on dual roles as director and screenwriter. Cronenberg wrote the script for this film in 6 days.  That’s quite a feat when it landed a nomination for the Palm d’Or Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

Young Billionaire Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) has plans for the day; his main objective is to get a hair cut. He does the majority of his dealings from the stretch limo he owns, so throughout the course of his day, there is a constant flow of people in & out of his vehicle. Packer is not having the best of luck today, as he is dealing multitude of serious traffic issues inNew York Citydue to protesters and the added security of presidential blockades. Through a constant flow of dialogue, the audience discovers how unhappy the young billionaire’s life truly is.

It may be that Eric’s personality at first impression comes off as arrogant, manipulative and selfish, but underlying all those qualities associated with what people assume wealth people to be, lays some deep rooted personal issues and insecurities. For someone to achieve immense wealth and success by the time he is 28 years old would be an enormous amount of pressure to bear, but Packer makes his choices and thus needs to be held responsible for his actions.

Eric’s wife Elise Shifrin (Sarah Gadon) refuses to consummate their marriage, so he had random sexual encounters with various women through his day, in numerous places, in the city; his company is hemorrhaging money which he can’t stop and to top it all off, his favorite rap star has died, Brother Fez (K’Naan). His security detail, Torval (Kevin Duran) is determined to keep him safe as he travels throughout the danger –ridden streets of Wall Street-esq protestors. If Eric Packer’s world continues to crumble, will his psyche follow? Or will he be able to pick up the pieces of his fragile ego to rise above the madness of the time?

At first glance, this film has a lot of positive things going for it. A stellar cast, a quirky director and a riveting concept to fit in with the headlines of the day, but this will end up being a film that audiences will love or hate.  Regardless of how indifferent the opinion of the film may be, there will be some compelling conversations following the credits.


Movie Review for The Apparition

The Apparition  

Starring: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton

Directed by Todd Lincoln


Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 82 mins

Genre: Horror/ Thriller


Opens: Friday August 24, 2012


By Lisa Minzey


As we roll into the Fall Movie Season Film Fans, it’s every Horror Fan's favorite time of year. Bring on the scary movies! For this week’s releases, the season kicks off with the debut feature film of Todd Lincoln, The Apparition.

Back in the 70’s a group of paranormal researchers tried to conjure up a spirit during a seance; their experiment resulted in table movement and a pretty interesting  group picture.

More recently, a group of college kids who learned of the paranormal group’s experiment, wanted to recreate the seance as a scientific experiment to prove that supernatural beings exist. Patrick (Tom Felton),Lydia (Julianna Guill) and Greg (Luke Pasqualino) all sat at the table conducting the seance  while Patrick (Sebastian Stan) filmed the event. Patrick wanted to conduct the “experiment” with equipment that would amplify the energy of the participants, making it easier for the spirits to make contact.  It worked, resulting in a bunch of strange phenomena and Lydia disappearing into the darkness.

A few years after the experiment that went horribly right Patrick starts his life over with girlfriend Kelly (Ashley Greene), moving to a remote desert suburb in California. Soon after they arrive to the new home that they are renting, weird occurrences happen; lights flicker & darken, doors that were locked are now wide open, furniture moves on its own and the worst of it all- the newly built home now has a nasty mold problem. Kelly is getting freaked out to the point she wants to leave because they now hear strange groans and whispers.  Patrick is trying to take care of the issue on his own, but when he receives communication from Ben that his life is in danger, the occurrences are becoming more physical.  Kelly is unaware of Ben’s paranormal past, which has now come back to haunt them. Will Ben be able to put a stop to all of the haunting or will it be the end of the young couple?

With the abundance of horror movies released each year, this one is a story you may have heard before but with a few slight variations. Although the film is rated PG-13, it does have a certain skin-crawling, creepiness factor, especially if ghosts and the supernatural are high on your fear meter.

Check it out when it opens August 24 in a theater near you.


Movie Review for Hit and Run

Hit and Run    

Starring: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold,Kristin Chenoweth


Directed by David Palmer & Dax Shepard


Rated: R Run Time: 100 mins Genre: Comedy/ Action


Opens August 22, 2012


By Lisa Minzey

Now that the summer is winding down, more of the quirky films that Hollywood reserves for the down season is gearing up. For this week screening, we checked out the new comedy “Hit and Run” from the producer of the Wedding Crashers, Andrew Panay & Dax Shepard serving up a triple threat as Screenwriter, Star and Co-Director, this is one ride that pretty crazy.

Annie (Kristen Bell) is facing a serious conundrum. Her boss Debbie (Kristin Chenoweth) has just offered her the opportunity of a life time; the opportunity to head and develop her own major/ department at a large university in Los Angeles. Annie is enthralled, but she is in a long term committed relationship with her boyfriend of one year, Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard). She needs to make this decision with him in mind long term, but due to Charlie’s placement in witness protection, moving her life to Los Angeles is something they need to discuss.

For Charlie, Annie is the only reason worth staying in the bumpkin, Northern California town he was placed in. The U.S. Marshall, Randy (Tom Arnold), who is assigned to Charlie, is not the brightest of people and tends to run a bit high strung, constantly placing himself and those around him in harms way.

Annie decides for the sake of their future that she won’t take the job and goes to tell her boss. Charlie knows that if she doesn’t take this position, Annie will have serious regrets and he refused to be the source of any pain for her. On a total whim, Charlie breaks all the rules that are meant to keep him safe, risking it all for the woman he loves. Annie is delighted that Charlie will be driving her to Los Angeles for the interview; along they way they can figure out the future details of their relationship.

One man who is none to pleased to hear that Annie is leaving, especially with Charlie, is her ex-boyfriend Gil. His secret hope is that one day (soon) that Annie will leave Charlie Bronson and come back to him. Gil begs Annie to stay when she drops by to get her teaching certificate that was left behind, but she declines and heads off with Charlie. On the verge of hyperventilating, Gil contacts his police officer brother, Terry, to run the plates on Charlie’s to get him detained. Through this whole order, Gil finds out Charlie’s true identity prior to entering witness protection, thus setting of a chain of events that will endanger Charlie, Annie and maybe him self after contacting the man that is the reason Charlie is in the position that he is, Alex Dimitri (Bradley Cooper).

Imagining the worst for Annie’s safety, Gil follows Charlie and Annie, ensuing one of many car chase scenes. When Gil taunts Charlie during a traffic stop, Annie overhears part of the conversation. This set in motion an information inquisition into Charlie’s prior life that makes Annie question the foundation that her relationship is built on. Will Annie make it to her dream job interview in time? Can Charlie make peace with his past as his future hangs by a thread?

Hit and Run is one of those quirky comedies that take the viewer on a wild comedy ride that will either leave the viewer wanting more or just happy to be over. For this review, it was worth the ride as it’s a fun story with terrific writing, great casting and with great cars to look at. Check it out when it opens in theaters when it opens Wednesday August 22nd.

Movie Review for ParaNorman



Starring: (voices of) Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, John Goodman

Directed by Chris Butler & Sam Fell


Rated: PG

Run Time: 93 mins

Genre: Comedy/ Animation/ Adventure/ 3D Film


Opens Friday August, 17th, 2012


By Lisa Minzey

We have a treat for all the kids out there,as we were able to catch a screening of the new animated 3-D Film, ParaNorman!

Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a usual kind of kid. He can see, hear and hold actual conversations with the dead. This causes some problems for him at home, school and around town. Most kids at school tease and call him a freak.  His father Perry (Jeff Garlin – voice) scolds and grounds Norman when he talks to his grandmother’s ghost, butNorman’s mother Sandra (Leslie Mann- voice) is accepting of his gift.

In addition of being labeled as a “freak show”,Norman is being bullied on a daily basis by Alvin (Christopher Mintz- Plasse – voice), reprimanded in drama class by his mean teacher, kids pushing him around, make life pretty lonely for Norman. He finds a kinship with another kid who is a target of Alvin’s bullying, the chubby kid Neil (Tucker Albrizzi – voice), who thinks Norman’s ability to talk to the dead is “kinda cool”.

In the small Massachusetts town where Norman lives in, the 300th anniversary is approaching of the curse of the witch. The curse was put upon the 7 townspeople that sentenced the witch to death. Before she was taken away, the witch placed a hex that she would come back and raise the dead, to cause havoc on the townspeople.   As the anniversary approaches,Norman has been bombarded with scary visions, which make little sense to him. He doesn't have anyone to turn to help explain what’s going on with him, making matters worse when he’s constantly being yelled at by his father for his “gift”.

The only other person that knows how to break the curse and relate to what Norman is going through is a crazy old man, Mr. Prenderghast (John Goodman – voice). This strange man, who lives up in the forest, coincidentally is related toNorman. He tries to warnNormanof what he needs to do but dies before he can relay the entire message.

When Mr. Prenderghast’s ghost shows up to tell Norman he is the only one that can break the curse,Normanmust decide to either embrace his gifts and rise to the occasion or succumb to the bullying and loneliness that he feels for being different.

This is a different type of animation film than what has been release over the past few years. It’s a charming story that has heart, humor and great messages for viewers of all ages.

ParaNorman opens nationwide August 17th.

Celeste and Jesse Forever Movie Review

Celeste and Jesse Forever  Starring: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Ari Graynor, Eric Christian Olsen, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts, Chris Messina, Will McCormack


Directed by Lee Toland Krieger


Rated: R

Run Time: 91 mins

Genre: Comedy/ Drama


Opens Friday August, 17, 2012


By Lisa Minzey


Another screening we caught this week is the romantic comedy, Celeste and Jesse Forever. Star Rashida Jones and Co-Star Will McCormack cowrote the screenplay, playing off their relationship as best friends as inspiration.

Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) have known each other since they were kids. They are each other’s best friends so it was only natural that as they aged, they fell in love and got married. It appears to be the perfect blend of relationship – friends and romance. Over the years as they have matured into their adult personalities, Celeste realized she maybe wanted something different, maybe Jesse to grow up and start taking responsibility for his life, instead of the slacker/ artist he is. For the past few months, they both have decided to try life as a separated couple to see how things work out.

Although they are currently separated, they are still living life like nothing has changed. They still see each other every day, hang out and act as if nothing is wrong. Everyone else around them is confused by their situation, but neither one sees an issue with it.

It’s not until when at dinner with engaged couple Beth (Ari Graynor) and Tucker (Eric Christian Olsen) that it gets to be too much for them to bear and they scold Celeste and Jesse.  Beth throws down an ultimatum – either divorce or get back together.

Apparently, Jesse and Celeste have been living together, but only while Jesse tried find a new job and home.  He is currently living in his studio behind the house he once shared with Celeste.

Celeste doesn't mind, she just wants Jesse to be happy.  What was only to be a temporary living situation is turning into stagnation in the future their relationship. When Jesse listens to fellow friend Skillz (Will McCormack) to start dating, is when their relationship starts to change. Jesse breaks the news to Celeste, who actually encourages Jesse to starting dating. Celeste is putting on a front thinking this is what she wants, but is it?

When Jesse runs into a girl he previously dated a few months prior and drops a bombshell – he’s going to be a father, which it hits home with Celeste. Their marriage is now officially over or are they?  Celeste has a difficult time coming to terms that Jesse is moving on without her, finally becoming the man she wanted him to be. Will Celeste be able to find love again or will her stubborn ways continue to be a barrier to her future happiness? Will Jesse and Celeste ever be able to be friends again that the love is gone?

What some may compare to 500 Days of Summer, Celeste and Jesse Forever is a unique romantic comedy in the fact that It starts from the point of where most traditional rom-coms end. It’s a refreshingly honest story of love come and gone with a comedic spin.

Catch Celeste and Jesse Forever when it opens in theaters August 17th.




The Imposter Movie Review

  The Imposter


Starring: Adam O’Brian, Frederic Bourdin, Carey Gibson

Directed by Bart Layton


Rated: R

Run Time: 99 mins

Genre: Documentary


Opens August 17, 2012


By Lisa Minzey


This week we screened a fascinating documentary that was nominated for awards at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and 2012 Edinburgh International Film Festival and won Grand Jury Prize at the 202 Miami Film Festival. Director Bart Layton presents the story of the disappearance of Nicholas Barclay almost like a nighttime crime news story like one would see on an episode of Dateline or Unsolved Mysteries, which makes the film rather intriguing.

When 13-year-old Nicholas Barclay went missing June 13, 1994 on his way home from a basketball game, his family was beside themselves. No one ever thought that something like this would ever happen in theirSan Antonio,TXneighborhood, least of all Nicholas’s sister Carey Gibson.

Nicholas was a troubled teen on record with the local authorities. There were reports of fights with his family and of him running away for a few days but would always return. Through actual interviews of Nicholas’s mother, Beverly Dollarhide, Nicholas’s sister Carey and her husband Bryan Gibson, the family presents their side of the events that led up to Nicholas’s disappearance and the duration that passed, until receiving a phone call that changed their lives forever.

Three years after Nicholas’s disappearance, a phone call was received by the family that a 16 year- old – boy was claiming to be Nicholas. The call originated fromSpain. Carey caught the first flight she could to go retrieve her long lost brother but this is where the story gets a little strange.

The person “claiming” to be Nicholas was actually a 23 year-old-man of French & Algerian decent named Frédéric Bourdin. The differences between Nicholas and Frédéric were quite drastic. When Frederic was conjuring up his latest rouse, he was going off of a black & white facsimile sheet.  The physical differences were noticed after a color flyer was delivered to the children’s facility where Bourdin was being held/ confirm the identity of Barclay. Nicholas was Blonde Hair/ Blue Eyed, and Frédéric was Dark Haired/ Brown Eyes. The only real similar difference was they both had small gaps in their front teeth. He manages to conjure up a few physical differences listed on the bulletin of Nicholas’s disappearance, but would it be enough for him to pass for the real boy? When Bourdin met Carey, he was covered up by scarves, a heavy jacket, sun glasses and long clothing. Not only was Frédéric Bourdin able to fool Carey, he was able to fool the American Consulate and the Spanish Authorities, managing to secure an American Passport to fly “home” to live a new life as Nicholas Barclay.

When Bourdin was interviewed by authorities on his whereabouts of the past three years, a tall tale was spun of kidnapping, sexual abuse and torture, done with such sincerity, he managed to fool many  people for a long time.  Back in Europe, he was a wanted fugitive by Interpol for pulling the same con over and over again in several countries for the same situation.

A sociopath that is trying to pull off the impossible is bound to get caught some day. It’s only a matter of time until the right people start asking the right questions. The film keeps unraveling detail after detail of both sides of the story; distraught family and delusional impostor.  When the truth being stranger than fiction, leads the viewer down another path which makes you seriously wonder – who is actually is the guilty ones and who is being played?

Check out The Imposter when it opens in theaters August 17th.


Our review of The Queen of Versailles

The Queen of Versailles Rated: PG

Run Time: 100 mins.

Genre: Documentary

Directed by Lauren Greenfield

Opens: Friday, August 10th

By Lisa Minzey

Over at the Phoenix Film Festival, we have been checking out some of the new movies in theaters, one of them being this week’s documentary release of The Queen of Versailles.  Director Lauren Greenfield won the U.S. Directing Award for Documentary Film at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her work on this film.

What started out as a documentary profiling David & Jackie Siegel, billionaire couple, David being the founder/ owner of the Westgate Resorts building their dream home, quickly turned in to a much different story due to economic circumstances. Westgate Resorts at the start of filming in 2008 was one of the largest timeshare companies in the world.   Life was grand; business was doing well, everyone was happy and David and Jackie were on track to building one of the largest homes in America, inspired by the grand French palace Versailles.  The home was estimated at about $100 million in value when completed. The Siegel’s life was truly a rag to riches story, as Jackie & David both came from nothing and worked hard to build the American dream.

When the crash of 2008 happened, no one actually knew how much this would affect Westgate and their holdings, especially Jackie. Jackie is a smart woman, but much of her attention is placed on other things & people such as her 7 kids, her charities, shopping trips and other luxurious activities.  David, on the other hand, is watching the money like a hawk; trying to figure out a way to save his company and everything he has worked his entire life for, is now slipping away.

It’s a fascinating look on the flip side of economic recession, and how it affected those that are in a higher economic bracket.  It’s a rags to riches back to rags story that you should definitely check out when it hits theaters Friday August 10th.


Hope Springs review

Hope Springs


Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carrell


Directed by David Frankel

Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 100 mins

Genre: Comedy/ Drama


Opens: Wednesday August 8, 2012

By Lisa Minzey


Hello Fellow Movie Goers!  This week we have a special treat – a mid week movie review!  This week’s latest release is from director David Franklel (The Devil Wears Prada, Marley and Me) and reunites him with Meryl Streep in this dramatic comedy, Hope Springs.


After 31 years of marriage, Kay (Meryl Streep) still loves her husband Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones). Every day she wakes up and makes her husband breakfast. Two eggs sunny side up and one slice of bacon, extra crispy with a piping hot mug of coffee. Arnold comes down to breakfast, puts down his briefcase and sits down to eat his breakfast and read the morning paper. Day after day, week after week, it has been the same routine. Arnold goes to work at his accounting firm, and Kay goes to her retail clerk job at a local woman’s clothing store. It’s not as passionate as it once was, but Kay hopes that for this year’s anniversary that Arnold will do something special to reignite the spark.


The anniversary comes and goes with no fanfare or affection.  They had the kids over for dinner and he fell asleep in front of the television watching the Golf Channel. Kay is desperate for a connection with Arnold but can’t find the right words to say or do.


While on a break from work, Kay wanders into Barnes & Noble Relationship section. Among all the books on Self Help & Sex Tips, she finds a book by Dr. Bernard Feld (Steve Carrel), “You Can Have the Marriage You Want”. The book inspires her to schedule a week long “vacation” of intense couple’s marriage counseling with Arnold to see if they can recapture that spark their marriage once had.


Arnold, being set in his stubborn & cheap-ass ways, refuses to go. Kay calmly gives him the option; be on the plane the next morning or don’t be surprised what happens when she gets back. Begrudgingly, Arnold makes the trip to see Dr. Feld in a sleepy town, in Northern Maine.


Once Kay & Arnold sit down with Dr. Feld, the awkwardness and lack of passion in their marriage is magnified tenfold. The topics of discussion revolve around their communication and sex life; neither Kay nor Arnold can sit through a session with out getting tongue tied or frustrated. Can Dr. Feld help them break down the walls that linger between Kay and Arnold before it’s beyond too late?



For a film that holds more drama than comedy, this was a pretty decent movie. All three lead actors give such strong performances to leave the impression of the viewer feeling like a fly on the wall of an actual couple’s therapy session. Some moments were funny; while moments were uncomfortable and shocking but overall an enjoyable film for the adult movie goer.


Check out Hope Springs when it opens in theaters August 8th, 2012.