25 June, 2015

The Local Lense: #GAfilm Updates 6/25 - Jennifer Garner, Daniel Radcliffe, Isla Fisher

Jennifer Garner, Queen Latifah, Daniel Radcliffe, Josh Brolin, Isla Fisher and more! Hosts Beth Keener and Greer Howard bring you the 411 on entertainment news in Georgia. Find out what's filming, who's here and what to watch!

This week, catch up on the details of "Miracles from Heaven" with Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah (to film in Georgia this summer); "Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter" with Josh Brolin and Danny McBride (filming in Georgia); and "Young Americans" with Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan (filming in New Orleans and Atlanta this fall). Plus, catch some info on "The Magnificent Seven" with Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington, set to film in Louisiana.

Find out where Isla Fisher ("Keeping Up with the Joneses"), Andrew Lincoln ("The Walking Dead"),  and Kanye West and OutKast were spotted around town!

Check out TV updates from MTV's "Finding Cater," Lifetime's "Devious Maids," USA's "Complications" and SundanceTV's "Rectify." Stay tuned to the end to see set pictures from "Allegiant: Part 1" with Shailene Woodley, "Mena" with Tom Cruise, "The Founder" with Michael Keaton and "Captain America: Civil War" with Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie.

24 June, 2015

Review: "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" (****½)

Thomas Mann and Olivia Cooke star in "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl."

An adaptation of the same-titled novel by Jesse Andrews, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is about a self-aware and 'gopher-faced' (his words, not mine) high school senior named Greg (Thomas Mann) who is forced, per his mother’s request, to hang out with Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a classmate who could barely be called an acquaintance, once she’s been diagnosed with cancer. And the result of that first, initial, forced hang-out is… well, it’s magic. And Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s direction is risky and wild and perfectly on point. He creates a world you want to live in and characters you want to believe in.

21 June, 2015

Review: "Inside Out" (*****)

Joy (Amy Poehler) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) star in "Inside Out."

Pixar, the studio that has brought us some of the most unique memorable and iconic films of the past two decades has a new instant classic on their hands. "Inside Out" is not only a return to form for the animation house—after a few years of sequels and somewhat uninspired films—but a reminder of just how powerful and profound the best Pixar films are capable of being.

The story revolves around an 11-year-old girl named Riley. Riley loves her family, playing hockey and being a goofball with her friends. Riley also has a lot going on in her mind—which is where the majority of the story takes place. We’re introduced at the beginning of the film to Riley’s five core emotions—Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. Each of these emotions are characters working together to control how Riley feels about everyday situations. The film’s main protagonist is Joy. Amy Poehler voices Joy and gives the character so much life and energy it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. Joy introduces us to the other emotions as well as how everything in Riley’s head works—memories, day dreams, expectations, etc. Pixar’s vision of the inner mind is absolutely a dream to watch. It’s just as adorable as it is brilliant.

16 June, 2015

The Local Lense: #GAfilm Updates 6/15 - Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicki Minaj

Tom Cruise, Michael Keaton, Jennifer Lawrence, Kerry Washington and more! Hosts Beth Keener and Greer Howard bring you the 411 on entertainment news in Georgia. Find out what's filming, who's here and what to watch!

We are thrilled to be featuring The Local Lense here at Reel Georgia! Every week, Beth Keener and Greer Howard host the Entertainment Buzz—giving you the complete #GAfilm rundown of what's filming, what celebrities were spotted and which TV shows were locally-lensed and feature local talent.

This week, catch up on the details of "Mena" with Tom Cruise (filming in Ballground); "Captain America: Civil War" with Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie (filming in Metro Atlanta); "The Founder" with Michael Keaton (filming in Canton); "The Do Over" with Adam Sandler and David Spade (filming in Savannah); "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" with Jennifer Lawrence (filming reshoots in Dawsonville); "Allegiant: Part 1" with Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (filming in Rome and Metro Atlanta); and "Barbershop 3" with Ice Cube, Nicki Minaj and Anthony Anderson (filming in Atlanta).

Also, there are TV updates from HBO's "Confirmation" with Kerry Washington, Lifetime's "Devious Maids," AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire" and more! Stay tuned to the end to find out how you can win a free one-hour private coaching session from Atlanta acting studio Drama Inc.

13 June, 2015

Review: "Ex Machina" (****)

Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac star in "Ex Machina."

Alex Garland’s provocative sci-fi/thriller “Ex Machina” hinges on three characters: Ava, Nathan and Caleb. Ava, played by the stunning Alicia Vikander (previously seen in “Anna Karenina,” “A Royal Affair” and “Seventh Son”), is our object of study, the artificially intelligent woman whose humanity—or lack-there-of—is called into question. Next we have Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a genius who at the mere age of 13 created Blue Book (think Wikipedia or Google), and has since become a loner of sorts living in a far-off land surrounded only by trees and green and the AI machines he creates. He’s authoritative and strong-willed and relentless when it comes to creating an artificially intelligent being, and Isaac plays this character to perfection. To act as Nathan’s counterbalance, we have Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson). He’s an inherently sympathetic and approachably handsome young programmer who works at Blue Book. After winning a company-wide contest, Caleb takes a long-winding helicopter ride to Nathan’s house to claim his prize of a week-long visit with the boss. And then… slow building tension and experiments and eeriness ensues.

12 June, 2015

Review: "Slow West" (**½)

Editor's Note: This review was written by the newest member of the Reel Georgia family—and someone I've been chasing after to contribute for quite a while—Jessica Hinckle. An expert wordsmith, script supervisor, film festival organizer and all-around human woman, I know that everyone will appreciate the wonderfully unique, clever and personal touch that Jessica will bring to her stories. -CM

Michael Fassbender stars in "Slow West."

“Slow West” is the directorial debut of John Maclean and I can only imagine that he woke up one day with some kind of deep-seated need to combine his experience with unrequited love with his Wes Anderson fetish and then… make it a western? Or rather, whatever caricature of a western he’d conjured in a dream… a dream induced possibly by an absinthe bender. No, seriously.

However, it’s difficult for me to fault this artsy bit of film (it’s 84 minutes) for blatantly defying the tropes of the typical western—that I can get on board with; westerns have been done, done again, been shot in the head, and then have gotten back up to John Wayne themselves back across the desert for one more whiskey. But it’s far too obvious that its primary purpose was that. And it wasn’t terribly convincing. Because a film can’t stand on a quirky idea alone. It needs a story—one that, you know, makes sense.

Review: "Ride" (**½)

Brenton Thwaites and Helen Hunt star in "Ride."

Despite its earnestness, effort, and smooth cinematography, “Ride,” the sophomore effort from writer/director/star Helen Hunt, lands with a small and underwhelming splash. The film begins (and ends, really) with Helen Hunt’s character, Jackie, a shrill, iron-haired, nearly-unforgivable New Yorker; though, in all honesty, as the 90-minute feature slugs forward, Jackie becomes somewhat likeable… or if she doesn’t become likeable, she becomes, at the very least, sympathetic.

31 May, 2015

Review: "The Last Five Years" (****)

Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick star in "The Last Five Years." 

Richard LaGravenese’s adaptation of “The Last Five Years” opens with Cathy (the charming and endlessly talented Anna Kendrick) walking slowly through a nearly-abandoned New York City brownstone singing one of the films best and most poignant songs, “Still Hurting,” a deep and chilling number about the aftermath and heartbreak of a once dreamy relationship with Jamie (the dimpled and big-voiced Jeremy Jordon, Tony-nominated for his performance in "Newsies") that has now turned sour and cold. “The Last Five Years” the film was inspired by and derived from Jason Robert Brown’s off-Broadway production that had a short, successful run. I never saw the play (believe me, I wish I did), but let me tell you, this movie is wonderful.

04 May, 2015

The Short Circuit: 2015 GSU Student Film Festival Jury Selections Screen at the High Museum of Art

GSUFF sign outside the Hill Auditorium.
Last Thursday, twelve jury selected student films screened at the annual GSU Student Film Festival (GSUFF) at the renowned High Museum of Art. These films were selected from over sixty submitted works produced in Georgia State University media production courses during the past academic year. Yours truly was in attendance to give you a look into a night of exciting student films.

A wide variety of works were represented throughout the night, with films ranging from documentaries on music and dance to stop motion animation and experimental films. Parents seem to be an inspiration among this year's filmmakers with films such as "Dad," "Mom," and "Emilio" portraying the struggles and lives of caregivers. While some films stood out through breathtaking cinematography and film editing, others got lost in the crowd. But as a whole, I was thoroughly impressed with the programming of the night.

27 April, 2015

Get Passes to a Free Screening of "Far From the Madding Crowd" in Atlanta!

On Tuesday, April 28th in Atlanta, the Atlanta Film Festival is hosting a free advanced screening of Thomas Vinterberg's "Far From the Madding Crowd," starring Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen and Tom Sturridge.

Get your free passes below!