April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: Anthony D’Alessandro

14th Annual Hollywood Film Festival unveils line-up

HollywoodNews.com: The 14th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards, presented by Starz, has unveiled its line-up of finalists for this year’s festival, founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu announced today. The programming includes features, documentaries and shorts from around the world.
The Hollywood Film Festival, which takes place October 22-25 at ArcLight Cinemas, will open on Friday, October 22, with the feature “RECONCILIATION: MANDELA’S MIRACLE,” a sensitive documentary about how Nelson Mandela saved his country from bloody civil war and dismantled the system of apartheid through the spirit of reconciliation. The documentary was directed by Michael Henry Wilson and stars FW De Klerk, Zindzi Mandela, Clint Eastwood, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Francois Pienaar and The Springboks.
This year’s lineup includes “THE 5TH QUARTER,” a film by Rick Bieber that is based on real events in 2006 and stars Aidan Quinn, Andie MacDowell, and Ryan Merriman; “BENEATH THE BLUE,” directed by Michael D. Sellers and starring Paul Wesley as a young Naval officer who is assigned to “recover” a dolphin that has disappeared from the Navy’s Marine Mammal program; “BLACK, WHITE AND BLUES,” a film by Mario Van Peebles that stars Michael Clarke Duncan, Tom Skerritt, Kiele Sanchez, Taryn Manning, Luke Perry, and Morgan Simpson; “BROTHER’S JUSTICE,” directed by David Palmer and Dax Shepard, and starring Dax Shepard, Tom Arnold, Nate Tuck, Bradley Cooper, and David Koechner; “FORT MCCOY,” a film by Kate Connor and Michael Worth that stars Eric Stoltz, Kate Connor, Lyndsy Fonseca, Andy Hirsch, Camryn Manheim, and Seymour Cassel, and is based on the true story of Kate Connor’s grandparents when they lived next to a Nazi POW camp in Wisconsin during WWII — a coming-of-age story, a romance and the journey of one man struggling to find his worth in a war that does not want him; and “WILD TARGET,” a film by Jonathan Lynn that stars Emily Blunt, Bill Nighy, Rupert Grint, and Rupert Everett. It is the story of Rose, a beautiful, quick-witted con-artist, who makes a killing selling fake paintings. But when she scams an art loving gangster, he sets Europe’s most efficient and expensive assassin on her tail.
For comedic artists around the world, Hollywood has always been the final stop and the festival continues to spotlight those burgeoning cinematic masters of laughs in the second year of the Hollywood Comedy Film Festival, curated by entertainment journalist Anthony D’Alessandro.
Among those films showing this year is [...]

‘Salt’ Review: The Evolution of Girl Power

HollywoodNews.com:
By Anthony D’Alessandro
The 1970s Virginia Slims cigarette promos boasted the slogan “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” toward their femme demo and the same prideful adage can be applied to the female action hero who has broken ceilings at the cinema over the last 40 years.
In the wake of the body count left behind by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone in the ’80s and ‘90s, it’s often asked Who is the action hero of now?
As a fresh crop of actors make their mark in the genre, they become too pretentious about fully wearing the crown for fear of being pigeon-holed: Gerard Butler and Vin Diesel prefer to dabble in bullets.
If you’re holding out for a hero, “Salt” reminds us that our cinematic knight in shining armor wears a dress and her name is Angelina Jolie. Jolie doesn’t duck her head when labeled as an action lead: She knows that there are enough Oscar-worthy offers out there for her, even if she gets a little grease on her hands.
Sure, we’ve already seen Jolie’s finesse with fisticuffs in “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” but “Salt” showcases the actress’ physical prowess at its zenith with arm-breaking acrobatics and the overall philosophy that it’s better to send in a woman to do a man’s job — a shout out to Tom Cruise who was originally intended for the title role.
In the Phillip Noyce-directed film, Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent who comes to the realization that she’s a sleeper Russian spy after her childhood Soviet intelligence-mentor Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) outs her before her U.S. associates. Salt’s ultimate mission is to assassinate the Russian president at a New York City funeral for the U.S. vice president. From this point on, “Salt” turns into a lean and mean chase as the title character defies any punishments that her Yankee counterparts, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (an intense Chiwetel Ejiofor) wish to rain on her.
Noyce is no stranger to spy actioners having hit his stride with the Tom Clancy adaptations “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger.” What makes “Salt” more enjoyable is that it doesn’t get bogged down in the politico-spy speak of those films, rather it takes the square root of them, distilling down to a heart-thumping orchestration of stunts, eloquently backed by James Newtown Howard’s string and [...]

‘True Blood’ spoiler: Alcide vs. Eric

HollywoodNews.com: Like blood leaking from a vampire’s victim, more “True Blood” spoilers arrive on the internet.
On the horizon is a smack down between Alcide the werewolf (Joe Manganiello) and the evil vampire Eric (Alexander Skarsgård). And who are they fighting over?
Why the love of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin).
“Obviously, Bill and Sookie have been having some problems, and Alcide is in a very interesting position as far as all of that goes,” Manganiello tells E! “And Eric steps into the mix as well.
“Werewolves and vampires don’t like each other to begin with. You will wind up seeing Eric and Alcide together at some point. When I was being cast, I heard that they were looking for somebody as tall or taller than Alex because they wanted somebody who could square off against him. I’ll just say that.”
Alcide’s unstable ex-girlfriend, Debbie (Brit Morgan), is expected to stir the pot as well.
“Everybody has that psycho ex that will not go away, right?” adds Manganiello.
Read Anthony D’Alessandro’s True Blood Trails blog here.
Photo credit: John P. Johnson
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Hollywood Film Festival 2010 extends call for entries

HollywoodNews.com: The 14th annual Hollywood Film Festival, presented by Starz, has extended their “2010 Call For Entries” for all of its categories and genres including features, documentaries, shorts, animation, drama, comedy, and horror. The Hollywood Film Festival will run from October 20 to 25 at the state-of-the-art ArcLight Cinemas, in Hollywood. The Festival will be capped off by the annual prestigious Hollywood Awards Gala on October 25, which lauds both annual and career achievements of Hollywood’s emerging and established talents.
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR FILM NOW
“In recessionary times, when funding for independent films is sparse and distribution acquisitions are tight, a festival run is more crucial than ever for the exhibition of promising cinematic works,” said festival founder Carlos de Abreu, “We at the Hollywood Film Festival continue to provide an A-plus platform in the world’s movie capital for burgeoning filmmakers to showcase their passion projects before their friends, film lovers, and the industry at large.”
The 14th annual Hollywood Film Festival will continue to offer moviegoers a full schedule of tributes, Q&A panels and a diverse schedule of works from around the globe.
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR FILM NOW
“It has been an honor for Starz to be the major sponsor over the past few years of the Hollywood Film Festival,” said Stephan Shelanski, executive vice president, programming for Starz. “The Festival continues to grow each year, and we look forward to seeing the current crop of film entries for 2010.”
As is tradition, the Hollywood Awards Gala ceremony will launch the awards season, honoring those artists and filmmakers who are bound to leave a long lasting impression in the months to come. Last year, the Hollywood Awards recognized such films as The Hurt Locker, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire and Up well in advance of their major Oscar wins. In the last 7 years, a total of 65 Oscar® nominations and 21 Oscars® were given to films showcased and/or to the nominees and honorees of the Hollywood Awards.In addition, the festival will launch its first Human Rights Symposium on Saturday, October 24, which includes the screening of a documentary highlighting the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a symposium on ‘Ending Violence Against Women’ in the Congo, plus the presentation of an award to the winner of the ‘Come Clean 4 Congo’ contest.
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR FILM NOW
The Hollywood Film Festival is proud to [...]

Interview with ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ director Jay Roach – Hollywood In Ten

HollywoodNews.com: HollywoodNews.com’s interview feature, “Hollywood In Ten,” showcases the creative individuals responsible for the movies we love and corners them for 10 quality minutes.
Recently, Anthony D’Alessandro caught up with “Dinner for Schmucks” director Jay Roach who has a reputation for catapulting comedies to the top of the box office chart. Since first working with Mike Myers on the first “Austin Powers” in 1997, Roach’s producer-director credits have racked up over $2.2 billion at the global B.O.
Roach talks about his criteria for choosing projects, “Austin Powers 4,” method comedic actors, stand-up Emo Philips, a looming Tom Hanks feature and his role outside the director’s chair on the third “Meet the Parents” chapter, “Little Fockers” (which Roach still served as producer on).
“Dinner for Schmucks,” based on the 1998 French film “The Dinner Game” follows a burgeoning financial executive played by Paul Rudd, who in order to peg his way up the company ladder, must bring an idiot to a dinner that his boss (Bruce Greenwood) is hosting. The idea of the event is for upper class people to poke fun at real life wackos. Rudd finds a wacko in Steve Carell’s Barry, a sincere man with a flair for recreating famed paintings with stuffed dead mice.
Listen to our Hollywood In Ten interview with Jay Roach below:

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Hollywood Film Festival 2010 Call for Entries

HollywoodNews.com: The 14th annual Hollywood Film Festival, presented by Starz, announces their “2010 Call For Entries” for all of its categories and genres including features, documentaries, shorts, animation, drama, comedy, and horror. The Hollywood Film Festival will run from October 20 to 25 at the state-of-the-art ArcLight Cinemas, in Hollywood. The Festival will be capped off by the annual prestigious Hollywood Awards Gala on October 25, which lauds both annual and career achievements of Hollywood’s emerging and established talents.
“In recessionary times, when funding for independent films is sparse and distribution acquisitions are tight, a festival run is more crucial than ever for the exhibition of promising cinematic works,” said festival founder Carlos de Abreu, “We at the Hollywood Film Festival continue to provide an A-plus platform in the world’s movie capital for burgeoning filmmakers to showcase their passion projects before their friends, film lovers, and the industry at large.”
The 14th annual Hollywood Film Festival will continue to offer moviegoers a full schedule of tributes, Q&A panels and a diverse schedule of works from around the globe.
“It has been an honor for Starz to be the major sponsor over the past few years of the Hollywood Film Festival,” said Stephan Shelanski, executive vice president, programming for Starz. “The Festival continues to grow each year, and we look forward to seeing the current crop of film entries for 2010.”
As is tradition, the Hollywood Awards Gala ceremony will launch the awards season, honoring those artists and filmmakers who are bound to leave a long lasting impression in the months to come. Last year, the Hollywood Awards recognized such films as The Hurt Locker, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire and Up well in advance of their major Oscar wins. In the last 7 years, a total of 65 Oscar® nominations and 21 Oscars® were given to films showcased and/or to the nominees and honorees of the Hollywood Awards.In addition, the festival will launch its first Human Rights Symposium on Saturday, October 24, which includes the screening of a documentary highlighting the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a symposium on ‘Ending Violence Against Women’ in the Congo, plus the presentation of an award to the winner of the ‘Come Clean 4 Congo’ contest.
The Hollywood Film Festival is proud to continue the Hollywood Comedy Film Festival in its second year as curated by entertainment journalist Anthony D’Alessandro. Last [...]