Help us save The Little Theatre from eventually going out of business! At the end of this year, Kodak will no longer be selling the type of film that the Little needs to show films so they must raise $500,000 to convert to digital.
That’s where you come in! If you wouldn’t mind donating a minimum of $10 to this great cause, it would bring the Little Screen Saver Team closer to not only keeping The Little in business, but also preserving our culture in both classic and modern films for present and future generations.
Here's a link. It's really fast and easy! (You don’t need an account with Crowdrise to donate!)
Feel free to spread the word to friends and family!
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is having trouble sleeping. Don’t be surprised if you experience the same problem due to the adrenaline rush you will have when you watch this. Consider yourself warned.
After losing his home—and access to his most precious commodities—Tony must use his intellect and creativity to stop the Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley) from using a unique weapon on innocent people.
The storyline is well crafted and more than enough to stand on its own despite being part of a trilogy. “Iron Man 3” focuses on facing one’s demons both within and in others and, in doing so, ties in with the preceding movies about building oneself up after destruction while at the same time being willing to seek the help from others.
Like its main character, the story also doesn’t stop for a rest. This, however, isn’t suggesting that the entire story doesn’t leave room for dramatic and comedic scenes and/or character development. Director Shane Black, who also co-wrote the script with Drew Pearce, leave much room for the storytelling elements behind many great stories, but it’s their execution that provides the audience with a swift, but entertaining experience rather than a steady, yet mediocre or dull experience.
With summer blockbusters comes criticism that these movies are less about thinking and more about the action and special effects. However, in looking deeper into this film—as well as into its predecessors—one could infer that intelligence and ingenuity, above everything else, is vital. In “Iron Man”, we experience who Tony used to be (for the most part as he still thinks very highly of himself) and who he starts to become after several near-death experiences. In “Iron Man 2”, after he has revealed his new identity to the world, he has to deal with the consequences of both that and with his well-being long after his first near-death experience. In Iron Man 3, his character has transformed into a person, if not fully relatable, caring enough to go out of his way for people while, at the same time, use his inventive abilities to face his demons.
A factor that will blow audiences away—other than Downey Jr’s one-liners—is the gadgetry. As shown in the trailer—as to not reveal any spoilers—there are several suits and each has its own unique (and epic) purpose. Even our villain has a few tricks that compete with Stark’s inventive ideas. As previously mentioned, Stark has little to no access to his home tech, but there are some new tools he creates that curb this otherwise unfortunate condition.
As exciting as it is to see Sir Ben Kingsley portray a villain, the rightfully dubbed knight is only in “Iron Man 3” for approximately twenty minutes and it’s unfortunate as his reveal is a bit anti-climatic.
Additionally, as the movie comes to a close, something that Tony could have done in the very beginning of the franchise is finally completed. It’s a logical flaw that doesn’t take away from the experience, but it still makes one question the need for “Iron Man 2”.
Nevertheless, Downey Jr.’s never-ending and stinging, yet comical banter, the exciting plot, the abundance of the implausible, but incredible machinery, and the importance of intellect makes for a worthwhile trip to theaters to kick off this season of blockbusters.
Jim's Rating: 8.8/10
**DON'T FORGET TO STAY SEATED AFTER THE END CREDITS TO WATCH A BONUS SCENE!**
Comment below and click on the picture to view the trailer!
Don't worry. That is COMPLETELY understandable!
Be sure to listen to a song from Hans Zimmer's score available in stores on June 11! It's enough to move one to tears...and in case you don't believe me, hear it for yourself and then comment below!
Producer(s): Kori Rae ("The Incredibles", "Monsters, Inc.", "Up")
Director: Dan Scanlon
Screenwriter(s): Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson, Dan Scanlon
Cast: Nathan Fillion, Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Aubrey Plaza, John Krasinski, Helen Mirren, Charlie Day, Alfred Molina, Bonnie Hunt, Sean P. Hayes, Frank Oz
Release Date: June 21, 2013
With this trailer, why not give it a shot?
Producer(s): Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Thomas Tull
Director: Guillermo del Toro ("Pan's Labyrinth", "Hellboy", "Blade II")
Screenwriter(s): Travis Beacham, Guillermo del Toro, Drew Pearce
Cast: Idris Elba, Ron Perlman, Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, Clifton Collins Jr.
Release Date: July 12, 2013
Tow trucks deliver some cars from our neighbors to the south for the Spider-Man 2 shoot to be filmed here in Rochester next week. For more information about the production, road closings, and traffic delays and detours, you can go to cityofrochester.gov/spiderman.
Picture Credit: @seanlahman via Twitter
Producer(s): Kevin Feige
Director: Alan Taylor ("Game of Thrones")
Screenwriter(s): Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Don Payne (story)
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Eccleston, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Jaimie Alexander, Idris Elba
Release Date: November 8, 2013
High Falls Film Festival, held in Rochester, NY, featured movies at The Little Theatre, The Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House, and The Cinema this past weekend. Four of the films were as follows, "Casting By", "The Girls in the Band", "Future Weather", and "Harisma".
Only one credit remains without recognition under major film awards ceremonies, such as The Oscars and the Golden Globes: casting.
“Casting By”, directed by Tom Donahue, is the story of Marion Dougherty, a casting director who began her career in the 1960s. She shaped the way that actors and actresses were cast and how she, in many ways helped—now highly respected and well-known actors—get their start in television shows and feature films.
Several interviews—that involved many actors as well as various casting directors (most of whom learned casting techniques from Dougherty)—really brought the audience a sense of who she was and her tremendous contribution to the film community. The editing in this film never gives the film away as a documentary (at least, in the traditional sense). The use of sketches, animated pictures, and numerous film clips intermixed with one another really makes it fun for the audience as different interviewees tell their story regarding their casting experiences with Dougherty. A few of the film clips shown throughout the film are of well-known actors (Clint Eastwood, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Diane Lane, etc.). Audience members get to see actors at their best and their very worst before they became “great” as told in the manner previously mentioned. “Casting By” feels more like a personal and exclusive film with the way Marion’s career story is interwoven with some of the obstacles actors had encountered being cast for parts in movies, especially those recognized as critically acclaimed. In viewing “Casting By”, the experience felt like a private party and everyone in the audience at that moment was part of a small, select club of film enthusiasts.
While a majority of the editing in the film provided for some of the humor and entertainment, some of the editing didn’t make aesthetic sense with the rest of the film. The camera would cut to scenes that, if omitted, wouldn’t have had any impact on the movie overall. Although odd, however, these are only minor and thus, don’t take a lot out of the general experience.
“Casting By” is a very engaging documentary about a woman who was very much the backbone to the movie-making process, but never received recognition despite her influence and the foundation she granted for many actors’ careers. Once in this movie, it’s a journey that you don’t want to see come to an end. It will make you think about the dedication, patience, and stamina that casting directors have and the politics that keeps these dedicated men and women from receiving the honor they rightfully deserve.
Jim’s Rating: 9.5/10
'The Girls in the Band'
Clora Bryant. Peggy Gilbert. Melba Liston. Who are these women and what do they have in common? They were all jazz musicians—trumpeter, saxophonist, trombonist, respectfully—and it’s not surprising that their names may not ring a bell, which is a shame given their talent emphasized greatly in this movie.
“The Girls in the Band”, directed by Judy Chaikin, captures the ridicule, the pain, and the hardship that female instrumentalists had to encounter and endure each day of their careers mainly initiated by their male counterparts, some of whom were, and still are, highly respected musicians.
Each story, as told by several women, although different, resonates well together to reflect issues they had with prejudice—racially and sexually—, finances, and finding work. Through all of the adversity, however, there were good experiences. “The Girls in the Band” sustains as much humor as it does heartache. The girls were expected to dress in certain attire and act as a lady should (or, at least, how the men expected the ladies to act and dress, which were often impractical and/or hysterical. Not only is this a film that honors and chronicles the lives of these brave and passionate women, but it also features some of jazz’s most memorable songs (which won’t be spoiled for you here). Combined with the storylines and the inspiration brought on by them, the music greatly enhances the good time sure to be had by all who watch this film.
“The Girls in the Band” is an extremely well-done film that gives out the sort of recognition that no one ever could with its introduction to many musicians with whom many of even the most avid jazz fans won’t recognize and its reoccurring theme about not only how strong and brave women are, but also about their contributions to a type of music whose best players are not taught to play like professionals, but born with the gift to improvise and entertain many—regardless of gender.
Jim’s Rating: 10/10
With a title like this, it sounds like it’s bound to be exciting, right? Maybe? Lauduree (Perla Haney-Jardine), a thirteen-year-old girl who is adamant about conserving the environment and, in the midst of conducting an experiment, is blindsided by a sudden change leading to familial issues.
“Future Weather” feels like a movie that isn’t sure of itself; the storyline is all over the place. It’s unknown whether or not the pity should lean more towards the girl at times or if we should feel more pity—and a little bit of hatred—towards the mother (Marin Ireland). In other times, it’s unknown whether or not we should feel anything for the grandmother (Amy Madigan) who is not only having relationship issues, but must also adjust her life to adopt to the sudden changes in Lauduree’s life. Although Lauduree is a bit overdramatic and irrational, the grandmother doesn’t even acknowledge Lauduree’s passion and drive given the typical feelings towards academia for children her age.
Given the film’s several missed marks, the writer finds a clever way in bringing out Lauduree’s emotions through her mostly logical-thinking demeanor in one particularly moving scene. The acting, more specifically with the grandmother, Greta, is exceptional. Madigan gives Greta very tough skin; she is blunt and impetuous...and if Madigan was this way in real life, “Future Weather” brought out the best in her for this role (or the worst, depending on one’s perception). Although direction and script constantly shift her character traits, Madigan brings us a character with whom one would not thwart.
“Future Weather” is, unfortunately, a failed attempt to truly harness a girl’s struggle to cope with her dysfunctional family, or to, at least, keep the story and characters consistent and to keep the audience engaged. While some of the acting was fresh and convincing, whether it was the editing, the writing, or both, there was inconsistency with the plot and its characters.
Jim’s Rating: 4.5/10
“Harisma”, directed by Christina Ioakeimidi, comes to us from Greece and it is...amusingly odd. Haris (Makis Papadimitriou) is a school bus driver unhappy with his rather lonely life seeking what little happiness he can in meeting women in bars which, with his rather rude and aggressive behavior, only gets him so far. Ismini (Vasso Kavalieratou) is a young woman dating a married man whose son she babysits. Upon seeing Ismini for the first time greet who he think is her son, Haris is smitten. Though annoyingly persistent—or at least to Ismini—he hopes to win Ismini and make her come to terms with what her current relationship is doing to her.
For the entire time that Ismini and Haris know each other, there is no mistaking their chemistry. Although a completely different culture relative to ours, the way that these two interact is well-known. It is genuine and so much fun to watch! Ismini is entirely appalled at the idea of being with Haris and his wear-her-down tactics in pursuing her is hilarious (and strangely charming). While together, Haris and Ismini also have their moments of spontaneity—with his dancing and her funny faces—which only adds to the hilarity.
“Harisma”, however, pushes—if not shoves past the point of no return—with its five minute love scene closer to the beginning of the film between Ismini and her boyfriend, Mihalis (Yannis Tsortekis). Despite the nature of film given its synopsis, that scene is, indeed, an uncomfortable 5-10 minutes and a bit much considering the tone and direction of the rest of the movie. Additionally, the ending is rather peculiar and, if there was any symbolism attached to the final images, it was lost on the audience. Like the love scene, the ending could have either been cut out entirely or have been shot differently without affecting the storyline.
“Harisma” although familiar in its basic storyline, is a different approach to two of the most unlikely people becoming lovers. It has quite a few odd and delightfully unpredictable moments with the way characters behave and react to situations and other people. “Harisma” is an outlandishly comical love story.
Jim’s Rating: 5.5/10
New trailers for 'Man of Steel' and 'Star Trek Into Darkness' are making things quite interesting (and a bit threatening). Leave it to Michael Shannon and Benedict Cumberbatch to give us chills...well done, gentlemen. Well done.
**UPDATE**: Click here for the first clip for 'Star Trek Into Darkness'!
For full cast and crew info, go to IMDB. 'Man of Steel', directed by Zack Snyder, is out in theaters on June 14.
Going into theaters thinking that this is going to be like “Remember the Titans” or “Glory Road” but with major league baseball isn’t a fair judgment. Plus, neither of those movies had Harrison Ford (although, that is NOT to say that Denzel Washington and Josh Lucas aren’t talented).
Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play major league baseball must deal with racial prejudice and harassment from his teammates, the press, baseball fans, and other teams. With Branch Rickey’s (Ford) turn-the-other-cheek attitude in mind, Jackie Robinson changes the face of baseball forever.
Chadwick Boseman is a charming newcomer who approaches Robinson as a playfully quick-witted and bold young man trying to do what he loves without injury to himself or anyone else and without losing his dignity with everyone watching. “42”, unlike many other movies that focus on racial prejudice, really stresses the importance of resisting confrontation and being civil even when being treated appallingly.
Helping Robinson, throughout his career (or, at least, that of which is covered in the movie), is Branch Rickey, the baseball executive responsible for integrating major league baseball. Rickey is a different character for Ford, whom he impeccably portrays in this film. He’s a rather religious man, but one who’s not afraid to be unyielding, given the circumstances of his decision. With the film’s ever-present tension, it’s appropriate that the story should have its comedic moments. Ford, in being this firm and resilient figure is, surprisingly the main person providing us with his no holds barred manner of speaking his and unusual, but hilarious one-liners.
“42” is a beautifully lit film with the soundtrack to match to give it that ‘40’s feel. A few shots in this film resemble that of actual pictures taken of the real baseball players of whom this movie features. It is not only iconic, but it also gives the few baseball fans that still remember these days that much more to appreciate.
Like many biopics, the pacing for this movie overall is a bit slow. Nevertheless, it is obvious, to some degree, why the movie seems somewhat sluggish. Director Brian Helgeland (“A Knight’s Tale”, “Payback”) takes his time developing character in each of Robinson’s teammates on top of Robinson’s own struggle. Helgeland invites the audience in on their conversations, their individual responses, and their feelings over time about what they’re facing with the arrival of their new teammate.
Though an inspiring movie, “42” has some faults, if only minor. The editing in the beginning doesn’t logically make sense. Although the plot is very straightforward, the editing creates slight confusion with location and timing.
“42” is a great examination of what it means to do what you have to do in order to do what you want to do…no matter how difficult that journey may be. It’s the retelling of a story that we thought we knew with terrific performances, excellent cinematography, and inspiring messages. “42” is truly a story built to last.
Jim's Rating: 8.75/10
Producer(s): Nina Jacobson, Jon Kilik
Director: Francis Lawrence ("Water for Elephants", "I Am Legend", "Constantine")
Screenwriter(s): Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lenny Kravitz, Sam Claflin, Stanley Tucci, Jena Malone, Toby Jones, Jeffrey Wright
Release Date: November 22, 2013
Producer(s): Simon Kinberg
Director: Neill Blomkamp ("District 9")
Screenwriter(s): Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
Release Date: August 9, 2013
Producer(s): Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight Rises", "Inception"), Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Emma Thomas
Director: Zack Snyder ("300", "Watchmen", "Sucker Punch")
Screenwriter(s): David S. Goyer
Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne
Release Date: June 14, 2013
If you walk into the theater with average expectations thinking it’s just another kids movie given that it’s an animated movie, you’re going to walk out impressed. Actually, regardless of what you feel going into this movie, you will walk out satisfied. “The Croods” is more than just a family movie; it’s an adorable prehistoric family movie with modern-day messages for parents and kids.
Eep (Emma Stone), a teenager in prehistoric times, curious about the world outside of her family’s cave, meets a boy, Guy (Ryan Reynolds), whose inventive ideas and knowledge about their changing world help the Croods discover more than they know about the world and about themselves.
Upon stepping outside of the cave, we are introduced to the environment in which they have been neighbors to for as long as they were in the cave. A significant portion of this movie involves taking in the sights of this prehistoric era even if it is someone else’s (animated) idea of what the world may have looked like so long ago.
Although it’s set in prehistoric times, this family is very much relatable to everyone’s family. Cloris Leachman is the voice of the grandmother and the banter between her and the father, Grug (Nicolas Cage), provides for some of the comedic relief. Comedy is always appreciated, especially in movies that parents will most likely take their kids to see. Nevertheless, laughs won’t be the only thing that audiences take away from this movie. Parents will appreciate (while kids enjoy and look up to) the messages that the two young adults in this movie present.
Eep is not only a symbol of curiosity and in taking risks, but she also represents the females who aren’t usually shown on the big screen. Eep is slender, but she’s also curvy. Not only does it make sense—because she does from a family of hunter-gatherers—but it’s a broader representation of what girls look like relative to most of the cartoons out there promoting otherwise.
Guy represents innovation, progression and, like Eep, risk-taking. His ideas, however ridiculous and unfamiliar to the Croods, consistently help get them out of rough spots and into safety. Guy’s quick thinking and creativity are traits that are in people that run many of the successful businesses today while still falling under the necessary survival instincts needed in an environment such as this one.
“The Croods” is an adorable family movie that kids can take a lot from regarding taking risks, being innovative, and brave with trying new things and discovering things that we don’t quite understand. It’s a movie that appeals to adults while still making the movie going experience educational and fun for kids. It is worth every penny spent at the theater. Its modern day ideas, quirky and good-natured dialogue between family members, and eye-catching scenery easily makes “The Croods” a contender for next year’s Best Animated Film at the Oscars.
Jim's Rating: 9.5/10
Producer(s): Danny Boyle, Christian Colson
Director: Danny Boyle
Screenwriter(s): Joe Ahearne, John Hodge
Cast: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel
Release Date: April 5, 2013 (limited)
Producer(s): J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci
Director: J.J Abrams
Screenwriters: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Damon Lindelof
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Bruce Greenwood, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban, and John Cho.
Release Date: May 17, 2013
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is officially getting a sequel! Read about it here!
A western featuring Natalie Portman ("Black Swan", "Thor"), Joel Edgerton ("The Great Gatsby", "Warrior", "Zero Dark Thirty"), and Jude Law ("Anna Karenina", "Side Effects", "Sherlock Holmes")? YES PLEASE! If only someone could guarantee that this movie happens...
First, Michael Fassbender drops out (but to go play Magneto in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past', so we forgive him for that), but then the director, Lynne Ramsay, doesn't show up...on the first day of shooting.
Joss Whedon is busy. Quentin Tarantino just directed a western and he's most likely busy. Sam Raimi is also busy. Ridley Scott is all about sci-fi and ancient/medieval action films/dramas (he's working on 'Exodus' right now, so there's that). Yes, he's busy too. Anyone for Paul Thomas Anderson (not to be confused with Paul WS Anderson) or Clint Eastwood?
UPDATE: Gavin O'Connor is directing, but then we lose someone else...
Tribeca Film Festival is looking for members to join their crew program! For more information (and to apply), click the icon below! The Tribeca Film Festival is being held April 17 - April 28.