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Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category:


NEW FEATURETTE: ’12 Years A Slave’ Script To Screen

’12 Years A Slave’ takes us back to 1841, a time of insanity in our nation’s history. This should be required viewing. If it makes you feel nauseated, that’s the whole point.  Solomon Northup’s book finally gets the feature film treatment it deserves.  You can follow me on Twitter @MovieInterview or Instagram @TheMovieInterview Southern California! Check out the best very best theaters, KRIKORIAN PREMIERE THEATERS.




The Movie Interview EXCLUSIVE: Nicolas Cage talks The Frozen Ground

Nic Cage talks with Leo Quinones about going to ‘dark places’ to research the roles he plays.  The Frozen Ground is true story about a serial killer(John Cusack) & the sole witness who barely escaped his deadly grasp.  Plus, Nic talks about ‘Man of Steel’ & wearing the famed Superman costume. Follow Leo Quinones on Twitter @MovieInterview & Instagram at TheMovieInterview

The Frozen Ground interview with Nic Cage from Leo Quinones on Vimeo.



The Movie Interview EXCLUSIVE: Vanessa Hudgens of The Frozen Ground

The Movie Interview presents Vanessa Hudgens of The Frozen Ground.  Leo Quinones sits down with Vanessa Hudges to talk about the true story of The Frozen Ground.  Follow Leo Quinones on Twitter @MovieInterview and on Instagram at TheMovieInterview

The Frozen Ground interview with Vanessa Hudgens from Leo Quinones on Vimeo.



The Way Way Back Movie Review

Steve Carell is hands down one of the nicest people in show business.  That’s why it’s such a shocker seeing him play Trent in ‘The Way Way Back.’ Audiences will gasp at his sheer & utter douchey-ness.  It’s perfect.  He’s a bully & his target is Duncan (Liam James.) He’s just a kid who happens to be the son of Pam (Toni Collette), Trent’s girlfriend for the summer.  It’s no secret, kid’s have been taking crap from adults since the beginning of time. What makes this movie so memorable is you feel like you’re the one getting dumped on, hard.  It’s an amazing feeling when you start to flinging it back into adult’s faces.

Duncan escapes daily verbal beat downs from Trent by taking a part-time job at Water Wizz.  It’s there where he meets the water park’s fast-talking, fratboy owner, Owen (Sam Rockwell.) These two just hit it off & from there on out, Rockwell steals the movie.  Trent’s mission: To make Duncan’s summer vacation miserable. Owen’s Mission: Be the best Wing-Man, have a blast & make Duncan a man.  Along the way, we see first crushes, parents who can’t handle their liquor, obnoxious neighbors who live to gossip & a lazy-eyed kid who lights up the screen!  Written & Directed by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, throw on a swimsuit & don’t miss ‘The Way Way Back.’ Rated PG-13.  You can Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones. You can also hear me host America’s Longest Running Movie Talk Show, The Film Freak Movie Talk Show every Saturday at 4p PST on KFWB NewsTalk 980 AM Los Angeles. www.kfwbam.com

 



The Rum Diary Movie Review


“The Rum Diary” is the co0lest movie of the year, by a longshot.  Puerto Rico circa 1960, how amazing that must’ve been. Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) is a reporter who’s had enough of the big city.  His writing assignments will now be for the San Juan Star newspaper.  The supporting cast is outstanding.  The paper’s editor, Lotterman (Richard Jenkins) is a frantic mess. In the newsroom, Paul buddies up with another reporter Sala. (Michael Rispoli)

If two words could describe this chapter of Paul Kemp’s life, they’d be rum-soaked.  Booze is everywhere.  Moburg (Giovanni Ribisi) is yet another reporter who covers religion, witchcraft & loves playing his records.  The downside of the records is they’re speeches of Adolf Hitler.  Moburg’s got access to booze that’s over 400 proof.  This isn’t alcohol abuse, it’s akin to drinking rocket fuel.  And these boys do drink.  Depp does hangovers like no other.

There is a ‘Rub’ a midst all the rum.  Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) sees the island of Puerto Rico not as a tropical paradise, but as the tropical paradise that’ll make him a billionaire.   It’s all about the money.  So when Sanderson needs to ‘buy off’ a reporter to ensure favorable copy, he seeks out Paul Kemp.  The rich playboy Sanderson has everything, even the blonde bombshell pinup girl, Renault. (Amber Heard)

What I liked about the film is Johnny Depp’s return to quirky.   Johnny actually found this novel gathering dust in Hunter S. Thompson’s office.  After almost a decade of sailing, swords & sashaying ala Captain Jack Sparrow, Depp ventures off the beaten path to a place where few are willing to go.

The dialogue is wicked crisp.   The jazz score is perfect.  Along the way, you’ll encounter hostile natives, cock fights & alternate methods of transportation. My favorite:  The motorbike with sidecars.    Ultimately, Paul Kemp has to answer one question: Do I sell out, or do I bring down the bastards ‘with ink & rage!?!’

Johnny Depp developed & produced this film dedicating it to his late buddy & father figure, Hunter S. Thompson.  What a perfectly psychedelic tribute.  Now, someone pass me the rum.

“The Rum Diary” is Rated R.

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Real Steel Movie Review

I gotta feel, a feel for Real Steel! At one time, Charlie Kenton, (Hugh Jackman) was a great fighter.  These days he’s just fighting to keep his head above water.  The year is 2020.  The sport of boxing has morphed.  The growing demand for violence in the ring was more than any human could withstand.  MMA & UFC didn’t take the match to the death.  That’s when promoters created the WRB World Robot Boxing League.  These mechanical gladiators could simply ‘knock their blocks off,’ to coin a familiar phrase.

To be honest, the “Real Steel” movie trailer wasn’t doing it for me.  I saw it a few times with the outdoor billboards.  Suffice to say, my expectations were low.    Then I saw the film with a packed movie house filled with real people, not industry insiders.  The audience reaction told me everything I needed to know.  They laughed, they cheered & had an absolute blast. I myself happen to be an industry insider, but I took something away this from the film.

The heart of the story is about second chances.  Charlie gets one reconnecting with his estranged son, Max, (Dakota Goyo.) Max gets his shot at having a real dad.  Finally there’s Atom, an outdated sparring robot that’s left for scrap.  Yeah, these three stray dogs are woven together into a very predictable plot.  I didn’t care.  This isn’t “The Godfather,” or even “Harry Potter.” At the end of the day it’s a story of a boy & his robot.

Dakota Goyo stands out as the “Real Steel” scene stealer.  He’s now the “It” kid in Hollywood.  Also along for the ride is Bailey, (Evangeline Lily.)  Her scenes are few, but she’s definitely the emotional anchor.  Then there’s the bots.  The lineup: Ambush, Midas, Noisy Boy, Zeus & Atom.  Can you say Most wanted stocking stuffers of this holiday season?!?  Nice job by director Shawn Levy.   Four principal robots were built for the production.  They provided the actors with something very real to react to. (Usually they have to stare at a tennis ball on a stick!)

“Real Steel” is a for Real People who loves movies.  Industry insiders will scoff, but who cares about them? They’re the movie misfits.  Just because a movie isn’t Oscar-worthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good time.

Real Steel is Rated PG-13 & is thankfully only presented in 2D, but also available on Large Format Screens.

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50/50 Movie Review

Movie critics are raving about how “50/50” is the ‘best movie of the year,’ ‘the best comedy of the year,’ and my favorite ’50/50 is achingly funny.’  These people are literally off their collective rockers.  I get it.  It’s a true story about a guy who gets cancer & finds the humaneness & finds the humor during his journey.  I call BS.

I know what funny is.  For me personally, a cancer themed movie is a terrible thing in and of itself.  Using cancer as a springboard for ‘Funny-HaHa’ plays into my theory about movie critics. 100% of the time they love seeing someone up on screen with a life more screwed up than their own.  Please don’t brand me heartless.  You & I both know loved ones who’ve fallen to cancer or if lucky have survived this dreadful disease.  Excuse me if I don’t want to see that much reality on the big screen.  But what about seeing it on HBO? Redbox?  Blockbuster?  Maybe, if I’ve seen everything else, twice.

I will not jump on this fake bandwagon of how funny 50/50 is.  I was surrounded by movie critics laughing at really weird, awkward, unfunny cancer scenarios.  I wanted to stop the movie, stand up and ask these people what planet they’re from? These so called movie experts’ opinions are way out there on the outer fringe.  Theirs is the only voice heard because they are the only ones making noise, writing movie reviews.

Movie Snobs who dig heavy heavy dramedy, 50/50 was made just for you.  If this is your type of movie, your life has to be in a word, miserable.  Movies are supposed to be about escapism & wonderment.   For me 50 50 was So So.

50/50 is Rated R.

The Film Freak iPhone -iPad App is the movie app that saves you money on movies.  Movies are expensive & you need someone to check things out & make sure you’re seeing what’s great & what’s not-so-great.  I only offer the truth.

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Machine Gun Preacher Movie Review

Based on a true story, “Machine Gun Preacher” is a Baptism by gunfire.  Sam Childers, (Gerard Butler) is a scumbag.  He’s in jail for God-knows-what.  He’s a junkie who’d be high on crack for a month!  He’s a thief & probably a murderer too.  Oh and top it all off in a callous manner, he’s upset at his wife Lynn, (Michelle Monaghan) for quitting her night job….as a stripper! This guy’s a real piece of work.

Then Childers “gets right” with The Lord.  He created a church for sinners, The Shekinah Fellowship Church in Central City, Pennsylvania.  His life’s journey takes him all the way to Africa, more specifically, Sudan.   Sam just wanted to help out & lend a hand.  It’s there where he witnessed first-hand atrocities that happens to innocent kids every single day.  The game-changer: witnessing a young child getting his limbs blown off by way of a landmine.  It was that millisecond that changed Sam Childers forever.

Director Marc Forster doesn’t pull any punches.  You’ll see evil at work. To quote Sam Childers, “I found God in 1992, but I found Satan in 1998 in Sudan.”  Childers organized almost suicidal rescue missions to find & retrieve children whose lives have been shattered by this bloody civil war.  Being good with his hands, Sam built the Angels of East Africa Orphanage. Let’s talk numbers. The orphanage feeds at least 1,200 hungry children daily who are traumatized, injured, tortured & abandoned.  In the 125-degree heat, his place is not a mirage, it’s a miracle.

Saving kids in Sudan comes at a cost: Human life.  The white preacher quickly garnered a reputation of being an eye-for-an-eye type of man.  If a few evil men with guns were harming dozens of innocent kids, Sam’s decision was clear cut.  Take out the bad guys with a machine gun & rush the kids to safety & shelter.

Gerry Butler was up for the task.  He dove into this role by studying the man, Sam Childers.  If there was a scene where Sam was fixing a sink, Butler trained with licensed plumbers.  On the job site, he worked construction contractors. And yes, he mixed things up with full on tattooed bikers to get that leather, tough guy feel just right.  Butler also watched Childers speak for many many hours. He even taped his church sermons & spent lots of time with his family.  Total immersion. I love when actors do everything humanly possible to get the role right.  Plus, the guy does his own stunts in this film.

I liked how two worlds were showcased.  If Sam was saving kids in Africa, you have the feeling he was missing his family back in the states.  When he’s back with his family, you can tell he wants to be back to save more children.  Very powerful usage of both worlds.

If you want to help the cause, simply purchase Sam Childer’s book,  ‘Another Man’s War: The True Story of One Man’s Battle to Save Children in The Sudan.’

The story of Sam Childers is an amazing one.  “Machine Gun Preacher” is Rated R for extreme violence & drug usage.

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A Long Day’s Journey to the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction

FILM FREAK EXCLUSIVE!!  Next year, everyone will be talking about the “Snake & Mongoose” movie.  Hod rod royalty, Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen Don “The Snake” Prudhomme will finally have their story told on the big screen.  Filming begins in the spring.  My buddy, Kene Goldstein is producing a series of web shorts leading up to the film’s release.  In this debut webisode, you’ll pick up backstory & a feeling of friendly rivalry that ultimately became the greatest true story in racing history.  To be continued….

The Film Freak Movie App will save you money at the movies!  Search Film Freak. It’s loaded with podcasts, reviews, videos & the cool info you need to know on movies.  Perfect for your iPad too!

You can also follow me on Twitter @leoquinones



Drive Movie Review

“Drive” is a movie with definite meat on its bones.   I can’t believe how many SPOILERS there are in various “Drive” trailers. Stay away from them if you don’t want to know too much.  Set in downtown Los Angeles, “Drive” seems like a movie catapulted out of the 1980’s.  There’s a minimalist vibe not unlike “The Terminator” from 1984.  Composer Cliff Martinez’ score was absolutely inspired by those hideous 80’s sounding synthesizers.   The musical effect worked perfectly with the tone of the film.

IMDB lists Ryan Gosling’s character’s name as simply, Driver.  This guy is a getaway driver, plain & simple. That’s what he does.  If you’re using him on a job, you’ve got 5 minutes. He doesn’t partake in the crime or carry a gun.  He just drives. His day job is a garage mechanic & also working part time as a balls-to-the-wall stunt driver in the movies.

This guy doesn’t live beyond his means.  He lives in a run down apartment complex.  His boss at the garage, Shannon (Bryan Cranston) is unsuccessful at enterprising, so he consorts with low level thugs, Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) & Nino (Ron Perlman).  There latest venture involves Driver.  One of my favorite things about this film was Albert Brooks’ departure from most everything I’ve ever seen him do.  When you see, you will know.

“Drive” has garnered an “R” rating. It deserves the hard “R” because it goes flat out over the top in its violent sequences. Tough for a date movie.  I know how many women love seeing a clean-cut Ryan Gosling on the big screen.  Be prepared for blood. It’s there with plenty of pints being spilled.

At the end of the day, there’s a score that needs settling.  It’s burn their house down or die.  Simple, straight forward.

You care for the characters.  Driver’s neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) has a nice little boy.  They are the ones who need protection & you feel their peril every inch of the way.  What I will say about Gosling’s character, he’s not much of a talker, but he’s resilient.  Brooding, he’s an eye-for-an-eye type of guy. Don’t mess with him.  He’ll run over you, then slam the car in reverse & do it again. Why?  To finish the job.  Talk about the Michelin Man Massacre.

If you need to employ violence to get out of bad situation & you don’t mind blood, then ‘Drive’ is your movie!

Driver himself doesn’t like going to bad movies.  It pisses him off.  That’s why he’s got the Film Freak iPhone App.  It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies! Just search Film Freak. You’ll get the Film Freak Movie Talk Show Podcasts, Reviews & Tweets all sent to your iPhone or iPad.

When Driver gets followed, he’ll lose you.  Not so if you Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones