Jeff (Jason Segel) is 30-years old and still lives at home. More specifically, he resides down in his mom’s basement. When asked to perform a simple task, for Jeff, the universe will one of two things: Stop him cold, or lead him on on the path of his life’s destiny. The movie takes place in just one day.
Jeff’s older brother Pat (Ed Helms) creates this facade of control within his life. The fact is, Pat’s in way over his head. He’s having a financial meltdown & also suspects with his wife, Linda (Judy Greer) of cheating. Jeff’s mother, Sharon (Susan Sarandon) tolerates her slacker son & dreams of a better life, all while being shackled to her 9 to 5 cubicle.
What drives the story is how Jeff utilizes the universe. His instincts tell him there are obvious signs. At every sign is a crossroad. Do I go this way or that way based on the sign? What I liked is, Jeff always takes the non-logical fork in the road, every single time. This creates a unique path & moves the story forward in a fresh way to a very satisfying payoff. There’s a very basic rule in movies that I appreciate. All I want is a beginning, a middle and an end. Here, you get all three.
Kudos to writers and co-directors Mark & Jay Duplass for creating a smart, thought-provoking dramedy. Jason Segel nails it, as does the rest of the cast.
Jeff, Who Lives At Home opens in limited release March 16th, 2012. Rated Rabsurdness
If you still live at home or not, you can Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
Disney’s John Carter is a story written in 1912 by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was his first novel originally titled, “A Princess of Mars.” I can’t say I’ve ever read Burroughs, but you & I have seen his strong influence at the movies. Have you ever watched a Science Fiction movie showcasing another planet, another world, aliens, Martian creatures, futuristic societies, incredible flying contraptions & the never-ending battle between good and evil? Then you’ve seen Burrough’s 100 year-old influence in action.
John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is a war-weary American Civil War veteran who’s lost everything. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Mr. Carter finds himself on the surface of Barsoom, AKA Mars. It’s there where his life finds its meaning. His path crosses with Tar Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) the leader of the savage Tharks. Warrior Princess Dejah Thoris, (Lynn Collins) who enlists Carter to help save her people, the Heliumites and end the ongoing war with The Zondangans.
You can’t help but look around and marvel at this world. In movies, we’ve all seen life on other planets. This time, lifelong Burroughs fan, Director Andrew Stanton was the mastermind behind the look of John Carter. Much of the Mars scenery was shot in the deserts of Utah. The crew worked in excess of 120 degrees. That didn’t stop them from filming sweeping shots of the dessert landscape.
Thanks to Stanton’s Pixar animation background, (He directed WALL*E and Finding Nemo) he was able to animate thousand year old Martin ruins and weave them into the side of mountains. It’s a new and fresh approach to bring this world to life. Production designer Nathan Crowley was instrumental in creating the film’s look as well.
The production of John Carter called for the Tharks to be between 9-10 feet tall. This required Wilem Dafoe to master the skill of walking on 3-foot stilts. In top of that, he’s also have to endure Motion Capture equipment or a Mo Cap suit. Those were just the technical requirements.
In the acting, Dafoe relished the challenge of learning to speak Tharkian. USC’s Dr. Paul Frommer, who has a doctorate in linguistics, is the man who created the native Navi language for James Cameron’s “Avatar.” He was tasked with creating the Tharkian language. The main consistency in developing this new dialect was simply, Edgar Rice Burroughs. In his original writings, there were approximately 420 source Barsoom words and sounds. That was the foundation. The actors engaged in Tharkian language bootcamp which added a layer of authenticity.
When describing John Carter, you have to roll out a laundry list of genres. Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Love Story. It’s all there on the big screen. It’s a huge sweeping epic movie. I envy any 9-year old kid who’s about to take off into this new reality for the first time. Anyone older has seen a glimpse of this world already in “Star Wars,” “Alien,” “Star Trek,” and “Avatar.”
The key to fully enjoy a movie like this is to simple: Commit to suspending your disbelief. Go along for the journey. If you sit down in the theater to see John Carter wearing your cynical hat, it’ll just go nowhere. If your idea of an amazing movie is spending 2-hours watching George Clooney’s wife in coma, that’s your call. For me, John Carter is why we go to movies, to be taken away to a place we’ve never been, but always wanted to go.
I ventured to Scottsdale Arizona to interview the John Carter cast for www.VelvetRedTV.com. Those interviews will online very soon!
You don’t have to go to Barsoom to Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
Saturday 4p PST, tune into KFWB NewsTalk 980 AM Los Angeles for my exclusive interview with the Executive Producers/Writers of “The Lorax,” Cinco Paul & Ken Dario. These guys has so many interesting stories about the 4-year animation marathon creating this movie. You’ll also find out how Al Pacino lays down his vocals for the upcoming, ”Despicable Me 2.”
For instant movie updates, Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
“Project X” celebrates the lost art of the house party. Producer, Todd Phillips never holds back. That’s why he connects with his movies like, “The Hangover” or “Old School.” This time, you’ve got three high school num-nuts who throw ‘The Gamechanger.”
Thanks to texting, Craigslist & mass emails, people catch word of the party on Dickens Street in a nanosecond. Along for the ride are two pretty funny security guards & a handful of angry neighbors. The movie builds towards a “No Way, This Is Crazy” kind of reality. While a party of this epic scale elevates a kid’s stature in school, y’know he’s going to have to pay a price.
I can’t imagine anyone not having fun seeing this movie. The dialogue is crude, just riddled with F-Bombs. There’s underwater nudity when girls jump in for a late night skinny dip. The music is loud and in your face. And the house. The parents house just get Tuh-rashed. We get to live vicariously through these idiots because they actually threw the house party we never had the balls to throw.
I don’t know about you, but I need a little “Project X” insanity in my life every once in a while. Crack some brews, head down to the theater & have a laugh with your friends. (With a designated driver of course!) Lighten up people. It’s a party.
This movie is rated “R” for every good reason.
I’m thinking about throwing a party this epic, so you should follow me on Twitter to find out when & where @leoquinones
Here’s a Red Band Clip that’s raunchy to say the least. ”Til the break of dawn, yo!”
The Lorax is an affirmation that Hollywood’s feature film animation is getting better, smarter & more wondrous. I really enjoyed the movie. The world takes the soul of the much-loved Dr. Seuss book & transform wonderfully onto the big screen. The Lorax is a magical, beared creature tasked with protecting the trees of the forest. What an amazing message, written way back in 1971.
This is perfect family fare. Though there are a couple of songs in the film, this is by no way a full-blown musical. As a matter of fact, Ted (Zac Efron) & Audrey (Taylor Swift) who are both talented singers, do NOT sing a note in The Lorax. You will hear The Once-ler (Ed Helms) singing & playing guitar.
The heart of this story is a simple choice: Do we protect trees or bulldoze them? That’s the movie folks. There are some attacking the film stating it’s indoctrinating young people to think a certain way. It’s sad when 70-year old geezers get “preachy.” I could possibly agree with them if the movie was about starting a nuclear war, but it’s not. It’s about saving trees. What is so wrong with that?
The animation here is top-notch. Cinco Paul & Ken Dario are the writing team most trusted by Dr. Seuss’ spirited widow, Audrey Geisel. She’s in love with this movie version of The Lorax. I must admit, I am too. This is a perfect family film. The Lorax is Rated PG
If you’d like to get my movie reviews quicker, Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones
If you’d like to try your hand at animating The Lorax, check out this “How To Draw The Lorax” video below. Good luck!
Leo Quinones talks #OSCARS! BILLY CRYSTAL, SACHA BARON COHEN #Predictions. REESE WITHERSPOON chats with Leo about shooting TOM HARDY square in the nuts with a paintball gun while filming, THIS MEANS WAR. Ouch! Watch it on www.VelvetRedTV.com Episode 2.18.12.
More #OSCARS as Leo interviews (2) stars from “The Artist,” JAMES CROMWELL & PENELOPE ANN MILLER. #FILM FREAK Movie News, DIE HARD 5, 007 goes IMAX?!? JOHNNY DEPP – EDGAR WRIGHT announce an exciting new project! Follow on Twitter @leoquinones
I’m having a blast working with Velvet Red TV. Ellen K. & I have been buddies for years. It’s a show targeting what’s hot in Hollywood. You’ll be getting a brand new episode each week. It’s all about your favorite stars & their favorite stuff. There’s also a ton of giveaways. If you’d like to win, register at www.VelvetRedTV.com. Good luck & enjoy the show! http://youtu.be/lbcBX9hZips
Leo talks Top 10 Movies at the Box Office, “J. Edgar” star, ERIC MATHENY, Pixar’s ENRICO CASAROSA, Oscar Nominated Animated short director of, ”LA LUNA.” Michael Roskam, director Best Foreign Film Nominee, “Bullhead, “Film Freak Movie News.