#TBT Bullets Over Broadway

bulletsIt is no secret that I am a huge fan of filmmaker Woody Allen.  So, when I learned that one of his films would deal with the theatre world in New York of the 1920's...I was chomping at the bit to see it and I was not disappointed. Bullets Over Broadway is literally what the title implies when a mobster forces the hand of a struggling playwright to put his talent free girlfriend in the play he's bankrolling.  The comedy that ensues from this situation will put your stomach in knots from laughter.  Starring  John Cusack, Jennifer Tilly, Chazz Palminteri, the film brought home a Best Actress Oscar for Dianne Weist.

Just last year, Allen adapted his own screenplay for the Broadway stage.  Unfortunately, by this time Allen had the stigma of being married to his step-daughter hanging over his head.  Not to mention that right before the musical choreographed by Tony Winner Susan Stroman, another Allen child, Dylan, began to speak out about other alleged abuses with him.  In my humble opinion, this may have tainted any hope of success with the musical and it closed even before the Tony Awards ceremony occurred.

Ladies and Gentleman...please enjoy clips from the original film trailer and a clip from the Broadway production of Bullets Over Broadway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BDr_9S5ZwU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvPNAWb5Hgw

 

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Review: Magic In The Moonlight

magic Have you ever been a skeptic of those who claim to be gifted mediums?  You know the one.  They claim to be talking to your loved ones or claim to predict what lies in your "future"? Set in the Roaring 20's, Woody Allen delves into this subject from a completely comical point of view, while giving us an unfolding love story all at once.  World renowned magician Mae Lin Woo aka Stanley (Colin Firth) is propositioned by a fellow magician/friend to expose an American medium (Emma Stone). In attempting to do so, he falls in love with her, losing all common sense and sense of self.

What I love about Woody Allen films is that there is always some problem needing to be solved by the leading character that ultimately leads he or she on a journey of self-discovery.

Marcia Gay Harden as Mrs. Baker is hilarious as is Hamish Linklater as Sophie (Emma Stone's) fiancé'.  It was nice to see Jacki Weaver (Grace) onscreen again after her nominated performance in "Silver Linings Playbook", but the scene stealer of this film was Eileen Atkins as Aunt Vanessa.

Magic in the Moonlight sort of reminds me a little of "Hitch" mixed with a little "Love Affair" and is thoroughly enchanting.

 

[youtube=http://youtu.be/MG71z-AP524?t=8s]

 

 

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Coming Attractions week of July 25th

We literally have one more month left to summer...can you believe it?  Whew....2014 is just flying by!!!  With that, here is the list of films coming to a cinema near you this week on July 25th and 26th... Hercules - Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.  Director: Brett Ratner  Stars: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane, Joseph Fiennes

[youtube=http://youtu.be/OwlynHlZEc4?t=6s]

 

Lucy -A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.  Director: Luc Besson Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked

[youtube=http://youtu.be/6Vu081NOorA?t=6s]

 

The Fluffy Movie -A comedy concert film that captures the on-stage performance and inspirational success story of Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias.  Directors: Manny Rodriguez | Jay Lavender Stars: Gabriel Iglesias, Jacqueline Obradors, Gina Brillon, Alfred Robles

[youtube=http://youtu.be/kC7yttviQCc?t=6s]

Magic in the Moonlight -A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue.  Director: Woody Allen Stars: Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Hamish Linklater, Marcia Gay Harden

[youtube=http://youtu.be/npTtanKgnZU?t=6s]

 

A Most Wanted Man - A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror.  Director: Anton Corbijn Stars: Grigoriy Dobrygin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Homayoun Ershadi, Mehdi Dehbi

[youtube=http://youtu.be/OUyYBrlF_W8?t=5s]

 

And So It Goes -A self-centered realtor enlists the help of his neighbor when he's suddenly left in charge of the granddaughter he never knew existed until his estranged son drops her off at his home. Director: Rob Reiner  Stars: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Sterling Jerins, Annie Parisse

[youtube=http://youtu.be/QHFkp5IpKNo?t=6s]

Very Good Girls - Two New York City girls make a pact to lose their virginity during their first summer out of high school. When they both fall for the same street artist, the friends find their connection tested for the first time.  Director: Naomi Foner  Stars: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Demi Moore, Peter Sarsgaard

[youtube=http://youtu.be/Axxy3gghEhc?t=5s]

 

Happy Christmas - Irresponsible 20-something Jenny arrives in Chicago to live with her older brother Jeff, a young film-maker living a happy existence with his novelist wife Kelly and their two-year-old son. Jenny's arrival shakes up their quiet domesticity as she and her friend Carson instigate an evolution in Kelly's life and career. Meanwhile, Jenny strikes up a rocky relationship with the family's baby sitter-cum-pot dealer. Director: Joe Swanberg  Stars: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham

[youtube=http://youtu.be/njsI7SZGom8?t=6s]

 

My Man Is A Loser - wo married friends employ a single playboy to help them get their mojo back to save their marriages. Director: Mike Young  Stars: Sean Young, John Stamos, Tika Sumpter, Diane Guerrero

[youtube=http://youtu.be/UnzK0Lq--ys?t=6s]

 

 

 

 

...And The Awards Race is On

With the 2014 Golden Globes right around the corner this Sunday, January 12th and with nomination announcements from the PGA (Producers Guild Association), WGA (Writer's Guild Association), SAG (Screen Actors Guild Awards), TMC (The Movie Critics  Choice Awards) and BAFTA's (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), I thought this would be a good time to look at who has the best chance of snagging Oscar noms on January 16th. Leading the pack of nominations is the Steve McQueen directed true life story of Solomon Northrup - "12 Years A Slave"  and  Director David O' Russell's " American Hustle" .   Right behind them are "Captain Phillips", "Gravity", "Philomena", "Saving Mr. Banks", "Wolf of  Wall Street", "Blue Jasmine", "Rush", "Inside Llewyn Davis", "Nebraska", "The Butler", "August:  Osage County", "Dallas Buyers Club" and "Her".  Almost all of these films began their awards journey at Sundance this same time last year.

Actors with multiple nominations include...Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita N'yongo, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Emma Thompson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Daniel Bruhl, Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Oprah Winfrey, Matthew McConaughy and Jared Leto.

In the world of animation, "Despicable Me 2", "Frozen" and "Monsters University" are cleaning up noms along with the documentaries "20 Feet From Stardom", "Blackfish" and "The Armstong Lie".

So without going into the insanely long list of how many each project has received, I will go straight to my predictions for this 2014 season...

Best Director - Since Scorsese and Allen have had numerous awards bestowed upon them throughout the years, I think it is safe to say that this year it will be a very intense horse race between Steve McQueen and David O'Russell.

Best Picture/Film - Y'all...2013 was by far the best year for cinema that I have witnessed in quite some time.  However, with some of these films, the acting was better than the actual film.  For that reason, I feel like "12 Years A Slave" should win, but since "Gravity" was the highest grossing dramatic film of 2013 and just won The People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Movie it has a pretty good shot at taking home the prize.

Best Actor - Due to the stellar performances of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bruce Dern, Robert Redford, Matthew McConaughy, Tom Hanks, Forest Whittaker, Leonardo DiCaprio and Joaquin Phoenix it is soooo incredibly hard to choose just one.  However, my guess is that if sentimentality goes with the legends -- Forest, Tom, Bruce and Robert will be duking it out.  If not, then I say it's real tight race between Ejiofor and McConaughy.

Best Actress - Seriously, they should just call this category "The Meryl" 'cause she just chews up the scenery  in every role she inhabits on-screen.  Having said that, although Meryl "should' and "deserves to take it yet again...I would suffice to say that it may very well be a fight to the finish between Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Oprah Winfrey and Sandra Bullock.

Best Supporting Actor - There are a multitude of great performances in this category notably by Barkhad Abdi and Jared Leto.  It's safe to say that Jared Leto totally has this category on lockdown.  His performance in "Dallas Buyers Club" is the role of a lifetime.

Best Supporting Actress - In my opinion, this is probably the toughest category of them all with stellar performances by June Squibb, Lupita N'yongo, Julia Roberts, Sally Hawkins and Jennifer Lawrence.  However, it would be a surprise if Lupita N'yongo didn't sweep this.

Much to my disappointment, neither "Fruitvale Station", director Ryan Coogler or its stars Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer were recognized for their stellar work.  It's a small film that I feel got lost in the shuffle of many good films released in 2013.

Although Dane DeHaan is a BAFTA Rising Star nominee (as is Lupita N'yongo) for his role in the indie "Kill Your Darlings", he has been overlooked right along with Margo Maritndale and Julianne Nicholson in "August:  Osage County".  I was also a little salty that Allison Janney and Greg Kinnear's work in the highly touted "The Way, Way Back" wasn't recognized, but again this was a really competitive year for film.

So here are all the dates and know that I will be tweeting live for each one under my twitter handle @CaRenata.

Here we go...

January 12    THE GOLDEN GLOBES

January 16th  ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCEMENT and 1st Day of SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

January 19th  PRODUCERS GUILD AWARDS

January 25th  DIRECTORS GUILD AWARDS

February 1st  WRITERS GUILD AWARDS

February 12th BAFTA AWARDS

March 2nd      OSCARS!!!!

CASTING BY...

casting-by.jpg

Marion Dougherty, casts hundreds of film and television projects from the 50's well into the new millennium.  Her eye of what was unique about the talent she cast before they did was truly one of her gifts as a casting director having worked with such directing greats as Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, Robert Redford and the list goes on and on...  The associates that she trained are all women, paving the way for a whole new generation like famed Woody Allen CD Juliet Taylor, who has worked with him on more than 40 films. CASTING BY...is a basically a digital love letter to Marion Dougherty delivered from a select few of the hundreds of actors, directors and colleagues that loved her.  This inspiring documentary also gives its insight into the chauvinism that exists inside the stressful world of casting and how very important this role has become over the decades since the demise of the studio system.

Of the many, including Marion herself that spoke on this subject, the most inspiring story was from Academy Award winner Jon Voight.  He spoke of how Marion had been his champion to get him a very important audition early on in his career.  He booked the job, but when his episode of 'Naked City"  aired he was dreadful.  Feeling he had let Marion and his generation of actors down and equally appalled at his own mediocrity, he sat down to write an apology letter to Marion that he never finished or mailed.  Years later, he gets wind through the grapevine that casting is happening for "Midnight Cowboy" and he desperately wanted to read for the role of  "Joe Buck".  He had  a slight hesitation when he found out Marion was casting, but quickly got over it and headed on the first flight smoking from LA to NYC to beg her forgiveness and read for Joe.  When he arrives at her infamous casting brownstone in New York, he bumps into her in a hallway and profusely begins to apologize.  Marion cuts him off and ask him if he would like to meet John Slessinger...the director of "Midnight Cowboy".  Voight goes on to win the Oscar for his portrayal of "Joe Buck" and the rest is history.

The film also addressed how although CD's are recognized with Emmys by the television academy, the AMPAS  has yet to recognize them for their exemplary work in film.  Although in July 2013, AMPAS has created a new branch for casting directors, which gives them voting rights when Oscar time rolls around.  Marion Dougherty passed away in 2011 and it's a shame she was not here to witness this small victory for her colleagues.

Any actor who has ever complained about his/her feelings concerning a casting director should make watching this documentary a requirement!!!!  CASTING BY can currently be seen on HBO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HziqvHUJVOI

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Blue Jasmine

bluejasmine.jpg

When I embarked upon meeting some girlfriends to see Woody Allen's latest venture I was excited to see what he had come up with this time.  After the screening, one of my friends said...I bet when Tennessee Williams wrote "Streetcar Named Desire", he had no idea that it would be reincarnated, reinvented and retooled into a 21st Century film directed by Woody Allen. I'm going out on a limb and proclaiming that BLUE JASMINE is Allen's best film yet, with a haunting and emotionally provocative performance by Oscar winner Cate Blanchett.  Blanchett convincingly portrays Jasmine, a waspy New Yorker married to a "Bernie Madoff-esque" financier (Alec Baldwin) who kills himself after being arrested for some unsavory deals.  Jasmine, unable to cope and recovering from a nervous breakdown, leaves the Big Apple for San Francisco to live with her sister Ginger.  Thus...the story now begins.  Time to Cate to dust off that mantel to make room for yet another Oscar-winning performance.

The film's title is derived from a combination of a song "Blue Moon" and the lead character's name of Jasmine, which often times is babbled in a Blanche Dubois-esque manner by the lead character in several scenes.

Alec Baldwin certainly has a fan in Woody Allen, as this is his sophomore appearance as a deceased character (the first being his character in  TO ROME WITH LOVE).  Bobby Carnavale (who is mostly frequently seen on the Broadway stage) is letting us have it with his muscles and passionate blue-collar performance as the mechanic and fiancé of Ginger.

However, the surprise performance comes from comedian turned actor Andrew "Dice" Clay.  He convincingly captures the essence of a blue-collar worker, who has been totally broken down due to "dreams deferred like a raisin in the sun".  I suspect Oscar will come knocking at his door as well.

BLUE JASMINE is in limited release in only six theaters between New York and Los Angeles.  Sony Pictures Classic will release it worldwide on August 23, 2013.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_f--aY0poI

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!