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Feature: Miss Julie

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Coming to Theaters December 5, 2014

Miss Julie depicts a fierce battle between a man and a woman, a struggle for power and dominance enacted through a cruel and compulsive game of seduction and repulsion.A country estate in Ireland in 1880s. Over the course of one midsummer night, in an atmosphere of wild revelry and loosened social constraints, Miss Julie and John, her father’s valet, dance and drink, charm and manipulate each other. She, all hauteur longing for abasement; he, polished but coarse – both united in mutual loathing and attraction.
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By turns seductive and bullying, savage and tender, their intimacy leads to desperate plans and vision of a life together… Unsure if the morning brings hope or hopelessness, Julie and John find their escape in a final act as sublime and horrific as anything in Greek tragedy.

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Feature: The Sublime and Beautiful

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David Conrad (Blake Robbins) is a college professor raising three children in a small Kansas suburb with his wife Kelly (Laura Kirk).  David and Kelly’s marriage is brought to its breaking point when they lose their children to a drunk driver, and David’s desire for retribution leads him into uncharted moral territory with the question: can we forgive?
Veteran film, television, and theatre actor Blake Robbins makes his directorial debut with THE SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL, which he also wrote, produced, and stars in. After a successful career as an actor, including his best known role of Tom Halpert on NBC’s The Office, and a critically acclaimed role in the HBO series Oz and most recently on SX’s Sons of Anarchy as Mitch Glender, Robbins utilized his vast on-set experience to write a drama centered around natural performances and his deep love of the acting process. Using a small crew, handheld cameras, and natural light, Robbins drew upon the landscapes of Kansas, local actors as well as his ‘acting family’ to tell an emotional and hard hitting story of family bonds, morality, and the limits of vengeance.

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Click here for the site.

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ROSARIO DAWSON AND DIEGO LUNA TO PRESENT THE NOMINEES FOR THE 30th FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS

Announcements To Be Held At The W Hollywood On November 25

LOS ANGELES (November 11, 2014) – Film Independent President Josh Welsh announced today this year’s 2015 Spirit Award nominees will be presented by Rosario Dawson (Top Five, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Cesar Chavez, Rent) and Diego Luna(The Book of Life, Cesar Chavez, Y Tu Mama Tambien) in a press conference at 10:00 am PT on Tuesday, November 25 at The W Hollywood.

“We are so thrilled that Rosario Dawson and Diego Luna are teaming up once more to join Film Independent in announcing this year’s Spirit Award nominees,” said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent. “This year marks our 30th anniversary and we look forward to celebrating with the independent film community on the beach on February 21st.”

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Diego Luna - Headshot

Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, will announce the winners on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards. The live event is held under Film Independent’s signature tent on the beach in Santa Monica and will broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT5:00 pm ET.

Diego Luna - HeadshotThe organization also announced that Maggie Mackay has been promoted to Director of Spirit Awards Nominations. Mackay was formerly Senior Programmer at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Announced earlier this month, Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions joined the team as executive producer and producer Shawn Davis returns for his 13th show.

Spirit Awards are given out in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best International Film, Best Documentary, Best Editing and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Awards include the Piaget Producers Award, the LensCrafters Truer Than Fiction Award and the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award.

In addition to celebrating the broad spectrum of independent filmmaking, the Spirit Awards is also the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity in the industry. To learn more about table sales and attendance, please contact jmurby@filmindependent.org or310.432.1253.

ABOUT THE FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS
Now in its 30th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience. The winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and IFP Members. Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best International Film, Best Documentary and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, the LensCrafters Truer Than Fiction Award, and the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award. The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, The Lincoln Motor Company, Bank of America, Heineken and IFC. FIJI Water is the Official Water of the 2015 Spirit Awards. WireImage is the Official Photographer of Film Independent.

 ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT

Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a Member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.

In addition to producing the Spirit Awards, Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year- round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.

For more information or to become a Member, visit filmindependent.org/membership.

 

 

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Fury – Film Review

By: David L. $Money Train$ Watts

Wardaddy: Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.

Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan: Here’s a Bible verse I think about sometimes. Manytimes.    It goes: And I heard the voice of Lord saying: Whom shall I send and who will go for Us? And… I said: Here am I , send me!

Wardaddy: It will end, soon. But before it does, a lot more people have to die.

Wardaddy: I had the best gunner in the entire United Army in that seat. Now      I have you.

Wardaddy: Wars are not going anywhere, Sir.

April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

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FURY (2014) FILM REVIEW – WAR NEVER ENDS QUIETLY – 11-2-2014

11-2-2014  -  Written By: David L. $Money Train$ Watts – Journalist/Film Reviewer FuTurXTV & HHBMedia.com – David Velo Stewart – Editor – HHBMedia.com

When I hear arm chair military analysts on network or cable news shows like ABC’s “This Week”, NBC’s “Meet The Press” or MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” say that President Obama can’t defeat the terrorists ISIL in Syria and Iraq without sending in lots of U.S. ground troops they from have not seen Fury.

When neo-cons, Tea Baggers, “Right Wing” bloggers and almost all of Fox News watchers think we should not pull our troops get out of Afghanistan and should still have a large force of American troops in Iraq have not seen Fury.

When Millennials and even many Gen-Xers think intense and realistic warfare are on next-generation console video games like Halo 4, Destiny or Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare then they also have not seen Fury.

Warfare rarely gets as simple, honest and brutal than when one watches director David Ayer’s Fury. I wish films like Red Tails (2008) was as realistic and powerful as Fury. The problem with a Red Tails or Pearl Harbor (2001) is that they are shot like a traditional Hollywood World War II film were death is a scorecard. The more Nazis or Japanese fighters are killed on screen the more and audience thinks we are easily winning the war. And everyone on the Allies side dies cleanly or with an honorable self-sacrifice to save a mission.

But there are non-traditional action based World War II films like Wolfgang Peterson’s classic submarine thriller Das Boot (1981), an equally great and somber The Railway Man (2013) and even the LA EigaFest 2014 short film masterpiece Suicide Volunteers that are compelling dramas that really push viewers to examine the powerful psychological and emotional toll on soldiers.

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WHAT I LIKE ABOUT FURY:

Fury is a perfect blend of exceptional tank fighting scenes while still making those same action packed scenes evoke a truly haunting feeling that death is inevitable in war no  matter how heroic the soldiers or noble their cause. Fury had me hooked when we start the film in the final days of World War II and we are told that the Germans have now mobilized everyone from women and children to take up arms to defend the Fatherland. Unlike the Japanese who were forced to surrender and end their war machine after we dropped the    A-bomb on Nagasaki. Fury’s film motto is “War never ends quietly”. These are truly the bitter dog days of WWII because with the end so near no one really wants to die. But for Brad Pitt’s steely-eyed and even tempered Don “Wardaddy” Collier he devotedly believes his Fury 5-man tank crew’s purpose in life is to kill any SS and all Nazis until there are none left. So when Fury gets a new “baby face” crew member Norman Ellison, played by Logan Lerman, David Ayer turns your stomach and flips the notion of any World War II film when you see Norman being forced to clean up the blood and guts off his seat in the tank. Ayer pulls no punches with Fury and shows Norman literally picking up the blown off face of his replacement. This also reinforces how grisly and bloody reminder that tank warfare is like no other warfare. Tanks are rolling deaths because they can inflict lots of death, but also there is hardly any way to escape death if one is badly wounded. And if one is killed inside the tank than it may be several hours or even days before the tank crew can clean away your blood and guts in your cramped and tight section in the tank. There is nowhere to hide if one gets scared or has doubts you are going to survive facing off against the superior made German tanks that can destroy three to five U.S. made tanks in every combat encounter. When you have killed thousands and repeatedly survived death than “Wardaddy” can seem robotic and emotionless, but watching Fury you realize each crew member has a personal code or quirk to deal with their almost inevitable deaths in combat.

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WHAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT FURY:

The only two things I did not about Fury was kinda of knowing that the film’s only lead women characters, Irma and Emma, were going to get killed soon after we saw them. I thought Ayer’s wanted the German women to represent a glimmer of hope and sanity for Norman. And when they are ironically blown up by their own German forces–we see the last bit of innocence drain away from Norman, so now he can become a more focused and fearless Fury fighter. Hollywood can get corny and loves to use death as a motivator to make a lead character complete a mission or goal. Or death can be an excuse to be heroic. I truly thought Ayer could have let the women live and still get Norman to find another less contrived plot point to make him as dedicated, hard fighting, focused, somber and loyal Fury member as “Wardaddy”, “Bible”, “Coon-Ass” and “Gordo”. The only other thing I did not like in the Fury was accidental way Norman was allowed to escape the film’s final Fury battle scene when a young German solider has pity on him and lets him live. I know this is another way Ayer is trying to make a statement that not all Germans were bad or predictable evil socio-paths. I wish Norman could have found a more innovative way on his own to secure his own freedom rather rely on a random charitable moment from a German soldier. Maybe Norman could have slipped on dead German soldier’s jacket or uniform that was by Fury and then snuck away. I would have really preferred to see that scene.

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WOULD I PAY TO SEE FURY AGAIN?

Without a doubt I would pay to see Fury again and again. The tank warfare scenes alone would be worth seeing. But I would go back just to watch the playful and witty banter of Fury’s crew. I truly admired David Ayer’s ability to establish a deep sense of male bonding and team unity without having to make their dialogue just a series of dated jokes and crude insults. And if one is a fan of Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (2008) than you will be a big fan of Fury. I can easily see multiple Oscar nominations for Fury. I happily give   Fury$$$$ and highly recommend that everyone should see it right away.

SPOLIER ALERT – THE WHOLE FURY STORY:

“As the Allies make their final push into Nazi Germany, a battle-hardened U.S. Army Staff Sergeant in the 66th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division named Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) commands an M4A3E8 Sherman tank named Fury and its five-man, all-veteran crew: Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LaBeouf), gunner; Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal), loader; and Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Peña), driver. The tank’s original assistant driver/bow gunner has been killed in battle and his replacement turns out to be a recently enlisted Army typist, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) who, it transpires, has never even seen the inside of a tank before, let alone experienced the ravages of war. Norman later earns the nickname “Machine”, given to him by Grady Travis.

The surviving crew, who have been together since the North African Campaign, despise the new recruit upon meeting him, for both his lack of experience, and for his reluctance to kill Germans, especially the teenagers of the Hitlerjugend in cold blood; a decision which results in the destruction of one of the Allied tanks and its crew. Wardaddy is furious and in an effort to brutalise the young man and ‘educate’ him to the realities of war, he violently attempts to force Norman to take his weapon and shoot dead a captive German artilleryman, who was wearing a looted American trenchcoat). When Norman refuses to do so, Wardaddy forces the gun into his hand and makes him execute the prisoner.

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This bond between Norman and Wardaddy becomes stronger after capturing a small German town, where Wardaddy and Norman meet a German woman, Irma, and her cousin, named Emma. Norman (presumably) has sex with Emma, then joins Wardaddy and Emma’s cousin for breakfast, during which time Norman discovers that Wardaddy has sustained horrific burn scars on his back at some point. However, the rest of the crew barge in and cause tensions while at the table. Shortly afterwards, a German bombardment hits the town, killing Emma and some of the American forces.

The platoon of tanks, led by Wardaddy, gets a mission to hold a vital crossroads (protecting a clear way to supply trains), but after encountering a German Tiger I, only Fury remains, the other vehicles being knocked out. The vehicle is immobilized after hitting a landmine; shortly afterwards, a battalion of three hundred Waffen-SS infantry approaches. Wardaddy refuses to leave, and the rest of the crew, initially reluctant, decide to stay and plan an ambush.

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Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men nevertheless inflict heavy losses on the Germans using both the tank’s and the crews’ weapons, but gradually, one by one, Grady, Gordo and Bible are all killed and Wardaddy is wounded by a sniper. Norman and Wardaddy retreat back into the Fury where they share their last words. Wardaddy tells Norman to escape through the bottom hatch of the tank and he hides in the crater made by the landmine explosion, while Wardaddy stays behind and is killed by soldiers after they drop two grenades into the tank. A young German Waffen-SS trooper finds Norman, but does not turn him in, leaving the assistant driver hidden safely beneath the destroyed tank as the surviving German soldiers move on. The next morning, U.S. Army units discover Norman, and it is implied that the German offensive failed because of the crew’s actions. Norman is taken off to safety while he looks back at the carnage of dead German SS troops and the destroyed Fury….Wikepedia.com”

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David L. $Money Train$ Watts  •  FuTurXTV  •  HHBMedia.com  •  info@hhbmedia.com  •  www.hhbmedia.com •  David Velo Stewart

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Feature : BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN

 

Coming to theatres November 14, 2014

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Set in December 1984, BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN is based on true events when a devastating pesticide leak in Madhya Pradesh, central India, killed thousands of people.

Starring Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton, Kal Penn and a powerful ensemble cast, “Bhopal A Prayer For Rain” is an epic, ‘whodunnit’ that exposes the shocking events that led to the biggest man made industrial disaster in history, in which as many as 10,000 people were killed in one night and for those that did survive, the tragedy had just begun.

Dilip, a rickshaw driver in Bhopal, India, lands himself a job at the Union Carbide plant. It is a chance to prove his worth to his family and pull them out of poverty. The job is tough with long hours; everyone is desperate to hold on to their pay cheque and so Dilip keeps quiet when he notices managers at the plant ignoring safety standards.

Dilip’s long time friend, Motwani, a tabloid journalist knows that Bhopal residents complain of the constant stench in the air and wake up at night choking from the gas. He is on a mission to expose what he believes is a deadly time bomb ticking away in his home town. He feels as if no one will listen but when he meets feisty American journalist, Eva, he sees a ray of hope and persuades her to confront Carbide executive Warren Anderson.

Filmed in India, Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain traces the lives of those living in Bhopal during the lead-up to what is still the world’s biggest chemical disaster through to its tragic aftermath, which continues to have a major impact on peoples’ lives today. The film is produced by Sahara Movie Studios and Rising Star Entertainment both of whom have been committed to the project since inception.

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Click here for the website.

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NightCrawler – Film Review

NightCrawler

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Running time: 117 minutes

Release date: October 31, 2014

Breakdown: This is a highly engaging thriller set in Los Angeles where a man in need of work and a purpose stumbles into the dark world of freelance journalism, which leads him to spending his nights looking to film the next big breaking news story.

Plot: Lou Bloom played by Jake Gyllenhaal is an intelligent psychopath who is driven and determined to be someone great. He discovers the dangerous world of night crawling and becomes obsessed with being the best freelance journalist. He drives all over the city filming the most gruesome breaking stories. As his worth increases with Nina played by Rene Russo at the news station, so does his demands, which begin to go beyond monetary compensation.

Performances: Jake Gyllenhaal gives a great and convincing performance playing Lou Bloom. His very believable playing this dark twisted character who is so focused and determined he will do whatever it takes to be the best in his line of work.

Highlights: The dialogue, characters, and events in the movie keep your attention from beginning to end. There is not a dull moment.

Drawbacks: Although, I enjoyed discovering the complexity of Lou Bloom as the movie progressed. I was disappointed that the other characters were so one dimensional.

Overall Grade: A

This is a great thriller and just in time for Halloween. You will not be disappointed.

By LeTisha Tucker

 

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Feature : Insidious Chapter 3

Coming to theaters May 29, 2015

The newest chapter in the terrifying horror series is written and directed by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. This chilling prequel, set before the haunting of the Lambert family, reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

Check out these cool behind the scenes pictures!

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Feature : NightCrawler

Coming to theaters October 31, 2014

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NIGHTCRAWLER is a pulse-pounding thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling — where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. 

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Hollow Grave

Feature : Hollows Grove

In HOLLOWS GROVE, a young filmmaker, Harold Maxwell, is doing a behind-the-scenes documentary on his ghost hunting reality show friends, the Spirit and Paranormal Investigation Team, (S.P.I.T.), as they prepare for their next assignment. Harold and the S.P.I.T crew head out to film an old, abandoned and supposedly haunted orphanage, Hollows Grove. Soon after arriving at the orphanage the team begins to realize that what they thought would be a routine investigation is turning in to a nightmare from which they cannot escape.

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