Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"There is nothing to hold onto but reality, to realize the present whatever it may be."

I am very excited to be volunteering for Season Two of the ATX Television Festival here in Austin this weekend! Just like last year, this festival will bring together actors, writers, directors, producers, music supervisors, studio executives and fans to talk about the past, present and future of television. There will be screenings, panels, parties and live music with some of the industry's leading professionals.

Tomorrow's opening night screening and party is presented by Netflix and will feature a few of the new Arrested Development episodes followed by a Q&A with the cast. Other screenings going on throughout the weekend at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz and the State Theater are Scandal, The Riches, Hart of Dixie and The Vampire Diaries, as well as the new season premieres of Falling Skies, Hell on Wheels, Perception and Sullivan & Son. We are also excited to be premiering AMC's new Summer drama Low Winter Sun and Fox's new Fall comedy Enlisted. But that's not all! On top of that awesomeness, there will also be cast reunions for My So-Called Life, Party of Five, Boy Meets World and American Dreams!

This year's panels include Veronica Mars: a TV wait, a movie!, Directing in a Writer's World, Structure of a Sitcom and the Rise of the Anti-Sitcom, Creating the Sound of a Show and Casting Deconstructed. Michael Jacobs will also reflect on his career, which includes shows like My Two Dads, Dinosaurs, Boy Meets World and the new Disney show, Girl Meets World. Panels and screenings are being moderated by Meg Masters from TVLine, Robyn Ross from TV Guide, Ben Blacker from Nerdist, Jarett Wieselman from ET online, Laura Prudom from The Huffington Post, Ryan McGee from the AV Club and a few others.

I can hardly contain my excitement!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"If you ride like lightning, you're going to crash like thunder."

In the past month, I have seen Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hangover Part III and Furious 6 and they were all good. If you liked the previous franchise movies, you will probably like these as well. However, I am not going to review them here because most people have probably already made up their minds about whether or not to see those. Instead, I am going to talk about The Place Beyond the Pines and The Iceman, which were fantastic and I am not sure these films are on most peoples' radar.

To be fair, I mostly saw these two movies because of who is in them (Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans), but I am glad that I did and now think you should too!

The trailers for The Place Beyond the Pines made it seem more like an action movie and, while it did have a few fast-paced scenes, I would call it more of a character study. Similar to director Derek Cianfrance's most recent movie, Blue Valentine, it is about the how these peoples' lives intersect and how each action affect those lives.

The movie is split into three acts. The first act focuses on the character of Luke, played by Ryan Gosling, a motorcycle stunt rider who starts robbing banks in order to provide for his son. The second act follows Bradley Cooper's character, Avery, who is a young cop in a small town police department run by corrupt detectives. Avery and Luke's individual stories only overlap once, but that small interaction has huge consequences, which you see fifteen years later in the third act of the movie between their two teenage sons. It is an intense story and very well done.

The acting is great all around, as is to be expected from all involved, but I was especially impressed with Eva Mendes. She is the only actor that is in all three acts of the film and normally I am not a huge fan of hers, but she actually surprised me in this. And, of course, I would get my wish of having Cooper and Gosling in the same movie only to have them be in only one scene together. C'est la vie.