Month: September 2015

‘True Story’ is a masterpiece on truth and betrayal (review)

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“True Story,” is a film about two men: Michael Finkel and Christian Longo. It is based on the memoir of the same name. Finkel was an elite journalist working for the New York Times and traveled the world reporting for the paper. He was so used to having his work featured, that he was a bit too cocky and along with it too loose with the truth. He gets caught lying in an article he wrote about a boy working at a cocoa plantation. He used five boys to create a composite character – it may of been a good story. But it was also a lie. It was a lie that got Michael Finkel fired and ruined his reputation.

In the midst of trying to find new work in his home in Montana, Michael is tipped off by another journalist that a child killer was caught using Michael’s name as his own – this man was Christian Longo. Michael was curious to why Longo would use his name and he wrote to the killer while he awaited trial in Oregon.

The letter leads to in-person interview with Longo and during the interview Longo offers Finkel an exclusive. After trading letters back and forth, Finkel realizes that he has the makings of a good book on his hands. He is given a large advance to continue the book and as Michael’s hubris grows, his ability to see the truth clearly diminishes.

There is one person who immediately sees Longo for what he is and that is Michael’s wife Jill (Felicity Jones). She sees her husband being duped by this psychopathic murderer and it concerns her.

In the end, Longo is convicted of aggravated murder of his wife Mary Jane, his daughters Sadie and Madison and his son Zachary and he is sentenced to death. And once the trial is over, Michael finally starts to see the real truth about Christian Longo.

“True Story,” is a compelling portrait of truth and how it is used and twisted to one’s advantage. Michael lies to get a good story and Longo lies, saying he is an innocent man. The film is also an excellent example of how a narcissistic psychopath uses other people to their own benefit.

“True Story,” is the film debut of filmmaker by Robert Goold. He co-wrote the film along with directing it. Serving as one of the executive producers of the film is Academy Award winner Brad Pitt. This is an excellent debut for Goold.

Both Jonah Hill and James Franco are masterful in their interpretation of their characters. This is another fine performance for both. Hill and Franco play off each other so well and they were perfectly matched to play Finkel and Longo. Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”) also give a great supporting performance here as well.

Ultimately, this film will stay with you for a while. It will have you questioning your own truth and how you may manipulate it to suit your own life.

“True Story” is rated R for language and some disturbing material and has a run-time of 99 minutes.

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[Gallery Update] Every Thing Will Be Fine & True Story screencaps add

Yesterday I add two movie still from Every Thing Will Be Fine as well has add True Story screencaps to the gallery.

Alicia Silverstone Loses Her Head in ‘Making a Scene With James Franco’ ( Video)

The newest episode of James Franco’s TV-mashup web series, Making a Scene, is notable for two reasons: Alicia Silverstone makes a guest appearance, and the sketch lets Al Bundy live out what is probably a lifelong fantasy.

In The Hollywood Reporter’s exclusive first look at Wednesday’s show, Franco teases a Married With Children/Dexter mashup in which Al (Franco) is a serial killer who is very into his work. He’s not nearly as meticulous as Dexter Morgan, however.

Silverstone plays Al’s neighbor/nemesis, Marcy. After she and Al trade insults, she meets the same bloody fate as the rest of the Bundy clan. The patently awful headless effect just makes the scene that much funnier, and it fits in with the cheap-looking, “cardboard” set, as Franco refers to it.

Making a Scene releases new episodes Wednesdays on AOL. Silverstone will appear a few more times in the current season, including an appearance as Charlotte in a Sex and the City/Breaking Bad mashup

James Franco and His ‘Reverse Self’ Have a New Movie Column

America’s most enigmatic artist-alien has maybe outdone himself this time. James Franco now has a movie blog on Indiewire where he and what he calls his “reverse self,” Semaj, can speak about movies together. In Franco’s own words:

This is a column where James Franco talks to his reverse self, Semaj, about new films. Rather than a conventional review, it is a place where James and Semaj can muse about ideas that the films provoke. James loves going to the movies and talking about them, but a one-sided take on a movie, in print, might be misconstrued as a review. As someone in the industry it could be detrimental to James’s career if he were to review his peers, because unlike the book industry — where writers review other writer’s books — the film industry is highly collaborative, and a bad review of a peer could create problems. So, assume that James (and Semaj) love all these films. What they’re interested in talking about is all the ways the films inspire them, and make them think. James is me, and Semaj is the other side of me.

Some real high-level thinking here, with an oddly transparent concern for reputation that seemed to be absent during some of his other more recent ventures.

Well, James Franco, I have a degree in poetry too, so for more insight, I turned to my own “reverse self,” Elocin, to discuss said column.

Nicole: In Franco’s first post, he discusses horror film Goodnight Mommy with Semaj, but it really just reads like an essay because James and Semaj don’t really disagree on anything. So what was the point of that format?

Elocin: James Franco was very broody in Spider-Man, and I liked that.

Nicole: Sure. But don’t you think it seems like Franco just wanted some type of controlled interview environment where he could set himself up to make intelligent observations about film?

Elocin: In Spring Breakers he is violent and his teeth are shiny. But I still thought he was cute.

Nicole: Elocin, focus. Did you laugh at the joke where Semaj, who is not real, begs James not to reveal any spoilers, or when James reveals he loved The Notebook because it was “Gosling and McAdams at their sexiest”?

Elocin: Bravery is what is sexy, which is why 127 Hours is a film I love. Good job, James.

Nicole: You’re useless.

Well, there you have it. I had to fire my own “reverse self” because she’s a fake entity without unique opinions, but I’ve got a feeling Semaj will be around for a long time. Let’s hope we get some of his opinions in Franco’s forthcoming book on Lana Del Rey.

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[Gallery Update] Wild Horses DVD caps add.

I have DVD caps of Wild Horses to the gallery.

James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’ Bought by Alchemy for North America

Alchemy has acquired North American distribution rights to James Franco’s Hollywood-set dramedy “Zeroville” for a 2016 release.

The film, based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Steve Erickson, stars Franco, Seth Rogen, Jacki Weaver, Megan Fox, Craig Robinson, Joey King, Dave Franco and Danny McBride. Filming began last October in Los Angeles.

Franco directs from a screenplay by Paul Felten and Ian Olds. The story centers on a young man obsessed with cinema who arrives in Hollywood in 1969 and climbs the ranks of Hollywood’s ’70s movie elite while finding true love to be a dangerous romance.

Producers are James Franco and Vince Jolivette via their Rabbit Bandini Productions banner, along with Caroline Aragon and Michael Mendelsohn via his Patriot Pictures banner.

Alchemy made the announcement at the Toronto Film Festival, where it has four titles screening — Nanni Moretti’s comedic drama “Mia Madre”; Yorgos Lanthimos’ satire “The Lobster,” starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz; Gaspar Noé’s 3D sexual melodrama “Love” and Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s French horror film “Evolution.”

Alchemys’ Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal with Michael Mendelsohn, Patriot’s CEO. Embankment is the international sales agent for the film.

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Watch James Franco Play Both Carrie Bradshaw and Walter White in New TV Mash-Up

Me in drag is not funny,” James Franco said after his famously controversial stint hosting the Oscars. Yet here he is again in a blonde wig and long pink dress. But at this point in the eccentric Francossance, it’s hard to be surprised by anything. In a preview for Season 2 of Franco’s online series, Making a Scene, the actor and his merry band of writers and performers mash up Sex and the City and Breaking Bad with Franco playing both Carrie Bradshaw and Walter White. The scenes with Carrie and her girls land much better than the Walter White bits. Who knew Alicia Silverstone was the parody Charlotte we deserved? But maybe someone should have taught Franco and his writers a few more of Bryan Cranston’s signature catchphrases. There’s only so much mileage you can get out of repeating “I am the one who knocks.” Come for the cosmos and sex jokes, stay for Samantha knocking boots with Pinkman. If the meth trailer is a-rocking . . .

You can see more of Franco’s TV mash-ups—including his bug-eyed Jon Snow—over on Aol.com.

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James Franco Revisits ‘Freaks and Geeks’ for His Web Series, ‘Making a Scene’

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The AOL series also has Franco playing Walter White and Carrie Bradshaw in season two.
As if James Franco weren’t busy enough — with several film projects, a David Simon pilot for HBO and a Hulu original series on his plate — he’s also starring in a bunch of different TV shows this fall.

More or less, anyway. Franco’s web series, Making a Scene, launches its second season on AOL on Wednesday. After mashing up famous movie scenes in season one, Franco and his collaborators (including, in several episodes, Alicia Silverstone) are tackling TV shows this time out.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Franco discusses the genesis of the project, how to make a good mashup and revisiting his Freaks and Geeks character.

How did Making a Scene come together?

Basically, what I really liked about the concept we came up with was that there were two steps in the creative process that would be out of my and my collaborators’ control. We wouldn’t pick which movies or TV shows would be featured; we would ask people online which ones they wanted. Then once we had those titles, we put them all on a wheel to decide which ones would be mashed up. It’s sort of like a challenge for us — once we have those things mashed up, we have to make sense of them.

I guess, initially, I thought it would be great because it would take a little pressure off of us. If it’s a weird mashup, we’re not to blame. We didn’t choose it.

Does the approach change at all when you’re doing TV mashups, as opposed to movies?

We found when we were doing the first season that, in movies, there are a lot of famous scenes. People can really cite scenes — for some reason, scenes in movies seem to stand out more. When we decided to do television shows, we started thinking [about], what are we asking people to pick? It seemed like picking specific scenes wouldn’t work the same way with television shows. In fact, what is primary in television shows are situations, characters, concepts. Those would be the things we would then play on in season two.

When we’re mashing up two shows, what we thought about and talked about is, which show’s style are we using? Which show are we shooting it like? If we’re doing Breaking Bad and Sex and the City, does one style take priority over the other? Then also trying to figure out how the characters of these two worlds would come together. So, in that case, Walter White is on a date with Carrie, and Carrie’s back with the ladies, telling everyone what the date was like.

And playing both Walter and Carrie, you get to have sex with yourself.

One of the fun things about it is, it doesn’t have to be perfect. The effects can be crude, and I think it can make certain things like that even funnier, in a way.

There’s a Freaks and Geeks mashup this season too, correct?

Yeah, that was the last one we shot, I think, so we’re still cutting it. That, funnily enough, got mashed up with Saved by the Bell. It’s high school characters vs. high school characters. That one actually turned into a musical, so you’re going to get a Freaks and Geeks-Saved by the Bell musical.

Was it strange slipping back into Daniel Desario again?

It was weird because it’s been like 14 or 15 years. I can’t believe it when I say that. It’s kind of shocking to me that it’s been that long. … When I was on the show, it was the first thing I did that was actually any good. … I didn’t really understand that at the time, how rare that is or how hard it is to get such talented people together on something. When I was on it, I didn’t really appreciate it. In hindsight, I can really see how special it was.

I think there are a lot of people around who don’t like their earlier work. I interviewed Jared Leto for Interview magazine, and I was told, “Don’t ask about My So-Called Life. He doesn’t like to talk about it.” (Laughs.) I’m like the opposite of that. I love Freaks and Geeks, so going back was fun.

In this era, when every fondly remembered show seems to be getting a reboot, could you see a Freaks and Geeks reunion happening?

It’s a little tough with that show because it was really based around us being so young. If we do the older version, I think people are just gonna be like, “Oh. That’s weird.” (Laughs.) I haven’t seen it, but I think the new Wet Hot American Summer — we could do something like that.

Lastly, how did you get involved with David Simon’s pilot The Deuce?

I had talked to David over a year ago about another project that just didn’t work out, schedulewise. But we got along really well, and he had told me about other things he was doing. … Then, last Christmas, I was reading this book called Difficult Men, about the third golden age of TV. … I just loved it. I thought, “You know what? These kinds of shows are something I want to be a part of. I love this long-form approach — I love everything about it as an actor and storyteller.” I just emailed David and said, “Hey, what about those other projects? Let’s do one.” He said, “Well, I’ve got The Deuce.” It just sounded like everything I got into acting and filmmaking to do. It’s ’70s New York, the world of Taxi Driver and Mean Streets — it was everything I wanted. After that call, we just went full steam ahead and put it together.

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James Franco Is Teaching High School Now

James Franco, student of life, teacher of N.Y.U. and U.S.C. film students, guest starrer of soap operas, will next bestow his hard-won wisdom upon a lucky few high-schoolers. Friday night via Instagram, Franco alerted the young citizens of California that he’d be hosting an eight-part film class at Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto High School and encouraged them to join him. “Sign up NOW! ?” he implored (sunburst emoji his).
The application for the workshop does not mention Franco by name, but does contain the written equivalent of a casual hair-flip: “The teacher is a very well known director and actor supported by a team of professionals.” The form explains that Franco and his cohorts are looking for “24 students who are very interested in film making and want to help produce a film that will actually be shown in a film festival at the end of the year (if it is good).” And while you “don’t need to have your own camera”—like, if you’re, I don’t know, a high-school kid—“it is helpful.” In other words, if you’re looking to get schooled in celluloid by Franco, you best be prepared to make a film of inarguable quality (as deemed by Franco) and also have your own equipment that you can drag around Silicon Valley at your leisure.

Know an ambitious, preternaturally brilliant, and camera-owning high schooler who meets these qualifications? To get in, students must pen a 200-word essay “ABOUT WHY YOU WANT TO BE IN THE WORKSHOP AND WHAT YOU WOULD BRING TO THE CLASS,” and make a one-minute video with their cell phone. (The application doesn‘t require proof that students watched the scene in 127 Hours wherein Franco saws off his own arm without covering their eyes and/or weeping openly, but it couldn’t hurt). Accepted pupils will work in groups of three; for those high-school students or Hollywood news writers who have not yet mastered the art of multiplication, the application explains “there will be 8 groups of 3.” The four-hour-long workshops will run from September 13 to December 13 and applications are due Thursday, September 10 by midnight.

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