Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Author(s): Adam
Location: Texas


Directed by Walter SallesWritten by Alfonso Cuaron & Carlos Cuaron
Produced by George Lucas, Albert Maysles & Alfonso Cuaron

Principal Cast:

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY as Ralph "Sonny" Barger
MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL as Dorothy Maynard
ANTHONY MACKIE as Meredith Hunter
PAUL DANO as Alan Passaro
ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. as Albert MayslesJOAQUIN PHOENIX as David Maysles

Tagline: "December 6, 1969... The day the music died"

Released: December 6, 2007

Rated R for strong language, some strong violence, some sexual content, drug use

Synopsis: December 6, 1969. It was a free concert featuring The Rolling Stones, Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Crosby Stills Nash & Young and Jefferson Airplane. It was being called the Woodstock of the West Coast. It became a chaotic affair that ended in four deaths, four births, and the day the music died. Altamont tells the story of three groups at the Altamont event.

Ralph "Sonny" Barger, leader of the Oakland division of the Hell's Angels, is hired to lead his gang as security for the event. They are paid $500 and free beer throughout the event. Consuming alcohol and taking drugs throughout the day, they become agitated at the hard to control crowd. They resort to violence and aggression towards the crowd. This results in four deaths and numerous injuries.

Meredith Hunter, an 18 year-old African-American is attending the concert. With him, he is carrying long-barreled revolver. In a dispute with Alan Passaro, a notorious 21 year-old member of the Hell's Angels, he is stabbed and kicked to death. Passaro was tried for murder in 1972, but acquitted in belief that the act was in self-defense. It is never known if Hunter drew his weapon before or after being stabbed. Hunter's death is known as the most famous death at the event.

Dorothy Maynard, a single mother-to-be who is nine months pregnant, is attending the concert with her husband for a day of music before her child is born, as chaos breaks out, Dorothy goes into labor. Now, Dorothy is in fear of losing her child at birth amongst everything occuring around her.

Albert & David Maysles are two filmmakers attending the show with equipment and filming the concert for use on a documentary. Not expecting what would occur as the sun went down, they begin to film the chaotic events. Eventually, they have caught on tape numerous situations, including the stabbing of Meredith Hunter. Their footage would eventually be used for a documentary they called "Gimme Shelter"

Altamont is the story of four different groups of people and how one day changed their lives. It show how the Altamont event each affected them in its own way. It opens our eyes to how we handle certain situations and how we come out as different people when having experienced a traumatic event.

What the press would say:

"A moving film about human nature from different aspects of a diverse group of people"

"Beautifully shot and photographed. Walter Salles is making his way to the list of top foreign filmmakers in our modern day"

"When it comes to this years acting race for the oscars, McConaughey, Gyllenhaal, Dano, and Mackie can be placed at the starting line"

"The Cuaron brothers have scored another hit as writers, from Y tu Mama Tambien to this, their range and diversity to tell a story is clearly shown in their works"


BEST PICTURE- George Lucas, Albert Maysles, Alfonso Cuaron

BEST DIRECTOR- Walter Salles
BEST ACTOR- Matthew McConaughey
BEST ACTRESS- Maggie Gyllenhaal


Around the Horn

Author(s): Tony
Location: Pittsburgh

“Around the Horn"

Directed by Larry Charles
Written by Alexander Payne
Produced by Albert Berger
Music by Pieter Bourke

Principal Cast:

Oliver Platt as Lenny Crow
Denis Leary as Ace Headlee
Jeremy Piven as Clark Quackinbush
Robert Downey JR as John Cannon
Christopher McDonald as Bob Payne
Morgan Spurlock as Himself
David Morse as George Lewis
Michael Rooker as Jim Deikstra
Laura Kightlinger as Lisa Deikstra
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tim Deikstra
Mary-Louise Parker as Connie Preston
Wiley Wiggins as Amber Newman
Terry Crews as LaMarshal Whitney

Tagline: "The words you don't see coming are the ones that hurt the most"

Synopsis: Host Bob Payne and four different citizens with the most hated jobs and opinions from across the country debate the hottest and intense topics live via satellite, "Around the Horn". Imagine one show where the "villains" get to speak, where they get their word in to express their own beliefs. The show often brings on guests to debate the 4 analysts on their own respective topics, and it's no holds barred.

Lenny Crow has the back of perhaps the people that are looked down the most in the country, the obese public. Crow is blind in his left eye which brings many of the other analyst humor, Crow is always knocking over his unseen pen or coffee mug on the left side of his body, but apart from this unusual habit, Crow means business. Crow is sick of these vegetarian, whiny, "eat healthy" activist that need to show themselves on TV every 4 seconds. The fact is the general obesity problem is no ones concern except the obese. Morgan Spurlock is often a guest on the show and is enraged by Crows comments. Perhaps Spurlock did put a hand in abolishing the "super size" option, now the public will just order 2 larges and invest more money in the fast food nation.

Ace Headlee, steroid activist by day, and uh...steroid dealer by night. Headlee is the medias most well known agent in all of sports. With clients in football and baseball, Headlee is a man on a mission, to juice the competition. With his biggest client, all-star left fielder and homerun batting champ LaMarshal Whitney, on suspicion for using horse roids that were strictly given to him from Ace Headlee, George Lewis, a former Senate majority leader, leads the investigation, but it's not enough to stop the problem. Ace has his opportunity to express himself on ATH, and in the end walks away with the cash, and a big old grin on his face.

Clark Quackinbush, the #1 hated man on all feminists, republicans, and pro-life activists lists. Quackinbush is the lead organizer of the biggest pro-abortion cult in the country, BNOB, "Baby Not on Board". Quackinbush is banned from most late night talk shows and is the leads the country for most death threats in one year. His security has doubled ever since the public felt the need to throw bricks through his house windows. Clark and his trusty accomplice Amber Newman (4 abortions to her count) take on the country, expressing the RIGHTS the country has been complaining about for years now, and it is a womans RIGHT if she wants to abort a child she doesn't want. Clark has kids of his own, which only pushes his pro-abortion standards ever further. With his on-going rivalry with feminist Connie Preston, Clark is a very busy man, and it's like he says, "Why be against something that you haven't tried yourself?"

And finally, our fourth and final villain, John Cannon, perhaps the most popular of the bunch, often is a guest on CNN, most media talk shows, Cannon is a ferocious predator with his war beliefs. Not only does Cannon not show a care in the world for the soldiers in battle, but is dealing with a law suit that the Deikstra has put on him. "Why should I feel sorry if a guy gets decapitated on television?" as John likes to say, claiming that if the guy doesn't want to get decapitated, stay home. Tim Deikstra is a soldier in present time and via satellite guest stars on the show against Cannon, debates in which people from all over the country tune into. Cannon's words affected Tim so deeply after 3 or 4 appearances, Tim eventually took his life over seas, in time led to the law suit. Cannon believes this incident alone shows weakness in the country, "how can this all around tough kid be affected by MY WORDS and my words alone?".

Perhaps some of the fueds will end badly, perhaps some will be jailed, some will be broke, but all in all, the show must go on, and not only do the panalyst get to express themselves, but the media is "rolling in the benjamins".

What the press would say:

You may find yourself very nervous when seeing a movie like this. You choose your friends or family carefully, you're not sure who you want to take and you must study their natural beliefs or you know you'll have a heated debate also. From the director of "Borat", Larry Charles brings you the most outrageous comedy since, um, well, Borat, "Around the Horn" is mesmorizing in it's own kind. Strictly led on it's witty, off beat humor and spot on dialogue, each staff and cast member in their own unselfish ways create this raunchy atmosphere that will definitely open some eyes and perhaps make you question your own beliefs. Not all of the film is shot on the talk show, but we get a good evaluation of how these realistic characters live and what they go through, it's truly an amusing matter.

You decide whether the ultra enthusiastic characters are the pro or antagonist, but what doesn't need debated is the performances from each panel member. Oliver Platt plays off his blindness as if he were actually blind, Platt is known for his comic supporting roles, this one will only increase his legacy. Denis Leary takes on the sports world and is so convincing it's hard not to love him. Jeremy Piven is without a doubt the most outspoken, charismatic character in the film, a supporting role that might go down as one of the most memorable. And finally Downey JR, who realistically took the most risky of all roles, that enough deserves credit. JR, who hasen't touched a bad script in so long, continues his comeback journey with his brilliant portayal of a man against sympathy for the "troops". His quote "Excuse me if playing cards and drinking all night doesn't deserve my sympathy" will go down in the books with "I'll make him an offer he won't refuse".

This movie will leave you speechless for a few hours, afterwards you'll be talking about it for days. Comedy has surely lost its touch, but it's guys like Larry Charles and Alexander Payne that bring the true brightness and intellect in comedy. "Around the Horn" shines, and it shines well.

For Your Consider:

Best Picture - Larry Charles, Alexander Payne, and Albert Berger
Best Director - Larry Charles
Best Supporting Actor - Oliver Platt
Best Supporting Actor - Denis Leary
Best Supporting Actor - Jeremy Piven
Best Supporting Actor - Robert Downey JR
Best Original Screenplay - Alexander Payne
Best Film Editing


Author(s): Ryan
Location: N/A


Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Written by Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron
Music by Javier Navarrete
Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki

Principal Cast:

Ivana Banquero: Lola Walgala
Maribel Verdu: Carmen
Jaiver Bardem: Estaben Walgala
Prissy: Rose McGowan
Benji: Ryan GoslingKestie: Radha Mitchell
The Mister: Jim Carrey
Naomi Watts: Maura Johnson
Mark Johnson: Christian Bell
Jen Kang: Gong Li

Tagline: "N/A"

Synopsis: In 2058 the world is almost dead. The remaining countries are at war, the water supply is beginning to lower, and the climate has changed drastically. The world population is 36 million. The world consists of Russia which was taken over by America in 2020, Old Asia which is China, Japan, and Korea, Spanish Territory which is Portugal and Spain, and Former America where states no longer exist but rather the whole country America. Then there is Australia. Australia is the only place that nothing is happening. It is supposed to be the Perfect place and Lola desperately wants to go.

Lola lives in Russia in an Army house where the Army lives. Her father has promised to take her when the war is over but that seems to be never. She is often visited by a black figure with a white blank face she calls ghost. He tells her the future and good things arriving but is ghost really telling her or is she imagining it? Her best friend is Carmen the Nurse in the home. She wants to go to Australia also. They are practically sisters and are together almost all the time. Carmen often tell Lola a true story Carmen calls The Whisper in the dark.

The Whisper in the dark tells the story of the eccentric Prissy and Benji and Kestie. Prissy is the slave of The Mister. The mister is a rich demanding sex addicted malevolent murderer who hangs around with his Drunk buddies. The Mister gives Prissy free time in which Prissy goes to the Cinema (which is abandoned) to meet her boyfriend Benji. They often go and watch old movies there. One day Benji's wild at heart cousin Kestie comes to the theater and tell them she has a plan to escape to Australia that night. The two agree to come along but The Mister and his gang find out about it and want Benji and Kestie dead and Prissy returned to him.

Lola loves this story because eventually all three escape and Lola's situation is not nearly as bad as the three and this gives her hope. The Ghost appears again to Lola he tells her she is Going to Australia soon but tell no one or something bad will happen. Thought Lola can't resist and tells Carmen. Since Carmen is the only one that believes Lola, Lola and Carmen escape that night on a boat. Though when the army finds out about the escape they suspect Carmen of kidnapping Lola and a troop is sent after to find Lola. On the way to Australia Carmen tells Lola more stories about a married couple who crosses paths with The Mister and how the world became the way it is. Lola begins to wonder then if Australia is really what it seems.

What the press would say:

From the writer and Director of Pan's Labyrinth and Alfonso Cuaron of Children of men comes an explosive fantasy in a world which no one wants to see. The story takes place in Russia which is now a foggy abandoned country. In Russia lives Lola Walgala (Ivana Banquero). Lola is a thirteen year old girl whose father is fighting in the war. She wants to go to the supposedly perfect place Australia where nothing is happening. Her best friend Carmen the nurse (Maribal Verdu) is wanting to go to escape war. These are the two leads of the film who give heart breaking performances and really make you feel for them.

In The Whisper in the Dark segment Rose McGowan shines as Prissy a wild eccentric woman who is the Slave of the Mister (Jim Carrey). Ryan Gosling also gives a great performance as Benji, Prissy's boyfriend. Radah Mitchell plays the ghost like Kestie, who in her 7 minute performance steals every scene she's in. Jim Carrey also proves to be a scene stealer as the terrifying Mister.

The last 45 minutes of the film has many twists to it and has you on the edge of your seat.With the Cinematography of Children of Men and the Originality of Pan's Labyrinth this is a true Masterpiece and will be remembered in times to come.

For your Consideration

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Best Director: Guillermo del Toro
Best Original Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron
Best Actress in a leading role: Ivana Banquero
Best Supporting Actress: Maribal Verdu
Best Supporting Actor: Jim Carrey
Best Supporting Actor: Ryan Gosling
Best Supporting Actress: Rose Mcgowen
Best supporting Actress: Radah Mitchell
Best Art Direction
Best Cinematography
Best Makeup

Big Brown Bag

Author(s): Alex
Location: Texas

“Big Brown Bag"

Directed by Clint Eastwood
Produced by Scott Rudin & Bob Yari & Clint Eastwood
Written by Todd Field & Patrick Marber & Stephen Gaghan
Edited By Thelma Shoonmaker & Stephen Mirrione
Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki
Music by Phillip Glass
Costume Design by Patricia Field
Production Design by Jess Gonchor
Art Direction & Set Decoration by Tom Warren & Lydia Marks

Principal Cast:

Mischa Barton (Rachel) Kathy Bates (Miriam)
Victoria Beckham (Gina)
Kate Beckinsale (Natasha)
Jamie Bell (John)
Hayden Christensen (Tom)
Jill Clayburgh (Brenda) Zac Efron (Bobby)
Kyle Gallner (Henry)
Eva Green (Jane)
Bryan Greenberg (Richard)
Jennifer Hudson (Sam)
Felicity Huffman (Susan)
Keira Knightely (Jamie)
James Lafferty (Andy)
Blake Lively (Natalie)
Rachel McAdams (Sarah)
Sienna Miller (Diana)
Samuel Page (Christopher)
Danielle Panabaker (Jen)
Alex Pettyfer (Daniel)
Vanessa Redgrave (Joan)
Channing Tatum (Luke)
Reese Witherspoon (Amanda)

Tagline: "Loneliness. Friendship. Fear. Hate. Life. You Think You’ve Seen It All. TAKE A CLOSER LOOK"

Synopsis: Imagine a normal day in the regular mall near your house. Have you ever thought of what’s happening to the guy next to you in the elevator, the lady in front of you buying a pet or the brother and sister laughing and talking as they walk. No, didn’t think so. Big Brown Bag brings the tale of a regular day in the mall, Daniel (Pettyfer) is a messed up kid who receives a chance by a naïve yet dedicated teacher (Greenberg) of making a project in order to avoid failing a class that would mean his last day in school, the project is about observing people during a day in the local mall, and analyzing their behavior and their response to everything around them during Christmas season, but this project would mean a lot more, it will open his mind to everything he ignored and never cared to pay attention to.

The ensemble cast tells a wide variety of stories that find cohesion in the setting and Daniel’s project. The story begins with John (Bell), a 19 year old who lacks motivation and any short and long term goals, he’s overwhelmed by pressure and expectations but particularly doubt, he works at the video store with Luke (Tatum), a free spirited guy who can’t stay in one place for too long, always moving and always avoiding any kind of real responsibility; and Bobby a really funny kid, extremely fanatic of movies, always making references in real life, but he means well and portrays a know it all image, but in reality he knows little but hopes much. Together they form a weird group of friends but eventually each will find what’s lacking in their lives from each other. The second story is about Joan a recent widow facing life without his life companion, facing the loneliness and reality of the issue and with the help of two long time friends, quirky and expressive Miriam (Bates) and serious, uptight Brenda (Clayburgh). In a trip to the mall she will realize that is tough but life goes on. Her son Tom will help her realize that even though her husband’s life ended, she still has much to live.

The third focus on snobby, bossy; Diana. The manager of an exclusive boutique who is unable to truly express her feelings, she lives in fear of seeming weak to her employees, Jane (Green) and Rachel (Barton). But after all her nature has maker her, a woman without trust and depending on the false security she exudes. She eventually opens up but to herself, realizing her mistakes and flaws as a person.

As a fourth here comes the typical High School princess Natalie (Blake Lively), but with her there’s more that what meets the eye, she can’t stand her life but its too afraid of leaving it, she’ tired of the lack of friendship and loyalty in her life she can only rely on his also popular cousin Andy (James Lafferty) who also hides a big secret, even to her , everyone loves her, and her perfect life, but you know there is more than just being beautiful, rich and with a family that loves her, I know is there actually something better? Well the answer is yes, the most important thing is having all these by being true to yourself and having peace of mind. At the end they realize that life is not perfect and sometimes is hard facing our own reality but we have to accustom to it as it is.

Then we know the story of Susan (Huffman) a bitter and unhappy woman, facing the fact that all her aspirations and hopes are lost in her new persona. She struggles with her daughter Jane (Panabaker), without realizing she’s her only support and that she’s the only thing holding her family, Jane behaves with great maturity and honesty. Susan knows the only worthy thing she has done is raising Jane the way she is. Susan never fully understands that life is more than just the gathering of your accomplishments.

The final and lighter story is between two siblings, Henry (Gallner) and Sarah (McAdams) their relationship besides the age difference is special and both of them find in themselves the meaning of family, that even when you think everything is going bad there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Their part in this story is merely to show the real meaning of family and trust, their relationship brings a change of mood to the story and shows what love is.

All the stories include flashbacks to explain certain aspects of the character and what made it that way. At the end on simple day in the mall during the holidays actually shows more that what anybody else expects. Every person has a story before entering and with this story; some of those stories are told.

What the press would say:

The first time I read about this movie my first reaction was Huuu???. Basically because just looking at the cast you see a great burden to carry through a very difficult way. You have the experienced and great actors teamed up with the unproven and inexperienced young actors, and with this larger than life cast you can kiss quality good bye with the smallest mistake, but guess what before you even dare to criticize the cast and the destiny of the movie take a look at the crew, another Molotov bomb you might say, who would think Clint Eastwood would ever do a movie like this, particularly written by Todd Field, Stephen Gaghan and Patrick Marber, you might think, where the hell did Paul Haggis went?? But let me tell you something before your eyebrows reach the sky. It works. After the success in Cannes being the only movie to ever win so many prizes, Palme D’Or, Best Director, Best Screenplay and a special mention to the whole cast in both acting categories, everything about this movie fits in perfectly, every member of this vast cast was born to play their respective roles, Jamie Bell and Alex Pettyfer shine as the leading men in this movie, they take what it seem to be very superficial characters and turns them in human beings without exaggerating the issue or situations in which they are placed. Vanessa Redgrave and Felicity Huffman prove that you don’t have to be young to take over the screen, every woman on this film are overshadowed by this two. In the supporting performances you can choose whoever you want, every one of them achieve something marvelous, some with more screen time that others, but whoever doubted that teen idols couldn’t act please watch this movie before saying anything, James Lafferty a “One Tree Hill” alumni proves he can add feelings and humanity to the typical jock, his role is one of the hardest ones in the movie and he pulls it off with limited screen time and lines. Also Zac Efron and Channing Tatum achieve something beyond words, you leave the theater knowing that you once were in their position, the rest of the guys are also awesome Christensen in the role of a son struggling with the past of his family and what it takes to face the present, Greenberg as very naïve teacher that has amazing hope in what people can achieve if they’re give a chance, Page functions as trigger of emotions in the movie in his roles as Bell’s big brother and Gallner as a teenager with no problems just enjoying life the way everyone should. With the ladies we have Blake Lively who changes and humanizes the typical popular girl, let me tell you something, she’s awesome at doing it, Keira Knightely has a very limited role as the owner of the video store but she squeezes every second in screen, this is that kind of performances that earn at least Oscar nominations for her 14 minutes on screen, Sienna Miller is impressive as Diana, she is capable of showing a great range of emotions with just a look or expression, if anyone loved Meryl in Prada they will certainly love Miller she even matches her to the surprise of everyone that watches this movie, J-Hud actually proves that she deserved her Oscar and positions herself as one of the finest actresses working right now being constant in good work, she plays Miller’s mentor and the reason of her attitudes, a very good performance. The veterans Clayburgh and Bates make one of the funniest and more loved couples in cinema; they hate each other but is so goddamn funny watching it in the screen, heartfelt performances worthy of them. Beckinsale and Beckham put the B in bitch; I mean they take their role so seriously that your actually afraid of saying anything while they talk, their roles as the owners of the exclusive store was built for them, together they create the snobbiest bitches in cinema history. Barton, Green, McAdams, Panabaker and Witherspoon have one thing in common, they brake your hearts wide open, your really feel what they are trying to say. This weird cast functions as a puzzle, each one of them has a specific role in the story and together they create this image of perfection.

Eastwood proves that he can work outside his usual type of movie in order to create a gripping drama, he plays with time in the shape of flashbacks that would take a gifted director to make it work, also the great editing creates a swift pacing and flow between the stories, that with the help of Lubezki’s photography you actually feel you’re in the mall following this people. Glass’ music works perfectly in the high dramatic points, is difficult to hold you tears in this movie trust me on that. The script can easily fall into cheesiness and stereotypes, but in the hands of all this gifted writers, believe nothing goes wrong. The story has great humanity and sensibility in portraying the life of these persons, is really sublime the way it works. As you watch this film you feel in another era of cinema, there will be a difference from this point in making movies. This is one of those movies that surprise you every time you see them. An instant classic and frontrunner in every award show.


Best Picture - Scott Rudin & Bob Yari & Clint Eastwood
Best Director – Clint Eastwood
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Jamie Bell and Alex Pettyfer
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Vanessa Redgrave and Felicity Huffman
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Hayden Christensen, Zac Efron, James Lafferty and Channing Tatum
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Kathy Bates, Jill Clayburgh, Sienna Miller, Blake Lively and Keira Knightely
Best Editing - Thelma Shoonmaker & Stephen Mirrione
Best Cinematography - Emmanuel Lubezki
Best Costume Design - Patricia Field
Best Art Direction - Tom Warren & Lydia Marks
Best Original Score - Phillip Glass


Author(s): Maia
Location: LA


Written and Directed by Jason Reitman
Editing by Thelma Schoonmaker
Cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto
Original Score by Phillip Glass

Principal Cast:

Aaron Eckhart as Quincy Scalanti
Zac Efron as Daryl Cooper
Paul Dano as Brad Williamson
Jada Pinkett Smitt as Marcia Jones
Derek Luke as Mike Jones
Drea de Matteo as Melina Lombardi
Gael Garcia Bernal as Fernando Suarez
Mia Maestro as Paula Suarez
Adriana Barraza as Lucia Suarez
Milla Jovovich as Amber Evans / “The Silent Mistress”
Chris Cooper as Johnny Taylor

Tagline: "Now playing everywhere… but your local Cineplex"

Synopsis: A controversial look at the distribution cycle of film piracy in Hollywood through the eyes of the different intermediaries involved:

QUINCY SCALANTI (Eckhart) is the American cult film director by excellence; his four movies have made him a household name for the studios and one of the most popular filmmakers in the world. He was even up for an Academy Award last year (and he can’t still get over the fact that he lost). His past commercial success earned him complete creative freedom during the production of “The Silent Mistress,” a bloody martial arts adventure starring the equally famous (and narcissistic) Amber Evans as a woman seeking revenge for her daughter’s murder. A week before the film’s release, Quincy is ready to start the mandatory promotion tour across America but things are not going exactly as he had hoped…

JOHNNY TAYLOR (Cooper) is the head of Dynamo Studios, the powerful film company in charge of distributing “The Silent Mistress” nationwide; Taylor fell in love with Scalanti’s concept at their pitch meeting almost a year ago but ever since though, nothing had been pleasant between them. The latest test screenings have turned out disastrous for the film and with over sixty millions invested in production and advertising, Taylor fears he’s about to drop a bomb…

[The Silent Mistress (Jovovich) swordfights her enemy, she struggles for a while and finally, fulfills her revenge...] Credits start rolling, “Directed by Quincy Scalanti” appears on screen and then, all goes black: DARYL COOPER (Efron) turns off his camera and we find ourselves inside a movie theater. BRAD WILLIAMSON (Dano) looks around as the awkward audience leaves the Sneak Peek quickly. Daryl is an average teenager who enjoys watching movies and making an extra-income out of them; Brad is an aspiring screenwriter trying to get money for film school. They met FERNANDO SUAREZ (Garcia Bernal), a bootleg movie vendor from Mexico, a year ago while they were searching for a cheap DVD copy of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy in Downtown LA. Fernando introduced them to the business and they soon became his providers. For film buff Brad, movie piracy was worst than murder but his need for money turned him into an obsessive bootlegger, Daryl didn’t care much about the legal issues of movie piracy but he did care for Fernando’s sister: PAULA (Maestro). Every week or two, they would visit Fernando to give him their latest recordings. Fernando would then burn them into hundreds of DVDs, prepare them for local distribution and also, take them to Mexico. In the meantime, Paula was responsible of taking care of Lucia (Barraza), their ill mother. Daryl fell in love with Paula quickly and as they are becoming closer, Brad is becoming more desperate for money and he is willing to do whatever it takes to enroll in film school…

MPAA executive MARCIA JONES (Pinkett Smith) has never gotten anything for free but now, well established as a film censor; she can afford a luxury or two (Including supporting her brother Mike). Marcia has just received a DVD screener of “The Silent Mistress” for additional reviewing but has been busy on a confidential case about online piracy to watch it yet. Secretly, her brother MIKE (Luke) burns these licensed DVDs to his computer and sells them on his website

Entertainment reporter MELINA LOMBARDI (de Matteo) has always dreamed about becoming a respected journalist, her boss has just assigned her a story that could help her do it: the increase of movie piracy in America. She heads to Downtown with her crew to tape the bootleg vendors in action and spots Fernando. She is sure she has found her big story (and she is right, her report would turn into the most discussed subject of the week on national media).

Quincy Scalanti is devastated: a couple of days before “The Silent Mistress” debuts; critics are unanimously calling it the worst film of the year. He is proud enough to hide his fears behind an arrogant attitude and recurrent sniffs of coke but he can’t hide from Johnny Taylor’s rage. Taylor is furious; Quincy’s over-the-top direction will cost him millions and to make things worst, impatient fanboys are already downloading the film!. Quincy can’t handle the media pressure but he can’t stay away from it. As he watches an entertainment news show in his bedroom, he catches Melina Lombardi’s story… He can’t believe his film is out on the streets for sale at $4!

From that moment, the characters connect directly or indirectly and we are led to the film’s bittersweet conclusion: Will Melinda’s acclaimed story launch her to the top? What will happen to Marcia when the MPAA and the FBI discovers her brother is the one to blame for the computerized piracy? Will Johnny Taylor save his company and reputation? How far will the relationship between Daryl and Paula go? How far will Brad go to attain his goal? And most importantly, Will ‘The Silent Mistress” flop… or not?

What the press would say:

Unconventional! That’s the only way we can describe Jason Reitman’s riveting tragicomedy “Bootleg:” an ensemble masterpiece with many and none agendas at the same time. It’s a terrific film study about Hollywood’s worst nightmare: movie piracy, and it is accomplished to award-worthy results by its cast and crew. Reitman provides us with all the elements we need to empathize with his universe of characters but never tries to manipulate us into liking their life choices. Instead, Reitman adds pathos and motivations to each intermediary and allows us to judge for ourselves if we approve their actions or not. This decision is what ultimately makes the film work, Reitman stays away from the anti-movie piracy speech and instead; presents the problem and explores its causes and consequences with a smarter approach than his previous directorial effort "Thank You For Smoking"

Aaron Eckhart (playing wonderfully against type) creates a brilliant personality as the egomaniac and Tarantino-esque director Quincy Scalanti, Eckhart is hilarious on each of his scenes but his natural depth shines on the most dramatic moments where his character must battle his inner demons. The rest of the ensemble is also outstanding: Drea de Matteo is a perfect cast as the ruthless reporter Melina Lombardi; she glows on every scene (especially on those hilarious moments where her character’s overconfidence is revealed). Paul Dano reinvents himself as the ambitious and deceiving Brad (a coveted role that all Young Hollywood auditioned for) and Chris Cooper steals the show as the no-nonsense studio chief Johnny Taylor (particularly on every scene he shares with Eckhart's Scalanti).

The inherent legal issues of movie piracy are smartly given a secondary role against the moral conflicts in Reitman’s witty screenplay, making the film transcend the more than likely debate and become one of the most inspiring and though-provoking films of the year. Intermediaries are punished but the start and end of the cycle remain undefeated because a problem like movie piracy can’t be solved in two and a half hours, not even in Hollywood…

With almost ninety millions on the american box-office alone, “Bootleg” has also earned the audience’s acclaim and now, as we get closer to the announcement of the Oscar nominations, it should be considered for the following awards:

Best Picture (AMPAS)
Best Picture – Drama (HFPA)
Best Cast (SAG)
Best Director – Jason Reitman
Best Original Screenplay
Best Actor – Aaron Eckhart
Best Supporting Actor – Chris Cooper
Best Supporting Actor – Paul Dano
Best Supporting Actress – Drea de Matteo
Creativity Awards

Border Relations

Author(s): Al
Location: NY

“Border Relations"

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
In Memory of Robert Altman

Principal Cast:

Jeff Holt: John C. Reilly
Matteo Gorcina: Benicio Del Toro
Anita Gorcina: Rosario Dawson
Bob Watson: Jon Voight
Rick Sheldon: Woody Harrelson
Senator Roger Holmes: Chris Cooper
Luis Gorcina: Edward James Olmos
Lisa Holt: Virginia Madsen
Carla Gorcina: Rita Moreno
Alejandro: Luis Guzman

Tagline: "N/A"

Synopsis: For 30 years, Bob Watson has been the sheriff of Ft. Platt, Texas, a close-knit town right near the Mexican-American border. Living alone, he longs for some excitement in his career other than the occasional misdemeanor. He also wants to stop what he thinks is the decay of moral values in America. While watching the news, he becomes convinced that illegal immigration is what's wrong with the country. He immediately announces an initiative to build a giant electric fence along their area of the border, and root out any existing illegal immigrants in the area. He gains the support of most of the town's residents, including Rick Sheldon, a hard-right conservative hunting fanatic. The plan continues, and even attracts the attention of backhanded Texas Senator Holmes who makes a goodwill P.R. appearance in the town to highlight the "fine work" that Bob is doing. Jeff, a liberal and soft-spoken friend of Rick and Bob's, has been hiring illegal immigrants secretly, believing that everyone has the chance at the American dream. When the plan is announced, Jeff fights the law quietly and makes sure his employees are safe.

However, the real trouble with the initiative comes from siblings Matteo and Anita Gorcina. They are illegal Mexican immigrants who have been working tirelessly for Jeff in order to raise enough money to bring the rest of their family into the country legally. In addition, their mother Carla is deathly ill and requires serious medical attention that their broken-down local hospital won't be able to provide. Her husband Luis needs to bring her over the border immediately, legal or not. Alejandro, one of their co-workers at Jeff's factory and a fellow illegal immigrant, rats out Matteo and Anita to Bob in exchange for amnesty. With the help of Jeff and his lawyer wife Lisa, the Gorcina siblings challenge the law, hoping to get a sanction for their mother to enter the country. As the case gains traction and eventually advances to the Supreme Court, all the citizens of Ft. Platt must examine themselves, their beliefs… and whether what they did for a chance at the American Dream was worth it.

What the press would say:

Our country is so divided these days over so many issues. War or peace? Red or blue? Free or not? The list goes on. Movies, however, have always been able to bring us together and help us see the other side's point of view for the first time, and our own in a new light. Hollywood never is afraid to show their colors and discuss serious issues. And now we have "Border Relations", a sensitive drama helmed by up-and-comer Paul Thomas Anderson. Its multilanguage, border-crossing story emphasizes the similarities between the Mexicans and the Americans; the same values, and the same dream. Whether the American Dream still exists or can exist is a recurring theme in the film, but there still is a bit of sentimentality within it. On the other hand, the film at times seeps into darkness and bleakness, while still retaining a spark of hope. It's no wonder this film is dedicated to Robert Altman: his sweeping ensemble style, witty dialogue, and belief that we are all interconnected in some way shines through in his student Anderson's film. The screenplay is clever and multi-layered, and shows us both sides of the story sympathetically. However much we may hate the point of view of characters like Bob Watson, we still understand his rationale, and maybe even feel sorry for him. It challenges every perception we have about immigration, and makes us reconsider our own beliefs. Only the best films can do that.

An ensemble film is nothing without, well, a great ensemble, and "Border Relations" delivers on that. Woody Harrelson is great as a racist denizen of the town, Luis Guzman is perfectly conflicted as a spy for the police, and Chris Cooper is very sleazy as a shifty senator. Benicio Del Toro is also deeply moving as Matteo Gorcina, one of the film's protagonists who will do anything for his family. Oscar-winning veteran actress Rita Moreno is heartbreaking as the dying Carla, conveying so many emotions across her face while also making you believe that she is deathly ill. John C. Reilly gives a very interesting performance as the conflicted Jeff. He delivers his lines with so much passion you listen hard to every word that he is saying. While his character is very earnest and shy for most of the movie, he explodes with emotion in later scenes. We have never seen Reilly act like this, with such emotion and heart. However, I would say the standout is Rosario Dawson. After taking second-banana roles for years and being all but condemned to always playing a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold, she breaks out in this movie. She drops all vanity and sexiness for this role, and it shows. Opening herself up to the audience, she shows us her every emotion and doesn't even need to speak-a quivering lip, a darkening eye, a pursing lip all portray a thousand words. Her best scenes come when she breaks down under all her stress because Anita is quite the burdened character-even having to resort to stripping for money, we see emotion welling up under her surface until she absolutely bursts. I would go so far as to say this performance is worthy of an Oscar nomination, and perhaps a win.

"Border Relations" is a heartfelt and thought-provoking film that portrays a hugely controversial political issue without losing sight of the human side of the equation. Paul Thomas Anderson is a perfect directorial choice for the film, and all the pieces seem to fit together perfectly. It may not be one of the greatest films of all time, but it's extremely significant-and I'm sure will be for years to come.

Best Picture-AMPAS
Best Picture (Drama)-HFPA
Best Ensemble-SAG
Best Director
Best Original Screenplay
Best Actor: John C. Reilly
Best Actor: Benicio Del Toro
Best Supporting Actor: Jon Voight
Best Supporting Actor: Chris Cooper
Best Supporting Actor: Luis Guzman
Best Supporting Actress: Rosario Dawson
Best Supporting Actress: Rita Moreno

Defiant Soul

Author(s): Corey
Location: USA

“Defiant Soul"

Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Eric Roth & Steve Zaillian
Produced By: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, and Colin Wilson
Music By: John Williams
Cinematography By: Janusz Kaminski
Costumes By: Anna B. Sheppard
Art/Set Direction: Leslie McDonald
Edited By: Michael Kahn

Principal Cast:

Annette Bening: Jeannette Rankin
Judi Dench: Carrie Chapman Catt
Kerry Washington: Coretta Scott King
Julianne Moore: Judy Collins
Ian McKellen: Woodrow Wilson

Tagline: "You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go"

Synopsis: On November 7, 1916 she was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican from Montana, becoming the first female member of Congress. Just four days into her term the House voted on the resolution to enter World War I. Jeannette Rankin would cast one of 50 votes against the resolution, earning her immediate vilification from the press. Suffrage groups would cancel her speaking engagements, and in 1918, she runs an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican nomination to represent Montana in the United States Senate.

Forced out of national politics, Rankin goes to works as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. for various causes. In 1918 and again in 1919, she introduces legislation to provide state and federal funds for health clinics, midwife education, and visiting nurse programs in an effort to reduce the nation's infant mortality.

After helping to create the American Civil Liberties Union and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Rankin is again elected to Congress, this time on an anti-war platform. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, she once again votes against entering a World War, the only member of Congress to do so, saying "As a woman, I can't go to war and I refuse to send anyone else. I vote 'NO'".

Rankin did not bother to run for re-election because she became so unpopular from her decision. During the remainder of her life, she traveled to India seven times and was a devotee of Gandhian principles of non-violence and self-determination. In 1968, Rankin, a strong supporter of Martin Luther King Jr., led more than 5,000 women who called themselves "The Jeannette Rankin Brigade" to the United States Capitol to demonstrate their opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Coretta Scott King and Judy Collins were among the luminaries who attended.

Rankin died in Carmel, California at the age of 92 from natural causes, bequeathing her property in Watkinsville, Georgia to help "mature, unemployed women workers."

What the press would say:

“Spielberg enters the arena in which he excels. His stories of hope and determination in the face of adversity, like Amistad and Schindler’s List, have become masterpieces, and Defiant Soul enters into that rare territory as well.”

“Bening excels in the role of a lifetime. Under Spielberg’s direction she crafts one of the most poignant portrayals of her career.”

“Spielberg, along with his crew of familiar faces, creates easily the best picture this year.”

“A powerful film.”

“An urgent, effective film about politics and the American spirit. Another Spielberg masterpiece.”

“Whoever said Spielberg can’t direct women needs to take a look at this wonder.”

Oscar Nominations:

Best Picture: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, and Colin Wilson
Best Director: Steven Spielberg
Best Actress: Annette Bening
Best Supporting Actor: Ian McKellen
Best Supporting Actress: Judi Dench
Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Roth & Steve Zaillian
Best Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski
Best Score: John Williams
Best Art/Set Direction: Leslie McDonald