“Deepwater Horizon”: a riveting look at the people who tried to stop a disaster

deepwater-horizon-poster

Nutshell: A riveting look at a devastating disaster, with performances that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. You don’t need to need to understand all the techspeak, but it’s cool to hear it. Bonus: the story of the brave men and woman who tried to stop the inevitable doesn’t let BP off easy. Grade: A-

“My crew lives on this rig.  You just rent it.”

Story: Workers on the “ultra-deepwater” offshore drilling rig the Deepwater Horizon try to prevent catastrophe, and then stay alive, after high-ups from DH lessee BP pushed for dangerous drilling, bypassing and/or ignoring tests.  11 died in the explosion and aftermath, and oil flowed for 87 days (considered the largest “accidental” marine oil spill in history.) Over 8 thousand separate marine life species were affected, with consequences that still affect marine life in the area today. GODDAMMIT.

Genre I’d put it in: Disaster Movie Biopic

Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Orignal: Based on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  AKA “The BP Oil Spill That Covered All Those Poor Sea Birds, Animals, and Fish In Oil”. Continue reading

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Betty White, Ed Asner, Loretta Swit and Bob Barker to receive animal welfare lifetime achievement awards at Metropolitan Fashion Week

(Image: Metropolitan Fashion Week)

(Image: Metropolitan Fashion Week)

One of these days I SWEAR TO YOU I’ll never go hungry again get to Metropolitan Fashion Week. It’s now officially a bucket list thing. Why? Because this year they’re honoring Betty White, Ed Asner, Loretta Swit and Bob Barker with The GES Africa Conservation Fund‘s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for Animal Conservation. Super cool, right?  And any person, place or thing that’s that cool, I need to check out.

I’ve always known that Betty White, Bob Barker and Loretta Swit did a lot for animal welfare. But I’d no idea Ed Asner was also such a huge supporter. Wonderful!  Congratulations to these four outstanding folks, and read on for the full details!
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Happy Charity News: Hey kids, let’s help put on a show!

waca-logoOkay, more like “let’s help send talented singers to a festival to help them become even more talented!”  Because the Women’s A Capella Associaton (WACA) is holding its annual She Sings Vocal Festival next year in Berkley, California.  And right now you’re probably already thinking that because Berkley and singing, it already sounds cool.

But wait! There’s more!  WACA is hoping to give scholarships to Bay Area youth who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to go to the Fest.  Very nice, right?  Of course it is.  Here’s the WACA mission statement:

The Women’s A Cappella Association believes in the power of the female voice and spirit & seeks to encourage musical integrity & creativity. WACA aims to educate, inspire & create a forum of open discussion, mutual respect and unwavering support for current and future women in a cappella.

Sounds like a lovely environment for talented people to come together.  Wanna help?  Well, that’s lovely, because I’ma tell you how you can do just that…

she-sings-scholarship-2017 Continue reading

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“Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy” album streams Oct. 7

anjelah-johnson-not-fancyI caught Anjelah Johnson’s 2015 special, Anjelah Jonson: Not Fancy, on Netflix. And it’s a hoot.  If you don’t have Netflix?  Don’t be sad. Because Not Fancy is hitting all the streaming October 7th.  Don’t stream?  You can grab a CD on the 21st.  So you’re good.  Press deets!

Comedy Dynamics will release Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy stand-up comedy album on all digital and streaming audio platforms on October 7th and on CD on October 21st.

Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy was filmed at the City National Grove in Anaheim, California and the show still streams exclusively on Netflix. The special includes Johnson’s take on learning Spanish, marriage, her in-laws and jobs that she doesn’t have.

Johnson is one of the standup comics I actually drop my Netflix And Popcorn plans for, whenever I see she’s got something new.  Her comedic timing is fantastic, and her deadpan is on point.  And because I love you, here are two clips from the album courtesy of the lovely and talented PR gurus at Comedy Dynamics.  Enjoy – and for gods sake, don’t borrow Bon Qui Qui’s mascara.  That ain’t cheap y’all.

Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy clip #1

Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy clip#2

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TrailerWatch: “Desierto” dares you to cross the desert

desierto-onesheet“Welcome to the land of the free.”

Jonás Cuarón and Alfonso Cuarón.  Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Gael García Bernal.  Sounds like a great combo, right?  With Desierto, it’s a recipe for horror.  Now typically I’m all gung ho and ready for fun, but this one really creeps me out.  The horror of something that could actually happen? I’ll be clutching at anything and everything around me. Apologies in advance, aisle buddies. Synopsis!

From Jonás Cuarón and Alfonso Cuarón, the acclaimed filmmakers of Gravity, comes a unique, modern vision of terror. Desierto is a visceral, heart-pounding suspense-thriller packed with tension and suspense from start to finish, starring Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries and Y Tu Mamá También) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen).

What begins as a hopeful journey to seek a better life becomes a harrowing and primal fight for survival when a deranged, rifle-toting vigilante chases a group of unarmed men and women through the treacherous U.S.-Mexican border. In the harsh, unforgiving desert terrain, the odds are stacked firmly against them as they continuously discover there’s nowhere to hide from the unrelenting, merciless killer.

I will never listen to a teddy bear music box in quite the same way.  Desierto focuses its sights on theaters October 14, 2016.

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Short Film, Short Review: “The Opera Singer”

the-opera-singer-onesheet“Accidents happen.  Life happens.  Or maybe it doesn’t.”

Absolutely beautiful.  Can something be uplifting and poignant at the same time?  Well, this short about an opera singer who’s headed toward the end of her life can, and does.  It’s a testament to the power of short film that in only three minutes, director Steve Kahn can draw out such powerful emotions.

The use of Shannon Elizabeth as the voice narrator, acting as the Opera Singer’s inner voice is perfect.  Because who hasn’t aged, and yet still felt young inside?  Elizabeth’s voice performance is understated, yet nuanced.  You can hear the pain of missed opportunities, and the forgiveness she gives herself for letting those opportunities slip by.  It’s an amazing performance.

Newcomer Rena DuShey plays the Opera Singer, a woman at a time in her life when choices and dreams seem like things that happened eons ago.  Her openness in front of the camera is captivating.

Highly recommended.  Catch this one if you can.  It’s a lovely tribute to all the wishes, hopes and dreams we’ve thought about, but never acted on. Plus, you can be one of the cool kids that caught this film before it gets the slew of award season nominations it’s sure to gather.  You’ve got three minutes, right?

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Movie News: Scorsese’s “Silence” to open December 23rd

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Image: EW/Paramount Pictures

Apparently this is the day that Paramount gives us details on a few of their award season heavy-hitters. First came the Fences teaser trailer, and now the details on Martin Scorsese’s latest, Silence. Based on the 1966 novel by Shūsaku Endō, it’s looking like Scorsese is really digging into this moment in history. Synopsis!

In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity.

Neeson is going Full Jesus here, complete with messy pageboy and full beard.  It works for him.  Read on for the full details!

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