Watch This: Trailer for The 33

The 33 is not the kind of story I usually talk about. It isn’t about a woman or women. It’s about men. 33 men. It’s based on the 2010 Chilean mine disaster in which 33 men were trapped underground for 69 days.

I read Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hector Tobar’s book Deep Down Dark on which the film is based and I got to know those men and the people in their lives – their wives, lovers and children. The book was utterly compelling and nerve wracking. If you are a reader, read this book before the film is released.

You don’t have to read the book to be interested in the movie. It’s an amazing story. Patricia Riggen directs. Patricia Riggen is a native of Mexico, known for directing such films as Under the Same Moon, Lemonade Mouth, and Girl in Progress.

the poster for The 33

It’s a big cast, including Cote de Pablo, Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, James Brolin,  Juliette Binoche, Kate del Castillo, Lou Diamond Phillips, Gabriel Byrne, Mario Casas, Adriana Barraza, and Bob Gunton.

The film opens on November 13.

Watch This: Trailer for After Words

After Words features the brilliant actress Marcia Gay Harden, which gives me hope that it is going to be more than what it looks like from the previews.

Here’s how the film is described:

Academy Award® Winner Marcia Gay Harden (50 SHADES OF GREY) stars as a librarian who attempts to escape her mid-life crisis by traveling to Costa Rica. There she meets a younger man (Óscar Jaenada – CANTINFLAS) who takes her on an unexpected journey filled with adventure and romance.

The trailer is a bit worrisome in that it hints that the film might be nothing but another one of those ugly duckling has a makeover and finds love as a swan stories. But there’s an undercurrent of something else in the trailer that brings hope for more. Is Jane going to Costa Rica to die? Is this really a story about romantic love?

The film was directed by Juan Feldman. It’s his first stint as a full length feature film director. It was filmed in Costa Rica.

After Words opens on August 21.

Watch This: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 Official Trailer

I know I’m really late with this. Everyone has probably seen it already. But I couldn’t let the trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 “We March Together” go unacknowledged.

With President Snow (Donald Sutherland) being his most menacing and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) being her most heroic, Mockingjay Part 2 promises an epic final battle in this epic film series with its pointed commentary on modern life.

Katniss is leading the attack on Panem with an army from District 13 behind her. Her two closest supporters, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) Gale (Liam Hemsworth), are right there with her.

The film will release on November 20, 2015, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday crowds and should be a huge hit. Another female-led blockbuster can’t be anything but good news.

A Closer Look at Mille Dinesen, Star of ‘Rita’

A very popular post on this blog is about the Danish show Rita, which is a hit on Netflix. Mille Dinesen is the star of Rita. I thought readers would appreciate learning more about her, seeing some photos and some video, and finding out how to keep track of her.

She was born in 1974, which makes her 41 years old. She’s only been acting for the last 10 years or so, if IMDB is reliable. (It generally is skimpy for European actors, but it’s all the info we’ve got.) Before she stepped in front of the camera, she was a production assistant. She completed her acting training at State Theatre School in 2004. Her first credit is for the Danish Bridget Jones, Nynne, which turned out to be a huge success and made her very well known in Denmark.

the poster for Nynne
Mille Dinesen started off with a starring role in Nynne.

She’s been consistently busy since that beginning. She’s done a TV series on Nynne, several movies and was in a few episodes of a favorite of mine, Borgen, as Birgitte Nyborg’s ex husband’s new girlfriend.

You can find her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. On Twitter she’s @milledin.

Here are a couple of photos from her Instagram account. Remember when her Rita co-star Lise Baastrup dressed up like Rita in one episode? Here’s a photo of that look-alike situation.

Ikke alt er som det plejer i aftenens afsnit af RITA 👊 @ritatv2 #tv2play #tv2danmark #netflix #ritaseason3

A photo posted by Mille Dinesen (@milledin) on

I don’t know about you, but I simply loved Rita’s closet with its endless supply of plaid shirts. I want that closet for my own.

Tøjkrise…ALDRIG! …på med RITAuniformen 👊 @ritatv2 @tv2danmark #netflix #ritaseason3 A photo posted by Mille Dinesen (@milledin) on

The translations of Danish articles by Google from Danish to English are almost unintelligible, so it’s a bit hard to tell much about her personal life. I managed to figure out that she’s interested in her health and in eating right. For a time, she was not very well, and she strives to maintain good health now.

She lives in Copenhagen, near where she was born and near her family. She was married, but is now single. She told one interviewer, “I could not have made ‘Rita’ if I had had so much as a hamster to take care of.” She commented that she’d been on Nynne for so long she was typecast as that. She’s very happy that her character on Rita is so different. In this interview, she described Rita as being politically incorrect with a masculine energy.

I’m hoping for a 4th season of Rita, but I’m also hoping that whatever Mille Dinesen does next will be brought to American audiences.

See also: My interview with Christian Torpe, the creator of Rita.

Emily Andras at the Helm of SyFy’s New ‘Wynonna Earp’

Wynonna Earp is the latest sci fi/fantasy epic to emerge under the guidance of Emily Andras. It will appear on SyFy next spring with Andras as showrunner. Andras was executive producer and writer for such favorite series as Lost Girl and Killjoys.

Since the women created for those past series met every specification for kickass, I’m looking forward to the potential of this female-led series.

Melanie Scrofano

The show stars Melanie Scrofano as the demon-fighting Wynonna Earp. To complete the historical references to her famous surname (she’s Wyatt Earp’s great granddaughter), there’s a Doc Holliday in the cast, played by Tim Rozon.

Tim Rozon

Tim Rozon was an annoyance in Lost Girl. Here’s hoping Emily Andras has found a better use for him in this series. That much gorgeousness shouldn’t go to waste.

Shamier Anderson

Shamier Anderson plays Agent Dolls. That’s all that is known at this point about the cast and characters.

Earp  joins a secret division of the U.S. Marshals created to combat killer supernatural creatures known as The Monster Squad. Scrofano’s Marshall will be a motorcycle-riding modern-day gunfighter in the Earp/Holliday tradition.

Wyonna Earp comic

Wynonna Earp is based on an IDW Publishing comic of the same name by Beau Smith.  Series based on comic books may be a bit on the silly side, but they do give us heroines we can admire like Agent Carter, Liv Moore, Supergirl, and now, Wynonna Earp.

Last Tango in Halifax: S3 E5

Episode 5 of Last Tango in Halifax starts with a bang when Lawrence (Louis Greatorex) pulls a prank on the boys at school who put the sign on his back. By bang, I mean he tossed some firecrackers at them and pretended to shoot them. A chase scene ensued, with wild music which was also used over the credits. Continue reading “Last Tango in Halifax: S3 E5”

Watch This: Trailer for Addicted to Fresno

I don’t know when I’ve been quite this excited about a movie. Addicted to Fresno is so perfect!

Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne are co-dependent sisters in "Addicted to Fresno."
Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne are co-dependent sisters in “Addicted to Fresno.”

What exactly do I mean by perfect? Well, it stars Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne as sisters who are completely nutso – funny already, that. Then there’s the rest of the cast: Molly Shannon, Aubrey Plaza, Clea DuVall, Allison Tolman and Jessica St. Clair. Don’t forget the writer Karey Dornetto and the director Jamie Babbitt. It’s an explosion of brilliant women. See? Perfect.

Oh, wait. I think there are some guys in the film, too. Maybe Ron Livingston, Fred Armisen, and Malcolm Barrett.

Lyonne’s character is a hotel maid. Her sister, Greer’s character, is a sex addict who blows into Fresno and gets a job in the hotel with her sister. They have a mishap of sorts with a dead body. It isn’t clear from the trailer what the mishap is or why a cart full of sex toys is the solution, but I cannot wait to find out.

Addicted to Fresno will be available on demand September 1 and will be released in theaters October 2. Laughter will be allowed.

Lost Girl: New Promo for the last of season 5

Showcase released a promo called “The End Begins” for the last half of Lost Girl season 5. The show begins on Canadian TV on September 6. It probably won’t show up on SyFy in the US for some time after that.

What can we learn from the promo? We know Bo is as kick ass as ever. In shades.

Kris Holden-Ried and Eric Roberts

We do know that Bo isn’t through with her father just yet.

Ksenia Solo in Lost Girl

We do know our favorite sidekick will return, at least for a bit.

Some of the promo is recycled from the beginning of season 5, so no news there. I think the reference to happy endings is meant to mislead us. What do you see in this promo that I’m missing?

Watch This: Trailer for Runoff

Most trailers tell you almost everything about a story. Runoff is different. You understand almost nothing of what is happening from the trailer. But it’s compelling and looks powerful. I am very interested in this film after watching this trailer. It looks like a unique film experience.

Runoff poster

Here’s the film synopsis.

The beauty of the land cannot mask the brutality of a farm town. As harvest draws near, Betty confronts a terrifying new reality and will go to desperate lengths to save her family when they are threatened with being forced from their land.

Joanna Kelly in Runoff
Joanna Kelly in Runoff

It stars Joanne Kelly as Betty. Also featured are Neal Huff as Betty’s husband Frank. Their kids are played by Alex Shaffer and Kivlighan de Montebello. Tom Bower plays the character Scratch, the one offering cash for something morally questionable.

The reviewers who have seen it so far are using superlatives like stunning, mesmerizing and relevant. The film is the work of first time director Kimberly Levin.

The film has made the rounds of festivals but, so far, hasn’t gotten a wide release. However, Runoff opened in several theaters around the country this week. Here’s a list of where you can see it. Go if you can, and let me know if it’s as interesting as it looks. Since I’m nowhere near any of the cities where there will be screenings, I’m going to have to wait for some online service to pick it up.

An interview by Meredith Alloway with the director will give you more insight into the issues in the film.

Review: Tig

Tig is a documentary about a year in the life of comedian Tig Notaro. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.

I recommend the film to everyone. Not because it’s a great documentary, but because Tig Notaro is a woman to admire and respect.

Tig Notaro

The documentary looks at a year in Tig’s life in which she was diagnosed with C-diff and breast cancer, the year in which her mother died, and the year in which she learned that her dreams of being a mother might never come to fruition. Any one of those things would be devastating, and they all happened at once.

Tig is a stand-up comedian. When something happens in her life, she deals with it by adding it to her stand-up routine. The documentary begins 2 days after she received her cancer diagnosis, on the night she walked on a stage and said, “Hello. How are you? I have cancer.”

In the following year, the news of her groundbreaking performance went viral, the sound recording of that night became a best selling album called “Tig Notaro Live” (pronounced with a short i). She became famous and the darling of talk shows and interview segments.

In that year she made a decision that could have caused her cancer to recur in order to try to become a mother. In that year she also fell in love with Stephanie Allynne, an actress she met while working on In a World.

One of many interviews about Tig in the documentary is Stephanie Allynne talking about how she believed she was straight. That kept her from recognizing her feelings for Tig for a while. She seems to have it figured out now; the couple recently announced their engagement.

One year after Tig’s “I have cancer” performance, she was back on the same stage. She’d made it through a rough year and came out of it with renewed confidence and finely honed jokes about it.

There were some poignant, painfully real moments in the film. There were also moments that felt as if they were staged after the fact – reenactments, if you will. The real parts were compelling, the recreated events felt out of place. As storytelling devices, they were there for a purpose, but they still felt out of place.

The overall effect of the film is one of wonderment: at the strength of character that Tig Notaro has, at the humor she brings into her life to deal with hard times, and at her physical recovery from such difficult illnesses.

Tig Notaro is a strong, beautiful, hilarious woman. Watch the documentary.

The Trailer