Review: Barefoot

Barefoot can now be steamed from services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. It’s a rom-com starring Evan Rachel Wood and Scott Speedman, released in 2014.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Barefoot”

Watch This: Latest Trailer for Pitch Perfect 2

A new trailer for Pitch Perfect 2 is here. Starring Rebel Wilson, Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks and many others, the film releases on May 15, 2015.

I spotted Birgitte Hjort Sørensen in the this trailer. She’s a favorite from the Danish series Borgen. She is the blonde from the World Champion Team who are the archenemies of The Barden Bellas.

I am hopelessly addicted to musicals of any kind. Promise me songs and I’ll be watching. I love an underdog story, which this is. So I’ll be watching Pitch Perfect 2. As a plus, the Pitch Perfect franchise has a female director (Elizabeth Banks) and a female screenwriter (Kay Cannon). What’s not to like?

House of Cards: Trailers, Posters and Dates

The release date on Netflix for House of Cards is Friday, February 27. All 13 episodes of season 3 will be available then.

Poster for House of Cards

In season 3, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is the President, Claire (Robin Wright) is First Lady. I forget the exact details of how Frank Underwood manipulated himself into the Presidency. I must go back and review season 2 before Feb. 27.

Most of the season was filmed in Maryland, but the finale was filmed in northern New Mexico in the Santa Fe and Las Vegas area. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for places I recognize in the finale!

Netflix calls this preview a moving poster. It doesn’t show much of anything except the Underwoods looking Presidential.

The official season 3 trailer is much more exciting – and drum laden.

Watch This: Red Band Trailer for Spy

In Spy, Melissa McCarthy teams up again with writer and director Paul Feig in a comedy featuring McCarthy as a CIA Analyst. She works with agents played by Jude Law and Jason Statham.

Miranda Hart
Miranda Hart image from BBC

I’m more than a little excited to see that McCarthy is working with British comic Miranda Hart in Spy. These two should be fabulous together.

Here’s the G-rated version of the trailer, followed by the Red Band trailer.

Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson also star in the Fox release, which opens in theaters May 22.

Spy image © 20th Century Fox

Netflix Doc: What Happened, Miss Simone?

Available later this year only on Netflix will be Liz Garbus’ documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? about the life of singer Nina Simone. Here’s the publicity blurb about the film.

Classically trained pianist, black power icon and legendary recording artist, Nina Simone lived a life of brutal honesty, musical genius, and tortured melancholy. In the upcoming Netflix original documentary, Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus interweaves never-before-heard recordings and rare archival footage together with Nina’’s most memorable songs, creating an unforgettable portrait of one of the least understood, yet most beloved artists of our time.

There’s another film about Nina Simone in the works – a biopic starring Zoe Saldana. This Netflix documentary will show Nina singing her own songs and shouldn’t be confused with the other film.

The two films will bring the attention of young people who might not be familiar with Nina Simone into her fandom. It seems to be the moment to rediscover the wonderful talents of the singer who died at age 70 in 2003.

Here’s the first official trailer for the documentary.

Learn more about the film and about Nina Simone at ninasimone.com.

Watch This: Woman in Gold trailer

Woman in Gold stars Helen Mirren (and Tatiana Maslany) as Maria Altmann. Based on a true story about how Altmann fought the Austrian government to get back several paintings by Gustav Klimt that were stolen by the Nazis from her family during World War II. Ryan Reynolds plays her attorney.

Maria Altmann might have been called a “spitfire” in her day. She felt no restrictions on her behavior because she was female. Taking no for an answer from a bunch of male bureaucrats was not an idea that even crossed her mind.

Woman in Gold opens April 25, 2015.

Dicte: A Danish series about a Crime Reporter

Netflix is now streaming the Danish series Dicte. The series is named for the title character, Dicte Svendsen, played by Iben Hjejle. Dicte is a crime reporter who goes back to her hometown of Aarhus after a divorce.  She has an 18 year old daughter named Rose (Emilie Kruse) and an ex-husband (Lars Ranthe) who hopes for a reconciliation.

Mild spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Dicte: A Danish series about a Crime Reporter”

Orphan Black Season 3 Teaser and Premier Date

We have a date for the premier of season 3 of Orphan Black. April 18, 2015. And we have another clever teaser for the upcoming series. This one shows Tatiana Maslany killing it as she plays one clone pretending to be another clone.

So far the teasers for season 3 have mostly been reworked bits from season 2. We don’t seen much of Ari Millen, who will play several clones in season 3. (We did see just a hint of Ari Millen in these previews a few days ago.)

I’m not getting a sense that Tony, the male clone Tatiana plays will be back. We aren’t getting any hints about whether the pencil that Sarah blasted into Rachel’s eye is going to be the end of her or a temporary setback.

We do know from publicity about Ksenia Solo guesting on the series as a healer for Cosima that Cosima is probably going to recover and survive.

I saw a preview for an upcoming movie called The Age of Adeline in the theater the other day. The male love interest was played by Michiel Huisman, who plays Cal on Orphan Black. I hope that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had time to continue on as Cal in season 3.

I love seeing these teasers but I’d like at least a few tidbits about where season 3 will go.

Watch This: Previews for Season 3 of The Americans

The Americans will start season 3 on FX on January 28. I’ve been watching this drama about Soviet spies in the U.S. during the Cold War in the 1980s since the first season. As unlikely as it sounds to say that I like a show about Soviet spies, I am saying it here.

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in The AMericanse
This married couple are not what they seem

Much of the reason this show is so good are the outstanding performances from Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. They are brilliant in their parts as Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, two KGB officers who pose as a married couple living near Washington, D.C. They have two children, played by Holly Taylor and Keidrich Sellati. Their neighbor Stan (Noah Emmerich) is an FBI counter-intelligence agent who spends his days trying to catch people like them, and his evenings exchanging small talk with them over barbecue.

The spies have a “handler.” For a while their handler was played by Margo Martindale, an actress I simply love. This year Frank Langella is stepping into the role of handler. Richard Thomas is also a regular, playing another FBI agent.

There are recognizable events in the story, real characters and real happenings from the period, but ultimately – at least for me – the story is about Elizabeth and Philip: their relationship, their marriage, their family.

How about it? Are there any other fans of The Americans among readers?

Photos © Copyright FX Network

Review: Camp Takota

Thumbing through choices on Netflix or Amazon Prime is often frustrating because so few films pop up that have female stars. Camp Takota showed up as a featured choice on Netflix and I took the bait. This film has 3 lead female characters, played by actresses I’d never heard of: Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart.

Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart and Hannah Hart
Silly humor and lots of laughs at Camp Takota

Seems I’m not part of the in-the-know-crowd, because Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart are famous for their YouTube presences. They have large followings for their particular brands of comedy fun.

The film hit Netflix on December 1. This indie project is a groundbreaking effort by the trio at a full length feature. It’s one of the first long-form films to feature multiple YouTube stars, so I’m sure many YouTube celebrities have been watching it closely to see how it fares. It’s been doing well on iTunes since its release early in 2014.

Camp Takota was funny, it was charming, it was delightful in a lot of ways. It was also very obviously low budget and predictable. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying it and from encouraging the indie efforts of these 3 very funny women. You’ll have a good time at camp with these people.

Photos by Erica Parise – © 2014 – Chill