30 June 2011

Thor 2 Announced (Plus a Release Date)

It was announced today that the sequel to this summer's hit Thor will be coming out July 26th, 2013 (two and half months after Iron Man 3).  Chris Hemsworth will be returning in the title role but director Kenneth Branagh will not be (except for possibly in a producer role).  That leaves it open to quite a few options.  It was already announced that Shane Black would be taking over the Iron Man franchise from Jon Favreau, and next year's Avengers is being directed by Joss Whedon.  Maybe the position will go to Whedon, whom Robert Downey Jr. recently praised as a genius at this years Hero Complex Festival.  We'll keep you posted on the news!

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Quick Hit: Trailer for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

This September a very intriguing looking movie is coming out starring Gary Oldman & Collin Firth two of the best actors currently alive.  (Gary Oldman is probably Justin's favorite actor currently working).  This spy movie looks to be dripping with intrigue.  Here is the trailer for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

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29 June 2011

Diana at 50

In honor of the late Princess Diana's would-be birthday tomorrow, newsweek's cover features a photo of her taking a stroll with her new daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton.

Wait, what?

Yes, photoshop strikes again. Newsweek created a computer generated image of what the princess might look like at 50 years old, and slapped it onto an actual photo of the new Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor (SIDENOTE: Have you ever thought about the royal family's surname? Now you know!).

It seems that the media and the public will never cease to be captivated with the fugacious former princess. What are your thoughts? Is this a fitting, gracious tribute, or is it just creepy?

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28 June 2011

Quick Hit: First Trailer for Mission: Impossible 4

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#LRFF2011 - Prairie Love Picks up Distribution

Deadline.com has reported that Film Movement has acquired LRFF2011 alum Prairie Love.  If you remember we interviewed the filmmakers about their quirky North Dakotan dark romance film.  Film Movement has planned to release it early next year in several markets.  As an added bonus we're re-posting their interview here.

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Good News for Boxing Fans

Former undisputed middleweight champion of the world Jermain Taylor is returning to the ring after two years absence according to ESPN.com.  The fight is expected to take place August 13th in Little Rock, AR.  Speculation includes that it will air on Showtime networks.  We'll keep you posted as we learn more!

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27 June 2011

Quick Hit: New Trailer for Immortals

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26 June 2011

Stay Tuned... True Blood Season 4 Episode 1

Mallory: For the first time, we're watching True Blood as it happens. In the past we've had to wait around until the whole season was over and came out on blu ray. Now that we've got HBO we can watch it right alongside everyone else! This seemed like the perfect time to start a series of weekly recap/discussions. So here we go!

Consider yourself alerted. 

Justin: It was kind of different having to wait a week between episodes (we might go ahead and watch the second on HBO GO though).  This week's episode was probably the most different from any in the entire series.  The first 3 seasons, took place in pretty much a 3 month timespan, and I guess the writers realized that, and so when Sookie went with the fairies, she was actually gone for about 13 months, as if she was gone to Narnia the time between the too worlds flowed differently and she only spent about 15 minutes with them.  Turns out they're kind of evil too.

Mallory: While this show's always been a little strange, this was the first time I thought, "Are they serious?" A fairy spaceship with magic fruit that kills you if you go back to Earth? Tara's now Toni and likes girls? Sam just now, after 30+ years of being a shifter, found a random group of shifter friends to hang with? Lafayette has a MOHAWK? Just making sure you were still paying attention. Lafayette is a witch? How far do they have to reach to come up with new plots?

Justin: Well they kind of alluded to Lafayette being a witch with a lot of power near the end of last season.  I have a feeling that next week's episode will actually get into the story of this season, (hopefully).  It is funny that this show can be so ridiculous in all it's supernatural elements yet still come across as serious.  I think I'm most curious what this Portia Bellafleur character is up to, and on a side note kind of curious about how it compares to the book and Lafayette's role (he died in the first we've been told).  I did really enjoy the political pandering the vampires were doing to try to get the public back on their side.

Mallory: This was the first we actually saw of Lafayette's "powers," which are apparently strong enough to bring dead birds back to life... temporarily. I'm sure the honing of said skills will come into play at some point in the current season. I really do hope that next week gets more of a story going. This season's opener seemed more about the shock factor than storytelling. I do wonder if the fairies will come back into importance, or if the whole point of that subplot was to let us know that Sookie can finally identify with a strange species like the rest of Bon Temps.

Justin: Hahaha yeah she does.  It makes me wonder if Tara is also a witch, and if so then they're all just something strange other than Arlene (she's probably Frankenstein).  My questions for next week's episode include:  What's gonna happen now that Bill seems over Sookie and Eric owns her house giving him free reign?  Are they going to show us the Bill's fight with Sophie (He's the King of Louisiana now!) or are they just leaving that up to our imaginations? Adding to that, how long is Eric going to put up with taking orders from him?

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Review: The Tree of Life

poster borrowed from here

We've been pretty excited to see The Tree of Life for several weeks now, but our interest was definitely piqued after writer/director Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line) won the top award at Cannes with it. Mallory's interest was EVEN MORE piqued when she learned that he started making films in '73 but Tree was only his fifth. This is a guy who definitely takes his time and gets his films juuuuust how he wants them. The fact that it starred Brad Pitt didn't hurt much either.

So The Tree of Life tells the story of... well it doesn't tell much of a story. But there are pretty images like this:

and this...

If you're wondering where Brad Pitt and Sean Penn come into the picture, worry not. These stunning images of the universe's creation are intercut with the narrative which jumps from Brad Pitt's overbearing father figure to Sean Penn's (the grown-up son of Brad Pitt) dealing with the death of his brother to Jessica Chastain relying on her faith to overcome the grief of losing a child. That's putting it as simply as possible. It's a complicated and emotional movie and is not for the faint of heart. In fact, we weren't surprised to see more than one couple get up and leave. Oddly enough, we also saw two couples come in for the next showing 30 minutes before our showing was over...

Part of what made this movie so compelling was the amazing acting, and not just on the part of those from whom you'd expect it (we're talking to you Brad and Sean). Jessica Chastain manifested her role so well one would be inclined to believe she WAS her character. The three young boys were just as convincing.  It will be very interesting to see Chastain in Take Shelter, especially since Malick suggested her to Jeff Nichols.

We should probably mention that this is not a summer blockbuster even though it's come out this month.  This is definitely an art film, but it's probably one of the most beautifully shot films in years.  Like we said this film won the top prize at Cannes, but you should know that half the audience booed the film when it premiered there.  It is very slow moving, very contemplative, and there's hardly any diegetic dialogue (Justin is very sorry for using this film geek word, but there's nothing for it in the thesaurus, it means within the reality of the film). It's almost all voice overs.   So if you'd like to decide on whether or not you want to see this, watch his last film The New World and if you like it you'll love this.  Also, here's a link to Christopher Nolan and David Fincher talking about The Tree of Life.

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Stay tuned... True Blood Season 4 Starts Tonight

A number of our readers requested that we cover more TV as we noted last week.  So get excited because starting tonight we're going to be discussing Season 4 of HBO's True Blood.  As fans of this southern vampire show, and native Arkansans, we gladly obliged.

For those who haven't watched the first three seasons, beware some spoilers below.

Season 4 is opening with a lot of questions we want answered.  Where did Sookie go in that fairy space ship thing (sounds really ridiculous when that's typed out)?  What's Bill going to do now that Sookie knows the true basis for their relationship, and how is he going to defeat Sophie the Vampire Queen of Louisiana? Oh and where is Tara driving off to with her new haircut?  Is the King of Mississippi going to break out and get them all?  What's up with Jason's girlfriend's family and their werepantherness?  What about Eric and Pam?  And where did all these witches come from?

Anyway, Season 3 ended with more questions being asked, than the previous two seasons, and we want to know!

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24 June 2011

There's an Interesting Thing Happening in Silicon Valley

Turntable.fm is still in its beta stage but is becoming all the rage of Silicon Valley.  Right now it is in it's invite only phase, but the nice thing is that if you have a friend who happens to be on, well then you get to join as well.

Well what is it?  It's a social music streaming service, in some ways similar to Pandora or Grooveshark, but instead of letting Pandora's "music genome" give you like minded songs based on your interests, the site is more like Grooveshark in that any DJ on the site is letting you listen to the music they pick.  You can create your own rooms or you can find a room with fewer DJs and you too can be a DJ. There's a great article at BetaBeat.com that explains all it's potential use, and how it's slowed down productivity all across Silicon Valley.  Even Mark Zuckerberg has been seen listening to some tunes.  Try and check it out, it looks to be the next big thing.

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New Captain America Trailer

Less than a month away and we'll have America's most patriotic superhero.

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23 June 2011

Quick Hit: First Images from The Hobbit

www.ew.com has the first images from The Hobbit, feature Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey and Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins.

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Personality Snapshot du Jour

Meet Jeff: The Designer

We had a tough time with this one because we didn't know what to call our buddy Jeff.  He's an artist, of course, but the word artist is too simplistic to describe his many talents. He draws, designs sets, acts, does graphic design and animation, and industrial design. He could also probably rewire your house for you if you asked nicely, but that's beside the point. This native Arkansan (born in room 201 at Doctor's Hospital, if you were wondering) had a stint at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He went on a schooling hiatus due to family health issues, but intends to pick back up on his studies in industrial design and production design and graduate in 2013. Which really comes as good news to anyone out there looking to utilize the skills of such an adept mind. Now's the time to snatch him up before he's back off to Savannah, because who knows where this guy's ability will take him after that! Trust us, we've seen what he can do.

Have You Been There: What inspires you the most?
Jeff Fuell: Listening to Cinematic music, as well as bringing simplicity to complicated situations and/or systems.

HYBT: Do you have a mentor? Who?
JF:   Tons…Leonardo Di Vinci, Gandhi, My 12th grade humanities teacher Mrs.Wood, Rembrandt, Mozart, Michelangelo, Donatello, Rafael, James Cameron…Basically anyone who history recognizes as a master visionary who has created large scale master pieces that because of their very nature, make those who view them want to better themselves. But if you view mentor as a person who actually councils you and teaches you in life personally then my Mentor was and always will be my Mother Gina Fuell. May she rest in peace.

HYBT: Where is the most interesting place you've traveled to?
JF:  Savannah Georgia. True it was for college and I ended up living there for 7 years but because it was an international college my friends came from many different countries like Honduras, Columbia, South Korea, Beijing, Britain, South Africa, and several other parts of the USA. Learning more about my craft with people from so many different walks of life teaching me about their cultures along the way and adopting some of those characteristics into my own behavior and way of thinking ALL while in a city as historic, beautiful and full of culture as savannah was probably about as interesting a place as I’ve ever been.

HYBT: What is your favorite piece of art, be it a film, music, painting, etc.?
JF:  Without a moment’s pause it is the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. The chapel itself has 3 major pieces that cover its interior. The north wall is a fresco, “The Last Judgment”, by Michelangelo and basically depicts the end of earth and the Judgment of all men. From 1477 to 1482 a team of great Renaissance painters that included Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio created a series of frescoed panels on the south wall depicting the life of Moses and the life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe l’oeil drapery below. But it is the ceiling that was done first by Michelangelo with its 26 individual frescos that make up the whole that has from the age of 9 captured my attention and never let go. While he of course has his assistants to mix paints and fill in the backgrounds it was one man who was allowed years to paint arguably the greatest large scale and meaningful painting of all time. And it was the fact that it was mainly one man and his singular vision that inspires me so much and everyday reminds me that with time, patience, a hell of a lot of passion and a never ending need to be great, not to mention the proper funding LOL, a single person is capable of doing simply remarkable things that will resound throughout the centuries and bring wonder to this world.

HYBT: What effect do you think the place you grew up had on you and your work?
JF: A painter at heart but with a constant need to work on large scales and in as many areas of design as possible, my favorites being Production, Industrial, Furniture, Interior, Lighting, Graphic, and Architectural Design…I would not be worth my spit if I didn’t have the life I did. Growing up in, for lack of a better term, Ghetto and feeling the stigma associated with that has always made me yern for something better. Be it by creating larger scale, more inspiring/better art like murals on big blank walls; by bringing beauty to places that have none like creating a park where once was a couple of abandoned trailer homes, the need to see potential and make real the vision of something better in my head has been a very strong influence. Growing up in Arkansas has made me appreciate the smaller and simpler things of life and maintaining a sense of pleasantness and need to sweet to everyone I meet and always try and think spherically, give people the benefit of the doubt, and never stop trying to learn from new situations. And Growing up in the melting pot that is the USA with its style of schooling (imperfect but if nothing else broad) has made life a smorgasbord of races, lifestyles, and books that teach me of all places beyond our borders that I can’t help but learn from, grow from, and adopt unto myself the best parts of humanity itself which leads to paintings, sets, posters, furniture, spatial moods, products, and buildings that I believe are more well-rounded, perfected by the philosophy and art that the great cultures and artists of old have left behind, and speak with a voice that is not necessarily my own but belonging to the best parts of the human spirit and its history.

The only thing not falling into place about my work due to where and the way I grew up is financial backing. The create grand murals on such large scales, get products that would better the technological systems of the world and make real the spaces and buildings in my head one first needs a degree which I am once year from getting but 3 years behind others my age in doing so, and also having the money to buy 5 gallon drums of paint, wood, tools, has been slow and time consuming. However Necessity is indeed the mother of Invention so I have become nothing if not resourceful and more inventive in how I take on a project. So there is some good that comes from not having a multi-million dollar bank account.

HYBT: What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
JF: In living life, performing a job, or sketching a new piece I’ve noticed that my thinking and my actions are always BIG PICTURE based. For instance in the last answer I gave about my environment affecting my art and all the things I learn from; that thinking about cultures and other people is always in the for front of my mind. I don’t seem to get as down or depressed as those around me in times of stress because I remember there are millions of other people around the world dealing with far greater situations than me at that moment. I multi-task more doing tasks that most others at my jobs don’t want to do because I know if they don’t get done, then everyone even those to lazy to do the jobs will have even more of a rough go at their work. And lastly I get to attached to places that I work. If it’s a theatre getting on its feet I will drain my bank account and take time away from more important things in an effort to clean, redo interiors, and build more elaborate sets with higher caliber lighting all because I want the theatre; this thing with these people that I want to be a part of and care so much about, to be the ABSOLUTE BEST it can be. This is a part of that whole “bringing beauty to places where there was none” aspect of my personality. And and doing and creating things for the places I work I give of myself and get way more attached than most anyone else around me. However at the very first theatre I worked for most everyone was just like me and for 5 years it was truly a home for us to live work and play in, however we were all volunteers so no pay hahahah.

HYBT: What's something you'd like to learn to do?
JF:  I’d like to learn to gymnastics. Besides the health benefits and the wonder it would do to get my body in the shape I always wanted it to be in…the way the body of a gymnast moves; so graceful, steady, so flexible and yet so strong is something ive always been fascinated by and respectful of.

HYBT: What's something about you that would surprise people?
JF:  Im really a Kangaroo in disguise! LOL  Hrmm…Well most people that know me are actually very surprised to find out that I sing. And that my singing voice sounds nothing like me hahaha. Possibly due to a couple years of smoking clove cigarettes and also my voice finally completing its change from adolescence which didn’t end til I was 22, my singing voice is actually pretty raspy with an age to it like that of someone in their 50s. Friends that here me sing for the first time are like, “holy crap that sounds nothing like you but it was awesome!”  Picture a combination of Michael Buble and Paulo Nutini and you have my singing voice.

HYBT:  Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

JF: 20 to 40 times a day. Driving down the road seeing neighborhoods and business and cemeteries randomly placed with no rhyme or reason, images on tv, every time I even think of the government or international trade. These crazy systems and hodge podge urban designs are why the world is both the bane and reason for my existence. Again, my all-consuming need to bring simplicity and beauty to all things around me means my brain is always seeing the chaos that is and dreaming of and designing the “loveliness that could be.” Urban design is easier than say the system by which the government works but the principles are still the same. With a system I first have to study it more and boil down for myself how it works. After that I can weed out the bull and red tape that gum up the works and turn it into a system that not only works but doesn’t end up becoming its own opposition which whether you know it or not happens WAY more than it should.
HYBT: Who's your favorite television or movie character?
JF:  Ceilie from the Color Purple. This part was played by Whoopi Goldberg in one of her first performances and from the first time I saw it at the age of 7 that role and that movie has stayed with me like no other. The pain, loss, abuse, and indignities the character experiences along the story with only fleeting moments of real tenderness, and love for her to hold on to for all she was worth just so she could get through it all made me always want to appreciate the real moments in life and be as real and as kind and as genuine with absolutely everyone I ever meet. Ceilies’ was just one story, fictional though it may be, but real none the less. Pain like this and many many many other kinds exist in the world and to see this film at such a young age made my life one dedicated to not putting out into this world any more negativity. There is to much of it already and its not doing anyone any good and I WILL NOT add to it if I can absolutely help it. Darn it! hahaha

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First Photos of Pottermore Already Revealed

J K Rowling 20 minutes ago announced what exactly Pottermore.com is.  Now there are some screenshots from the finalized site already out.

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Pottermore Revealed

5 minutes ago the announcement from J K Rowling has been revealed.  Pottermore is a place for a "unique" reading experience.  It seems it's part socially interactive, part HP encyclopedia, part place to read the Harry Potter novels.  Best of all it is free (we're not sure if the new e-book editions of HP are free though).  Registration starts July 31st and it is fully open to the public in October.  We still have questions about this of course, but as we learn the answers to them we'll let you know! Click here for screenshots from the site! A press release for the announcement says:

In the new website, the storyline will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.

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22 June 2011

More Pottermore

There's been a bit more news leaked out about J K Rowling's new website, www.Pottermore.com.  A memo "leaked" today from the PR company Adam and Eve less than 24 hours before Rowling's announcement.  It seems that Pottermore, if Collider.com is correct, could actually be a worldwide scavenger hunt for physical wands and other treasures.  The Guardian said:

"The new project is reportedly an online game that gives users clues which will lead them to prizes hidden in the real world. Aspiring wizards the world over can hope to find an undisclosed number of magic wands stashed throughout the UK and US, and possibly other countries. It is not yet clear if the treasure hunt is Pottermore itself or a marketing drive for another product, and details about the game remain hazy."

How awesome is that?  Mallory calls dibs on any wands our readers find. The announcement is 12 hours away (6 am Central)

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21 June 2011

Quick Hit: First Trailer for Footloose Remake

MTV has the first trailer for the new Footlose, which happens to feature local favorite Ray McKinnon.

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Many Mes

We could totally do this if we felt like it...

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20 June 2011

First Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards

We've been discussing the need to have more content based around television, rather than just our recaps of the first two thirds of the first season of SyFy's Being Human (we finished the whole season, and will get back to that next spring).  Look for episode recaps of the 4th season of True Blood starting next week and then later in the summer the final season of Entourage and maybe the second season of How to Make it in America.  In the fall look for Mallory's recaps of Glee.

So it is with much ado that we bring you the results of the First Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards in the meantime.

Best Drama Series
Mad Men

Best Actor in a Drama Series
Jon Hamm - Mad Men

Best Actress in a Drama Series
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
John Noble - Fringe

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Christina Hendricks - Mad Men
Margo Martindale - Justified

Best Reality Series
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Best Reality Series – Competition
American Idol

Best Reality Show Host
Mike Rowe - Dirty Jobs

Best Talk Show
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Best Comedy Series
Modern Family

Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory

Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Tina Fey - 30 Rock

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Neil Patrick Harris - How I Met Your Mother

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Busy Philipps - Cougar Town

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19 June 2011

First Class Kind of Movie

Tonight we took advantage of some half price tickets to see X-Men: First Class.  After the previous two X-Men films I (Justin) was questioning whether or not I wanted to even see this one.  The trailers were actually making me lean toward seeing it, but I still had reservations.  But after the reviews came out and were mostly positive, we knew we needed to see this movie.  This was Mallory's first time seeing a X-Men film, but she's a fan of January Jones and that seems to have helped talk her into seeing it.

The film is at it's best an homage to the Sean Connery Bond films from the sixties, and a lot of people have said that.  Eric Fassbender's Magneto fills the Bond role as he hunts down the ones who killed his parents.  Now so you know this film takes place in the 1960s, and it is a prequel to the previous 3 X-Men films and the Wolverine film.  It's kind of exciting seeing how certain things happened.  Like, how Magneto got his helmet, how the X-Men actually got started, etc.  Another cool thing is there are cameos from X-Men who were in the original films, I won't tell you who though.

The Cuban Missile crises is an awesome backdrop for the adventure in this film, but there are still some flaws.  It does seem that there will be more sequels to this film, helping to expand the X-Men cinematic universe even further.  It's just really too bad Marvel Studios doesn't have the rights to produce these films, because it would be really cool to have these characters coexisting with Thor and Iron Man like they do in the comics.  The best thing about this film is that you really didn't need to see the others going into it.  It sets up pretty much the entire universe, and is a much better prequel to the original material than the Star Wars prequels.

Kevin Bacon is a great villain in this film, and Magneto is an awesome protagonist.  It's also fun getting to see Charles Xavier as a young playboy as opposed to the benevolent scholar Patrick Stewart brought us.  If you haven't seen this film yet, you should definitely go and check it out, it's our understanding it's WAAAAAY better than Green Lantern.

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17 June 2011

These Boots Were Made for Walkin'

So yesterday (in this post) I presented some thoughts on summer boots and announced a little experiment I had planned for later that night. I rushed home from work, gathered the ingredients for the outfit I had in mind and Justin and I headed to a monthly event in the Heights. I was a bit skeptical at first, but as soon as the ensemble was assembled any worry I had completely disappeared. It was actually fun to wear the boots/denim shorts combo. It seemed to create an inexplicable confidence in me that I did not see coming. However boot-induced ego boosts are rarely a bad thing.

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#LRFF2011 - Arkansas Film Institute Details

Little Rock Film Festival founder Owen Brainard had some exciting news at this year’s Little Rock Film Festival Gala. He announced that the festival has got several new initiatives in the works.  One of these initiatives is the Arkansas Film Studies Institute which promises to be a resource to all filmmakers in the state and the region. The institute will initially be run by the LRFF’s artistic director, Brent Renaud, and will focus on three main tasks:  to promote filmmaking in Arkansas, to promote film education in the state, and to support film arts organizations in the state.

We spoke with Mr. Renaud about this institute, “The idea is to bring together a strong board of business and arts leaders from around the state to set a coherent and cohesive agenda for filmmaking in Arkansas… helping to bring production to the state from all over the world, helping to work with university programs across the state, and to do youth workshops in rural areas.  We want it to help support the three major film festivals of the state, Little Rock, Hot Springs Documentary, and the Ozark Foothills Festival.”
Beginning this initiative after a mere five years of  the festival's existence is a huge victory for the founders. Renaud said that they “had always planned on starting an organization to help. We didn’t think we would get to this so fast. Originally it was a ten year plan, but we got to it in five. “

In the first year of the institute Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane will be the leader of the board, and members of the festivals and state universities will also be represented.  The Little Rock Film Festival will remain an independent entity.

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Final Harry Potter Trailer

It's kind of turning into a Harry Potter month with the final film less than 30 days away.  Remember our first post on this blog was about Part 1 of the final film, and now we bring you what seems to be the very last trailer.  Click here for all of our past Potter posts.

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J K Rowling Launched a Mysterious Website Today **Update**

We don't know a whole lot about this website....  Pottermore.com.  In fact the only people who do seem to be J K Rowling and a select group of people behind her.  What we do know is that she says it is not strictly related to the final film, but it does seem to be related to Harry Potter.  What else is interesting is that she has had plenty of time to write another book the last few years.  So maybe that is it?  Who knows.  Maybe it's some online Harry Potter fictional world people can pay a monthly subscription to in order to be a part of the wizarding world.  We promise to let you know asap.  In the meantime here is the video counting down to the site's launch.

UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Warner Bros. registered a trademark under the name Pottermore over two years ago as a "global computer information network" leading us to speculate we might be right on our second guess. Click here for the article.

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#LRFF2011 - Interview with Gerry Bruno

At this year's Little Rock Film Festival we had an opportunity to interview many filmmakers, including Gerry Bruno.  He's originally from New Jersey but now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas and is making some of the most original films to come out of this area ever.   His film at this year's festival, Seven Souls, has gone to festivals all over the country.  His other projects include the web series Bloodstone Diaries which just wrapped its second episode. Check it out!

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16 June 2011

There is a Season Turn, Turn, Turn...

boots borrowed from here
It's a touchy subject, really, boots in summer. I'm sure a quick survey would turn up plenty of people who would scoff at the idea before writing you off as a complete lunatic. Even the male half of this blog's reaction was "sounds hot... as in temperature." And while that's not exactly a rejection of the style, it's still a negative response to the idea.

Victoria borrowed from here

However a quick google search consisting of the words "summer," "boots" and "2011" turns up loads of results, including a link to Louis Vuitton's summer collection. Their summer BOOTS collection, to be exact. Now one might be inclined to assume that a designer's summer boots collection would be limited to consist solely of breezy materials (mesh? lace? water vapor?) and in only a few select styles (as in sandal-style). Or was that just me?

Ashlee borrowed from here

I was surprised to find that there were no limitations to the type of boot offered in the summer. There were suede, leather, fabric, open-toe, closed toe, flat, chunky-heeled, slender-heeled, tall, short and booties. There was little difference in these 2011 summer boots than what one would find in fall or winter. Who knew? You, probably. You're so smart like that.

Dianna borrowed from here

All of this boots-in-summer talk came about because I was recently gifted a fab pair (thanks Aunt Sandy!) that happens to be white. Now I'm no stickler for the "no white after Labor Day" rule, but like most, I tend to associate the color with the hottest, beachiest, sunniest season. And it got me thinking. And researching. InStyle.com says that summer boots are best worn with " an oversize, broken-in T and loose denim shorts." I can't help but think that piling on some long chainy necklaces wouldn't hurt the look either. Well the time has come. Tonight I'm going to test it out. I'll report back on what I find, but in the meantime I'd LOVE to know your thoughts! Comments, anyone?

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15 June 2011

Featurette for Tree of Life featuring Christopher Nolan and David Fincher

Terrence Malick's fifth film just won the top prize at Cannes a few weeks ago, but it seems the studio realized that mainstream audiences might not "get it".  So they've released a featurette featuring Christopher Nolan and David Fincher talking about Tree of Life.

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Quick Hit: 2 New Posters for Harry Potter

It's actually WAAAAAY bigger than that

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Release Date for Django Unchained Announced.

from billboard.com

Christmas Day, 2012 will be the opening day for Quentin Tarantino's next film, Django Unchained a Southern Western that revolves around the story of a freed Slave who is taught to become a bounty hunter, by a German bounty hunter played by the fantastic Christoph Waltz (Waltz had one of the best performances of all time in Tarantino's last film, Inglorious Basterds).  Samuel L. Jackson is also slated to appear as well as (at least for now) Leonardo DiCaprio as a villain in the film.  This is said to be Tarantino's take on a Spaghetti Western film, which makes us wonder what the second half of Kill Bill was if it wasn't. As of now the rumors for who will take the lead role mostly revolve around America's favorite actor, Will Smith.

Just for fun, here's a scene from Tarantino's last film.

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14 June 2011

#LRFF2011 - The Crab Interviews

At this year's Little Rock Film Festival the film The Crab made it's North American premiere.  It was written and directed by Rona Mark and stars former Arkansas Razorback basketball player Guy Whitney.  It also played this past week at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival.  This film is a very dark comedy about a man with a physical deformity who is in general just a bad man, you should check it out, click here for the synopsis.  Many patrons of the Little Rock Film Festival raved about this film and it's star.

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The Girl's Got Soul

Photo borrowed from here
Let me start by saying that I don't take kindly to new music. I'm unquestionably that girl who doesn't like songs she doesn't already know. It's shameful, I know. However, I may be singing a different tune (ugh. that was awful, yes?) now that I've had the pleasure of encountering Emily Wells. Thank you, Little Rock Film Festival,  for jolting me out of such a bad way by bringing her all the way from New York to perform for closed-minded people like me. All of this is to say that if I'm adamant that you hear an indie artist, you should probably absolutely take my word for it.

This one-woman band has mastered the violin, keyboard, drums, guitar, ukulele and cello among other instruments (not to mention her amazing vocals). And she likes to play them all at the same time. Interested yet? Watching her perform is like getting a front row seat in a recording session. She records loops live and constantly layers in different instruments, vocals and beats until she's created full song on her own right before your eyes.

From the moment we caught her getting settled and warming up we were enchanted- to say the least. She manages to make hip-hop come out of her violin in a fascinating way. And no words I could string together could possibly do justice to her uniquely appealing voice. She is a sight to be seen. An experience you should witness for yourself to fully appreciate. So, that said, I strongly urge you to click here and listen to/watch her perform "Symphony 1: In the Barrel of a Gun." You'll thank me. Promise.

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13 June 2011

#LRFF2011 - Interview with Benjamin Busch, Director of Bright

At the Little Rock Film Festival's Gala we finally had the opportunity to interview director Benjamin Busch.  We had tried to meet up with him the entire festival and almost lost our chance.  This man is dedicated to his film and filmmaking in general.  He drove to Little Rock from northern Michigan which took him about 18 hours, just to showcase his film at this festival.  Impressive.  Add to that an acting resume that includes HBO's The Wire and Generation Kill and you've got yourself a pretty interesting filmmaker.  Check out the interview below.

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12 June 2011

Our Thoughts on Super 8

Photo borrowed from here
After a few months of anticipation we finally saw Super 8 which tells the story of a group of young friends who, while shooting a movie, witness an immense train wreck and begin to explore the results and effect the wreck has on their small town. It was written and directed by J.J. Abrams of Felicity, Alias and Lost fame so the bar was set high on this one. Here are our thoughts.

Justin's Take: I know going into this review that Mallory didn't like this movie.  I went into it without too many expectations (which is odd since I've seen every episode of both Alias and Lost).  I really rather enjoyed this movie, I think because it was pretty much a popcorn flick.  I enjoyed that it had the Amblin Entertainment logo at the beginning, it reminded me of Goonies and ET and just about every movie of the early 80's.  I think my sister and her family will enjoy it.  I like that it was about 12 year old boys having an adventure out of scope for their surroundings.  It looks like old Spielberg films and I like that about it.  It's not an earth shattering film, and to go into it expecting that would only lead to disappointment.  I got nervous about that once every person I knew kept talking about how great the film was.  You should check it out if you want to watch an adventure.

Mallory's Take: I did not care for the movie. It insists upon itself (Family Guy, anyone?). In all seriousness, I was very disappointed and it wasn't because of high expectations. If anything, I had moderate expectations. Unlike many, I'm not under the impression that all that J.J. Abrams touches turns to gold. I found it hard to "suspend disbelief" while watching this one-- the entire time it felt like I was watching a movie. The score was cheesy and in your face and the relationships between the parents and their children were unbelievable. However that part was not due to bad acting, but to the lack of depth in the story. In fact, I left the theater feeling as though I'd seen that very same movie a thousand times already. It felt a little too Stand By Me for my taste. Honestly, if they'd cleaned up the language a bit it would have made a fine Disney Channel Original movie.

I realize this is all pretty harsh, but I had heard such great things about Super 8. I kept waiting for a big payoff that never came. But don't listen to me, I'm no Ebert. My favorite movie is Gidget Goes Hawaiian...

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11 June 2011

#LRFF2011 - Hal Needham

One of the best events of the entire Little Rock Film Festival was the event with Hal Needham, director of the classic film Smokey and the Bandit.  Mr. Needham has had probably one of the most interesting lives in Hollywood.  He started out as a stunt man, and later a stunt coordinator, before he went on to direct.  He worked with John Wayne on 8 films.  This was a not to miss event.  We're showcasing clips of it here on behalf of the Little Rock Film Festival.  Mr. Needham was interviewed by Tim Basham of Paste Magazine.

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10 June 2011

#LRFF2011 - Interview with Filmmakers of Prairie Love

We interviewed the filmmakers of Prairie Love this weekend, a film that was nominated for the Golden Rock for best narrative film at the Little Rock Film Festival.  They are a fun bunch and you can look for their film in a little over a month on Netflix!  Prairie Love premiered at Sundance and took the top prize at the Oxford Film Festival in Mississippi.

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09 June 2011

Am I Justified?

Please excuse the pettiness which is about to ensue. (did I just answer my own "am I justified" question?), but I feel that I have been wronged. You see there's this blog. Not just any blog--a FABULOUS blog. The propreitor of said blog was kind of my blogging hero. Like, she's won awards for her blog. Has thousands of followers. Hundreds of comments on every. single. post. she. posts. Coach sponsors her blog. Coach! COACH!

Several months ago (February to be exact), I found myself painting my nails pink and I looked over and saw my gold glitter top coat. "Why not?" I thought and gold-glitter-top-coated the heck out of my freshly pink nails. Quite pleased with how they turned out, I tweeted a photo of my new manicure and cited this blogger's home office decor as my inspiration (she was my blogging hero after all). Here was my tweet and the photo that accompanied it:

Mallory O'Neal

Later that day, she tweeted back (I took her real name out of the tweet):
LOVE. I definitely will be borrowing your idea sometime very soon :)
Today as I was checking her blog (as I do every day) this was what I found...
"I love when an unexpected nail polish color combination turns out perfectly (kind of like this eery combination from last fall). Today I layered a pretty pastel (Essie’s French Affair) with a sparkly top coat (Sephora for OPI’s Only Gold For Me) and couldn’t be happier with the results. It’s fun and flashy when it catches the light and subdued and sweet indoors."
followed by these photos...

Now clearly this is not about a case of me being upset about borrowed ideas as I'm fully aware that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and whatnot. The part that hurt was that after I had cited the source of inspiration when tweeting to my 3 followers, she did not extend the same courtesy when blogging it to her thousands of followers. As of this post there were 49 comments commending her on and thanking her for the wonderful idea. Does a lowly Arkansas blog not deserve a shout out?
Again, I realize this is quite petty but the big picture is that I suddenly feel burned by someone I used to look up to. I think that's a notion a lot of people can relate to. Please lift my spirits and tell me you understand the feeling?

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#LRFF2011 - Interview with Patrons at Gala

Not only did we interview filmmakers this year, but we also tried to interview a few patrons of the festival as well.  We were able to interview Angela Burgess and Courtney Taylor, the owners of AngelCourt Jewels.  This was their second year to come to the festival and they plan on coming back every year from now on.  The Little Rock Film Festival has positioned itself as the best fest in the entire South.  Check back for more interviews with filmmakers!

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08 June 2011

Are All Filmmakers This Fun?

We've met some delightful filmmakers in our day, but had no idea they were all this way. Mallory feels like she's been to camp and come home with lots of new penpals. Justin has been editing nonstop and is tired of looking at their mugs on the computer screen... only because he wishes he was still hanging out with them in person. Take a look below and see what we mean.

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The Fest's Best Dressed

In case you missed it, last week I (Mallory) tried my darndest to bring the nonfestival-goers reports of those well-dressed patrons and filmmakers I encountered throughout the fest. This turned out to be a much more daunting task than I had planned as I found that I often spotted amazing ensembles when I was without my camera or mid-interview with someone else. There were those lucky times when the circumstances were just right and I was able to catch the outfits before they got away. You can see those posts here and here.

Once the guys behind the documentary, Damn!, got wind of these fashion posts they asked, pestered, badgered, threatened, and finally bribed me into naming them best dressed of the fest. Ok, guys. I held up my end of the bargain. When does production start on the documentary about Keela?

Joking aside, they did look quite dapper, no? Best of the fest? You decide.

Aaron Fisher-Cohen, Michael Rosen, Kristian Almgren, and Sam Nalband

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#LRFF2011 - Interview with Daniel Campbell, Winner of Best of Arkansas

For the first time in the history of the Little Rock Film Festival a person has won the Best in Arkansas Award a second time.  Last year Daniel Campbell won for the short Antiquities and this year he's won the Ishares Charles B Pierce Award for Best “Made in Arkansas” Film for The Orderly.  This guy has a lot of stuff going on, and you can learn more in this interview from the Film Festival Gala!

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07 June 2011

Fashion's Biggest Night

The Council of Fashion Designers of America held their 2011 Fashion Awards last night. Since I'm still all strung out on last weekend's Little Rock Film Festival, let me put this into movie terms. This is the Academy Awards. Of fashion. This is the moment for which the little boys and girls who aspire to be couturiers practice reciting their acceptance speeches into hairbrushes (while sporting their prettiest pink princess dress?).

Speaking of little boys, the men of the fashion world totally cleaned up this year. Though sadly, none did so in pretty pink princess dresses. The two behind Proenza Schouler-  Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez- snagged the Womenswear Designer of the Year award while one, Mr. Marc Jacobs (a personal favorite of mine), took home the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. The CFDA Fashion Icon award went to Lady Gaga (who coincidentally happens to be the lady from whom Justin draws ALL of his fashion inspiration). Check out the photos below, all of which came from huffingtonpost.

Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandes with Liv Tyler

Lady Gaga

Marc Jacobs

Anna Wintour

Chloe Sevigny

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