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When he was Leaf: The early roles of Joaquin Phoenix

When he was Leaf: The early roles of Joaquin Phoenix
Long before he was a critically-lauded and Oscar-nominated leading man, Joaquin Phoenix was a precocious child star who began working professionally when he was just 7 years old.

As a youngster, Phoenix went by the first name of Leaf before switching back to his given name Joaquin for To Die For. The Gus Van Sant drama saw Phoenix hold his own against Nicole Kidman, and he hasn't looked back since.

Digital Spy dives into the archives to pick out 5 early roles for Joaquin back when he was known as Leaf...

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982)

Joaquin's older brother River Phoenix was a cast member on the short-lived '80s TV series Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and he made his acting debut on the episode 'Christmas Song'.

Unfortunately, it was a less-than-auspicious start for Leaf who, if you watch the above video closely, gets clocked by a wayward fist (at 01:
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‘Drones’ DVD Review

Stars: Eloise Mumford, Jack Bowles, Whip Hubley, William Russ, Amir Khalighi, Mae Aswell, Vivan Dugré, Drea Garcia, Treasure Mallory, Nishi Munshi | Written by Matt Witten | Directed by Rick Rosenthal

The use of drones not only in warfare but for spying, reporting new and even delivering packages is a controversial subject and one that is open for debate. The questionable side of the subject is the dehumanising nature of being able to control a machine that could be anywhere in the world to do tasks that could lead to the death of innocent people. This is the subject that Drones looks at, just what is right?

Drones is the story of two soldiers, Sue Lawson (Eloise Mumford) the daughter of a general and now working as a drone controller along with her co-pilot Matt O’Leary (Jack Bowles). As their drone patrols the home of a known terrorist in Afghanistan they
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Drones Review

Director: Rick Rosenthal

Cast: Matt O’Leary, Eloise Mumford, Whip Hubley, William Russ.

Certificate: 15

Running Time: 82 minutes

Rick Rosenthal’s latest feature provides an intimate look at war, technology and morality. Drones succeeds in being a suspenseful drama, despite its minor hiccups. These small hindrances can be overlooked due to the films intense deliberation on the moral subject of drone warfare.

Two Air Force personnel are tasked with deciding the fate of a suspected terrorist. Being trained not to think or speak out of place, a general’s daughter (Eloise Mumford) and her new partner (Matt O’Leary) have some tough decisions to make when civilians threaten the success of their mission. With limited time and knowledge of their target they begin to question their superior’s motives.

The action plays out in real time, the claustrophobic setting adds to the intense drama and confounding decision to sacrifice innocent civilian life to destroy a threat.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Free ‘Top Gun’ 3D Blu-rays With Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer

Chicago – In our latest edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 free Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray combo packs up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “Top Gun” starring Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer!

Top Gun,” which comes to limited-edition Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray combo pack on Feb. 19, 2013, also stars Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, John Stockwell, Barry Tubb, Rick Rossovich, Clarence Gilyard Jr., Whip Hubley, James Tolkan and Adrian Pasdar from director Tony Scott and writers Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr.

To win your free “Top Gun” Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, get interactive with our unique Hookup technology directly below. That’s it! The more social actions you complete below, the higher yours odds of winning! Note: You must own a Blu-ray player in order to win this Hookup.

Before entering, make sure you allow pop-ups.
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Netflix Nuggets: Russians Filming G.I. Joe Dolls Fighting Hercules for the Serpent’s Egg

Netflix has revolutionized the home movie experience for fans of film with its instant streaming technology. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about independent, classic and foreign films made available by Netflix for instant streaming.

This Week’s New Instant Releases…

Promised Lands (1974)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Documentary

Director: Susan Sontag

Synopsis: Set in Israel during the final days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, this powerful documentary — initially barred by Israel authorities — from writer-director Susan Sontag examines divergent perceptions of the enduring Arab-Israeli clash. Weighing in on matters related to socialism, anti-Semitism, nation sovereignty and American materialism are The Last Jew writer Yoram Kaniuk and military physicist Yuval Ne’eman.

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2009)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Heino Ferch, Hannah Herzsprung, Gerald Alexander Held, Lena Stolze, Sunnyi Melles

Synopsis: Directed by longtime star of independent German cinema Margarethe von Trotta, this reverent
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

DVD Review: Top Gun – I Love the 80s Edition

  • literaryillusions
Movie Info: Writers: Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr. Director: Tony Scott Cast: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, John Stockwell, Barry Tubb, Rick Rossovich, Tim Robbins, Clarence Gilyard Jr., Whip Hubley, James Tolkan, Meg Ryan,Adrian Pasdar Rating: PG Studio: Paramount Release Info: Theatrical Release: May 16, 1986 DVD Release Date: August 5, 2008 Online Availability: Amazon for [...]ShareThis
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FILM REVIEW - 'Desire & Hell By Henry SheehanJaw-dropping visuals meet drop-dead irony in "Desire & Hell at Sunset Motel,'' a cool send-up of crime thrillers and '50s style and decor. Although writer-director Alien Castle's tongue is immovably lodged in his cheek, the film never descends into camp and great care is taken to keep the plot twisting till the very end.

FILM REVIEW - 'Desire & Hell  By Henry SheehanJaw-dropping visuals meet drop-dead irony in
The shock of seeing so much delightfully knowing technique on screen could win the film both some enthusiastic reviews and good word-of-mouth, giving it some sleeper possibilities.

The title hostelry is a courtyard setup in Anaheim, Calif., managed by the snooping Mr. Perry (Paul Bartel). It's the late '50s, and around the motel's impossibly blue swimming pool, four period stereotypes meet: salesman Chester DeSoto (Whip Hubley), locked in eternal bickering with his sexy wife Bridey (Sherilyn Fenn); "Deadpan'' Winchester (David Hewlett), a goateed beatnik who's been institutionalized for criminal psychosis; and sleazy Auggie March (David Johansen), who is simultaneously blackmailing Chester and sleeping with Bridey.

"Deadpan'' has been hired by a suspicious Chester to spy on Bridey, which is only the first move in a strategy of mistrust, betrayal and two-timing that engages the four principals. The chicanery unfolds mostly from Bridey's perspective, which is tough for the audience since she suffers from two separate bouts of amnesia.

However, though the wild complications are part of the send-up, the film never plays fast-and-loose with them, and there is a crazy logic to the plot progressions.

However, it's the look that really sells the picture. The color evokes the overripe Technicolor of the period, while the compositions and preoccupation with female anatomy harken back to '50s fashion and advertising photography. Movement within the frame is similarly stylized, with rhyming elements constantly in motion.

The soundtrack is full of cocktail lounge jukebox melodies, a la Julie London, while costumes and production design are also dead-on.

On the down side, there's no one to root for here; everyone is either a bastard or a fall guy, and the film's icy detachment toward its characters may turn some off. The most sympathetic character ends up undone, an indication of misanthropy lurking under the dazzling surface.



Heron Communications and Image Organization present a Donal P. Borchers Production

Writer-director Alien Castle

Producer Donald P. Borchers

Production designer Michael Clausen

Editor James Gavin Bedford

Director of photography Jamie Thompson

Music Alien Castle, Doug Walter


Bridey DeSoto Sherilyn Fenn

Chester DeSoto Whip Hubley

"Deadpan" Winchester David Hewlett

Auggie March David Johansen

Mr. Perry Paul Bartel

Running time -- 90 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13

(c) The Hollywood Reporter

See also

Credited With | External Sites