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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2003

1-20 of 73 items from 2015   « Prev | Next »

Alex Of Venice Review

23 April 2015 11:39 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Humans are inherently programmed with an emotion known as “comfort” that kicks in as a safety net when uncertainty becomes too daunting, as a way of masking our scared vulnerability. Think how you’d react if your life changed tomorrow in the most drastic of ways. You lose your house, a significant other walks out, and you’re left to pick up the pieces all by your lonesome. It’s a terrifying, paralyzing fear that many of us dread, which is why we find solace in the “comfort” of monotonous routines, familiar emotions, and a recurring cycle that we’ve become “good” at managing – a theory that Chris Messina challenges through his new film, Alex Of Venice.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays the titular Alex, a workaholic who begins to crumble under the weight of her chaotically overturned life. After her husband George (Chris Messina) walks out with no warning, Alex »

- Matt Donato

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Where Are the Women? Alex of Venice

22 April 2015 4:39 AM, PDT | www.flickfilosopher.com | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s lawyer, wife, and mother reflects realities of modern women’s complicated and harried lives that movies often ignore.

Click here for the ongoing ranking of 2015’s films for female representation.

Note: This is not a “review” of Alex of Venice! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of Alex of Venice.

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)

This rating is brought to you without paywall restrictions by my generous Kickstarter supporters. If you missed out on the Kickstarter and would like to support this project, you may:

• become a monthly or yearly subscriber of FlickFilospher.com »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Alex of Venice movie review: no mess like home

20 April 2015 7:23 AM, PDT | www.flickfilosopher.com | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is eminently relatable in a compassionate, human-scaled movie of the sort that movies have almost forgotten of late. I’m “biast” (pro): I am desperate for stories about women

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Alex’s life is falling apart. Her husband, George (Chris Messina: Palo Alto), has had it with being a stay-at-home father and househusband and has hit the road. Her son, Dakota (Skylar Gaertner: They Came Together), is lonely and needs to make more friends, or so his teachers say. Her Dad (Don Johnson: The Other Woman), who lives with them, is having worrisome trouble with his memory. Her sister, Lily (Katie Nehra), has moved back into help out in George’s absence but could be doing more harm than good. And her work as an environmental lawyer for a tiny storefront activist »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Alex of Venice | Review

17 April 2015 1:30 PM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Touch of Venice: Messina’s Understated, Observational Debut

There’s much to admire in actor Chris Messina’s assured, astutely observed directorial debut, Alex of Venice. Namely its central performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who carries this understated character study that rather uneventfully charts a workaholic woman’s mildly difficult navigation through the denial that her marriage is over. As written by its trio of writers (with Jessica Goldberg joined by first time screenwriters Katie Nehara and Justin Shilton), its dramatic possibilities are severely downplayed, instead attempting to reflect meaning off intertextual echoes borrowed from Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard (the play being staged within the film).

An attorney for an eco-advocacy group, Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is left reeling when her high school sweetheart husband George (Messina) abruptly announces he’s unhappy with their marriage. A taken-for-granted stay-at-home dad, who cares for both their young son and Alex’s »

- Nicholas Bell

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead on Indie Film Love: It’s Hard to Find a Complex Female Role in Blockbusters

16 April 2015 5:15 PM, PDT | TooFab | See recent TooFab news »

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is one of those rare actresses who can take on anything – whether it’s geek fare like “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and “Final Destination” or small, serious indie dramas like “Smashed.” She’s the very definition of versatile. With another critically acclaimed role in Chris Messina’s directorial debut, “Alex of Venice” (out today in theaters and VOD), Winstead sat down with toofab’s Brian Particelli to talk about why she loves going back and forth between big budget films and indies and the frustrations that come from the latter. toofab: You’re on an indie roll right now, what draws you to these kinds of films? Mary: Its just the bigger films tend to be male driven. It’s kind of hard to find like an interesting complex female role in those worlds. Not to say they aren’t great movies, but from time to »

- tooFab Staff

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Interview: Mary Elizabeth Winstead On Alex Of Venice, Her Admiration For Indie Film, And More

16 April 2015 11:00 AM, PDT | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

I really admire Mary Elizabeth Winstead's career choices. She started out as a Scream Queen and then dabbled with big, bad studio movies. Lately her focus has been on roles in smaller films that really make an impact. Winstead still does those big, bad studio roles, but who wouldn't? Many of those movies are fun to watch, so I imagine it's just the same making them. Last week we spoke on the phone and discussed a variety of topics. Among them: her latest role in the eye-opening Alex of Venice (my review from last year's Tribeca Film Festival -- please excuse my ridiculously cool headline), the challenges of tackling the horror genre, our mutual love for independent cinema, and how she balances her fans on social...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]


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New Movie Releases: 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,' 'Unfriended,' 'Monkey Kingdom,' & More (Video)

16 April 2015 10:10 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

This weekend, Kevin James returns to keep our streets safe in "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2," a group of online chat room friends are haunted by a mysterious force in "Unfriended," and the Disneynature movie "Monkey Kingdom" follows a newborn monkey and its mother as they struggle to survive in the jungles of South Asia.

Also in theaters this weekend: "Child 44" stars Tom Hardy as a disgraced member of the military police investigating a series of nasty child murders during the Stalin-era Soviet Union. Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, and Gary Oldman also star in this dramatic thriller. "True Story" follows a disgraced New York Times reporter (Jonah Hill) whose investigation of an accused killer (James Franco) morphs into a game of cat-and-mouse. In "Felix and Meira," an unusual romance blossoms between two lost souls who inhabit the same neighborhood but vastly different worlds. "The Dead Lands" follows the teenage »

- Jonny Black

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Chris Messina Talks "Mindy Project" Stripping, "Six Feet Under" & His Directorial Debut

15 April 2015 4:15 PM, PDT | TooFab | See recent TooFab news »

These days, Chris is extremely excited about his directorial debut. "Alex of Venice" tells the tale of one woman (the excellent Mary Elizabeth Winstead) whose life becomes complicated after her husband (Messina) abandons both her and their son. Thanks to his extensive work in front of the camera, Messina knew what he wanted to do once he got behind it. "I like having a voice [as an actor] and if I don't have a voice I get very uncomfortable," he tells toofab. "I don't like being told 'Stand here, say this, more funny, faster' and all that stuff. I wanted to create a space where there would be no 'No,' and we would just keeping saying 'Yes, let's try this,' 'Yes, that's a great idea." "I've worked with great directors where they've gave me wings, but often I've worked with s**t directors where they've clipped my wings and I don't »

- tooFab Staff

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Alex of Venice Features Another Stirring, Sterling Performance From Mary Elizabeth Winstead

15 April 2015 8:15 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Editor’s note: Our review of Alex of Venice originally ran during 2014’s Tribeca Film Fest, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens this Friday in limited release. Mary Elizabeth Winstead has the “one to watch” thing down pat. The former teen actress has now blossomed into one of independent film’s most reliable and relatable leading ladies and her steady rise up the cinematic ranks – from the drunken darkness of Smashed to the dark humor of Faults, with a little The Thing and A Good Day to Die Hard thrown in for a touch of blockbuster fun– has long been someone worth watching, and now. For his directorial debut, actor Chris Messina has quite wisely built a story around Winstead’s charms, setting her up as the eponymous Alex for his Alex of Venice, an amiable outing that serves as yet another reminder that Winstead is more than enough of a draw on »

- Kate Erbland

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Alex of Venice Is a Poignant Snapshot of a Woman Remaking Her World

14 April 2015 9:00 PM, PDT | Village Voice | See recent Village Voice news »

There's a line at the end of a Chekhov play that goes, "Life's gone on as if I'd never lived." This does a passable job summarizing Chris Messina's Alex of Venice, a trifling yet nonetheless poignant snapshot of a young woman trying to come to terms with both immediate personal crises and the dawning knowledge that — to paraphrase Trip Harrison from Meatballs — maybe it all just doesn't matter. An "overworked environmental lawyer" (like there's any other kind these days), Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is not only attempting to stop a new hotel development in Southern California's vanishing wetlands (like there's any other kind these days), but also dealing with the burden of being the only remotely competent adult in a collection of giant children. </ »

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Review: Well-Intentioned And Intimate 'Alex Of Venice' Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead

14 April 2015 3:04 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

In the tranquil suburbs of Venice, Alex, an environmental rights attorney, is about to receive a rude awakening. A workaholic, she brings home the bacon, while George, her stay-at-home husband, runs the household and takes care of both their son Dakota and Alex’s forgetful, pot-smoking father. But the rug gets pulled out from under Alex when her husband unexpectedly decides to pack it all in and announces that he’s leaving the family, at least for now, to work on his waning art career and find some space. Thrown for a loop, Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) barely has time to register her own pain, surprise, and heartache because she’s immediately overburdened with the responsibilities of two full-time jobs. It soon becomes abundantly clear how inept she is at home, and how important George (Chris Messina) was. Cooking, cleaning, getting Dakota (Skylar Gaertner) to school on time, and managing »

- Rodrigo Perez

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Review: Alex of Venice

14 April 2015 3:41 AM, PDT | JoBlo.com | See recent JoBlo news »

Plot: Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a young lawyer with a thriving career whose husband George (Chris Messina) stays home to take care of their son Dakota (Skylar Gaertner) and her middle-aged actor father (Don Johnson). When George walks out on the family, Alex is forced to rely on her father and irresponsible sister Lily (Katie Nehra) for help, while also trying to rebuild her once picture-perfect life. Review: Alex Of Venice is an impressive directorial debut for actor Chris »

- Chris Bumbray

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Watch: Chris Messina on How Ben Affleck Helped Shape his Directorial Debut

13 April 2015 6:55 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Read More: Watch: Mary Elizabeth Winstead Has Lost Control In The First Trailer For ‘Alex Of VeniceChris Messina is an actor best known for his work on Mindy Kallng's sitcom "The Mindy Project." Now he's made his feature directorial debut with "Alex of Venice," which he also stars in. In the drama, Mary Elizabeth Winstead  ("Smashed") plays Alex, an attorney whose life is thrown into disarray after her husband (Messina) unexpectedly leaves her. Now, she must piece together her own life while also holding together her crumbling family.  Indiewire's Nigel M. Smith spoke to Messina for AOL Build about the project and what it was like to direct his debut feature. Here are some of the key highlights from the talk. You can watch it below. Messina doesn't like the phrase, "Action!" Messina thinks the chaotic nature of a film set can intrude on an actor's process. "Maybe it's »

- Travis Clark

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Exclusive: See Chris Messina in His Directorial Debut, Alex of Venice

13 April 2015 5:57 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

We've got an exclusive clip from Alex of VeniceThe Mindy Project's Chris Messina's directorial debut, and the story of a family dealing with a surprising shake-up. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Alex, who has to figure things out after her husband, George (Messina), leaves her with a 10-year-old and her unreliable father (Don Johnson). In this exclusive clip, we see Messina's George on this way out — a cruel acknowledgement that he isn't getting what he wants from his supposedly happy little family. Alex is blindsided. Things aren't always as perfect as they seem. Catch Alex of Venice on-demand April 17.  »

- Lindsey Weber

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Exclusive: Mary Elizabeth Winstead Tries To Figure Things Out In Clip From 'Alex Of Venice'

9 April 2015 12:25 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

If you haven't been paying attention to the choices Mary Elizabeth Winstead has been making, maybe it's about time to see what the actress has been up to. Last month she led the excellent cult drama "Faults," and she's on the small screen in the eerie "The Returned." She also gives another solid performance in "Alex Of Venice," and today we have an exclusive clip from the film. Read More: 'Alex Of Venice' Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Don Johnson, And Chris Messina The directorial debut of Chris Messina, who also stars alongside Don Johnson, Derek Luke, Katie Nehra, and Sklar Gaertner, the story follows a workaholic environmental attorney who finds her life shaken up when her husband suddenly leaves the family. As you'll see in this clip, she struggles to put together the choices that have found her on this path. "Alex Of Venice" arrives in limited release on April 17th. »

- Edward Davis

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Video Games That Should Be Movies

30 March 2015 3:29 PM, PDT | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Annoyed by the poor quality of existing video game movies, we decided to take the matter into our own hands and come up with our own ideas. This is a list of what we came up with.

Earlier this month, we showed you that there are a lot of video game-based movies on their way to theaters. This surely will become a trend that will continue for the next few years. There are countless properties available to use as inspiration, and therefore, it's only a matter of time before someone figures out how to make a great video game movie. Until that time comes, we have to wait patiently. In order to occupy our minds, we asked our contributors to pick a video game that they think would make a great movie and then to create a pitch for that movie. The below list is what we came up with. »

- feeds@cinelinx.com (G.S. Perno)

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Chris Messina on Making His Directorial Debut and The Mindy Project's Unsure Future

25 March 2015 12:10 PM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Tuesday night's Mindy Project finale, with its grand romantic gesture, left us wondering if this could perhaps be the end. (Say it ain't so!) Not only that, but Mindy stars are already off doing other things — take Chris Messina, who is making his directorial debut with Alex of Venice (in theaters and VOD on April 17), a sweet indie drama that stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a young working mom whose family is thrown for a loop after her husband (played by Messina) decides to leave. We spoke to Messina about doing triple duty, being a first-time director, and the future of The Mindy Project. You’re out in L.A., right?I’m in L.A., where it’s very sunny. Sorry. It’s always nice there. While I was watching Alex of Venice, I kept dreaming of Venice, California. It’s so kooky and great. Yeah, it’s a great place. »

- Lindsey Weber

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13 Cult Films About Cults

18 March 2015 10:43 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Here at The Playlist, where we pray to our benign Leader every time we hit "publish," abstain from all sexual activity, grow our own vegetables and pause in our tasks thrice daily to face due East and chant our mantra "Kurosawa, Kurosawa, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Kubrick, Ommm," we'd obviously know better than to get ourselves caught up in any sort of cult. But the lure that can be exerted over weaker souls than our own perfected ones has led to some fascinating, often chilling films, whether set within the confines of the sect or dealing with the process of deprogramming and reinsertion into ordinary society. The latter is the background for this month's release of "Faults," from debut feature director Riley Stearns (review here) and which stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a cult member whose parents hire a has-been expert played by Leland Orser to un-brainwash her during a week in a bland hotel room. »

- The Playlist Staff

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead starts a new life in Alex of Venice trailer

13 March 2015 1:50 PM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Mary Elizabeth Winstead starts her life for the second time in a trailer for Alex of Venice.

The drama film is directed by The Mindy Project's Chris Messina, who also stars as a stay-at-home dad who leaves his family.

His ex-wife Alex (Winstead) tries to move on with her life and find love again with a new boyfriend (Derek Luke) with the help of her family.

Don Johnson appears as Alex's pot-smoking hippie father, while Glory Daze actress Julianna Guill portrays Alex's wild child sister.

Playwright Jessica Goldberg collaborated on Alex of Venice's screenplay with Messina, Half Nelson actress Katie Nehra and Little Miss Sunshine actor Justin Shilton.

Alex of Venice opens on April 17 in the Us. »

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Faults Review

8 March 2015 11:05 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Control, and lack thereof, is at the black heart of Faults, the twisted and terrific directorial debut of Riley Stearns (some may recognize him for short film The Cub). Who claims to have control, who says they want it and who actually wields it are distinct questions the film raises and, over the course of a taut 89 minutes, suggests answers to that are both appalling and somewhat amusing.

Arriving at the heels of some other great cult films – including Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene, which featured a stunning debut performance by Elizabeth Olsen – Faults sets itself apart by crafting two arrestingly good leads.

In one corner, there’s Ansel Roth (Leland Orser), a once-acclaimed expert on cults and mind control who is a step away from living out of his car, having lost his TV show, marriage and financial security in quick succession. »

- Isaac Feldberg

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