8 items from 2013
I saw Thor: The Dark World last week with my usual bunch of hyper-critical Fairfield County buddies. Most of us (oddly) agreed the movie was great fun.
This is not a review of the Thor movie. A review should be more in-depth than four words, although in this Twitter-Totter world I realize this is akin to shouting “Hey, kids, get off of my lawn.”
The movie put on the big screen the type of energy and enthusiasm with which I associate the classic Marvel Comics in general – and with Jack Kirby in particular. Of all the superhero movies that have come down the pike over the past decade, Thor: The Dark World was less consumed with the Greek Angst Chorus than any other I can recall. Admittedly, I haven’t seen them all but, c’mon; did anybody actually pay money to see Catwoman?
I’m all for social commentary and significant subtext. »
- Mike Gold
Michelle Danner is best known in Hollywood as an acting coach par excellence. Working with stars like James Franco, Gerard Butler and Penelope Cruz, she’s made quite an impact on the industry. She’s also done a bit of acting herself, and has tried her hand at producing and directing. Now she’s working on a subject close to her heart – the damage done by school bullying.
Danner’s latest film, Hello Herman, tells the story of a boy who snaps one day and kills several people at his school. It’s framed through a later interview with a radio host, the only person to whom the boy is willing to tell his story before being taken for execution. Asking questions about what caused Herman’s actions and where responsibility should lie, it has a strong anti-bullying message at its core but Michelle’s determination to approach the subject »
- Jennie Kermode
The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus stars in the film adaption of John Buffalo Mailer’s “Hello Herman” – which is directed by Michelle Danner, Artistic Director at Edgemar Center of the Arts and one of the most successful acting coaches in Hollywood. The film is currently available on On Demand and iTunes, and is based on the play of the same name. Reedus is joined in the film by Martha Higareda and newcomer Garrett Backstrom. In a press release, Danner stated: “’Hello Herman’ is the story of a teenager who, out of confusion and rage, carries out a high school shooting that mirrors the tragedy of Columbine. Certain members of the media only heighten the tragedy by sensationalizing it and »
- Patrick Luce
We’re back with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes release information for The Frozen Ground, details on the film version of Hello Herman, starring Norman Reedus, multiple trailers, impressions of Zombie Massacre, and much more:
The Frozen Ground Theatrical Release Details: “The Frozen Ground is inspired by the incredible true story that follows Alaskan State Trooper Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage) as he sets out to end the murderous rampage of Robert Hansen (John Cusack), a serial killer who has gone unnoticed for 13 years. As the bodies of street girls start to pile up in Anchorage, fear strikes a chord with the public. Risking his life, Halcombe goes on a personal manhunt to find the killer before the next body surfaces. When a seventeen year old escapee (Vanessa Hudgens) reveals key information about the case, Halcombe is finally »
- Tamika Jones
A critical digest of the week’s latest U.S. theatrical releases. Where applicable, links to longer reviews have been provided.
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
“Google Crashers” must have been the high-concept pitch for “The Internship,” which reteams “Wedding Crashers” stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson for a round of markedly less ribald shenanigans, this time as two washed-up Willy Lomans trying to reinvent themselves as tech-sector whiz kids. “The Social Network” it isn’t — nor does it try to be — but this big-hearted underdog comedy from director Shawn Levy is, much like its two leads, exceedingly affable and good-natured despite being undeniably long in the tooth. Low-key pic faces its own generation-gap standoff at the summer box office, where it opens just five days ahead of the more buzzed-about hipster doomsday farce “This Is the End” — a reminder that much has changed in American screen comedy in »
- Variety Staff
Missed Targets: Danner’s Film After-school Special Fodder
Reveling in the fact that it was made before the latest rash of mass shootings, including 2012’s Aurora, Colorado’s theater massacre, Michelle Danner’s ungainly sophomore effort, Hello Herman still fails to have a timely edge or any other quality of merit, for that matter. Rather, this poorly constructed social issue film is fitted for the same destiny as one of its characters as is outlined by the main protagonist in the film, a footnote to a rather lengthy list of unremarkable footnotes. That’s not to diminish the profound tragedy that is the result of such horrific violence, and exploring the how and the why of these incidents is of paramount importance. While Danner avoids exploitative tactics, her film, unfortunately lacks any kind of elegance or finesse, instead bluntly bludgeoning its audience with the obvious, exuding all the grace of high school theatrical production. »
- Nicholas Bell
Quentin Tarantino appearing onscreen usually signals the worst five minutes of an otherwise strong movie. Director Michelle Danner, emoting and unmoored as the grieving mother of Herman, a high-school shooter who grants a video blogger exclusive interview rights, occupies a similarly low point in her film—but in Hello Herman, the valleys aren't such a far cry from the peaks. Herman (Garrett Backstrom) turns the tables in his prison interviews to interrogate popular ethics blogger Lax Morales (The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus) about an incident that occurred as the reporter was undercover with a white power group a few years prior. As Lax tries to understand what prompted Herman's attack, we're presented with flashbacks of the usual suspects: neglectful parents, viol »
Authentic Talent & Literary Management is expanding its Brooklyn-based firm by adding longtime Wme agent Sean Elliott and manager Stuart Wrede. Wrede will help Authentic grow its above-the-line representation business and work with clients to develop and produce projects for TV, film and new media. His clients include Brad Carpenter (Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie), John Buffalo Mailer, whose feature Hello Herman will be released June 7, and director Voula Wolf Duval (currently prepping to the feature Trophy Wife). Wrede previously served as the head of development for Barry Levinson before moving into the representation world at Cinetic Media. “I was drawn to Authentic because I was blown away
- Tatiana Siegel
8 items from 2013
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