Dreamworks Home Movie Review #DreamWorksHome

We recently landed on the purple carpet for the movie premier of Dreamworks Home, starring Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez.  The movie is in theaters starting today, March 27.

home-movie-purple-carpet-premier

The movie producers and director did a great job of integrating multicultural characteristics in the characters played by Jennifer Lopez (Latina entertainer and actress)  and Rihanna (Barbadian singer, entertainer and actress).   In addition to the movie,  there is a Dreamworks HOME movie soundtrack which included three new songs by Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez, Feel the Light song.  I love the soundtrack. It’s also a great soundtrack for kids.

Hurry up! Hurry up! Get in your spaceship and make sure to land on the purple carpet and go see Home.  Make sure to take someone with you to ensure you don’t get beemed up by the Boov!

 

HOME

The movie is out of this world and based on a book, The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex.  The screenplay was written by Tom J. Astie and Matt Ember, produced by Chris Jenkins and Suzanne Buirgy and directed by Tim Johnson on earth.

 

Home MovieHome-Tip

 

Home Movie Overview

Oh is a lovable misfit from another planet, Boov. He lands on earth and find himself on the run from his own people, the Boov!  Oh forms a friendship with a young, inquisitive girl named Tip who is also on a quest of her own.  Tip has been living on her own since the Boov rounded up all the humans and is in search of  her mother, Lucy.  Tip has an adorable pet cat named “Pig”, which is always by her side.   Together, Tip and Oh  discover the universe and the true meaning on being HOME.

Home-Oh

Cast

Jim Parsons as Oh
Rihanna as Gratuity “Tip”
Jennifer Lopez as Lucy Tucci
Steve Martin as Captain Smek
Matt L. Jones as Kyle
Brian Stepanek as Gorg Commander
April Lawrence as Boov Announcer

Movie Review

Home is an endearing movie about love, family, unity and the real meaning of HOME.  The characters are so lovable, especially Tip and Oh.    Oh character is from a planet called Boov.  The Boov are running away from their enemy to earth and relocate all the humans to Australia.  Oh is a misfit, but deep down inside he is funny, silly and very lovable.  Tip’s character is from Barbados, intelligent, spunky and very inquisitive.    Tip is separated from her mother during the invasion and is on a quest to reunite with her.

The Boov come from another planet, can speak broken english and have adapted to our environment, sort of.  They have come to planet earth to get rid of all humans so that can take over the planet.     As the story unfolds, we find that Boov’s and humans actually have more in common than differences.  The movie will take you on an adventure of a lifetime.  You’ll even feel like you’re flying in a spaceship!

FUN Apps

Get To Know The Boov

Movie Trailer

For additional information follow DreamWorks Animation on Twitter , visit ‘HOME’ on Facebook  or Dreamworks Home for FUN games, a visit to the Boov Testing Center  and additional information about the movie and cast.

Cinderella Movie Review & FUN Facts

Cinderella opened in theaters on March 13.  Unlike the original animated classic of 1950, the Cinderella movie brings to life the original classic and tells a story about kindness, courage and true love with two kindred spirits who see each others hearts falling in love.  This is not a movie about a “poor girl” getting save.  The movie will take you through a journey of self-discovery, forgiveness, love and make you believe in magic. 

 

CINDERELLA

 The Making Of CINDERELLA

Disney’s animated fairy tale “Cinderella,” the magical love story of an ill-treated heroine whose dreams come true, was a colossal moment in Disney’s history. With a $3 million budget, “Cinderella” was a huge financial risk for the studio at the time, but the film opened on February 15, 1950 to universal acclaim and was a big hit commercially, grossing more than $34 million and firmly solidifying the studio as a major force in the industry. Today, 65 years later, “Cinderella” has become one of the studio’s most treasured  titles. The film is included on the American Film Institute’s list of the “10 Greatest Animated Films of All Time”.

The live-action Cinderella movie brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece as real life characters for a whole new generation and stars Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter. Directed by Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Chris Weitz, “Cinderella” is produced by Simon Kinberg, Allison Shearmur and David Barron.

Cinderella_Movie_Cate_Blanchett_Lady_Tremaine

CINDERELLA Synopsis

Ella’s father was a merchant who traveled alot.  Her mom taught her to believe in everything.  Her mother becomes very ill and passes away. Before her passing, Ella’s mom reminds her to “Be Kind and Have Courage.  Where there is kindness, there is goodness, and where there is goodness, there is magic”.  Ella takes her moms encouragement and advice and tucks it away in her heart and lives a life focused on how life should be with a magic after her moms passing.  She loves the world around her and was kind to animals.

After Ella’s mom passes away, her dad meets Lady Tremaine and marries her.  The fashionable Lady Tremaine  makes a grand entrance when she arrives to Ella’s family estate.  Lady Tremaine’s had also experienced grief.  However, it made her bitter and angry over the years. It’s hard to see the anger and bitterness on the surface because she is a stunning beauty with an amazing wardrobe of clothing which will captivate your attention and put you into a spell.

Ella’s life comes crashing down after the passing of her father.  With the father’s passing Lady Tremaine lets her anger and bitterness take over her life and she becomes an evil and cruel step-mother.   Through a series of events you can see why Lady Tremaine is that way and once you understand, you will come out of your spell and have a hard time seeing her as an “evil” stepmother.

Cinderella_Movie_Cate_Blanchett_Lady_Tremaine02

Cinderella_Movie_Costumes

The step-sisters were spoiled and raised to be vain, selfish, self-centered and mean.  As you look closer at the characters of the evil step-mother and evil step-sisters you will see that Ella could have easily become her evil step-family, but instead she chooses the path of kindness and courage.  You will be overcome with emotion by seeing just how much Ella endures and how she overcomes it.

You will feel like you are being transformed to the period to experience a journey of self-discovery, forgiveness and love. with Cinderella.

Cinderella_Movie_Fairy_God_Mother

Cinderella_Movie_Ball_Arrival

Cast

Stepmother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CATE BLANCHETT

Cinderella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .LILY JAMES

Prince . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RICHARD MADDEN

Fairy Godmother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HELENA BONHAM CARTER

Captain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NONSO ANOZIE

Grand Duke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . STELLAN SKARSGÅRD

Drisella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SOPHIE MCSHERA

Anastasia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .HOLLIDAY GRAINGER

King . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DEREK JACOBI

Ella’s Father . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BEN CHAPLIN

Ella’s Mother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HAYLEY ATWELL

Master Phineus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ROB BRYDON

Princess Chelina of Zaragosa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .JANA PEREZ

Royal Crier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ALEX MACQUEEN

Lizard Footman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TOM EDDEN

Goose Coachman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GARETH MASON

Farmer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAUL HUNTER

Ella (10 Years) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ELOISE WEBB

Palace Official . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .JOSHUA MCGUIRE

Halberdier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MATTHEW STEER

Cinderella_Movie_Ball

10 CINDELLA movie FUN FACTS

  • For the palace ball, Kenneth Branagh wanted to see the most spectacular ballroom imaginable. The set was constructed at Pinewood Studios on the famous 007 soundstage, the largest in Europe, which has housed hundreds of massive productions over the years.
  • The ballroom also included 17 enormous custom-made chandeliers from Italy, which had close to 5,000 oil candles, each of which had to be lit by hand. For the chandeliers that adorned the corridor leading into the ballroom and the ballroom itself, Francesca Loschiavo-Ferreƫ wanted them to be over the top. In the end, the chandeliers were custom-made in Venice, and are works of art themselves.
  • In addition to the palace and ballroom sets, Dante Ferreƫ and his crew built an exterior of Ella’s family’s home on location at Black Park, a sprawling country park in Wexham, Buckinghamshire (not far from Pinewood Studios), that included stables, the fountain and the greenhouse in the garden.
  • Cinderella costume designer Sandy Powell started working on concepts for the characters’ looks almost two years before the start of principal photography began, thought it would be interesting if the costumes weren’t strictly 19th century, but more of a 1940s version of the era instead.
  • Designer Sandy Powell also designed the footwear worn by the Stepmother, all of which were made by Salvatore Ferragamo.
  • Cinderella’s tiny waist was achieved with a corset to accentuate James’ already petite frame and created even more of a difference between her 22-inch waist and the gown’s voluminous skirt.
  • As for the Fairy Godmother, Powell wanted to fulfill every young girl’s dream and bring the treasured character to life in a luminous and magical way. To accomplish this, she created a white gown with silver wings made up of 131 yards of fabric, 10,000 Swarovski crystals and 400 lit LED lights, which were stitched throughout the material and lit up when she cast a spell.
  • The famous glass slipper was also designed by Sandy Powell based on an original shoe from the 1890s that she found in a Northampton shoe museum.  The shoe was impossibly tiny with a 5-inch heel and was simply elegant.
  • Sandy Powell soon realized the only way she could even attempt to make a crystal shoe was with the help of the Austrian crystal company Swarovski, and when approached, the company was more than up to the challenge. Thus began a collaboration featuring Powell’s designs and Swarovski’s
  • The entire film was shot on film, not digital, using 200 ASA and 50 ASA film.

Favorite CINDERLLA Quotes

YOU HAVE MORE KINDNESS IN YOUR LITTLE FINGER THAN MOST PEOPLE POSSESS IN THEIR WHOLE BODY, AND IT HAS POWER. MORE THAN YOU KNOW. 

—ELLA’S MOTHER

YOU MUST NOT MARRY FOR ADVANTAGE. YOU MUST MARRY FOR LOVE. FIND THAT GIRL THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT…THE FORGETFUL ONE WHO LOSES HER SHOES. 

—THE KING

I THINK HEAVEN IS LIKE THE PALACE BALL. EVERYONE IS INVITED.

—CINDERELLA

HOW HAPPY HER MOTHER WOULD HAVE BEEN, TO SEE ELLA RIDE OFF IN SUCH SPLENDOR, AND WITH HER COURAGE AND HER KINDNESS INTACT.

—THE FAIRY GODMOTHER

 ACTIVITY SHEETS & PRINTABLES

Click HERE to visit our Pinterest Page to download activity sheets and printables.

 

For Additional CINDERELLA movie information

Visit the official CINDERELLA Website: http://disney.com/Cinderella | Like CINDERELLA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cinderella | Follow CINDERELLA on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CinderellaMovie | Follow CINDERELLA on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/DisneyCinderella |Follow CINDERELLA on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/cinderella |Follow CINDERELLA on Google +: https://plus.google.com/+disneycinderella

Candid Interviews With Cast of Cinderella Movie

I recently had the opportunity to interview the cast of Disney’s Cinderella movie.  I was captivated by their candid responses and the twinkle in their eyes when they spoke about the making of Cinderella, the Costumes and the Shoes.

The live-action Cinderella movie is inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella” and brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece as real life characters for a whole new generation. The film stars Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter. Directed by Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Chris Weitz, “Cinderella” is produced by Simon Kinberg, Allison Shearmur and David Barron.  The costumes were designed by Oscar award winning designer, Sandy Powell.

Lily James, Richard Madden

Lily James & Richard Madden

The production team carefully selected the period for the film and drew inspiration from the 15th, 16th and 17th century architecture in Northern Europe for the set of CINDERELLA.   There was also that spark of magic that can only happen in the creation of a Disney movie to make CINDERELLA come to life.

Lily James, Kenneth Branagh

Lilly James & Kenneth Branagh

 

The Making of CINDERELLA – Candid Interview with CINDERELLA Director Kenneth Branagh

Although the original animated Cinderella of the 1950s is perfect, the cast stayed true to the movie with romance and Disney magic.  CINDERELLA Director, Kenneth Branagh hopes CINDERELLA speaks to a new generation of movie goers.  Unlike the animated version Cinderella of the 1950s, CINDERELLA brings two people together that bring the best out of each other.   As Director, Kenneth Branagh wanted to stay true to the traditional storyline, but also stay true to the times and brought in modern elements to bring CINDERELLA to life.  An example of the modernization is Cinderella’s courting.  Branagh wanted Cinderella to find a man who had respect for women not just a prince to “save her”.  On casting of Richard Madden as Prince Charming, they wanted to build out a character who has ideals and a father.

Kenneth Branagh also advised that Lily James originally came to audition for the part of  the “ugly step sister”.  After the reading the casting team asked her to read for the part of Cinderella as well and true to Disney magic, he knew they had found CINDERELLA after hearing her voice.  When Kenneth Branagh heard Lily Jame’s voice, he recalled that he could hear kindness and fragility in her voice and knew that they were listening the voice of CINDERELLA.

On casting of Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy God Mother, Kenneth Branagh felt she was loving and whimsical.

Kenneth Branagh also advised that one of the real challenges in making the movie was to make it modern, but not so modern that the audience is out of touch with the movie.   They built big sets such as the hallway and the stairs to bring CINDERELLA to life.  He wanted to tell the story of CINDERELLA, not a makeshift version, but a celebration of kindness.

According to Kenneth Branagh, CINDERELLA is an underdog that transcends and transforms everyone around her.  It appeals globally.  It is not gender specific. We agree.

 

 

Sandy Powell

Sandy Powell

 

CINDERELLA

The Cinderella Costumes – Candid Interview with Costume Designer Sandy Powell

Sandy Powell is a three-time Oscar award winning costume designer.  She designed all the incredible costumes for CINDERELLA.   She wanted the costumes to be bold and full of color.  On designing the coats used by Prince Charming and all male leads Sandy Powell advised that she had all the hand-crafted embroidery done in Pakistan.  Richard Madden wore a white hand-embroidered coat with white crystals which looks stunning at the ball.

The breathtaking CINDERELLA ball gown has 12 layers of fabric, 270 yards of fabric and 10,000 Swarovski crystals.   Sandy Powell advised that the crystals were not placed and glued one at a time.  Instead the Swarovski crystals were already placed on fabric rolls and were already on the fabric she used to design the dress.   Sandy Powell wanted the dress to be light and just right for dancing, running and jumping.  She used a crinoline cage and layers and layers of fabric (inside and outside crinoline) to give the dress a light and flowing look.   She used silk fabric, silk crepline and polyester fabric to achieve the desired design.  Sandy Powell made 8 dresses of the CINDERELLA ball gown for the movie.  She only made 1 wedding dress.

Sandy Powell’s designs took thousands of hours to complete (500 hours per CINDERELLA ball gown) and were instrumental in bringing CINDERELLA to life.

 

Cinderella_Costumes_The_Shoes

The Famous Cinderella Swarovski Crystal Shoes

Swarovski partnered with Disney to design the famous shoes.   Sandy Powell also designed the famous Swarovski Crystal shoes.  She knew that glass would not sparkle and used Swarovski crystal to  create the effect.  None of the shoes were worm in the movie.  Instead they used disney magic (with help of the digital team) to create the effect of CINDERELLA wearing the Swarovski crystal shoes.

There were 8 pair of Swarovski crystal shoes made for the movie.  The shoes have inspired several designers to create CINDERELLA inspired shoes.

The entire movie will inspire a whole new generation of movie goers, designers and writers.  The movie truly appeals to a whole new generation of movie goers.  Stay tuned for my movie review on Friday

CINDERELLA opens in theaters everywhere on March 13th.  Make sure to set your dates with the person your love and let me know what you think about the casting and costumes.  I won’t give it all away, because I want you to be captivated by the costumes and casting yourself.

Additional CINDERELLA movie information

Visit the official CINDERELLA Website: http://disney.com/Cinderella

Like CINDERELLA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cinderella

Follow CINDERELLA on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CinderellaMovie

Follow CINDERELLA on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/DisneyCinderella 

Follow CINDERELLA on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/cinderella

Follow CINDERELLA on Google +: https://plus.google.com/+disneycinderella

  

 

Cinderella Red Carpet World Premier

JCPenny invited me to attend the Disney Cinderella Movie Red Carpet premier in Hollywood, California as a VIP guest.  It was a spectacular event with a glam ball, private pre-reception ball in a huge enclosed victorian renaissance ball themed decorated tent, live music, food, dancing, trumpeters and revelers on stilts welcoming guests.  We also viewed the world premier of the Cinderella movie.

My fairy godmother (JCPenny) sent a horse drawn carriage (Lincoln Navigator) for me and I was whisked away to the VIP JCPenny glam ball to prepare for the evening festivities.     We arrived at the glam ball where all the princesses gathered for refreshments, hair and make-up touch-ups and accessory styling to complete our princess look before our presence was requested at a private pre-reception at El Capitan theatre.  I saw Princess Katherine, Princess Jill and Princess Sylvia looking as lovely as ever in their gorgeous gowns and JCPenny accessories.   We were also showered with lots of kindness from prince charming, refreshments and well wishes as we prepared to depart to the ball. It was a magical experience.

JCPenny Cinderella Glam Ball

Princess Eva Smith, Princess Katherine, Princess Jill and Princess Sylvia at the VIP JCPenny Glam Ball

 

My good-hearted fairy godmother also provided makeup and JCPenny accessories at the glam ball.  She touched up my makeup and gave me a natural look with smokey eye shadow, black eye-liner and red lipstick.   She also provided me with a lovely sparkly black crystal clutch and earrings to put the finishing touches on my red carpet look.   The fashionable crystal clutch was the perfect size for my iPhone and charger and met my techie needs during the premier.

JCPenney Sponsors The World Premiere Of Disney's "Cinderella"

JCPenny clutch put the finishing touch on Princess Eva Smith’s red carpet look

After the glam ball prince charming escorted me to the private pre-reception ball at El Capitan theatre for a walk on the red carpet.  On our way to the red carpet it started to rain, but there was nothing to worry about because our fairy godmother gave us umbrellas and within a couple minutes she waved her wand and bibbity bobbity boo it stopped raining!

As we entered the red carpet pre-reception trumpeters and revelers on stilts welcomed us to the festivities.   I enjoyed the live quartet, live ballroom dancing, sword fights, food & wine and silhouette artists.  It was truly an amazing experience.

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Princess Eva Smith walking the Cinderella premier red carpet

 

Cinderella Red Carpet

Princess Eva Smith with revelers on stilts

I also had the opportunity to celebrate in the festivities at the Cinderella premier and see several movie stars I admire including Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Octavia Spencer, Josh Gad and Grumpy Cat.

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Heading home before midnight on a horse and carriage (Lincoln Navigator)

After the festivities, my horse and carriage arrived in time to get me home just before midnight!  I look forward to watching the Cinderella movie over and over again, especially on March 13 when it is released in theaters nationwide.  Cinderella will always remind me of this magical day sprinkled with pixie dust.

So Thankful to  JCPenny & Disney for a spectacular night!  I didn’t lose a shoe and look forward to sharing the interviews with the cast of Cinderella tomorrow.

Eva-TFL

Movie Review: McFarland USA and FUN Facts #McFarlandUSA

 McFarland USA Movie Review

Grab your friends and family and run to see McFarland USA!  Based on the 1987 true story, McFarland USA movie follows the lives of athletes from McFarland, a predominately Latino community in California Central Valley as they build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner).  The McFarland athletes are farm workers before they arrive to school, students during the day and champions in training after school.  They overcome adversity, economic challenges and lack of athletic resources through their loyalty, hard work and dedicated coach, to become  top cross-country team athletes.

McFARLAND

McFarland USA is  recommended for families, teachers, students, sports enthusiasts and all athletes.  The story is very inspiring and does an outstanding job of showing the real life experiences of economically challenged students pursuing high school athletics.  It doesn’t hold back any dialogue and does a great job of showing how athletes, who are also farm workers deal with adversity on and off the field.   It also dives into the Mexican-American heritage, rights of passage for latinos as well as give us an inside look at mexican culture and traditions.

McFARLAND

McFarland is much more than your typical inspirational sports movie.  It is a story of the journey for the McFarland athletes and Coach Jim White.  A series of events put McFarland students and Coach White on the same path.   Coach White was able to inspire them to greatness by going the extra mile, providing sound advice and taking an interest in each runner’s life on and off the field.  Coach White was also able to make McFarland home for his family and give purpose & meaning to his life through his hands on efforts in his community.  The movie also does a great job of telling the story about the bond between coaches and athletes.

Having come from a latino background and raised in a small border town myself, I can relate to the storyline of the under dog and feelings athletes have without proper equipment or uniforms.  When you lack resources and have the right attitude, you can get inspired and things can definitely take a positive turn! Coach White and the McFarland students show  us that anything is possible!

McFARLAND

The true story came to the attention of the film producers in 1999 after hearing the story in the media about a small town group of heroes. The film’s producers suggested the Director, Niki Caro read the story and the movie started coming to life.

McFarland USA Filmmakers

Directed by . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NIKI CARO
Screenplay by . . .CHRISTOPHER CLEVELAND & BETTINA GILOIS and GRANT THOMPSON
Story by . . . . . . . . . .. CHRISTOPHER CLEVELAND & BETTINA GILOIS

McFarland USA Cast

Jim White . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . KEVIN COSTNER
Danny Diaz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RAMIRO RODRIGUEZ
Thomas Valles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CARLOS PRATTS
Jose Cardenas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .JOHNNY ORTIZ
David Diaz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RAFAEL MARTINEZ

Johnny Sameniego. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .HECTOR DURAN
Victor Puentes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SERGIO AVELAR
Damacio Diaz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . MICHAEL AGUERO
Señora Diaz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . DIANA MARIA RIVA
Señor Diaz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .OMAR LEYVA
Principal Camillo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VALENTE RODRIGUEZ
Sammy Rosaldo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DANNY MORA
Cheryl White . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MARIA BELLO
Julie White . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . MORGAN SAYLOR

McFARLAND

McFARLAND

 

McFarland USA FUN Facts

  • “McFarland, USA” is inspired by a 1987 true story.  Over the years since then, the McFarland High School cross-country teams have won nine state championships and the small school is considered a powerhouse in the sport.
  • Coach Jim White taught in the town of McFarland for 40 years and coached for 25 of those years.  He retired in 2002, but is still involved with the cross-country program.  If you go to McFarland you will see him riding his bike with the kids.
  • Some of the original runners on the championship 1987 cross-country team are educators at McFarland school district.  They are also raising their families in McFarland and support the team financially as needed.
  • Three out of the seven young actors on the team in the movie are from the McFarland area—Sergio Avelar who plays Victor Puentes and Michael Aguero, cast as Damacio Diaz, are actual runners and Ramiro Rodriguez, as Danny Diaz, was a champion soccer player.
  • Ramiro Rodriguez had no intention of auditioning when he agreed to drive his cousin to the casting tryouts for “McFarland, USA.” He landed the role of Danny Diaz after being pestered repeatedly by executive producer Mario Iscovich to audition.
  • Classic lowriders are featured in “McFarland, USA” in several scenes. Lowriders are custom cars fitted with hydraulic jacks that allow the chassis to be lowered almost all the way to the road. Lowriding was very big in California’s Central Valley in the mid-’80s with Bakersfield being one of the lowriding epicenters of the area. Lowriding is often stereotypically depicted as gangster-related in film but the reality is that these car clubs are essentially about family and community and the cars are lovingly treasured.
  • Director Niki Caro took particular interest in the “hero-car” lowrider vehicle— and not just in the service of the movie. The car actually belongs to Caro and she likes to drive the 1970s Chevrolet Caprice, which was customized to the movie’s specifications. The beautiful classic features an iconic chain steering wheel and a mural on the hood that is in the likeness of the owner’s girlfriend in the film, Lupe. The painting is in the style of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is an ongoing visual theme in the movie.

Uno, Dos, Tres… McFarland!

Eva-TFL

McFarland USA Movie – EXCLUSIVE Interview With Kevin Costner and Real #McFarlandUSA Coach Jim White

I recently had the opportunity to meet and interview Kevin Costner, Coach Jim White, cast and real life heroes behind McFarland USA Movie.  McFarland USA opens in theaters on February 20th.  “McFarland, USA” movie is inspired by a 1987 true story, in which an  inexperienced group of  young Latino runners with exceptional athletic skills and determination rise to become champions under the leadership of their coach, Jim White.

Meeting the Actors Behind McFarland USA Movie

McFarlandUSA_Movie_Exclusive_Interview03

Hector Duran, Sergio Avelar and Johnny Ortiz ignite the McFarland athlete within all of us

 

McFarlandUSA_Movie_Exclusive_Interview01

Carlos Pratt plays the role of Thomas Valles. Inspiring Latino actor to watch

An EXCLUSIVE Interview with Kevin Costner

All of the actors connected to their characters to bring McFarland USA to life.  Kevin Costner plays Jim White, the McFarland High School Coach. Although he was born in Southern California, Kevin Costner also lived in Central California areas of Visalia, California near many farming areas.   It is through this experience that he was able to connect to his character and bring Coach Jim White to life.

Here is what he had to say about playing the role of Coach Jim White, how he felt about doing the role in McFarland and life wisdom that applies to all of us.

EXCLUSIVE Interview With Kevin Costner

“We all have to have our north star we kind of fix on and we go to. But life is so much about the things that bump into you.” – Kevin Costner

What appealed to you about the Jim White Character?

Kevin Costner: I had read the story some time ago over 10 years ago.  But I had read about it in Sports Illustrated.  I remember being very taken with it.  I had lived in the Central Valley in Visalia and actually played McFarland in high school baseball.  I was taken with the story, and then of course closed the page and moved on with my life.   Then this movie came up, this shining cloud Niki Caro and said, “Would you be in this movie?”  For that to match up was really a nice thing for me, and it was a beautiful thing, actually. 

To play Jim, who, you know, there’s these men and women all over America who are affecting our young people.  And relationships that coaches establish with young people is something that carries through their life if it’s done right.  There’s not a lot of Jim Whites, but there are Jim Whites, and he represents the best, really, of the best. 

It’s almost biblical; our children have a hard time listening to their parents, right?  There’s a moment in time where kids really don’t want to hear anything from their parents.  But a coach can take on that thing, and boy, if they are of the cloth that Jim White came from, a very graceful, very quiet man, who somehow let them know what was possible.

 What was just possible; not that they were gonna get there, but this is possible for you, a goal.  And Jim White, in just kind of putting the goal out in front of them, look what happened.  Champions.  Look – they did – the exceeded beyond their expectations, so it’s a great lesson to us, McFarland, that if we give our children, our young men, our young women goals, we let them see what’s possible, they can exceed beyond their own wildest expectations.  It’s just a very good lesson, this movie.  So I was proud to play the essence of Jim White.  I’m not Jim White.

You know, I think we’d all like to be Jim White in some way.  But it was a pleasure to be able to do that, kind of from that Sports Illustrated article make this giant circle to actually being in the movie.  I mean that feels like a movie, doesn’t it?

 

Question: How did it feel to play this role in McFarland

Kevin Costner:  I’ve grown up in Ventura, and also in Visalia.  I’ve driven down these roads and I saw people working in those fields.  I played and fought and had friends where their families were pickers in Saticoy, California, a little Mexican barrio school that I went to.  But I didn’t invest the way I did until Niki brought me this movie.  Bending down to work and seeing a field go forever, understanding that this is forever, this is every week, this is every day in all kinds of weather, I have an appreciation of who these people are, this is as American story as you can possibly have.

You think apple pie and baseball’s American?  No.  McFarland is way more American than any of those things.  Those are pastimes.  What’s American –  I’m gonna get real sentimental here. 

There is no American story than parents who are willing to do anything to better their children, to give their children a chance.  There’s nothing more American, and it’s been playing out over the last 300 years, here.  McFarland is not some weird little  town.  Poor McFarland?  No.  Number one, there’s a mythology around McFarland because their lives changed when they understood that they could be champions and repeat that idea.  The simplicity of  there’s nothing more noble than a father and a mother making an opportunity for their child, knowing that their life is gonna be hard.  And there’s something very noble about that, to me; something incredibly heroic.  

 

Question:  You did a lot of different cameras over a lot of different genres.  Do you have any character that you have not done yet that you want to do?

Kevin Costner: I’ve been able to do a lot of things in the movies.  I’ve been able to run with the buffalo, I’ve been able to pitch a perfect game in Yankee Stadium, in the bathtub with Susan Sarandon.  

I’ve had a lot of chance to do a lot of things.  I enjoy sports, but I enjoy sports so much to the point that I wouldn’t do the movie unless I thought it had a chance to be good.  That’s how much I like them.  I’m not dying to do a sports thing and have it just look average.  There’s nothing that I covet out there.  I wait for something to come a long that really is a clear sound that I can respond to, and that I can just really move to it.  I’m not looking for the next sports movie at all, by any stretch.  I did two sports movies back to back – Field of Dreams and Bull Durham, and no one thought that was a smart idea.

 But those movies separated themselves so much.  If I plan my life so much in advance, I’ll miss this. I would have missed McFarland by getting in my mind what I’m going to do in my life.  I mean we all have to have our north star we kind of fix on and we go to.  But life is so much about the things that bump into you. I was – it was really happy, and – you know, how this really happened. And Niki and I know the story more than anybody, but it’s one I  treasure.

 

An Exclusive Interview with the REAL McFarland USA Coach Jim White

I also had the honor and privilege to meet the real life McFarland High School Coach Jim White. Meeting the real life hero behind the McFarland movie was a once in a lifetime event.  Coach White reminds me a lot of the coaches I had in high school who are dedicated to their teams not only on the field, but off the field.  They instill drive, determination and perseverance in young athletes that carry them on not only through high school, but help mold them into future leaders.

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“My whole philosophy on everything is about attitude. I had to have a good attitude, and I had to transfer that to the kids, a good attitude. In order to achieve anything it has to be your attitude.” – Coach Jim White

Question: What does it take from your heart to do all this? For these kids to have a better life?

Jim White: I think my whole philosophy on everything is about attitude.  I had to have a good attitude, and I had to transfer that to the kids, a good attitude.  In order to achieve anything it has to be your attitude.  That is the only thing that you can control.  I can’t control other feelings about me.  I can’t control what happened yesterday or what’s going to maybe happen tomorrow.  But the most important thing for me to transfer to these kids is the attitude of hard work can transfer into the classroom, and into your jobs, and into their real lives.  So when you have problems in life, and we had problems with building the team and outfitting the team, putting shoes on the team.  But it’s how we let the problems affect you in life that’s the main thing, that’ll get you down.  So yeah, these kids were my kids. Thank you.

 

Question: I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how the cross country program at the high school has changed the town overall, or what impact it’s made on the fabric of the community.

Jim White:  As an example right now, our town is really changing.  They’re really picked up this thing with cross country so much so that we now have a new city logo.  It’s not the heartbeat of agriculture or whatever they showed on the first one.  I don’t even know where that first sign came from in that movie.  It now has a runner, running through the field – a silhouette of a runner running through the field.  They gave this to the high school for a scholarship: whoever comes up with the best city logo.

A girl developed this.  Underneath it – underneath the silhouette of a runner running through the fields, you have “Tradition, unity, and excellence.”  So that has really changed our whole city.  Our school came up with a new logo.  We have now a water tank that’s 20 by 80 feet in the town that’s completely dedicated to our state championships.  And the silhouettes of runners, a big sunset, the big cougar coming out of the State of California, and their names are on the water tower; everybody’s names that were state champions there. 

Question: Do you think this film will inspire kids that were in your situation when you guys were younger?

Jim White: I do.  I definitely do.  I think it’s such an inspiration to see that kids can come out of the fields, and kids can have some success with the right attitude and with the work ethics that you can pick up from cross country.  I definitely do feel that it will inspire a lot of kids to go on and do better, I’m sure.

 

An Exclusive Interview with McFarland Director Niki Caro

We also interviewed McFarland USA Director Niki Caro.  She write, produced and directed several films.  She was drawn to this film because it tells a story about real life people in a real life community.

McfarlandUSA_Exclusive_Interview_Niki_Caro

Question: What was it about the story that attracted you and fits with your film making sensibilities?

Niki Caro:  I was inspired by Jim White, the original team, the scale of their achievement, and the legacy that they left and that goes on.  I was really inspired by the people, by how hard they work, the commitment to their families, their faith and their community.  It was great for me to be able to light that up.   I really get a big kick out of  actually working with real communities and this is a real story.

You drive to McFarland and you’ll see a bunch of people you see on screen.  It’ll look like it does on screen.  It’s deeply satisfying to me to go in and tell a story that is not only meaningful, but is true and real, and tell it with the real people.  If that weren’t enough, to go in with the likes of these people (pointing to cast), has been a deeply, deeply satisfying experience for me and I hope it will be for the audience, too.

 

It’s not often you meet people that make you feel like you can anything and overcome any obstacle, but that is exactly how I felt after meeting the cast and real life heroes of McFarland.  McFarland USA Movie will be in theaters on February 20th.  SAVE the date and make sure to take your family and go see it.

For additional inspiring quotes and insider look into the making of McFarland:

Follow McFARLAND, USA on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/mcfarlandusa

Follow Disney Pictures on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/disneypictures

Eva-TFL

#EarthToEcho Movie Review and Cast Interview

We recently attended a private screening of Earth to Echo courtesy of Relativity Media and absolutely loved it.  The movie is made for inquisitive kids and takes us back to the time when kids were just kids exploring their surroundings and joining forces to solve problems.  Make sure to mark your calendars for July 2 and make this a family date to remember!

Earth To Echo Movie Review

We recommend this movie for ages 0 and up!  The movie is not just another kid movie, it’s a family movie for every member of the family to enjoy. If you are a child it will make you want to grab your bike,  go outside with your friends and seek adventures that help you bond in real life with your friends.  If you’re an adult, it will take you back to your childhood memories and the time when life was just about the things that really mattered, friendship and family.  There is also no coarse language, no uncomfortable cursing or offensive scenes either!

The actors also do a very good job of drawing you into the emotion of the characters and make the movie realistic.   The directors made it seem like the movie was filmed by the teens which is a genius idea! Due to all the technology resources available today our children are very inquisitive, always thinking, creating ideas and using new types of communication to connect with each other.  The characters in this movie creatively use technology, social media, filming abilities and GPS tools to create a believable movie.    Echo also did an awesome job of making us love him  He was so adorable.  I don’t think I can even call him and alien.  He is a great friend.

We often don’t see these type of family friendly movies and I am hoping there will be an Earth To Echo 2!

 

Earth To Echo Cast Interview

Our reporter Denise Nicole interviews Teo Halm, Ella Wahlestedt, Astro & Reese Hartwig to find out what it was like to film Earth To Echo movie.   Find out how the actors individually relate to movie, how they bonded in the movie and more!

 

Earth To Echo Writer, Producer, Director Interview

We also interviewed the Writer, Producer and Director or Earth to Echo movie.  Dave Green (Director), Andrew Panay (Producer), and Henry Gayden (Writer) were very transparent in their interview with us.   We omitted movie spoilers from the answers for readers who haven’t watched the movie.

Question:  How long did it take to select the actors for Earth To Echo?

Answer (Andrew Panay): The actors were found within a week of shooting the movie.   Although the turnaround time was short, we were not panicked at all as we were looking for a cast that had authenticity and chemistry.  Andrew Panay also advised that they were looking for a cast that felt like “real kids” that speak to the next generation of kids and for  parents to relate to some of the movies  to see when we were growing up.  

 

Question: Were any scenes filmed with a mobile device?

Answer (Dave Green):  Yes, 2 scenes were filmed with an iPhone.  The first scene and another scene in a truck.

 

Question:  How were you able to draw all the emotion with the CGI special effects?

Answer (Henry Gayden):  A lot of the Echo scenes were filmed off camera as Echo was either not there or a robot.  The actors worked in groups and supported each other with the scenes.  They raised to the occasion, especially for the emotional scenes.

About the Movie

Tuck, Munch and Alex are a group of close friends whose neighborhood is being destroyed by a highway construction project that is forcing their families to move away. But just two days before they must part ways, the boys begin receiving a strange series of signals on their phones. The team is convinced something bigger is going on and team up with another school friend, Emma to look for the source of their phone signals.  They discover a small alien who has become stranded on Earth. The friends come together to protect the alien and help him find his way home.

Cast

Actor Teo Halm  as Alex
Actor Astro  as Tuck
Actor Reese Hartwig as  Munch

Actor Ella Wahlestedt   as Emma

Echo as Himself

Actor Jason Gray-Stanford Jr.    as Dr. Lawrence Madsen

For additional Earth To Echo movie details:

Visit the Official Website

‘Like’ Earth to Echo on Facebook

Follow on TwitterInstagram & Tumblr

or Subscribe on YouTube

 

New Official Trailer Release for Delivery Man with Vince Vaughn

You are the frist to preview the  New Official Trailer Release for Delivery Man with Vince Vaughn.  I’m looking forward to this movie!

 

 

The movie is about an underachiever who finds out he’s fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them file a lawsuit to reveal his identity.

 

Monster’s University Now Enrolling in Summer 2013

 

We had the opportunity to attend a screening of Monster’s University this past weekend.  The movie is a prequel to the 2001 Monsters, Inc. hit.  The long awaited 3-D movie sequel is set on the campus of Monster’s University and explores the relationship between Sulley and Michael when they were at Monster’s University pursuing an education at Scare School.

The plot, movie setting in the college campus and references to college traditions such as the rivalry between college students is also addressed.  The movie also has a lot of silliness, laughter, comedy and lessons learned.

The film will definitely be another Disney-Pixar classic.  My children watched Monster’s Inc when they were youth and now that they are college aged kids they enjoyed it as well in 3-D.  This is also a great movie for families to watch together and talk about the life lessons learned afterwards.   I applaud Disney-Pixar for providing a realistic  and amusing storyline and making the ending a heartfelt lesson.  The movie made me smile, tear up and laugh out loud.

TITLE: “Monsters University”

CREDITS: Directed by Dan Scanlon; written by Mr. Scanlon, Robert L. Baird and Daniel Gerson.

CAST:  Billy Crystal ( Mike – Voice), John Goodman (Sullivan -Voice), Steve Buscemi (Randy – Voice), Helen Mirren (Dean Hardscrabble – Voice),  Peter Sohn (Squishy – Voice)

RATING: G

KID APPROPRIATE: YES

RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes.

OVERALL RATING:  9

TRIVIA:

  • The first prequel to a Pixar film. 
  • Doug Sweetland, who directed the Pixar short Presto, was originally set to direct Monsters University, before being replaced with Dan Scanlon
  • Mike’s parents were originally planned to be included in the story. They would drop Mike off for his first day at Monsters University. However, director Dan Scanlon decided to drop them from the finished film to make Mike seem just that much more vulnerable. 
  • This is the second ever “college” themed film to receive a “G” rating, the first being another Disney film, College Road Trip
  • Professor Knight’s lecture hall is room A113, a reference to a room at CalArts where animation classes are taught. All Pixar films have a reference to “A113″. 

 

 

2013 Golden Globe Awards Complete Nominees & Winners List

I always love looking at the Golden Globes!  The fancy dresses, dinner tables and celebrities make for a fun television viewing evening.  The 2013 Golden Globes didn’t disappoint.  My favorite movie, Les Miserables won Best Picture, Best Actor in a Musical Comedy and Best Supporting Actress. Daniel Day-Lewis received the Best Actor award for his role as Lincoln in the highly acclaimed movie Lincoln.  To top off the winners list, Brave received the Golden Globe award for Best Animated Film!

Here is the complete list of 2013 Golden Globe nominees & winners:

Best Motion Picture, Drama
“Argo” — WINNER!
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Actor, Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln” — WINNER!
Richard Gere, “Arbitrage”
John Hawkes, “The Sessions”
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Denzel Washington, “Flight”

Best Actress, Drama
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty” — WINNER!
Marion Cotillard, “Rust and Bone”
Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”
Rachel Weisz, “The Deep Blue Sea”

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
“Les Miserables” — WINNER!
“Moonrise Kingdom”
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
“Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
Jack Black, “Bernie”
Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables” — WINNER!
Ewan McGregor, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Bill Murray, “Hyde Park on Hudson”

Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
“Big Bang Theory”
“Episodes”
“Girls” — WINNER!
“Modern Family”
“Smash”

Best Director 
Ben Affleck, “Argo” — WINNER!
Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”

Best Actress, TV Musical or Comedy
Zooey Deschanel, “The New Girl”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Lena Dunham, “Girls” — WINNER!
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”

Best Animated Film
“Brave” — WINNER!
“Frankenweenie”
“Hotel Transylvania”
“Rise of the Guardians”
“Wreck-It Ralph”

Best Actress, TV Drama
Connie Britton, “Nashville”
Glenn Close, “Damages”
Claire Danes, “Homeland” — WINNER!
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Amour” — WINNER!
“A Royal Affair”
“The Intouchables”
“Kon-Tiki”
“Rust and Bone”

Best Actor, TV Musical or Comedy
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies” — WINNER!
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”
Louie C.K., “Louie”
Jim Parsons, “Big Bang Theory”

Best Screenplay
Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Tony Kushner, “Lincoln”
David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained” — WINNER!
Chris Terrio, “Argo”

Best Supporting Actress 
Amy Adams, “The Master”
Sally Field, “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables” — WINNER!
Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
Nicole Kidman, “The Paperboy”

Best Supporting Actor, TV Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture 
Max Greenfield, “New Girl”
Ed Harris, “Game Change” — WINNER!
Danny Huston, “Magic City”
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family”

Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
Emily Blunt, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Judi Dench, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook” — WINNER!
Maggie Smith, “Quarter”
Meryl Streep, “Hope Springs

Best Actor, TV Miniseries or Motion Picture 
Kevin Costner, “Hatfields & McCoys” — WINNER!
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”
Woody Harrelson, “Game Change”
Toby Jones, “The Girl”
Clive Owen, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”

Best Original Song 
“For You,” “Act of Valor”
“Not Running Anymore,” “Stand Up Guys”
“Safe and Sounds,” “The Hunger Games
“Skyfall,” “Skyfall” — WINNER!
“Suddenly,” “Les Miserables”

Best Original Score 
“Life of Pi” — WINNER!
“Argo”
“Anna Karenina”
“Cloud Atlas”
“Lincoln”

Best Television Series, Drama
“Breaking Bad”
“Boardwalk Empire”
“Downton Abbey”
“Homeland” — WINNER!
“The Newsroom”

Best Actor, TV Drama
Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Brian Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Damien Lewis, “Homeland” — WINNER!

Best Actress, TV Miniseries or Motion Picture 
Nicole Kidman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story”
Sienna Miller, “The Girl”
Julianne Moore, “Game Change” — WINNER!
Sigourney Weaver, “Political Animals”

Best TV Miniseries or Motion Picture 
“Game Change” — WINNER!
“The Girl”
“Hatfields & McCoys
“The Hour”
“Political Animals”

Best Supporting Actress, TV Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture 
Hayden Panettiere, “Nashville”
Archie Panjabi, “The Good Wife”
Sarah Paulson, “Game Change”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey” — WINNER!
Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family”

Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained” — WINNER!

Question:  Who is your favorite actor/actress winners?
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