50/50 Cast and Screenwriter Get Candid

How does one comprehend the incomprehensible? Taking a best friend’s cancer, subsequent battle and then full healing and making it into a movie to inspire millions is one way. Seth Rogen stars and Will Reiser writes the screenplay in 50/50, the true story of Reiser’s battle for his life.

Joseph Gordon Levitt and Seth Rogen in 50/50

Reiser, Rogen and his co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt gathered and had an intimate and very personal chat about the struggle that lies at the heart of Reiser’s true life and the story of 50/50.

50/50 is an astounding film and it is a must-see when it arrives in theaters September 30. The story is told with such sensitivity, seriousness and silliness, reflective of life itself.

Rogen found making the movie a must for him and his best friend Reiser to not only chronicle what they went through with Reiser’s cancer, but also to take a terrible situation, make sense of it and simultaneously share it with the world in hopes of inspiring.

“We worked with Will on Da Ali G Show, and it was shortly after that we learned he was sick. As shocking, sad, confusing and generally screwed up as it was; we couldn’t ignore that because we were so ill-equipped to deal with the situation, funny things kept happening,” Rogen said. “Will got better, and when he did, we thought the best way to pull something good out of the situation was to get him to write a screenplay. Ideally we wanted to make a film that would be as funny, sad, and hopefully as honest as the experience we went through. As soon as the script was completed, it quickly became a passion project for all of us. It helped us come to terms with Will’s struggle as well as our own experiences.”

50/50 stars Gordon-Levitt and Rogen as best friends whose life suddenly grinds to a halt when Gordon-Levitt receives a cancer diagnosis that comes with a survival rate of 50/50, thus the impeccable title.

Sit back and enjoy the inspiring discussion of Reiser and Rogan as well as Gordon-Levitt as they take Movie Fanatic readers inside 50/50. Warning, the vid is a little NSFW with a few adult words!

Writer and Cast of 50/50 Chat

Die Hard 5 is a Go, Bruce Willis Says

Whether it’s warranted or not, and audiences will decide that, Bruce Willis announced he will be back as John McClane in Die Hard 5. Yippie Kai Yay!

Bruce Willis in Die Hard

Willis has not lost his action hero swagger, as evidenced by this year’s Red. So, why not return to the role that made him a box office superstar? When asked if there would be a Die Hard 5, the actor said, “It’s imminent.”

Die Hard arrived in 1988 and Willis has played McClane off an on since then — lastly in 2007 in Live Free or Die Hard.

After realizing what he may have said in terms of admitting what may be a premature green light for the next chapter in the Die Hard franchise, Willis quantified his “imminent” statement. “I think I might have said the word wrong. I thought ‘imminent’ meant that you have a lot of ’em,” Willis said. “So I have to apologize for that.”

But seriously, Die Hard 5 will go before the cameras sometime mid-2012 and the script for the fifth Die Hard film is already complete.

Robert Downey Jr. Gives Iron Man 3 Insight

Robert Downey Jr., almost completed filming The Avengers, will keep on his Iron Man suit as Iron Man 3 goes before the cameras very soon. Downey Jr. promises the latest in the film series will be its best and reported that they will “leave it all on the field.”

Robert Downey is Iron Man

Downey is even talking about what it’s going to be like to work with the third film’s director, Shane Black. The superstar talked to the Los Angeles Times about the last of the Iron Man trilogy and what fans can expect.

“The thing about Shane is that it will be anything but one of those moments,” Downey Jr. said of improving on Iron Man 2. The actor and director previously worked on Black’s film Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and given that film’s unique brand of humor, look for the joy of the first Iron Man to return in Iron Man 3. So where are his emotions when it comes to landing on the Iron Man 3 set? “It should be great.”

Spy Kids 4: It’s Supposed to Stink!

Often times, a film is called a stinker by critics and that is not such a good thing. In the case of Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, that is exactly what filmmaker Robert Rodriguez is going for with the debut of a fourth dimension of film: Aroma-Scope.

Jessica Alba Spy Kids 4 Photo

Spy Kids 4 continues the franchise that began with the smash hit Spy Kids in 2001. The story of international spy parents and their spy savvy kids captured the imagination of adults and children alike. Three films later, it appears Rodriguez has forgotten about the adults and focused his film’s appeal solely on kids.

In Spy Kids 4, Jessica Alba and Joel McHale are parents of two, expecting a third. The film begins with a nine-months pregnant Alba trying to take down a bad guy named The Timekeeper. After getting her man, she is rushed to the hospital and gives birth to a baby girl.

The action picks up a year later as Alba is retired and McHale is a reality-TV star courtesy of his show Spy Hunter. As news breaks that time itself has sped up, it becomes clear to Alba that The Timekeeper has escaped and she needs to swing back into action. The villain’s goal is to have time accelerate until there is no time at all and the world ceases to exist.

As Alba leaves the house on her first post-baby mission, the couple’s kids immediately come into danger courtesy of The Timekeeper’s henchmen and through the houses’ panic room; they learn the family secret that is spydom. And a new generation of Spy Kids is born.

The Kids of Spy Kids 4

Rodriguez and his effects team have a blast with the 3D technology and the gadgets they create onscreen for their tiny spies and Alba as well. We wish he had spent a little more time on the script as it leaves little to be desired. Then again, the Spy Kids franchise has never been about powerful lines that rivet an audience. Its mission is infantile and Spy Kids 4 sits comfortably in that wheelhouse.

The 3D film adds another dimension, Aroma-Scope. Upon entering the theater, audiences are given a card with the numbers one through eight printed on it. They are instructed at the beginning of the film to scratch and sniff the card when the corresponding number appears on screen. Does it work? Ours did only occasionally when the kids were eating candy and the smell of the sweet stuff did permeate. There are fart jokes and yes, a fart smell, yet we couldn’t discern the smell of cardboard from flatulence. Consider us lucky?

Spy Kids 4 possesses everything young kids will adore. They will identify with the film’s heroes. Children will devour the Aroma-Scope and get delight in adding another sense into the movie watching experience. Adults unfortunately, will be left behind scratching their heads searching for some sort of redeeming quality. But, that is not the point. Spy Kids 4 is a children’s movie and their enjoyment is assured.

In terms of our rating, for kids Spy Kids 4 gets a four out of five, as a film on its own. Not so much.

One Day Movie Review: Love Takes Time

Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess portray a couple whose friendship and more is marked on screen by visiting with them during a single day — July 15 — over a 20-year period in One Day.

Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway in One Day

One Day is based on the book by David Nicholls, who in a rare move by Hollywood, was allowed to adapt his book for the screenplay. Emma (Hathaway) and Dexter (Sturgess) first meet on their college graduation night and spend their first day together on July 15, also known as St. Swithin’s Day in the UK. And with that, Emma and Dexter begin their two decade long journey.

The action quickly moves from their university to the cityscape of London. Hathaway’s Emma yearns to be a writer while Sturgess’ Dexter… well, Dex isn’t sure what he wants to do. But, he comes from money and in many ways doesn’t have to worry about such things.

Sturgess astounds in his role. The actor, who shined in the Beatles-themed Across the Universe, brings his impressive talent to the forefront with the not-so-easy task of capturing a character over a long period of time. Dex goes from a “who cares about anything” lothario to all around good soul worthy of Emma’s friendship and perhaps even love.

Hathaway, as always, is brilliant in One Day. For any American thespian, capturing a British accent is a thankless task. With such an army of amazing British actresses out there, it is unavoidable that if the American’s performance misses the mark, the cry for “Why didn’t they use a Brit” will come from all corners of the kingdom. Her success in One Day is hardly a surprise for Hathaway fans as they know what an amazing job she did capturing one of the UK’s favorite daughters — Jane Austen — in 2007’s Becoming Jane. Also, her characterization in One Day requires less alteration over time as Emma is already a middle-aged soul when we first meet her on that fateful college graduation night.

Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway in One Day Photo

One Day is a simple story, yet it feels like a sweeping romance.

This format of storytelling is nothing new to cinema. Yet, 1978’s Same Time Next Year did it with more power. Although Same Time Next Year and One Day focus on two incredibly different couples with the former showcasing an affair between two people that is shared outside of their normal lives, the latter is a 20-year expose of a friendship that blossoms into love.

One issue we have with One Day? A plot device used in a million romantic films that audiences can see from a million miles away. It is hinted at in the beginning of the film before it flashes back to Emma and Dex’s graduation night. When the film catches up to the big moment near the end, it may be easy to feel cheated. With that being said, as Nicholls’ book contained the same plot point and it works on the page, it is hard to fault the film for its use of this age-old cinematic storyline.

The film is also slow to get going and even when it starts to get into the meat of the story, it at times feels flat. As is the case with most page to screen adaptations, the book fares better than the film — yet One Day still channels the novel’s heart and soul.