Another week, another fantastic short-film event.
That was the case in August when we attended an NFTS short-film screening with Cinema Jam at the Hackney Attic. This was a special night for us, as it was our first evening as official sponsors of Cinema Jam’s members only “jam-sessions.”
It was great to be welcomed into the Cinema Jam community by Jared and his fantastic team who really made us feel at home and part of the family. We enjoyed talking to people from all sides of the industry, be they actors, filmmakers or technicians – and not just about Casting Networks but also the interesting films we saw on the evening.read more
Did we really need another movie about an obscure Marvel superhero? Well, maybe not, but Ant-Man still stands high above the pack (pun intended). Paul Rudd turns out to be quite convincing in the title role, and the rest of the cast (including a steals-every-scene-he’s-in performance from Michael Peña) does a great job. The visuals and the special effects are very effective, and the film’s pace is swift. Marvel’s new film is one of their best to date.
Ant-Man tells the story of Scott Lang, a thief with a good heart, who is being released from the San Quentin State Prison for attempting a Robin Hood-esque robbery of a multi-billion dollar corporation that once employed him. Now, he is coming back to society, moving in with another former prison inmate, Luis, who has been out now for a year (the aforementioned Peña), and hopes to become a presence in his daughter Cassie’s (Abby Ryder Fortson) life, much to the chagrin of ex-wife Maggie (Judy Greer) and her police officer husband/Scott’s foil Paxton (played by the omni-present Bobby Cannavale). Scott, after being fired by his job at Baskin-Robbins, reluctantly returns to his life of crime to break into the safe of a millionaire. It turns out that this safe belongs to Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) the inventor of the Ant-Man suit (the suit is actually the only item contained within the safe), and Pym had deliberately set up Scott to rob him, believing that Scott would be the perfect candidate to fill the Ant-Man suit.read more
Pixar’s first non-sequel in six years (subpar Brave notwithstanding) is one of their best. Inside Out combines comedy and drama, laughter and tears, and runs the gamut of emotions (both in character personification, as well as for the audience). The visuals are incredible, the voice performances are perfect, and you will leave the theater feeling emotionally fulfilled.
Pixar’s fifteenth feature film tells the story of the emotions inside a young girl’s head. Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) work inside the control room inside the brain of Riley (Kaitlyn Dias). The film begins with Riley being born, and born with her is the first of her emotions, Joy. Soon, however, Sadness emerges, and eventually the rest of her emotions join the party, as well. Switching back and forth between Riley’s perspective and the perspective of the feelings happening inside of her, the story progresses.read more
While Poltergeist may not be as terrifying as its original counterpart, it is still a fairly serviceable remake. There are some scary moments, some good performances, and a plethora of wink-wink references to the 1982 film. There is nothing groundbreaking about this horror flick, nor are the scares terribly noteworthy, but if you are in the mood to watch a nice family get terrorized by some spooky ghosts, then it is probably worth checking out.
At the start of the film, we are introduced to the Bowen family. We find out fairly early on that the father Eric (played by Sam Rockwell) is out of work, and that they are struggling financially. So, they are moving into a new house in a neighborhood that has been on the economic decline in recent years. The mother Amy (Rosemary Dewitt) is a stay-at-home mom, taking care of the couple’s three children—teenager Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), younger Griffin (Kyle Catlett), and youngest Maddy (Kennedi Clements). Upon moving into their new home, strange occurrences begin happening. At first, static electricity seems to be inexplicably high throughout the house. Then, a creepy collection of clown dolls falls from the attic into Griffin’s closet. And later, Griffin finds Maddy standing in front of the television communicating with somebody, which prompts her to say the iconic line, “They’re heeere!”read more
If this is the future, then the future is frightening. Ex Machina examines what Artificial Intelligence might look like in its most seamless and human form. The film is thought-provoking, well-acted, and its implications are quite terrifying. This marks the directorial debut of Alex Garland (writer of 28 Days Later…, Sunshine, and Dredd), and it will be very interesting to see what he does next.
The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb, a highly talented young programmer for fictional mega search engine Blue Book, who wins a company-wide contest to come spend a week in the secluded facility of the company’s alcoholic billionaire owner Nathan (played by Oscar Isaac, who provides some of the much needed comic relief throughout the film). It turns out that Caleb is brought into Nathan’s enormous underground getaway to help facilitate a set of experiments on a new invention: Ava (played by Swedish actress Alicia Vikander), an artificially intelligent super computer in the shape of a gorgeous young woman. Caleb is tasked with determining whether or not Nathan has succeeded in creating the world’s first truly artificially intelligent being, and in so doing, he realizes that Nathan might be hiding his true intentions from Caleb, and that the fate of Ava might just be in Caleb’s hands.read more
Always Keep Hardcopy Headshots with You
Even though the casting process has primarily moved online, you should always keep hard copy headshots and resumes with you in your car just in case. You never know if the casting director will request them and you want to always be prepared!
Courage, kindness, and a little bit of magic. That’s all it takes. In the highly cynical world that we live in today, it is refreshing to see a movie with a message this simple and pure. Cinderella is an excellent modern take on the classic fairytale, combining charming performances, a beautiful story, and stunning visuals.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Disney’s latest version of Cinderella begins with Ella (later Cinderella, a nickname given to her by her stepmother and stepsisters because of the cinder on her face) as a young girl. Ella lives in a beautiful home with her loving mother and father (played by Hayley Attwell and Ben Chaplin), where her imagination is encouraged and life is like a fairy tale. Soon, however, her mother falls ill and her father remarries. Her father’s new wife—and Ella’s new stepmother—(played with a grounded vigor by Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Drisella and Anastasia (Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger) quickly become the heads of the household when Ella’s father falls ill and passes on while away on a journey. Ella soon becomes their servant, cleaning and cooking for them day and night. Soon, however, Ella meets a handsome stranger in the woods (who is actually the Prince, played by Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden), and it is love at first sight. When Ella rides off, and the Prince has no idea who she is, he puts a call out to the entire kingdom to attend a ball at the palace. Soon, there are pumpkins and lizards and glass slippers and a Fairy Godmother, and well, you know how the story goes.read more
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