Film Review: “20th Century Women”

Starring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig
Directed by: Mike Mills
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hr 59 mins
A24

Our Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

In 2010, writer/director Mike Mills penned a film loosely based on his father called “Beginners,” with Christopher Plummer taking home an Oscar for his work. This week Mills has turned his pen towards his mother, with Annette Bening shining through in a performance that could end up the same way as Plummer’s did with Oscar gold.

Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) is a 15-year old boy being raised by a less then orthodox mother. We learn from Jamie that his mom Dorothea (Bening) wanted to be a pilot but instead now holds a high position with a major company. Dorothea is 55 and divorced. She doesn’t date much and, when she does, it doesn’t last long. Her world is Jamie. Or so she thinks. Her world also consists of Abbie (Gerwig), a boarder dealing with the possibility of having cervix cancer, William (Billy Crudup), a former hippie with a knack for fixing cars and pottery bowls, and Julie (Fanning), a neighborhood girl that Jamie is helplessly in love with. As their stories intertwine, it’s hard to see who the mature member of the “family” is and who the child is.

Set in 1979, the film makes great use with its pop culture references. Musical acts like the Raincoats and Black Flag dot the soundtrack while references to President Ford falling down the stairs of Air Force One or President Carter addressing the nation and it’s “crisis of confidence” – now referred to as “the Malaise Speech” – help set the tone of the on-screen action. As someone who remembers these events, and the “groovy” clothes from the period, it triggered some fond memories of my youth.

The film does have some problems with its pacing, but the energy jumps up when any of the three female leads are on screen. Fanning and Gerwig are both solid, especially since neither one of them were born in the time the film takes place. But it is Bening, one of our most overlooked talents, who shines here. She mines her emotional depths as she tries to find ways to connect with her son while still trying to maintain a lifestyle she has reluctantly become accustomed to. It is one of her finest performances and one I sincerely hope the Academy recognizes this year.

Disney, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox Announce The Star Wars Digital Movie Collection

/ PR Newswire / — As anticipation builds for the December release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first new film in the Star Wars Saga in a decade, The Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd., and 20th Century Fox today announced the upcoming release of The Star Wars Digital Movie Collection. For the first time ever, all six epic films in the Saga, from The Phantom Menaceto Return of the Jedi, will be available on Digital HD throughout the galaxy – or at least here on Earth – globally beginning Friday, April 10.

“Since the debut of the first film nearly 40 years ago, Star Wars has become a worldwide phenomenon with legions of fans from every generation,” said Alan Bergman, President, The Walt Disney Studios. “It’s only fitting that audiences enjoy this legendary Saga and its many fascinating behind-the-scenes stories on a wide variety of platforms, and we’re very excited to finally bring all six films to Digital HD for the first time.”

“We’re thrilled that fans will be able to enjoy the Star Wars Saga on their digital devices wherever they go,” commented Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “These films broke new ground in technology, design, sound, and visual effects, and we’ve created some very special bonus material which delves into the Saga’s rich history, including new and never-before-released conversations between legendary Star Wars artists – the masters who helped George bring his iconic universe to life.”

With Star Wars: Episodes I-VI available for purchase as a complete digital movie collection and individually, viewers will have the Rebel forces at their beck and call across their favorite devices anywhere – sunbathing at the beach, relaxing in their living room with friends, or waiting to board a flight to Endor (or elsewhere).

Enhancing the movie collection are a host of never-before-seen special features including Star Wars: Discoveries from Inside and insightful Conversations between key contributors from across this celebrated film franchise, plus a curated collection of classic Star Warsextras from each film. These are the droids you’re looking for:

BONUS
*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer
STAR WARS EPISODE I: The Phantom Menace

  • Conversations: Doug Chiang Looks Back
  • Discoveries From Inside: Models & Miniatures
  • Legacy content includes “The Beginning”; The Podrace: Theatrical Edit; plus eight deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE II: Attack of the Clones

  • Conversations: Sounds In Space
  • Discoveries From Inside: Costumes Revealed
  • Legacy content includes “From Puppets To Pixels: Digital Characters In Episode II”; State Of The Art: The Previsualization Of Episode II; and “Films Are Not Released, They Escape”; plus Episode II Visual Effects Breakdown Montage and six deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE III: Revenge of the Sith

  • Conversations: The Star WarsThat Almost Was
  • Discoveries From Inside: Hologram & Bloopers
  • Legacy content includes documentaries “Within A Minute: The Making Of Episode III”; The Journey Part 1; and The Journey Part 2; plus six deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A New Hope (20th Century Fox)

  • Conversations: Creating A Universe
  • Discoveries From Inside: Weapons & The First Lightsaber
  • Legacy content includes “Anatomy Of A Dewback”; Star WarsLaunch Trailer; plus eight deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE V: The Empire Strikes Back

  • Conversations: The Lost Interviews
  • Discoveries From Inside: Matte Paintings Unveiled
  • Legacy content includes “A Conversation With The Masters” (2010); “Dennis Muren: How Walkers Walk”; “George Lucas On Editing The Empire Strikes Back 1979”; and “George Lucas On The Force: 2010”; plus six deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE VI: Return of the Jedi

  • Conversations: The Effects
  • Discoveries From Inside: The Sounds Of Ben Burtt
  • Legacy content includes “Classic Creatures: Return Of The Jedi”; “Revenge Of The Jedi Teaser Trailer”; Return Of The Jedi Launch Trailer; “It Began TV Spot”; “Climactic Chapter TV Spot”; plus five deleted scenes.

About The Walt Disney Studios
For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world.

Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Disney|Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!

About Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company’s activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment software, and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. STAR WARS © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

About 20th Century Fox
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, 20th Century Fox Film produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of 20th Century Fox Film: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox Animation.

Orgy’s Jay Gordon talks about new single “Grime of the Century”

Jay Gordon is the lead singer of the band Orgy. The group recently released a new single titled “Grime of the Century” and is set to embark on a western U.S. tour.  Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Jay recently about the band and its new release.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the bands new single “Grime of the Century”?
Jay Gordon: I chose this song because it was the one the band pulled together the quickest. Everything for the song just came right together. There is so much going on in our other songs that we felt this one was the simplest of the group. Releasing this song seemed like less of a gamble. I wanted to mainly get people familiar with the bands new line up through this song.

AL: Are there any plans to shoot a video for the song?
JG: Yes! We actually just finished it. I don’t know when it will exactly be released but it will be coming out soon. The video is going to be very interesting and cool. I think it is different for an Orgy video.

AL: Are there plans for a full-length release? and how does working on an album now compare to when the band first hit it big?
JG: Yes, a full length album is in the works. There is a lot less money now to make records with than when we started. Bands aren’t getting record deals like they did back in the 90’s however the process in which we work is the still the same.

AL: Are you doing any production on the new Orgy material? And has being involved with producing changed your approach to songwriting in any way?
JG: We are all capable of doing that type of work. Everyone in the band has their hands in the production aspect of things. As far as writing goes these days I think I am much faster at it now. I am however very picky. I don’t like to just jump on the first thing that comes to mind. I may be at first but when I take a second to slow down and look at everything sometimes my opinion changes.

AL: How do you go about balancing your work as a producer and as a singer?
JG: You just have to find/make time to do both. I wish there was a more glamorous answer but that’s the most direct. I wear a lot of hats.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands current lineup?
JG: I have known this group of guys for a long time. Carlton Bost and Ashburn Miller come from the band Deadsy. Jamie Miller came from the band Snot. Those guys are all really talented and were people I had wanted to play with for a long time. Nic Speck was a guy I met along the way and just ended up asking him to come down one day and he did.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour?
JG: We will be doing a quick tour of the west side of the United States during the fall and possibly after the New Year we will be heading over to Europe for some shows there as well. We are thinking about a lot of different things and are open to suggestion. I just want to get out there and do it again.

AL: Besides your work with Orgy what other projects are you working on right now?
JG: I am currently working on some songs for the band Escape the Fate. I did some really cool dub step tracks and programming for a few of there songs. I also am producing a song with the band and another guy named Future.

20th Century Fox to produce a fifth “Die Hard”

Keep Valentines day 2013 open all you “Die Hard” fans. John McClain is back…and he’s bringing his son with him.

Today during a call in to the Jim Rome Radio Show, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment Tom Rothman announced that production will begin this January on “A Good Day to Die Hard,”the fifth film in the popular series. Plot details were scarce but Rothman did say that the film will find Bruce Willis’ character travelling to Russia to bring back his trouble prone son, unaware of the young mans true reasons to be in the country. No one has been cast yet in the role of John McClain, Jr.

“A Good Day to Die Hard” is scheduled to open on February 14, 2013. Yippee Ki Yay!