Sarah Knight Adamson is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and a voting member for the Critics Choice Awards for Movies.

Sarah Knight Adamson and Jessica Aymond are both Members of the Chicago Film Critics Association

Film Rating Code:

★★★★ Outstanding Film- Run, don’t walk to the nearest movie theater.

★★★½ Excellent Film- Highly recommend seeing the film in a movie theater.

★★★ Very Good Film- Recommend seeing the film in a movie theater.

★★½ Good Film- Wait for the DVD, the film is still worth viewing.

★★ Wait for the DVD and proceed with caution.

★½ Wait for the DVD the film has major problems in most areas.

★ Can’t recommend the film.

Category :

Kaspar Astrup Schroder Interview, Director “Big Time” Danish documentary film Bjarke Ingels, Architect

Kaspar Astrup Schroder director of “Big Time” a documentary film on world famous architect Bjarke Ingels. Photo Credit: Press photo from the director

Kaspar Astrup Schroder director of Big Time a documentary that took six years in the making was in Chicago to present his film during the Chicago International Film Festival. I was able to speak with him via phone as I was unfortunately unable to meet him that day in Chicago due to a family wedding.

The Wall Street Journal has stated that Bjarke Ingels ‘has rapidly become one of the design world’s biggest stars’ and his name recently appeared in TIME magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ article. The film Big Time focuses on the New York skyscraper VIA 57W, which houses the newly opened multiplex Landmark at 57 West, and World Trade Center 2. 

Bjarke Ingels architect at work in ‘Big Time’

First and foremost, I learned so much about the topic of architecture and architects by viewing the highly engaging and personalized film, Big Time. The film is for everyone of all ages, especially those interested in architecture. Schroder has captured his subject during his triumphs, frustrations, and disappointments. You’ll see Bjarke Ingels’s childhood home, see his parents speak about him as a child, you’ll hear about his philosophies and the reasoning behind his drawings. But most importantly, you’ll see him with a pen and paper drawing/creating his projects as he explains to us the ‘why’ behind his design style.

The film has a personal connection as well, during the six-year filming period; Ingels began to deal with serious health problems that did interfere with his work. You’ll also view his euphoria in finding the love of his life and his engagement to his lovely girlfriend during this time.

Sarah Knight Adamson: I want to thank you so much for speaking with me today. I really enjoyed your film. Can you tell me why you chose to start filming Bjarke Ingels?

Kaspar Astrup Schroder: My wife is an architect, my sister is an architect, most of my friends are architects, so I was kind of in that environment, and I love making films. I’ve watched a lot of documentary films about architecture that I thought it was very challenging to make something interesting that goes beyond like a normal film. I wanted to broaden up the subject so people that are not architects might become interested in architecture. I started filming him back in 2010, and I completed the shoot last December 2016, six years.

SKA: What aspects of his life were you looking to cover?

KAS: I wanted to make a film about architecture through character, through someone that lives it and makes it. I also wanted to show their dilemmas of the modern man trying to conquer the world but maybe one that also forgets himself in it. When Bjarke started to become sick and then the company was failing after he left Denmark and all those challenges could basically have been in any business.

SKA: Yes.

KAS: I wanted to tell those emotional, universal aspects of a story and try to also develop a character through the film. He’s a great storyteller, and he’s trying to make the best possible life for people with his architecture.

Read more…

Posted in Celebrity Interviews, Interview Archives, Interviews

Goodbye Christopher Robin (PG-13) ★★★½ Radio Podcast 🎙

Will Tilston, Domhnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie in the film GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. Photo by David Appleby. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Podcast will post after the film review has aired. Stay tuned!

Goodbye Christopher Robin

This Historical Drama gives us the backstory surrounding writer A.A. Milne “Winnie-the-Pooh” and “The House at Pooh Corner,” these books were published 1926 &1928.

Suffering from PTSD after the war, Milne decides to move his family from London and live in the countryside. While there, he found solace in his son and began to write about their afternoons of imaginary play with his son’s stuffed animals.

Milne and his family became instant celebrities, while the books brought hope and comfort to the rest of postwar England.

The Bottom-Line? I enjoyed this enchanting film and the backstory surrounding A.A.Milne and his family. The film is for ages nine years old and up, as it does have some war scenes.

Cast: Domhnall Gleeson as the father and writer, Will Tilston as Christopher Robin, Margot Robbie, as the mother and Kelly McDonald as the nanny.

Credits: Directed by Simon Curtis, screenplay by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Simon Vaughan

Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Run Time: 1 hour 47 minutes

 

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Victoria and Abdul (PG-13) ★★★ Radio Podcast 🎙

Judi Dench and Ali Fazal star in ‘Victoria and Abdul.’  Photo Credit: Focus Features

Radio Podcast will be posted after the review has aired. Stay tuned! 

Victoria and Abdul is historical fiction that’s based on the book of the same name.

In 1887 a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim played by Ali Fazal becomes an unlikely friend to Queen Victoria who’s played by Judi Dench. He becomes her teacher, her spiritual advisor, and her devoted friend.

As their friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see the world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her compassion.

The Bottom-Line? Judi Dench is fabulous as Queen Victoria! She’s the reason to see this film. It’s funny, entertaining all sprinkled with bits of history throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed the natural chemistry between the Queen and Abdul.

It’s always ambitious for characters to age in a film, and you’ll see outstanding examples here.

Cast: Judi Dench (Queen Victoria), Ali Fazal (Abdul Karim)

Credits: Directed by Stephen Frears and written by Lee Hall.

Studio: Focus Features

Run Time: 1 hour 52 minutes

 

Posted in Coming Soon, Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival 2017 Preview

 

The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival will shortly be in full swing with tickets on sale now. A new Artistic Director, Mimi Plauché plans to continue the eclectic mix of programming that has been the trademark of founder Michael Kutza by selecting the best of the awards-season contenders, indie standouts, and hidden gems. The festival dates are October 12- October 26, 2017.

Sarah’s Backstage Pass has covered the CIFF starting in 2010, and always looks forward to discovering, learning, educating and interacting. The excellent programming and diverse offerings bring people together to celebrate film as an art form that can indeed amalgamate cultures.

The film offerings include 139 features, of which, 25 will celebrate their North American Premiere and 29 their U.S. Premiere.

The International films of the Festival that are submissions for the 89th Academy Awards, to be held on (March 4, 2018), include: Racer and the Jailbird (Belgium), Men Don’t Cry (Bosnia and Herzegovina), November (Estonia), BPM (120 Beats Per Minute) (France), Scary Mother (Georgia), In the Fade (Germany), Under the Tree (Iceland), The Insult (Lebanon), Barrage (Luxembourg), Thelma (Norway), Spoor (Poland), The Line (Slovakia), Summer 1993 (Spain), The Square (Sweden), The Divine Order (Switzerland). Please check the program link for tickets and schedule.

Chadwick Boseman stars as Thurgood Marshall. Credit: Open Road Films

Marshall is the Opening Night film, on Thursday, October 12 at 7 p.m., with director Reginald Hudlin, actor/producer Chadwick Boseman, actors Josh Gad and Sterling K. Brown, and producer Paula Wagner are all scheduled to attend the premiere at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.).

Marshall is based on a true incident in the life of Thurgood Marshall, as a young lawyer, long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. The NAACP sends Marshall to conservative Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur against his wealthy socialite employer in a sexual assault and attempted murder trial. Marshall is driven to discover the truth in the high profile trial which in turn ultimately set the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement. 

Key dates, special guests and tributes:
October 16 – Tribute: Vanessa Redgrave
October 18 – Centerpiece film: Lady Bird
October 19-22 – Industry Days
October 20 – Awards Night
October 21 – Tribute: Alfre Woodard
October 25 – Tribute: Sir Patrick Stewart
October 26 – Closing Night Ceremony; Closing Night film: The Shape of Water; Tribute: Michael Shannon

The Chicago Architecture Biennial is a partner during the Festival and throughout the four months of the Biennial. Films will explore captivating buildings as well as the architects who designed them.

‘Big Time’ was produced by Sonntag Pictures (Denmark), led by Sara Stockmann. Architect Bjarke Ingels shown here.

Sarah’s Backstage Pass will be highlighting the Danish film Big Time, a documentary of the architect Bjarke Ingels. Check back for an interview with the director, Kaspar Astrup Schröder and Bjarke Ingels the subject of the film.

The film is spread over a period of 6 years while Bjarke Ingels works to complete his largest projects yet, the New York skyscraper VIA 57W, which houses the newly opened multiplex Landmark at 57 West, and World Trade Center 2. The Wall Street Journal has stated that Bjarke Ingels has ‘rapidly become one of the design world’s biggest stars’ and his name recently appeared in TIME’S 100 Most Influential People.

Big Time Screenings: Sat Oct 14 at 6pm @ AMC Theatres – River East 21, attended by Kaspar Astrup Schröder and Bjarke Ingels  Sun Oct 15 at 3pm @ AMC Theatres – River East 21, attended by Kaspar Astrup Schröder

Exploring the international refugee crisis and the ongoing immigration debate are the focus of nine documentaries: Before Summer Ends (Switzerland, France), Mr. Gay Syria ( France, Germany, Turkey), The Other Side of the Wall (Spain), and Sea Sorrow (Vanessa Redgrave’s directorial debut); the features The Charmer (Denmark); The Insult ( Slovakia, Ukraine), Aki Kaurimaski’s The Other Side of Hope (Finland); and the shorts Across My Land (U.S.) and The Comet (Sweden; both part of the program Shorts 5: Speak, See, Remember).

Winnie the Pooh’s Origin Story ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ CREDIT: Fox Searchlight

Wars may have ended but, for these central characters the traumas still remain: Birds Are Singing in Kigali (Poland), Goodbye Christopher Robin (United Kingdom), Last Flag Flying (U.S.), Men Don’t Cry, (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Germany, Croatia), Mudbound (U.S.), the world premiere of Zoo (United Kingdom) and the shorts Seven Minutes (Israel) and Les Intranquiles (Switzerland; both part of the program Shorts 5: Speak, See, Remember).

Check back for our coverage of Goodbye Christopher Robin, Sarah Knight Adamson screened the film in London last week, visited the outdoor setting for the film in Hartfield, England as well as the Pooh Corner Shop. She will also interview British director Simon Curtis.

Short film notes: 21 of the 53 (40%) shorts are directed by women, 9 out of 53 have Chicago roots (all eight shorts featured in Shorts 1 – Chicago Style: City & State and Standing Nymph and Man (U.S.; Shorts 8 – These Walls Talk: Architecture).

A Gentle Night (China; Shorts 6 – Meditations & Emergencies) won the Short Film Palme d’Or, 500,000 Years (Thailand; Shorts 3 – Living After Midnight: After Dark was produced by Kick The Machine, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s production company.

The Burden (Sweden; Shorts 2 – Blurred Lines: Animation) won top prizes at the Annecy Film Festival and the Göteborg Film Festival. Returning shorts filmmakers Helena Giron and Samuel Delgado ( Plus Ultra, Spain; Shorts 3 – Living After Midnight: After Dark ), Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena Harold ( Fastest Man in the State, U.S.; Shorts 7 – Another Country: Black Perspective).

Sam Shepard, the late great actor, and playwright will be remembered with the presentation of his last film as an actor, Camille Thoman’s stylish thriller Never Here as part of its International Film Noir program.

With a myriad of films, filmmakers, special guests, topics and events to be shared, discovered, and devoured, the full schedule can be found at the Chicago International Film Festival’s website:

The Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival runs from October 12-26.

Sarah Knight Adamson © October 7, 2017

Posted in Film Festivals, Red Carpet and Events, Red Carpet and Events

Stronger (R) ★★★★ Radio Podcast 🎙

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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Stronger is the true story of Jeff Bauman, who lost both his legs during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. The film is based on his memoir of the same name. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Bauman and Tatiana Maslany plays his girlfriend and future wife.

We see Jeff as he struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and the challenging physical effects he faces in learning to adjust to his new life.

Miranda Richardson plays Bauman’s caring yet over-bearing mom.

The Bottom Line? Talk about a winner! Jake Gyllenhaal’s gritty, multifaceted Oscar worthy performance gives us a realistic and profound sense of what it means to be a true hero.

You’ll be surprised by other circumstances that surround Bauman, namely a new baby and the story of the man that saved him.

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, Tatiana Maslany as Erin Hurley, Clancy Brown as Jeff Bauman Sr., Miranda Richardson as Patty Bauman, Frankie Shaw as Gail Hurley, Danny McCarthy as Kevin Horst, Carlos Sanz as Carlos Arredondo, Karen Scalia as Lori Hurley, Jimmy LeBlanc as Larry

Credits: Director David Gordon Green, Writer (based on the book “Stronger” by) Bret Witter, Jeff Bauman, Writer John Pollono, Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt

Studio: Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions Films

Run Time: 2 hours

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

The Kingsman: The Golden Circle (R) ★★★ Radio Podcast 🎙

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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The Kingsman: The Golden Circle (British Secret Service Comedy)

This is the sequel to The Kingsman: Secret Service (2014) A year has passed since Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) and the spy organization Kingsman saved the world, yet lost his mentor Harry Hart (Colin Firth) to a gunshot. The opening scene is worth the price of admission as Charlie Hesketh, a former Kingsman trainee who lost his arm and vocal chords in the prior film, ambushes Eggsy. This insane hand to cybernetic hand combat scene takes place in the back seat of a black cab with the completion in Hyde Park Lake all while Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” blares in the background.

Poppy Adams, (Julianne Moore) the world’s largest drug cartel queen, broadcasts a message telling the world about a toxin she laced within every recreational drug available.

Statesman, a secret American organization posing as a Bourbon whiskey distillery in Kentucky introduces us to Jeff Bridges as Agent Champagne and Channing Tatum as Tequila they wear Stetsons and carry electrified lassos to play off the English Bowlers and weaponized umbrellas.

The Bottom-line: This is a wacky film with a fight scene in the Cambodia jungle, inside a 1950s red and white “Diner” set that uses a giant donut (think Randy’s Donuts) for a shield. Elton John is dressed in a peacock feathered suit while he’s kicking some bad guys around while “Saturday (Wednesday) Night’s Alright for Fighting” blares. The zaniness won me over by the film’s endless parade of creative ridiculous gadgets and weapons.

Cast: Taron Egerton as Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin ,Colin Firth as Harry Hart, Julianne Moore as Poppy, Mark Strong as Merlin, Pedro Pascal as Agent Whiskey, Sophie Cookson as Roxy Morton, Halle Berry as Ginger, Channing Tatum as Agent Tequila, Jeff Bridges as Agent Champagne, Poppy Delevingne as Clara, Elton John as himself.

Credits: Director Matthew Vaughn, Writer (comic book The Secret Service) Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons, Writer Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Cinematographer George Richmond, Editor Eddie Hamilton, Composers Henry Jackman, Matthew Margeson.

Run Time: 2 hours and 21 minutes

The radio podcast will post after the review has aired. Stay Tuned.

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Home Again (PG-13) ★★★ Radio Podcast 🎙

Reese Witherspoon stars in “Home Again” Directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer, the daughter of Nancy Meyers. Nancy Meyers is the writer and producer of many films such as “It’s Complicated”, “Father of the Bride”, and “Private Benjamin”.

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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Staring Reese Witherspoon (Alice) she’s a recently separated mom who moves back to her hometown of LA with her two young daughters. Austen her husband played by Michael Sheen lives in NY.

Candace Bergen, Alice’s mother, suggests that Alice should help out three filmmakers she recently met as they need a place to stay. They end up living in her guesthouse. When a romantic involvement starts with one of them the film takes a serious shift.

The Bottom Line: This is a fantastic romantic comedy with plenty of laughs and old fashion family fun, they just don’t make them like this anymore. It’s pleasantly entertaining as well. I especially enjoyed seeing Candace Bergen back on the big screen!

Cast: Nat Wolff (Teddy), Reese Witherspoon (Alice Kinney), Candace Bergen (Alice’s Mom), Lake Bell (Zoey), Michael Sheen (Austen)

Credits: Directed and written by Hallie Meyers-Shyer.

Studio: Open Road Films

Run Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

It (R) ★★★

Stephen King’s novel “It” comes to the big screen in an updated adaptation. Andy Muschietti is the director.

Review coming soon!🎈

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Tulip Fever (R) ★★½ Radio Podcast 🎙

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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The setting is Amsterdam in 1634 and tells the story of tulip mania, aristocrats, servants, orphans, portrait painters, deception, betrayal, and consequences. Based on the best selling book by the bestselling book by author Deborah Moggach, I found the book both engaging and captivating.

A wealthy elderly man—two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz—Cornelius Sandvoort, known as “the King of Peppercorns,” clad in an enormous “Dutch Master” frilly collar, sashays into an orphanage with the sole intent of purchasing a teen orphan that will become his bride. His end-game is to impregnate his child-bride in order to conceive a son that will serve as heir to his fortune.

Cornelius pays for a beautiful teen, age fifteen, Sophia played by 2016 Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl). She’s told by the Abbess, “You have been an orphan girl on a stormy sea. Marriage is a safe harbor. Love, honor, and obey.” Cornelius takes her to his home as if he’s purchased a new puppy.

Cornelius decides to have their portrait painted, so people will at least know that even though he and his wife could have no children, he can at least have people think he was a “lucky old dog” to have such a beautiful young wife. Sophia’s not so sure about the idea but is intrigued from the get-go when she meets the young artist Jan Van Loos, played by Dane DeHaan. He, too, is intrigued with her luminousness beauty. An affair starts between Jan and Sophia begin an affair and the film takes many twists and turns from there. 

The Bottom Line: Having read the book, I found it both engaging and captivating. Unfortunately, the film adaption never reaches full bloom, but rather wilts, due to a diluted (over-watered) script with extensively over-pruned scenes—with — no rays of sunshine on the horizon.

Credits: Directed by Justin Chadwick Screenplay, Deborah Moggach, and Tom Stoppard

Cast: Christoph Waltz as Cornelius Sandvoort. Alicia Vikander as Sophia Sandvoort, Cornelius’s wife. Dane DeHaan as Jan Van Loos. Jack O’Connell as William. Zach Galifianakis as Gerrit. Judi Dench as The Abbess of St. Ursula, Holliday Grainger as Maria. Matthew Morrison as Mattheus.

 Studio: Weinstein Studios

 Running Time: 1 hour 47 minutes

* Author’s note, Tulip Fever has been a troubled film since its delayed release going back to 2014. No film critics, including me, were able to pre-screen the film. We were also under an embargo with an exact time Friday, September 1st at 8:00AM ET and 5:00AM PT of when we could write anything about this film. Strangely, all of the promotion quotes for the film are from book authors.

Sarah Knight Adamson© September 2, 2017

 

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Tulip Fever (R) ★★½

Christoph Waltz and Alicia Vikander star in “Tulip Fever” Photo Credit: The Weinstein Company

🌷Tulip Fever Never Blooms

Amsterdam in the 17th century (1634) is the setting for this historical fiction film that tells the story of tulip mania, aristocrats, servants, orphans, portrait painters, deception, betrayal, and consequences. Having read the bestselling book by author Deborah Moggach, I found the book both engaging and captivating. Unfortunately, the film adaption never reaches full bloom, but rather wilts, due to a diluted (over-watered) script with extensively over-pruned scenes—and alas—no rays of sunshine on the horizon.

The stellar slice of the film is the set design and costuming of 1634 Amsterdam with its bustling canals, ships, pubs, and carnival-type atmosphere along with the drama of tulip back-room mania. One does feel as though they’ve been transported back to that era, which is a major achievement. Unfortunately, with all of Holland’s beauty, there isn’t one wide shot of the tulip fields in full bloom. Talk about a missed opportunity.

To be fair, the story is overly depressing. A wealthy elderly man—two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz—Cornelius Sandvoort, known as “the King of Peppercorns,” clad in an enormous “Dutch Master” frilly collar, sashays into an orphanage with the sole intent of purchasing a teen orphan that will become his bride. His end-game is to impregnate his child-bride in order to conceive a son that will serve as heir to his fortune. Read more…

Posted in Movies 2017, Reviews

The Trip to Spain ★★★ Radio Review Podcast 🎙

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan star. Photo Credit:IFC Films

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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The Trip to Spain is based on the British sitcom, The Trip (2010). It’s the third film in the series, the second, The Trip to Italy (2014). Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Marta Barrio and Claire Keelan all return in this film.

Coogan and Brydon have shown us the rolling countryside of Northern England, Italy, and now Spain with the addition of their local food and drink.

The Bottom-Line? Watching Coogan and Brydon bounce off each other is great. The pair has a perfect combination of ease and playful desire for one-upmanship.

Cast: Steve Coogan (Steve), Rob Brydon (Rob), Marta Barrio (Yolanda), Claire Keelan (Emma)

Credits: Directed by Michael Winterbottom.

Studio: IFC Films

Run Time: 1 hour and 47 minutes

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (R) ★★★ Radio Podcast🎙

Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds star. Summit Entertainment

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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Ryan Reynolds is the world’s top protection agent he’s hired to deliver his number one enemy, hitman Samuel L. Jackson to testify in a high profile murder trial.

The Bottom-Line? The film worked for me due to the chemistry between Jackson and Reynolds. There’s nonstop action along with laugh-out-loud scenes. I also enjoyed Jackson’s outrageous speed boat driving scene in the Amsterdam canals.

Cast: Ryan Reynolds (Michael Bryce), Samuel L. Jackson (Darius Kincaid), Gary Oldman (Vladislav Dukhovich), Salma Hayek (Sonia Kincaid), Elodie Yung (Amelia Roussel)

Credits: Directed by Patrick Hughers. Written by Tom O’Connor

Studio: Summit Entertainment

Run Time: 1 hour and 51 minutes

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Logan Lucky (PG-13) ★★★½ Radio Podcast 🎙

Channing Tatum, Riley Keough and Adam Driver star. Director Steven Soderbergh. Photo Credit: Fingerprint Releasing / Bleecker Street

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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Jimmy (Channing Tatum) recruits his brother (Adam Driver), his sister (Riley Key-o) and a jailbird, (Daniel Craig) for a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Bottom-line? A smart comedy that hits the mark! It’s down-home rip-roaring fun with knee-slappin’ jokes.

Cast: Katherine Waterston (Sylvia Harrison), Daniel Craig (Joe Bang), Channing Tatum (Jimmy Logan), Hilary Swank (Sarah Grayson), Adam Driver (Clyde Logan), Seth MacFarlane (Max Chilblain), Katie Holmes (Bobbie Jo Logan Chapman)

Credits: Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Written by Rebecca Blunt

Studio: Fingerprint Releasing / Bleecker Street

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Red Carpet Event WE TV Chicago by Patty Babin

Sarah’s Backstage Pass on the Red Carpet ‘WE TV Chicago’ with Patty Babin

 “Love Blows in the Windy City”

Patty Babin Reporter for Sarah’s Backstage Pass Chicago Red Carpet Event WE TV.

On Wednesday, August 16 at 6:00 pm at the Flamingo Rum Club in Chicago, some of the most recognizable and philanthropic singles were being honored at a Red Carpet event for the latest WE tv reality series, Love Blows, which premieres on Friday, August 25 at 10:00 ET/PT.

Kelly Dodd, Patti Stanger, Vicki Gunvalson Photo Credit: Patty Babin

The evening was co-hosted by WE tv, Patti Stanger of Million Dollar Matchmaker, and Michigan Ave. Magazine. The show follows the daily lives of the Chicago matchmaking family of LuvBizChicago and their quest to find love for others. Lisa Galos and Jim Antonsen, who are divorced run the business along side the staff of their two adult single children Jamie and Annie Antonsen, and Jim’s ex-mistress Nikki Jones. This quirky, fiery family may seem a little unconventional and dysfunctional, but they open their lives to let us witness how their unique dynamics make their family work in business and love. However, this colorful combination of relationships creates the perfect storm for drama and chaos. Read more…

Posted in Celebrity Interviews, Interview Archives, Interviews, Red Carpet and Events, Red Carpet and Events

The Glass Castle (R) ★★ Radio Podcast 🎙

From L to R: Naomi Watts as “Rose Mary Walls,” Woody Harrelson as “Rex Walls,” Chandler Head “Youngest Jeannette,” Iain Armitage as “Youngest Brian,” and Olivia Kate Rice as “Youngest Lori” in THE GLASS CASTLE. Photo by Jake Giles Netter.

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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Is a true story based on the best selling memoir by Jeannette Walls. It’s a tale of a deeply dysfunctional father, he’s a dreamer and a drunk, played by Woody Harrelson. He routinely uproots his family of four kids − running from the law and bill collectors. The mentally unstable mother, played by Naomie Watts, works on her paintings while her kids are starving.

The Bottom-Line? I did read the book and enjoyed it just as I’m sure many of you did. Unfortunately the film is very tough to watch, a child suffers horrifying burns in the first 15 minutes of movie as she tries to cook a hot dog because the mother is ignoring her hunger. The tone is flat. We are subjected to one heart-wrenching scene after another. And−it’s too long, over 2 hours.

Cast: Brie Larson (Jeannette), Woody Harrelson (Rex), Naomi Watts (Rose Mary), Max Greenfield (David), Sarah Snook (Lori)

Credits: Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. Written by Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Lanham

Studio: Lionsgate

Run Time: 2 hours 7 minutes

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Atomic Blonde (R) ★★★ Radio Podcast 🎙

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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Charlize Theron stars as a British M-6 agent in the 80s who is dispatched to Berlin to receive her new assignment. She’s informed that a fellow agent in Berlin was killed and it is believed he had a file with the secret identities of the British spy network around the world. Her task is to recover the List and assassinate Satchel, a double agent who has sold intelligence to the Soviets for years and who also betrayed Gascoigne.

Bottom Line: Atomic Blonde is an entertaining summer film that spotlights Charlize Theron’s remarkable acting as an action star. The highlight of the film is the choreography and filing techniques.

Credits: Written by Kurt Johnstad; Directed by David Leitch

Cast: Charlize Theron (Lorraine Broughton), James McAvoy (David Percival), John Goodman (Emmett Kurzfeld), Til Schweiger (the Watchmaker), Eddie Marsan (The Spyglass), Sofia Boutella (Delphine Lasalle), Toby Jones Barnard (Eric Gray), Bill Skarsgard (Merkel), and Sam Hargrave (James Gascoigne)

Studio: Focus Features

Running Time: 115 minutes

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Dunkirk (R) ★★★★ Radio Podcast 🎙

Warner Bros. Pictures

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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Dunkirk takes place during WWII based on historical facts. Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan it tells the story of the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk. Stars Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rye-lance with a sweeping musical score by Hans Zimmer. Nolan has been quoted as saying, ”We want to put people on the beach at Dunkirk, on the deck of the Moonstone boat and in the cockpit of a Spitfire plane. We want to take the audience on a very intense ride.”

Bottom Line: Dunkirk is one of the best films of 2017 and will be nominated for several Oscars. One word: Outstanding! It’s very intense and realistic from start to finish. By land, sea and air…you’ll experience firsthand what it was like to actually be there. It’s the ultimate life-or-death race against time. I loved it! 

Credits: Written and directed by Christopher Nolan

Cast: Mark Rylance (Mr. Dawson), Tom Hardy (Farrier), Fionn Whitehead (Tommy), Tom Glynn-Garter (Peter), Harry Styles (Alex), Aneurin Barnard (Gibson), Kenneth Branagh (Commander Bolton), Cillian Murphy (shivering soldier)

Studio: Warner Brothers

Running Time: 106 minutes

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

The Big Sick 😷 (R) ★★★★ Radio Podcast 🎙

Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan star in the romantic comedy ‘The Big Sick’ Photo: Amazon Studios

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The Big Sick is based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon; it’s the story of Pakistan-born comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Kazan) after one of his stand-up sets. When Emily contracts a serious illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he’s never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart.

Bottom Line: The story is a new twist on romantic comedies and one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.

Credits: Directed by Michael Showalter; Written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon

Cast: Kumail Nanjiani (Kumail), Zoe Kazan (Emily), Holly Hunter (Beth), Ray Romano (Terry), Adeel Akhtar (Naveed), Zenobia Shroff (Sharmeen), Anupam Kher (Azmat)

Studio: Amazon Studios / Lions Gate

Running Time: 124 

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2017, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

War For the Planet of the Apes (PG-13) ★★★

‘War For the Planet of the Apes’ Caesar played by Andy Serkis (Motion Capture) Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Humans bad (Unmerciful, Bullies, Stupid). Apes good (Peace-loving, Compassionate, Intelligent).

At its core, War for the Planet of the Apes is exceptional filmmaking; the “Gorilla in the room” is clearly the disappointing lopsided script and the uneven character choices. Don’t get me wrong; I thoroughly enjoyed and applauded the first two films in this recent trilogy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The main problem with War is the ideology.

Yes, I know war is hell, but what happened to the humans here? Why don’t we see one single soldier show any sign of compassion for the apes? And yes, I also know there’s a mute, sweet, young doll-carrying little girl, but she’s in no position to symbolically help the apes. We can also surmise that she represents the last hope for humanity. I held out for hope. Hope that Gabriel Chavarria’s (Preacher) soldier character would step up to the plate. Nope, not a chance. Even though the apes spare his life, he offers no aid, not even a small nuance of humanity. Truly, this is a big mistake as the prior films show humans empathizing with the apes’ cause to the extent of some trying to work toward peace. Read more…

Posted in Movies 2017, Reviews

Spider-Man: Homecoming (PG-13) ★★★Radio Podcast 🎙

Spider-Man Comes Home to Queens, Spinning a Friendly Web
Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

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Spider-Man: Homecoming provides the new charming Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) with his own feature film. However, it’s the sixth film in the series, and he’s the third actor to don the suit. The idea of an immature, untrained neighborhood Spider-Man, as in Holland’s, does bring a fresh look and feel to the franchise. In addition, Michael Keaton as the sinister villain ‘The Vulture” brings a sympathetic nudge toward an anti-hero. Let’s just say there’s enough brilliance to the film and its script to recommend seeing it in the theater.

Other cast in the film include a young, hot-looking Aunt May (Marisa Tomei); Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.); Jon Favreau as chauffeur/henchman Happy Hogan; Jacob Batalon, Peter Parker’s best high school friend; Laura Harrier as Liz, Parker’s love interest; Zendaya, Michelle, a member of the Academic Team and a fringe friend; and Tony Revolori, Flash (remember the lobby boy), as another member of the Academic Team who antagonizes Parker. The high school kids have a diverse assortment of personalities and backgrounds; they are a well-cast group. Odd in an action film, each is written with humor and enough depth to create a group of teens such as John Hughes’ Breakfast Club. The ensemble of a group of “good kids” creates   a strong model as they set an example of how high school students work hard to achieve success.

Marisa Tomei stars as Aunt May in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN™: HOMECOMING.

Tony Stark/Iron Man, who mentored Parker in the prior film, Captain America Civil War, takes a backseat in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which makes for a better-centered film. Parker continually is trying to coerce Stark into letting him fight crime in his slick Spider-Man suit, and at every turn, Stark is saying no way! What occurs is that Spider-Man does find a way to go at it alone, and thus we see his trials and tribulations. The approach works, and it is refreshing.

Spider-Man climbs the Washington Monument in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN: ™: HOMECOMING.

Read more…

Posted in Movies 2017, Reviews

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