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Win Win: A Winning Combination

Director: Thomas McCarthy Screenplay: Thomas McCarthy Release Date: March 18, buy more about 2011 Actors: Paul Giamatti, malady Alex Shaffer, Amy Ryan, Melanie Lynskey, Bobby Canavale, Jeffrey Tambor As opposed to the earlier Fox Searchlight comedy “Cedar Rapids”, “Win Win” is a breath of fresh air. Starring Paul Giamatti, and newcomer Alex Shaffer, “Win Win” is a story about struggling attorney Mike Flaherty, who is trying to take care of his family who also coaches the high school wrestling team. Due to his inner struggle and stress as a result of his lack of clients and needing more financial help, he ends up appointing himself as his client Leo Poplar’s guardian, with less than moral decisions. Mike ends up running into Leo’s grandson, Kyle, who has left his mom and wants to get to know his grandfather. With bleached blond hair, a quiet straight faced demeanor, and a surprising interest in the people around him, Mike and the rest of his family quickly grow fond of Kyle, after allowing him to stay in their home. Complications arise when Kyle’s mom (Melanie Lynskey, “Two and a Half Men”) comes around looking for Kyle and her father. I was really impressed by […]

At the San Diego Asian Film Festival: Shades of Ray

Director: Jaffar Mahmood Screenplay: Jaffar Mahmood Release Date: None, stuff as of October 26, generic 2009 Actors: Zachary Levi, Brian George, Kathy Baker, Fran Kranz, Sarah Shahi, Bonnie Somerville Directed by Jaffar Mahmood, Shades of Ray is a personal take on his own life in the fictional form of Ray Rehman. Born to a Pakistani father (played by the extremely talented Brian George) and a Caucasian mother (Kathy Baker, Picket Fences), Ray struggles to find his identity, cope with his father’s expectations all the while trying to figure out his love life. Played by Zachary Levi, in his first starring role in a film (now famous for his role as Chuck in NBC’s “Chuck“), Ray is first introduced as a young kid, getting a conversation from his dad on dating and marriage, with the strong warning of marrying a white woman … even though Ray’s dad has married a white woman himself. Fast forward 18 years, and we find Ray proposing to his white girlfriend Noel (Bonnie Somerville), who, before being able to say yes, has told Ray that she has to first try and convince her parents on the idea. Leaving him alone to ponder his thoughts and worries, […]

Movie Review: New York I Love You (October, 2009)

Directors: A whole bunch of them Screenplay: Various screenwriters Date of Release: October 16, generic 2009 Actors: A huge number including Chris Cooper, James Caan, Bradley Cooper, Ethan Hawke, Orlando Bloom, Natalie Portman, Maggie Q, Qi Shu, and a whole bunch of other famous actors A continuation of the “I Love You” film series, the first being “Paris, Je T’aime”, creators decided to focus on New York city as the next location. Who can blame them. New York City is the city “where things can happen”, nitty gritty with the hustle and bustle of all the diverse group of people found in the city. The film is composed with a series of short films, focused in various ways of love. Whether it is between a mother and a daughter, strangers on the street, a long time couple, the many short films show various takes on love in the film. One would hope that the shorts would be as successful as those found in “Paris Je T’aime”, with more hits than misses, but unfortunately, I felt that “New York, I Love You” was just a great disappointment. Some of the stories were confusing, such as the one where Julie Christie (beautiful […]