Fandango Celebrates ‘Bourne,’ ‘Bad Moms’ With Fun New Content

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Matt Damon.  What hasn’t he done?  He has played a brilliant mathematician.  He has played a cowboy (of sorts).  He has played a zookeeper.  Heck, he’s even played a cop and so much more.  So, in celebration of everything that he has done (and in celebration of his new movie Bourne) Fandango has offered up a fun look at everything that the Academy Award®-winning actor can and has done in his career.  Audiences can check it out now online here.

And while Mother’s Day has come and gone some time ago, Fandango is also celebrating the release of the new raunchy comedy Bad Moms with a list of the top eight movies for a great mom’s night out.  The list includes of course the new Ghostbusters reboot, Suicide Squad, Equity, and five other interesting titles.  That list is available online now here.

More information on everything that Fandango has to offer movie-goers everywhere is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.fandango.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fandango

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Fandango

 

 

 

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Anchor Bay, Weinstein Company To Release Indie Dramedie Unfinished Song This Fall

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment/The Weinstein Company

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/The Weinstein Company

Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein will release one of the year’s most talked about dramedies of 2013 this fall.  Unfinished Song will be released by Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company on Tuesday, September 24th.  The movie features a cast led by Academy Award nominee Terrence Stamp (Get Smart, Smallville, The Adjustment Bureau) and Vanessa Redgrave (Nip/Tuck, Howards End, Cars 2).

Unfinished Song centers on the story of Arthur (Terrence Stamp).  Arthur is an elderly gentleman who has become set in his ways over the course of his ways.  He is happy with his daily routine and his wife Marion (Vanessa Redgrave).  But Arthur is thrown a curveball one day when Marion tricks him into joining a local singing group in the couple’s hometown.  The choir is led by the much younger and energetic Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton—Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time).  At first, Arthur is resistant to this new change in his daily routine.  But eventually, Arthur and Elizabeth develop a friendship that leads Arthur to realize his hidden passion for music.  The discovery adds a whole new spark to Arthur’s otherwise predictable schedule.  It also helps him to reconnect to those closest and most important to him in the process.

Writer/director Paul Andrew Williams shared his thoughts on the movie and the influences behind the story in an interview about the movie.  He said of how it came to life, “It’s a very personal story for me” and that he drew from his own family experience as a source for the story’s plot.

Unfinished Song will be available Tuesday, September 24th.  Its bonus features include deleted scenes and a gag reel.  To keep up with all of the latest updates on this and other releases from Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company, audiences can “Like” both companies’ Facebook pages at http://www.facebook.com/AnchorBay and http://www.facebook.com/weinsteinco.  Audiences can also check in at both companies’ official websites at http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/Entertainment.aspx and http://weinsteinco.com.

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Promised Land A Deep But Largely Forgettable Film

Courtesy:  Focus Features/Universal Studios

Courtesy: Focus Features/Universal Studios

Matt Damon’s new starring vehicle, Promised Land is not one of the best of 2013’s crop of new movies.  It is however, worth at least one watch.  It’s a relatively simple movie, despite what so many critics and audiences have apparently thought of it.  It is not as deep as those individuals would have people believe.  The crux of Promised Land has absolutely nothing to do with the issue of fracking.  The real issue at hand in this seemingly socially conscious story is that of corruption within the world’s major energy companies and businesses in general.  It just so happens that the issue of fracking is used as the backdrop for that plot.  And at the heart of it all is Matt Damon’s character of Steve Butler who thinks all along, that he is doing something good, until a twist late in the story leaves him questioning everything that he has known.  Of course, add in a minor romance subplot for Steve, and audiences get the end result that is this interesting but not entirely memorable story.

The major hurdle that Promised Land faced when it originally debuted in theaters in early 2013 was figuring out a way to take the tried and true plot centered on business corruption from being stale and boring.  Stories centered on corruption within the business world are nothing new.  See Michael Douglas’ Wall Street franchise or Leonardo DiCaprio’s upcoming movie, The Wolf of Wall Street.  Since this plot is nothing new to Hollywood’s brass, it should be said that at least the execution of the story line is original even if the plot isn’t.  So the movie as a whole does have that much going for it.  For its attempts to be at least somewhat original, Damon and his co-writers deserve some credit.  The real problem with the whole movie was the timing of its release.

Promised Land had trouble performing at top notch levels in theaters.  There is no denying this.  Its performance issues were not just because of its subject matter, but also because of the timing of its release.  America is currently in an economic and political climate that necessitates movies as means to escape even more than ever.  So being faced with a story that deals with issues that have been all over the news, viewers obviously turned largely away from it.  Had the nation’s economic and political situations been different when this was released, movie-goers’ reaction might have been different.  From that angle, it can be said that perhaps this is a positive.  It’s a positive in that it serves as an example of what not to do in planning the release date for a movie.  So it has that going for it, too.      

For the issues surrounding Promised Land, it isn’t entirely without its merits.  Lead actor Matt Damon was at least mildly convincing as the socially blind Steve Butler.  In its own way, his portrayal of Steve is realistic.  Just look at the way that supporters of one political party or another blindly support their side every day on every major issue.  Look at the way that PR professionals cover up the wrongs of their companies.  In many cases, those professionals actually believe the words that they spew out.  This isn’t always the case.  But it does happen.  So Steve’s reaction in figuring out that he has been little more than a pawn in Global’s bigger plot makes him a more sympathetic character for audiences.  He becomes someone to whom audiences can relate and for whom they can cheer.  It’s at least one reason for viewers to take in this story at least once.

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Audiences will buy into We Bought a Zoo

Taking a risk is always scary.  Regardless of the reasoning behind it, we all have to take risks in life.  In his new movie, We Bought a Zoo, director/writer Cameron Crowe tells the story–along with co-writer Aline Brosh McKenna–of Benjamin Mee. Mee took the risk of leaving his job as a journalist to become the owner of a defunct  zoo/wildlife preserve after the death of his wife, Katherine, all while trying to raise the couple’s two children.  Boasting beautiful cinematography and more than enough animals to make any young viewer squeal with excitement, it’s a good family movie.  But it isn’t without a single, major flaw.

Movies based on actual events are nothing new to the entertainment world.  The thing is, though, that so many of those movies follow a given general theme of say, sports and other arenas.  Enter the new Cameron Crowe helmed/written We Bought a Zoo.  This story that is based on actual events is unlike most other movies of its ilk in that the story seems so outrageous that it’s nearly unbelievable.  It has lions.  It has tigers.  It even has a bear.  Sounds familiar, huh?  No, it’s not that movie.  And yes, that bad joke was intended.   But it has more than enough animals to keep the attention of even the youngest viewer.  As entertaining as all the animals may be, the deeper concept of Benjamin and his kids dealing with Katherine’s death may be a bit heavy for those younger viewers.

We Bought a Zoo centers on the death of Benjamin’s wife, Katherine.  The story doesn’t allow itself  to get bogged down in what exactly happened that led to her death.  It’s a good thing that it doesn’t spend extra time trying to delve into that storyline.  It’s a good thing because the resultant drama between Benjamin and his son Dylan (played by Colin Ford) and Bejamin’s own internal conflict do cause the story to get mired in itself.  The script does attempt to balance the family drama caused by Katherine’s passing, and Benjamin’s attempt to bring the zoo back to life.  But what happens as a result is that it noticeably slows the movie’s pace more than once, including at the story’s end.  It’s enough to make a person want to hit the fast forward button on the remote more than once.

That the story gets bogged down in itself is an issue in the movie’s overall enjoyment.  However, there are families out there who have lost a parent, leaving one parent to shoulder the burden of raising a child/children on his/her own.  It’s a monumental task to carry that burden.  And there’s no denying how well Damon and Ford present that emotional turmoil.  The pair’s acting make both Dylan and Benjamin sympathetic characters.  It makes them relateable to audiences.  Combine the impressive acting of Damon and Ford with the heart warming story and the beautiful scenery and cinematography, and  We Bought a Zoo ends up being a good family film.  Given, it’s hardly the best from 2011.  But it presents wonderful messages about healing and about the need to take risks in life.  Those are messages that even if it fades into the masses of movies based on actual events, will always keep it a favorite among at least a certain niche audience.

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