Robert Rodriguez Back To El Mariachi-Style Action With Machete


Director Robert Rodriguez's self-financed action film El Mariachi put Rodriguez on the Hollywood map but his success hasn't compromised his film-making sensibilities. While the Texan native has polished his signature style through the years directing and producing more than 15 films including the successful Spy Kids franchise and El Mariachi trilogy (Desperado, Once Upon A Time in Mexico), he has managed to remain true to his roots but more so with his latest film, MACHETE.

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Movie Review and Clip: Robert Pattinson in Remember Me

In the romantic drama REMEMBER ME, Robert Pattinson (Twilight Saga) plays Tyler, a rebellious young man in New York City who has a strained relationship with his father (former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan) ever since tragedy separated their family.  In this clip from REMEMBER ME, Robert Pattinson's Tyler loses his temper with his father during one of his board meetings. 

Tyler didn’t think anyone could possibly understand what he was going through until the day he met Ally (Lost's Emilie de Ravin) through an unusual twist of fate. Love was the last thing on his mind, but as her spirit unexpectedly heals and inspires him, he begins to fall for her. Through their love, he begins to find happiness and meaning in his life. Soon, hidden secrets are revealed, tragedy lingers in the air, as the circumstances that brought them together threaten to tear them apart.

Set in the summer of 2001, REMEMBER ME is an unforgettable story about the power of love, the strength of family, and the importance of living passionately and treasuring every day of one’s life.

Remember Me also stars Academy Award® winner Chris Cooper, and Academy Award® nominee Lena Olin.

U.S. release via Summit Entertainment, March 12, 2010. Rated PG-13.

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The Runaways with Kristen Stewart
Wesley Snipes in Brooklyn's Finest
Alice In Wonderland



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Nicolas Cage Compares Jay Baruchel To Bogart and Nicholson

Actor Jay Baruchel is gaining new fans with his recent hits - How To Train Your Dragon and She's Out of My League including veteran actor Nicolas Cage. Nicolas Cage stars in THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE as a sorcerer training his new apprentice played by Jay Baruchel but in real life, the young actor needed no coaching from the Oscar winner. 

MOVIE TRAILER: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Jay Baruchel began his career with Judd Apatow's tv series Undeclared and in numerous television guest appearances on Numb3rs, Just Legal and The Rules of Attraction before he moved to the big screen in a small role for Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby (2004).  It was his role in Judd Apatow's Knocked Up starring Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl that finally got the young actor attention.  2010 proved to be Jay's year as he transitioned into leading man status with three major Hollywood movies including the break out hit How To Train Your Dragon which he voiced the lead role of Hiccup.   

WIN IT: The Sorcerer's Apprentice Wave G2 Board Giveaway

Nicholas Cage, a fan of Jay's performance in How To Train Your Dragon, praised his young co-star's ability to improvise and "jazz style" acting during a recent press event in Beverly Hills. "He, in my opinion, subscribes to jazz style acting.  He's not afraid to go off the page, improvise and throw something at you.  I can riff with him and some accidents happen where you get to a more real truth."

Listen To Interview Above

Nicolas Cage also compared the 28 year-old Canadian actor's distinctive voice to Cage's acting heroes.  "I've always believed that the greatest actors are the ones with the voices that are imitable.  My heroes are like Bogart, Eastwood, Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson.  Well Jay's got a voice. That's hard to have." 

Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel in The Scorerer's Apprentice

The Leaving Las Vegas star knows a thing or two about "imitable" voices since Nicolas Cage's own unique voice made him a break out star in memorable roles in Valley Girl, Moonstruck, and Joel and Ethan Coen's Raising Arizona.

Jay Baruchel in turn was flattered by Cage's comments and in awe of working with one of his childhood idols.  

"When you work with somebody who's close to hero status for you... it'll either make you wilt in the presence of greatness and you lose it all or I better bring my A game." 

Jay not only played an apprentice to Nicolas' sorcerer character but he took on the role of student when the cameras weren't rolling. 

"I got to show up on set everyday and have conversations with this guy who I've watched since I was a little kid.   I didn't want to blow it.  It just made me want to work as hard as I possibly could to be as good as he is."

 Nicolas Cage further added that Jay Baruchel's talent will take him far.  "He's going to be around forever."  If Jay is taking cues from his co-star in terms of navigating through Hollywood, then Nicolas Cage's prediction may be right.

THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE is in theaters July 14.


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Helen Mirren's Advice To Hollywood
Robert Pattinson Not A Twilight Fan
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Kristen Stewart On Marriage, Best Kiss
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The Family Film Hollywood Didn't Want To Make

The Perfect Game

True stories about underdogs overcoming all odds are concepts Hollywood has made into movies many times. The Blind Side is a recent example of a true story adaptation which won Sandra Bullock her first Academy Award as a leading actress and topped the box office for weeks.

A new film THE PERFECT GAME has many similar elements to The Blind Side except the sport is baseball, the story originates in Mexico and moves to the United States, the leads play Mexicans, and no A-List stars. Hollywood passed up THE PERFECT GAME perhaps because of these elements but the filmmakers continued to play ball and eventually hit a home run after six years.  THE PERFECT GAME hits movie theaters starting April 16 but the trip from first base to the home plate was a rough run.

 Watch Movie Trailer

In 1957, a rag–tag group of boys formed a baseball team under the guidance of Cesar, an aspiring Major League Coach thwarted by discrimination. Armed with the dream of playing a real Little League game, the young players defy a lack of resources, disapproving parents, and widespread prejudices of the time to score a major victory at the Little League World Series.
Cheech Marin, Clifton Collins Jr star in THE PERFECT GAME
Surprisingly the story had never been told on celluloid except for a 1960 Mexican documentary, Los pequeños gigantes (The Little Giants). Cheech Marin plays the warm-hearted priest helping the kids achieve their dreams in THE PERFECT GAME and he told CineMovie he was in Little League himself when he saw the documentary and felt inspired by the film.  "They were like the Beatles for us." 

MOVIE CLIP:  Cheech Marin's Priest Helps The Boys Recruit

Writer and producer William Winokur also felt the inspiration after watching Los pequeños gigantes in 2004 and decided to bring the story to life. He wrote a book based on the true events and screenplay to shop around Hollywood.  

"We wanted to make a commercially viable film for kids. The reality is, unfortunately, that Mexicans in movies are stereotyped as drug dealers, gang members, and maids. We wanted to show that culture in a heroic light not a stereotypical way," said Winokur.  

In addition, Winokur and Dear decided to shoot the true story in English for universal appeal.  Despite it's marketable value, the filmmaking team struck out with the studio system and THE PERFECT GAME was financed outside the Hollywood system.  

Actor Benjamin Bratt (Blood In, Blood Out, Miss Congeniality) has his own experience with Hollywood rejection.  His new filmBenjamin Bratt stars in La MISSION project La Mission directed by his brother Peter Bratt tells the story of hard-core Chicano played by Benjamin struggling to accept his son's homosexuality.  La MISSION is in limited theaters in New York and Los Angeles with expansion to more cities throughout April but like THE PERFECT GAME, the journey to the big screen was a struggle.

"It's a question of commerce.  The number one thing that dictates what gets made in this town IS money", said the Piñero star. "Large studios and very large independent companies won't take on the subject matter if they can't see a market.  Surprisingly when we first took the story [La MISSION] out to what are considered traditional forms of funding, they didn't get where they could market it. If they can't understand where and how to market it, they are not interested because they can't make money." 

While La MISSION'S subject matter is quite different than THE PERFECT GAME, THE PERFECT GAME'S family-friendly and baseball-themed premise should have been a shoe in for pick up from a studio or indie labels but the answer kept coming back 'no.'

In 2007, the independently-financed production began on THE PERFECT GAME in Monterrey, Mexico - the real location of the story but four weeks into shooting, the "money stopped" according to Cheech Marin who jokes that he felt "broke" when it happened. However, the producers assured Cheech they would resume immediately.   "'So we're going to regroup and back in two weeks in L.A.' they told me."  Eight months later, I thought the movie was gone but they called me and told me the film has been revived and we're gonna start all over." The Perfect Game movie poster

When funding resumed, they started from scratch with new cast members and a new location -- Santa Clarita, CA but the adult cast was worried the boy's puberty might have set in.

"That was my fear when we came back eight months later. But when they came back, they were a little bit bigger but they all grew in proportion to each other so they kind of looked the same and they're voices hadn't changed."

Moises Arias (Disney's Hannah Montana), Jake Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place), Ryan Ochoa (iCarly), and Heroes' Hayden Panettiere's little brother Jansen play some of the team members. In our recent sit down with the boys, the three year lapse since production is evident in their physical appearances. They are almost  unrecognizable with braces, deeper voices, and 2 to 3 inches of added height.

While shooting the film, their characters and story had special meaning for the boys. Ryan Ochoa felt an added "pressure to play the character as best you can." And Miley Cyrus'
sidekick in Hannah Montana Moises Arias knew it meant something positive for Latinos. "To show the world that Latinos aren't in movies about gangsters or stuff like that. They're actually doing something that changes the world. They achieved the impossible."

Once the film wrapped, everyone waited for news regarding the release but after some false hope in 2008 and 2009, the film failed to open after Lionsgate backed out of releasing the film for reasons not made public.  

The cast had lost faith the movie would ever see the light of day. "Once every 6 months, one faction of the producers would call me and tell me they had the picture," revealed Cheech. "So when they said we're going to release the film, I said, 'well send the car first and then I'll believe you.'"
Ryan Ochoa, Louis Gossett Jr. in THE PERFECT GAME
Ryan Ochoa texted to his on screen coach played by Clifton Collins, Jr (Star Trek) news about a possible release but Clifton also weary of the news texted back, "Dude by time that movie comes out, you guys will be in college or getting married," according to Ryan.   

According to Clifton,  he did tease the tweens about being in college before seeing the release of the film, Cheech interjected. "I thought they'd have kids by now." Clifton added, "Some of them do. They're just not allowed to talk about that."

Eventually the film found a distributor with Vancouver based IndustryWorks and a release date set for 2010.  After many years and a lot of work, THE PERFECT GAME finally reaches home plate without the Hollywood hoopla on April 16 but positive word of mouth will hopefully carry this little inspiring film out of the ballpark.  

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CineMovie sits down with some of the biggest movie stars, directors, and behind the scenes talent from Hollywood's A-List.
INTERVIEW: Robert Pattinson
Helen Mirren stars in LOVE RANCH
   Kristen Stewart stars in TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
 Robert Pattinson Not Twilight Fan?
   Helen Mirren On Actor Chemistry   Kristen Stewart On Marriage, Best Kiss
Megan Fox in Jonah Hex
CYRUS Directors Mark and Jay Duplass
   The A-Team movie with Bradley Cooper
 Megan Fox On Pleasing Fans   5 Co-Directing Tips with Cyrus Directors
   A-Team Challenge: Boxers or Briefs
Eddie Murphy stars in Shrek Forever After
Mexican actress Barbara Mori stars in KITES
  Suzanne and Jennifer Todd on producing Alice in Wonderland
 Eddie Murphy A Movie Critic?    Barbara Mori Takes On Bollywood   Tips On Producing From Team Todd
 Jackie Earle Haley is the new Freddy Krueger  
Zoe Saldana Interview
  Aaron Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plassse Interview
 No Funny Business For New Freddy    Zoe Saldana's Spanish Potty-Mouth
   Kick Ass Interview
Benjamin Bratt Interview
  America Ferrera Interview  
VIDEO: How To Train Your Dragon Premiere
 Benjamin Bratt's Mission
    Premiere: How To Train Your Dragon
Andy Garcia Dispenses Acting Advice
Cheech and Chong On Stage
Tim Burton Directs
 Acting 101 with Andy Garcia
   Cheech & Chong Go Digital
   Tim Burton Is No James Cameron

 More Interviews & Features

Carlos Mencia On Tiger Woods
Cop Out Star Kisses & Tells
Action Star's Life Span
Oscar Race: In It To Win
WOLFMAN: Visual Effects vs. Acting
Julia Roberts' Valentine Crush
Golden Globes: What U Didn't See
Jeff Bridges On Hollywood
Sexy Vs. Action Scenes
Susan Sarandon's Acting Tips
Paul Rodriguez (P-Rod)
Cast of The Lovely Bones
Disney's New Princess
Rain on Megan Fox
Shooting A Ninja Movie
Jessica Biel Fears The Unknown
John Cusack: Favorite Disaster Films
Jason Schwartzman Is A Fox
Motion Capturing Scrooge
Fantastic Mr. Wes Anderson
Jim Carrey Grinches It Up
Robert Zemeckis On Horror
This Is It: What You Didnt' See
Mastering A Horror Scream
Jared Hess, Mike White
SAW VI: Playing A Movie Villain
Latino Star Kuno Becker
Star Trek Sequel Secrets
Zombies Invade Hollywood
Cloudy With A Chance of Success
Voicing Animated Characters
Quentin Tarantino Breaks Record
Screenwriting/Directing Advice
Acting During The Recession
Death In 3D
Quentin Tarantino
Rob Zombie's Fav Horror Movies
Making A Sci-Fi Film
Channing Tatum vs. Marlon Wayans
On Red Carpet: GI JOE
Adam Sandler / Judd Apatow
Directing Children
Megan Fox, Michael Bay
Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds
Director Sam Mendes
Miley Cyrus Interview
Wes Craven Interview
One Screenwriter's Meth
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New Website Launches For Filmmakers

Sneak On The
Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and other social networking sites have made it easier for self-promotion especially for struggling filmmakers.  A new website targets filmmakers to showcase their talents through social networking and interactive gaming. 

Launched in April 2010,™  players compete throughout the year for their shot at producing a $20,000 short film in Los Angeles in a studio-lot environment with filmmaking tools, a screening room, access to a music and sound effects library, script library, virtual chat rooms and much more.

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Director Taylor Hackford Says Hollywood Ignores Latinos

Director Taylor Hackford  (photo by Alberto Rodriguez)Out of a handful of successful films about Latinos, two of them involved filmmaker Taylor Hackford.

La Bamba (1987) is the highest grossing Latino film in the United States and Blood In, Blood Out (1987) starring Benjamin Bratt remains a cult favorite among urban Latinos.  Since producing La Bamba (Esai Morales, Lou Diamond Phillips) and directing Blood In, Blood Out, Taylor Hackford has always set out to capture the real America through his films.

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Acting Out The Recession with Jacob Vargas

Actor Jacob Vargas may not be a household name but this familiar face has been a working actor with steady roles on television (Moonlight, ER, CSI:NY) and in major Hollywood films, starring alongside Jason Statham (Death Race), Jake Gyllenhaal and Jacob Vargas / credit: Fernando EsovarJamie Foxx (Jarhead), and Jennifer Lopez (Selena) for over 20 years. 

With his latest indie science fiction thriller SLEEP DEALER arriving on DVD, the actor tells CineMovie his secrets to staying in the Hollywood game and tips for aspiring actors. 

Q:  Is it a struggle to get roles?

Jacob: It’s always a challenge.  Unfortunately there are more actors than are roles.  You just have to go in and do something different.  You have to be on top of your game.

Q: Besides having an agent and manager constantly looking for new projects, how are you active in searching for projects as well?

Jacob: I’ve been fortunate to have a group of friends who are also actors and we all plug each other into other projects.  If I hear of a project, I’ll let my friends know and vice versa. On set, you make good relationships with other people on crews and you find that most cinematographers want to be directors and so forth.  And everybody’s got a project.  So as soon as you open up that door, then you find out there are all these projects.   Eventually you become part of that project early on. 

Q: How has the writer’s strike early last year and the recession affected you?

Jacob: I do feel that there are less projects out there.  And the studios know that and know actors want to work.  That’s been an issue.  Honestly I’ve been taking this slow time to spend with my family.  I’m bonding with my daughter which I haven’t been able to do in the last five years.  So I’m just sitting it out and waiting out this recession.

Vargas’ SLEEP DEALER, now on DVD, has a lot in common with DISTRICT 9 the low-budget sci-fi film out of Science Fiction MovieSouth Africa which was a surprise summer hit.  Both independent films were shot in a foreign country with a limited budget and both share a message about immigration issues.  SLEEP DEALER, a critical hit at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, however, was made for a lot less than District 9. 

VIDEO INTERVIEW: SLEEP DEALER director and Leonore Varela (Blade II)

Q:  How was the experience shooting the film?

Jacob: It was a challenge in itself.  I loved the subject matter and the political messages behind it. I had never seen a film set in a border town in Tijuana which is something you’ve never seen before.  With the success of District 9, you might see it more often now.  But I hadn’t seen anything like that before.  So I thought it would be something interesting.  But really the challenge on shooting the film was the budget or lack of.   You had to beresourceful when you were doing things on green screen. There are a lot of unknowns but you have to commit and give yourself to the project and trust the director or visual director that everything will turn out okay.

Q:  Do you have an acting method?

Jacob: I’m a big people watcher.  I love going to a crowded place – sitting there for hours watching people interact.  In my mind, I kind of create little scenarios in each conversation.  You wonder what they’re talking about, what their history is, what they have just gone through.  I don’t know if that’s an acting technique or just voyeurism?  We’re all actors.  I believe that human beings are always acting for one reason or another.  Either to impress somebody, to make somebody laugh.  We’re always in some shape or form performing.

Q: Have you tried method acting for any roles?

Jacob: I have in the past.  I tried but for some reason it’s always back-fired for me.  That doesn’t work for me.

Q:  Is there one role that you’re dying to play?

Actor Jacob Vargas in Sleep Dealer / credit: Fernando Esovar


Jacob: I would love to do the bio pic on Cesar Chavez the organizer and another great story is the Joaquin Murrieta story.  It would be like the Charles Bronson revenge film set in early California. 

Q:  What would be your best advice for those starting out?

Jacob: Find another profession. (Kidding)  Patience, resilience and just learn as much as possible.  Read as many books on acting and take lots of classes.  But not just on acting.  Now it’s not enough to be an actor.  You have to understand the business and technical side of it – lenses, camera angles, lighting, etc. in order to be a good actor.  You have to understand all of that. 

And we can understand why this young actor will be have a long Hollywood career.  Currently, Jacob Vargas can be seen in his latest film SLEEP DEALER on DVD and next up for the Latino actor, Kerosene Cowboys, a Mario Van Peebles film set for a 2009 release. 

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Miranda Cosgrove Wants Tina Fey's Job

Miranda Cosgrove

iCarly star Miranda Cosgrove is not looking to be the next Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera after she outgrows Nickelodeon. Instead, the 17 year-old actress and one of the voice actors in DESPICABLE ME aspires to be the next Tina Fey.

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Rob Zombie On Halloween Movies: "I Don't Care For Them"

 Michael Myers in Halloween II

Musician and director Rob Zombie brings killer Michael Myers back to life on the big screen once again in HALLOWEEN II August 28th but it may surprise you to know the helmer has not watched any of previous films in the franchise except for the original.

CineMovie sat down in a one-on-one interview with the writer/director to discuss his new vision for the latest installment of the horror franchise and why he’s not a fan of the Halloween franchise.                 Watch Halloween II trailer

Q:  This is the 10th movie in the Halloween franchise....

Zombie: Is it really? 

Q:  Yes. 

Zombie:  Oh, god!  If I had known that.....

Q:  So how do you keep it fresh?

Zombie:  Well that's the trick.  I always say to myself, 'what has this character not done a million times?'  So for me, the biggest way to keep it fresh was the approach to it - the way the movie looks, the way the characters act, and making people see it a different way. 

You still have Michael Myers, a faceless killer that doesn't talk.  He's a tough character because you don't see his face hardly and he doesn't really talk so what the f%&#  you going to do with him after a while.  So it's the stuff that surrounds him that has to create the experience and make it different.  That's what I tried to do.

Michael Myers in Halloween II
Q:  Do you ever go back and watch the previous Halloween movies so as not to retread old ground?

Zombie:  No.  I avoid them at all cost.  I didn't like them then so I don't want to watch them now.  I like the first one, it's a classic.  The rest of them I don't care for them at all.

Q:  What do you think about Halloween's release date in August instead of October?

Zombie:  It is what it is.  Everyone's like 'why is it coming out in August and not Halloween' but I don't know.   It's not up to me. 

Q:  So you didn't have any input in that area?

Zombie:  No.  The executives deal with it.  The schedule was so crowded with films that they looked at the August 28th which looked light at the time.  I know Final Destination movie is coming out the same day.  You can move it to the next week, then something else will come up.  You can't win.  You just have to go for it.

Q:  And what's on the music front?

Zombie:  I have a new album that I finished before I did Halloween II.  So as soon as Halloween comes out, we start touring in October for the new record. 

Zombie plans to also take on another two films as a writer/director with The Haunted World of El Superbeasto based on his own comic book and Tyrannosaurus Rex set for 2011. 

For now, Halloween comes early this year starting August 28th in HALLOWEEN II.

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Cheech & Chong 2.0: Tamer, Wiser, and Digital

Cheech Marin & Tommy Chong in their new movie Hey Watch This
The original slacker duo Cheech & Chong make their comeback in the digital age on April 20th.  Cheech & Chong's Hey Watch This marks their return to the big screen in limited theatres across the country as well as on DVD/Blu-Ray, Video On Demand service, and available to stream through PS3 and Xbox360 Networks. Add a comment

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Death in 3D: The Final Destination

Death is back and this time it's taking lives in 3D in the fourth installment of  FINAL DESTINATON opening Friday, August 28th.  CineMovie sat down with the Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano, and Haley Webb, new cast of THE FINAL DESTINATION to talk dying and acting in 3D.

 Watch User Reviews & Movie Trailer

Movie Synopsis:

On what should have been a fun-filled day at the races, Nick O'Bannon has a horrific premonition in which a bizarre sequence of events causes multiple race cars to crash, sending flaming debris into the stands, brutally killing his friends and causing the upper deck of the stands to collapse on him. When he comes out of this grisly nightmare Nick panics, persuading his girlfriend, Lori, and their friends, Janet and Hunt, to leave... escaping seconds before Nick's frightening vision becomes a terrible reality.

Thinking they've cheated death, the group has a new lease on life, but unfortunately for Nick and Lori, it is only the beginning. As his premonitions continue and the crash survivors begin to die one-by-one--in increasingly gruesome ways--Nick must figure out how to cheat death once and for all before he, too, reaches his final destination.

(New Line Cinema)

Release: 08/28/2009

 Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy And Suspense/Horror

Starring: Shantel VanSanten, Bobby Campo, Nick Zano, Krista Allen, Andrew Fiscella

Directed By: David Richard Ellis Produced By: Craig Perry


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