Last year, one of the highlights of the ten days or so I spent at Fantastic Fest was the evening of the Fantastic Feuds. If you haven't read about them, it's a series of debates/boxing matches, and the main event this year was between Michelle Rodriguez, the scrappy star of "Girl Fight" and "Avatar," and Tim League, the founder/owner of the Alamo Drafthouse. Tim spent months smack-talking "Avatar," and Michelle showed up to make him eat his words.
You see that look on Michelle's face in the photo that we ran with the story? That's the look she got on her face the moment I walked into the room for our interview and told her that Tim was ready for a rematch. He's not. He's never indicated to me that he wants to get back in the ring with her. But I'm not above stirring the pot a little to get an interview off on the right foot, and in this case, as soon as I got her laughing, Michelle was a delight.
I find it funny that she's always cast as such a flinty-eyed hardass in movies, because she comes across completely different in person. She's warm, she's funny, she seems predisposed to laughter. One day, some filmmaker's going to capture that side of her on film and we're going to see a whole new career open up for her. I can't wait to see that happen, and while our chat was typically short, it was a pure pleasure.
I also sat down with Michael Pena and Bridget Moynahan, who play civilians who get caught up in the action, and talked to them about how it feels to be in a military movie where you're not asked to do any military training at all. I first interviewed Pena for "Observe and Report," and I hope Jody Hill casts Michael in everything he ever makes. It sounds like he's proud of "30 Minutes Or Less," the comedy he's in later this year, and it's always good to see him at a press day because I know I'll get something genuine out of him.
I'll have my review of the film up as soon as the embargo is removed, so keep your eyes here. In the meantime, I'm on a plane to Vegas, and it looks like I'll be spending a night out at Area 51 before I head to Austin for SXSW later this week.
"Battle: Los Angeles" opens everywhere this Friday.
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
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