ST. PETERSBURG — Making movies is a tediously fascinating process, as hundreds of volunteer extras learned Thursday night.
And Friday morning.
The Infiltrator starring Bryan Cranston has been filming around Tampa Bay since April 22 and is expected to wrap local production this weekend. Signature locales, including the Loews Don CeSar Hotel and Tampa Theatre, are guest stars....
04/30/15 Human Interest
Hundreds of star-struck fans spent Thursday evening at St. Petersburg's Derby Lane where Emmy winner Bryan Cranston filmed scenes for the true-life crime drama The Infiltrator. The production asked for volunteer extras to fill portions of the grandstand and a trackside fence where Cranston's character, Tampa resident and former undercover agent Robert Mazur, watches a race. One hopeful volunteer was Dennis O'Connor of Oxford, ME, whose resemblance to Cranston's Breaking Bad character made him the night's biggest star — until the real deal showed up. On Saturday, Times movie critic Steve Persall offers details of the shoot, which was expected to last until early Friday morning....
How do you top The Avengers, the third-highest grossing movie of all time?
For writer, director and geek's geek Joss Whedon, the answer is to over-the-top it. And it just might work.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is a comic book movie frequently begging to actually be a comic book, with panels allowing readers to pause and pour over fantastic detail that Whedon whizzes by. At 2 hours, 21 minutes, it is the longest, most hectic of 10 adventures in this Marvel universe, battle-rattling our senses from start to anticlimactic finish....
Movie theaters are dark places that can always use a little Sunscreen.
Not the lotion; the film festival stocked with linguini-budgeted, independently produced films with a scrappy desire to please, unlike the soulless studios their makers would love to join.
St. Petersburg's 10th annual Sunscreen Film Festival features dozens of filmmakers' calling cards, from features to documentaries and shorts. Student film blocks, five Web series and workshops are also in the lineup, with special events scheduled daily through Sunday....
By Steve Persall • Times Movie Critic
Summertime, and cramming all those new movies into theaters isn't easy. • Today's unleashing of The Avengers: Age of Ultron kicks off four months of weekly blockbuster dreams. Many, like the Marvel sequel, will hog more than the usual share of theater screens. (See review at tampabay.com/things-to-do.) • Box office underachievers won't hold them for long. • Our 2015 Summer Movie Preview highlights 25 movies with the most to gain or lose between now and Labor Day. They have the biggest stars and boldest budgets on the line. • First weekends are critical to every release. Few movies gain momentum after stumbling at the starting gate. Some flops we can smell coming like coconut sunscreen. Enjoy....
Evolution isn't a popular topic among Christians, but that's exactly what is happening with their movies, leaving room for doubt and placing limitations on what pure faith can accomplish.
Sure, everything is solved by the fade-out and a deity gets most of the credit. But an increasing number of faith-based movies are reaching secular audiences by simply not preaching to them, while acknowledging humanism. That includes movies like Little Boy, an innocuous, charming drama about coincidences making a child's faith seem divine, amid racist patriotism during World War II....
ST. PETE BEACH
Before sunrise Thursday, the Don CeSar Hotel's beachfront was transported to another time, another place.
Dozens of crew members for The Infiltrator, a $47.5 million production starring Bryan Cranston, assembled lighting reflectors and camera dolly tracks in a palm tree-shrouded walkway near the swimming pool. Extras were herded to waiting areas, dressed in 1980s beachwear....
Poor Adaline Bowman, sentenced to an eternity of looking like Blake Lively, by a movie premise more preposterous than anything Vin Diesel tried lately. Thanks to scientific hoo-hah that won't be discovered until 2035, Adaline never ages.
Her movie gets old quickly.
The Age of Adaline is a lunkheaded fantasy romance, gliding over expectations at first, simply because it's somewhat original. Lively is lovely as an heiress widow whose drowning in 1930 was prevented by cold water and hot lightning that would cause electrocution anywhere else....
There was a celebrity Infiltrator at Tropicana Field for Tuesday's game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox. Emmy and Tony winning actor Bryan Cranston — sporting a Red Sox cap — watched his team shutout the Rays 1-0. The star of Breaking Bad is visiting Tampa Bay to film scenes for The Infiltrator, a true crime drama based on the memoirs of Tampa resident and former federal agent Robert Mazur. Filming is set to begin Thursday, and expected to continue for less than 10 days. — Steve Persall, Times Movie Critic...
Alex Garland's Ex Machina is a fascinating addition to the sci-fi trend of science feminism, in which concepts of womanhood in patriarchal culture are explored far deeper than Ripley battling aliens in her underwear.
Ex Machina joins Her and Under the Skin in viewing women as strangers in a strange land, created by technology or sent from the stars and craftier, more in control than men believe or want. Sci-fem women evolve from products of how men view them — sexuality is a key component — and fantasy becomes trenchant allegory, as fine science fiction will....
How are you preparing for the Force awakening this December? • Fans can binge-watch all six Star Wars movies, or watch Charles Ross boil them down to 75 minutes of theater, giving Episodes I, II and III the short shrift they deserve. • Ross' One-Man Star Wars Trilogy — even the title doesn't acknowledge Anakin Skywalker's early years — is an energetic spoof of sci-fi's greatest mythology. Since its 2001 debut, the Canadian actor's hyper-speed impersonations of Star Wars characters, sound effects, even John Williams' musical score has thrilled Jedi geeks worldwide. • Later, Ross gave similar treatment to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. • "The funny thing about Star Wars is that it doesn't change," Ross said in a recent telephone interview. "There's an eternal little story, so I think I've gotten a lot cleaner; I don't injure myself as much during the show because I've learned how not to land directly on my face." • In these excerpts, Ross reveals what he has discovered about Star Wars over 14 years, why he doesn't care if Greedo shot first, and why he's lucky to have fallen in love before all this:...
Staying 29 years old forever isn't all it's cracked up to be for the heroine of The Age of Adaline (PG-13). Sure, she can look like Blake Lively forever but Ryan Reynolds doesn't come with the package. Long-term romance is hard when you could wind up both as a cougar and a PYT for the same guy.
Adaline Bowman finds herself in that chrono-crisis after a car accident in the 1930s, submerging her into frozen waters. Thanks to a fortuitous bolt of lightning, Adaline becomes immortal but never ages; kind of like a vampire, but this isn't that kind of movie. This one is for viewers believing Nicholas Sparks isn't romantic enough....
CLEARWATER — John Travolta was complimenting Saturday's audience at the Capitol Theatre for supporting the arts with their attendance, when the announcement came that $38,000 was raised for the Marcia P. Hoffman School for the Arts.
Recognizing a cue as actors do, the two-time Academy Award nominee sweetened the pot.
"Because of your generosity," Travolta said, "I would like to add another 12 (thousand) to make it $50,000."...
True Story is stranger than fiction, which is what got Michael Finkel fired in the first place. As a New York Times reporter, Finkel was entrusted to write the truth. He blew it in 2001, passing off a composite character as one real victim.
Soon after, an Oregon husband and father named Christian Longo went on the lam after brutally murdering his family. Captured in Mexico, Longo initially gave authorities a false identity: Michael Finkel, New York Times reporter. The real Finkel, professionally humiliated and financially strapped, was intrigued....
By his count, John Travolta visits Clearwater five days a week when possible yet hasn't entered the revitalized Capitol Theatre.
That changes Saturday when the star of Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction appears at the Cap with his new film, The Forger, with proceeds benefitting the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
It's the latest example of the two-time Academy Award nominee using his movies as fundraisers for causes. Mostly these red carpet events occur in Ocala where he lives....