Friday, February 26, 2010

'OxyMorons' trailer captures gritty side of Boston

The eight-minute sneak peek for "OxyMorons," a low-budget indie flick helmed by actor and North End restaurant owner Damien DiPaola, director Robert Scali, screenwriter John Hickey and starring UFC fighter Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia, showcases the oh-so-mean streets of Charlestown.

Hickey and crew kicked off filming at the Barnstable County House of Correction in Bourne in September and moved to the Boston area, shooting scenes in Charlestown and the North End, with primary filming ending on Sept. 21.

Based on the screen writer's real-life experiences with drug addiction, the cautionary drug tale follows Hickey's rise and fall as a player in the local Oxycontin trade. "OxyMorons" is a dark horror film about the effects of Oxycontin on a family, town and its inhabitants.

What's great about this made-in-Boston film is that the community has stepped up to help make the film a reality, including support from Charlestown Against Drugs and St. Catherine's Church.

Also, the C-town accents are legit ... none of the Hollywood-manufactured attempts we've seen recently on the big screen from Mel Gibson in "Edge of Darkness" and Leonardo DiCaprio in "Shutter Island."

Local players like Michele McPhee, WAAF's Lyndon Byers and Richard DeAgazio joined the cast as extras. According to the film's MySpace page here, crews continue plugging away at scene re-shoots in preparation for release.

Click here for the latest on "OxyMorons."

Friday, February 19, 2010

The week in quotes from Hollywood in the Hub

"It was dream sequences and sequences of [my character's] own past that converged into one and everything sort of overlaps. We kept pushing the intensity of each one of these sequences further and further and it wore on all of us. We had to go to some pretty crazy places."

--Leonardo DiCaprio says he had to dig deep for his role as protagonist Teddy Daniels in the made-in-Massachusetts flick "Shutter Island."

"I directed a movie right after I finished working with [John Wells, director of 'The Company Men'] and I would get really overwhelmed, panicked, nervous and stressed out. [I felt] sheer terror. Just sobbing in the corner. I thought I hid it well, but when you're on your knees and making a commotion..."

--Ben Affleck muses that directing and acting in his made-in-Boston film "The Town" was an emotional rollercoaster ride.

“My uncle took us out to Long Island once when my brother and I were kids. He started telling us how the ghosts of the most dangerous patients were rumored to still walk the grounds. Then he vanished. My brother and I walked around, all creeped out, and then my uncle jumped out from behind a tree, which gave us both early heart attacks.”

--Dennis Lehane, author of the epic novel behind Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," spills that a childhood trek to Boston Harbor's Long Island sparked the fire of inspiration.

“While the bulk of film and television production still takes place in Los Angeles and New York, other states are increasingly competing with these traditional centers through tax credit and other incentive programs,” the report’s authors state."

--UMass Boston Study titled "Film and television production in Massachusetts" finds that Massachusetts' film industry is among the fastest growing in the nation.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chun's 'Children of Invention' hits Brattle Theatre

Randolph native Tze Chun, director of the Independent Film Festival of Boston's grand jury prize winner "Children of Invention," will unveil his locally shot flick at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge beginning Friday, Feb. 26 until Thursday, March 4.

In "Children of Invention," two young children living outside Boston are left to fend for themselves when their hardworking mother (played by Cindy Cheung from "Lady in the Water") gets embroiled in a pyramid scheme and disappears.

The film is also loosely based on Chun’s own childhood in Boston’s suburbs. “When I was little, my sister and I followed my mother to countless pyramid seminars," says Chun. "The film is a personal story about the world I grew up in--a subculture of immigrant and working class Americans trying to get-rich-quick in order to get themselves out of a financial hole. I didn't foresee the current financial crisis. But with the economy the way it is now, it seems like everyone's living through some version of what the family in the film goes through.”

The Brooklyn-based director, who shot the eviction scene from "Children of Invention" at his childhood home in Randolph and includes several Boston-area exteriors in the film including Downtown Crossing and the Red Line, tells Loaded Gun Boston that he hopes his film will inspire up-and-coming filmmakers to shoot locally.

"Boston is a very cinematic city, and it's a shame that more films don't shoot there," he says.

Chun continues, "We hope that with the success of this film, more homegrown filmmakers will stay in Boston to make their features, and more filmmakers from other parts of the country will consider setting their stories here."

Both Chun and producer Mynette Louie will be in attendance at the evening screenings on Friday, Feb. 26 and Saturday, Feb. 27.

Click here for a schedule and to purchase tickets. And, click here for Chun's extended interview with Loaded Gun Boston.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Score free tickets to 'Shutter Island' film premiere

Want to be the first kid on the block to see Martin Scorsese's made-in-Massachusetts flick "Shutter Island" on Tuesday, Feb. 16 in Boston?

You're in luck.

Here's the quiz: Can you name the fictional dead-end bar location from "Mystic River," an Oscar-winning movie that was shot in Boston and inspired by Dennis Lehane's epic novel?

One of film's more iconic locations featured in the climax of "Mystic River" was built from scratch by set designer Henry Bumstead on an empty industrial lot on Border Street in East Boston. The fictional pub was torn down after filming.

Can you name this mystery location? Simply respond to this blog post with your name and e-mail address (your contact info will not be posted) along with the correct name of the "Mystic River" watering hole. Or, send a direct message via Twitter here. Some readers are also e-mailing me directly at sjbaltrusis [at] yahoo.com.

From those who correctly identify the Lehane-inspired location, Loaded Gun Boston will send e-mails to 50 randomly selected readers by Thursday, Feb. 11.

Want a clue? Click here for a previous post from Loaded Gun Boston called "Local dive bars featured in made-in-Boston movies."

From Oscar®-winning director Martin Scorsese, "Shutter Island" is the story of two U.S. marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who are summoned to a remote and barren island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from the island’s fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane.

Based on the epic novel "Shutter Island" by Lehane, the Massachusetts-shot flick features DiCaprio, Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley and was shot in Taunton's Whittenton Mills Complex (recrafted as the horrific Nazi concentration camp Dachau) as well as the Medfield State Hospital and Peddocks Island. Other locales include Borderland State Park, Hyde Park and Wilson Mountain Reservation in Dedham.

"Shutter Island" hits theaters on Friday, Feb. 19.

Click here for the latest on "Shutter Island." Also, click here for the giveaway rules and disclaimer.

UPDATE: The giveaway is officially over. Loaded Gun Boston received hundreds of responses to its "Shutter Island" premiere quiz. The answer? The Black Emerald Bar.

Several "Shutter Island" extras who were "core mental patients" at the Medfield Hospital location responded.

One reader worked as a teamster on "Mystic River." She writes, "Our office was in a trailer put in a big garage. The bar was built next to it and it was off the water looking at the bridge. I remember craft service got some soup from the little Italian place there in the square and served it inside. Mr. Eastwood held the door for me as I exited with my hands full. Great film to work on."

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Justin Timberlake brings sexy back to Harvard

Justin Timberlake, who co-stars in the upcoming partially made-in-Boston flick based on local author Ben Mezrich's tell-all book about the founding of Facebook, picked up his Man of the Year pudding pot on Friday, Feb. 5 during a roast at the New College Theatre orchestrated by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals.

But, JT did manage to get in a jab regarding the locally shot film "The Social Network" during the press conference.

"I just wanted to say that Harvard wouldn't allow us to film here," he jokes, alluding to the fact that crews with "The Social Network" had to shoot the script's Harvard scenes at Wheelock College and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. "My manager dared me to say that. Ha ha ... just kidding."

During the roast, "The Social Network" star was courted by a Harvard drama queen dolled up as Britney Spears and sported a bra made out of boxes in an obvious homage to his "Dick in a Box" skit from Saturday Night Live.

"Ive never felt more like a man than I do right now," the former *NSYNC performer muses. His girlfriend and actress, Jessica Biel, laughed in the audience.

In the locally shot movie "The Social Network," Timberlake plays Sean Parker, the Napster co-founder who became the founding president of Facebook.

"The Social Network" follows founder Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, getting dumped at a Boston-area bar (shot at the Thirsty Scholar Pub in Somerville) and ends with him adding his former girlfriend to his friend list on his multibillion-dollar social networking site. The story is based on Mezrich's latest book, "The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook. A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal."

Timberlake, who joins "Bride Wars" actress Anne Hathaway as the 2010 roastee, says he was honored to snag the prestigious Hasty Pudding award. "This is cooler than any Grammy or Emmy that I've ever won," he adds.

Renee Zellweger and James Franco were honored last year. Christopher Walken and Charlize Theron were tapped as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Man and Woman of the Year in 2008.

Click here for photos from Anne Hathaway's Harvard visit on Thursday, Jan. 28.--Copyrighted hotos for Loaded Gun Boston by Ryan Miner, Beantown Photo

Friday, February 05, 2010

'Survivor' beauty hosts TV viewing party in Saugus

Danielle DiLorenzo, a Lynnfield native who schemed her way to the finale of "Survivor: Exile Island" in Panama to lose in a 5-2 vote to Aras Baskauskas for the $1 million prize, is slotted to host a viewing party starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11 at Za Za Restaurant & Nitery, located at 114 Broadway Street in Saugus.

DiLorenzo, who attended Northeastern University and earned a degree in business with a concentration in both finance and marketing and a minor in theater, returns to the CBS competition reality show "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" where she competed on the South Pacific island of Samoa.

Don't remember her? You're not alone. The "Survivor" runner-up flew under the radar and spent many days as an outcast with her personality and game play fueling her tribe to banish her to the game's first Exile Island.

She joins Rob Mariano, also known as Boston Rob, in the 20th season of the Emmy-award winning TV show. No surprise here, but DiLorenzo and Mariano are on the "villains" team.

After leaving Boston, DiLorenzo moved to Florida to work as a medical sales representative where she made the cast of the popular CBS show. Following her first-time stint on "Survivor," DiLorenzo returned to the states and continued her acting in Los Angeles.

At the viewing bash on Thursday, Feb. 11, Za Za will serve up complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cocktail specials. The hot spot will air the "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" episode beginning at 8 p.m. on eight of their flat screen, high-def TVs.

Click here for details.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Holliston native Adam Green directs 'Frozen' flick

Adam Green, a Holliston native and director of the thriller "Frozen" hitting Boston-area theaters on Friday, Feb. 5, says his indie flick following three snowboarders stranded on a chairlift and forced to make life-and-death decisions was inspired by childhood treks to local ski slopes.

"Growing up in the greater Boston area, I couldn’t afford to ski at the nicer resorts like Stowe or Okemo in Vermont. Instead, I often found myself slumming at the ski mountains in Massachusetts that were so small that they only stayed open on the weekends and consisted of three rickety lifts that offered to take you to an easy, medium or expert hill," he recalls.

"For the skier on a budget there was none of the glamour and awe that a 'real' East or west coast mountain resort has to offer, but it was the best we could get and so that’s what we did. Those experiences are where this film was born," the director continues.

Green, who penned the script to the movie while producing Cambridge homeboy Paul Solet's horror flick "Grace," says the premise behind "Frozen," starring Kevin Zegers from "Transamerica," Shawn Ashmore from "X-Men" and newcomer Emma Bell, tapped into real fears from skiing in New England.

"They were low-rent mountains with merely a few operational chairs that were often only operational on the weekends due to lack of business during the weekdays. I started thinking about how shady some of those lifts seemed back then and how terrified everyone on the lift would get when it would inevitably stop for a few moments," Green recalls.

The Los Angeles-based director, who shot the New England-set flick in Utah, says the concept seemed simple and straightforward ... until he began filming.

"It’s just three people in a chair. How hard could it be? Man, were we wrong," he muses. "And boy, were we in for it."

Click here for the Loaded Gun Boston interview with Cambridge native Paul Solet on his Green-produced horror flick "Grace."

Monday, February 01, 2010

Made-in-Massachusetts movie action in 2010?

With Gov. Deval Patrick's latest budget proposal slotted to restrict tax credits for the film industry--slashed to $50 million a year for 2010 and 2011--expect a meaner and leaner film-production season in 2010.

Yep, say "bye-bye" to big-budget flicks with talent like Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz who filmed "Knight & Day" in Boston in 2009.

The good news is that the state's 25 percent incentive will subsidize $200 million worth of production and there are a handful of possible film projects that are in the works.

Here's a list of potential made-in-Massachusetts films for 2010:

Missing Links
Steve Carell from "The Office" is tee-ing up to produce the set-in-Boston comedy "Missing Links" following a crew of golfing buddies. According to the trade pubs, Jay Lavender ("The Break-Up") is attached to adapt Rick Reilly's tale of a group of golfing pals at a run-down Boston course. The group discovers they've been playing next to an elite club and holds a competition over who will be first to play a round.

The Other Side
Lindsay Lohan is still greenlit to star in "The Other Side," a flick following a graduate student sent to spend the summer working at a scientific institute at an island off the coast of Massachusetts. Lohan, raising eyebrows with her new flick "Machete" after reportedly going topless, is set to act alongside Woody Harrelson, Giovanni Ribisi, Dave Matthews and Alanis Morisette.

Hamlet
Original "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke teams up with actor Emile Hirsch in this modern retelling of the Shakespeare classic "Hamlet." The story takes place at a small New England liberal arts college where Hamlet’s father is the president. The story will begin with Hamlet (Hirsch) returning home for his father’s funeral, only to learn that his uncle, who has taken over his father’s post, is responsible for his father’s murder.

The Fallen
Word is that the on-and-off film following a Boston firefighter based on Emilio Mauro and Mike Yebba's screenplay is greenlit for 2010. James Mottern is directing. The film follows a clean-cut Southie firefighter who turns to Oxycontin after being injured in the line of duty. The drug threatens his health career and relationships.

Other contenders:
The buzz is that Steve Carell may do a Kevin James and film two flicks in the Hub this year. Carell, an Acton native who spends his summer in Marshfield, may reprise his role as Maxwell Smart in a sequel to the "Get Smart" remake with Hasty Pudding diva Anne Hathaway as Agent 99.

Also, since Loaded Gun Boston last checked, the on-and-off again indie flick from "Townies" writer/director Mike O'Dea is scheduled to begin filming on March 17, 2010 or St. Patrick's Day. "Code of Silence" follows boxer Mickey Callaghan with an extraordinary family legacy ... his father John Callaghan is a feared and ruthless Winter Hill crime boss.
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