Archive for February, 2014

New on 'Five-0:' Arrival of Danno’s mom, the return of Garcia...

February 28th, 2014



Let the family games begin.

With NBC’s Winter Olympics over, new programming returns to the other network’s dials.

And CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,” which has been serving up beaucoup repeats, is no exception.

melanie jorge

For instance, on tonight’s (Feb. 28) new episode entitled “Pale'la  (Buried Secrets),” Melanie Griffith shows up as the mother of Scott Caan’s character, Danny “Danno” Williams. She surprises sonny boy with some unexpected news — he's not particularly charmed by her arrival — so we have yet another mom aboard with a suitcase of potential conflicts. Remember Christine Lahti, as Mama McGarrett, the mother of lead star Alex O’Loughlin’s Steve McGarrett? Boy, trouble has been her middle name: for son and for viewers. That was then; this is now.

As McG drives Danno and his mom home from the airport, the guys get involved in one of their famous exchanges: carguments. Will Mama Williams be  likeable — or loathed?

And next Friday’s (March 7) episode, “Hoku Welowelo (Fire in the Sky),” features another guest star — Jorge Garcia, the Hurley dude from “Lost” — recurring as the character Jerry Ortega.

On this one, a triple homicide will lead to a downed secret Chinese satellite.

And Captain Grover (Chi McBride) takes Danno’s mom on a ride. And you know him; never short on harsh words. With a new writing crew, viewers should expect a bit more substance in the scripts.

Auditions are stirring here, thanks to the Mouse House...

February 17th, 2014

disworld king

Above, luau performers at Walt Disney World in Orlando; below right, "Lion King" musical logo.



Disney is searching for Island talent on two fronts:

* Walt Disney Worl is seeking a male vocalist for its Aloha Dinner Show in Orlando.  The  male vocalist is for the role of Kimo; he must at least18, a familiar with Polynesian dance, for the on-site luau show. The candidate should have an athletic build, possess  a pop tenor voice to G#. His height should be 5-10 or taller and he sould be able to dance Polynesian numbers — Tahitian, Hawaiian, Samoan, etc. “A diverse look” is how the audition describes its desired performer.

The Disney World auditions will be held at 10 a.m. this Saturday (Feb. 22) at  NIX Performing Arts, 98-025 Hekaha St., Suite 221 A, in Aiea.  Those trying out should provide a current headshot and a resume and be prepared to sing 16 bars from a musical theater selection.  Bring sheet music in the proper key for an accompanist, which will be provided.


* Disney Theatrical Productions, producers of “The Lion King,” have been auditioning here for cast members for potential employment in the Broadway company and in North American touring productions like the one in residency at Blaisdell Concert Hall through March 9. Auditions for singers for the Nala and Simba roles, and spots for female dancers, are already completed, but  more tryouts are set for male dancers scheduled this week. And those who missed the live auditions can mail in applications, ASAP. See specifics below.

“Lion King” male dancers may try out as  at Ballet Hawaii studios  today (Feb. 18), at 777 S. Hotel St., Suite 101.  Requirements: applicants must be 18 to 30,  from all cultural backgrounds, with classical and modern training; some roles require acrobatic skills; sign-in at 9 a.m. today (Feb. 18), auditions begin at 10 a.m. Dancers should bring flat jazz shoes or may try out barefooted; dancers may be asked to sing, so bring sheet music and prepare a song that shows off voice and range; a piano accompanist will be provided. Also submit a recent photo and a resume with a list of performance experience.
For latecomers:  If you were unable to unable to attend the “Lion King” auditions, you  may submit a headshot and a resume with experience via mail to: Binder Casting, ATTN: “The Lion King,”  321 W. 44th St., Suite 606, New York, N.Y. 10036




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Bruno Mars' film debut in ‘Rio 2’ will include his songs

February 16th, 2014

EIF Women's Cancer Research Fund's 16th Annual "An Unforgettable Evening" Presented By Saks Fifth Avenue - InsideHawaii’s Bruno Mars has been signed to voice a character — his first — in the forthcoming  20th Century Fox Films “Rio 2” sequel, opening April 11.

Mars and singer Janelle Monae are the latest to join the cast, directed by Carlos Saidanha.

Though Mars’ voice (the end title song, "It Will Rain") was heard in the “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” movie, “Rio 2” will be his first voice-over endeavor. He got the part of Roberto, the ex-boyfriend and childhood friend of the bird character Jewell (voiced by Anne Hathaway) after director Saidanha saw him in his “Saturday Night Live” performance and tapped the singer-composer to also provide new songs. Mars’ bandmate Philip Lawrence, from the Smeezingtons group, also will be heard.

The flock includes Jesse Eisenberg, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx,, Tracy Morgan, Kristin Chenoweth, Andy Garcia and Rita Moreno in a  range of colorful characters ranging from birds to frogs, so Mars will be in good company.

The musical  soundtrack score, heavy on Brazilian samba rhythms, will be released by Atlantic Records with producers-composers Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown reprising their roles from the original film, joined by composer John Powell.



An American dream, set in a porn shop ...

February 14th, 2014


Evan Peters as Josh, Emma Roberts as Amy, in "Adult World."


John Cusack, as Rat Billings, in "Adult World."

Remember Scott Coffey, an ex-Honolulu actor who has evolved into a writer, producer and director of Hollywood films?
He appeared in such 1980s films as “SpaceCamp” and “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off,” then in titles like “Tank Girl” and “Lost Highway” in the 1990s? He found a creative niche in the early 2000s, acting in “Mulholland Drive: and writing, producing and directing the critically acclaimed “Ellie Parker,” which starred his good friend Naomi Watts.
Flash forward to 2014, and Scott Coffey’s latest, “Adult World,” out today (Feb.14), is only in theaters in New York and Los Angeles. For now, anyway.
But there’s a reason: Coffey, 46, is going the video on demand (VOD) route with his latest directorial effort, a tiny under-the-radar project which would be overwhelmed without special handling. Instead of competing with Valentine’s traffic at the cinema, you can order and download here and now, since the film likely won’t be on an island screen till March. Local film-on-demand sources like Oceanic Time Warner and Direct TV offer “Adult World,” which also is available on iTunes and other Mainland cable companies including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Metrocast and Suddenlink. IFC Films picked up distribution of the picture following its recent Tribeca Film Festival debut.
“It’s a small indie film,” said Coffey, speaking via cellphone from Venice, Calif., where he now resides and was enjoying the golden sunset much like the kind he used to experience in Honolulu. “We decided to go VOD because of our target audience,” he said of the Millenials, the crowd which commonly seeks entertainment virally. “There’s an audience out there that don’t go to theaters to see movies.”
Different folks means different strokes.
And “Adult World” clearly is not Valentine’s Day fare, despite its VOD presence the same day that red roses and chocolates compete for attention. It’s got some romantic sizzle, but it’s somewhat of a commentary of social mores and the status of the selfie generation. Further, its title refers to a porn shop — no, nothing embarrassing or dirty — that gives a particular edge and sauciness in the storytelling.
The movie, written by Andy Cochran, was a Critic’s Pick in this week’s Village Voice, which thrills Coffey. “I was fearing the worst, but got a rave, from the publication I’ve been reading for years. I think the critic was Pauline Kael’s protégé; she’s tough and smart and she really got it,” he said of the rave he earned.
It’s just one of life’s pleasant surprises when you’re in the movie biz. Some like it, some don’t. You worry, you sweat, you face the firing line.
But he had a notion he was on to something good, lured by the central figure who represents a wedge of reality today. He had to build a porn store, a focus point in the story, and shot his flick in Syracuse, N.Y. The Village Voice critic, Stephanie Zacharek, said, “Coffey captures the beauty and safety of living in a smallish place were people know and care about you. And the filmmakers understand that you can find amazing, wonderful, eccentric people anywhere. ‘Adult World’ reminded me of a truth I sometimes forget. Apparently, Amy (the central character) isn’t the only one who’s still learning to be a grown-up.”
“I like the lead character Amy,” said Coffey of his attraction to the film. “She’s a college graduate, complicated, interesting; seems emblematic and metaphorical for the Millenials. Over coddled; raised to think she can be anything she wants to be. Wants to be famous; needs constant adoration; gets attention on My Space and Instagram. Hers is a different American dream, but the American dream now is not what it used to be.”
Amy is portrayed by Emma Roberts, the daughter of actor Eric Roberts and the niece of Julia Roberts.
“She’s perfect as Amy; I’ve known of her for years, since Julia is a good friend. I saw some great actors, but none were perfect for Amy. The second I met Emma, I knew she was the one.”
Amy so wants to become a famous poet, but she can’t land a job. “The only one she can find is one in a porn shop operated by Cloris Leachman,” said Coffey. “Amy is awed by a somewhat mean, famous, and older poet Rat Billings, played by John Cusack. She is somewhat arrogant; she stalks him; she ingratiates him; but she wants to be like him. But all she wants is fame. And fame is like the contemporary black plague.”
Amy begs Billings to hire her as a protégé at Syracuse University. Even if he doesn’t particularly like her poetry.
“That’s one of the joys of directing,” said Coffey. “I’m so much happier not being an actor. I work now with all these actors I hadn’t worked with before.”
He found Cusack a wonder and an inspiration. “We really had a great relationship,” said Coffey. “I loved him; we were simpatico about the same things. A lot of his scenes, he improvised, as we worked and stayed up late at night. I appreciated this style of collaboration, even shooting. He’s very, very sensitive, and creditably intelligent.
“It was fun to watch him, too. He’s still very handsome and no longer that teen guy anymore, so he took riff on that a little bit.”
As a youth, Cusack starred in such teen fare as “Class,” “Sixteen Candles” and “Stand by Me” and adult flicks like “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Grosse Pointe Blank,” “Cradle Will Rock,” “High Fidelity” and “Being John Malkovich.”
The movie also stars Evan Peters, who plays Josh, the porn shop manager. Peters is best known for his role as a teenage sociopath murderer, Tate Langdon, in the first season of FX’s “American Horror Story,” and has recurred as Kit Walker in the second season as a man wrongly suspected of killing his wife, and played Kyle Spencer, a frat boy killed and brought back to life in the show’s third season, “Coven.” He next will be Quicksilver in “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” later this year.
Roberts has been playing Madison Montgomery this season on “American Horror Story,” and met Peters on the show. They’ve become an “item” and are engaged to be married.
Coffey still acts occasionally (he has a cameo in “Adult World,” as the bookstore owner) but has found creative juices on the side of the cameras. He earlier directed 2005’s acclaimed “Ellie Parker,” starring Naomi Watts, but also wrote the script and produced the film, and David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive,” also starring Watts. Among his other screen roles: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Some Kind of Wonderful,” “Shag” and “Lost Highway.”
Coffey earned his acting chops in local community theater stages like the Hawaii Performing Arts Company (now Manoa Valley Theatre). Because most of his family still resides in Hawaii, he frequently visits — though career options demand that he remains close to the Los Angeles hub.
“You can’t be too far away from work,” he says.
With “Adult World” wrapped, Coffey has embarked on a new project, “Chemical Pink,” based on a book by Katie Arnoldi, about a young female bodybuilder who arrives in Los Angeles to get her body into shape. “It’s a Pygmalion story gone wrong; she’s transformed into something she doesn’t want to be,” says Coffey of the character, Aurora Johnson, whose obsession for fitness finds her succumbing to a man sponsors her — with complex results. “So I’ve been going visiting workout women who are kinda interesting.”

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Director Scott Coffey, with actress Emma Roberts as Amy, amid bookshelves in "Adult World."

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NBC's Olympics dominate; reruns aplenty elsewhere

February 8th, 2014



NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage dominated Friday’s viewership, though the numbers were short of gold. Still, the peacock network — predictably, though not as powerfully as Vancouver — had the most viewers (31.7 million) and topped the favored 18 to 49 adults demographics (8.6 rating), according to preliminary overnight Nielsen numbers. The coverage of the Sochi opening ceremonies ran 30 minutes over the usual primetime rating period, so adjustments are forthcoming in the final tally. Sochi viewership was down 9 per cent, compared to the 2010 Vancouver games’ 9.4 ranking.
For most series on the Friday lineup, including “Hawaii Five-0,” it was rerun time — no sense in tossing a newbie out there only to find that it doesn’t even earn the bronze.
So: CBS’ “Five-0” topped its 8 p.m. hour (9 p.m. Mainland) with 4.99 million viewers and an 18 to 49 demo (0.7 rating). Its chief competitor, ABC’s “Shark Tank” (also a repeat), had fewer viewers (4.39 million) but a better demo (1.2 rating) compared to the island show.
Among reruns, CBS’ “Blue Bloods” (6.71 million viewers, 0.7 demo) and “Undercover Boss” (5.036 million viewers, 1.0 demo) fared OK; ditto, two back-to-back segments of ABC’s “Last Man Standing” (4.59 million, 0.9 demo, 4.19 million, 0.9 demo).
So with rerun fervor, how ‘bout some questions to ponder, re “Five-0:”
• Notice the recent absence of Wo Fat? Is Arch Enemy No. 1 on semi-permanent leave? Hmmm...
• Ditto, Mama McGarrett. We don’t miss her — she’s added precious little to the storytelling — but wonder if she’s been pink-slipped? Whenever she’s in an episode, she brings nothing but woe for sonny boy Steve.
• Are you pleased with the formal return of Kono Kalakaua? Her story arc — on the lam, with her beau (to “cover” real-life pregnancy and motherhood) — went on too long. So will she get Her Episode before season four ends?
• Is Captain Grover too gruff for his own good, or does he bring on the spice to crime-fighting in paradise?
• Agree or disagree: Do you find more substance and better plot in the recent episodes? Like, somebody has finally figured it out that car chases and crashes and familial friction impede instead of inspire overall quality of the show?
Let the discussions begin...

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