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RAVEN-SYMONE' HEADSHOT.jpgTalking with Raven-Symone on the telephone, it was easy to imagine that I was really speaking to Iridessa, the character she plays in the new DVD, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. She has such a sparkly quality, I could hear just why she was selected for the role.
NM: Were you a fan of Tinker Bell when you were a little girl? Did you watch ‘Peter Pan?’
R-S: Of course I did! I loved all the Peter Pan incarnations.
NM: Tell me about Iridessa, the character you play.
R-S: She is a light fairy, like lightning bugs with their glow, and I am excited to play her. She is fun, smart, and kind of wary, and that is like me, because I am, too.
NM: You are known in your television show, That’s So Raven, for a lot of physical comedy. How do you convey a character just through voice?
R-S: You have to be able to make the words come alive. And I am lucky because the artists and the director are so creative and imaginative — they inspire me.
NM: I hear that they tried to make this Tinker Bell story boy-friendly and that it is directed at boys as well as girls.
R-S: The underlying story of friendship is universal. And it really is a story that appeals to everyone, boys and girls and young and older. There is a great boy character, Terence [voice of Jesse McCartney]. And Tinker Bell is really a guy’s girl, a best friend, not overly tomboy but very adventuresome. She is also humble and she messes up — she’s a normal person with wings! TBLT_Fashion_DESS1.jpg

Huffington Post has got a list of the nine worst surprise endings in movie history (well, in the past few years). I was pleased to see three of my Gothika Rule picks on the list, “Perfect Stranger,” “23,” and “The Forgotten.” (For newcomers — the “Gothika Rule,” named for a movie with one of the worst endings of all time, means that I will give away the surprise to anyone who sends me an email to save them what I had to suffer in watching it.) Be sure to check out the comments from readers with their own suggestions. I’d add “The Pink Jungle,” “Desperate Measures,” and, of course “Gothika.” Any others?

Jen Chaney has an astute article in the Washington Post about the latest movie phenomenon, “Paranormal Activity.” Like The Blair Witch Project, it is more concept than movie, taking advantage of what most would consider a disadvantage: no money. The premise of both films is that they are found footage from rudimentary amateurs. And both films arguably had more creativity in their marketing campaigns than in the films themselves.
Chaney calls it a “a pop cultural sneak attack,” not just in terms of its box office (exceeding its under-$15,000 budget many times over in its first weeks of release) but in its buzz. The title is a top-trending topic on Twitter. It “outsold a 3-D Pixar double feature (the “Toy Story” re-release), a Bruce Willis thriller (“Surrogates”) and a Michael Moore documentary (“Capitalism: A Love Story”). ”
The movie’s trailer audaciously showed the audience’s shocked reaction to what they were watching, like the film recognizing that our imagination is much scarier than anything that could appear on screen. And Chaney describes the “you have to ask for it” marketing campaign.

Apparently because we — the same individuals who relish our right to elect a president, choose our American Idols and watch our favorite TV shows OnDemand — voted to bring this slow-building shocker to a theater near us. Or at least some of us did. Paramount Pictures, the studio distributing “Paranormal Activity,” has dubbed it the “first-ever major film release decided by you,” mainly because of an online polling system that guaranteed a nationwide roll-out for the micro-budget movie once 1 million supportive votes had been cast.

Whether those votes reflect actual audience demand for the film or whether they were an appearance that created a reality, it worked, and “Paranormal Activity” will unquestionably be one of the most profitable films of the year.

And be sure to watch the riotous series exploring the history of the group.

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