John Gallagher Jr.

the heart machine gallagher

More than 15 years have passed since You’ve Got Mail, and online dating in the movies can still seem a little weird. Thanks to video chat programs like Skype, they’ve at least become more visual, but there’s still the issue of disconnect between characters that is obviously realistic but also heightened by the extra screen of the movie frame. When we see a couple talking through their computers, one of them is always going to seem extremely distant and also extremely confined by that computer window. It’s hard to feel something between two people in love through that barrier, even if we know what the experience is like, how that feeling can exist. It’s one of the very few things holding down The Heart Machine, an otherwise superb romantic drama that does seem conscious of having to grapple with such an obstacle. But the film’s pair, Cody and Virginia (John Gallagher Jr. and Kate Lyn Sheil), aren’t given a lot of comfort time to show us any true feelings. In the opening scene they’re Skyping, well into a relationship it seems, and on her end is the sound of a lot of emergency vehicle sirens. After they hang up, Cody goes to a sound effects website to remind himself of what a German ambulance actually sounds like, because as it turns out Virginia has led him to believe she’s in Berlin for six months. And that German ambulance clip is not what he heard on the call earlier. Suddenly he’s […]

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heart machine still

Nearly a year ago, I devoted the Fund This Film column to an indie feature called Funny Bunny in part because it was to star Kate Lyn Sheil, one of the most interesting young actresses working today. You should know her from such movies as The Comedy, The Color Wheel, V/H/S, Sun Don’t Shine, Somebody Up There Likes Me and maybe Listen Up Philip if you were at Sundance this year. Unfortunately, she had to drop out of Funny Bunny (which was funded and then made, and we’re still looking forward to it), and now here I am to spotlight another Kickstarter project with Sheil’s name attached. I can guarantee she’ll be in this one, as it’s already been shot and is set to debut in competition at SXSW next month. It’s called The Heart Machine. Co-starring with Sheil in this romance thriller is Short Term 12‘s John Gallagher, Jr. They play a couple who falls in love via the Internet, without ever meeting in person because they’re separated by the Atlantic Ocean. He’s in New York City and she’s in Berlin. Or maybe she’s not? Like a dark indie dramatization of a Catfish episode, there’s possibly some serious lies at the base of this relationship, and Gallagher’s character apparently becomes obsessed with investigating whether or not his online girlfriend has been in New York City the whole time. I find it appropriate — or maybe it’s ironic? — that a movie about not knowing what you’re getting on the […]

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trailer short term 12

Editor’s note: Allison’s review of Short Term 12 originally ran during this year’s LAFF, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release. What kind of parent do you think you will be? That’s a big question, and one that usually doesn’t come up until you are actually face-to-face with the prospect. Grace (Brie Larson) works at a foster care facility, the eponymous Short Term 12, and is clearly in a loving (albeit not very well hidden) relationship with her boyfriend and fellow facility staff member, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) But even though she works with kids all day, the idea of having one of her own has Grace completely spooked. This fear is not completely unsurprising considering the first few moments we spend in Short Term 12 see Mason telling a new hire, Nate (Rami Malek), a ridiculous story about his first day and a kid who tried to run away, only to then have one of the current kids burst through the front doors, hightailing it to the gates. Grace and Mason do not miss a beat in chasing down Sammy (Alex Calloway) and calming him down, but it becomes very clear in that moment that the residents of Short Term 12 are dealing with big issues of their own.

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trailer short term 12

Summertime at the movie theater is traditionally thought of as a collection of explosions, CGI effects and dumbed-down scripts, but smart studios (usually the indies) know it’s also a great time to counter-program with their unexpected gems. One of the most critically acclaimed films to come out of this year’s SXSW film festival was writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton‘s second feature, Short Term 12. Brie Larson stars as a young woman who works at a home for at-risk teens while trying to balance the limits and love in her own life too. The film itself received immense praise, but much of the focus has been on Larson’s performance. Enjoy this delightful first trailer for Short Term 12. Then go see the movie later this summer.

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Channel Guide - Large

In 1985, John Fogerty was sued for plagiarizing himself. It was a bizarre courtroom situation that arose because Fogerty had forfeited the rights to his old Creedance Clearwater Revival hits to a former record label that went after him when a song he wrote on his new album “Centerfield” sounded too much like his own work. Copyright law is complicated. What can you do. In the last week, a script surfaced that’s purportedly the pilot to The Newsroom, the new HBO show from Aaron Sorkin, and it feels a bit like Fogerty all over again. Sorkin is cribbing off of Sorkin. Of course there are a million grains of salt to throw with this. The primary one being that random scripts on the old internet could be from anywhere. For some reason, writers believe they can fake leaked scripts in order to gain a name through the back door (like writers did on Studio 60 when they weren’t being heard in the room), but it’s actually the writing equivalent of suicide by cop (which a troubled man did on an episode of The West Wing). The internet can be an unforgiving place and pretending to be another writer automatically creates a comparison that no one can survive against. However, this particular script (which you can find if you search for it) seems legit. But there’s a funny thing there, when you’re reading a curious script that can be from anyone. In the back of your mind, you’re imagining that someone […]

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