Palo Alto

Emma Roberts and Jack Kilmer in Palo Alto

There’s a scene in Palo Alto, the new film from writers James Franco and Gia Coppola (also the film’s director), where the gaggle of wealthy, listless teenagers gather for yet another Friday night rager thrown by a nameless jock from their high school. The drunkest of the bunch gather around the kitchen, the girls from the soccer team teetering in their high heels that they think make them look sophisticated as the guys try to inch in closer for a drinking game to make things worse — or “more interesting,” one of the girls in glitter eyeshadow cackles. Our protagonists, the outsiders April (Emma Roberts), Teddy (Jack Kilmer) and Fred (Nate Wolff), ditch the festivities to go hang out in a graveyard and wander their neighborhood like any good weirdos do. It’s an all too familiar flashback to anybody’s high school experience, that intense boredom combined with a need to be something more than just another face at the party, that desire to be anywhere but your small town and a twinge of wanting to be a kid again at the same time. In short, being a teenager sucks, and Palo Alto expresses every miserable moment of it beautifully. But it’s not just good writing and set dressing that creates an accurate high school portrayal on film. By casting actual teenagers (and one very young adult, with Emma Roberts clocking in at age 20 during production) to portray their teen characters, the story was leant an authenticity that just couldn’t be […]

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James McAvoy in Filth

Don’t let the bland, bloated, and messy The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fool you, this May is chock full of quality releases to start the summer off right with. While one would be better off seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier again this weekend for  a comic book sequel done right, there’s plenty of movies following The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s release that promise a good season for movie-going. One of those movies may or may not be A Million Ways to Die in the West. That film likely won’t change anyone’s mind, for better or worse, on Seth MacFarlane. It will be interesting to see if his fans have any interest seeing him in his live-action work, though. He’s a talented vocal actor, but does he have the chops for a live-action performance? The trailers indicate not, but maybe this super expensive comedy will surprise us skeptics. Before we see those 2 hours of “isn’t the old west crazy?!” joke play out, there are 10 releases not to miss this May before MacFarlane’s film arrives at the end of the month. Here are the must see movies of May 2014:

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Palo Alto film

Hey, guess what? High school sucked. And even if your high school experience wasn’t as rotten and wicked as the ones experienced by the characters that populate Gia Coppola‘s Palo Alto, it seems highly likely that you’ll still find plenty to both relish and revolt from in the filmmaker’s debut feature. This isn’t everyone‘s high school experience, but it’s certainly someone’s. Coppola adapted some of the short story work of James Franco, who also co-stars in the film, for her first feature, and if nothing else, it sure makes Franco’s written work appear instantly compelling. It’s fairly obvious that the film has been cobbled together from assorted stories, as there is a lackadaisical nature to the connections between characters and plots that doesn’t seem exactly lazy, but is undoubtedly the product of some disconneted source material. At its heart, Palo Alto is about the almost-not-quite relationship between April (Emma Roberts, who is just excellent) and Teddy (Jack Kilmer), a pair of high school students who are prone to getting into spats of trouble, or at least hanging around people who don’t have their best interests at heart. There’s a lot of ill-advised hanging around in Palo Alto. 

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Palo Alto

While yesterday our own Kate Erbland brought you news of puzzling James Franco projects of yore, today the renaissance man is gracing us with the trailer for Palo Alto, the trailer for the film based on his collection of short stories. Though written and directed by Gia Coppola (yes, related, granddaughter), Franco steps into the world he created for himself to play a soccer coach who seduces his teenage star, Emma Roberts. In other intertwined stories, we see teenagers dealing with drinking, drugs, heartbreak, and authority in the affluent suburbs of Palo Alto, California. It’s your typical coming of age fare, but through the pen and influence of Franco, is it going to be any different than your normal teen movies? Check out the trailer for yourself:

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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