Boggs AKA Mahershala Ali Talks About “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1," Jennifer Lawrence, and Gave Me the Three-Finger Salute! 


Mahershala Ali is having a wonderful year! He’s in “Game of Cards” and now, he’s in one of the most successful franchises that truly delivers, movie after movie after movie.

I spoke with Ali via satellite to talk about “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” and he was a hoot! The actor revealed his motivation for joining the cast, finding the heart of his character, working with Jennifer Lawrence, the rich political undertones of the film, and most importantly, we both did the three-finger salute! Take a look at my fun interview.



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Oscar-Winning Director Mike Nichols Passed Away At 83 


Mike Nichols, the brilliant director of great films such as "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," "The Graduate," "The Working Girl," "The Birdcage" and many more has passed away. He was 83.

Married to ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer for 26 years, the report of his death was announced on Thursday morning by ABC News President James Goldston. The director died suddenly late Wednesday night.

Nichols was one of the best directors of both stage and film. He was one of the few to win the EGOT award -- Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. When I was a college student at Purdue University, I devoured his movies specifically "The Graduate" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf."

In later years, Nichols even brought us the great HBO special "Angels in America" based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tony Kushner. Nichols was working on a new project for HBO – an adaptation of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play Master Class, based on the life of opera singer Maria Callas. Meryl Streep was supposed to star.

Nichols' final movie, 2007's "Charlie Wilson's War," starred Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

Steven Spielberg paid homage to Nichols through a note he sent to Deadline:

“Mike was a friend, a muse, a mentor, one of America’s all time greatest film and stage directors, and one of the most generous people I have ever known. For me, The Graduate was life altering — both as an experience at the movies as well as a master class about how to stage a scene. Mike had a brilliant cinematic eye and uncanny hearing for keeping scenes ironic and real. Actors never gave him less than their personal best — and then Mike would get from them even more. And in a room full of people, Mike was always the center of gravity. This is a seismic loss.”


Nichols joins his "The Birdcage" actor, Robin Williams, in movie heaven.

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J.K. Simmons Receives Big Honor from Palm Springs International Film Festival 


He has been Spidey's boss, a mean prisoner in "Oz," Juno's daddy, and lately, Farmer's Insurance spokesperson, but now, J.K. Simmons is going to be a Palm Springs International Film Festival awardee.

The actor is currently making waves for his brilliant performance in "Whiplash," just in time for the Academy Awards season. Simmons will be joining previously announced winners, Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore.

Here's the complete press release:

Palm Springs, CA (November 18, 2014) – The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present J.K. Simmons with the Spotlight Award, Actor at its annual Awards Gala. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne. Presented by Cartier, and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-12.

“Throughout his career J.K. Simmons had played a wide range of roles from tough guys in “Oz” and Sam Raimi’s Spider Man films to nicer guys in Juno and Up in the Air,” said Harold Matzner, Chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. “In Whiplash, Simmons’ shines with his tough guy portrayal of a music teacher, who physically and emotionally terrorizes a young drummer, and gives a captivating performance that is alternately hilarious and terrifying. We are honored to present J.K. Simmons with the 2015 Spotlight Award, Actor.”

Past recipients of the Spotlight Award include Julia Roberts, Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams and Helen Hunt. All four recipients received Academy Award® nominations in the year they were honored.

In Whiplash, Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, the Sony Pictures Classics film stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons.

J.K. Simmons has appeared in diverse projects spanning motion pictures, television and the stage on and off Broadway. His motion picture credits include Sam Raimi’s Spider Man trilogy, Hidalgo, The Ladykillers, The Mexican, Off the Map, For Love of the Game, The Gift, Thank You for Smoking, Rendition, Burn After Reading, Juno, The Words, The Music Never Stopped, Jennifer’s Body, Extract, The Vicious Kind, I Love You Man, Beginner’s Guide to Endings, Contraband, Up in the Air, Jobs, Labor Day. His upcoming projects include The Reluctant Professor opposite Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei, Gillian Raimi’s next feature Murder of a Cat and Jeremy Sisto’s feature Breakpoint.

On the small screen Simmons played roles in TNT’s hit series “The Closer,” HBO’s acclaimed drama “Oz,” NBC’s “Growing Up Fisher” NBC’s “Law & Order,” NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” and a recurring role on TBS’ new hit comedy “Men at Work.” Simmons has appeared on the Broadway stage in performances of “Guys and Dolls,” “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” “A Change in the Heir,” “Peter Pan” and “A Few Good Men.”

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet.

The Awards Gala of the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight. The City of Palm Springs is the Title Sponsor of the Film Festival. Presenting Sponsors are Wells Fargo, The Desert Sun and Spencer’s. Major sponsors are Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Wessman Development, Bank of America, Wintec, Regal Entertainment Group, Ignition Creative, Desert Regional Medical Center, Windermere Real Estate, Eisenhower Medical Center, Guthy-Renker, Integrated Wealth Management, VisitGreaterPalmSprings.com, Ocean Properties, Chihuly and Telefilm Canada.

For more information, visit www.psfilmfest.org.

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"Dumb and Dumber To" Movie Review 


Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels team up once again for “Dumb and Dumber To.” I didn’t like the original but through the years, I grew fond of it. So is the sequel more of the same? Take a look at my movie review of “Dumb and Dumber To.”



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Julianne Moore Becomes Oscar Frontrunner! 


The whole year, I have been looking for THE Oscar season frontrunner for Best Actress. I was hoping Shailene Woodley from "The Fault in Our Stars" would squeak in, but now, the lovely, talented, and ultra-sweet Julianne Moore is the one to beat!

Her double whammy performances for "Map to the Stars" and "Still Alice" solidify that notion. And just this morning, the Palm Springs International Film Festival just called her THE best actress of the year! Moore will be receiving the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress, at the festival's Awards Gala.

I can't wait! I will be on the red carpet to chat it up with the fantastic Miss Moore! She will be joining the equally talented Eddie Redmayne from "The Theory of Everything" at the gala where the actor is set to receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor.

Here's the full press release from the PSIFF:

Palm Springs, CA (November 13, 2014) – The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Julianne Moore with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress, at its annual Awards Gala. Each year the festival selects an actor and actress to receive this award. Presented by Cartier, and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs Jan 2-12, 2015.

“Throughout her career, Julianne Moore has delivered a wide range of extraordinary performances, from such diverse Oscar-nominated films as Boogie Nights and Far from Heaven to this year’s Cannes win for Best Actress in the rivetingMaps to the Stars,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In her latest film Still Alice, she faces one of her most demanding and challenging roles as Alice, a woman diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Moore delivers another career-defining performance that is sure to captivate audiences and bring attention to this devastating disease. It is our honor to present the 2015 Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress, to Julianne Moore.”

Past actress recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress, include Sandra Bullock, Natalie Portman, Halle Berry, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts and Michelle Williams.

Moore plays Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, and is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she received diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking and inspiring. The Sony Pictures Classics film stars Moore, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Alec Baldwin, Hunter Parrish and is directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. The film is being released in New York and Los Angeles for a one-week qualifying run on December 5, 2014 and opens onJanuary 16, 2015.

Moore’s notable films include the remake of Carrie; Non-Stop; Crazy, Stupid, Love; The Kids Are All Right; A Single Man; The Forgotten; What Maisie Knew; The English Teacher; Laws Of Attraction; Chloe; 6 Souls; Blindness; Savage Grace; I’m Not There; Children Of Men; Hannibal; Jurassic Park: The Lost World; The Fugitive; Nine Months; Benny & Joon; The Hand That Rocks The Cradle; The End Of The Affair; Boogie Nights; Magnolia; Cookie’s Fortune; Short Cuts; Don Jon; Gus Van Sant’s re-make of Psycho; Safe; Vanya On 42ndStreet; Surviving Picasso; and The Big Lebowski. Moore will next be seen as President Alma Coin in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Next year she will star in The Seventh Son due out on February 6, 2015 and Maps To The Stars. She is currently in production on the indie drama Freeheld.

Moore is a four-time Academy Award nominee, eight-time Golden Globe nominee, six-time SAG Award nominee, four-time BAFTA nominee, and a three-time Independent Spirit Award nominee winning in 2003 forFar From Heaven. In 2012, she won the Primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her role as Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in the HBO original movie Game Change. This role also garnered wins at the 2013 SAG Awards and Golden Globe Awards.


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