The Fluffy Movie (Review)

 

“Rodriguez keeps things short at the beginning, and also manages to give us about ninety-five minutes of winning comedy material, directed slickly and assisted by Iglesias’s incredible stamina and timing.”

 

 

by Steve Pulaski

The first comedy special I saw with comedian Gabriel Iglesias, “I’m Not Fat… I’m Fluffy,” I was sorry I didn’t see any of the man’s work sooner. Iglesias beared a zealous comedic drive that was difficult to find in many comics today, maneuvering through topics of eating, family, and father/son relationships, along with just being that overweight, goofball friend we all know. These are the key reasons that Iglesias has propelled to incredible, global success in the field of standup comedy, and answers why we are finally seeing his first theatrical film appear on the billboards of our local multiplexes.

The Fluffy Movie, which chronicles two performances in San Diego, seamlessly intertwining together with no distracting or abrupt jumps, shows Iglesias at the most comically and emotionally potent levels I’ve ever seen the man. For over ninety minutes, Iglesias entertains and wows with his blend of relatable comedy in the fields of diet, exercise, friends, family, relationships with a child that isn’t yours, and much more in probably his most entertaining moments captured on film.

The Fluffy Movie
Directed by
Manny Rodriguez & Jay Lavender
Cast
Gabriel Iglesias, Jacqueline Obradors, Gina Brillon
Release Date
25 July 2014
Steve’s Grade: A-

Iglesias, known by his nickname “Fluffy,” as the film’s title indicates, opens and closes by discussing stunningly emotional issues for him, which are diet and weight issues and reconnecting with estranged family members, respectively. He opens by saying that he has lost over one-hundred pounds after his peak weight reached four-hundred and forty-five pounds; “that’s not ‘fluffy,’ that’s Discovery Channel fat!,” he tells the packed house. After learning he had Type 2 Diabetes, Iglesias tried to reduce his sugar and overall food intake by limiting excess eating, but still eats fast food daily, consuming the meat and spare condiments off his hamburgers and three large Diet Cokes. He says that once he heard his doctor say he had two years at most to live, he cut down his diet considerably. “If I eat like this, I get a lot of cholesterol, which will kill me in ten years, rather than diabetes, which will kill me in two. I just bought myself eight years; that’s what I call ‘Fluffy Math,’” he tells us.

Iglesias moves on, discussing his heavy drinking habits, his wild encounter at a bar with a gay man, his hilarious stories about touring in India, and finally utilizing the last forty minutes of the one-hundred and one minute special by talking about connecting more with his often disconnected son and meeting his father after thirty long years. One thing that still remains true about Iglesias, which makes him one of the most unique and versatile comics working today, are his impressions. Iglesias can mimic anything, from everyday sounds, to unique, one-of-a-kind sounds, to flawless impressions of celebrities, different races, and more. Consider the monologue when he shows how different races express themselves using their heads, from Indians, to Mexicans, to African-Americans. The bit is incredibly funny and propels itself along solely by Iglesias’s amazing impression work.


On top of that, The Fluffy Movie hits its emotional stride in the last twenty-five minutes or so, really painting the picture of a grown-man meeting his father for the first time, sitting down and talking to him, as well as helping work his son, who isn’t his biological son, mind you, work through the problems he had with his father and about a possible rekindling down the road. Even while tackling these heavy subjects, it’s stunning how Iglesias can still blend humor and heartbreak, never dabbing too much into one and avoiding the other or throwing off the entire rhythm and tone of a comedy special.

Not to mention, thankfully, director Manny Rodriguez, who directs all of Iglesias’s specials, from his Comedy Central specials to his now cinematic one, doesn’t spend too much time on the opening skit, which lasts a tolerable five minutes and provides for some genuine laughs. Walking into The Fluffy Movie, I was reminded of when Kevin Hart made me sit through a fifteen minute skit during his sophomore theatrical comedy special Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, intruding on the already limited time we had together (seventy-five minutes with credits). Rodriguez keeps things short at the beginning, and also manages to give us about ninety-five minutes of winning comedy material, directed slickly and assisted by Iglesias’s incredible stamina and timing. If many more comedians are going to start having one of their comedy specials come to theaters (something I wouldn’t object to), then they have another poster-child for a successful one, alongside the ones made by Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Martin Lawrence.

True Blood: Season 7, Episode 5 (Recap)

Lost Cause (Spoiler Warning)

This week’s episode of True Blood had a decent mix of everything, as one would expect at the midway point of the final season. It managed to cover all the bases in an attempt at pleasing everyone and at that it most definitely succeeded. As well as finally getting to see Eric with his hands wrapped around Sarah Newlin’s neck, there was the big surprise at learning Bill Compton is the latest victim of Hep-V. Now that Alcide has gone to the great kennel in the sky, with Eric and now Bill ready to purchase land fit for growing crops and raising livestock, Sookie is gonna be without someone to have sex with for the first time in ages. Unless a cure is found for Hep-V, poor sookie will need to start hunting for another non-human to share her bed. Animal, vegetable or mineral; Sookie ain’t the fussy sort.

True Blood
Created by
Alan Ball
Cast
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Chris Bauer, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Nelsan Ellis, Joe Manganiello, Deborah Ann Woll, Carrie Preston
Episode Release Date
20 July 2014
Ed’s Grade: B+

Even though there are countless people dead because of the crazed and infected vampires, everyone saw fit to give Alcide a sendoff in the shape of a party at Sookie’s house. Sookie is still trying to cope with her loss and the last thing she wants or needs is a house full of happy mourners. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what she gets thanks to Lafayette.

Much is revealed at the partay, with Bill having several flashbacks which I guess were designed to show how good he was in his pre-vamp days during the Civil War. After the writers establish his previous good nature, a shocked Bill learns of his infection when he looks in the mirror after taking a shower.

Even though it’s pretty inappropriate to be making marriage proposals at an event such as this, it doesn’t prevent Andy Bellefleur from asking Holly to be his lawfully wedded wife. Before Andy goes down on one knee, Jason quickly offers sound (and very funny) advice to Adilyn and Wade: “A word to the wise; I don’t know if you two are f*cking or not, but if you are, it’s gonna have to stop right now.” Andy’s proposal speech to Holly is heartfelt, but she tells him “yes!” before he even reaches the part where he asks “will you marry me?”


Just before Andy popped the question he went to Jessica who was standing outside due to her still feeling guilty. Andy makes up with Jessica telling her life’s too short, and that she should come in and join in the festivities. James is feeling neglected by Jessica and while he and Lafayette are out on the porch discussing James’ feelings, Lafayette asks him if the guy who turned James was also his boyfriend. It turns out he was.

Now that Jessica is free from her constant feeling of guilt, she goes looking for James to share some love. She finally finds James with Lafayette in a compromising position in their SUV. Shocked, Jessica runs to Jason and tells him what happened, resulting in Jason rescinding James’ invitation to the house. It’s not long before Jason and Jessica are following suit. Can you remember the first time the pair made love? It happened on Halloween night in season 4 episode 9 and you can watch it here.

While Sookie’s party is in full swing, Eric and Pam are hunting for Sarah Newlin. They start off at Fangtasia, where an angry Willa demands to be released from Eric if she agrees to tell him where to find Sarah. Eric does so and then learns Sarah has a vampire sister. This is the same sister Sarah told the world was killed by a vampire, and the reason she was trying to rid the world of the undead. When Eric and Pam find the vamp sister they discover she too has Hep-V, and she’s also very willing to help them kill Sarah. They travel to Dallas because Sarah’s parents are attending a political gala in honer of G W Bush. They have to get past the security, so Eric dons a suit and ten gallon hat, with Pam in a sparkly dress. Uttering another classic line, Pam complains “I look like a republic*nt.”

At the gala, Sarah finds her mother and begs her to hide her from the Yakuza, but she’s too late. while Pam and Eric are hunting for her at the gala the Yakuza arrive in numbers and start shooting up the place, killing everyone in their way, including Sarah’s mother. Just as they catch up to Sarah, she runs right into Eric in a slowed down scene, almost exactly like the one where Sarah Conner runs into Arnie while she’s escaping from the mental hospital in Terminator 2. Eric grabs her by the neck and begins to squeeze but he has to drop Sarah so he can kill the three Yakuza men who are about to shoot at him with automatic guns. Eric quickly kills two of them but the third he viciously rips his lower jaw off. That’s how it ends with Eric so we’ll need to wait for next week to see what’s in store for Sara. I can’t wait! You can watch the old Sarah Newlin from season 2 here.

I’m actually surprised at how good this episode was, with it bettering even last week’s. We have only five more to go but it’s shaping up to be as good as it was at the beginning. Let’s hope so!

by Ed Blackadder

Details for next week:

Episode #76: Karma

Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 27 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates: July 27 (11:30 p.m., 2:00 a.m.), 28 (11:50 p.m.), 29 (midnight) and 30 (8:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), and Aug. 1 (midnight)

HBO2 playdates: July 28 (9:00 p.m.) and 31 (5:00 a.m.), and Aug. 2 (9:00 p.m.), 3 (8:00 p.m.) and 24 (5:00 p.m.)

A shocking discovery forces Sookie (Anna Paquin) to reassess her recent involvement with Bill (Stephen Moyer). In Dallas, Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) and Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) forge an unlikely alliance in their hunt for a shared nemesis. Andy (Chris Bauer) bickers with Holly (Lauren Bowles) about their children’s behavior; Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) shares a vision with Lettie Mae (Adina Porter); Jason (Ryan Kwanten) owns up to his true feelings about Violet (Karolina Wydra); Sam (Sam Trammell) finds himself in a quandary regarding Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell).

Written by Angela Robinson; directed by Angela Robinson.

An Interview with Actor Eric Goins (AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire)

 

Actor Eric Goins plays Larry in the new popular drama Halt and Catch Fire from AMC. The show features the talents of Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy and Mackenzie Davis to name only a few. Eric Goins took time out of his busy schedule to talk to Influx Magazine about his character.

 

by Patrick Coffey

Do any of you remember that old, made-for-TV movie made back in the 90′s from TNT called Pirates of Silicon Valley? Well, if not, you missed out, cause it’s freaking awesome.  But have no fear – there’s a new TV series on AMC called Halt and Catch Fire, and the story goes along the same lines.

Halt and Catch Fire takes place in Dallas in the early 1980′s, at the height of the computer silicon revolution. The characters are similar to real-life computer pioneers of the period, like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The issues the show characters face are not unlike the ones originally faced by said historical figures.

I think one of the best things about Halt and Catch Fire is the way the writing and production team thematically approach the 80′s. It’s not just cliched piano ties and mingling some yuppies in with some big hair new wavers, in order to exploit the show’s time setting. Instead, it uses the familiarity of what the 80′s were, as a backdrop for storytelling, which is, I think, what good storytelling about a specific time period should be.

I had a chance to chat with Halt and Catch Fire‘s Eric Goins, the actor who plays Larry, and we discussed the show and what the future may hold, which was very Back to the Future of me, if you really think about it.

Patrick CoffeyPlaying in an 80′s television period piece like this must bring back some memories. What’s your fondest memories about that time period?

Eric GoinsThe 80′s were such an interesting time in history. An era in which people weren’t quite as cool as we thought we were. Who can forget parachute pants, penny loafers (with the penny), and the history defining mullet haircut?  I’m fond of all those memories and happy to report that I sported the ‘business in the front/party in the back’ haircut through much of the 80′s. What really stands out for me about the 80′s is the budding excitement about a new wave of technology surfacing around us. Progress was happening in areas of our life that would eventually change the way we live forever. And I love how AMC has captured this pioneer spirit with Halt & Catch Fire. The show really explores an entire culture of society functioning with one foot in the past and one stepping towards the future.

PCThe 80′s were pretty goofy and light-hearted, the best I can remember (with exception of the whole fearing nuclear war). What did you do with this character set in the 80′s that you would have done differently if you were doing the same character written for the present era?

EGThe most obvious differences for Larry are his wardrobe and his hairstyle. I had a lot of fun working with the wardrobe and hair department on this show. Apparently, clothes weren’t the same size in the 80′s as they are now because it seems like all my XL shirts on the show are a good bit tighter than the modern-day fit. Or, maybe it’s just the few extra pounds I put on for the show? Employees in the 80′s also tended to stay at their place of employment for much longer than today’s standard of job changes seemingly happening every year or so.

Many people spent 40 or more years doing the same thing every day of their professional career and retired after years of loyal service. This idea allowed me to play Larry with a certain comfortability at work and a loyalty to Gordon and the tasks at hand. But that comfortability can easily become complacency; a lack of personal ambition almost; as Larry has moments when he irritates Gordon while listening to headphones and playing with a television watch or while providing the drum roll for the big BIOS boot up. The 80′s were full of good productive work combined with good ole’ fashioned fun. On set, there was actually a little jingle about the three engineers, Larry, Stan, and Ed. As we walked to set, the wardrobe department would sing “It’s the three best friends…that anyone could have”. I wish I could write the musical notes to the jingle. It’s a better story that way. It all comes with the territory when you’re a Cardiff Company Man and that’s Larry!

PCWhat’s it like to be on a show on AMC? I mean Breaking Bad, Walking Dead… is there much pressure?

EGAs a matter of fact, there is a certain level of comfort that comes with working on an AMC show. Being surrounded by such a talented and experienced group of working professionals gives everyone a lot of confidence, that we have everything in our favor to start out with. And my job is to walk in Larry’s shoes all day and, as Larry, I have to stay focused on his needs and his pressures so the fact that we are doing a television show fades into the back of my mind. As long as I show up and present my best portrayal of Larry in every scene, I have done my part in this very big machine and the rest is out of our control.

PCYou’ve been in most of the episodes in this series; is it safe to assume your character is here to stay? And while on the subject, has it been picked up for a second season?

EGMuch like Larry at Cardiff Electric, that information is above my pay grade. I’m optimistic that we will see a second season, and I hope that Larry continues to play a role in the story. He is a Cardiff Company Man, after all.

PCI read in your IMDb bio that you’re a student of Hapkido. Can you kick people’s asses?  Actually more important than that, I read that you spent years in the corporate world before becoming an actor; how useful is that experience when playing a character like this?

EGI kick my own ass a lot but that’s a story for another time. Working in the corporate world did give me a great deal of real world experience in understanding corporate culture and nuances. I feel I take a great deal of insight into the role of Larry because the politics and the hierarchy that plagued the 80′s are still alive and kicking in today’s corporate America. It’s just that now everyone can make their moves against each other faster and even anonymously sometimes thanks to today’s technologies. I can relate to every character of the show because, at one point or another, I worked with someone just like them during my corporate world experience.

PCLast question: Your acting career has allowed you to work with some of my favorite musicians growing up; Ice Cube and Rob Zombie. Were you a fan of these guys musically and did it make you audition a little more fiercely for these roles?

EGI approach every audition with the same fierce intensity and preparation. You have to if you hope to work in this industry. That being said, I’m a huge fan of just about everything Ice Cube has done. Rob Zombie was really cool to work especially since it was a horror film. I’ve had the opportunity to work around some incredibly dynamic people and almost everyone I’ve met has been incredibly generous as professionals. I’m thankful for every day that I get to do what I do!

AMC has definitely got a history of success with unique dramas, handling themes that people could never have imagined to be successful in the past. With dramas that feature meth-dealing chemistry teachers, to the walking dead, will a period drama based off of real figures in history be their next hit? Well, only time will tell, unless of course you can get your hands on a DeLorean with a flux capacitor and a way to generate 1.21 gigawatts. Great Scott!

Top 10 Best Picture Winners (List)

 
The constant debate over what film won Best Picture, what film did not or which film got snubbed of a nomination will never end. The reality is, the winners won and its our film history. There is not much point in arguing about it, so let’s share it, discuss it and preserve it for future generations. The beauty of movies is, they are not mine or yours, they are ours.

by Paul Booth

Top Ten Best Picture Winners

1) 12 Years a Slave (2013)

In an Oscar year with tough races for Director, Actor, Actress; there was simply no choice for the top prize outside 12 Years a Slave. I enjoyed other nominees like NebraskaThe Wolf of Wall St. and Dallas Buyer’s Club, but it was time the Academy and voters picked a film based on humanity, not box office or stars.

2) Platoon (1986)

America was only 12-14 years (if that) out of the Vietnam War and thankfully a small distribution company would take a chance on an unknown director (but Oscar-winning’/known screenwriter named Oliver Stone). Stone had served two tours of duty in Vietnam, so he had a vision for Platoon, no director could have. Super Oscar-nominated performances by both Tom Beranger and Willem Defoe.

3) Marty (1955)

It has to be the most simple winner of the Grand Statue in Oscar History. It’s about an insecure man who loves with his mom and is trying to find love. Insecure about his weight, Ernest Borgnine brought such truth to the role of Marty, he also won a Best Actor Oscar. This was the first movie to be based on a television show/teleplay.

4) American Beauty (1999)

The film that stormed theaters and changed audiences evaluation of their own personal demons, was the perfect film about how we all hide our demons and (sometimes) who we really are. Excellent cast, Oscars for Directing and Cinematography as well. Only one word to describe this movie, brilliant.

5) Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

One of the most influential films to date, spawning young directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to make movies. It is a P.O.W. movie on the surface, but is not depressing. It picked up seven Oscars including Best Director for David Lean and this film boasts one of the best movie endings ever filmed.

6) Giant (1956)

This superbly epic tale of oil and greed, stand the test of time and when you view it, you feel you are watching a documentary about two of our former Presidents who made their life on oil. Not a political film, just a true testament to the genius of Director George Stevens. Stevens also won Best Director, his second after the brilliant, but scary master-piece A Place in the Sun (1951).

7) Annie Hall (1977)

It beat Star Wars. It was the birth of Woody Allen as a mature filmmaker and it launched a fashion revolution thanks to Diane Keaton’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Annie Hall. A brilliant film about the realities of dating. It was one of the last movies to show audiences preferred story over explosions.

8) Argo (2012)

The arrival of Ben Affleck as one of the great film director’s of his generation. Argo is based on a true story of Government officials who helped rescue some hostages in the Middle East. This is a must see movie, so no need to spoil you with the plot and ruin Affleck’s brilliant vision (although he was not even nominated as Best Director). This movie is also Produced by George Clooney.

9) One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

We all know this movie. We love it or hate it or have seen it too many times. It is worth a view for the humanity director Milos Forman gave to the patients “society deemed insane”. This film was Nicholson’s first Oscar, brought foreign director Milos Forman his first Oscar and like Argo was Producer by Michael Douglas. Douglas became the first actor to win a Producing Oscar and to this day is the only actor to win Best Picture and Best Actor Oscars (Wall Street, 1987).

10) Rocky (1976)

The only best picture winner to destroy its own legacy with five sequels. This first instalment was written by Stallone and starred Stallone. He had a chance to be like Orson Welles or Woody Allen and write, produce and act in good films. Instead, by his own admission “I got sucked into the cars, mansions, money and women, I stopped caring about my craft.” Sad, there could have been something great. Good movie, do not miss Rocky, but Stallone became the real life version of filmic idol Marlon Brando’s character in On the Waterfront “I could have been a contender.” Yes, Sly, you made one heck of a movie, then blew it.

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  "Cross Bearer wallows in its seamier aspects and turns up the volume when it comes time for a hammer claw to Continue→

Killer Legends (2014) IhCYLuUygRY
Killer Legends (Review)

            by Rob Rector Filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills Continue→

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The Bunnyman Massacre (Review)

“Writer/director Carl Lindbergh actually creates a new villain to entertain Continue→

Reason Dirs
An Interview with Directors Andrew Schrader & Jordan Harris

I recently interviewed filmmakers Andrew Schrader and Jordan Harris about their newest film, The Age of Reason (read my Continue→

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Martin’s 100 Most Overrated Films, Part 1
Martin’s 100 Most Overrated Films, Part 1

Great reviews, interviews, articles and more!

Check out this week’s feature from Influx Magazine!

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In the Spotlight:

In the Spotlight:
An Interview with Yvonne Strahovski
An Interview with Yvonne Strahovski

Great interviews.

Great articles.

Great reviews.

We’ve got it all on INFLUX Magazine.

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Brian's Brain: Stark v. Kennedy

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Hot on Influx Magazine:
An Interview with Actor William Sadler
An Interview with Actor William Sadler

From established A-listers to up-and-comers, from the names you know, to the names you will know, read INFLUX the latest Influx Interviews.

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Influx Magazine Presents:

Influx Magazine Presents:
King Lear (Theatre)
King Lear (Theatre)

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Influx Exclusive Interview:

Influx Exclusive Interview:
An Interview with Actor Crispin Glover
An Interview with Actor Crispin Glover

INFLUX Interviews offer unique insight into the world of actors, directors, producers, musicians and many others in the various worlds of entertainment.

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INFLUX Interviews

Eric G
An Interview with Actor Eric Goins (AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire)

  Actor Eric Goins plays Larry in the new popular drama Halt and Catch Fire from AMC. The show features the talents More→

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An Interview with Uwe Boll (II)

  "I think most filmmakers are like actors - basically whores who sit there and wait till they can get paid to just More→

AEckhart
An Interview with Aaron Eckhart

He was the antagonist to Batman in The Dark Knight! He's portrayed the President of the United States in Olympus has Fallen! More→

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An Interview with Actor Alan Bagh (Star of ‘Birdemic: Shock and Terror’)

  An interview with Alan Bagh, star of cult B-movie Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Birdemic is currently the number 2 More→

YS1
An Interview with Yvonne Strahovski

She's immediately recognizable from her role on Dexter as Hannah and is a major player in the 24: Live Another Day More→

Coogan
An Interview with Actor Keith Coogan

I recently had the pleasure to sit and talk with lifelong actor Keith Coogan.  Notably recognizable for two of his most More→

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Top 10 Best Picture Winners (List)

  The constant debate over what film won Best Picture, what film did not or which film got snubbed of a nomination will never end. The reality Continue→

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10 Movies with Supporting Actor Oscar Nominees (List)

On many lists they concentrate on only the winners. Here, attention is drawn to the performances that helped escalate a film, but simply fell short Continue→

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Top 10 Best Picture Winners (List)

  The constant debate over what film won Best Picture, what film did not or which film got snubbed of a nomination More→

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10 Movies with Supporting Actor Oscar Nominees (List)

On many lists they concentrate on only the winners. Here, attention is drawn to the performances that helped escalate a More→

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10 Films That Helped Define Cinema (List)

  "For a film to make this list, it had to be a film that broke barriers or discussed a taboo subject. After these More→

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