Review: BELIEVER – A Documentary From Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) on HBO

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I had the chance to sit down and watch BELIEVER on HBO this weekend and it was so good!

SYNOPSIS: Believer follows Mormon Dan Reynolds, frontman for the Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons, as he takes on a new mission to explore how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.

Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) grew up in the Mormon faith alongside his family and friends in Utah. The Mormon doctrine believes that homosexuality is a sin, and they’ve even been known to remove allies from their church. There have been some amendments to their policies over the years, but the astounding number of suicides among teenagers in the Mormon community is still rising.

This prompted Dan to team up with Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees lead singer & fellow Mormon) to look for ways to bring awareness to these situations within the Mormon community. They formed the LoveLoud Festival and this documentary follows their journey in getting the festival organized. One of my favorite parts in the documentary is when Dan’s wife, Aja, is explaining to their young daughter what it means to be gay/transgender. I explained it to my niece the exact same way when she was around the same age and I don’t regret it one bit. Because I did that when she was young, my niece has always been inclusive towards all human beings. Seeing a similar experience documented with their adorable daughter was very special.

It’s an interesting documentary, to say the least. With the help of Tyler, Aja, and several people who are a part of the Mormon community, they shed light on the things that need to change, and continue to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community.

I recommend watching it, without a doubt. As an ally to the LGBTQ community myself, I think it’s important to see how shunning a person due to their sexual orientation/preference can cause so much harm to that individual and their family. If we want to keep our brothers and sisters safe, we need to be inclusive and supportive. This documentary does a fantastic job of that.

 

I’ll leave you with this incredible tweet from Dan Reynolds via Twitter:

Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon Light It Up in HBO Official Teaser Trailer for ‘FAHRENHEIT 451’

What’s up, movie lovers??

I must say, after watching this teaser trailer earlier today . . . I’m intrigued. I’m also a little salty that they’re BURNING BOOKS. What a waste!

FAHRENHEIT 451 is a film set for release this May on HBO. The film is also based on the 1953 dystopian novel (ironically) of the same name, written by Ray Bradbury.

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Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan

 

SYNOPSIS: In a terrifying care-free future, a young man, Guy Montag, whose job as a fireman is to burn all books, questions his actions after meeting a young girl…and begins to rebel against society.

I love that Michael B. Jordan seems to be everywhere these days. What a phenomenal actor! So glad he’s getting the recognition he deserves. Hot on the heels of the successful Black Panther release in theaters, I’m excited to catch this in the next few months.

What did you think of the teaser? Did you read the novel? Let me know!

 

Felipe Esparza (@FunnyFelipe) Talks with @Thisfunktional at The Queen Mary Dark Harbor Preview Night

Written by Jesus Figueroa (@Thisfunktional)

Comedian Felipe Esparza talks with Jesus Figueroa, @Thisfunktional of Thisfunktional.com, at the black carpet preview day for the Queen Mary Dark Harbor.

Esparza has a funny discussion about having a halloween in a bad neighborhood he grew up in, his HBO Special “Translate This” and what he was looking forward to at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Preview night.

HBO special “Felipe Esparza: Translate This” airs on Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. on HBO, HBO Latino and HBO NOW App.

The Queen Mary Dark Harbor is open now until Nov. 1. Find out more at QueenMary.com.

FELIPE ESPARZA: TRANSLATE THIS
on HBO, HBO Latino and HBO NOW app on Sept. 30
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The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Unveils the Spirit of Chef
Sept. 28 – Nov. 1
Embark on a Terrifying Journey Through All-New Maze FEAST

NEW EXPERIENCES:

  • Swelter with fear in FEAST Maze, 4th maze onboard the ship, for a terrifying journey into the legend of Chef
  • Venture into the frozen depths of Chef’s Meat Locker for a unique 7-degree ice bar experience
  • Stumble upon the secret hidden sidebar inside one of Dark Harbor’s mazes for a one-of-a-kind experience

NEWLY-INTENSIFIED RETURNING MAZES:

  • INTREPID: Meet the mastermind, the creator and now the protector of the Queen Mary, Iron Master.
  • CIRCUS: Step right up as the Ringmaster startles with disorienting illusions, maniacal magic acts, and a cadre of sideshow freaks.
  • DEADRISE: Captain and the dark vessel’s crew have risen from the deep for a battle against the living.
  • SOULMATE: Escape the gloves of Graceful Gale as she feverishly searches for her eternal mate.
  • B340: Descend into the insidious mind of Samuel the Savage to face his worst nightmares.
  • LULLABY: Hush Hush don’t cry; Scary Mary is just looking for her next playmate

ADDITIONAL ATTRACTIONS:

  • SIDESHOW: Step ‘backstage,” rub elbows with resident freaks, take in a show or a drink at the secret bar
  • CREEPY CABANAS: Host a private soiree, order a freak show, enjoy instant access to Sideshow & Swings
  • R.I.P. LOUNGE: Hover above Dark Harbor at the exclusive ghost-eye-view VIP bar with all-you-can-eat tacos
  • SINISTER SWINGS: Take a spin on the infamous Neverland Ranch Ride
  • MAINSTAGE: DJ spins between a variety of nightly entertainment shows, plus special guest performances.

TICKETS:

  • General admission tickets start at just $24 online. Fast Fright, VIP and the Ultimate Scream Experience are available. Purchase tickets: queenmary.com

PARKING:

  • $40 for Premium Parking located in the Queen Mary parking lot
  • $15 for all-new Dark Harbor Express, 6pm – 1:30am
  • Board the Dark Harbor Express boat service (operated by Aqua Link) at Shoreline Village at the Aquarium of the Pacific for your short boat ride over to the Queen Mary. Round-trip fees on the Dark Harbor Express are $8 per person and the parking structure is located at 248 W. Shoreline Drive in Long Beach. Cash only.
  • $15 for parking at Long Beach Courthouse, 6 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
  • Board a shuttle bus for your complimentary ride over to the Queen Mary located at 101 Magnolia Avenue in Downtown Long Beach. Cash only.

@Thisfunktional Talks With Felipe Esparza TRANSLATE THIS

Written by Jesus Figueroa (@Thisfunktional)

Comedian Felipe Esparza talks with Jesus Figueroa, @Thisfunktional of Thisfunktional.com, about his upcoming HBO special “Translate This,” airing on Sept. 30.

Esparza talks about wanting his comedy to be timeless, growing as a comedian and how he and his wife, Lisa Esparza, were very hands on with with producing the comedy special.

FELIPE ESPARZA: TRANSLATE THIS
on HBO, HBO Latino and HBO NOW app on Sept. 30
Follow and interact with Jesus:
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FELIPE ESPARZA: TRANSLATE THIS, His First Stand-up Special on the Network, Debuts Sept. 30 on HBO, HBO LATINO

Best known for a raw and real comic sensibility, actor and comedian Felipe Esparza stars in his first stand-up on the network when “FELIPE ESPARZA: TRANSLATE THIS” debuts simultaneously on HBO and HBO Latino Sept. 30 (10:00-11:10 p.m. ET/PT) during Hispanic Heritage Month.

The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

Appearing at the San Jose Improv in San Jose, Cal., Esparza finds humor in his unique life experiences while discussing topics such as immigration, his ongoing difficulty translating for his parents, being a once-not-so-great single dad while dating single moms, his current challenges in raising his blond-haired, blue-eyed stepson, and more.

The winner of “Last Comic Standing” in 2010, Esparza has appeared on numerous TV shows, including “Superstore” (in a recurring role), “The Tonight Show,” “Lopez Tonight,” “Premium Blend,” “The Eric Andre Show,” “Comic View” and Galavisión’s “Que Locos,” where he made more appearances than any other comedian.

His film credits include “The Deported” and “I’m Not Like That No More,” a feature based on his stand-up comedy, as well as his first stand-up special, “They’re Not Gonna Laugh at You.”
Esparza is also the host of the podcast “What’s Up Fool?,” which he launched in 2014.The executive producers of “FELIPE ESPARZA: TRANSLATE THIS” are Felipe Esparza, Lesa O’Daniel Esparza and Christopher Smith; produced by Claude Shires and Stuart Sauvarin; directed by Claude Shires; written by Felipe Esparza.

@Thisfunktional #Contest: HBO’s JERROD CARMICHAEL: 8

Written by Jesus Figueroa

Check out HBO’s comedy special “Jerrod Carmichael: 8,” which includes comedy many people can relate to.

This comedy special had me laughing from the witty comments, unexpected humor and the way it relates to real life.

Carmichael is able to take the banter from the audience and turn it into some funny interaction which is unexpected.

Here’s how to enter the contest:
Follow my Instagram (instagram.com/thisfunktional) and comment your username bellow.

You have to be following me so I can message you the code and instructions on how to download a digital copy of this HBO comedy special.

Disclaimer: 1 winner will be chosen. Contest runs to April 14, 2017 . Winners will be notified on April 14, 2017 with instructions on how to claim your prize. No purchase necessary. Prize provided by Think Jam.  Only open to the U.S., no PO Boxes or international addresses.

Taped in December before a live audience at the historic Masonic Hall in New York City, the show features his subversive, thought-provoking take on cultural norms.

Performing in the round and engaging audience members during his act, Carmichael addresses a wide range of subjects, including Trump’s victory, climate change, supporting the troops, animal rights, being a good boyfriend and his top four fears, as well as exploring larger themes like race, politics, love and family.

@Thisfunktional Contest: HBO’s THE YOUNG POPE

@Thisfunktional Contest: HBO’s THE YOUNG POPE

Written by Jesus Figueroa (@Thisfunktional)

HBO’s hit series “The Young Pope” is coming to digital download on April 10 and thisfunktional has a digital copy to give away.

The series caused some controversy, but the majority of the TV critics seemed to be hooked on the series.

Want to binge watch the series? Were you a fan and wanting to watch it again?

Here’s how to enter the contest:
Got to Facebook.com/ThisfunktionalLA and like the page.

On April 10 I will message the winner the code and instructions so they can download a copy of “The Young Pope.”

Disclaimer: 1 winner will be chosen. Contest runs to April 10, 2017 . Winners will be notified on April 10, 2017 with instructions on how to claim your prize. No purchase necessary. Prize provided by Think Jam.  Only open to the U.S., no PO Boxes or international addresses.

THE YOUNG POPE
Available for Digital Download April 10,
On Blu-ray™ and DVD June 6

Starring two-time Academy Award® nominee Jude Law and Academy Award® winner Diane Keaton, the “superb” (Rolling Stone) HBO® limited series The Young Pope is yours to own on Digital Download April 10, 2017 and on Blu-RayTM and DVD June 6th, 2017. The series, which delves in to the life of a newly elected pope (Law) – the youngest in history and first-ever American – whose audacity, independence and arch-conservatism wreaks havoc within the Vatican. Heralded by critics as “dazzling, riveting” (TV Guide), The Young Pope on Blu-rayTM, DVD and Digital Download includes all ten episodes of the limited series and three special features including an exclusive new “The Making of The Young Pope” featurette. The Blu-rayTM and DVD release also include a free Digital Download copy.

​​From Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Paolo Sorrentino, the ten-episode limited series The Young Pope tells the fictional story of Lenny Belardo, a.k.a. Pius XIII, the first-ever American Pope and the youngest elected by the College of Cardinals. At first glance, Lenny’s selection over older and more experienced clerics – in particular Cardinal Spencer, a fellow American and Lenny’s mentor – seems part of a simple media strategy by Vatican elders, who no doubt expect the new Pope to toe the line and follow their lead. Instead, Pius XIII eschews the counsel of the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Voiello, and enlists the woman who raised him, Sister Mary, to be his chief confidante. To the chagrin of Voiello and the PR reps who would market the handsome and charming young Pope, Lenny refuses to allow himself to be photographed, and he announces a series of severe, hardline initiatives that confound the Vatican status quo. The Young Pope paints a portrait of a mysterious, complicated man fully aware of the contradictions and consequences of being the conservative leader of a billion followers in a changing world – but unwilling to bend in the execution of his duties.

The ensemble cast includes Jude Law (Lenny Belardo), Diane Keaton (Sister Mary), Scott Shepherd (Cardinal Dussolier), James Cromwell (Cardinal Spencer), Ludivine Sagnier (Esther), Silvio Orlando (Cardinal Voiello), Cécile De France (Sofia), Javier Cámara (Monsignor Bernardo Alonso Gutierrez), Toni Bertorelli (Cardinal Caltanissetta), and more. All 10 episodes are directed and edited by Paolo Sorrentino, co-writer and director of The Great Beauty and winner of an Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film in 2014.

GIRLS: “The Panic in Central Park” Review

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Season 5 | Episode 6
 
Hey #GIRLS fans! Brancey (@vrobrancey) and I got together to discuss the latest episode of GIRLS titled “The Panic in Central Park,” which aired on Sunday, March 27th! Tweet us your thoughts and we’ll read them on air.
 
SYNOPSIS: Needing space after a fight with Desi, Marnie goes for a walk and has an unexpected run-in with someone from her past.
 

 
GIRLS: “The Panic in Central Park” Podcast Review
 
 

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GIRLS: “Queen for Two Days” Review

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Season 5 | Episode 5
 
Brancey (@vrobrancey) and I got together to discuss the latest episode of GIRLS! Tweet us your thoughts and we’ll read them on air.
 
SYNOPSIS: Hannah and her mom embark on a female-empowerment retreat, where Loreen hopes for clarity on her situation with Tad, and Hannah relishes some time away from Fran. In Tokyo, Shoshanna enjoys her budding romance with Yoshi, and gets a surprise visitor from the U.S. Jessa meets up with her sister Minerva and asks for a favor.
 

 
GIRLS: “Queen for Two Days” Podcast Review
 
 

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GIRLS: “Old Loves” Review

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Season 5 | Episode 4
 
Hey everyone!! Brancey and I got together to talk about the latest episode of GIRLS!
 
Check out our podcast review below and let us know what you thought of the episode!
 
SYNOPSIS: Hannah and Fran disagree about their respective teaching methods. Marnie fumes over Desi’s decision to launch a major construction project in their studio. Jessa pushes Hannah away over an awkward rice-pudding meetup. Elijah gets closer with Dill Harcourt.
 
 

 

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GIRLS: “Japan” Review

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Hey everyone!!  Brancey and I got together to talk about the latest episode of GIRLS!  It was the 3rd episode of the 5th season, and it was titled “Japan.”

Check out the podcast below and let us know what you think!

SYNOPSIS:  Thriving at her new job in Japan, Shoshanna finds herself flirting with her boss, but reminds her work friends that she has a ‘kind of’ boyfriend back in America.  Hannah makes a shocking discovery on Fran’s phone and struggles with how to react.  After viewing Adam’s performance on a TV police procedural, Jessa shares her insights into his character.

GIRLS: “Japan” Review

Twitter: @TheVRO

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GIRLS – “Good Man” – Podcast Review

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Hey #GIRLS fans!! Brancey (@vrobrancey) and I got together to discuss the latest episode of GIRLS.  Check out our podcast review below and tweet us your thoughts on the episode!
 
SYNOPSIS: An erratic roommate causes Fran to move in with Hannah. Hannah receives an urgent call from her father. Adam and Jessa spend the day together. Elijah meets someone new.
 

 
GIRLS – “Good Man” – Podcast Review
 
 

Twitter: @TheVRO

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GIRLS – “Wedding Day” – Podcast Review

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VRO Hosts Brancey (@vrobrancey) and Kristin (@kristin0409) got together to discuss the Season Five premiere of GIRLS! Tweet us your thoughts and we’ll read them on air.
 
Synopsis: Marnie micromanages her upstate wedding to Desi; Shoshanna is tasked with carrying out Marnie’s wishes; Fran has an awkward moment with Adam; a dejected Ray steps in to help Desi.
 

 
GIRLS – “Wedding Day” – Podcast Review
 
 

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Trailer: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

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MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 – IN THEATERS MARCH 25, 2016

#MyBigFatGreekWedding2

Opa! The whole family is getting together for an even bigger and Greeker wedding.

The new trailer for Universal Pictures’ MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING2 has just debuted and is now available online.

Genre: Comedy
Cast: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone, Elena Kampouris, Alex Wolff, Louis Mandylor, Bess Meisler, Bruce Gray, Fiona Reid, Ian Gomez, Jayne Eastwood, Mark Margolis, Andrea Martin, Michael Constantine
Directed by: Kirk Jones
Screenplay by: Nia Vardalos
Produced by: Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Gary Goetzman
Executive Producers: Paul Brooks, Scott Niemeyer, Steve Shareshian, Nia Vardalos

Gold Circle Entertainment and HBO present a Playtone production of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the long-awaited follow-up to the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time.  Written by Academy Award® nominee Nia Vardalos, who stars alongside the entire returning cast of favorites, the film reveals a Portokalos family secret that will bring the beloved characters back together for an even bigger and Greeker wedding.

Kirk Jones (Nanny McPhee, Waking Ned Devine) directs the next chapter of the film that will be once again produced by Rita Wilson and Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman.  Paul Brooks and Steve Shareshian return to executive produce alongside Vardalos and Scott Niemeyer.  Universal Pictures will distribute the comedy domestically and in select international territories. www.mybigfatgreekweddingmovie.com

 

Game of Thrones – “Mother’s Mercy” – On Air Review

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Hey everyone!

Join Variety Radio Online hosts Mike, Kristin, Brancey, Kristina and Raven as they discuss the Sunday night’s season finale of GAME OF THRONES. In tonight’s show they’ll discuss the highs and lows of “Mother’s Mercy” that aired on Sunday, June 14th on HBO.

It was a great season and can’t wait wait for season 6!

Follow the link below to hear our review:

Game of Thrones – “Mother’s Mercy” – On Air Review

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