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    Film Review: 'Tag'

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    Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

    “This is just what we love,” explains Isla Fisher’s delightfully overzealous character Anna Malloy in the uproarious new comedy, Tag, directed by Jeff Tomsic (Broad City). Based on a true story (yes, really), Ed Helms (The Hangover), Jon Hamm (Baby Driver), Jake Johnson (New Girl), Hannibal Buress (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) play a group of friends that every year, for the entire month of May, regardless of their current life situation, reunite to continue their game of tag that they’ve been playing together since fifth grade. One of the friends, Jerry (Renner), has yet to be tagged in the 30 years they’ve been playing.

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    Celebrating the Crew

    Acknowledgement and recognition was given to students, instructors and department staff at the second annual NXT Up Fest

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    Photo by Bob Toy.

    For the second annual NXT Up Fest, the School of Motion Pictures & Television (MPT) at the Academy of Art University decided to do things a little different.

    Compared to last year’s event, which had students’ peers decide who takes home the prize, this year, it was up to a select group of industry professionals with hefty resumes: Chris Moore (Manchester by the Sea, Good Will Hunting); Howard Rosenman (Call Me By Your Name); Liz Glotzer (The Shawshank Redemption, The Good Fight); and Barbara Fisher (Hallmark Channel).

    “We wanted this work to be viewed by people in the industry,” said MPT Director Randy Levinson. “We wanted to get an assessment of what people were really thinking, the heads of each of their own particular crafts.”

    On paper, NXT Up Fest is all about acknowledging individual student excellence. But for the entire night, the department instructors and award winners were all about showing their crew some love.

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    NXT Up Fest Panel Discusses Making Film Dreams a Reality

    Film and television industry guests share advice with students and praise individuality

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    The NXT Up Fest guest panelists: (L-R) Roy Langbord, Clare Kilner, Fred Seibert and Michael E. Goldman. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Coffee, apple juice, muffins and a small panel on industry insight is on the very short list of things that can drag university students to school early on a Saturday morning.

    But Palmer Mendelson, M.F.A. producing student, had no concerns about the timing of the panel, trusting in the School of Motion Pictures & Television’s (MPT) – specifically Jana Memel, MPT executive director – track record for bringing in top-notch speakers to the Academy of Art University.

    “I knew today was worth coming to,” he said.

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    Celebrating a Children’s Television Icon

    Heartwarming documentary shows the off-camera life of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood creator Fred Rogers

    WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR

    Fred Rogers on the set of his show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood from the film, WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, a Focus Features release. Credit: Jim Judkis.

    Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is a love note wrapped in a documentary feature about children’s television host, pop cultural icon and Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers.

    The film, which documents the life and times of Fred Rogers from his ordainment to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood’s final episode to his passing, is the latest documentary feature from Director Morgan Neville of Academy Award-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? comes in what would have been Fred Rogers’ 90th year, 17 years after the airing of the final episode of his touchstone children’s television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

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    Making UKR History

    Noah Rivers recorded the 50th episode of his Hashtag the Praise Break program this spring

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    Noah Rivers’ Hashtag the Praise Break is the longest running program in UKR history. Photo courtesy of Noah Rivers.

    Academy of Art University School of Communications & Media Technologies (COM) and UrbanKnightsRadio.com (UKR) Program Director Noah Rivers made department history on Sunday, March 4, when he logged his 50th episode of Hashtag the Praise Break, the longest run in UKR programming. 

    “In the radio business, 50 episodes is where we say, ‘This is officially a show,’” said Matty Staudt, UKR general manager. “The key is consistency—anybody can start a show, but the folks that really stick with a show are the ones that really make it.”

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    A Contemporary Take on ‘Overboard’

    overboard-Anna Faris as Kate and Eugenio Derbez as Leonardo in Overboard. Photo Credit Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures  Pantelion Films (3)_rgb

    Anna Faris as Kate and Eugenio Derbez as Leonardo in Overboard. Photo Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Pantelion Films.

    In 1987, a wealthy obnoxious woman named Joanna Stayton (played by Goldie Hawn) wakes up in a hospital with amnesia to a man claiming to be her husband. Dean Proffitt, a carpenter played by Kurt Russell, is from a different tax bracket, yet he insists Joanna is his wife – he identifies her through a tattoo on her butt.

    Of course, Dean isn’t Joanna’s husband, he’s merely a poor, working class man trying to break even with a sour elite from society’s upper echelon. As how most romantic-comedies go, by movie’s end, Joanna and Dean’s love does become legitimate and all the heartwarming feels come to fruition.

    In MGM’s 2018 remake of Overboard, out on May 4, the movie follows the riches to rags plotline almost verbatim, but the addition of Latino film star Eugenio Derbez and his 3Pas Studios production company, the rom-com adds a little extra flavor in its humor and casting.

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