I Watched #Paranoia (2013) So You Wouldn’t Have To. @Pocketnow, This One’s for You Guys.


Garnering a measly 5%, that’s barely one star, on Rotten Tomatoes, the 2013 mega-flop Paranoia is a film that I watched so you wouldn’t have to. Believe me, even with vets like Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford, and even an appearance from Richard Dreyfuss,  this film is barely worth taking up space in your Netflix queue. I remember seeing posters for this Liam Hemsworth vehicle all along the NYC subways system and didn’t give it a second thought until today. During a Google Hangout with the super-tech dudes from Pocketnow.com, they mentioned the movie, and the wheels in my head started remembering those posters from the subway. So, thanks to the tech gurus at Pocketnow for the idea.

Now, I’m all for a good tech movie, and I love thrillers, but this is just ridiculous. Tech gurus will probably grit their teeth at this train wreck. It ended up feeling like a parody, as if the creators of SNL took a fake trailer and made an actual movie.  From the weird time lapses in the opening credits, to the vast array of smart phones with bad CGI, to poor Richard Dreyfuss’ makeup, this whole movie is a mess. Don’t even get me started on the dialogue. If I was given this script for an audition, I’d be like, “NOPE. Nope nope.” There were moments where it felt like a weird rip-off of Good Will Hunting, Boiler Room, or even the more recent Wolf of Wall Street, with its stock, predictable characters. The ONLY redeemable quality of this film is when either Gary Oldman or Harrison Ford (or both) are on screen, and that’s not enough time for either of them. Liam Hemsworth does enough “I sold my soul for the corner office” bit to last a lifetime and gets a bit redundant. I basically rolled my eyes at the screen the whole time. Pair that with a pointless love angle, and well, I wanted to throw up more than once at the stupidity of the dialogue and plot not making sense anymore. I was paranoid that I was missing the point of the movie by the end. But hey, at least the gadgets were nice…

For some real tech experts, and awesome YouTube videos, check out the guys at Pocketnow.com. Unlike the filmmakers and screenwriters of Paranoia, these guys actually  know what they’re talking about.

Hometown Pride: Boston Accents on Film

Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams in “The Fighter” (2010)

I’m a Boston gal at heart. When I moved to the Big Apple nearly 6 years ago, I retained something that could be considered a setback: my accent. I remember the first day of class at Circle in the Square Theatre School and the late K.C. Ligon telling me, “We need to work on that” upon hearing me speak. K.C. was a well-respected speech coach within the industry and I credit her and Ken Schatz with helping me ease up on my native dialect.  Fun Fact: K.C.’s mother was stage actress, Nora Dunfee, famous for her performance alongside Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump as the Elderly Southern Woman on the bench towards the end of the movie.

Being a Boston girl, I am always aware when actors can and cannot do a good “Boston Accent.” Most commonly, people think of the Boston accent as it is when done by Mark Wahlberg, Ben Affleck, or Matt Damon. But, like any accent, there are certain subtleties that set different sections of Massachusetts apart from another in terms of dialects. Katharine Hepburn, for example, had what is known as a Boston Brahmin accent which is more refined and often considered more “upper-class” than my standard, Boston accent. All I need to do to retain my accent is talk to my parents and I automatically revert back to my natural tongue.

On film, it always helps when there are actual Boston natives involved on the screen or behind-the-scenes within the production if set within the Boston area. Amy Ryan is said to have refined her speech from Jill Quigg, a local whom Ben Affleck ended up casting alongside Ryan in Gone Baby Gone (2007.) Quigg went on to appear alongside Christian Bale and fellow Boston native Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter (2010.)

As a person with a native Boston accent, I can tell you right now, that the actors I have found to be the most convincing with the accent (in recent years) are as follows: Christian Bale (The Fighter) Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)  Blake Lively (The Town) Amy Adams & Melissa Leo  (The Fighter.) But, there are those who tend to go overboard with their dialect and it sort of  sounds like they are making fun of us.  Not cool. To illustrate how good these actors do their accents, here are some clips. None of them are natives. Although, in all of these movies, at least one or two native speakers are in the films with them. Also, my acting coach, Ken Schatz, has always said that I need to get rid of my “moshpit” in regards to how I speak. You’ll notice that oftentimes, for as much as we elongate our “A”s and drop our “R”s, we also tend to mumble sometimes. These actors seem to pull of that characteristic well.
Blake Lively (The Town):

Amy Adams & Christian Bale (The Fighter):

Melissa Leo (The Fighter) She is probably the most stereotypical in terms of how people perceive the accent :

Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone):

And for the record, we don’t all swear that much. Well…maybe we do.