LETTERS TO NO ONE: A Creative Writing Blog Series

LETTERS TO NO ONE: A Creative Writing Blog Series
Click Here

Podcast: LETS TALK...With ThisFunktional

Jan 13, 2021

Watch the trailer for documentary CLAPBOARD JUNGLE


Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

The trailer for “Clapboard Jungle,” coming to digital January 19, 2021, shows a documentary story for every indie filmmaker and any person who enjoys film.

Throughout the documentary viewers can get a taste of the ongoing battle getting a film made is and why so many films that come out seem to be the same story told over and over again.

Justin McConnell’s captivating ode to independent filmmaking, CLAPBOARD JUNGLE, named one of 2000’s best documentaries from outlets including Unseen Films and DirectorsNotes, is available on digital January 19, 2021 in the U.S (via Gravitas Ventures/Kamikaze Dogfight) and Canada (Indiecan Entertainment). 

An emotional and introspective journey following five years in the life and career of an independent filmmaker, supported by dozens of interviews, posing one question: how does an indie filmmaker survive in the current film business? Featuring interviews with Guillermo Del Toro, Richard Stanley, Barbara Crampton, Paul Schrader, Tom Savini, George A. Romero, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Michael Biehn, Frank Henenlotter, and many more.

The acclaimed documentary, sitting at 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and an Official Selection of Fantasia, Sitges, Frightfest (Winner Best Documentary), Night Visions, IFI Horrorthon, South African Horrorfest (Winner Best Documentary), CUFF.Docs, Terror-Fi New Zealand, Buffalo Dreams (Winner Best Documentary), Fantaspoa (2021), and Canadian Film Fest, will be available in the US and Canada January 19, 2021.

CLAPBOARD JUNGLE
Coming To Digital January 19, 2021

Watch these two clips from the season 1 finale of National Geographic’s TRAFFICKED WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktonal.com

There’s no documentary like a National Geographic’s documentary and these clips show how “Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller,” the season 1 finale airing on January 13, 20211 at 9/8C, show an example of the kind of footage that the series is able to get to be able to capture the intensity of the situation.

Armed with National Geographic’s trademark inside access, “TRAFFICKED” with Mariana van Zeller takes viewers on a journey inside the most dangerous black markets on the planet. Each investigation in the eight-part series embeds with Peabody and duPont Award-winning journalist Mariana van Zeller as she explores the complex and often violent inner workings of a smuggling network. While she dives deeper and deeper into these underworlds, Mariana reveals — with characteristic boldness and empathy — that the people operating these trafficking rings are often a lot more like us than we realize. “TRAFFICKED” with Mariana van Zeller premiered December 2.


Make sure to catch the finale on January 13, 2021 at 9/8 C.

The entire series has shown some incredible insight into the dealing in the black market and investigative journalist Mariana van Zeller faced some unbelievable situations to be blue to show everything this series has shown.

Sinaloa, Mexico - Mariana van Zeller (R) with sicarios, or hitmen, who are members of the Sinaloa Cartel. (Credit: National Geographic/Muck Media)

Netflix releases the trailer for TO ALL THE BOYS: ALWAYS AND FOREVER, announces release date

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

Netflix has released the trailer for “To All The Boys: Always and Forever,” the third installment to the franchise, and announces February 12, 2021 as the release date.

With two incredible movies already in the franchise, this trailer shows an amazing third part.

Senior year of high school takes center stage as Lara Jean returns from a family trip to Korea and considers her college plans — with and without Peter.

Lana Condor, Noah Centineo and more return for this third installment. Based on Jenny Han's bestselling book series.

The drama continues, the romance continues, and the characters continue to grow and progress.

TO ALL THE BOYS: ALWAYS AND FOREVER
Premiering On Netflix February 12, 2021

GREENLAND coming to digital January 26, 2021, Blu-ray and DVD February 9, 2021

(Information from press release)

STARRING GLOBAL ACTION HERO GERARD BUTLER AND FROM THE PRODUCER OF THE JOHN WICK FRANCHISE AND THE TOWN

BE THE FIRST TO OWN THE “CERTIFIED FRESH” EPIC DISASTER FILM
GREENLAND

BRING HOME ALL NEW EXCLUSIVE BONUS CONTENT INCLUDING NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN DELETED SCENES AND CAPTIVATING BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOOTAGE WITH CAST AND CREW
 
OWN IT ON DIGITAL JANUARY 26, 2021
ON BLU-RAY™ AND DVD FEBRUARY 9, 2021

A father must fight to unite his family and survive against all odds in the face of a cataclysmic natural disaster in the intense action-packed thrill ride, “Greenland,” available to own for the first time on digital January 26, 2021 and on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand February 9, 2021 from STX films and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. 

Gerard Butler (300, Has Fallen franchise) produces and leads in the pulse pounding Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh® film that also stars Morena Baccarin (Deadpool franchise, “Homeland”), Scott Glenn (The Hunt for Red October, The Bourne Ultimatum), Holt McCallany (“Mindhunter,” Fight Club), David Denman (Brightburn, “The Office”), Hope Davis (Captain America: Civil War, About Schmidt), and Roger Dale Floyd (“The Walking Dead: World Beyond,” Doctor Sleep) whose remarkable performances take audiences on a thrilling journey filled with spectacular special effects, non-stop adventure, and intense stunts from start to finish.
 
Produced by Basil Iwanyk (John Wick franchise, The Town) and directed by Ric Roman Waugh (Angel Has Fallen), Greenland on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital comes packed with brand-new bonus features including deleted scenes with introductions from the director and an exciting featurette with Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin and more that take audiences behind the scenes of the adrenaline-filled story.  
 
A family fights for survival as a planet-killing comet races to Earth.  John Garrity (Butler), his estranged wife Allison (Baccarin), and young son Nathan make a perilous journey to their only hope for sanctuary. Amid terrifying news accounts of cities around the world being leveled by the comet’s fragments, the Garrity’s experience the best and worst in humanity while they battle the increasing panic and lawlessness surrounding them.  As the countdown to global apocalypse approaches zero, their incredible trek culminates in a desperate and last-minute flight to a possible safe haven. 
 
With the purchase of Greenland on Blu-ray™ or DVD, fans are eligible to earn points towards special rewards via the Universal All-Access Rewards program. Members can redeem their points for digital movies, signed collectables, box sets, win exclusive prizes and more! For FREE registration and details please visit MyUniversalRewards.com.   
 
BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAYTM, DVD AND DIGITAL
  • Deleted Scenes with Introductions by Director Ric Roman Waugh 
  • Humanity – Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, Director Ric Roman Waugh and VFX Supervisor Mark Massicotte take audiences behind the scenes of the exhilarating story
  • Feature Commentary with Director Ric Roman Waugh and Producer Basil Iwanyk
 
Greenland will be available on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital. 
  • Blu-ray™ unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
  • Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.
GREENLAND
Coming to Digital January 26, 2021 And Blu-ray And DVD February 9, 2021

Watch the clip TELL THEM from Serbian Oscar Submission DARA OF JASENOVAC

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

The short clip “Tell Them” from “Dara of Jasenovac,” the Serbian Oscar submission, may not have much context but the intensity is seen through the wonderful acting, camera composition, and sound.

Even having to read subtitles, the tone of voices from the actors sets the mood.

“DARA OF JASENOVAC” is the first-ever feature film about Jasenovac. Shockingly, it is largely unknown as part of that era’s history, though thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma people, including many children, were murdered within the complex. Jasenovac was the only operational death camp during World War II not created or run by Germans, and one of the most brutal Holocaust-era concentration camps to have ever existed.

In 1940s Croatia, 10-year-old Dara (Biljana Čekić) comes face-to-face with the horrors of the Holocaust era after she is sent with her mother and siblings to the concentration camp complex known as Jasenovac. Overseen by vicious emissaries of the fascist Ustase government, the facility, the only operational death camp during World War II not created or run by the Germans, is tasked with murdering Serbs, Jews and Roma people—and re-educating the few children deemed worthy of rehabilitation. As unspeakable atrocities unfold all around her, young Dara must summon tremendous courage to protect her infant brother from a terrible fate, to safeguard her own survival and to plot a precarious path toward freedom.

The film is executive produced by writer, professor and historical consultant Dr. Michael Berenbaum, who is the director of the Sigi Ziering Institute at the American Jewish University, where he is also a professor of Jewish Studies, and he has served as consultant for more than two dozen films in multiple languages throughout the world, several of which have won Emmys and Academy Awards (ONE SURVIVOR REMEMBERS, LAST DAYS).

DARA OF JASENOVAC
Will Have A Limited Release On February 5

Jan 12, 2021

Watch the trailer for indie movie THE RISE OF SIR LONGBOTTOM: POCKETMAN AND CARGOBOY 2

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

The indie movie “The Rise of Sir LongBottom: Pocketman and Cargoboy 2,” coming to On Demand and Digital January 15, 2021, shows an entertaining spy movie with a young cast.

“Pocketman and Cargoboy” is available on Tubi to watch before watching this film.

Kick off the new year with a wild new Kung-Fu spy adventure.

From Overnight Pictures LLC, and director Clay Moffatt, “The Rise of Sir Longbottom: Pocketman and Cargoboy 2” on Digital January 15, 2021.

Pocketman, Cargoboy and all your favorite Section 62 agents are back to face a dangerous new threat. When Sir Longbottom comes up with a plan for world domination it will take everything just to have a chance of stopping him. Daniel Main, Jeremy Behie, Ben Vasquez, and Aiyana Irwin star.

The trailer showcases some of the Kung-Fu scenes along with a bit of the storyline, but leaves audiences wanting to know more.

THE RISE OF SIR LONGBOTTOM: POCKETMAN AND CARGOBOY 2
Available On Demand And Digital January 15, 2021

Just Friends release video for I WANNA LOVE YOU (Acoustic) from EP JF CREW VOL. 1

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

Just Friends has released EP “JF Crew Vol. 1,” which includes the previously released cover of “Dosed” originally by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a remix of their song “Fever ft. Nate Curry.”

‘JF Crew Vol. 1’ Track listing 
  1. I Wanna Love You (Acoustic)
  2. Dosed (Red Hot Chili Peppers cover)
  3. Fever ft. Nate Curry Remix 
Stream “JF Crew Vol. 1” here: https://smarturl.it/JustFriendsCrew

Along with the EP, Just Friends releases fun video for the acoustic track “I Wanna Love You,”
“The first time I sang “I Wanna Love You” I didn’t have a clue about love,” explains vocalist Brianda Goyos León. “Love was a mythical thing to me, like Star Wars and dragons. Back then, I was constantly dreaming about how love would change my life. I was obsessed. The more I chased, the slimmer I felt my chances of ever finding the connection my soul was looking for.
I’ve changed a lot in the past few years. Now I understand a few facets of love. I learned how to cherish and accept the love that has always been around me - from my family, my friends, my community, and myself - and in return learned how to receive and recognize love’s sustenance when it’s sent my way. Turns out, all I had to do was open myself to what I could do for the relationships I already had. I learned about making a home here; nurturing my little patch of the world as opposed to looking for what I thought would validate me.”

Jan 11, 2021

Watch the trailer for NARRATIVES OF MODERN GENOCIDE

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

Watch the trailer for documentary film “Narratives of Modern Genocide,” available on Digital January 12, 2021.

This documentary film educates by using first person accounts and historical stories.

After the holocaust the world said, "never again," yet genocide is happening in the world right now. The stories we forget to tell, of the survivors we never knew, will haunt us until we listen and act.
“Narratives of Modern Genocide” challenges the audience to experience first-person accounts of survivors of genocide. Sichan Siv and Gilbert Tuhabonye share how they escaped the killing fields of Cambodia, and the massacre of school children in Burundi. Mixing haunting animation, and expert context the film confronts our notion that the holocaust was the last genocide.

The stories this documentary has gives insight to some stories which have gone unheard by many outside of their countries.

NARRATIVES OF MODER. GENOCIDE
Available On Digital January 12, 2021

Jan 10, 2021

@ThisFunktional Theater Review: Pasadena Playhouse’s virtual opening night of YOU I LIKE

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

Pasadena Playhouse used the PlayhouseLIVE platform to bring the magnificent songbook of Jerry Herman to the stage in “You I Like: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Herman,” streaming January 10, 2021 to February 7, 2021.

The brilliant arrangement of some of the most iconic songs written by Herman are paired up with the beautiful architecture of the Pasadena Playhouse to create both a vocally powerful and a visually stunning performance.

The instrumentals are wonderful as the vocals range from harmonizing to solo powerful vocals which leave viewers in awe.

From “Hello, Dolly!” to “Mame” to “La Cage aux Folles,” Jerry Herman gifted us with some of the most beloved showtunes in Broadway history. Conceived, written, and hosted by veteran musical director Andy Einhorn, “You I Like” features personal and stirring anecdotes from Herman’s life and joyful and optimistic songs from all of Herman’s memorable musicals. A remarkable cast of Broadway performers will take you down memory lane to “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” as you sing along to your favorites and discover unknown masterpieces.

The intro by musical director Andy Einhorn with special guests Bernadette Peters and David Hyde Pierce made the virtual opening night a marvelous night full of theater history, of excellent music and performances which are beautifully staged.

Such magnificent music can be head that even if audiences close their eyes they can enjoy the beauty of the vocals and instruments.

More than just a set of songs, the ability of Einhorn to intertwine personal anecdotes between the musical umbers takes audiences through a journey spanning the life and accomplishments of Herman.

Songs like “Time Heals Everything” and “I Am What I Am” show some of the optimism in the songs written by Herman and gives some hope to the times we are living in now.

Einheart on the piano with the vocal magic of Ashley Blanchet, Nick Christopher, Lesli Margherita, Andrea Ross, and Ryan Vona.

Spend a wonderful time listening to some of the music which brought Jerry Herman such success on and off Broadway.

Video-on-demand streaming of “You I Like: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Herman” will be available to rent on PlayhouseLive.org for $24.99 from January 11 through February 7. After the initial purchase through the website, “You I Like: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Herman” can be watched on any of the PlayhouseLive apps including Apple OS, Android OS, Roku, FireTV and more. Closed captioning will be available in both English and Spanish.

10 People I hope to chat with in 2021

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

Each year I make a list of 10 people I would want to chat with either on the red carpet or interview in the coming year.

I’ve never shared those names because they’ve been more part of my vision board for the year.

I have been so fortunate to get to chat with such incredible people — actors, filmmakers, and so many more talented people.

I will definitely make a top 10 interviews of 2020, especially because of it having been such a chaotic year.

For now, here’s being hopeful for the future. Here’s 10 people I am hoping to have a chance to speak with about their life, their goals, and their talent.

They are in no particular order as I really can’t rank them:

Jaime Camil
Not only is Jaime Camil such and incredible actor, but every time I’ve had the opportunity to chat with him — on or off camera — he’s been a delight. I’ve had the pleasure of bumping into him at events and he’s taken the time to chat in an amicable manner. Even as I was fortunate enough to chat with Camil in 2020 before the pandemic, he’s someone I find fascinating. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s my mother’s favorite actor.

Alexa Bliss
I’ve never gotten the opportunity to chat with a wrestler and for the past year Alexa Bliss has been my nephews’ favorite female wrestler. They enjoy her character change to the fiend’s friend, which she has been brilliant in playing. Plus she is a fan of the band Bowling For Soup, which I am also a fan of and they too were also almost on the list.

Halsey
The music of Halsey got me through many moments of 2020. I’ve been inspired by the beauty of her words and the passion of her music. It would be an honor to be able to talk to her about how she has dealt with so many situations that life has thrown at her throughout her career and even before she became a household name.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Admiration for this man comes from beyond his acting career. The kindness Schwarzenegger shows through his numerous charities, the gratitude for this country, and the pride of being an American are some of the reasons behind why I’d want to sit down for a chat with this amazing human. I was able to meet him and shake his hand at the press day for his return to acting after his term as governor, “The Last Stand,” and I would be honored to be able to talk to him about all the work he does to better the world.

Noemi Gonzalez
I’ve had the opportunity to chat with this amazing LatinX actress, but she has grown so much and been part of such amazing projects, such as Netflix’ “Selena: The Series,” that it would be such a magnificent thing to talk to her about the evolution in her career. I am so happy to see her career only get better. 

Jane Levy
“Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist” has been such an impactful show in my life and Levy has been an actress which has been taking roles which make such an impression that I would be thrilled to have a chat with her about her career. From magnificent comedies like “Suburgatory” to brilliant thrillers like “Don’t Breathe” and unexpected horror like the “Evil Dead” reboot, there seems to be no role that Levy cannot handle.

Nicole Maines
Maines is a superhero on screen and in real life. The manner in which she conducts herself and has used her platform to inform is admirable. There’s no better way to put it than I wish I could be as much of a powerful human as Maines continues to be. She’s a talented actor, but more importantly she a brilliant and caring human. Her time on The CW’s “Supergirl” has put her in tough situations which she was able to get through by proving just how strong she is. Bravo to Dreamer.

Jocelyn and Chris Arndt - the siblings come as a package
These two talented siblings are rockstars and it’s always amazing getting to speak with them. It’s been awhile since I last chatted with them and I would be happy to sit down and catch up with them. I’ve always been in awe of the in redoble music these two release. Hoping to be able to set something up to hear how pandemic has affected their music careers.

Tegan and Sara - also a package
Not only am I fan of their music, but I am a total fan of their foundation. I have always been a fan of the LGBTQ+ community and the Tegan and Sara Foundation has done as much as they could not only for the LGBTQ+ community during these pandemic times but also for the Black Lives Matters movement. It would be amazing to chat with them about their music and other work.

Chef Gordon Ramsay

I’m a huge fan of Ramsay. I’m in the middle of going through his MasterClass Cooking I course and already I have learned so much about technique and safety. I have watched every “Hell’s Kitchen” and most Ramsay programs on both FOX and National Geographic Channel. Then I’ve also gone through his YouTube channel and seen many clips from his shows in the UK. His attitude fascinated me and I’ve always found that people who are passionate about their career fascinate me and their stories interest me.


Here’s a bonus one:


President-Elect Joe Biden

This one is one that I’ve been more and more interested in talking to. I am not always a political person on this or any platform I’m on. It is not that I have no opinion, but rather I feel each person has their point of view and will vote for what best suits their situation. But, Biden has always spoken with compassion and no matter how heated things get, his decency shows. Hearing his speech recently as the U.S. Capital Building was under siege, I did not hear anger or hatred coming from Biden, but rather it was a tone of pain, it seem to hurt to see democracy under attack. I would be incredibly humbled to be able to talk to Biden about policies and character, about pride and his dedication to being in  public office, and about how he felt when he first took public office as well as how he felt watching the chaotic news of January 6, 2021.


I’m not sure I will get the opportunity to speak with any of the people I have listed, but I have my reasons for wanting to talk to them. I try to not have the same people on my list every year, so there are a few from last year which I’d want to still talk to, but I skipped them from this list because if I listed everyone I wanted to talk to this list would go on and on.


That being said, I already have started interviewing talented people and have scheduled several interviews I hope you all enjoy and hopefully get something beneficial from.

Events of the Week

Subscribe