30 Minutes or Less: Based on a True Story?

Word of mouth has been spreading concerning the new film 30 Minutes or Less released last week. Problem is, it’s not positive and not really even about the movie. It’s about the real-life incident back in 2003 in Eerie, PA involving a pizza delivery man, robbing a bank, with a irremovable bomb strapped to him. Aside from the location, that’s the premise of 30 Minutes to the letter.

At 2:30, August 28 (eight years ago this month) Brian Wells waked into the PNC bank, passed a note to a teller demanding $250,000 and showed her a iron box with a hand cuff like hinged collar secure around his neck. He left the bank with considerably less than what he came for and was apprehended in a parking lot not fifteen minutes later. Police handcuffed him but retreated behind squad cars when Wells announced the bomb would detonate. “I’m not lying”, he told them asked if they had called his employer to let it be noted he wasn’t slacking off his duties. After a twenty five minute stand off-before the bomb squad arrived-the device began to beep repeatedly and detonated. Wells was killed in the blast.

According to Wired, in a four year investigation a heist caper’s worth of discoveries were made. The last delivery made by Wells before returning to town with the bomb was to a handyman’s home who later called the police telling them he was contemplating suicide. Bill Rothstein told police that he was ready to end it all after hiding the corpse of his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend in his freezer. The ex, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong is believed by the FBI to have mastermind the robbery despite a history of mental illness making her an unlikely candidate. Then there was speculation that Wells may have been in on the whole operation but was vetoed out and sent to die with what was originally going to be a fake bomb. Notes in Wells truck suggested a twisted scavenger hunt of clues to remove the bomb (which was professionally made including false wires and unlocking mechanisms) for Wells to use as a scapegoat in the event he was captured. There was also a gun disguised as a cane used in the robbery.

Now the director and producers or 30 Minutes deny any knowledge of the heist gone wrong. According to Moviefone, when the Wells family spoke out against the film director Ruben Fleischer said: “They’re not really related in any way, so I think a lot of people are prejudging it without information.” The official studio statement was less aggressive stating, “The writers were vaguely familiar with what had occurred and wrote an original screenplay so it does not mirror the real-life tragedy.”

While the story doesn’t seem to have hurt the films rep as disastrously as expected their hasn’t been much light at the end of the tunnel anyways. 30 Minutes opened last weekend to fifth place just behind The Smurfs, taking in only $13,000,000.

Nicolas Winding Refn to tackle ‘Wonder Woman’ after ‘Logan’s Run’?

About a year ago there was much talk about when we were going to see a Wonder Woman film. Seems like we are closer than we once thought. Continue reading “Nicolas Winding Refn to tackle ‘Wonder Woman’ after ‘Logan’s Run’?”

Hero Complex Film Festival – Richard Donner, Geoff Johns, Jon Favreau and Guest

Where do heroes like to meet up on their downtime? Well no place other than The LA Times Hero Complex Film Festival! Continue reading “Hero Complex Film Festival – Richard Donner, Geoff Johns, Jon Favreau and Guest”

Hero Complex Film Festival Day 1 – Warren Beatty talks Dick

Who doesn’t have a hero complex? That drive to help the man as he’s kicked to the ground, or perhaps to just do all that you can to make the world a better place. Well the LA Times as well as LACMA have decided to dedicate an entire festival to that exact thing called “The Hero Complex Film Festival” which spans across four days of epic films and even more epic discussions with the creators of these cinematic works of genius. While most of the films are based on comic book heroes or some intergalactic ones, the moral of the festival resonates strong as you listen to the masters talk about their works after they show on the silver screen. It was my pleasure to attend, and still continue to attend the festival, so without further adeu, day one and all it’s glory.

Day 1- Warren Beatty; Dick Tracy

Some big news came out of the Hero Complex Film Festival on their very first day. It seems the director, producer, actor and writer Warren Beatty is in the process of making a sequel to his smash hit Dick Tracy, which is based off the old comic strip/animated show.

But that’s not all we learned from Mr. Beatty, he also decided to share some long drawn out wisdom for all the potential filmmakers out there. A few great quotes include “Casting is writing.” “The best person to ask about actors is actors.” Take what you will potential Spielberg’s and Lucas’.

For those of you who have seen Dick Tracy, you are fully aware of the extreme visual styles that Beatty chose, he decided to let us know a bit about that as well, talking about the difficulties of getting the lighting just right to set the mood, and to use the makeup to his advantage.

While most of the discussion was the on the technical aspects of the film and what it was like working with the big cast he had, we couldn’t help but press further about the sequel but every questioned that dare dance along that line was immediately shut down.  “I won’t talk about it…I want to get it just right…talking about movies before their made ruins them.” Interesting that he’s so reserved about it.

Thanks Geoff Boucher for this great day, and I’ll be updating you more as I continue on down the path of the heroes before me. Expect even bigger news to follow during this exciting film festival!