Sundance 2017 proved a huge success yet again. This year a number of impressive entries from a broad array of categories caught our attention, including Wind River, The Discovery, I Am Not Your Negro, Mudbound, and the outlandish comedy Wilson with Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. Now that the celebration is over and everyone in Hollywood is looking forward to the Oscars at the end of the month, here are a few more mentionable entries you should look for in theaters in the coming months. Continue reading →
Every year, the Sundance Film Festival hosts an impressive number of independent films, documentaries, and short films from all around the world. Titles like The Usual Suspects, Memento, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Napoleon Dynamite, Super-Size Me, Saw, and Little Miss Sunshine have all found success at the world-renowned festival. So it’s no surprise that this years line-up is definitely keeping with that reputation. A number of documentaries, including the Amir Bar-Lev’s Grateful Dead tribute Long Strange Trip and Jeff Orlowski’s follow-up to his 2012 Chasing Ice feature, Chasing Coral, have already premiered to great praise from festival attendees and critics alike. At the same time, a number of films have already been purchased for distribution, including Patti Cake$ by former doorman-turned-filmmaker Wass Stevens, which sold to Fox Searchlight for $10.5 million! Here are a few of the festival entries that have caught our eye for expanded release. We’ll post more information about domestic releases as we get further into the year. Continue reading →
James Baldwin‘s (1924-1987) life and legacy can now speak to modern audiences in a new documentary called I Am Not Your Negro. The film is finally getting a long overdue theatrical release from Magnolia Pictures this February 3rd after wowing audiences at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. I Am Not Your Negro is a film from Haitian director Raoul Peck that envisions Baldwin’s final, albeit incomplete novel Remember This House as an uncompromising and complete narrative of race in America. The unfinished memoir focuses on the authors personal memories and relationships with three enduring Civil Rights leaders: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, and Malcolm X. Peck was allowed access to the entire Baldwin archives and composed the film over a period of 10 years, drawing from the incomplete manuscript and Baldwin’s own personal notes. It won the People’s Choice Documentary Award and, like Baldwin himself, is sure to stand as a vital testament to race in America today. Continue reading →
For those who are boycotting Hollywood’s ‘Re-make Era’ or simply have no interest in sitting in a jam-packed theater this Friday night with a bunch of kids and teenagers trying to see the new Star Wars feature, a new comedy with Golden Globe co-hosts Tina Fey (Mean Girls, 30 Rock) and Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation) titled Sisters can offer you the perfect alternative! Working with director Jason Moore (Everwood, Pitch Perfect) from a script by Emmy winner Paula Pell (Saturday Night Live, The Oscars), the comedy vets pose as sisters (appropriately) who decide to throw one last party in their old family home before their parents finally sell it. Also making appearances in the film are actors Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, Inherent Vice), Ike Barinholtz (Disaster Movie, Neighbors), James Brolin (Traffic, Catch Me If You Can), Diane Wiest (The Lost Boys, I Am Sam), John Cena (The Marine, Trainwreck), and John Leguizamo (The Lincoln Lawyer, Chef). I wouldn’t really expect this one to be fall-on-your-ass comedy, but Fey and Poehler are excellent comedic vets and work really well together, so if you’re not in the long line to see The Force Awakens, I would definitely give this one some consideration. Enjoy!
A new documentary from the collaborative team of writer/director Dave LaMattina (Brownstones To Red Dirt, Kei) and co-director Chad N. Walker (Kei, We Must Go) is coming this May. The film is titled I Am Big Bird: The Carroll Spinney Story, and follows the life of Carroll Spinney, who has appeared on Sesame Street as both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969. Lending interviews to the footage include puppeteers Frank Oz (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Muppets Treasure Island), and Sesame Street “muppeteers” Jim Henson, Sonia Manzano, Emilio Delgado, and Jerry Nelson, among others. I Am Big Bird first premiered last May at the Montclair and Seattle International Film festivals, and will be showing on screens in New York City this May 6th. We’ll keep an eye out for a nationwide release date.
After years of speculation as to when the apocalyptic thriller I Am Legend would get a follow-up movie, we finally have some information to put the rumors to rest. Warner Bros. recently picked up a script called A Garden at the End of the World by Gary Graham, who posted the screenplay on The Black List website. The original script for I Am Legend was based on the novel of the same name by Richard Matheson, but once the studio acquired Graham’s script and put together original I Am Legend writers/producers Akiva Goldsman, James Lassiter, and Joby Harold, it was determined that they would rework the script with Graham to be an I Am Legend reboot, with the potential of a whole series being developed after that. All that being said, it is now pretty much set in stone that Will Smith will not be returning to reprise his role (which wouldn’t really be necessary anyway seeing as he died at the end of the original). Word around the internet, however, has brought up the question about how successful the new series could be without having Smith in the picture, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see how they rework the script to fit the I Am Legend backdrop. Producer Roy Lee and Gary Graham’s manager Brooklyn Weaver will also be joining the project, so the studio is definitely not wasting anytime. Stay tuned for more news.
Hans Zimmer has composed some of the most memorable film scores in Hollywood, working on projects that include The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight, Inception, Black Hawk Down, The DaVinci Code, Face/Off, I Am Sam, and Gladiator to name just a few. The composer is also currently working on director Chris Nolan’s upcoming space-epic, Interstellar, which is set to come out later this year, but his next project may be a return to the comic-book genre with Zack Snyder’s upcoming sequel to Man of Steel, which is still only known as Batman vs. Superman. The project is scheduled to be released sometime in 2016, but Zimmer is still not positive he will want to work on the new project, especially given his past work with Nolan and the Batman character in The Dark Knight series, but he has not officially ruled it out yet either. One can understand his hesitation: it would be a huge responsibility to compose a score that brings new themes to a character that you have already spent a great deal of time with. That being said, the Oscar winner, given his talent and track record, would undoubtedly be a great contribution to the new film, which Zimmer hopes will be totally separate from Nolan’s trilogy. Let’s hope that he decides to take the job!