A new independent drama from Oscar-winning writer/director Andrea Arnold (Red Road, Fish Tank) is opening in select theaters across the country this weekend. The film, called American Honey, follows a teenage girl as she joins a group of misfits, or “traveling salesmen” and gets swept up in a life of alcohol, drugs, crime, young love, and all the drama that comes with it while hitchhiking their way across the Midwestern United States. Starring in the lead role is newcomer Sasha Lane, who is supported onscreen by Shia LaBeouf (Lawless, Fury), Riley Keough (The Good Doctor, Mad Max: Fury Road), McCaul Lombardi (Age of the Moon, Mindless), Arielle Holmes (Heaven Knows What, 2307: Winter’s Dream), and Isaiah Stone (Winter’s Bone). American Honey stole the show at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, winning the Jury Prize and securing a Palme d’Or nomination for director Andrea Arnold, whose acclaimed independent films have earned her a big name among the industry. The trailer for American Honey is available here on MADE. If you get a chance, I would definitely put it on your movie list for this weekend. Enjoy!
After much anticipation and even more promotional hype, the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton is now playing in theaters nationwide. Directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, The Italian Job) and penned by screenwriters Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center), Straight Outta Compton chronicles the rise of the iconic rap group NWA during the mid-1980s. The group’s songs of hardship and racial prejudice in the streets of Compton prompted a national awareness to the ongoing issues still fueled by racial divides between the law and the streets, and revolutionized the hip hop genre for generations to come. Starring in the film as the members of NWA are O’Shea Jackson Jr. (as his father, Ice Cube), Corey Hawkins (Iron Man 3, Non-Stop) as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell (Contraband, Broken City) as Eazy-E, Neil Brown Jr. (Fast & Furious, Battle Los Angeles) as DJ Yella, and Aldis Hodge (Die Hard With A Vengeance, The East) as MC Ren. Oscar-nominee Paul Giamatti (Lady in the Water, 12 Years A Slave) also appears in the film as NWA manager Jerry Heller. Reviews have been mixed thus far: some have expressed that the story is exaggerated at points, while other truths have been completely omitted from the story. But one thing that all the critics seem to agree on are the actors’ performances. As with any film adaptation of a real-life story, the plot will tend to focus on the perspective of certain members and not touch upon others, but I’m hoping, for the most part, that this will be a fairly accurate representation of the true account. Original members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube served as producers on the project. So if you don’t have any plans this weekend (and even if you do), I would make a point of seeing this one on the big screen. It’s bound to be the biggest movie release this summer. Enjoy!
We’ve been keeping an eye on this project for what seems like years now (which isn’t far from reality considering it has taken more than a decade to get a Pablo Escobar biopic on the big screen), but now we finally have some more news as to a nationwide release. Escobar: Paradise Lost, which is directed by Italian actor Andrea Di Stefano (Nine, Life of Pi), was originally given a limited release back in January of this year, but now the film will see another release in theaters this June 26th in New York, LA, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, El Paso, Memphis, Tulsa, Phoenix and Washington DC. Leading the cast in the role of Escobar is Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro (The Usual Suspects, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, Red Dawn), and Claudia Traisac (The 7th Day, Apaches). The international trailer is available here on MADE. Be sure to check your local listings if you live in any of these areas!
We’ve been waiting for more news on this project for a while now, and with an August 14th release date slowing coming up, we finally have a full trailer for F. Gary Gray‘s upcoming biographical drama Straight Outta Compton. Based on the story of the iconic group N.W.A, the film chronicles their rise to fame from the streets of Compton, California, and how their music revolutionized popular culture as they exposed the danger and brutality of the ghetto. The film is being produced by Tomica Woods and original members Ice Cube (Friday, All About the Benjamins) and Dr. Dre, with Gray (Friday, Law Abiding Citizen) working from a script by Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center, Blood Father) and Sheldon Turner (The Longest Yard, X-Men: First Class). Making up the cast are actors O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube, Aldis Hodge (Leverage, The East) as MC Ren, Jason Mitchell (Contraband, Broken City) as Eazy-E, Corey Hawkins (Iron Man 3, Non-Stop) as Dr. Dre, and Neil Brown Jr. (Fast and Furious, Battle Los Angeles) as DJ Yella, with Lakeith Lee Stanfield (The Purge: Anarchy, Selma) as Snoop Dogg and Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man) as N.W.A manager Jerry Heller. The trailer premiered during this week’s episode of Workaholics, but you can see it here on MADE if you missed out. Enjoy!
This Friday will see a huge opening weekend for Hollywood. The Civil Rights drama Selma with David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland, Interstellar), as well as Taken 3 with Liam Neeson and Paul Thomas Anderson‘s new 1970s LA-Noir drama Inherent Vice with Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin are all opening this Friday, January 9th. If that’s not enough, next Friday will see the release of Kevin Hart‘s new comedy The Wedding Ringer, in which he poses as best-man for complete strangers, and the long-awaited character-study film Escobar: Paradise Lost, starring Benicio Del Toro as the infamous Colombian kingpin, with Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, Red Dawn), Brady Corbet (Melancholia, Martha Marcy May Marlene), and Claudia Traisac (Cuentame, El Principe) making up the supporting cast. The film comes from actor-turned-writer/director Andrea Di Stefano (Eat Pray Love, Life of Pi) and was first seen back in September 2014 at the Toronto Film Festival. Also opening this month is director David Koepp’s Mortdecai with Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow, so I’d say we’re getting 2015 off to a pretty big start. Enjoy!
We have a pretty great list of releases to choose from this 2014 Holiday season, but January 2015 is also looking to be a great month for releases, especially considering the insane amount of movies that have been scheduled to open this year. One project in particular that has been keeping Hollywood on the edge for several years now is the Pablo Escobar drama that has gone through several stages of production with different actors and directors before being picked up by RADIUS-TWC last February. The film is titled Escobar: Paradise Lost, and will star Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro (The Usual Suspects, Snatch) in the role of the brutal cartel leader, with Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, Red Dawn), Brady Corbet (Funny Games, Martha Marcy May Marlene), and Claudia Traisac (The 7th Day, Cuentame) in the supporting cast. Actor-turned-director Andrea Di Stefano (Nine, Life of Pi) directed his own screenplay that was co-written with Francesca Marciano (A Five Star Life, Honey). The movie was first seen in September as part of the Toronto International Film Festival and has also been shown at numerous events since then including the Zurich and Rome Film Festival(s), and the Hamptons and Philadelphia International Film Festival(s). Now the film will see a limited release this January 16th. You can see the trailer here on MADE, and be sure to check your theater guides to find one showing near your area.
Although most of us won’t have the opportunity to see this one unless we’re in New York City or Los Angeles, it is still a project worth bringing to your attention. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel, Biutiful) released a new film at this year’s Venice Film Festival titled Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. The film features an all star cast lead by Michael Keaton and also featuring Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts. The story follows an actor who, at the height of his career, portrayed an iconic superhero (Birdman) and now must overcome his eccentric ego in order to reclaim his seat in the spotlight by taking a role in a Broadway play. Inarritu directed the film from a screenplay written by himself and screenwriters Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo. Birdman has already seen several additional releases in the United States, including the Telluride Film Festival in August and the New York Film Festival, Hamptons International, and Philadelphia International Film Festivals earlier this month. Chicagoans will get a chance to see it on the 18th as part of the Chicago International Film Festival, but a nationwide theatrical release has not yet been announced. Stay tuned for more information.
Deadline Hollywood reported today that Raius-TWC acquired the North American rights for the Pablo Escobar film Paradise Lost for $2 million. The film is directed by Andrea Di Stefano and costars Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), Brady Corbet, and Claudia Traisac, with Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro in the role of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The story follows a young man who visits Columbia and falls for and marries a local girl, only to discover he has married the kingpin’s niece, whose uncle then begins to lure him into the family business. The film is produced by Dimitri Rassam and Romain Le Grand, with Pathe and Frederique Dumas of Orange Studio, as Miquel Angel Faura from Roxbury and uMedia. The film is expected to be released later this year. As you may know, Hollywood studios have been attempting to get a film chronicling the life of Pablo Escobar for several years now, with titles including The Ballad of Pablo Escobar. Beneicio Del Toro was once involved with a similar project, and actors like John Lequizamo and directors like Brad Furman have at different points been attached to various projects regarding the cartel leader, but until now, nothing had gained enough speed to get from the production stage to the big screen. A fun spin on the situation was taken in the HBO series Entourage, where fictional actor Vince Chase took on the role of Escobar in an independent picture called Medellin, which was accepted for showing at the Cannes Film Festival only to receive terrible reviews and being released straight to DVD. Paradise Lost takes the name from the famous 12-book poem by John Milton, which was published in 1667 and covers such matters as the War in Heaven, and the temptations of Lucifer on Adam and Eve. I’m not sure whether the filmmakers meant to make this connection or not, intentionally using the character of Satan in the original poem as an analogy for Escobar himself, but I guess we’ll see sometime soon. Hopefully this movie is worth the wait; if it stays true to the depths of Escobar’s character and the violence-fueled world that he was a part of and doesn’t focus too heavily on the supporting love story, it should be a pretty good movie, especially with Benicio Del Toro appearing as Escobar.
With Walter White’s epic award-winning tale coming to an end, the fourth season of AMC’s smash hit The Walking Dead is coming back to Sunday night on October 13th! The last season left off pretty inconclusively, with the Governor and his remaining henchmen leaving the townspeople to Rick and his crew inside the prison. We also lost Andrea in the very last episode The new season is sure to be full of action and suspense. Here’s hoping Rick can keep everything together! Check out the trailer here on MADE, and watch the season opener Sunday the 13th at 9/8c.