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 →
Happy Halloween! October is traditionally known for the fall season and for hosting Halloween on the last day of the month. Likewise film distributors tend to look at October as a good time to release horror and slasher films for Halloween on fight-seeking audiences across the country, and around the world. October, however, has a long history of major motion picture releases that is not strictly limited to the horror genre. Read on to see our list of impressive October releases, and enjoy your Halloween Weekend! Continue reading →
Today in 1989, the eccentric and far-out vacation-gone-wrong comedy Weekend at Bernie‘s opened in theaters around the world. While critics didn’t have too many great things to say about it, movie-goers openly embraced the outlandish comedy, making it one of pop-culture’s most frequently referenced movies to-date. The script was penned by Emmy-winning screenwriter Robert Klane, who also worked as a writer on National Lampoon’s Vacation (1985) and Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993). Ted Kotcheff (Fun with Dick and Jane, Rambo: First Blood) directed the movie, which starred Andrew McCarthy (St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink) and Jonathan Silverman (Conception, The Hungover Games) as a pair of insurance agents who are invited by their boss to spend the weekend with him at his house in the Hamptons; when they arrive to find him dead Continue reading →
Director John Brewer (Jimi Hendrix: The Guitar Hero, Nat King Kole: Afraid of the Dark) released his documentary on the late B.B. King back in 2012, but it wasn’t released in the US officially until 2014. That said, the film, titled The Life of Riley (B.B. King’s name was Riley B. King), is now available on Netflix. Narrated by Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight), the film features a plethora of musicians, friends, and family, who discuss B.B. King’s long and revolutionary career as an American bluesman, including Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Ringo Starr, Bono, Ronnie Wood, Dr. John, and Solomon Burke. B.B. King hailed from the flat delta land in Mississippi and eventually made his way to Memphis, Tennessee, where he began regular work as a blues artist. He secured a number of record deals, and when rock music took off in the ’60s, a new interest in King’s and other blues artists of his era as they had never experienced before. Continue reading →
A new western starring Natalie Portman (Leon: The Professional, V for Vendetta) titled Jane Got A Gun is opening in theaters nationwide this Friday, January 29th. Directed by Gavin O’Connor (Miracle, Warriors) from a script by Brian Duffield (Insurgent, The Babysitter), Anthony Tambakis (Warriors, Cinnamon Girl: California Dreamin), and Joel Edgerton (The Rover, The Gift), the film follows a woman who enlists the help of her former lover to protect her outlaw husband from a gang that haunts her path and who wishes to kill him. Co-writer Joel Edgerton appears in the supporting cast with actors Ewan McGregor (Big Fish, The Men Who Stare At Goats), Rodrigo Santoro (300, Focus), and Noah Emmerich (The Truman Show, Little Children). The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!
A new adventure/comedy titled Band of Brothers from writing/directing brothers Aaron and Adam Nee (The Last Romantic, The Geniuses) will be seeing a limited release this Friday, January 15th. Featuring brother Adam and lead actor Kyle Gallner (A Haunting in Connecticut, American Sniper) in the lead roles of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, respectively, the film finds the childhood friends as delinquent grown-ups, who, following Finn’s recent prison stint, forms the ‘band of brothers’ with their friends Joe Harper and Ben Rogers in order to finally find the treasure that has eluded them since their youth. Co-starring in the film are actors Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds, The Life Aquatic w/ Steve Zissou), Hannibal Buress (Neighbors, Daddy’s Home), Melissa Benoist (Whiplash, Supergirl), and Stephen Lang (The Men Who Stare At Goats, Avatar). The film is scheduled to officially premier at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival on June 13th, and then again in October at the Tallgrass Film Festival, New Hampshire Film Festival, and St. Lawrence International Film Festival. Keep an eye out for a trailer.
Oscar winner Sandra Bullock (Speed, Crash), who has been lending her voice to animated comedies of late, is returning to the big screen this week in a new “dramedy” Our Brand Is Crisis. Directed by Pineapple Express and East Bound & Down director David Gordon Green, the film is a dramatization of Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary of the same name by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Straughan (Tinkler Taylor Soldier Spy, The Men Who Stare At Goats). Bullock stars as Jane, an experienced political campaign strategist who is sent to war-torn South American to aid in the installation of a new leader, but whose efforts art threatened to be thwarted by an old political rival. Also starring in the film is Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton (Armageddon, Monster’s Ball), with Anthony Mackie (Million Dollar Baby, Avengers: Age of Ultron), Joaquim de Almeida (Clear and Present Danger, Behind Enemy Lines), and Scoot McNairy (Argo,12 Years A Slave) included in the supporting cast. Argo producers George Clooney (The Ides of March, The Monuments Men) and Grant Heslov (Good Night and Good Luck, August: Osage County) are behind the production of the project, which thus far has drawn much praise for Bullock’s acting, but also mixed feelings about the screenplay and directing. I suppose you’ll have to decide for yourself when you see it in theaters! The movie opens on Friday. Enjoy the trailer.
Opening in theaters today is a new post-apocalyptic drama from director Craig Zobel (Great World of Sound, Compliance) titled Z For Zachariah. The film comes from an adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien‘s 1975 novel of the same name by screenwriter Nissar Modi (Breaking at the Edge) about a trio of survivors living in a post World War III environment who find themselves entwined in an intense love-triangle as the only known survivors of the nuclear fallout. Making up the three-member cast line-up is Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (American Gangster, 12 Years A Slave), and actors Chris Pine (Unstoppable, Star Trek: Into Darkness), and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus). The film was seen earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received an Official Selection nod, and critics have praised it both for Tim Orr’s work on the cinematography (Pineapple Express, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World) and for the music score by composer Heather McIntosh (The Rambler, Honeymoon). Also opening today is a new music-oriented drama with Zac Efron titled We Are Your Friends, which follows Efron as a DJ attempting to climb to a position of fame in the Electric Dance Music scene, while also juggling with a forbidden romance. This one comes from writer/director Max Joseph, who is best known for his documentary series Good. I’m not expecting this one to be focused so much on the forbidden love factor as it is to the world of professional DJs, but I’m also not a huge Zac Efron fan, so I’ll leave this one up to you to decide. Enjoy the weekend!
H.H. Holmes, electrical appliances, Hershey’s Mile Chocolate, and the world’s first Ferris Wheel (pictured above) were some of the highlights of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Goodfellas) will once again be teaming up with his Wolf of Wall Street and The Departed star Leonardo DiCaprio for an upcoming adaptation of author Erik Larson‘s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. The book tells the story of “America’s first serial killer,” H.H. Holmes, who during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair is believed to be responsible for the murders of at least 27 people. Holmes was hanged in 1896 for his crimes of building a hotel (now famously known as The Murder Castle) in which he would prey and torture his ‘guests’ before finally killing them, all the while disguising himself as a doctor. Although he confessed to 27 murders, the actual total is believed to be in the hundreds. During his trial, Holmes stated that he could not help his position in life as a serial killer, and that the “Evil One” was present at the bedside when he was born and stuck with and influenced him for the rest of his life. DiCaprio actually acquired the rights to the book/film six years ago, and since then production has been on hold until a solid director and writer could come onboard to fully adapt the project. Screenwriter Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Captain Phillips) is expected to adapt the book for the big screen. Stay tuned for further news updates!