This week will see a whole collection of independent limited releases happening across the country. First on the list is The Big Short from director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), starring Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, American Hustle), Steve Carell (The Office, Seeking A Friend for the End of the World), Ryan Gosling (Drive, The Place Beyond the Pines), and Brad Pitt (Babel, By The Sea). The film, based on the novel by Michael Lewis, follows four friends who predicted the housing market collapse in the mid 2000s and bet against the odds with the national banks, becoming nearly instant millionaires. The film was last seen at the AFI Film Festival in LA earlier this year, and a further nationwide expansion is still expected for 2016. Continue reading →
Director Spike Lee‘s update of Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata set in the violent streets of modern-day Chicago titled Chi-Raq is opening in theaters today. Set primarily in Chicago’s Southside, the film utilizes modern gang violence to tell Aristophanes’ tale of a group of women who decide to keep sex from their male counterparts in order to encourage them to stop the street violence that is destroying their homes and families. Lee adapted the screenplay with writer Kevin Willmott (The Battle for Bunker Hill, Jayhawkers), which features actors Nick Cannon (Bobby, Day of the Dead), Teyonah Parris (How Do You Know, They Came Together), Wesley Snipes (Blade, Demolition Man), Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers, Unbreakable), John Cusack (The Raven, Hot Tub Time Machine), and Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, Lullaby). For Hudson, the film carries a unique weight: she has lost three family members to the gun-violence dividing the streets of Chicago. Comedy veteran Dave Chappelle (The Chappelle Show, The Nutty Professor) is also expected to make an appearance. The trailer is here on MADE; check it out in theaters today.
Happy Halloween! This October has already seen a new addition to the Paranormal Activity series (The Ghost Dimension), the return of AMC’s The Walking Dead and its spinoff series Fear The Walking Dead, and the comeback of R.L. Stine’s classic scary-tale series Goosebumps with Jack Black (Shallow Hal, School of Rock) at the helm. This week, and just in time for Halloween weekend, we get another Zombified movie experience from director Christopher Landon (Paranormal Activity, Burning Palms) in the form of Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Bringing back the fun-zombie feel of Zombieland (2009), this one follows three scouts who must use their experiences to ban together and save their hometown from a zombie outbreak. Actors Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life, Mud), Logan Miller (I’m In The Band, +1), and newcomer Joey Morgan star in the lead roles, with Sarah Dumont (Don Jon, Playing It Cool), David Koechner (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), and Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein, Beerfest) in the supporting cast. Director Landon co-wrote the screenplay with Lona Williams (Drop Dead Gorgeous, Shark Tale), Carrie Lee Wilson (Teamo Supremo, College Road Trip), and Emi Mochizuki (College Road Trip). Also still playing in theaters for your Halloween needs are Goosebumps and Crimson Peak. Enjoy the Halloween weekend, and be safe!
A new biopic from Oscar-winning director Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond, Love & Other Drugs), titled Pawn Sacrifice, is now playing in theaters nationwide. The script was penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Steven Knight (Locke, The Hundred-Foot Journey), and follows the life of American Chess champion Bobby Fischer as he prepares to face-off against the reigning Russian champion Boris Spassky. Starring in the film are actors Toby MacGuire (Spider-Man, Seabuscuit), Liev Schreiber (Scream, The Painted Veil), Robin Weigert (The Good German, Sons of Anarchy), Lily Rabe (No Reservations, All Good Things), and Peter Sarsgaard (Flightplan, Jarhead). The film is expected to be mainly a character study, but the match that the story is based on took place in 1972 during the height of the Cold War, which, all together, should make for a pretty impressive watch. The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!
The Bean in Chicago’s Millenium Park will also be featured as part of Statue Stories Chicago.
A new project here in Chicago is launching this week in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The project is called Statue Stories Chicago, an idea which first launched in parks in Britain and Chicago is now the first US city to feature the attraction. 31 statues in Lincoln Park will feature new icons that Chicagoans and tourists can scan with their smart phones and then receive a phone call from ‘the statue’ informing them of who they are and providing a small bit of history behind the statue as well. For example, if you were to scan the icon next to the statue of Abraham Lincoln, you would receive a phone call from Abraham Lincoln, whose voice is provided by actor John C. Reilly (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step-Brothers). The project is the work of Colette Hiller, who has worked with theaters around the city, including Second City, Steppenwolf, The Goodman, and The Looking Glass, to bring the attractions to life. Other actors taking part in the project include Steve Carrell (The Office, Little Miss Sunshine), David Schwimmer (Friends, Six Days Seven Nights), and Chicago-native Bob Newhart (The Bob Newhart Show, Elf), who provides the voice for his own statue at Navy Pier. So if you’re in Lincoln Park be sure to check out these new talking statues!
Writer/director Andy Goddard (Torchwood, Downton Abbey) will be showing his new biographical drama Set Fire To The Stars at the Seattle International Film Festival. Starring Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Bobby) in the role of author/aspiring poet John M. Brinnin (whose novel is the unofficial source material for the movie) as he embarks on a journey to save his inspiring hero Dylan Thomas, who is portrayed by co-writer Celyn Jones (Shameless, The Healer). Thomas’ career was extensive in the field of literature; some of his more famous poetic works include Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night and In The White Giant’s Thigh, but the writer was also known as a literary show-host on BBC radio during the 1940s, and he is famously credited with inspiring such 20th Century artists as Bob Dylan, who took Thomas’ first name, Dylan, as his own stage-name. John Brinnin would accompany Thomas during the latter years of his life while he was traveling across America on a series of literary tours; this is the era of his life that will be the focus of the film. I haven’t found any information pertaining to a nationwide release, but if you’re in the Seattle area on May 15th, you might want to check this one out!
Al Pacino‘s new film Danny Collins is now expanding to theaters across the country. Scripted and directed by Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love, The Guilt Trip), the film finds Pacino (The Godfather, Scarface) portraying aging rock star Danny Collins, who, still enraptured in his younger rock-n-roll lifestyle, receives a never delivered letter from his manager, addressed to Collins from former Beatle John Lennon. Having read and been inspired by Lennon’s comments on life, family and friends, Collins sets out on a mission to rediscover his own family and make some long-delayed amends. Co-starring in the film is 4-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (American Beauty, The Kids Are Alright), Golden Globe winner Jennifer Garner (Juno, Dallas Buyers Club), Bobby Cannavale (The Station Agent, Chef), and Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music, A Beautiful Mind). Check out the trailer here on MADE, then be sure to see it on the big screen!
Academy Award-winner Al Pacino (The Godfather, Scarface) will be back on the big screen this month in a new dramatic-comedy from writer/director Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love, Last Vegas) titled Danny Collins. Inspired by a true story, the film follows an aging rock star, Danny Collins, who discovers an undelivered letter addressed to him from John Lennon from 40 years earlier. Inspired by Lennon’s words, Collins sets out on a mission to reconnect with his estranged family and discover life outside of the rock-n-roll world of sex, drugs, alcohol, and constant publicity. Co-starring in the film are actors Annette Benning (American Beauty, The Kids Are Alright), Jennifer Garner (Pearl Harbor, Dallas Buyers Club), Bobby Cannavale (The Station Agent, Chef), and Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music, A Beautiful Mind). The film will see a limited release this March 20th before it shows at the Cleveland International Film Festival on the 29th; check your local theaters for showtime information. You can see the trailer here on MADE; John Lennon fans can also check out the soundtrack, which will feature several of his hit songs. Enjoy!
Like Interstellar, we’ve been following the upcoming Civil Rights drama Selma for some time now, and this week we’ll finally see it open in theaters. Starring David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Interstellar) as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the film comes from producer Oprah Winfrey and director Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere, Scandal) about King’s epic march between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama at the height of the Civil Rights movement in 1965. Making up the supporting cast are actors Cuba Gooding Jr. (Pearl Harbor, American Gangster), Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), Carmen Ejogo (Away We Go, The Purge: Anarchy), Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, Bobby), and Tom Wilkinson (The Patriot, Rush Hour) as President Lyndon B. Johnson. While the film chronicles the events of the march historically, writer Paul Webb also delves into the character of King as a person, showing him not only as the leader of a powerful movement but also as a man with his own trials and tribulations. Selma has already been nominated for four Golden Globes, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (David Oyelowo) and also Best Original Song for Common and John Legend‘s Glory (Common will also be seen in the movie!). You can see the trailer above, then definitely add this to your Must-See list. Also opening this week is Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice and Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen‘s Taken 3, so you have plenty of options for this weekend…choose wisely!
It seems like it’s been a while since we’ve seen Oscar-winner Al Pacino grace the screen in a lead role, but next year’s directorial debut for writer/director Dan Fogelman (Cars, Crazy, Stupid Love) will see the veteran actor in just that. Pacino will appear as Danny Collins, an aging rock star who, still living his sex, drugs, and alcohol-fueld rock-n-roll lifestyle, receives a 40-year old undelivered letter from his manager that was written to him by John Lennon. Inspired by Lennon’s words, Collins sets out to make amends with his family and loved ones and begin a new period in his life. Based on a true story, the film co-stars Annette Bening (Mars Attacks!, American Beauty), Jennifer Garner (Pearl Harbor, Dallas Buyer’s Club), Bobby Cannavale (The Station Agent, Chef), and Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music, A Beautiful Mind) as Collins’ agent. Not necessarily Scarface-material, but I’m sure Pacino will make it worth watching. You can watch the trailer here on MADE, stay tuned for an exact release date.