For some time now, there has been talk of an upcoming biographical drama surrounding the legendary rock band Queen, though no such film has shown up anywhere on the Hollywood film circuit. Now, however, it looks like fans will finally be able to enjoy a new biopic surrounding the events leading up to and including the band’s legendary rebirth at the Live Aid Festival in 1985. The performance was not expected to be anything special: Queen had lost a good deal of momentum by the early 1980s, and the band was just another group of performers scheduled alongside acts like Elton John, The Who, Dire Straights, Phil Collins, and Paul McCartney. But when Queen finally took the stage in-between U2 and David Bowie, the crowd had no idea they were about to witness rock-history in the making.
Lead singer Freddie Mercury, who later died of complications with AIDS, took command of the stage and delivered an awe-inspiring set that even his band mates had never imagined. Through 25 minutes, Mercury jumped from the piano, to the guitar, to front stage with his sawed-off mic-stand, leading the band through a suite of their musical catalogue that included older classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” to recent singles like “Hammer to Fall”. It was all backing members Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor could do to try and keep up with Mercury, whose passionate and energetic performance ignited the crowd and which is remembered as the definitive highlight of the Live Aid festival. Continue reading →
On September 20, 1956, director William Wyler‘s Friendly Persuasion was released in theaters in the United States. Based on the book by Jessamyn West, the story revolves around a Quaker family in 1862, whose faith and belief in non-violence is tested when Confederate troops come sweeping through their land and the family must decide whether to fight or to remain complacent. The film was written by screenwriter Michael Wilson (A Place in the Sun, Planet of the Apes), and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenwriting. It wasn’t until 2002, however, that Wilson would receive legitimate recognition for his work on the film. Continue reading →
With Daniel Craig (Layer Cake, Quantum of Solace) sadly stepping down from the role, speculation continues to circle the web as to who is going to replace him as the world’s most famous spy. Although MGM had reportedly offered Craig £68 million for a further two films, plus shares, inside reports have stated that Craig is simply done with the role, and is moving on. And so now must producers Barbara Broccoli (GoldenEye, The World is Not Enough) and Michael G. Wilson (For Your Eyes Only, License to Kill), along with the heads at MGM, decide on a new actor to further the franchise. The favored choice, at least according to all the rumors, is Avengers and High-Rise actor Tom Hiddleston, who has thus far denied all of the rumors, but who, I’m sure, is not completely against the idea. Another name that has come up is Aiden Turner (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Poldark), but according to a more recent report from the Daily Mail, Billy Eliot and Nymphomaniac star Jamie Bell is in actual talks with the producers to take over the role. Continue reading →
Movie-goers will have no shortage of great movies to see this weekend. Friday will not only have the chance to see The Peanuts Movie and the new James Bond installment, Spectre, but fans of festival-circuit films will also be able to see two major picks from this years’ Toronto International Film Festival. The first is the biographical drama from director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) with Golden Globe winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) titled Trumbo. The film follows the famous screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who along with 300 other writers and filmmakers in Hollywood was blacklisted by the federal government during the Red Scare era of the American 1950s. Trumbo is, perhaps, one of the more interesting cases; he continued to write scripts under anonymous surnames while he was blacklisted and even won Oscars for his work on Roman Holiday (1953) and The Brave One (1956). Making up the supporting cast are actors Diane Lane (Unfaithful, Man of Steel), Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey), Louis C.K. (Louie, American Hustle), Elle Fanning (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Maleficent), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, Argo), and Michael Stuhlbarg (Pawn Sacrifice, Steve Jobs), in a script adpated by John McNamara (Jericho, Aquarius) from the book Dalton Trumbo by author Bruce Cook. Continue reading →
A new documentary called A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story opening in theaters across the country today. The film has been featured at the SXSW Film Festival, the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Lower East Side Film Festival, receiving critical acclaim from fans and critics alike, and securing awards at each festival. A Brave Heart tells the story of Lizzie Velasquez, who has an extremely rare condition that doesn’t allow her body to properly store fat. Lizzie was termed the World’s Ugliest Woman at the age of 17, when an unknown YouTube subscriber uploaded a video of her and set off a storm of social media comments, some going so far as to suggest that she kill herself and “do society a favor”. Lizzie was suddenly faced with a choice: run and hide, or stand and fight. Since the video was uploaded, Lizzie has become a worldwide icon against bullying and has given herself a mission of empowering a more positive online environment for all. The film was scripted by documentary writer/producer Michael Campo (Child 31, The Human Experience) and will be the directorial debut for producer/marketing specialist Sara Hirsh Bordo. It features interviews from Lizzie, herself, as well as others like sociology professor Robert Faris (PhD) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (38th District). The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy the weekend!
Ever since fictional actor Vincent Chase appeared on the set of Nine Brave Souls in HBO’s Entourage, audiences have been wondering whether or not a real movie based on wildfire firefighters would ever actually appear on the big screen. Now it seems that writer/director Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace, Crazy Heart) is preparing to set up a project based on the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew who lost 19 members in a wildfire blaze at Yarnell Hill last summer. Although the director is about to begin filming his Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass with Johnny Depp, Hotshots could potentially be his next project. The tragedy was the greatest loss of firefighters in a wildfire in 80 years, and now Brendan McDonough, the only survivor, will provide his account of the event tp screenwriter Ken Nolan, who will write the script for Cooper and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mike Menchel. Family and friends of the victims are also being approached by the filmmakers for details in order to paint a more accurate and loyal picture of the men. We’ll definitely keep you updated on this one.