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 →
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!
Movie-goers will have plenty of choices when it comes to suspense in this week’s new releases. First up is the new dramatic thriller Self/Less from director Tarsem Singh (Immortals, Mirror Mirror), starring Sir Ben Kingsley (Schindler’s List, Shutter Island) and Ryan Reynolds (Safe-House, Woman in Gold). The film comes from screenwriting brothers David and Alex Pastor (Carriers, The Last Days) and also stars Natalie Martinez (End of Watch, Broken City) and Matthew Goode (Watchmen, The Imitation Game). You can watch the trailer above. Also coming out this week is a new horror flick, The Gallows, following a group of high school students who attempt to pay tribute to a horrific accident that took place at the school 20 years earlier, only to find the spirits of those dead still remain in the shadows. I’m sure you have already seen a bunch of previews for this one on TV, and while it entails new subject matter, it looks essentially like a Blair Witch Project meets Michael Myers mix, with relatively unknown actors and producers. That being said, this is the kind of movie you should definitely watch in the theaters for the full effect, so find yourself a date and enjoy!
Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind) will be making his feature-length directorial debut this month with his new war drama The Water Diviner. Working from a script by Andrew Knight (Siam Sunset, Cashburn) and Andrew Anastasios (The Broken Shore, Australia: The Story of Us), Crowe directed himself and actors Jai Courtney (Divergent, A Good Day To Die Hard), Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Oblivion), and Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Immortals) in the story of an Australian farmer who travels to Turkey in 1915 following the Battle of Gallipoli in an attempt to locate his missing sons. The film will see a limited release at the end of April following a premier at the Newport Beach International Film Festival on the 23rd. Check your local listings for showtimes in your area…meanwhile you can see the trailer here on MADE!