A new independent drama starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, A History of Violence) is seeing a limited theatrical release this Friday. Written and directed by Matt Ross (The Aviator, Silicon Valley), Captain Fantastic tells the story of a man who raises and home schools his six children in the countryside. After his wife commits suicide, however, they are forced to move into the city, and he soon discovers the children are not prepared for the realities of life in the city. The film won Un Certain Regard Award for directing at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and also took home the Golden Space Needle Award at the Seattle International Film Festival. Starring in the film are actors George McKay (Defiance, Pride), Samantha Isler (Sean Saves the World, Dig Two Graves), Annalise Besso (Standing Up, Oculus), Nicholas Hamilton (Long Shadows, Strangerland), Shree Crooks (Ray Donovan, American Horror Story), Charlie Shotwell (The Comedians, Shot Down), and comedic vets Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman, Sahara) and Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers, Parks and Recreation). 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.
This week, a 2010 mystery-drama from the Weinstein Company will finally see a limited American release after having spent five years waiting on the studio shelves. Director Mikael Hafstrom (1408, The Rite) and producer Harvey Weinstein were set to begin principle photography on the film Shanghai in 2008 when the Chinese government suddenly pulled their permits, forcing the production to relocate to Thailand and England to complete filming. The film is a period piece, set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the 1940s just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor occurs, and follows an American who returns to probe the mysterious death of his friend. As the mystery begins to unfold, however, and as he falls into a personal romantic relationship, the truth behind his friend’s death begins to reveal a much larger conspiracy at work. Starring in the lead role is actor John Cusack (2012, Hot Tub Time Machine), who has worked with director Hafstrom on the suspense-thriller 1408 in 2007. Also in the supporting cast are actors Li Gong (Miami Vice, Hannibal Rising), Yun-Fat Chow (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Curse of the Golden Flower), and David Morse (The Green Mile, The Hurt Locker). We’re not entirely sure why Weinstein decided to hold the US release back for so long, but this isn’t the first film the company has withheld from the public for a number of years before releasing it. Whatever the case, the Weinstein Company is usually pretty good about investing in worthwhile features, and the trailer reads more like an action-thriller than a romantic drama. Either way it should be a great watch. Enjoy!
Chicago Police investigate a shooting on Chicago’s southside.
Chicagoans may have noticed all the crazy traffic that surrounded the Wicker Park neighborhood today (June 2nd). The cause? Controversial film director Spike Lee (Malcolm X, Inside Man) is in town at the intersection of North and Milwaukee Avenue beginning principle photography for his new drama Chiraq. The film has already been the subject of much scrutiny owing to the implications of its title, and the graphic nature of the violence in Chicago that is expected to be the film’s main focus. Making up the cast are actors Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained), John Cusack (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Raven), Jeremy Piven (Old School, Entourage), Common (Now You See Me, Selma), and Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, Empire), with rapper Kanye West rumored to also be in the cast. Details on the plot are still pretty vague, but the film has been in production for sometime now, and this is likely only one location that will be used for film locations. The film is due out in theaters in 2016. Stay tuned.
I will admit I was pretty skeptical about seeing the first Hot Tub Time Machine when it hit theaters in 2010, but when the credits came on I found myself pleasantly surprised at how hilarious it actually was. Now a second installment is scheduled to open in theaters this Friday, reuniting original cast members Rob Corddry (Semi-Pro, Harold and Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo Bay), Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express, This Is The End), and Clark Duke (Greek, Kick-Ass) with new cast members Adam Scott (Step-Brothers, Parks and Recreation), Thomas Lennon (I Love You Man, We’re The Millers), and comedy-veteran Chevy Chase (National Lampoon’s Vacation, Caddyshack). The last time we saw the comedic bunch they had returned from the 1980s to find their friend Lou (Corddry) has made himself the creator of “Louggle” and also the lead of “Motley Lou” among other endeavors that had turned all their lives completely around. This new feature will see Jacob (Duke) and Nick (Robinson) having to go back in time to prevent Lou from being shot by a mysterious assailant. The original film’s writing/directing collaborators Josh Heald and Steve Pink (Accepted, About Last Night) are both back for the new film. Only original lead actor John Cusack is not returning for the new film. The full-length trailer is here on MADE. See the movie in theaters this weekend!