Every year, the Sundance Film Festival hosts an impressive number of independent films, documentaries, and short films from all around the world. Titles like The Usual Suspects, Memento, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Napoleon Dynamite, Super-Size Me, Saw, and Little Miss Sunshine have all found success at the world-renowned festival. So it’s no surprise that this years line-up is definitely keeping with that reputation. A number of documentaries, including the Amir Bar-Lev’s Grateful Dead tribute Long Strange Trip and Jeff Orlowski’s follow-up to his 2012 Chasing Ice feature, Chasing Coral, have already premiered to great praise from festival attendees and critics alike. At the same time, a number of films have already been purchased for distribution, including Patti Cake$ by former doorman-turned-filmmaker Wass Stevens, which sold to Fox Searchlight for $10.5 million! Here are a few of the festival entries that have caught our eye for expanded release. We’ll post more information about domestic releases as we get further into the year. Continue reading →
On September 30, 1948, actor Robert Mitchum (Story of G.I. Joe, Cape Fear) was released from prison following his charge of marijuana possession. Mitchum was an up-and-coming star in Hollywood. He had received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor two years earlier for his role in Story of G.I. Joe, and appeared in four feature films in 1947, including Pursued, Crossfire, Desire Me, and Out of the Past. He also worked with director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story) in a western film earlier in 1948 called Blood on the Moon. His recent string of success, however, only made his bust on September 1st that much worse.
Mitchum was found with actress Lila Leeds (Lady in the Lake, Wild Weed) and dancer Vicki Evans. With the 60s still more than a decade out, and public opinion towards marijuana still very much in the light of propaganda films like Reefer Madness (1936), the young actor feared the very public arrest would effectively end his acting career. It didn’t help that industry names like Howard Hughes (Scarface, The Outlaw), David O. Selznick (King Kong, Gone with the Wind), and the press constantly berated him during this period. But his famous bust that could have completely ended his career ended up doing just the opposite. Continue reading →
With the summer movie calendar quickly drawing near, new trailers are starting to fill up television spots and the pre-feature trailers at the movie theaters in abundance. One such trailer is the second for the highly-anticipated Captain America: Civil War, which will open on big screens on May 6th, 2016. The new movie follows the story-line established with Avengers 2, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this time finding the Avengers split between leading members Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), who disagree over new sanctions that the government wishes to install in order to monitor the team of heros and “prevent any further widespread damage or casualties” as a result of their efforts. As expected, the movie is loaded with the all-star cast of familiar faces, including Scarlett Johansson (Lucy, Hail! Caesar) and Jeremy Renner (American Hustle, The Bourne Legacy). Continue reading →
At last we have the first big blockbuster release for 2015. Avengers: Age of Ultron is now playing in theaters nationwide, and with the huge success the film saw during its European release two weeks ago, it should be an even bigger hit here in the US. Robert Downey Jr (Good Night and Good Luck, The Judge), Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger, Unstoppable), Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, The Spirit), Chris Hemsworth (Thor: The Dark World, Rush), Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island, Now You See Me), Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy, American Hustle), and Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Django: Unchained) are all back to reprise their roles as the Avengers, with Golden Globe nominee James Spader (The Blacklist, Lincoln) providing the voice of Ultron. Oscar-nominated writer/director Joss Whedon (Toy Story, The Avengers) also returned to lead the project. Here’s the trailer one more time, now go see it on the big screen!!
The follow-up to 2012’s Avengers (excluding solo projects we’ve seen released in-between like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Iron Man 3) is coming to theaters this May 1st. Reuniting for the film are actors Robert Downey Jr. (The Soloist, The Judge), Scarlett Johansson (We Bought A Zoo, Lucy), Chris Hemsworth (Thor: The Dark World, Rush), Chris Evans (Fantastic Four, Snowpiercer), Mark Ruffalo (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Shutter Island), and Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy, American Hustle) as the Avengers, who this time out must join forces against the evil Ultron, who emerges with the intent of carrying out his destructive plans over planet Earth. Also back to write the script and direct the film is Oscar-nominee Joss Whedon (Toy Story, The Cabin in the Woods), as well as supporting cast members Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Snakes on a Plane), Cobie Smulders (Delivery Man, The Lego Movie), Tom Hiddleston (War Horse, Thor: The Dark World), and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2, Godzilla). You can see the trailer here on MADE; the original Avengers movie grossed more than $200 million in the opening weekend, so we’ll be sure to watch if this sequel can break that record.
More comic book news is coming out of Marvel regarding additions to the cast of the upcoming Captain America: Civil War film, scheduled for release in May 2016. We already know that Robert Downey Jr. will star as Iron Man opposite Chris Evans as Captain America and that the two will face-off against each other in battle, but now we have word about another potential villain appearing in the film, and that German actor Daniel Bruhl may be taking the part. Variety has stated that Bruhl, who has appeared in films like Inglorious Bastards and Rush (opposite Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in The Avengers), will not star as the main villain, but that it’s likely his role will be the main villain in the upcoming Doctor Strange release. Captain America: Civil War is being directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, and will appear in theaters after Avengers: Age of Ultron is released next year. Chadwick Boseman is also set to appear in the film as Black Panther. Stay tuned for more news.
With all the news about upcoming comic-book movie releases that Warner Bros. and Universal have been putting out lately, a lot of attention seems to have diverted away from a sequel that is actually coming out this summer! Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled to open in theaters on May 1, 2015 and will see the cast of the original Avengers reunited on screen. Included from the original cast are Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson, with Cobie Smulders returning as Maria Hill and newcomers Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen joining the cast as well. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon, who also wrote and directed the original Avengers, and who is also behind the ongoing television show Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. on ABC. Check out the new trailer here on MADE!
Even though Twilight pretty much ruined vampires for the modern generation of movie-goers, Universal Studios seems to have a pretty cool reboot project in mind that may help to bring the classic lore of monsters like Frankenstein and the Wolfman back to the big screen. Dracula Untold will be hitting theaters this October 10th and will be the first major motion-picture from up-and-coming director Gary Shore. The film stars Luke Evans as the young Vlad Tepes, who looks to protect his kingdom and his family from opposing military threat by making a deal with a supernatural being to give him the power to defeat his enemies. This, of course, comes at a high price, as Vlad finds himself becoming a spectre of that dark world, slipping slowly away from his genuine humanity. It had been rumored that this would be the first in a series of reboots from Universal as the studio looks to revive it’s classic monster-movie line up, which includes Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy, and the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi released in 1931. These rumors were recently confirmed by Dracula Untold‘s producer Alissa Phillips, who spoke with reporters from HeyUGuys at the UK premier this week, and the next project on the list will be The Mummy, which will be directed by longtime producer Alex Kurtzman. Personally this doesn’t really excite me. The Mummy has already been remade and spawned a whole series of terrible sequels, and the same goes for Frankenstein and The Wolfman, both which, by-the-way, have had remake projects released in the last 5 years, first The Wolfman with Hugo Weaving in 2010 and then I, Frankenstein with Aaron Eckhart earlier this year. It’s really getting irritating to see how little originality is coming out of Hollywood these days, but then I’ve been saying that for years now, so I guess nothing ever changes.
Actor Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Ocean’s 11) has decided to set up a campaign through Indiegogo, an international fundraising site for charity, music, technology, film, and more, to raise funds for a biopic about legendary musician Miles Davis. Davis, probably best known for his skill as a trumpet player, was also a writer and composer whose career spanned from the mid 1940s to the mid 70s. One of his most famous works is the revolutionary record Kind of Blue (which featured jazz pianist Bill Evans) was released in 1959 and has since received recognition for its quadruple-platinum status. Cheadle is looking to start filming in July and wants to raise a total of $325,000 in order to start the process, which will feature Cheadle as Davis and Ewan McGregor set to take a supporting role. Herbie Hancock may also be on board to score the film, but details on the project are still coming forward, so we’ll see how quickly the movie can pick up momentum.
With production on The Avengers: Age of Ultron currently in full speed, fans are growing more and more eager to see the sequel to one of the most anticipated comic movies ever. Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, and Mark Ruffalo are all reprising their comic hero counterparts for the Age of Ultron, which is once again being written and directed by Joss Whedon (Toy Story, Alien: Resurrection). Along with other supporting cast members like Samuel L. Jackson and Don Cheadle, actor Mark Ruffalo, who is reprising the role of Hulk, will be receiving some help on his character from actors Lou Ferrigno and Andy Serkis. Ferrigno, if you are not aware, portrayed the Hulk in the 1970s TV series The Incredible Hulk, and Serkis is the experienced mime-actor behind Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Ferrigno will provide some voice-overs for the Hulk when he is big and green, and Serkis will be coaching Ruffalo with some motion-capture techniques for the new movie. Age of Ultron is scheduled for release in May 2015, so we’ll have to wait to see the two actors’ contributions, but it will most likely be worth it.