A new biographical drama titled Papa Hemingway in Cuba is opening in select theaters this Friday. The film comes from indie producer/director Bob Yari (Crash, The Illusionist) about young journalist Ed Meyers who, in 1959, travels to Havana to meet his idol Ernest Hemingway in the midst of the Cuban Revolution. Yari directed the film from a script that was written by an old friend of Hemingway, himself: a war correspondent named Denne Bart Petitclerc, who sadly was never able to get the project into full production before he died. Starring in the lead roles of Meyers and Hemingway are actors Giovanni Ribisi (Saving Private Ryan, Avatar) and Adrian Sparks (The Manhattan Project, The Purge: Anarchy), who are supported by James Remar (X-Men: First Class, Django Unchained), Joely Richardson (The Patriot, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Shaun Toub (The Kite Runner, Iron Man 3), and Minka Kelly (Just Go With It, The Path). Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter, Mariel Hemingway, is also making a cameo appearance in the film. The trailer is available on MADE. Be sure to look for it in theaters in your area this weekend.
Last year, producer-turned-writer/director Marc Abraham (Air Force One, Children of Men) debuted his new biographical drama, I Saw The Light, at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is a portrayal of the life of country music singer/songwriter Hank Williams Jr., and was adapted by Abraham from the book Hank Williams: The Biography by authors Colin Escott, George Merritt, and William MacEwen. Starring as Williams is actor Tom Hiddleston (Midnight in Paris, The Avengers), appearing alongside co-stars Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla, Avengers: Age of Ultron), David Krumholtz (Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, This Is The End), Bradley Whitford (Scent of a Woman, Saving Mr. Banks), and Cherry Jones (Signs, The Village). Although the film has not been well received by critics, fans have praised the performances of both Hiddleston, and Elizabeth Olsen as his first wife Audrey Mae. Some movie-goers will be able to see it in theaters this weekend, but the trailer is available here on MADE. Check your local listings for showings this Friday.
No doubt you’ve noticed all the new commercial space being added for the upcoming comedy Pixels with Adam Sandler (Happy Gilmore, Click) and Kevin James (The King of Queens, Grown Ups). The movie is opening on big screens across the country this Friday (July 24th) from director Chris Columbus (The Goonies, Home Alone) and screenwriters Tim Herlihy (The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy) and Timothy Dowling (Role Models, Just Go With It). Also starring in the movie is Michelle Monoghan (Eagle Eye, True Detective), Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent, Game of Thrones), and Josh Gad (Love & Other Drugs, The Wedding Ringer), and special appearances by Brian Cox (Braveheart, The Bourne Supremacy), Sean Bean (GoldenEye, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), and comedy veteran Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers). The movie will also include your favorite video game characters (like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong), as they are sent to Earth by aliens to invade the planet and wipe-out the human race!! Stupid? Yes. Hilarious….definitely!! The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!!
Author Harper Lee pictured on-set with actress Mary Badham, who portrayed Scout in the film adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird with Gregory Peck.
Celebrated Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Harper Lee, has remained quite dormant over the last 50 years of her life, ever since she gave her last interview in 1964 regarding her American literary classic To Kill A Mockingbird. The novel became one of the most powerful and important literary reflections of racism in our modern society, taking place in Depression-era Alabama amidst hard economic times and astronomical segregation laws and practices that would remain in place until the Civil Rights Movement nearly 30 years later. And now, during a time when racial tensions are once again dominating news headlines in this country, Lee will be publishing a long, lost manuscript that she wrote prior to the publication of Mockingbird, titled Go Set A Watchmen. The novel, whose pages ended up being the earliest draft for Mockingbird, follows Jean-Louise Finch (Scout) as a 26-year-old woman living in New York City who returns to her home in the South to confront her father, Atticus, about the issues and lifestyles that people deemed as appropriate and necessary during her childhood. Lee’s writings of the character’s childhood in the form of flashbacks in Watchman became her inspiration to tell the story of Mockingbird from the perspective of Scout as a child instead of an adult, and thus To Kill A Mockingbird was written and published. Much controversy has already been stirred at the news of Go Set A Watchman‘s publication, including concerns about how readers will react to Lee’s writing about the issues, questions as to whether or not Lee is coherent enough to give her permission for the novel’s publication (which reporters and friends and Lee, herself, says she is) and what the reaction will be to Lee’s further development/portrayal of such beloved characters, especially Atticus Finch. Nevertheless the novel will be available on bookshelves this July 14th, and pre-sales have already made the book a Bestseller. So if you are a fan of Harper Lee or of To Kill A Mockingbird, I would definitely put this on your ‘To-Read’ list.
The Oscar-winning composer behind such famous scores as Titanic, Field of Dreams, Apollo 13, and A Perfect Storm, James Horner, has died at the age of 61 in Santa Barbara, California. Horner was flying a small single-engine aircraft when the plane went down, killing him and potentially another passenger. Horner’s reputation in Hollywood was impeccable; he was a long-time collaborator with director James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) and producer Roger Corman (The Lady in Red, Battle Beyond the Stars), and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards (winning 2 for Titanic) and also won 4 Grammy’s (from a total of 11 nominations) for his work on Celine Dion‘s My Heart Will Go On and Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram‘s Somewhere Out There. Horner’s most recent work include Antione Fuqua‘s upcoming boxing drama Southpaw with Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, and Naomie Harris, and The 33, a drama revolving around the coal-mining disaster in which 33 miners were trapped underground for 69 days. These will become Horner’s final projects; Southpaw is due out July 24th, while The 33 is expected in theaters November 13th, 2015. His work, his passion for music and his influence on film will be truly missed.
With July getting closer and closer on the calendar, we have already started seeing some new trailers for the upcoming video-game comedy Pixels. The movie comes from director Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) and a script by writers Timothy Dowling (Just Go With It, This Means War) and Tim Herlihy (Happy Gilmore, Mr. Deeds) from a story by Patrick Jean (Tom the Cat, Motorville) about aliens who attack earth using the characters of Nintendo video game characters. Leading the cast line-up is comedy veteran Adam Sandler (Big Daddy, Grown-Ups), Josh Gad (Love & Other Drugs, The Wedding Ringer), Kevin James (The King of Queens, Paul Blart:Mall Cop), Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent, Game of Thrones), Michelle Monoghan (Eagle Eye, True Detective), and Jane Krakowski (Alfie, 30 Rock), along with your favorite Nintendo characters including PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders! Although the project seems pretty dumb in retrospect, it may just be the comedy to see this summer, although it did receive a PG-13 and not R rating. We’ll just have to wait for July to see if it’s a hidden gem or not. Stay tuned.
Directing brothers Ben and Joshua Safdie (The Black Baloon, Lenny Cooke) will see their dramatic 2014 hit Heaven Knows What opening in theaters this May 29th. The film received recognition at the Venice Film Festival last year and was also shown at this year’s SXSW Festival. Adapted by Joshua and fellow screenwriter Ronald Bronstein (Frownland, Go Get Some Rosemary) from a book by Arielle Holmes (Winter’s Dream), the story follows Harley and Ilya (played by author Arielle Holmes), the latter of whom struggles with heroin addiction, but who, at Harley’s request to prove her love, slits her wrists to save herself and their relationship in this intense psychological drama. Holmes based the book and character on her real-life experiences as a heroin addict and the lengths she and her fellow users would go to in order to get their fix. Making up the supporting cast are actors Caleb Landry Jones (No Country For Old Men, X-Men: First Class), and Eleanore Hendricks (A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, Nancy Please). The movie opens in theaters nationwide this May 29th, and from the looks of the trailer it will be pretty intense. The trailer alone will take you back to 2000’s hard-hitting drug-drama Requiem For A Dream. Check it out here on MADE!
Writer/director Rick Ramuyiwa (The Wood, Brown Sugar) will see his latest dramatic comedy Dope open on the big screen this June 19th. Narrated by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler), the film follows Malcolm, a young high school senior living in Inglewood, CA who struggles with gang-bangers and drug-dealers in his neighborhood while attempting to finish high school and complete his SATs, all while applying for and going on college interviews with the goal of going to Harvard. Ramuyiwa directed from his own script, which first showed at the Sundance Film Festival back in January and which will also be shown at the upcoming Los Angeles Film Festival this June. Starring in the film are actors Shameik Moore (The Watsons Go To Birmingham, Joyful Noise), Tony Revolori (The Perfect Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Kiersey Clemons (Shake It Up, Transparent), Kimberly Elise (John Q, For Colored Girls), Blake Anderson (Workaholics, Neighbors), and Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class, Divergent). Keep an eye out for an upcoming trailer!
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!
A new documentary from the collaborative team of writer/director Dave LaMattina (Brownstones To Red Dirt, Kei) and co-director Chad N. Walker (Kei, We Must Go) is coming this May. The film is titled I Am Big Bird: The Carroll Spinney Story, and follows the life of Carroll Spinney, who has appeared on Sesame Street as both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969. Lending interviews to the footage include puppeteers Frank Oz (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Muppets Treasure Island), and Sesame Street “muppeteers” Jim Henson, Sonia Manzano, Emilio Delgado, and Jerry Nelson, among others. I Am Big Bird first premiered last May at the Montclair and Seattle International Film festivals, and will be showing on screens in New York City this May 6th. We’ll keep an eye out for a nationwide release date.