Sundance 2017 proved a huge success yet again. This year a number of impressive entries from a broad array of categories caught our attention, including Wind River, The Discovery, I Am Not Your Negro, Mudbound, and the outlandish comedy Wilson with Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. Now that the celebration is over and everyone in Hollywood is looking forward to the Oscars at the end of the month, here are a few more mentionable entries you should look for in theaters in the coming months. Continue reading →
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 →
Last year’s Annual Academy Awards ceremony was less than glamorous. In fact, it was downright uncomfortable. You might remember Chris Rock being asked to host the #OscarsSoWhite last January, and although he made some good points and was able to put a good spin on it, the show was ultimately kind of a bust. The final announcement of Leonardo DiCaprio winning the Best Actor Oscar was just one more punch to the face of film-lovers before the ceremony was ended. Don’t get me wrong, Leonardo DiCaprio is definitely worthy of an Oscar, but like Denzel Washington and Al Pacino before him, he was given the award for the wrong role, and at a point way too far into his career. But hey, that’s Hollywood for you. Continue reading →
The upcoming 69th Annual Writers Guild of America Awards is scheduled to air this February 19th, 2017. The awards recognize the best writers from 2016 in the categories of film, television, radio, and video-game writing. This year’s event will be hosted at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Once again, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight are among the top contenders for the Original Screenplay Award. Denzel Washington‘s Fences is up for Best Adapted Screenplay, along with Hidden Figures and Arrival. Other highlights in television and radio nominees include Game of Thrones, Strange Things, Westworld, Chernobyl: 30 Years Later, and Muhammed Ali: A Tribute to Greatness. The list of film nominees is provided below. Follow the link to see the full list of Writers Guild nominees for 2017. Continue reading →
Last night the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards were held at the Beverly Hilton. Jimmy Falon hosted the event which was filled with surprises, including a politically-driven speech from Meryl Streep. But perhaps the most impressive part of the evening was the new musical from Whiplash director Damien Chazelle, La La Land, which set a new record with 7 Golden Globe awards, including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy. Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine, The Big Short) and Emma Stone (The Help, Birdman) both took home the Globe for Best Actor/Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and Chazelle won the Globe for Best Director. La La Land also won for Best Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song. Congratulations to all the winners! The full list of winners is provided below. Continue reading →
Several limited releases will be available in select theaters this week.
1. The Benefactor
First on the list is a new drama titled The Benefactor with Richard Gere (Unfaithful, Chicago), Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds, The Twilight Saga: New Moon), and Theo James (Underworld: Awakening, Insurgent) about a philanthropist who construes the lives of young couples in an attempt to relive his past. This will be the first feature-length film by writer/director Andrew Renzi (Karaoke!, Fishtail), who is also lined up to write an upcoming biographical film on Janis Joplin.
Moonwalkers is a new comedy from director Antoine Bardou-Jacquet (Wacky Races) starring Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy) and Rupert Grint, aka Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter film franchise. The film focuses on the conspiracy theory in which legendary film director Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange) is recruited by the CIA to stage the 1969 Lunar landing. Perlman stars as the stiff CIA agent tasked with recruiting Kubrick, and Grint plays a sketchy rock band manager who Perlman is forced to team up with to pull it off. This one definitely seems like its worth giving a chance.
3. A Perfect Day
With an all-star cast lead by Oscar-winning actors Benicio Del Toro (Traffic, Sicario) and Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption, Mystic River), this comedic drama follows a group of relief aid workers who must work to resolve a crisis in the middle of an armed war zone. Writer/director Fernando Leon de Aranoa (Mondays in the Sun, Princesas) took up the reigns on this one, which may or may not find success with comedy audiences, despite the excellent filmmaking team behind it.
Location: 2447 N Halsted Street, Chicago When: Friday, January 31st @ 8PM
The Roof Life guys are holding a pretty dope show at Tonic Room tonight. The show will feature 2nd City Citizens, Tomorrow Kings, Supreme Regime, Black Matt & Supa BWE; and the event will be hosted by Dook Breeze. They’ll be asking for a $6 cover at the door and if you remember Cody DeCamry’s b-day, they’ll be hooking up free Bacardi for a limited time once again. If you’re in the Chicago area tonight, you should definitely stop by this one; only if you like dope music and booz that is.
Jerry Bruckheimer has famously spent the last decade working for Walt Disney Pictures. His breakthrough film with Disney, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, was an instant classic when it was released in 2003, and brought Johnny Depp into a brand new era in his career after appearing in films like Blow and From Hell (both released in 2001), Chocolat (2000) and Sleepy Hollow (1999). Depp had yet to break into the family-friendly movie genre, but all that changed when he agreed to play pirate for director Gore Verbinski on Bruckheimer’s new project. Since then both Depp and Bruckheimer have experienced great success at Disney, but all that changed when they decided to push their limits and make a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean, and then thought it would be a good idea to take Depp’s pirate character and dress him up as Tonto for a remake of The Lone Ranger, which completely bombed at the box office this summer. Since the failure that was The Lone Ranger, Depp has agreed to make a fifth Pirates movie, but Bruckheimer’s employment with the production company has taken a turn for the worse, and the producer will no longer be taking on any future projects with Walt Disney Pictures.
This is not necessarily bad news for the producer, however, as Paramount Pictures has decided to draft a new contract with their old production partner, beginning with sequels to some of Bruckheimer’s most early successes: Top Gun (1986) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984). As of now, Eddie Murphy will be brought back to his original character in what may be a reboot of the series and which will be directed by Brett Ratner, but there are no official reports concerning the plot line. Top Gun is also on its way to a sequel with Tom Cruise, but a director for this film is yet to be determined, especially since original director Tony Scott committed suicide last year. While this is good news for Bruckheimer, fans of these Hollywood gems may be less enthused about further installments, especially with a thirty year gap for both and one of which already has several sequels. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised to hear this. Bruckheimer could try surprising us with some fresh material instead of following the rest of Hollywood in their movie revival scheme, but if his main focus is keeping his job he may have to stay on the bandwagon for now. We’ll keep you posted.
With Breaking Bad now airing its final season on AMC, screenwriter George Mastras is now in talks to adapt author Dean Unkefer’s 90 Church: The True Story of the Narcotics Squad From Hell. The novel is a fictionalized account of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics unit in New York City that tackled drug trafficking and organized crime from the 1960s to the early 1970s. Rupert Sanders, who directed Snow White and the Huntsman, is set to take on the project with Universal Pictures. Mastras received an Emmy nomination for his work on the fifth season of Breaking Bad, and will apparently have plenty of material to work with as the novel encompasses the entire operation of informants and under-the-table deals. The novel is set to hit stores this September, so a film project may still be a ways away, but with Mastras behind the wheel it may pick up speed sooner than we think.