A week after its release in theaters across America, director Ryan Coogler’s new Marvel comic-adaptation, Black Panther, is still setting box office records. The film is the 5th highest domestic debut of all time, and the highest grossing February release in history, with a staggering $202,003,951. It earned more in just 3-days in theaters than any other film featuring a black director and predominantly black cast with an impressive worldwide opening weekend gross of $350 million. The success of the film has not only shattered age-old myths surrounding the “unpopularity” of all-black ensemble movies in Hollywood. It is also changing the way Hollywood, and America at large, view films that deal primarily with black and African American culture. But why is Black Panther such a big deal for America and not simply just another superhero movie with a hero who happens to be black? Continue reading →
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 →
A new drama from writer/director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, The Hunger Games) titled Free State of Jones is now playing in theaters. The film follows the true story of Newton Knight, a farmer in Civil-War era Mississippi who abandoned the Confederate Army and formed a militia consisting of both white farmers and African-Americans who took over and declared Jones County an independent state. Ross adapted the screenplay from author Victoria Bynum’s The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War, although there are numerous publications of Knight’s stance in Jones County. Appearing as Newton Knight is Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar, Dallas Buyer’s Club), who is joined onscreen by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Concussion, Jupiter Ascending), Mahershala Ali (House of Cards, The Place Beyond the Pines), Keri Russell (The Americans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Christopher Berry (Django Unchained, 12 Years a Slave), and Jacob Lofland (Mud, The Scorch Trials). This is definitely a lesser-known portion of American history, but one that is definitely intriguing, although I will say that the trailer reads a bit like The Patriot. If you’re looking for an evening out this week, keep this one on your list. The trailer is available here on MADE.
A new documentary titled The Look of Silence from director Joshua Oppenheimer (The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase, The Globalisation Tapes) is now playing in theaters across the country. A follow-up by Oppenheimer’s Oscar-nominated 2012 documentary The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence follows a family that survives the recent genocides in Indonesia (that was the subject of The Act of Killing) as they confront the men responsible for carrying out the heinous acts against them. The film has received generally positive reviews, particularly at the New York, Venice, and Toronto International Film festivals, although some critics have stated that it does not live-up to the intriguing storytelling and filmmaking Oppenheimer displayed in The Act of Killing. Regardless of what the critics say I would definitely recommend seeing this one if you enjoy good documentary filmmaking, but be sure to watch The Act of Killing first, as Oppenheimer conceived of this new film being the ‘Part 2’ of Act of Killing from the beginning. Check your local listings for showtimes and locations. Enjoy!
Director Paul Greengrass (left) collaborating with Matt Damon (right).
Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Departed) stole the screen as Jason Bourne in the fast-paced spy series from author Robert Ludlum that began with The Bourne Identity in 2002 and ended (for Damon) with The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007. After that Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, American Hustle) stepped in to portray a new character in the Bourne-universe for director Tony Gilroy in The Bourne Legacy, which received mixed reviews from both critics and fans. But now Damon and Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Captain Phillips) are both returning to the series for a fifth installment, thus far only known as Bourne 5. Julia Stiles (The Omen, Silver Linings Playbook) will also be returning for the new movie, joining new-comers Alicia Vikander (The Fifth Estate, Ex Machina) and Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, A History of Violence) as the new villain. Details for the new story are not yet available, and further casting news is likely still forthcoming, so we’ll keep you posted with further updates.
After hearing about a revamped Vacation update after the National Lampoon classic with Chevy Chase (National Lampoon’s Vacation, CaddyShack) and Beverly D’Angelo (American History X, Entourage), trailers are finally starting to turn up as we approach the July 29th release-date. The film comes from writing/directing team John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (Horrible Bosses, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone), and follows Rusty Griswold (portrayed in the original by Anthony Michael Hall) and his wife Debbie on a new family vacation enroute to Walley World. Starring in the film are actors Ed Helms (The Hangover, We’re The Millers), Christina Applegate (Anchorman, Hall Pass), Regina Hall (Law Abiding Citizen, Think Like A Man), Nick Kroll (I Love You Man, Date Night), Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, The Lego Movie), and Leslie Mann (Funny People, This Is 40) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers) as Audrey Griswold and her husband Stone Crandall. The movie will be out in theaters this July 29th; check out the new trailer here on MADE!
The writer’s over at Time Magazine must be keeping an eye on Minneapolis, they’ve been shedding an increasing amount of light on the city’s restaurants, artists, bars & breweries over the last year. This time they’ve ranked the Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar (yup, the only jucy lucy) number 10 on their list of the most influential burgers of ALL TIME. A bold statement to say the least, but if you’ve ever been to Matt’s; at least a small part of you can agree.
Captain Phillips, the highly anticipated drama surrounding the 2009 hijacking of the MV Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates, hit theaters last week with high expectations. Directed by Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum) and starring Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips, the event was a huge mark in US history, becoming the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. The movie has received great reviews and opened the London Film Festival last Wednesday. With the film now in theaters, there has actually been a lot of controversy coming out about the plot details, originating from annonymous crew members who have been claiming that the real Captain Phillips was not as heroic as the film made out. Phillips has come out to news outlets to talk about the film and the claims of his cowardice and lack of concern, but there have been no complaints regarding Hanks’ performance or Greengrass’ style of directing. Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity hit theaters the same week to equally impressive reviews, but this one seems to be slightly ahead of Captain Phillips, but I can’t be the judge all the time: go out and see for yourself!!