This weekend, downtown Saint Paul is playing host to both the 2017 Frozen Film Festival and Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship. The Frozen Film Festival is showing a number of student short films on Friday night, followed by a feature-length film titled Viral Beauty. The festival will continue on Saturday and conclude with an awards ceremony and closing party. Events for the festival are being held at the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Theater, located at 75 W. 5th Street, and at TPT Street Space, located at 172 E. 4th Street. The Red Bull Crashed Ice 2017 World Championship, which has now come to Saint Paul six years in a row, is happening downtown at the Cathedral of Saint Paul. The event is an ice cross downhill race that begins on the steps of the Cathedral with participants racing on ice skates. Mayor Chris Coleman also usually shows up to take a slow, but admirable attempt at the track, if not just for PR purposes (but you didn’t hear that from us!). Time trials begin at 11am on Friday, and the finals take place from 6:30 – 9:30pm on Saturday. Needless to say there’s plenty to check out this weekend, so be sure to get up and do something!
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 →
The long anticipated Ghostbusters reboot with Melissa McCarthy (The Heat, Spy), Kristen Wiig (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Martian), Kate McKinnon (Ted 2, Finding Dory), and Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live, Trainwreck) is now playing in theaters nationwide. Director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) has faced some harsh opposition to rebooting the series, but the film is still expected to earn a large haul at this weekend’s box office. Picking up 30 years after the last installment, a new female crew of ‘busters reopens the original location and works to rid New York of its paranormal residents. Original actors Bill Murray (Caddyshack, Stripes), Dan Aykroyd (The Blue Brothers, Tommy Boy), Ernie Hudson (Joy of Sex, The Crow), Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Avatar), and Annie Potts (Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Toy Story) are all expected to make cameo appearances throughout the film, so it should be a pretty fun summer blockbuster. Also opening in theaters this weekend is a new drama from director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer, Runner Runner) called The Infiltrator. Continue reading →
October may have slowed down in terms of big releases as we came closer to Halloween, but with November comes a new month of big releases, and this week will see no shortage of such films this Friday. The first new release on the list is the upcoming modern rework of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and their gang of Peanuts, appropriately titled The Peanuts Movie. Coming Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Animation, and from Horton Hears A Who and Ice Age: Continental Drift director Steve Martino, the new movie finds everyone’s favorite underdog Charlie Brown and his best pal Snoopy in an all new adventure, as Charlie tries to make a good impression on the new girl moving in next door, and Snoopy continues in his quest to shoot the Red Baron out of the sky. All of the timeless Peanuts characters from the mind of author Charles Schulz are back in new 3D fashion, with a touch of the classic anime-style that brought the Peanuts to our home television-screens growing up. An all new cast also provides voice-overs for the animated characters, including Noah Schnapp (Bridge of Spies) as Charlie Brown, Alexander Garfin (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) as Linus, Hadley Belle Miller (Branson the Sitcom) as Lucy, Noah Johnston (Monsters University) as Schroeder, and Peanuts veteran, Bill Melendez (A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, A Charlie Brown Christmas), returning to provide the voice of Snoopy. Given the production studio’s approach in remaining loyal to the classic Peanuts animation style, while simultaneously adapting it for modern filmmaking, I think fans of the Peanuts and those of the new generation will both be pleased by how this one turns out. The trailer is available here on MADE. Be sure to see it in 3D on big screens across the country this Friday, November 6th.
After much anticipation and even more promotional hype, the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton is now playing in theaters nationwide. Directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, The Italian Job) and penned by screenwriters Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center), Straight Outta Compton chronicles the rise of the iconic rap group NWA during the mid-1980s. The group’s songs of hardship and racial prejudice in the streets of Compton prompted a national awareness to the ongoing issues still fueled by racial divides between the law and the streets, and revolutionized the hip hop genre for generations to come. Starring in the film as the members of NWA are O’Shea Jackson Jr. (as his father, Ice Cube), Corey Hawkins (Iron Man 3, Non-Stop) as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell (Contraband, Broken City) as Eazy-E, Neil Brown Jr. (Fast & Furious, Battle Los Angeles) as DJ Yella, and Aldis Hodge (Die Hard With A Vengeance, The East) as MC Ren. Oscar-nominee Paul Giamatti (Lady in the Water, 12 Years A Slave) also appears in the film as NWA manager Jerry Heller. Reviews have been mixed thus far: some have expressed that the story is exaggerated at points, while other truths have been completely omitted from the story. But one thing that all the critics seem to agree on are the actors’ performances. As with any film adaptation of a real-life story, the plot will tend to focus on the perspective of certain members and not touch upon others, but I’m hoping, for the most part, that this will be a fairly accurate representation of the true account. Original members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube served as producers on the project. So if you don’t have any plans this weekend (and even if you do), I would make a point of seeing this one on the big screen. It’s bound to be the biggest movie release this summer. Enjoy!
With their biographical film Straight Outta Compton opening in theaters this August 14th, the iconic rap group N.W.A. is looking to their next project, and with the anticipation of the movie, fans have been hoping for a potential reunion concert or even a tour. Well now it seems that a tour is definitely being planned, at least a European tour (sorry America!), according to chairperson Donna Langley at Universal Studios, who is releasing the film. The tour would include original members Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and DJ Yella, as well as honorary rapper Eminem, who will presumably serve in place of Eazy-E, who died in 1995. No tour official tour dates or locations have been announced, but we’ll keep an eye out for additional news. The trailer for Straight Outta Compton is available here on MADE. Stay tuned!
We’ve been waiting for more news on this project for a while now, and with an August 14th release date slowing coming up, we finally have a full trailer for F. Gary Gray‘s upcoming biographical drama Straight Outta Compton. Based on the story of the iconic group N.W.A, the film chronicles their rise to fame from the streets of Compton, California, and how their music revolutionized popular culture as they exposed the danger and brutality of the ghetto. The film is being produced by Tomica Woods and original members Ice Cube (Friday, All About the Benjamins) and Dr. Dre, with Gray (Friday, Law Abiding Citizen) working from a script by Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center, Blood Father) and Sheldon Turner (The Longest Yard, X-Men: First Class). Making up the cast are actors O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube, Aldis Hodge (Leverage, The East) as MC Ren, Jason Mitchell (Contraband, Broken City) as Eazy-E, Corey Hawkins (Iron Man 3, Non-Stop) as Dr. Dre, and Neil Brown Jr. (Fast and Furious, Battle Los Angeles) as DJ Yella, with Lakeith Lee Stanfield (The Purge: Anarchy, Selma) as Snoop Dogg and Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man) as N.W.A manager Jerry Heller. The trailer premiered during this week’s episode of Workaholics, but you can see it here on MADE if you missed out. Enjoy!
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We first reported that last month that a biopic about iconic rap group NWA titled Straight Outta Compton (in reference to their first album) was in the works at Universal and that O’Shea Jackson Jr. would potentially be cast to portray Ice Cube in the movie. As far as we can tell that still appears to be accurate, but now we also have news that Lakeith Lee Stanfield (Memoria, The Purge: Anarchy) has been chosen to play the role of Calvin Broadus Jr., otherwise known as Snoop Dog (or Snoop Lion as of last year), who first appeared on the rap-scene around the same time as NWA. That means he and Jackson Jr. will be joining a cast of relatively unknown actors, including Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Easy-E, Aldis Hodge as MC Ren, and Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella. Other cast members include Paul Giamatti as Jerry Heller, NWA’s manager, and Carra Patterson as Tomica Woods. The film will be directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, The Italian Job), but this is just another project on Stanfield’s list of upcoming movies. The actor is also scheduled to appear in the upcoming Miles Davis biopic with Don Cheadle, Miles Ahead, and Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming Civil Rights drama Selma, which centers on the marches between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. Now that the cast is pretty much all in place, filming on this new biopic should begin soon, but we’ll keep an eye out for an official start and potential release date.
Vin Diesel is currently wrapping up the next installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise, with an eighth installment also seeing rumors flying about in Hollywood, and The Last Witch Hunter already lined up as his next project. That being said, the actor has not completely walked away from Xander Cage, the character that was dubbed the American version of James Bond when he first hit theaters back in 2002, and even though the second installment with Ice Cube was not nearly as memorable, Diesel still plans to reprise the role in The Return of Xander Cage (title pending of course). Although there is no set schedule for production to begin on XXX 3, Diesel has already reported that part of the project will be filmed in the Phillippines, which may indicate that the production has been moving further along than we are being lead to believe, but at this point this is all just speculation. Maybe Diesel can bring some legitimate credibility back to the franchise that, along with The Fast and the Furious and Pitch Black, helped boost him to celebrity status in Hollywood, but we’ll just have to sit tight and wait to hear for more news on this one.