Acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Demme, know to most for directing The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, passed away last week at the age of 73. Known for his personal approach to filmmaking, Demme left behind an extensive portfolio of work, ranging from documentaries, independent films, cult remakes, and blockbuster dramas. His early work dates back to 1970s satire films like Fighting Mad and Handle with Care. Melvin and Howard made the director a household name in 1980, and Mr. Demme went on to direct a number of films and documentaries before making history in the early 1990s with Silence and Philadelphia. Both were box-office successes and culturally significant films that touched on a number of highly debated issues. Continue reading →
Happy Halloween! October is traditionally known for the fall season and for hosting Halloween on the last day of the month. Likewise film distributors tend to look at October as a good time to release horror and slasher films for Halloween on fight-seeking audiences across the country, and around the world. October, however, has a long history of major motion picture releases that is not strictly limited to the horror genre. Read on to see our list of impressive October releases, and enjoy your Halloween Weekend! Continue reading →
Today in 1989, the eccentric and far-out vacation-gone-wrong comedy Weekend at Bernie‘s opened in theaters around the world. While critics didn’t have too many great things to say about it, movie-goers openly embraced the outlandish comedy, making it one of pop-culture’s most frequently referenced movies to-date. The script was penned by Emmy-winning screenwriter Robert Klane, who also worked as a writer on National Lampoon’s Vacation (1985) and Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993). Ted Kotcheff (Fun with Dick and Jane, Rambo: First Blood) directed the movie, which starred Andrew McCarthy (St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink) and Jonathan Silverman (Conception, The Hungover Games) as a pair of insurance agents who are invited by their boss to spend the weekend with him at his house in the Hamptons; when they arrive to find him dead Continue reading →
After Creed and how many Rocky movies? we thought Hollywood might give the underdog boxing story a break, but nevertheless, a new drama titled Hands of Stone is opening in theaters this August. Written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz (Ships of Hope, Secuestro express), the film follows the life and career of boxing legend Roberto Duran and his equally legendary trainer Ray Arcel and how they would forever influence each other’s lives. Starring in the respective leads are actors Edgar Ramírez (The Counselor, Joy), and Robert De Niro (American Hustle, Silver Lining’s Playbook), who are supported by Ana de Armas (Knock Knock, Exposed), Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Eve’s Bayou, The Great Debaters), Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love, Ocean’s Thirteen), and John Turturro (Mr. Deeds, Transformers). The trailer is available here on MADE. Look for additional trailers coming out soon!
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!
It’s finally here! The new Vacation movie is opening on big screens across the country this Friday, July 31st. Directed by comedy acting/writing duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Horrible Bosses 2), the movie pays homage to the original National Lampoon classic as now-grown-up Rusty Griswold takes his family on a new cross-country road trip to Walley World, full of its own hilarious twists and turns. Leading the cast are actors Ed Helms (The Hangover, We’re The Millers), Christina Applegate (Married…With Children, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Rush), Leslie Mann (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), and original Vacation actors Chevy Chase (Christmas Vacation, Caddyshack) and Beverly D’Angelo (European Vacation, Entourage). Check out the trailer here on MADE, then be sure to add this to your weekend plans!
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 new drama from director Simon Curtis (Five Days, My Week With Marilyn), Woman in Gold, is now playing in theaters. Starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, Hitchcock) and Ryan Reynolds (Waiting, Safe House), the film follows the story of Maria Altman (Mirren), a Jewish woman who seeks to regain her family’s lost artwork that was stolen by the Nazi party in World War II with the help of her lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Reynolds). The film is based on the memoirs of Altman and Schoenberg and was adapted for film by screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell (Possession, Planespotting). Included in the supporting cast are actors Daniel Bruhl (The Bourne Ultimatum, Inglorious Bastards), Katie Holmes (Phone Booth, Batman Begins), Tatiana Maslany (Eastern Promises, Heartland), Max Irons (Being Julia, Red Riding Hood), and Jonathan Pryce (Tomorrow Never Dies, Pirates of the Caribbean). The announcement for the film came around the same time as The Monuments Men was released in theaters in February 2014, so I’m sure there will be comparisons made between the two, but definitely give it a chance nonetheless.
Painter Frank Bernard Dicksee’s 1884 oil canvas Romeo and Juliet.
Just when we thought Hollywood couldn’t do anything more to ruin originality, we see headlines like these in the news and just want to lose all hope. THR recently reported that Sony Pictures has picked up a new film adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet that will supposedly be imagined in the likings of director Zack Snyder‘s 300. The project is called Verona and is the first from writing duo Neil Widener and Gavin James. At the same time director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is also working on a new project at Thunder Road Pictures that will tell the story of King Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinivere in a Western-genre setting. This one is titled Man at War and comes from a script by writer Jeremy Lott, but we have yet to hear when this project will be released in relation to Guy Ritchie‘s upcoming movie Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur. I don’t know how fans of classic literature will take news of a 300-style Romeo and Juliet, or two King Arthur movies being made pretty much simultaneously, but with Disney and Marvel both busy popping out Star Wars and Avengers films for every consecutive year from now until God knows when, I can’t say this comes as very surprising news. Keep an eye out for further updates.
Fans of the hit series Breaking Bad on AMC can now tune in for the new spin-off drama Better Call Saul from writing partners and Breaking Bad creators Vince Gilligan (The X-Files, Hancock) and Peter Gould (Double Dragon, Too Big To Fail). The series stars Emmy-winner Bob Odenkirk (Saturday Night Live, Nebraska) back in his role of Saul Goodman in the time before the character was Saul Goodman. Instead we see him as Jimmy McGill, a young lawyer trying to make ends meet but lacking in the confidence and self-assurance of Saul Goodman. Also back from Breaking Bad is Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut, the former cop-turned-muscle-man under the employee of Gus, plus new-comers Rhea Seehorn (Whitney, Franklin & Bash), Patrick Fabian (General Hospital, The Last Exorcism), Michael McKean (Clue, Planes Trains & Automobiles), and Michael Mando (The Far Cry Experience, Orphan Black). The series is already three episodes in, so you should check out On-Demand if you need to catch up, then tune into AMC on Monday nights at 9pm/central.