Tag Archives: joplin

Look For This Week’s Limited Releases In Theaters Near You

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.

2. Moonwalkers

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.

Enjoy!

New Amy Berg Documentary ‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’ Opening In Theaters Friday November 27th

A new music-documentary from director Amy Berg (West of Memphis, An Open Secret) titled Janis: Little Girl Blue is opening in theaters this Friday, November 27th. The last we heard news of this project was back in October, when it was to be headlined (among other contenders like Trumbo, Black Mass, and Spotlight) at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was an Offical Selection winner. The film also received Official Selection at this years Festival de Rio and BFI London Film Festival. Featuring Cat Power (V for Vendetta, Boyhood) as the narrator, the film takes a close look at the life of blues/rock-n-roll star Janis Joplin and her roll as a woman and key figure in the Rock-n-Roll movement through personal letters she wrote to friends, family, and fellow musicians. A barrage of home-movies, interviews, and documentary footage accompanies the letters read by Power to give us a touching and intimate look at the life of the twentieth century icon. If you’re a fan of Joplin’s, classic rock, blues, or the 60s in general, I would definitely recommend seeing this one if you can. For other great concert footage of Joplin, check out Woodstock: The Director’s Cut, which documents the famous Woodstock Music Festival held in the summer of 1969 and featured some of the most popular artists of the time, including Jimmy Hendrix, Joan Baez, The Who, Santana, Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Arloo Guthrie, Sly and the Family Stone, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash, among many more. Enjoy!

‘Trumbo’, ‘The Martian’, and ‘Black Mass’ Will Appear At This Fall’s Toronto International Film Festival

Every year the Toronto International Film Festival serves as one of the major international film festivals that close out the fiscal year, and this year’s festival is sure to feature an excellent celebration of Oscar-worthy filmmaking. Toronto’s film festival is usually filled with entries seen earlier in the year at festivals like Sundance and Cannes, but it also brings its own special line-up to its audience. This year several highly anticipated films will have the honor of being shown during the festivities, most notably the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass with Johnny Depp, Matt Damon‘s next space adventure following Interstellar titled The Martian, and one I personally am really excited to see, another biopic called Trumbo with Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) in the title role of McCarthy-era screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, whose film credits were published under various pseudonyms over the years after he was blacklisted during Senator McCarthy’s famous Communist-trials in the 1950s. The festival will play host to several other biographically oriented films as well, especially centering on figures in the music industry, including a Janis Joplin documentary titled Janis: Little Girl Blue, another documentary chronicling Aretha Franklin‘s famous 1972 album Amazing Grace, and Miss Sharon Jones, which follows the soul-singer during a time in her life when she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer just before the release of a new album and pending tour. I Saw The Light is another music-biopic following the life of Hank Williams (Sr.) which also looks to be pretty promising. Some other notable names that caught our eye include Spotlight (which we’ve been following for some time now), following the Boston Globe reporters that uncovered the sex-scandal in the Catholic Church involving priests and young male students in 2004, and Beasts of No Nation, which will actually see only a temporary theatrical run as it will be available on Netflix shortly thereafter. Some other big highlights that I would recommend include The Lobster with Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly, Legend, starring Tom Hardy as gangster identical-twin brothers in 1950s England, and Kill Your Friends starring Nicholas Hoult as a London A&R executive trying to rise to the top of the 1990s British pop-music scene. All of these are sure to be great entries, but there are, of course, many more that I have not had time to mention here. A full list of this year’s entries can be found at the link below, and if you find yourself in Toronto anytime this September 10th-20th, be sure to check out a couple of these entries…you won’t regret it!!!

Toronto International Film Festival 2015

Amy Adams’ Janis Joplin Biopic Brings Director Jean March-Vallee Onboard

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Actress Amy Adams (American Hustle, Man of Steel) has been trying to get a biopic about iconic blues/rock singer Janis Joplin onto the big screen for a number of years now, and now some news regarding a new director has surfaced from Deadline. Jean March-Vallee, who just directed Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyer’s Club last year, has been brought on to helm the movie, which will come from an untitled script by Ron and Theresa Terry. Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27, but during the mid 1960s, she and The Big Brother Holding Company released several blues/rock albums with songs like Piece Of My Heart, Cry Baby, and Me And Bobby McGee, and played at the famous Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, making Joplin a figure of rock legend. I’d actually be pretty interested if this one got underway, especially given Adams’ track record and passion for the singer’s life, but we’ll keep an eye out for further news or additional casting.

Elton John, John Belushi, Janis Joplin, and Freddie Mercury Getting Biopics

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It seems Hollywood is turning to real-life influence for a lot of movies that don’t involve comic book superheros or pot-smoking comedians. Several upcoming films based on biographical accounts have caught my eye recently, including Freddie Mercury, Janis Joplin, Elton John, and John Belushi! While there is only a script ready for the Mercury flick, and a pretty blatant hint from Queen that they’d like Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) to play the part, a Janis Joplin film is also in the works, and Amy Adams’ (Man of Steel) name is being tossed around to head that picture. Elton John, another big name in music, is also on the list of musicians to get a big-screen adaptation, with Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) taking on the biographical lead role. This film is supposedly going to be a musical based on John’s life but set to a fantasy backdrop, but we’ll see how that pans out.

john

Last on the list of biopics is the late comedian John Belushi (The Blues Brothers, Animal House). Several names have been tossed around for the lead role, including Adam Levine (Workaholics), Emile Hirsh (Into The Wild), and Joaquin Phoenix, but I honestly can’t imagine Phoenix (who did make a decent Johnny Cash) playing a character like Belushi. There is also a need to cast the real life characters of Belushi’s co-stars in both his films and the Saturday Night Live series, so the filmmakers have a big opportunity to get a really good cast together if they play their cards right, and provided they have a good script to work with. All of these movies are still in the production phases, so I have no idea when they might be coming out, but I can’t imagine them being released in too tight a sequence, so we’ll just keep our eyes open for now.

Lee Daniels Talks Joplin Biopic

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Lee Daniel’s The Butler (and no, I can’t just say “The Butler” because of a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company!) hit theaters last weekend to a surprising reception of $30 million in its first five days. Dealing with racial issues and relations, and spanning the length of the late 20th century, the film tells the tale of a black White House servant and his experiences throughout the years serving under eight presidents. The story is based on the life of real-life White House servant Eugene Allen, who resigned his position in the White House halfway through Reagan’s administration in the 1980s. The director will now be looking to his next project, a biopic on the late rock-n-roll/blues singer Janis Joplin. The movie is titled Get It While You Can and will supposedly feature Amy Adams in the role of Joplin. There are no real details involving a plot or supporting actors, but reports have indicated that the film will be focused on a single day of the singer’s life; kind of like a-day-in-the-life-of-Janis type thing. While some viewers may find a movie whose timeline consists of only one day and is therefore not enough to show prolonged character development, this may be an interesting approach to writing the script, and maybe even more appropriate for an icon like Joplin, whose character has been saturated over the years by stories of drugs, alcohol, and Joplin’s role at the close of the turbulent 1960s. But rest assured, great films have been made that take place in the span of a single day, including Emilio Estevez’s Bobby, and Kevin Smith’s Clerks; I’m sure a day in Janis Joplin’s life will be filled with plenty of material for a full length film.