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 →
Two independent films are seeing a limited theatrical release this weekend. The first is a comedy from Oscar-winning director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentlemen, Ray) titled The Comedian. Robert De Niro stars as an aging insult comic who must learn to adapt his art for the modern world of technology, YouTube, and social media. De Niro is backed by an outstanding supporting cast including Leslie Mann (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Danny DeVito (Hoffa, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia), Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally, Analyze This), Harvey Keitel (Mean Streets, Reservoir Dogs), Edie Falco (The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie), and Patti Lupone (Witness, City by the Sea). Despite having an impressive cast and director, the film has received incredibly harsh reviews from critics, who complain the potential of the cast and director are overshadowed by asinine, old-school comedy. Judging from the trailer, however, it looks like an entirely crowd-pleasing, worthy-of-the-times comedy, so don’t leave it off of your list just because of a few critics with no sense of humor! The Comedian is expected to see an expanded release in early February, so look for it in theaters for a good Valentines date! Continue reading →
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!
The new comedy from director Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Pineapple Express), Trainwreck, is now playing in theaters. Star Amy Schumer (Mostly Sex Stuff, Inside Amy Schumer) wrote the script about a commitment-scared woman who pours all her time into work until she meets a new guy and must choose between her independent lifestyle or a committed relationship. Actors Bill Hader (SuperBad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Brie Larson (21 Jump Street, The Gambler), and Tilda Swinton (Burn After Reading, The Grand Budapest Hotel) make up the supporting cast, plus a special appearance by NBA star Lebron James. Watch the trailer here on MADE, then see it in theaters this weekend. Other new features opening this week include Mr. Holmes with Ian McKellen and comedy veteran Woody Allen’s Irrational Man. Enjoy!
Universal Pictures has announced that a sequel to their worldwide box-office hit Neighbors has been given a green-light and has been set for release on May 13th, 2016. The sequel will bring back original cast members Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, The Interview), Rose Byrne (X-Men:First Class, Get Him To The Greek), and Zac Efron (Parkland, That Awkward Moment), as well as director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five-Year Engagement) and original writers Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, who thus far will only serve as executive producers. The project is still early in production, and a script or even a screenwriter has yet to be found, but I’m sure many would just as soon not see a sequel made at all. Given the context and originality of the first film it’s going to be difficult to come up with a sequel that’s actually worth making, but if Universal thinks they can rake in another $250 million by making a sequel, then that’s exactly what they’ll do. Stay tuned.
Marvel’s upcoming film-adaptation of Ant-Man is scheduled to open in theaters this July 17th. Considering the subject matter I can’t honestly say I’m excited about this comic-movie, but fans of the series may enjoy the big-screen adventure from comedic-drama director Peyton Reed (The Break-Up, Yes Man) and comedy screenwriters Adam McKay (Step-Brothers, The Other Guys) and Paul Rudd (Anchorman, Knocked Up). Rudd also leads the cast as Scott Lang (Ant-Man), which also features Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Hayley Atwell (The Duchess, Captain America: The First Avenger), Judy Greer (Love & Other Drugs, Jurassic World), and Michael Douglas (Romancing The Stone, Wall Street). As I said before I’m not particularly thrilled about this one coming out, but at least McKay and Rudd play into the ridiculous title of this comic character. The plot follows con-man Scott Lang as he uses a specialized suit that can grow and shrink in size in order to pull off a heist that will save the world from self-destruction. Check out the new teaser trailer here on MADE; we should see a more full-length trailer come out closer to the summer-time, so stay tuned.
New Line Cinema is currently filling out the cast members for their upcoming reboot of the classic National Lampoon’s Vacation, and some big names are starting to fill those empty cast slots. The new film will be directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who will also take on the writing responsibilities for the film, and will follow now-grown-up Rusty Griswold as he takes his young family on a new vacation adventure. Thus far the cast consists of Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover) in the role of Rusty, Leslie Mann (Knocked Up, This Is 40) as Audrey Griswold, Christina Applegate, Chris Hemsworth, Charlie Day, and special appearances by both Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, who reprise their roles as Clark and Ellen from the original Lampoon classic. While I anticipate that Applegate will be playing the role of Rusty’s wife, Leslie Mann’s Audrey will apparently be married to Chris Hemsworth’s character, anchorman Stone Crandall, but the plot details are still lacking at this point in the production, so we’ll have to keep an eye out for clarification on that. Stay tuned.
Comedian Seth Rogen has been working with writer and producer Evan Goldberg since 2007, when Knocked Up and Super Bad helped bring Rogen into the Hollywood spotlight, and they have continued their collaborative efforts with hits including Pineapple Express (2008), Funny People (2009), 50/50 (2011), and most recently, last year’s outrageous apocalypse-spoof This Is The End. They are presently finishing production on Neighbors and The Interview, both which are due out later this year, while simultaneously working on their upcoming animated comedy Sausage Party and producing another film called Cherries. Needless to say they keep themselves pretty busy, and they plan on keeping themselves busy. The two will be adapting a book called Console Wars by Blake J. Harris, with Scott Rudin also helping out with production duties. The book is the story of Tom Kalinske, who brought the Sega industry to the same level as Nintendo and sparked a corporate controversy that spanned the entire globe for the duration of the 1990s, as the two companies brought their competition all the way to the U.S. Congress. No idea when this one will be coming out, but it might be worth seeing.