On September 20, 1956, director William Wyler‘s Friendly Persuasion was released in theaters in the United States. Based on the book by Jessamyn West, the story revolves around a Quaker family in 1862, whose faith and belief in non-violence is tested when Confederate troops come sweeping through their land and the family must decide whether to fight or to remain complacent. The film was written by screenwriter Michael Wilson (A Place in the Sun, Planet of the Apes), and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenwriting. It wasn’t until 2002, however, that Wilson would receive legitimate recognition for his work on the film. Continue reading →
According to Deadline, actor Alden Ehrenreich (Blue Jasmine, Hail Caesar!) has officially signed on to star as young Captain Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off from Walt Disney Pictures. Ehrenreich beat out a number of A-list names for the role, including Miles Teller, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, and Emory Cohen. As with all upcoming releases from Disney/Lucasfilm, no actual details have been released on the plot, and no news about supporting cast members is yet available. The script will be written by Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan (In the Land of Women, The First Time). Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) are expected to direct the feature. We’ll be bringing you further news as it emerges. If you can’t wait for a new space movie to see, check out the third installment in the new Star Trek series, Beyond, starring Chris Pine (Unstoppable, Into the Woods) and Zachary Quinto (Tallulah, Snowden). Enjoy the weekend!
Along with Papa Hemingway in Cuba, there are some great limited releases hitting theaters this weekend. First off is a new drama from actor-turned-director Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Horrible Bosses), Nicole Kidman (Eyes Wide Shut, The Interpreter), Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction, Catch Me If You Can), and Catherine Hahn (Step Brothers, Parks and Recreation) titled The Family Fang, which is based on the book by Kevin Wilson. The film follows a brother and sister as they return home in search of their famous parents, who have gone missing. Seems fairly promising, but you can be the judge.
Next up is an Italian film titled The Wait (L’attesa) from director Piero Messina (La Porta, Terra) and starring internationally known actress Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, Godzilla) about a mother who unexpectedly meets her future daughter-in-law at a villa in Sicily and waits with her for her son to arrive, concealing some dark secret the entire time. Continue reading →
The final trailer has arrived for director Bryan Singer‘s upcoming X-Men feature, Apocalypse. If you haven’t been following, the last X-Men movie was Days of Future Past, which found Wolverine going back in time to alter the timeline of the X-Men movies to prevent the end of the world. This new timeline picks up in what I’m guessing would be at least the the late 1980s, and finds Mystique responsible for training the new generation of X-Men to fight Apocalypse, the world’s first and most powerful mutant, who happens to be immortal. Apocalypse awakes after thousands of years and begins amassing power; having seen what humanity has become, he recruits a team of powerful mutants (including Magneto) to cleanse mankind and create a new world order. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, Fantastic Four) wrote the script from a story written by himself and director Bryan Singer (X2: X-Men United, X-Men: Days of Future Past), as well as writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris (Superman Returns, Krampus). Continue reading →
A new adventure/comedy titled Band of Brothers from writing/directing brothers Aaron and Adam Nee (The Last Romantic, The Geniuses) will be seeing a limited release this Friday, January 15th. Featuring brother Adam and lead actor Kyle Gallner (A Haunting in Connecticut, American Sniper) in the lead roles of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, respectively, the film finds the childhood friends as delinquent grown-ups, who, following Finn’s recent prison stint, forms the ‘band of brothers’ with their friends Joe Harper and Ben Rogers in order to finally find the treasure that has eluded them since their youth. Co-starring in the film are actors Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds, The Life Aquatic w/ Steve Zissou), Hannibal Buress (Neighbors, Daddy’s Home), Melissa Benoist (Whiplash, Supergirl), and Stephen Lang (The Men Who Stare At Goats, Avatar). The film is scheduled to officially premier at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival on June 13th, and then again in October at the Tallgrass Film Festival, New Hampshire Film Festival, and St. Lawrence International Film Festival. Keep an eye out for a trailer.
The 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards were held last night, and it produced a finals list that was definitely deserving, and in some cases very surprising, particularly Sylvester Stallone winning the Best Supporting Actor award for his Oscar-nominated role of Rocky Balboa. Here are the winners for all of the film categories:
Best Picture-Drama: The Revenant
Best Actress-Drama: Brie Larson – The Room
Best Actor-Drama: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Best Picture-Music/Comedy: The Martian
Best Actress-Music/Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Best Actor-Music/comedy: Matt Damon – The Martian
Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone – Creed
Best Director: Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant
Best Animated Film: Inside Out
Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul
Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin – Steve Jobs
Best Original Score: Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight
We wanted to give it a little time so that nothing would be spoiled for anybody, but if anyone is reading this that hasn’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, I suggest you either stop reading or be prepared for plot spoilers! To begin with, this was easily the best Star Wars film since Return of the Jedi was released in 1983. Director J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Star Trek: Into Darkness) brought legitimate filmmaking back to the series with this film, which looks more like old-fashioned Star Wars than anything we saw come from George Lucas in the early 2000s. His stylistic approach to filmmaking was the perfect merging of special effects and on-set principle photography, made better with the appearance of props and effects that appeared in the original film, such as the targeting view attached to the gun in the Millennium Falcon. The screenplay, written by Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi writer Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Bodyguard), was also much better in terms of actual dialogue on the part of the actors, but the overall story imitated that of Jurassic World earlier this year, in the sense that it read almost as a mirror image of the original Star Wars in 1977, with the updated story-line in play, of course. Abrams also did a great job of resurrecting the original Star Wars universe by bringing back a lot of the old designs and symbols representing the Rebel Alliance and the Imperial Star Fleet. I also have no complaints regarding the new lineup of actors. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega had a perfect chemistry between them, and Oscar Isaac did great as the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron. Adam Driver, however, as both the bad guy AND Han Solo and Leia’s son, was not necessarily bad, he was simply miscast, and Abrams didn’t do him any favors by taking off his helmet and showing his face. And if you are wondering about Luke Skywalker, he was pretty much absent the entire movie. He literally showed up for a few seconds at the very end, having evidently pulled a “Yoda” and gone into hiding after Han’s son decided to pull an “Anakin” and join the Dark Side. Needless to say we won’t really know what Luke’s deal is until the next movie in 2017, which will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the original release in 1977. All in all, it was a great movie and gave us some glimpses into the upcoming films and how the characters will continue to develop. Some stories were closed, but many more were opened, and now we have to wait another two years to find out what happens next. Stay tuned.
A new drama featuring recurring co-stars Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, American Sniper) titled Joy is now playing in theaters nationwide. The two stars are again directed by writer/director David O. Russell (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook), in the story of Joy Mangano, the woman who invented the Miracle Mop and became the matriarch of her family business and dynasty, but not before she encounters betrayal and treachery on her way to success. Also joining the two co-stars is their third recurring co-star Robert DeNiro (Goodfellas, Casino), with actors Edgar Ramirez (Vantage Point, The Liberator), Diane Ladd (Chinatown, Christmas Vacation), Virginia Madsen (Sideways, Firewall), and Isabella Rossellini (Fearless, Enemy). This is the fourth consecutive film in four years that Lawrence and Cooper have starred in together, and the third that also features DeNiro in the supporting cast. Lawrence and Cooper first appeared together in Silver Linings Playbook (which featured DeNiro) in 2012, and then American Hustle (DeNiro had a small part in this feature) in 2013, followed by Serena in 2014, and now Joy for 2015, which once again features DeNiro. This is also the third outing for director Russell with all three actors appearing in the featured cast, and according to the stars, we can expect even more to be forthcoming! Some may be frowning at the fact that these actors continue to appear in the same films, but their on-screen chemistry is excellent and all of these features have been Oscar and/or Golden Globe contenders, with the exception of Serena. Coupled with the fact that Russell is an original storyteller, I personally am hoping to see more features from this team of talented filmmakers, but we’ll have to wait for further updates to know for sure. Stay tuned!
After months and months of anticipation, fans can finally rejoice! As of today, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is now playing in theaters nationwide, and if you haven’t already secured a ticket, you might have to wait at least a week or two before braving the storm of people waiting in line out the door. Director JJ Abrams (Mission Impossible 3, Super 8) took leave of his Star Trek obligations in order to direct the film, which reunites original stars Mark Hamill (Commander Hamilton, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), Harrison Ford (Blade Runner, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc), and Carrie Fisher (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, The Blues Brothers) with an all new generation of actors, led by Daisy Ridley (Blue Season, Scrawl), John Boyega (Junkhearts, Imperial Dreams), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year), Domhnall Gleeson (Unbroken, Ex Machina), Adam Driver (While We’re Young, This Is Where I Leave You), and Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey). The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi Oscar-winning screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist) worked on the new project’s script with director Abrams and fellow Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3), about a new threat to peace and justice in the galaxy that occurs 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi concluded. Little more needs be said; all I ask is that you not be an asshole and spoil the plot for everybody in ear-shot of your conversations! Enjoy.
Last week we caught the first full length trailer for DC Comics’ upcoming Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. This week, however, Marvel has just rolled out a new trailer for Bryan Singer‘s new (and potentially last) installment in the X-Men film series, subtitled Apocalypse. The film follows the new timeline that was established at the conclusion of Days of Future Past, and finds the young generation of X-Men facing an ancient mutant known as Apocalypse, who has the power to destroy civilization as we know it. Original X-Men director Bryan Singer, who also directed X2: X-Men United and Days of Future Past, returned to direct and co-write the screenplay with Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes), along with help from Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris (X2: X-Men United, Superman Returns). Actors James McAvoy (Wanted, X-Men: First Class), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs, Macbeth), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle), and Nicholas Hoult (About A Boy, Mad Max: Fury Road) are all returning to reprise their roles from Days of Future Past, and will be joined on screen by newcomers Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones, Barely Lethal), Tye Sheridan (Mud, The Tree of Life), Rose Byrne (Get Him To The Greek, Neighbors), who is reprising her role as CIA agent Moira MacTaggert from Days of Future Past, and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year) in the role of Apocalypse. The film is expected out in theaters Memorial Day weekend 2016. Enjoy the trailer here on MADE.