The 2018 Sundance Film Festival kicked off yesterday in Park City, Utah, at the Sundance Mountain Resort. Every year the festival plays host to an impressive array of independent films, both foreign and domestic, and has featured such successful films as Blood Simple, Hoosiers, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Memento, 28 Days Later, SuperSize Me, Boyhood, and more recent notables like Dope, Mudbound, and Wind River (just to name a few!). Sundance not only presents feature-length films but also shorts and documentaries, and presents awards in such categories as acting, cinematography, screenwriting, directing, and short-filmmaking. The 2018 celebration will showcase 110 feature-length films from 29 countries; 47 of those films come from first-time filmmakers, out of a pool of 13,468 total submissions, including features, shorts, and documentaries. Some of this years more anticipated entries include Juliet Naked, Wildlife, Heart Beats Loud, The Catcher Was a Spy, and documentaries like Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, and Our New President. The 2018 celebration, however, comes at the helm of the whirlwind that was 2017. Continue reading →
One of our favorite film festivals here at MADE, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), is kicking off its 2017 festivities this week. Known for its wide range of genres, independent films, and documentaries, TIFF is the unofficial audition for the annual film-awards season that wraps with the Academy Awards celebrations every February. This years entries are no exception. Some of the more anticipated showings are documentaries surrounding Grace Jones (Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami), Barack Obama (The Final Year), and Lady Gaga (Gaga: Five Foot Two), as well as an under-the-radar entry from comedian Louis CK (I Love You, Daddy) that will appear in black and white. As always there is a plethora of noteworthy entries, so many, in fact, that it seems impossible to filter out a ‘most anticipated’ list.
This week will see a number of indie projects open in select theaters across the country. The 9th Life of Louis Drax is a mystery thriller from horror director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D) surrounding a psychologist working with a boy young boy who suffers after a near-fatal fall. The film was penned by actor Max Minghella (The Social Network, The Ides of March), whose late father Anthony was an Oscar-winning screenwriter responsible for such gems as The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Jamie Dornan (Marie Antionette, Fifty Shades of Grey), Aiden Longworth (Cut Bank, Hector and the Search for Happiness), Sarah Gadon (The Amazing Spider-Man, Enemy), and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Exodus: Gods and Kings) star in the film, which is based on a novel by Liz Jensen. Continue reading →
Movie-goers will have no shortage of great movies to see this weekend. Friday will not only have the chance to see The Peanuts Movie and the new James Bond installment, Spectre, but fans of festival-circuit films will also be able to see two major picks from this years’ Toronto International Film Festival. The first is the biographical drama from director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) with Golden Globe winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) titled Trumbo. The film follows the famous screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who along with 300 other writers and filmmakers in Hollywood was blacklisted by the federal government during the Red Scare era of the American 1950s. Trumbo is, perhaps, one of the more interesting cases; he continued to write scripts under anonymous surnames while he was blacklisted and even won Oscars for his work on Roman Holiday (1953) and The Brave One (1956). Making up the supporting cast are actors Diane Lane (Unfaithful, Man of Steel), Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey), Louis C.K. (Louie, American Hustle), Elle Fanning (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Maleficent), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, Argo), and Michael Stuhlbarg (Pawn Sacrifice, Steve Jobs), in a script adpated by John McNamara (Jericho, Aquarius) from the book Dalton Trumbo by author Bruce Cook. Continue reading →
Variety recently reported that director Roger Donaldson has been approached by Radar Pictures to direct a modern-day adaptation of the classic Erich Maria Remarque novel All Quiet On The Western Front. The book chronicles the story of a group of German soldiers stationed in the trenches at the German frontline during World War I and their transformations from innocent youth to hardened men by means of the violence and life-changing experiences of warfare. Originally made into a film in 1930 by director Lewis Milestone with actors Lew Ayers (Advice and Consent, Battle for the Planet of the Apes), Louis Wolheim (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Danger Lights), and John Wray (The Death Kiss, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town), it was also adapted for film again in 1979 with actors Richard Thomas, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, and Ian Holm. The original film won two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (Milestone) in 1930. Donaldson just directed Pierce Brosnan in The November Man and is also behind such films as Cocktail (1988), Species (1995), Dante’s Peak (1997), and The Recruit (2003). We don’t have any word yet as to who will be cast in this new film, but the release date has already been set for December 30, 2015, so we should see production really getting underway soon.
It’s been 20 years this August since Harrison Ford was chased all over Chicagoland by Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive. The film follows Dr. Richard Kimble (Ford), wrongly accused of murdering his wife, as he searches for the truth behind his wife’s death, all the while closely tailed by US Marshal Samuel Gerard (Jones), an enigmatic and relentless law enforcement agent who, himself, begins to question Kimble’s actual involvement in the crime. The film was a big hit for director Andrew Davis, who has directed such films as Holes (2003), Collateral Damage (2002), and Under Siege (1992), and even earned Tommy Lee Jones an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Jones would go on to play the same character alongside Wesley Snipes in 1998’s US Marshals, but the movie had no where near the same influence as the original. Director Davis is now in talks to do a remake of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and is currently in the pre-production stages of Pretty Boy Floyd, while Harrison Ford may be popping up in the next Star Wars movie and maybe even another dreadful Indiana Jones sequel. Tommy Lee Jones, however, will be starring alongside Robert De Niro in the upcoming mob flick The Family, which is being produced by Martin Scorsese. You can catch watch the trailer right here on MADE, then see the movie in theaters September 13th.
Finally we can put a decisive end to this onslaught of gossip and rumors that’s been hitting Hollywood and the web like spam since the Comic Con announcement of a Batman-vs-Superman movie. Man of Steel 2, which has been scheduled for release July 17, 2015, will feature a Batman-vs-Superman plot loosely based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, and will feature Ben Affleck as Batman! Affleck will be joining a long list of actors that have played the part, including George Clooney, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, Adam West, and most recently Christian Bale. Henry Cavill will be reprising the role of Superman, along with Amy Adams as Louis Lane and Diane Lane as Mrs. Kent. Director Zack Snyder will also be returning for the film which is being distributed by Warner Bros. Ben Affleck is an interesting choice for Batman. He is a seasoned actor who will be taking on an older character that must retain both Bruce Wayne’s misguiding demeanor and Batman’s passion for justice.
On a personal note, though, I think Superman is getting jipped! If you want to make a Batman-vs-Superman movie then by all means make it, but at least let Superman have his own sequel! Even Iron Man got individual second and third installments while also featuring the same actor (Robert Downey Jr.) in The Avengers movie, so why would you rob Superman fans of a legitimate Superman story, like the rise of Lex Luther or something? I don’t know, just fuel for thought. Affleck’s next movie release is Runner Runner, which co-stars Justin Timberlake and is directed by Brad Furman, who also in the production stages for The Ballad of Pablo Escobar. Escobar is supposed to come out sometime in 2014 and will star Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, The Bourne Legacy) in the lead role. I’m pretty excited about this one so keep an eye out for updates!
The news of James Gandolfini’s death shocked Hollywood. The 51-year old actor died of a heart attack while vacationing with his family in Italy earlier this year. Gandolfini won an Emmy for his role as Tony Soprano, the lead character in the HBO series The Sopranos. His latest projects include appearances in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Killing Them Softly, Not Fade Away, and Zero Dark Thirty. His first appearance on screen since his death will be an indie comedy called Enough Said starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Catherine Keener. The plot revolves around a massage therapist who discovers she’s begun a relationship with one of her client’s ex-husbands. Gandolfini has one last project called Animal Rescue, which is scheduled for release next year. The movie co-stars Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace and is being directed by Michael Roskam.