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 →
For those who are boycotting Hollywood’s ‘Re-make Era’ or simply have no interest in sitting in a jam-packed theater this Friday night with a bunch of kids and teenagers trying to see the new Star Wars feature, a new comedy with Golden Globe co-hosts Tina Fey (Mean Girls, 30 Rock) and Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation) titled Sisters can offer you the perfect alternative! Working with director Jason Moore (Everwood, Pitch Perfect) from a script by Emmy winner Paula Pell (Saturday Night Live, The Oscars), the comedy vets pose as sisters (appropriately) who decide to throw one last party in their old family home before their parents finally sell it. Also making appearances in the film are actors Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, Inherent Vice), Ike Barinholtz (Disaster Movie, Neighbors), James Brolin (Traffic, Catch Me If You Can), Diane Wiest (The Lost Boys, I Am Sam), John Cena (The Marine, Trainwreck), and John Leguizamo (The Lincoln Lawyer, Chef). I wouldn’t really expect this one to be fall-on-your-ass comedy, but Fey and Poehler are excellent comedic vets and work really well together, so if you’re not in the long line to see The Force Awakens, I would definitely give this one some consideration. Enjoy!
If you haven’t had a chance to go and see A Most Violent Year yet, you should be aware of what you’re walking into before you go. While the movie, itself, is really well done, and, in my opinion is a very good movie, if you’re expecting a big violent mafia flick, you’re going to be extremely disappointed. Writer/director J.C. Chandor‘s screenplay was very well written; he conveys the themes of the movie very clearly and the plot allows for a refreshing look of the hardworking American immigrant and the belief in strong family values. But as far as violence goes, the movie is definitely lacking, especially considering the title is A Most Violent Year, which really only relates to 1981 when the story takes place, one of New York City’s most violent years on record. Other than that it felt like the same story could have been put into modern times and it still would have made sense. All that aside, the acting performances by Golden Globe nominees Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (The Help, Interstellar), and also that of supporting cast members Albert Brooks (Taxi Driver, Drive) and David Oyelowo (Lincoln, Selma) are outstanding, and Chandor’s filmmaking is exceptional and well deserved of recognition. So if you go in expecting more of a Coppola (The Godfather)-like movie as opposed to a Scorsese (Mean Streets, Goodfellas) or DePalma (Scarface, The Untouchables)-like movie, I think you’ll really enjoy it. Here’s the trailer one more time.
Just reading the headline makes your stomach churn. Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese has been responsible for some of the finest movies made in cinematic history. His resume includes such classics as Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), Raging Bull (1980), Taxi Driver (1976), The Departed (2006), and The Aviator (2004), and that’s only to name a few. Scorsese has maintained his reputation as a director ever since his first breakthrough project, Mean Streets, in 1973, but his talents are definitely not limited to great original storytelling. The director has spent a great number of years following the great rock and roll acts of the 20th century, particularly The Rolling Stones, The Band, Michael Jackson, and George Harrison. His latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street, is due out this month, after which he will begin filming his next project, Silence, this upcoming summer. Scorsese won the Academy Award for Best Director in 2007 for The Departed and has been nominated for the same award a total of 7 times, as well as securing four Golden Globes. With all that under his belt one can understand his desire to retire on his own terms, as well as the pressure he must still have to endure during the film process at the age of 71! But we may yet see a few more films before he decides to definitely stop working. He is currently working on a documentary on former president Bill Clinton, and is supposed to helm a Sinatra biopic after Silence is completed, so we’ll hold our breath on this retirement news for now.