Director Randal Kleiser’s big-screen adaptation of the Broadway hit Grease is celebrating its 40th anniversary this April. To celebrate the occasion, TCM Big Screen Classics Presents and Fathom Events are hosting special screenings of the Oscar-nominated film in theaters across the country. Although Jim Jacob’s and Warren Casey’s original Broadway production received seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Choreography (Birch), Best Actor (Barry Bostwick), and Best Costume Design, it was Kleiser’s film adaptation that would go down in history as an American pop-culture icon, with John Travolta (Pulp Fiction, Face/Off) and Olivia Newton-John (Xanadu, Two of a Kind) in the roles of greaser Danny Zuko and good-girl Sandy Olsson. The film received several Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture (Musical/Comedy), Best Actor (Travolta), Best Actress (Newton-John), and Best Original Song for Frankie Valli’s “Grease” and John Farrar’s “You’re The One That I Want,” neither of which is featured in the original musical. John Farrar’s “Hopelessly Devoted To You” also earned the film an Oscar-nomination for Best Original Song. For the anniversary event, special screenings will be played at select theaters on April 8th, April 11th, and April 14th. To find showings near you, visit Fathom Events at the link below and enter your Zip Code on your preferred date, and enjoy the show!
Filmmaker Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer) is currently working on principle photography for his upcoming remake of the classic 1960 western The Magnificent Seven. The original film was directed by legendary director John Sturges (The Great Escape, Joe Kidd) and featured an all-star cast that included Yul Brynner (The Ten Commandments), Eli Wallach (The Good The Bad and the Ugly), Steve McQueen (Bullitt), Charles Bronson (Death Wish), Robert Vaughn (Julius Caesar), Brad Dexter (Run Silent Run Deep), and James Coburn (Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid). Composer Elmer Bernstein received an Oscar-nomination for Best Musical Score (Drama/Comedy) for his work on the picture, and the film was selected for the National Film Registry by the National Film Preservation Board in 2013. Continue reading →
This Friday, July 3rd, will mark the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, the time-traveling hit from director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Flight) that made Michael J. Fox (Family Ties, Casualties of War) an instant superstar and became an instant classic in American cinema. Co-written by Zemeckis and screenwriter Bob Gale (1941, Used Cars), Back to the Future was a huge hit among fans and critics alike, receiving an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing/Effects and another 3 nominations for Best Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Music (Original Song); Huey Lewis even received a Grammy in 1986 for The Power of Love, which he wrote specifically for the film’s soundtrack. I think many fans would agree that Christopher Lloyd (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Angels in the Outfield) deserved a nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but that aside Back to the Future proved a great success. Since 1985 the film has been followed by two sequels, and although Zemeckis has said that a remake is definitely not happening, he is currently working to adapt the movie into a new musical due out in the next year or two. Either way, I’m sure there will be no shortage of marathons on TV this weekend, but if you happen to have your own copy be sure to watch Back to the Future this weekend to celebrate the anniversary…and Independence Day too!!
With writers in Hollywood constantly falling short of a new and interesting idea for a good movie, filmmakers are continuing to turn to real-life biographies for inspiration, particularly in the music industry. Such is the case with these two upcoming movies, which follow two of the 20th century’s most original musical acts, the charismatic James Brown, and the New Jersey native Frankie Valli. Get On Up follows the story of James Brown’s rise from poverty and imprisonment to international fame and features an all-star cast including Chadwick Boseman (The Kill Hole, 42), Viola Davis (Doubt, The Help), and Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers). The film is directed by The Help director Tate Taylor and comes from a screenplay by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth. Jersey Boys is a film-adaptation of the award winning Broadway musical of the same title, which follows Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to commercial success from Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby). Other upcoming biopics on music legends includes a film from actor Don Cheadle about legendary jazz musician Miles Davis, and a Jimi Hendrix biopic starring Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). While Cheadle’s project is still looking for some solid financing, Mackie will portray Hendrix in a film that will follow the last 9 days of the iconic musician’s life, with Thandie Newton (Crash, The Pursuit of Happyness) and Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) on board to take on supporting roles for director Ol Parker (Imagine Me & You, Now Is Good). Stay tuned for more updates!
The hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys will be taking a break from the stage to appear on the big screen this summer with director Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film adaptation that follows Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons from their early roots on the New Jersey streets to their critical success. John Lloyd Young, who starred in the original Broadway show, will appear in the film as Valli, as well as Christopher Walken and Freya Tingley from a screenplay written by original writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and John Logan. The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and will be hitting theaters on June 20. You can catch the new trailer here on MADE.
Banksy has been on an absolute rampage the last four days installing an onslaught of pieces across New York City. This time around we have 3 separate pieces where Banksy seems to have added onto existing tags. Banksy’s stencil reads “The Musical” underneath brash comments like “Dirty Underwear” & “Playground Mob” in an attempt to poke fun at how phrases like “The Musical” can lighten almost any title within a commercialized setting. OOOOO Banksy, always with the left field ideas; I guess we’ll have to wait and see what he has up his sleeve next as the rampage continues.