Acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Demme, know to most for directing The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, passed away last week at the age of 73. Known for his personal approach to filmmaking, Demme left behind an extensive portfolio of work, ranging from documentaries, independent films, cult remakes, and blockbuster dramas. His early work dates back to 1970s satire films like Fighting Mad and Handle with Care. Melvin and Howard made the director a household name in 1980, and Mr. Demme went on to direct a number of films and documentaries before making history in the early 1990s with Silence and Philadelphia. Both were box-office successes and culturally significant films that touched on a number of highly debated issues. 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 →
Writer, director, and lead actor Nate Parker (The Great Debaters, Red Tails)’s The Birth of a Nation is now playing in theaters across the country, but not in the light the young filmmaker was hoping for. The film struggled to reach $7 million in domestic box office sales in its opening weekend. Several factors could have contributed to the surprising low, but the most likely cause of the low turn out is Parker’s 1999 rape allegations during his time at Penn State. Although Parker was exonerated, news that his alleged victim committed suicide in 2012 and his handling of the case back in 1999 have caused a great controversy that has women’s rights and sexual assault advocate groups shouting boycott all across the country.
While Parker’s film may be controversial in its own right, the original Birth of a Nation, which was a silent movie released in 1915, was just as controversial, if not more so. The original Birth of a Nation is remembered for its blatantly racial undertones and simultaneous impressive contributions to filmmaking. Continue reading →
A new drama from indie-filmmaker Todd Solondz (Life During Wartime, Dark Horse) will see a limited theatrical release this Friday. Featuring a cast that includes Gretta Gerwig (Greenberg , Miss America), Julie Delpy (Before Sunrise, Before Midnight), Danny DeVito (Hoffa, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream), the film touches on the lives of four dysfunctional individuals, who all, at different points, come to own the same dachshund, who greatly impacts each of their lives. Solondz wrote and directed the film, himself, his eighth full-length feature film since Fear, Anxiety and Depression in 1989, and even scored an Official Selection nod at Sundance with this picture. From the looks of the trailer it should be a really entertaining viewing, so if you’re in the mood for an oddball comedy movie this weekend, be sure to keep this one the list!
It’s been 12 years since Pixar released its original smash hit Finding Nemo, and now Oscar-winning writer/director Andrew Stanton (Toy Story, WALL-E) is returning to the series with a new sequel called Finding Dory. This time around Marlin and Nemo must assist Dory in finding her long lost family in an all new 3D animated adventure that will once again feature the voice talents of Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show) as Dory, and Albert Brooks (Drive, A Most Violent Year) as Marlin. Also lending their voice talents to the new film are actors Diane Keaton (The Godfather, Annie Hall), Eugene Levy (American Pie, Best In Show), Ty Burrell (Dawn of the Dead, The Incredible Hulk), Idris Elba (American Gangster, Prometheus), Ed O’Neill (Married…with Children, Modern Family), Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Vacation), and Dominic West (The Forgotten, Hannibal Rising). The new movie won’t be in theaters until Summer 2016, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for additional news and trailers.
As most of you probably know by now the Drake/Meek Mill beef is starting to heat up. Of all the memes, vines and whatever other hilarious things being spread around the internet, someone has taken things to a new level with the “Save Meek Mill” charity. The website aims to donate proceeds to Philadelphia’s public school system, all in an effort to help Philly’s youth avoid growing up to be like Meek Mill. Over the top? Maybe, but at least there’s actually a good cause on the back end; click the link below to check out the website.
After hearing about a revamped Vacation update after the National Lampoon classic with Chevy Chase (National Lampoon’s Vacation, CaddyShack) and Beverly D’Angelo (American History X, Entourage), trailers are finally starting to turn up as we approach the July 29th release-date. The film comes from writing/directing team John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (Horrible Bosses, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone), and follows Rusty Griswold (portrayed in the original by Anthony Michael Hall) and his wife Debbie on a new family vacation enroute to Walley World. Starring in the film are actors Ed Helms (The Hangover, We’re The Millers), Christina Applegate (Anchorman, Hall Pass), Regina Hall (Law Abiding Citizen, Think Like A Man), Nick Kroll (I Love You Man, Date Night), Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, The Lego Movie), and Leslie Mann (Funny People, This Is 40) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers) as Audrey Griswold and her husband Stone Crandall. The movie will be out in theaters this July 29th; check out the new trailer here on MADE!
We first heard about comedian David Spade‘s upcoming sequel to his 2001 original hit back in the fall, and now with summer quickly approaching we have a new sequel to appease our curiosity! The new sequel, titled Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, is being directed by original co-writer Fred Wolf (Strange Wilderness, The House Bunny) and was scripted by Spade (Tommy Boy, Grown Ups), himself, who also starred and co-wrote the original film. This time out we find Joe caught in a time warp that puts him on yet another epic quest across land (and time) to find the family he had just discovered at the conclusion of the first film. Returning to reprise their roles from the original are actors Brittany Daniel (White Chicks, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia), Golden Globe-nominee Adam Beach (Windtalkers, Flags of our Fathers), and Academy Award-winner Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter, Catch Me If You Can), plus a whole new ensemble of characters including Patrick Warburton (Family Guy, Ted) and Susie Abromeit (Sex Drive, Battle Los Angeles). Fans, however, will not likely be seeing this one show on the big screen; part of the deal in financing/making the film was that Spade would exclusively release it on the website Krackle, even though Happy Madison Productions is lending a hand in the production. So come July 16th you’ll have to go onto Krackle to see the new movie. For now, here’s the first trailer…Enjoy!
Comedy veteran Kevin Smith seems to be caught up in the sequel-binge that’s happening in Hollywood right now. The director is not only preparing to begin filming Clerks 3 in Philadelphia this May, but now he has also confirmed he is working on a sequel to his 1995 comedy flop Mallrats. Clerks 3 will bring back Smith and Jason Mewes as Jay and Silent Bob, as well as Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson as clerks Dante and Randal, plus Clerks 2 star Rosario Dawson, and Marilyn Ghigliotti (Clerks, Starship:Rising) as Veronica. While fans of Smith and his View-Askewniverse characters will be probably welcome the Clerks crew back to the big screen, many are surprised to hear that he is returning to Mallrats. The movie virtually flopped at the box office when it was released in ’95 (it was Smith’s first release since Clerks a year earlier), but Smith has said he will make the movie in a long-delayed honor of Mallrats producer Jim Jack, who always supported Smith over the years and died with an unrelenting desire to see Mallrats 2 on the big screen. Whatever the reason, Smith already has half of the script completed and if all goes well principle photography should begin as early as May 2016. In the meantime, check out this 1995 trailer for Mallrats, and if you haven’t seen it you should definitely make a point to.
We have a pretty great list of releases to choose from this 2014 Holiday season, but January 2015 is also looking to be a great month for releases, especially considering the insane amount of movies that have been scheduled to open this year. One project in particular that has been keeping Hollywood on the edge for several years now is the Pablo Escobar drama that has gone through several stages of production with different actors and directors before being picked up by RADIUS-TWC last February. The film is titled Escobar: Paradise Lost, and will star Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro (The Usual Suspects, Snatch) in the role of the brutal cartel leader, with Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, Red Dawn), Brady Corbet (Funny Games, Martha Marcy May Marlene), and Claudia Traisac (The 7th Day, Cuentame) in the supporting cast. Actor-turned-director Andrea Di Stefano (Nine, Life of Pi) directed his own screenplay that was co-written with Francesca Marciano (A Five Star Life, Honey). The movie was first seen in September as part of the Toronto International Film Festival and has also been shown at numerous events since then including the Zurich and Rome Film Festival(s), and the Hamptons and Philadelphia International Film Festival(s). Now the film will see a limited release this January 16th. You can see the trailer here on MADE, and be sure to check your theater guides to find one showing near your area.