For some time now, there has been talk of an upcoming biographical drama surrounding the legendary rock band Queen, though no such film has shown up anywhere on the Hollywood film circuit. Now, however, it looks like fans will finally be able to enjoy a new biopic surrounding the events leading up to and including the band’s legendary rebirth at the Live Aid Festival in 1985. The performance was not expected to be anything special: Queen had lost a good deal of momentum by the early 1980s, and the band was just another group of performers scheduled alongside acts like Elton John, The Who, Dire Straights, Phil Collins, and Paul McCartney. But when Queen finally took the stage in-between U2 and David Bowie, the crowd had no idea they were about to witness rock-history in the making.
Lead singer Freddie Mercury, who later died of complications with AIDS, took command of the stage and delivered an awe-inspiring set that even his band mates had never imagined. Through 25 minutes, Mercury jumped from the piano, to the guitar, to front stage with his sawed-off mic-stand, leading the band through a suite of their musical catalogue that included older classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” to recent singles like “Hammer to Fall”. It was all backing members Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor could do to try and keep up with Mercury, whose passionate and energetic performance ignited the crowd and which is remembered as the definitive highlight of the Live Aid festival. Continue reading →
A new war drama from director Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ender’s Game) titled Eye in the Sky is opening in theaters nationwide this Friday, March 11th. The film is led by Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey) and features an ensemble of stars including Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Exodus: Gods and Kings), Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips, Hawaii Five-O) and Phoebe Fox (One Day, A Poet in New York), as well as the late Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Love Actually), who died just last month. Screenwriter Guy Hibbert (Five Minutes of Heaven, A United Kingdom) wrote the script about a military colonel commanding a drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, who becomes enthralled in an international debate over the morality, and the implications of modern warfare when a young girl enters the Kenyan kill zone where the operation is taking place. Although this will be his last full-length feature appearing in the flesh, Alan Rickman’s last official film will be the upcoming sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, titled Alice Through the Looking Glass, expected in theaters this coming May. The trailer for Eye in the Sky is available here on MADE. Check it out in theaters this Friday.
This week will see a whole collection of independent limited releases happening across the country. First on the list is The Big Short from director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), starring Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, American Hustle), Steve Carell (The Office, Seeking A Friend for the End of the World), Ryan Gosling (Drive, The Place Beyond the Pines), and Brad Pitt (Babel, By The Sea). The film, based on the novel by Michael Lewis, follows four friends who predicted the housing market collapse in the mid 2000s and bet against the odds with the national banks, becoming nearly instant millionaires. The film was last seen at the AFI Film Festival in LA earlier this year, and a further nationwide expansion is still expected for 2016. 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 →
Tom Cruise (Top Gun, War of the Worlds) is back on the big screen this week in yet another outing as Impossible Mission Force leader Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. This is the fifth installment in the MI series that started back in 1996 with director Brian De Palma (Scarface, The Untouchables) and screenwriter David Koepp‘s (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man) big screen adaptation of the popular TV series. Since then directors like John Woo, J.J. Abrams, and Brad Bird have stepped in to helm additional sequels, and now Rogue Nation is playing in theaters nationwide from Oscar-winning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Jack Reacher). Joining Cruise in the supporting cast are actors Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen, Hercules), and Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Con Air). This time out Hunt and company must take on the Syndicate, a rogue international group of special agents that are out to kill all the members of IMF. Reviews have been pretty positive thus far; fans of the series report lots of action, but you don’t need to have seen the previous films necessarily to enjoy it. Anyway, check it out on the big screen today!
The new drama from director Simon Curtis (Five Days, My Week With Marilyn), Woman in Gold, is now playing in theaters. Starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, Hitchcock) and Ryan Reynolds (Waiting, Safe House), the film follows the story of Maria Altman (Mirren), a Jewish woman who seeks to regain her family’s lost artwork that was stolen by the Nazi party in World War II with the help of her lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Reynolds). The film is based on the memoirs of Altman and Schoenberg and was adapted for film by screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell (Possession, Planespotting). Included in the supporting cast are actors Daniel Bruhl (The Bourne Ultimatum, Inglorious Bastards), Katie Holmes (Phone Booth, Batman Begins), Tatiana Maslany (Eastern Promises, Heartland), Max Irons (Being Julia, Red Riding Hood), and Jonathan Pryce (Tomorrow Never Dies, Pirates of the Caribbean). The announcement for the film came around the same time as The Monuments Men was released in theaters in February 2014, so I’m sure there will be comparisons made between the two, but definitely give it a chance nonetheless.
Milla Jovovich as Alice in Resident Evil: Extinction (2007).
Author George R.R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones is currently awaiting it’s fifth season on HBO this April, but some another series of his titled In The Lost Lands, is currently on the drawing boards for a big-screen adaptation with actress Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element, Resident Evil). The film will follow a trio of three interconnected short-stories by Martin that will be scripted and directed by German filmmaker Constantin Werner (Dead Leaves, The Pagan Queen), and also feature actor Justin Chatwin (Shameless, War of the Worlds) in one of the supporting roles. Jovovich plays a sorceress who is sent to the Lost Lands to obtain the power of shape-shifting, and her primary plot-line comes to directly affect the other two stories that take place across time. No word on when we can expect to see this one in theaters, but considering the enormous success Game of Thrones has experienced with audiences, we’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for progress on this one.
The creators behind The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas are returning next month with a new project titled Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis (Black Swan, Ted), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, White House Down), and Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables, The Theory of Everything). The film takes place in a futuristic world in which the Queen of the Universe elects a young human woman for assassination in an effort to ensure her Reign will continue. The movie is written and directed by filmmaking siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski, and like The Matrix and Cloud Atlas, the visual effects look outstanding. As for how great a movie it will be as a whole, however, I’m not so sure. The Matrix movies were all pretty great, but Cloud Atlas wasn’t particularly well received by audiences owing to the fact that the story jumped around a lot and was harder to follow at times, but maybe this one will have a much smoother flow to it. We’ll find out February 6th. In the meantime you can watch the trailer here on MADE.
If you have seen the new trailer for The Hundred-Foot Journey, you may be a bit skeptical about going to see it in theaters, but with Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey in the producers’ chairs, it’s probably safe to say the film has great cinematic value. The new film is based on the book by Richard C. Morais and takes place in southern France, where an Indian family opens a new restaurant across the street from a French eatery and stirs up a little family feud between the two establishments. The book was adapted to a screenplay by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke) and directed by Lasse Hallstrom (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules), and features Academy Award winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, Hitchcok) at the head of the cast. Spielberg and Winfrey recently released a featurette on the film in which the two producers discuss the project and what initially drew them to it. You can watch the trailer for The Hundred-Foot Journey and the new featurette right here on MADE. The movie hits theaters on August 8th.
Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was a Hollywood icon during the 1950s, when he was blacklisted during the Red Scare period of the 1950s and was consequently sent to prison by HUAC (House UnAmerican Activities Committee). Upon his release he continued to write projects for the big screen using several pseudonyms, and even won two Oscars for his work, all the while continuing his work as an active voice against HUAC and the Communist-paranoid government of America at the time. Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Argo) and Oscar winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, Hitchcock) will lead the cast as Trumbo and his wife, Cleo, in a script that will revolve around Trumbo’s blacklisting and its effects on him and his family. The film will be directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents).