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 →
With the release date for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens drawing ever nearer, fans and movie-buffs alike are jumping for joy with the release of the new full-length trailer. Written by director J.J. Abrams (Armageddon, Super 8) and Oscar-winning screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back) and Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3), the film picks up 30 years after the fall of the Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi (1983) and finds the heros of the Rebellion facing a new evil that has risen again. Starring in the film are original Star Wars actors Mark Hamill (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Kingsman: The Secret Service), Carrie Fisher (The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally), Harrison Ford (Blade Runner, The Temple of Doom), Peter Mayhew (A New Hope, Revenge of the Sith) as Chewbacca, Kenny Baker (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones) as R2D2, and Anthony Daniels (Droids, I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle) as C-3P0, who will be joining a new generation of actors including Domhnall Gleeson (Unbroken, Ex Machina), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year), Gwendoline Christie (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay), Daisy Ridley (Blue Season, Scrawl), Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Adam Driver (What If, This Is Where I Leave You), and John Boyega (Junkhearts, Imperial Dreams). The movie is due out in theaters this December 18th. Enjoy the new trailer!
Back during the Holiday 2014 season director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8) released a teaser trailer for his upcoming and long-awaited sequel to Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now with production well underway and the Christmas 2015 release date slowly (but surely) approaching, Abrams has graced us with a new trailer, revealing some impressive cinematic backdrops linking this sequel to George Lucas‘ original series, and bringing back some familiar series-faces to the screen. Making cameo’s in the new trailer is the droid, R2-D2 (who has appeared in every Star Wars film since the original in 1977), and Han Solo and his Wookie companion, Chewbacca, portrayed once again by Harrison Ford (Blade Runner, Clear and Present Danger) and Peter Mayhew (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back). Actor Kenny Baker (The Elephant Man, Time Bandits) is also back to play R2-D2, along with Mark Hamill (Slipstream, Midnight Ride), Carrie Fisher (The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally), and Anthony Daniels (Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith). Abrams co-wrote the new film with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Bodyguard) for Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm Ltd. Fans will have to wait until December 18th, but I’m sure there will be plenty of trailers released before then to appease their appetites!
Robin Williams was at the height of his career when Mrs. Doubtfire became an instant classic in 1993. The film co-starred Sally Field and soon-to-be-Bond man Pierce Brosnan and was directed by Oscar nominee Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Goonies), and Columbus and Williams may both be returning for a potential sequel. Williams has been approached before to do a sequel to the film, but has never really pledged himself to the idea because he doesn’t feel anybody could do the script justice (props!), but a screenplay is apparently in the works from writer David Berenbaum (Elf, The Spiderwick Chronicles) and the hope is to get both writer and director back to do the twenty year follow-up. Personally I’m with Williams on this one; why ruin a great movie? Of course that seems to happen more often than not in Hollywood these days, but this is all still up in the air, so we’ll see what happens.
Forrest Gump was first published as a novel in 1986 by author Winston Groom. The book was then adapted into the award winning film by director Robert Zemeckis and actor Tom Hanks in 1994, in what is probably his most famous role to date. The story follows Forrest Gump, a southern man with an IQ of 75, and his lifelong friend Jenny Curran as they live out the course of their lives in the turbulent latter half of twentieth century America. Beginning in the 1950s with Elvis Presley and the early Civil Rights demonstrations, Forrest goes on to play college football, become a war hero in Vietnam, go to China as an international ping-pong player, and run across the United States for 3 years, ending up in the 1980s and the Reagan administration.
The movie costars Gary Sinise, Robin Wright, and Sally Field, and features appearances by some noteworthy historical figures such as JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George Wallace, Dick Cavett, John Lennon, and Abbey Hoffman thanks to the film’s award winning visual effects. Hanks’ portrayal of the character won him an Academy Award for Best Actor, but his adaptation was much softer than the author originally envisioned. The movie won 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Film Editing and Visual Effects. Since it was first released in 1994 the movie has become a cultural phenomenon and is known as one of Tom Hanks most famous roles. Hanks and Zemeckis reunited for Cast Away in 2000, which also earned Hanks another Oscar nomination. Forrest Gump will turn 20 years old this July, so be sure to celebrate sometime this year.