Every year, the Sundance Film Festival hosts an impressive number of independent films, documentaries, and short films from all around the world. Titles like The Usual Suspects, Memento, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Napoleon Dynamite, Super-Size Me, Saw, and Little Miss Sunshine have all found success at the world-renowned festival. So it’s no surprise that this years line-up is definitely keeping with that reputation. A number of documentaries, including the Amir Bar-Lev’s Grateful Dead tribute Long Strange Trip and Jeff Orlowski’s follow-up to his 2012 Chasing Ice feature, Chasing Coral, have already premiered to great praise from festival attendees and critics alike. At the same time, a number of films have already been purchased for distribution, including Patti Cake$ by former doorman-turned-filmmaker Wass Stevens, which sold to Fox Searchlight for $10.5 million! Here are a few of the festival entries that have caught our eye for expanded release. We’ll post more information about domestic releases as we get further into the year. Continue reading →
Last year, producer-turned-writer/director Marc Abraham (Air Force One, Children of Men) debuted his new biographical drama, I Saw The Light, at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is a portrayal of the life of country music singer/songwriter Hank Williams Jr., and was adapted by Abraham from the book Hank Williams: The Biography by authors Colin Escott, George Merritt, and William MacEwen. Starring as Williams is actor Tom Hiddleston (Midnight in Paris, The Avengers), appearing alongside co-stars Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla, Avengers: Age of Ultron), David Krumholtz (Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, This Is The End), Bradley Whitford (Scent of a Woman, Saving Mr. Banks), and Cherry Jones (Signs, The Village). Although the film has not been well received by critics, fans have praised the performances of both Hiddleston, and Elizabeth Olsen as his first wife Audrey Mae. Some movie-goers will be able to see it in theaters this weekend, but the trailer is available here on MADE. Check your local listings for showings this Friday.
Every year the Toronto International Film Festival serves as one of the major international film festivals that close out the fiscal year, and this year’s festival is sure to feature an excellent celebration of Oscar-worthy filmmaking. Toronto’s film festival is usually filled with entries seen earlier in the year at festivals like Sundance and Cannes, but it also brings its own special line-up to its audience. This year several highly anticipated films will have the honor of being shown during the festivities, most notably the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass with Johnny Depp, Matt Damon‘s next space adventure following Interstellar titled The Martian, and one I personally am really excited to see, another biopic called Trumbo with Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) in the title role of McCarthy-era screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, whose film credits were published under various pseudonyms over the years after he was blacklisted during Senator McCarthy’s famous Communist-trials in the 1950s. Continue reading →
After a long delay due to the untimely death of veteran-actor Paul Walker, the seventh installment in the Fast and Furious franchise is opening in theaters this tomorrow, April 3rd. The film will bring back Vin Diesel (XXX, The Chronicles of Riddick), Dwayne Johnson (Walking Tall, Hercules), Michelle Rodriguez (SWAT, Avatar), Jordana Brewster (The Faculty, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning), Tyrese Gibson (Four Brothers, Transformers: Dark of the Moon), and newcomers Jason Statham (The Italian Job, The Transporter) and Kurt Russell (Escape from New York, Miracle) with the rest of the Furious 7 crew under the new direction of horror/suspense director James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring). Production on the film was obviously put on hold until script revisions and fill-ins by way of Walker’s brothers could be arranged to complete principle photography and now fans will finally get to see the long-awaited installment on the big-screen. Watch the trailer one more time here on MADE, then be sure to check it out this weekend!
This April will see the final installment of the iconic Fast and Furious series with original actor Paul Walker from Universal Studios. This will be director James Wan‘s (Saw, The Conjuring) first-step into the action-film series that will reunite cast members Vin Diesel (XXX, The Chronicles of Riddick), Dwayne Johnson (Walking Tall, Hercules), Jordana Brewster (The Faculty, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning), and Michelle Rodriguez (S.W.A.T., Avatar), plus the whole string of actors that have appeared regularly throughout the series. Also joining the cast for this upcoming installment is Jason Statham (The Transporter, The Italian Job), who made an uncredited appearance in Fast and Furious 6, and Golden Globe-nominee Kurt Russell (Escape From New York, Death Proof). This seventh installment in the series has been making news since Paul Walker’s untimely death in 2013; the production was delayed by 6 months, the script was tweaked for Walker’s absence, and even Walker’s brothers came aboard to help complete some of his scenes with the help of CGI technology, so needless to say this movie has been through some hurdles already. Check out the trailer here on MADE. The opens near you this April 3rd.
Check out the new trailer for the upcoming Fast and Furious 7. Featured in the trailer is some of the footage with the late Paul Walker, who died last year in a car accident, and whose character’s scenes were completed in the film by use of CGI computer technology and Walker’s three brothers to fill in for the actor. The movie is directed by James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring) and brings back stars Vin Diesel (The Fast and the Furious, XXX), Dwayne Johnson (Walking Tall, Fast and Furious 6), Michelle Rodriguez (S.W.A.T., Avatar), and Jordana Brewster (The Fast and the Furious, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning). Expect to see it hit theaters on April 3, 2015. Enjoy!
This is possibly one of the coolest musical collaborations I’ve seen in a long time, and a great example of how technology has literally brought musicians together to collaborate…without being in the same place! An orchestra made up of multiple New York City subway musicians was organized by composer/conductor LJOVA (Lev Zhurbin), but the trick was that when they all finally played together, they were ALL at different locations. Carefully stationing individuals or small groups of musicians in various subway stations across the city that were accessible to WiFi networks, LJOVA used a total of 9 laptops to broadcast a live feed between the musicians and his location in Bryant Park, where he directed the small ensemble in a short symphonic composition he composed himself titled Signal Strength. The video was directed by Chris Shimojima and produced by Anita Anthonj, and features musicians Albert Behar (accordian), Ian Baggette (bass), Adam Matta (beatbox), Leah Coloff (cello), Jeremiah McFarlane and Carl Jacob (djembe, shekere), Amit Peled (guitar), Natalia Paruz (saw), Llamano (theremin), Jordan Hirsch (trumpet), and Allyson Clare (viola). This is an excellent use of technology in our modern era and another fine example of how music can reach us all…enjoy!
Director James Wan stirred the imaginations of movie-goers and horror film fanatics with Saw back in 2004. 10 years later Wan’s original has seen seven sequels brought to the big screen, none of which were really worth watching. Saw 2 and 3 were tolerable because they at least followed characters set down in the first film, but once Saw 4 was released (and most recently Saw 3D to stay in tune with modern audiences), the franchise joined the ranks of horror films that have been ruined by sequels that should never have even been suggested. Although disappointing, this seems to happen pretty often in the horror genre; Friday the 13th, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Amityville Horror all went on to have horrendous, and far too many sequels, none of which improved upon the original and all of which are pretty much copies of the original with different characters and unrealistic plot-lines. Why should Saw be any different? While you can get away with watching the Halloween or Friday the 13th movies because they’re older and much cheesier, Saw is a modern horror movie that doesn’t have a low budget, and relies heavily on modern horror graphics, which means you can’t even pass it off as “fun to watch” because of the sincerity with which it was made. Even if the new film turns out to be a re-boot of the franchise, I doubt it will give much more credibility to the movie; Rob Zombie attempted the same thing with the Halloween movies a few years ago and they’re already pretty much forgotten by everyone. We’ll see what happens.