It’s awards season; that time of year when the Super Bowl is the one thing strong enough to interrupt Hollywood’s narcissistic red-carpet events and fancy afterparties. The Golden Globes aired just a few weeks ago, with much of the attention focused on the #MeToo Movement that swept the film industry after Harvey Weinstein and dozens of others were accused of sexual harassment, and even rape by an astonishing number of women working in Hollywood. Last nights Screen Actors Guild Awards, however, saw a more typical type of awards show than what we saw at the Golden Globes. Continue reading →
The 2018 Sundance Film Festival kicked off yesterday in Park City, Utah, at the Sundance Mountain Resort. Every year the festival plays host to an impressive array of independent films, both foreign and domestic, and has featured such successful films as Blood Simple, Hoosiers, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Memento, 28 Days Later, SuperSize Me, Boyhood, and more recent notables like Dope, Mudbound, and Wind River (just to name a few!). Sundance not only presents feature-length films but also shorts and documentaries, and presents awards in such categories as acting, cinematography, screenwriting, directing, and short-filmmaking. The 2018 celebration will showcase 110 feature-length films from 29 countries; 47 of those films come from first-time filmmakers, out of a pool of 13,468 total submissions, including features, shorts, and documentaries. Some of this years more anticipated entries include Juliet Naked, Wildlife, Heart Beats Loud, The Catcher Was a Spy, and documentaries like Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, and Our New President. The 2018 celebration, however, comes at the helm of the whirlwind that was 2017. Continue reading →
Producer Harvey Weinstein of the Weinstein Company has pushed back national release of his long anticipated drama Tulip Fever, based on the popular novel by Deborah Moggach, to a February 2017 release. The film has already seen several release delays; it was filmed back in 2014 and has since made no debuts at any of the film festival circuits or limited releases here in the States or elsewhere. Now, however, Weinstein seems to have settled on a post-Valentine’s Day release, going up against God Particle from producer J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Sleepless with Jaimie Fox (Ray, Collateral) and Michelle Monaghan (Gone Baby Gone, True Detective). Starring Oscar winners Alicia Vikander (El Machina, The Danish Girl) and Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained), the film follows an artist who falls for a married woman he is hired to paint in portrait in the midst of the tulip frenzy of 17th century Amsterdam. Continue reading →
This week, a 2010 mystery-drama from the Weinstein Company will finally see a limited American release after having spent five years waiting on the studio shelves. Director Mikael Hafstrom (1408, The Rite) and producer Harvey Weinstein were set to begin principle photography on the film Shanghai in 2008 when the Chinese government suddenly pulled their permits, forcing the production to relocate to Thailand and England to complete filming. The film is a period piece, set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the 1940s just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor occurs, and follows an American who returns to probe the mysterious death of his friend. As the mystery begins to unfold, however, and as he falls into a personal romantic relationship, the truth behind his friend’s death begins to reveal a much larger conspiracy at work. Starring in the lead role is actor John Cusack (2012, Hot Tub Time Machine), who has worked with director Hafstrom on the suspense-thriller 1408 in 2007. Also in the supporting cast are actors Li Gong (Miami Vice, Hannibal Rising), Yun-Fat Chow (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Curse of the Golden Flower), and David Morse (The Green Mile, The Hurt Locker). We’re not entirely sure why Weinstein decided to hold the US release back for so long, but this isn’t the first film the company has withheld from the public for a number of years before releasing it. Whatever the case, the Weinstein Company is usually pretty good about investing in worthwhile features, and the trailer reads more like an action-thriller than a romantic drama. Either way it should be a great watch. Enjoy!
A new action-thriller titled No Escape from writer/director John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine, As Above So Below) is now playing on big screens nationwide. Starring Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers, Midnight in Paris) and Lake Bell (Million Dollar Arm, In A World…), the film centers on an American couple and their children living in a SE Asian country who must flee to the American Embassy when a war breaks out between the local military and radical protesters taking to the streets. Golden Globe nominee Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye, Die Another Day) and actor/producer Sahajak Boonthanakit (Elephant White, Only God Forgives) also appear in the supporting cast. The film was originally slated for a February release under the name The Coup but was pushed back for a Fall release instead. Director Dowdle and his brother Drew (who lent a hand in writing the script) are also producing the project through their company Dowdle Brothers Productions, along with The Weinstein Company and Bold Films. The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!
Even though he was once considering retiring from filmmaking, director Kevin Smith is showing no signs of slowing down, and, in fact, seems to be taking on even more than one would expect from someone preparing for retirement. Smith is currently involved in a recent rumor that has him writing a ‘fake’ script for Warner Bros. upcoming Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice that was meant to conceal the actual script director Zack Snyder will be adapting for the film. He is also still prepping his upcoming horror movie Tusk for release along with a spin-off for that project which will follow several characters from Tusk in a more concentrated setting. To top it all off, fans are still waiting for Smith to get some momentum going on production for Clerks 3, which will most likely be the last installment in that series. The original Clerks was released twenty years ago this year and brought Smith into the Hollywood spotlight, while simultaneously kicking off his series of Askewniverse films revolving around the iconic characters Jay and Silent Bob. Clerks 3 has already been pushed back for Smith to produce Anti-Claus, and he is still looking for a way to finance the film since the Weinstein Company has only agreed to provide distribution. With the reputation of Smith and the Clerks franchise, I’m sure finding some financing for number three won’t be too difficult, but we’ll have to wait and see.
George Clooney and Matt Damon’s latest project, The Monuments Men, which hit theaters back in February, followed a group of soldiers during WW2 that were commissioned to steal priceless works of art to protect them from Hitler and the Nazi regime. The film received mixed reviews but it was interesting to see Clooney and Damon on the other side of a heist movie since their work together in the Ocean’s 11 trilogy. Now Ryan Reynolds (Safe House, Green Lantern) will be joining Academy Award winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, Hitchcock) and Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network) in a new film that revolves around an extremely similar plot as Monuments Men. Unlike Monuments Men, however, this new project, entitled Woman In Gold (or The Golden Lady), will be a bit more on the legal side, as it follows Maria Altmann and attorney Randol Schoenberg in a courtroom battle to recover stolen art works from Altmann’s family from Nazi Germany. Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn) will be directing the project, which will be released by The Weinstein Company and will also costar Daniel Bruhl as Reynold’s opposing attorney. I’m not really sure what the obsession is with WW2 art all of a sudden, but if it makes a good movie then what the hell right? Stay tuned.