TCM And Criterion Service “Film Struck” To Be “Immersive” Experience

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The TCM Classic Film Festival, a haven for movie buffs from all over the world, has set up shop in Hollywood through May 1st, and stars such as Gina Lollobrigida, Elliott Gould, Stacy Keach, and Faye Dunaway are all taking part in the celebration.

Along with the fest, a big focus of TCM is the fall launch of Film Struck, a streaming service that is a collaboration with the folks over at Criterion Collection.

During this week’s TCM Classic Film Festival press conference, held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, TCM general manager Jennifer Dorian described Film Struck as an “immersive” experience which will spearheaded by trusted TCM Senior Vice President of Programming Charles Tabesh.

Charlie is going to be programming it with the same programming team that we have at TCM,” said Dorian. ” So the deep, curatorial knowledge, the expertise, the appreciation, the mining and finding bonus content and rare footage, audio commentaries, photo galleries and articles and reviews – it’s going to be a deep immersive experience.The Criterion Collection people are amazing, in their own right, at curation and research and restoration. So this is a very happy (collaboration).”

Tabesh added that extra content on Film Struck will feature hosts (“in many instances, if not all”) to help introduce and/or provide commentary for the films as well as other “ways of providing context thoughtfully.” Such indie studios as Janus Films, Icarus, Kino, Zeitgeist, Flicker Alley, and Icarus will have their movies featured on Film Struck, with Hollywood studios including Warner Bros. (the studio’s Warner Archive Collection is the gold standard for silver screen classics) also providing movies for the streaming service.

For a teaser trailer and more information on Film Struck, please go to its official site.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Meryl Streep Sings A New Song With ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’


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Meryl Streep has proven with Into The Woods and Ricki and the Flash that she can easily carry a tune, but in her new film Florence Foster Jenkins she’s singing a different tune. The film, directed by Stephen Frears (The Program, The Grifters), is the true story of the titular protagonist, a New York socialite who believes she has a beautiful voice.

Unfortunately, Florence Foster Jenkins was not blessed with a melodious tone, and it’s up to St. Clair Baufield (Hugh Grant), her husband and manager, to make sure she doesn’t fall flat on her face when she holds a public concert at Carnegie Hall. The film, co-starring Rebecca Ferguson, who made quite a splash last year in Mission: Impossible 6, and Simon Helberg, opens August 12. Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Blu-Ray Pick: Natalie Portman Heads West With ‘Jane Got A Gun’


Released this week on Blu-Ray and DVD, Jane Got A Gun (R, 98 minutes) is a Western set in 1871, as mother Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman) is trying to raise a family with her loyal husband Bill (Noah Emmerich).

Unfortunately Bill is saddled with an outlaw past that comes back to haunt him, as he returns to his New Mexico territory area home with several bullets lodged in his battered body. With a group of cutthroats led by John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) ready to eliminate Bill and his kin, Jane turns to Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton, who also serves as the film’s co-writer), a Civil War vet who has his own ties with Jane.

The picture had a rough going in getting made, as director Lynne Ramsay (We Need To Talk About Kevin) left the project for creative reasons. Gavin O’Connor, who previously worked with Edgerton in 2011’s Warrior, replaced Ramsay and has done a more than admirable job with this Western. Michael Fassbender and Bradley Cooper were initially involved in the project, but they also moved on and were replaced by McGregor and Cooper.

Even with its checkered past, the film features solid work from Portman and especially Edgerton, whose character actually has the biggest arc in the narrative. The feature’s biggest draw, along with the slam-bang action that anchors the film’s final act, is Mandy Walker’s cinematography skills. Walker, whose previous director of photography credits include the underrated Mia Wasikowski flick Tracks and the Baz Luhrmann epic Australia, brings a wide open, cinematic scope to the proceedings. Whether it’s watching Jane ride into a broken down, one-horse town to stock up on guns or taking in the beautiful vistas that surround Jane’s domicile, the film has its share of eye catching compositions. Last but not least, it’s also fun hearing the lead actors convincingly pull off Southern accents!

Unfortunately, the Blu-ray doesn’t have any special features, but if you’re a Western fan and love Portman and Edgerton’s work, then Jane Got A Gun should be worth your time. To hear my discussion of Jane Got A Gun on CinemAddicts, click on the media bar below (review starts at 51:00).

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘CinemAddicts’ Podcast Reviews “Captain America: Civil War” And “The Wait”

European Premiere Of Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War” in

A new episode of the movie review podcast CinemAdddicts is out, and to top things off we cover the latest Marvel release Captain America: Civil War. Though I’ve been a diehard comic book fan since the tender age of 5, I was slightly disappointed by Avengers: Age of Ultron and Iron Man 3. Thankfully Captain America: Civil War, which currently has a 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes, is one of Marvel’s finest outings and also sets the table for future movies headlined by Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the latest iteration of Spider-Man (a perfectly invested Tom Holland).

During the second segment we review Papa: Hemingway in Cuba, a flick which centers on Ernest Hemingway’s (Adrian Sparks) final years in Cuba. Giovanni Ribisi is the Miami based reporter who befriends Hemingway, with Joely Richardson co-starring as Mary Hemingway. CinemAddicts co-host Anderson Cowan and I have vastly differing opinions on the film (I loved it), which is based on late writer Denne Bart Petitclerc’s close friendship with the Hemingways.

One of my favorite films this year is The Wait, an Italian film about a mother (Juliette Binoche) who’s mourning the unexpected death of her son. When the son’s girlfriend (Lou de Laage) arrives to his Sicily domicile, the mother keeps her child’s death a secret. The picture’s essentially a two-hander that features excellent performances from the leads. Piero Messina, an assistant director of the Oscar winning film The Great Beauty, makes his feature directing debut in this film, which also features arresting visual work from cinematographer Francesco Di Giacomo.

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Anderson’s streaming pick of the weak is Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau and my Blu-ray choice is the recently released Western Jane Got a Gun which stars Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton.

Captain America: Civil War opens nationwide May 6, with Papa: Hemingway in Cuba and The Wait hitting select theaters April 29.

To hear CinemAddicts, a Hollywood Outbreak and Cold Cockle Productions podcast that’s available on iTunes, click on the media bar below.





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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

For Key & Peele, Big Screen Brought Big Changes

_B7A0004.dngThe dynamic comedy team of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, who starred for five seasons on the Comedy Central hit sketch comedy series Key & Peele, take their great partnership to the big screen starring in the comedy Keanu, now on home video. Key and Peele were very hands on making the film, with Peele and Key also serving as the film’s producers (Peele also co-wrote the script).

While starring together on Key & Peele both worked hand in hand together, however making Keanu was a much different working experience. (Click on the media bar below to hear Keegan-Michael Key)

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Posted by: AC