Tyler Perry is a Hollywood mogul. The filmmaker created one of the biggest film franchises with the Madea films which he not only starred in, but also wrote, produced and directed. In the span of ten years, Perry has crafted nine Madea films, and the tenth his theaters with Boo! A Madea Halloween opening October 21.
The Madea films have been a worldwide sensation, having grossed over double of what the films have cost to make. Moviegoers can’t seem to get enough of the character. We caught up with Tyler Perry who told us why he thinks movie fans love Madea. (Click on the media bar below to hear Tyler Perry)
The film stars Affleck as an autistic numbers wiz named Christian Wolff, who is hiding under the radar as a CPA in a strip mall while secretly also serving as the numbers guy for some very bad people. Through flashback, we learn that as a child, his autism became the breaking point for a family, as his military father decided that the best way for his son to deal with the harsh elements of real life was to immerse him in it rather than being coddled by a specialty school. The father trains both his sons in martial arts and teaches them how to defend themselves, which benefits Christian well in his future life, because not only does Christian work for some very bad people, but he also has a code for making those pay who deserve it.
His associations have put him on the radar of Treasury Chief Ray King (J.K. Simmons), who leverages the dirt he has on a brilliant up-and-comer named Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to launch an off-the-books investigation into the mysterious Wolff.
As the film opens, Christian decides to take on a new client, a Robotics company, who have found a major issue in their books brought to their attention by one of the office accountants, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick). All it takes is one night and a bunch of markers for Christian to discover what’s going on, but in the interim, the company’s CFO turns up dead at the hands of a henchman (Jon Bernthal) attempting to clean up the trail. The head of the company (John Lithgow) is distraught by the loss of his friend and Christian is removed from the case. However, it’s not long before the hit crew comes calling on Christian, but fail, and the accountant tracks down Dana after learning they’re coming to kill her as well.
Over the course of the film, director Gavin O’Connor peels back the layers on Wolff’s stories, revealing the reasons for his aliases, his associations to other characters in the film and ultimately where his code was formed. He also gets a solid acting job out of Affleck as the highly functioning autistic titular character and great supporting turns from Simmons and Kendrick, though the latter’s role does not figure as prominently down the stretch as you might have thought.
It’s an interesting story for the most part, with each wrinkle keeping the viewer engaged. Are there moments where you need to suspend belief a bit in the story telling? Sure, including a final twist that felt a little too convenient. But it’s still an entertaining film that you can mark in the “good” column on Affleck’s career resurgence and a suspenseful thriller guaranteed to keep you reeled in.
It’s mid-October and Oscar watch is definitely upon us. A shoo-in for a Best Actress Oscar is Rebecca Hall for her performance in Christine. Directed by Simon Killer filmmaker Antonio Campos, the film centers on the true story of Christine Chubbuck (Hall), a 1970s TV reporter who committed suicide live on television. Michael C. Hall (Dexter) co-stars as the anchor of the Sarasota, Florida news station, with Tracy Letts playing the station’s often disgruntled manager. Both Anderson and I loved the film, which opens in wider release October 21.
Also reviewed on this program is director Chan-wook Park’s latest film The Handmaiden. Based on Sarah Water’s Victorian set novel Fingersmith, the plot centers on two people (Ha Jung-woo, Kim Tae-ri) who plot on stealing a large inheritance from Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee), the resident of a sprawling Korean estate. Anderson’s movie pick of the week is the documentary The Fear of 13. My two film recommendations are Stealing Home, a drama starring Mark Harmon and Jodie Foster, and Stoker, a mystery/thriller starring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman that was also directed by Chan-wook Park.
Check out this week’s episode of CinemAddicts below:
Dark Souls III is one of this year’s most acclaimed titles, so it’s no surprise that Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. is going all out for their downloadable expansion Ashes of Ariandel. A new trailer for the DLC was just released and it delves into the player versus player and multiplayer covenants that should expand the Dark Souls universe.
While they explore the land of Ariandel, gamers must solve the mystery behind the environment’s fall from grace. New weapons, magic, and armor sets are available in this expansion, which hits Xbox One, PS4 and Steam October 25.
“Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel continues FromSoftware’s track record of providing best-in-class post game downloadable content support,” said Eric Hartness, VP President of Marketing of Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. “With hours of new challenges, new bosses, new mysterious locations to explore, new items to obtain, and new ways to challenge other players online, it’s the perfect time to jump back into one of the best games of 2016.”
Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think! Most importantly, as the video suggests, “may the flames guide your way!”
Directed with a clear and even hand by filmmaker Kim A. Snyder, Newtown delves into the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy which took the lives of 20 schoolchildren and six educators. Though doctors, neighbors, medical workers, and police officers are among the people interviewed who recount the shootings, the documentary’s main focus is on three parents (Mark Barden, David Wheeler, Nicole Hockley) who attempt to pick up the pieces after their respective loss. Snyder spent three and a half years following their lives and building bridges to the Newtown community, and thankfully a human rather than a tabloid driven approach to the subject is infused throughout the documentary.
“I worried and stressed a lot about maintaining a line that was about bearing witness but that would never cross a line of feeling gratuitous, exploitative, or prurient,” said Snyder. “How you determine that criterion and how I did that with my editor was trusting him a lot, trusting myself a lot and my instincts. It’s a feel thing, and hopefully I struck it.”
In the clip below, Snyder talks about how, even through seemingly insurmountable grief, people like Mark Barden found a need to reconnect with their community.
Newtown is now playing in New York and Los Angeles. For more info, go to the film’s official site.
After taking time off from television Emmy award winner, Kiefer Sutherland has found another hit series starring as the president on the ABC political thriller Designated Survivor.
Playing the iconic character Jack Bauer on the hit series 24 made him one of the biggest television stars in the world. After the long run of playing Jack Bauer which includes him returning for the 24 mini-series 24: Live Another Day, Sutherland wasn’t looking for another television series.
Though 24 was a great creative experience for Sutherland, he was reluctant to once again return to television. Once he read the script for Designated Survivor the idea of inventing another great character that could evolve as the show progressed once again intrigued him.. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kiefer Sutherland)
Designated Survivor, co-starring Natascha McElhone, airs Wednesday nights 10/9c. on ABC.
Gilmore Girls should be pleased, as Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres on Netflix November 25. Most of the original cast is returning, along with headliners Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel.
Whether it’s being discovered on Netflix or on its original run on The CW, Gilmore Girls has remained a popular series. Centering on the lives of a mother and daughter living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, the series maintained solid performances from the ensemble and excellent writing throughout its storied run. (Click on the media bar below to hear Lauren Graham)
Lauren Graham, who plays Lorelai Gilmore, told us she learned many things while starring on the show. One of the main things she learned was the inextricable bond between a mother and daughter. (Click on the media bar below to hear Lauren Graham)
Tom Cruise has found himself another successful franchise once again playing Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. The film opens in theaters October 21.
The first film, simply titled Jack Reacher, was released in 2013 grossed over $200 million worldwide. Cruise had a great time playing the character, and he knew he eventually wanted to return to the role. We spoke to Tom Cruise, who told us there were many qualities that he loved about playing Jack Reacher. This time out, he wanted to explore more of the character. (Click on the media bar below to hear Tom Cruise)
This year’s most anticipated film is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and considering it’s directed by Godzilla filmmaker Gareth Edwards, the movie has a good shot at excellence. A new trailer was just released this morning, and it gives viewers a more in-depth look at the “rogue” crew that is tasked with stealing the plans to create the Death Star. Mads Mikkelsen also gets a bit more attention with this trailer, as Galen Erso’s (Mikkelsen) influence on the Empire is evidenced with the new footage.
It will also be interesting to see if this standalone Star Wars story will truly resonate with the audience, since we all know the Death Star was actually birthed into existence. Will watching a team presumably fail their mission be an interesting experience for moviegoers?
With an excellent filmmaker behind the camera and a solid ensemble (Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen) to support all the special effects, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will definitely find an audience. I’m betting this movie absolutely hits the mark, and hopefully Edwards’ storytelling flair is evident throughout the film.
Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16, 2016.
Directed and co-written by Jonás Cuarón, Desierto centers on a group of men and women attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexican border are attacked by a gun toting vigilante (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The genre driven film, co-starring Gael García Bernal, doesn’t waste time with tons of exposition, and fans of white knuckled thrillers should appreciate Desierto’s aesthetic.
Cuarón attempted for several years to make a picture with anti-immigration as its central theme, and he finally found his way through after watching Steven Spielberg’s 1971 feature Duel.
“I realized that it would be interesting, that instead of creating a rhetorical piece that spoke about the subject matter, but instead create a horror experience that would bring them kind of through this journey,” said Cuarón.
While Desierto works as pure entertainment, its deeper themes also attracted Bernal to the proejct. “We’re just criminalizing the wrong people all the time,” said Bernal who previously worked with Jonas’ father, director Alfonso Cuaron, on Y Tu Mama Tambien. “We need to develop narratives that are much more comprehensive and benign with humankind. Every political thing we do has an international repercussion.
Click on the media bar below to hear Jeffrey Dean Morgan talk about his decision to jump aboard Desierto:
Desierto, which is Mexico’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, opens in select theaters Friday, October 14.