Written and directed by Woody Allen,Café Society centers on Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg), a Bronx raised man whose journeys through Los Angeles and back to New York leads to romances with two vastly different women (Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively).
While promoting the film at the Cannes Film Festival, the filmmaker offered up his thoughts on fame. “There are great upsides to it and great downsides to it,” said Allen. “My own opinion, after years in the spotlight is that the perks far outweigh the downsides. Celebrities often kvetch about the lack of privacy and being bothered by paparazzi and things like that. These are not life threatening problems and they get enormous advantages as they go through life. So the perks are much more advantageous than the downsides.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Woody Allen discuss his thoughts on fame and how Jesse Eisenberg was perfect for the lead role in Café Society.
Café Society, which also co-stars Steve Carell and Corey Stoll, opens July 15.
Whether it’s bringing us into the world of a serial killer (Wolf Creek) or possibly increasing our phobias for crocodiles (Rogue), director Greg McLean knows how to craft a nail biting thriller. Breakneck pacing and editing are two of his strong suits, but with The Darkness he brings a more supernatural and atmospheric tone to the proceedings.
A suburban family’s (Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Lucy Fry, David Mazouz) Grand Canyon excursion turns into a gradual nightmare after Michael (Mazouz) discovers several powerful stones in a remote cave. Spirits are residing in these stones, and Michael’s connection with these ghosts may lead to his family’s demise.
Along with the scary moments, The Darkness is also the story of a family’s gradual unraveling. Each member has their own flaws or addictions to deal with, and their deepening rift directly leads to the growing power of these spirits.
The Darkness, co-starring Paul Reiser and Ming-Na Wen, opens May 13.
With its superior writing and top-notch ensemble (led by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright), House of Cards is one of television’s crown jewels, and House of Cards: The Complete Fourth Season hits Blu-ray and DVD July 5. Spacey and Wright have both been honored with Golden Globes for their work as Frank Underwood and Claire Underwood.
House of Cards is known for its surprising twists and turns, and during season four Claire forces Frank’s political hand once again (we won’t offer up any spoilers), leading to yet another highly tense conflict for the Underwoods.
Guest stars featured on season four include Cicely Tyson, Neve Campbell, Ellen Burstyn, Joel Kinnaman, and Colm Feore. Members of the ensemble include Michael Kelly, Molly Parker, Rachel Brosnahan, and Jayne Atkinson.
Did the fourth season of House of Cards exceed your expectations and is it one of your favorite shows to binge watch? Feel free to comment below!
Director Bryan Singer’s return to the mutant universe with X-Men: Days of Future Past was met with acclaim in 2014, and now he’s back to up the storytelling stakes with X-Men: Apocalypse. Though his latest film doesn’t reach the emotional resonance of Days of Future Past (who can top an emotionally broken down Professor X?), it’s still a first rate experience that won’t disappoint.
Movie fans were first introduced to Apocalypse during the post end credits sequences of Days of Future Past, where a younger version of the world’s first mutant was seen telepathically constructing pyramids. The opening moments of X-Men: Apocalypse begins with the titular character, played by Oscar Isaac, being buried, along with his four horsemen, in a seemingly endless pile of rubble and stone after a power transference was thwarted by a handful of brave warriors. Though Earth was essentially saved from destruction by this successful operation, Apocalypse’s deep slumber ends in 1983 Cairo, with Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne) surviving as one of the cataclysmic event’s witnesses.
Apocalypse plans to reshape the world into his own personal utopia, and that process would entail a complete evisceration of humanity and any mutant who doesn’t fall in line and worship at his feet. Infusing his latest horsemen Angel (Ben Hardy), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), and a vengeful Magneto (Fassbender) with enhanced powers, Apocalypse is now primed for his seemingly unstoppable mission.
Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) has always been torn between the contrasting philosophies of Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto, but with the world’s safety hanging in the balance, she ends up leading a new ragtag version of the X-Men (which includes Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler),
Though it runs at a hefty 143 minutes, X-Men: Apocalypse has a ton of story to tell,. Whether it’s following Magneto’s failed attempts at leading a normal life with a new family or exploring Professor X’s continued love for Moira (he swiped her memories in X-Men: First Class), the movie juggles a ton of subplots in the air in a solid, efficient fashion. The blending of Cyclops, a young Jean Grey, and a socially awkward Nightcrawler is also seamlessly handled, and fans looking for another scene stealing moment from Quicksilver (Evan Peters) won’t be disappointed.
My only quibble, and it’s a minor one, is that Apocalypse is the least memorable character among the mutants. It’s difficult to add subtle nuances to a character who simply wants to exterminate humanity, and Isaac really isn’t giving too much to work with. That being said, the heart and soul of the X-Men movies has been the lifelong chess match and mutual love that’s shared between Magneto and Professor X, and usually villains in this franchise (unless it’s Colonel Stryker) are usually an afterthought. Though he’s not exactly a game changer in the Marvel Universe, Apocalypse dutifully serves his purpose in moving the story forward.
If you’re craving a ton of action, X-Men: Apocalypse will definitely scratch that itch, as the ending confrontation between Apocalypse and the X-Men brings an entirely new dimension to the proceedings. Without giving anything away, you won’t forget this showdown which puts Jean Grey’s powers to the forefront (Sophie Turner, best known for her work on Game of Thrones, also has the most memorable line in the movie).
X-Men Apocalypse is another excellent addition to an ever evolving franchise, and don’t be surprised if it’s the best movie you’ll see this summer.
Captain America: Civil War debuted with a highly impressive $181.8 million, as the movie has the honors of being the first best domestic opener of all time (the #1 slot goes to Star Wars: The Force Awakens with $248 million). The film’s foreign box-office take of $496.6 million is just as impressive, and the film should easily break the $1 billion box office mark. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:
1. Captain America: Civil War - With a $181.8 million opening, Captain America and Iron Man should be counting their money instead of fighting!
2. The Jungle Book - It’s finally dethroned from the top spot but still manages $21.8 million
3. Mother’s Day - $9 million
4. The Huntsman: Winter’s War - $3.58 million
5. Keanu - A box-office disappointment, as the comedy made just $3.1 million in its second weekend.
6. Barbershop:The Next Cut - $2.7 million
7. Zootopia - $2.6 million
8. The Boss - $1.75 million
9. Ratchet & Clank - Animated film pulls in a meager $1.5 million.
10. Batman v Superman:Dawn of Justice - $1 million just doesn’t cut it for a film that, even with $865 million in worldwide business, has disappointed.
Shout! Factory has always been known for shedding spotlight on overlooked films and packing their respective Blu-rays and DVDs with first rate special features, and now its “TV” arm is doing great things on the videocassette end.
For people who grew up in the 1980s and before the DVD (and eventually streaming) revolution, VHS Vault 2: Revenge of the Cassette presents several cult films that are available for free via Shout! Factory TV. Movies presented in all their grainy glory include BMX Bandits with Nicole Kidman, Dreamscape (how cool is that movie poster?), The Kentucky Fried Movie, Naked Angels, Streetwalkin’ starring Melissa Leo, and A Real Job.
Aside from checking out the torch holding skills of Dennis Quaid, the film I’ll be checking out is Streetwalkin’ to see Leo play “Cookie,” a prostitute who tries to break free from her abusive pimp Duke (Dale Midkiff). Released in 1985, the movie probably isn’t on par with Leo’s best work (The Fighter, Frozen River, TV’s Homicide: Life on the Street), but I’m assuming she pulls the role off with aplomb.
***Speaking of Nicole Kidman, her latest film The Family Fang is reviewed on the Hollywood Outbreak/Cold Cockle productions podcast CinemAddicts. Check it out below!
Director Rob Reiner crafted one of cinema’s most affecting coming-of-age stories with Stand By Me, a movie based on Stephen King’s story The Body, and once again he traverses youthful terrain with Being Charlie. The movie comes from a personal place, as it was co-written by his son Nick Reiner and inspired by Nick’s own battles with drug addiction (Reiner met co-writer Matt Elisofon in rehab).
The picture centers on 18-year-old Charlie Mills (Nick Robinson), a drug addict who was born into a life of privilege (his parents, played by Cary Elwes and Susan Misner, own homes in Bel Air and Malibu). But money doesn’t buy you love and happiness, and Charlie’s relationship with his dad, a popular actor running for Governor, is seemingly irreparable.
Though he attempts to return home for a little rest and relaxation, Charlie is effectively shut out by his folks and agrees to enter rehab once again. His latest stint gains him a close friend and possible girlfriend in Eva (Morgan Saylor), and their relationship helps both of them through the program. Devon Bostick (The 100) is Charlie’s womanizing best friend Adam who, although he means well for Charlie, also has substance abuse issues.
Being Charlie, running at a brisk 97 minutes, may be filled with good intentions, but the story ends up being way too predictable for its own good. We all know how things are going to end or who Charlie could potentially lose in the process, but thankfully the picture is powered by a charismatic and winning performance by Nick Robinson. Recently seen in The 5th Wave and last year’s Jurassic World, Robinson showcases his dramatic chops and flair for humor (Charlie is an aspiring comic). Showing up and knowing your lines is part of an actor’s work ethic, but there are certain talents which can’t be taught, and Robinson simply has the ability to pull viewers into Charlie’s journey.
The film opens in theaters Friday, and although I was a bit disappointed that the film didn’t catch me by surprise on a storytelling level, Robinson’s performance is worth a look.
To hear my discussion of Being Charlie, check out this week’s episode of CinemAddicts.
In celebration of Star Wars Day, the latest trailer for LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens reveals six new adventures that will be featured in the game. Recently announced levels in the title including “Rathtar Hunting,” which has Han Solo and Chewbacca attempting to capture the dangerous Rathtars and a Poe Dameron mission to save Admiral Ackbar (”Poe to the Rescue”).
The creative team behind LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens also didn’t hold back when it came to assembling the voice cast for the game, as Adam Driver (”Kylo Ren), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Carrie Fisher (”Leia Organa), Daisy Ridley (Rey), Dohmnall Gleeson (”General Hux”), Oscar Isaac (”Poe Dameron”) and John Boyega (”Finn”) are just a few of the Star Wars vets who are partaking in the title.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out June 28 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, and Steam (Windows PC) via Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
Check out the trailer below, tell us what you think, and most importantly, May the 4th be with you!!
This week’s episode of CinemAddicts has us reviewing The Family Fang, a comedy which marks Jason Bateman’s second directing effort. Based on a bestselling novel from Kevin Wilson, the movie centers on siblings Annie and Baxter Fang (Nicole Kidman, Bateman) whose eccentric parents (Christopher Walken, Maryann Plunkett) have devoted their lives to performance art. When the folks go missing and presumed dead, it’s up to Baxter and Annie to figure out if mom and dad are playing yet another elaborate art experiment or if they were actual victims of a crime. The picture, released last week in New York, opens in wider release on Friday and is available On Demand.
The documentary Elstree 1976 takes a look at various actors, bit players, and stand-ins who worked on the Star Wars franchise. Though some of the actors, including David Prowse (”Darth Vader”) and Jeremy Bulloch (”Boba Fett”) continue to get attention thanks to various Star Wars conventions, other players haven’t reached that level, and the film carries a rather melancholic tone. But whether or not they’ve reached success or faded into obscurity, their stories are always intriguing and evocative, making Elstree 1976 a worthwhile watch.
Director Rob Reiner’s latest film Being Charlie was co-penned by his son Nick Reiner and Matt Elisofon, and it’s partly inspired by Nick’s own battle with drug addiction. The storyline centers on 18-year-old Charlie Mills (Nick Robinson), a drug addict who’s latest stint in rehab may actually turn his life around. Cary Elwes, who previously worked with Reiner on The Princess Bride, plays Nick’s no-nonsense father, a former actor who’s running for governor. The film’s biggest asset is the charismatic performance of Robinson (The 5th Wave, Jurassic World), an actor who’s career is definitely taking off.
Along with the three aforementioned films, our streaming and Blu-ray picks of the week are Team Foxcatcher (available on Netflix) and the Christopher Plummer headlined thriller Remember.
There are obviously various elements that make an acting performance believable. The week to week schedule of television leads to the continuous growth of such shows as Chicago Med, and though a great deal of love should be shown to prodigious TV icon Dick Wolf and a solid writing staff, credit should also go to the ensemble who can often take that material to another level.
Case in point is Chicago Med’s Nick Gehlfuss (”Dr. Will Halstead”) and Torrey DeVitto (”Dr. Natalie Manning”), actors who share a fruitful collaboration on the show.”It’s not a full band unless you allow it to be,” said DeVitto. “And some people don’t, and some will. Working with Nick, we definitely have joined a band together.”
“When you have veterans like Oliver Platt and S. Epatha Merkerson - just by watching their work you can learn so much,” adds Gehlfuss. “So when I’m not working or I’m on set . . . I’ll go and I’ll watch.”
In the video below, DeVitto and Gehlfuss talk about their acting experiences on Chicago Med.
To check out video of Torrey DeVitto elaborating on her love for the Monica Bellucci films Irreversible and Malena, please go to our sister site Deepest Dream. Chicago Med airs Tuesday evenings on NBC (9/8c).