One of the more intriguing movies coming out later this year is the sci-fi film Arrival. The film stars Oscar nominated actors Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner who both coincidentally were both seen recently in superhero films (Adams was part of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Renner starred in Captain America: Civil War.
Arrival, which is coming out during movie award season, may not be your typical sci-fi film. We caught up with Renner who gave us a preview of the movie. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jeremy Renner)
The FOX reality dancing show So You Think You Can Dance has reinvented itself this season by having contestants between the ages of 8 and 13 compete. With having such young talent on the show, the program decided to bring a judge who can relate with them – 13 year old Maddie Ziegler!
Ziegler is already an accomplished dancer having won state and national competition which received national exposure. She now takes her experience as a dancer and joins fellow judges Paula Abdul, Jason Derulo and Nigel Lythgoe to judge her contemporaries. One would think it would be very tough for Ziegler to judge dancers her age but not for Ziegler who says it won’t be tough to give her tough love critiques. For Zielger, the bottom line is for contestants to grow as dancers.
So You Think You Can Dance airs Monday nights on FOX.
The Duel is a gritty Western that’s also a classic revenge tale, and considering the leads are Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth, this six-shooter is loaded with possibilities.
Texas Ranger David Kingston (Hemsworth) is assigned to spy on Abraham (Woody Harrelson), a cult leader who presides over a mysterious town named Helena. Dubbed “The Preacher,” Abraham has an undeniable charisma and religious fervor that is infectious, and his allure gradually takes hold of David’s Mexican wife Marisol (Alice Braga).
David also has a huge score to settle with Abraham, who years ago murdered his father in a knife fight, and with his wife’s sanity also on the line, David is laser focused on his mission. Instead of initially sniffing out David’s investigation, Abraham welcomes him and Marisol with open arms, and even appoints David as Helena’s new sheriff. Emory Cohen, wonderful last year as Evan Rachel Wood’s New York love in Brooklyn, is also memorable as Isaac, Abraham’s hot-tempered and bullying son.
The script was penned by Matt Cook, whose love for layered storytelling was evident earlier this year with Triple 9. The Duel also aims for such lofty heights, as he navigates this seemingly B-Western tale into deeper waters. Harrelson, who possibly channeled Marlon Brando’s performance from Apocalypse Now, knows how to go over the top without chewing the scenery, and he infuses Abraham with a ton of dimension. Though her role is a bit (pardon the pun) undercooked, Braga also gets her chance to shine as a lonesome soul in need of direction, and her pivotal scene with Harrelson, as Abraham pulls off his seduction act, is palpable.
Hemsworth has the burden of being the “straight man” and anchor of the narrative, and while he doesn’t have as many colorful or standout moments as the rest of the ensemble, he does a solid job bringing balance to the proceedings.
Credit goes to director Kieran Darcy-Smith and cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin for crafting a memorable showdown between the actors during the story’s final act. Without giving too much away, this isn’t your standard, two men gun-slinging in a one horse dusty town type of sequence, as the filmmakers decided on something less predictable (and, in sum, all the more thrilling).
There’s also a ton of mystery behind the town of Helena that isn’t entirely spelled out by the end of The Duel, and we never understand why the town fully supports The Preacher’s horrific criminal undertakings. Still, as the final moments of The Duel suggests, maybe it’s better if we find those answers and venture through that wilderness all by our lonesome, at least ’til the next village comes to view.
***The Duel is now playing in select theaters and is available On Demand.
If you are a Brian De Palma fan like we are at Hollywood Outbreak, you have to see a documentary called De Palma which is now playing in limited release. Directed by Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow, the film features De Palma talking about his life and his great body of work which includes Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Scarface, The Untouchables, and Mission Impossible. However, the film he enjoys the most is the 1993 drama Carlito’s Way starring Academy Award winners Al Pacino and Sean Penn. The film is about a former criminal who, after being released from prison, tries to make a good life for himself and settle down with the love of his life (Penelope Ann Miller). Unfortunately, the sun doesn’t always shine for Carlito Brigante (Pacino) as he’s pulled back into a life of crime.
Along with Pacino and Penn, the film features many great actors such as John Leguizamo, Luis Guzmán and Adrian Pasdar. A few years back, we spoke to Pasdar who recalled having a great memory working with the great Pacino on and off the camera.
Airing Sunday nights on Showtime is the comedy drama Roadies. The series gives a backstage look at a tight-knit group of workers who do their best to ensure a concert’s smooth sailing success. Created/written/produced by Academy Award winner Cameron Crowe, the series is also inspired by the filmmaker’s own youth. Before hitting it big with films like Fast Times and Ridgemont High, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous, he was a young music journalist who worked forCreem,Playboy and Rolling Stone magazine.
During those years, Crowe followed many bands and music superstars such as The Eagles and the great late David Bowie. While promoting Roadies,Crowe recalled his great memories he had working with Bowie, a music icon whose creative passions never seemed to dim. (Click on the media bar below to hear Cameron Crowe)