Steve Coogan, who delivered a first rate performance last year as Stan Laurel (Stan & Ollie), plays a narcissistic British billionaire named Sir Richard McCreadie in Greed. For over 30 years, McCreadie was a retail fashion king, but times have changed and his reputation has taken a hit. To regain public favor, McCreadie organizes a lavish party on the Greek island of Mykonos to celebrate his 60th birthday.
Even though he throws as much money as possible for the celebration, things immediately go south. Asa Butterfield and Isla Fisher co-star in the comedy which has Coogan once again working with director Michael Winterbottom (director of The Trip films).
Since the Coogan/Winterbottom collaboration has been fruitful beyond belief, it will be interesting to see how the comedy shines outside The Trip universe (the duo are currently in production of The Trip to Greece). Check out the trailer and tell us what you think!
Greed opens in New York and Los Angeles on February 28.
One film I missed out on last year was Black and Blue, a cop drama centering on Alicia West (Naomie Harris), a police officer who is being hunted down by several corrupt cops (Frank Grillo plays one of the baddies). Tyrese Gibson co-stars as Milo, a liquor store employee who may be the only person whom Alicia can trust.
Black and Blue, which is now out on Blu-ray and Digital, features solid work from Gibson (in a dramatic role that harkens back to his inspired performance in Baby Boy) and Harris. Even with an Oscar nomination (Moonlight) under her belt, Naomie Harris is not an actress who has a plethora of leading roles in her resume. Thankfully, Taylor has a knack for casting the right actors for his respective projects (for first rate ensemble work, check out his underrated 2014 drama Supremacy).
“Here she is, Pirates of the Caribbean, 28 Days Later, the (James Bond films),” said Taylor. “Why hasn’t (Naomie Harris) been a lead? What’s going on? I feel that is what I am always looking for – people that have similarities like me which is no one took a chance with me. No one thought I could seize the opportunity. Now I always have an eye to (working with) people like that.”
Even with Black and Blue and the box office success of The Intruder, Taylor does not bask in complacency. Click on the media bar to hear Taylor discuss why, when it comes to directing, he’s always pushing forward.
Extras on the Black and Blue Blu-ray and DVD include deleted scenes and two featurettes (“Line of Fire” and “Be the Change in the Big Easy”).
There is a lot to unpack, in a good way, regarding Color Out of Space. First off, it marks the return (at least big screen wise as he’s directed documentaries) of Richard Stanley. A former cinematic wunderkind (Hardware, Dust Devil), Stanley’s career took a drastic turn after being fired from The Island of Dr. Moreau (that experience is spotlighted in the acclaimed documentary Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau). Secondly, the movie, along with featuring another first rate Nicolas Cage performance, is also an immersive cosmic horror tale that will garner its share of fans.
Madeleine Arthur (To All The Boys I Loved Before, Big Eyes) co-stars as Lavinia Gardner, daughter to Nathan (Cage) and Theresa (Joely Richardson), and she also delivers a powerful and emotionally wrenching performance.
“I wasn’t super familiar with his work prior to the movie but now am one of the biggest Richard Stanley fans,” said Arthur. “It’s such a pleasure, a treat and an honor to be part of his first feature in so many years. Fans of Richard’s work will see some of his signature elements and I’m really excited for everyone to see all of those moments as well.”
Click on the media bar to hear Madeleine Arthur talk about going toe-to-toe with Nicolas Cage in Color Out of Space:
While just one Black Widow made it into the Avengers movies, there are several characters in the Marvel Universe who share the name, and we’ll see three of them in the upcoming Black Widow movie. Joining Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff are Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova and Rachel Weisz’s Melina Vostokoff, both of whom went through Black Widow training in the Red Room. Between the three of them and director Cate Shortland, Weisz is in awe of all the girl power propelling this movie. (Click on the media bar below to hear Rachel Weisz)
Disturbing the Peace centers on Jim Dillon (Guy Pearce), a small town marshal who hasn’t carried a gun after a tragic shooting occurred while he was a Texas Ranger. When a vengeful man named Diablo (Devon Sawa) rolls into town with his gang, Jim must find a way to outwit these cutthroats to ensure the safety of the townspeople.
Disturbing The Peace, though a modern film, also has has Western elements in its narrative, and for director York Alec Shackleton this action thriller exists as more than just a visceral thrill.
“It’s hard for me to build scenes just based on visuals alone,” said Shackleton, who previously helmed the underrated Nicolas Cage feature211. “I really tend to build these scene structures off of what are these underlying character bumps and what are the overall arcs and how are they working? I still take it back to a lot of the original teaches that have somewhat have been lost or somewhat are not as big of a concern for (some) filmmakers.”
Click on the media bar to hear Shackleton talk about what makes Guy Pearce a unique actor:
Disturbing the Peace hits theaters, Digital and On Demand on January 17.
Troop Zero centers on Christmas Flint (Mckenna Grace), an eccentric girl who dreams of connecting with life forms in outer space. A competition that gives Birdie Scouts a chance to record their voices on NASA’s Golden Record inspires her to form a makeshift troop. Co-starring Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan, and Allison Janney, this 1977 feature is a feel good film that, although it has its humorous moments, is also grounded in reality.
During my interview with filmmakers Bert & Bertie, I asked them about their approach to filmmaking (the script is penned by Beasts of the Southern Wild scribe Lucy Alibar). “We always put the story first,” said Bert. “When you’re collaborating, it’s what best serves the story. We come at it with different ideas and a lot of ideas that are very much the same but when you’re trying to decide which you’re moving, it’s a lot about instinct and that means what does this story need from us? And that’s what we used to move forward.”
Click on the media bar to hear Bertie talk about the meticulous planning that went into making Troop Zero.