The Harder They Come, the feature headlined by reggae icon Jimmy Cliff, comes out at as a 3-disc Collector’s Edition set via Shout Select on August 20. The restored version, which is a new transfer from the feature’s original 16mm negative, marks the movie’s debut on Blu-ray in the U.S.
The narrative centers on Ivan Martin (Cliff), an aspiring singer who leaves his small village for Kingston in an attempt to follow his dreams. A sad twist of fate ultimately leads him to a life of crime even as he achieves music stardom. Cliff’s soundtrack for the film, thanks to such hits as the title track, “Sitting In Limbo,” and “Many Rivers To Cross,” is considered a classic, so a Blu-ray release of The Harder They Come has been a long time coming!
Special features on the disc include the first ever home entertainment release of No Place Like Home, director Perry Henzell’s follow up to The Harder They Come as well as the documentary Perry Henzell: A Filmmaker’s Odysseywhich takes a look at No Place Like Home’s restoration. Other special features of The Harder They Come will be released at a later date.
Director Edward Zwick’s acclaimed career includes epic filmmaking (Glory, The Last Samurai, Legends of the Fall) and incisive personal dramas (Love & Other Drugs, Pawn Sacrifice. What binds his diverse set of films, along with their non-pandering approach to story, is the strength of their actors.
Trial By Fire is the true story of death row inmate Cameron Todd Willingham’s (Jack O’Connell) friendship with Elizabeth Gilbert (Laura Dern), a determined woman who fights for his freedom. The picture, which is also an unflinching exploration on the death penalty, is anchored by excellent work from O’Connell and Dern.
“I had seen his work in England and I had even saw his as a young boy in Skins,” said Zwick. “What I really knew about Jack was his courage as an actor. His willingness to tell the truth and go for the authenticity rather than what might have seen more sympathetic. There are certain actors, and I’ll mention no names, who are sort of self protective. And I knew he wouldn’t. It was very important that audiences condemn him at the beginning of the movie as did the people of Corsicana, Texas.”
Click on the media bar to hear Zwick discuss his decision to cast Dern in Trial By Fire.
It takes a special kind of person to survive the often-brutal Chicago winters — the cold, the snow, and oh, that wind! Meanwhile, the summers can get hot and very, very humid. NBC’s “Chicago” shows shoot in the city itself, and the casts and crews have been exposed to all kinds of weather. Kara Killmer of Chicago Fire is a Texas native, so it took her a little while to get used to the Windy City weather. Now that she’s been working there for five season on the show, Killmer told us what it takes to survive Chicago’s climactic extremes.
It’s been five years since the last Godzilla movie, but we’re about to get back-to-back films this year and next. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a sequel to that 2014 film, with Godzilla vs. Kong set for release in March 2020. Michael Dougherty wrote and directed King of the Monsters, and he talked to us about how the movie was developed. (Click on the media bar below to hear Michael Dougherty)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters opens in theaters on May 31.
Millions of people will be crying tonight as they say goodbye to The Big Bang Theory. While the show has certainly seemed like a perpetual motion machine of comedy, it has decided to come to a halt after 12 seasons, 277 episodes, and seven Emmy Awards. It will definitely be an emotional night, as we watch these characters for the last time. As Kaley Cuoco told us, that means the show’s done its job, because it took these unlikely characters and turned them into beloved figures over the years. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kaley Cuoco)
Amazingly, the cast does feature a real-life scientist — Mayim Bialik holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience. And yes, the show does try its best to deal in real scientific phenomenon. Johnny Galecki may not be a real-life science expert, but he’s extremely proud of the fact that his character and the show have inspired a large number of young viewers to pursue college degrees in the sciences. (Click on the media bar below to hear Johnny Galecki)
The Big Bang Theory series finale airs tonight at 8/7c on CBS.
There is a ton to be excited about with Midsommar, a horror/thriller that, from the looks of the trailer, should be absolutely terrifying. Ari Aster, who directed last year’s acclaimed feature Hereditary, is the director of this feature about a young American couple (Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor) who travel to a remote Swedish village for a midsummer festival.
This holiday in an environment filled with sunlight initially feels like an earthly paradise, but gradually the villagers’ actions become suspect, leading the tourists to ultimately regret their journey! Pugh’s star has continued to rise thanks to her lead work in Fighting With My Family and the miniseries The Little Drummer Girl, and Reynor, who also was the lead in CBS’ Strange Angel, was fantastic in Sing Street. With two excellent leads anchoring his narrative, Aster’s sophomore effort has the makings of a winner.
The Hustle centers on two con women (Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson) who team up to scam the rich in hopes to amass their own wealth. Josephine (Hathaway) is the more seasoned of the pair, as she attempts to impart her wisdom to the unpredictable Penny (Wilson). Bedtime Story and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels were previous iterations of this comedic tale.
“I wanted to make a comedy with Rebel since I first saw her in Bridesmaids,” said Hathaway. “When the opportunity showed up and then, ‘Oh we’re playing con women and we get to be in the French Riviera and we get to wear fabulous clothes and there’s a million accents’ then it got better. But really it was about working with her.”
Click on the media bar to hear Anne Hathaway talk about having a different comedic approach to The Hustle than Rebel Wilson:
Anthony Anderson has made a good living for himself in show business, with a list of credits now stretching back nearly 25 years. He knows things could have turned out very differently, though, so he told us he never takes his success for granted, and he always tries to keep himself grounded. (Click on the media bar below to hear Anthony Anderson)
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu may not have beaten the Avengers in its opening weekend, but it did set a record for the opening of a video game adaptation. Ryan Reynolds voices the title character, which has been part of the video game franchise since 1996. That gave Reynolds a lot of opportunities to find out more about the character, but he admitted he really didn’t know much about Pokémon in general.
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is playing in theaters now.
That ’70s Show featured a bit of teenage drinking — it’s OK, the drinking age in Wisconsin in the ’70s was 18 — but now, the show itself is nearly legal: It turns 21 this August. When the show began, Wilmer Valderrama was just an 18-year-old kid making his first appearance on any kind of screen. Of course, he got lucky — the show became a huge hit, running for eight seasons and making him a hot Hollywood commodity. He’s been able to parlay that success into an impressive career; his latest accomplishment has been three seasons (and counting) on NCIS. But he credits the creators of That ’70s Show for planting the seeds of his success in his head. (Click on the media bar below to hear Wilmer Valderrama)