Just the fact that Jason Sudeikis, Ed Harris, and Elizabeth Olsen are in the same movie is a good enough reason to check out Kodachrome, a new film directed by Copenhagen filmmaker Mark Raso. The narrative centers on Matt Ryder (Sudeikis), a guy who hits the road with his estranged and dying father (Harris) to deliver four old rolls of Kodachrome film.
Since we’re living in a digital age, developing film has gone the way of the dodo bird, and now the pair must go to the last lab in the world to develop these rolls before it closes down. Olsen co-stars as Ben’s (Harris) nurse.The trip, which takes the trio from New York to Kansas, should be an eye opening one, and hopefully the picture will hit all the right notes without being a sentimental slog. Check out the trailer and tell us what you think!
Director/writer Dean Devlin, best known for his Independence Day and Stargate screenplays, is behind the camera with the underrated disaster epic Geostorm. Recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, the picture had a worldwide gross of $220 million, but it should have received much more attention stateside (it reached just $33 million in receipts).
For one, Gerard Butler is an engaging protagonist as Jake Lawson, the creator of the network of satellites that has kept Earth from succumbing to natural disasters and the destructive effects of climate change. Lawson’s understandable aversion to authority leads to his eventual unemployment, but he’s needed three years later when a “geostorm” threatens the planet.
Jim Sturgess is Jake’s brother Max, a career driven climber in politics who’s tasked by his superior (Ed Harris) to enlist Jake for the latest mission, with Abbie Cornish starring as Max’s girlfriend (and agent) Sarah. Andy Garcia rounds out the A-list cast as the President, a man who, upon seeking reelection, may be a conspirator behind the latest satellite debacle.
Click on the media bar below to hear Butler talk about working with Geostorm co-star Jim Sturgess:
The Blu-ray comes with the featurettes “Wreaking Havoc,” “Search for Answers,” and “An International Event.” In the “Search for Answers” segment, Devlin added that he rifles through his first draft of a screenplay in a quick manner to give even more time for the succeeding drafts and edits. He also adds that Geostorm’s idea came from his own daughter, who asked him why there wasn’t a big machine to actually combat climate change.
There are so many balls in the proverbial air that may keep you guessing throughout The Adderall Diaries (R, 87 minutes), and though some detractors may view it as a bit too much, the film is buoyed by inspired performances from James Franco and Ed Harris and self-assured directing by first-timer Pamela Romanowsky.
Working from Stephen Elliott’s memoir of the same name, The Adderall Diaries isn’t a blow by blow rehash of Elliott’s work, as Romanowsky’s main goal was to explore a broader thematic canvas. In the film, Elliott (Franco) is a narcissistic writer with addictive tendencies, and slowly but surely his flourishing career and personal life is headed towards an inevitable abyss. Though he enters a passionate affair with a New York Times reporter (Amber Heard) while attempting to cover a murder trial (Christian Slater plays the criminal in question) and has a ride or die best friend (Roger Parrack) at his beck and call, Stephen’s inability to effectively process past tragedies and move forward continues to haunt him in the present. The rubber hits the road when his father Neil (Ed Harris), who he writes off as dead in his memoir, is very much alive and shows up at a book reading to expose his son’s seemingly unforgivable lie.
With the utilization of flashbacks, slow-motion sequences, and a pitch perfect score from composer Michael Andrews, Romanowsky effectively creates the suffocating world that engulfs Stephen, and even though some of his pain can be construed as self-inflicted, the filmmaker doesn’t cast a judgmental eye on our protagonist. Instead, we are called to look at how we edit our own memories to suit our personal stories. The central conflict of the film deals with Elliott and Neil’s attempts to claim dominion over the other, as both of them have a different perspective on their broken family (considering Stephen lied about his father’s passing, we are prone to believe Neil’s side of the story). Franco and Harris infuse the story with a tangible vulnerability, and their confrontations are nothing short of electric (and ultimately heartbreaking). Though Romanowsky displays a relative ease in navigating through Stephen’s labyrinthine journey, the film’s most intriguing puzzle comes from pure simplicity: place Ed Harris and James Franco in a hotel room and let the verbal sparring begin.
One would assume spending three years developing The Adderall Diaries, which included time at the Sundance Directors Lab, gave Romanowsky the depth and insight to that the film absolutely needs to work. Fractured storytelling, especially one that deals with the haunting complexities of memory, could have been handled as a purely cinematic experience, and under a different eye the movie could have been a showy exercise to showcase a budding filmmaker’s technical talent. While there are wonderful aesthetic choices (shooting on Steadicam, giving the film a grainy, surreal feel) that inhabit the world of The Adderall Diaries, the story isn’t mired in artifice. As Stephen begins to finally write from a place of truth, he reaches a place that exists beyond all those beautiful words. It’s arguable on how transcendent cinema can truly be, but at least Romanowsky understands where Stephen is going, as do we.
**To check out my interview with Romanowsky, go to Hollywood Outbreak’s sister site Deepest Dream. We also talk about The Adderall Diaries on this week’s CinemAddicts (starting at 37:25). Check out the media bar below:
Director Michael Bay has devoted much of his creative energies to the Transformers franchise, and it’s easy to forget that it was the buddy cop film Bad Boys which actually put him on the map. With his new film Pain & Gain,Bay is back to mixing up male bonding with eye catching explosions, and with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as the stars, the muscle factor is also at an all-time high.
The trailer looks entertaining enough, and having solid character actors Anthony Mackie,Tony Shalhoub, and Ed Harris lending support isn’t such a bad idea. As for the requisite Bay explosion, wait until the end of the clip!
It was with some trepidation that we watched the HBO biopic GAME CHANGE as we’d heard that it doesn’t exactly follow the source material it’s based on. But, having seen it twice now, we can report that, while the movie is a hugely one-sided and selective presentation of the 2008 presidential campaign (specifically, the McCAIN-PALIN ticket), the performances are nothing short of awards quality. Directed by JAY ROACH and loosely based on the book by MARK HALPERIN, the movie stars JULIANNE MOORE, WOODY HARRELSON, ED HARRIS, PETER MacNICOL, RON LIVINGSTON and the always incredible SARAH PAULSON.
During the January Television Critics Association press event, GAME CHANGE star JULIANNE MOORE talked about the endless research she did to nail the voice and mannerisms of SARAH PALIN. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)