Showing posts with label Broderick Johnson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Broderick Johnson. Show all posts

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Amy Schumer Shows Her Brilliance in "Trainwreck"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 10 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Trainwreck (2015)
Running time:  125 minutes (2 hours, 5 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
DIRECTOR:  Judd Apatow
WRITER:  Amy Schumer
PRODUCERS:  Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel
EDITORS:  William Kerr, Peck Prior, and Paul Zucker
COMPOSER:  Jon Brion


Starring:  Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton, Brie Larson, Mike Birbiglia, Evan Brinkman, LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire, Colin Quinn, John Cena, Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Jon Glaser, Ezra Miller, Norman Lloyd, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Jones, Marisa Tomei, and Daniel Radcliffe

Trainwreck is a 2015 comedy and romance directed by Judd Apatow and written by and starring Amy Schumer.  The film focuses on a woman who prefers sexual encounters instead of committed relations and who then meets the kind of good guy that she cannot simply leave.

Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) is a party girl who drinks too much, smokes weed, and sleeps around with other guys, even when she has a boyfriend, as her current boyfriend, the muscle-bound gym-addict, Steven (John Cena), is about to discover.  Amy learned her promiscuous ways from her father, Gordon Townsend (Colin Quinn), who once told her that monogamy is not realistic.   Strangely, Amy's sister, Kim (Brie Larson), is doing just fine with her boyfriend, Tom (Mike Birbiglia), and she is even more of a mother than a stepmother to Tom's son, Allister (Evan Brinkman).

Amy writes for a raunchy men's magazine, “Snuff.”  Her boss, Dianna (Tilda Swinton), assigns her to write an article about a sports doctor named Aaron Conner (Bill Hader).  After Aaron helps her with a family matter, Amy feels a bond with him and even has sex with him.  However, Aaron sees that as the beginning of a romance, while Amy sees the sex as a one-night stand.  Amy tries to find a way to avoid monogamy, even when part of her starts to believe that Aaron could be the good guy she needs to keep.

If you like Amy Schumer (and I do), you will like Trainwreck (and I do – for the most part).  As a romantic comedy, however, the film really doesn't work.  Bill Hader is a comedian and a professional impersonator (at which he is quite good), but he has no business trying to be a romantic lead.  There is nothing remotely interesting about him in this film; he delivers what is almost a zombie performance.

I really don't buy Schumer as a romantic lead or as a magazine writer.  Schumer is at her best when she is skewering social, sexual, and gender conventions.  The character Amy Townsend is at her best when she is being a one-night stand or is mocking other people's ambitions of respectability.  When actress Amy tries to make fictional Amy fall in love... well, it's a trainwreck.

Tilda Swinton gives a killer performance as Amy's despicable boss, Dianna.  Swinton can disappear behind even the least amount of movie make-up and hair with the best of them.  John Cena delivers a sparkling two-scene performance as Steven.  Every time Colin Quinn is on screen as Amy's father, Gordon, he is a delight to see.  Director Judd Apatow does not do much here, except get out of Amy Schumer's way, which works when it works, but he does nothing to save the last third of this film which is a... trainwreck.

Still, for most of this movie, Amy Schumer proves why she is currently an it-girl.  She is brilliant when she is at the top of her game, and in Trainwreck, she occasionally shows off her brilliance.

6 of 10

Friday, January 8, 2016

Edited: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  2 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” (Amy Schumer)

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"The Good Lie" for a Good Cause

Filmmakers Create Humanitarian Fund for Sudanese Refugees Whose Courageous Stories Inspired “The Good Lie”

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The producers of “The Good Lie” have established the Good Lie Fund, named for the upcoming feature drama from Alcon Entertainment, Imagine Entertainment, Black Label Media and Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is based upon the harrowing and inspirational real-life experiences of thousands of children impacted by war in Sudan.

    “This film was a labor of love for all of us. I am so proud and happy to know that it will not only be a compelling and personal story for audiences everywhere to see, but may also serve to illuminate an ongoing and little-known human drama.”
The Good Lie Fund ( was created to support the humanitarian and educational needs of those who have come to be universally known as the Lost Boys and Girls, uprooted and orphaned by the Sudanese Civil War that began in 1983. Its initial focus will be the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, which came into being to meet the first wave of survivors of the conflict—the majority of them children, alone, and on foot—and which currently houses thousands of refugees fleeing from continuing violence and unrest.

The Fund will also seek to raise worldwide awareness of the dire situation that still exists in South Sudan. As part of this publicity campaign, the producers of “The Good Lie” have planned a Washington, D.C. fundraiser in mid-September to benefit the war refugees from South Sudan and those still living in the Kakuma camp. Many corporations have already pledged their support and donations. Black Label Media and Alcon Entertainment have also seeded the Good Lie Fund to start the fundraising effort, in honor of the film and its story.

Additionally, “The Good Lie” will be made available for select screenings by various philanthropic groups and Lost Boys and Girls communities throughout the U.S. and overseas, in advance of its October 3, 2014 U.S. release date, to aid in their own fundraising and awareness efforts.

Said producer Molly Smith, “This film was a labor of love for all of us. I am so proud and happy to know that it will not only be a compelling and personal story for audiences everywhere to see, but may also serve to illuminate an ongoing and little-known human drama.”

Director Philippe Falardeau’s involvement with the plight of the South Sudanese refugees began with a documentary assignment that was cut short due to escalating hostilities, and he sees “The Good Lie”—both the film and the Fund—as continuing what he had just begun when evacuated from South Sudan in 1994. “I had the feeling, then, that I was abandoning them, and that feeling stayed with me until I read Margaret Nagle’s script for ‘The Good Lie.’ It was like a calling, to finish this in another way and to tell their story.”

Contact information for the Good Lie Fund will appear in the film’s end credits.

“The Good Lie” opens in limited theatrical engagements October 3, 2014. It stars Reese Witherspoon; Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal and Kuoth Wiel, all of whom are of Sudanese descent; and Corey Stoll. Directed by Philippe Falardeau from a screenplay by Margaret Nagle, “The Good Lie” was produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Karen Kehela Sherwood, Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill. Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Kim Roth, Ellen H. Schwartz, Deepak Nayar, and Bobby and Deb Newmyer served as executive producers. The creative filmmaking team included director of photography Ronald Plante, production designer Aaron Osborne, editor Richard Comeau, costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb and composer Martin Leon.

A presentation of Alcon Entertainment, Imagine Entertainment and Black Label Media, “The Good Lie” is a Black Label Media, Imagine Entertainment and Reliance Entertainment production and will be distributed domestically by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Amazon Studios Announces New TV Pilot, "Hysteria"

Amazon Adds Dramatic Thriller Hysteria to Its Third Pilot Season

Amazon Studios collaborates with Universal Television and Alcon Television Group for an hour-long character-driven thriller from Shaun Cassidy (Invasion) starring Mena Suvari (American Beauty), James McDaniel (Orange Is The New Black), Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises), Adan Canto (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Laura San Giacomo (Saving Grace) and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy)

Hysteria joins The Cosmopolitans, Really and Hand of God for Amazon’s highly-anticipated third pilot season, which will debut later this year on Amazon Instant Video

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced it has added the hour-long dramatic thriller Hysteria, from Amazon Studios, Universal Television and Alcon Television Group, to its third pilot season, which will debut later this year on Amazon Instant Video. Starring Mena Suvari (American Beauty) as “Dr. Logan Harlen,” James McDaniel (Orange Is The New Black) as “Carl Sapsi,” Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises) as “Ray Ratajeck,” Adan Canto (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as “Matt Sanchez,” Laura San Giacomo (Saving Grace) as “Grace Pelayo” and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) as “Carter Harlen,” Hysteria follows a doctor (Suvari) who returns to her hometown of Austin, Texas to investigate a growing epidemic that appears to be spreading through social media. The show is written by Shaun Cassidy who also serves as Executive Producer alongside Adam Schroeder, Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bryan Zuriff, and Director Otto Bathurst. Customers will once again be invited to watch and provide feedback on the pilots they want to see turned into full series, which will then become available on Prime Instant Video.

    “We’re very excited to be collaborating with Universal Television and Alcon Television Group to bring Hysteria to life for viewers”

“We’re very excited to be collaborating with Universal Television and Alcon Television Group to bring Hysteria to life for viewers,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “Shaun is known for creating shows with layers of mystery, depth of character and topical themes. His script immediately hooked us and we can’t wait to hear what customers think.”

“I can think of no better platform than Amazon to tell a story that explores the price of fear and the very real threat of viral connection becoming contagion,” said Shaun Cassidy.

Directed by Bathurst, who recently won the BAFTA for his work on the critically acclaimed U.K. mini-series Peaky Blinders, Hysteria takes viewers to Austin where members of a girls’ competitive dance team are stricken with a strange, psycho-physiological illness that manifests in violent fits and spasms. Neurologist Logan Harlen (Suvari) is called back to her hometown to investigate the cause. Fighting her own demons (and the growing manipulation of a brother on death row), Logan develops an uneasy suspicion that the hysteria surrounding the girls might actually be linked to social media and her own tragic past. In addition to Suvari, McDaniel, Stewart, Canto, San Giacomo and Knight, Hysteria also stars, Ella Rae Peck and Jenessa Grant. Guest stars include Jason Douglas, Heather Kafka, Asjha Cooper, and Evie Thompson.

About Amazon Studios
Last year Amazon Studios launched its first two prime time series Alpha House and Betas, and recently debuted its first two children’s series, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival Award-winning Tumble Leaf from Bix Pix Entertainment, as well as Creative Galaxy from Angela Santomero, the creator of Blue’s Clues. A third kids’ series, Annedroids, from Emmy nominated Sinking Ship Entertainment will debut in July. Amazon Studios recently announced six additional, original series including Chris Carter’s The After; Michael Connelly’s Bosch; Jill Soloway’s Transparent; Mozart in the Jungle from Paul Weitz, Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman; Wishenpoof! from Angela Santomero; and Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street from David Anaxagoras, as well as a second season of Alpha House. Amazon Original Series are available exclusively to Prime members through Prime Instant Video.

Amazon Studios launched in 2010 as a new way to develop feature films and episodic series—one that’s open to great ideas from creators and audiences around the world. Anyone can upload a script and Amazon Studios will read and review all submissions. Those who choose to make their projects public will also receive feedback from the Amazon Studios community.

Comprehensive cast and crew information, including bios and filmographies, is available on Amazon's IMDb (, the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content.

Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Extreme Sports Remake of "Point Break" Begins Filming

Alcon Entertainment’s “Point Break” to Begin Principal Photography on June 26th

Top Extreme Sports Athletes to Perform Daring Action Stunts in Various Locations on Four Continents

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alcon Entertainment’s action-thriller “Point Break,” starring Édgar Ramírez, Luke Bracey, Ray Winstone, Teresa Palmer and Delroy Lindo, begins principal photography today, it was announced by Alcon principals Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.

The production will film on four continents, including North America, Europe, South America and Asia, and features stunts performed by the world’s top extreme sports athletes, as opposed to stunt performers. Locations set for filming include Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, Mexico, Venezuela, French Polynesia, India and the United States. Alcon will release through its output deal with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Ericson Core (“Invincible”) is directing from Kurt Wimmer’s (“Salt,” “Law Abiding Citizen”) screenplay. Ramírez (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Che: Part One”) stars as Bodhi and Bracey (“G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” upcoming “The Best of Me”) will portray Johnny Utah.

In “Point Break,” a young FBI agent infiltrates an extraordinary team of extreme sports athletes he suspects of masterminding a string of unprecedented, sophisticated corporate heists. Deep undercover, and with his life in danger, he strives to prove they are the architects of the mind-boggling crimes that are devastating the world’s financial markets.

The film marks an extraordinarily ambitious shooting schedule involving some of the most daring stunts ever committed to film. Extreme sports featured include surfing 70-foot waves, snowboarding, wingsuit flying, free rock climbing, and high-speed motorcycle stunts.

Johnson and Kosove are producing, along with John Baldecchi, Chris Taylor and Kurt Wimmer. Studio Babelsberg will also co-produce. RGM Media principal Devesh Chetty and investor John McMurrick, Chairman of Marloss Entertainment, will serve as executive producers.

Renowned extreme athletes performing stunts in the film include surfers Makua Rothman, Billy Kemper, Brian Keaulana and Ahanu Tson-dru; snowboarders Lucas DeBari, Ralph Backstrom, Mitch Toelderer, Mike Basich and Xavier De La Rue; motorcyclists Riley Harper and Oakley Lehman; wingsuit stunt pilots Jeb Corliss, Jon Devore, Julian Boulle, Noah Bahnson and Mike Swanson; and free climber Chris Sharma, among others.

Director Ericson Core, who served as director of photography on such films as “The Fast and the Furious,” will also serve as director of photography. Other behind-the-scene team members include Oscar-winning editor Thom Noble (“Thelma & Louise,” “Witness”), production designer Udo Kramer (“North Face,” “The Physician”) and Oscar-nominated costume designer Lisy Christl (“Anonymous,” “White House Down”).

“Point Break” is inspired by the classic 1991 hit starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. It is scheduled for release on August 7, 2015, and will be distributed in North America and in select territories around the world by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Negromancer News Bits and Bites for May 15, 2014

Variety is reporting that Harrison Ford has been offered a role in Alcon Entertainment's Blade Runner sequel, which is being directed by Ridley Scott, who also directed the original film.

Speaking of Ridley Scott films, H.R. Giger, the famed 20th century surrealist painter, died Monday, May 12, 2014.  He won a visual effects Oscar in 1980 for his work on Scott's legendary film, Alien.  Giger was 74.  According to confirmed reports, Giger died after sustaining falls from an injury.

In miscasting news, Channing Tatum will play the Marvel Comics mutant character, "Gambit," in an X-Men spinoff movie.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Filming Begins on "Prisoners," Starring Hugh Jackman

Filming Begins on Alcon Entertainment’s “Prisoners”

Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal head an outstanding cast in director Denis Villeneuve’s dramatic thriller

Principal photography is underway on location in Georgia for Alcon Entertainment’s “Prisoners,” a Warner Bros. Pictures’ release starring Oscar® nominees Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Brokeback Mountain”), under the direction of Denis Villeneuve, who helmed the Oscar®-nominated foreign language film “Incendies.”

How far would you go to protect your child? Keller Dover (Jackman) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces the only suspect’s release.

Knowing his child’s life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. The desperate father will do whatever it takes to find the girls, but in doing so, he may lose himself, begging the question: When do you cross the line between seeking justice and becoming a vigilante?

Led by Jackman and Gyllenhaal, the dramatic thriller “Prisoners” features an all-star cast, including Maria Bello (“Beautiful Boy”) as Keller’s distraught wife, Grace; Oscar® nominees Terrence Howard (“Hustle & Flow”) and Viola Davis (“The Help,” “Doubt”) as Franklin and Nancy Birch, whose daughter Joy went missing with the Dovers’; Academy Award® winner Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”) as Alex Jones’ Aunt Holly; and Paul Dano (“Looper”) as Alex Jones.

Denis Villeneuve directs the film from an original screenplay by Aaron Guzikowski (“Contraband”). Kira Davis, Adam Kolbrenner, and Academy Award® nominees Broderick Johnson and Andrew A. Kosove (“The Blind Side”) are the producers, with John Starke, Ed McDonnell, Stephen Levinson, Robyn Meisinger and Mark Wahlberg serving as executive producers.

Villeneuve is supported by a top-flight creative team that includes 10-time Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins (“Skyfall”), Oscar®-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette (“The Young Victoria”), Oscar®-winning editor Joel Cox (“Unforgiven”), editor Gary Roach (“J. Edgar”), and costume designer Renée April (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”).

Alcon Entertainment’s “Prisoners” is scheduled for release on September 20, 2013, and will be distributed domestically by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Richard LaGravenese's "Beautiful Creatures" Set for Valentine's Day

“Beautiful Creatures” is a Perfect Valentine

Release Date for the Supernatural Love Story Moved to February 14th

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures has moved the release date of Alcon Entertainment’s “Beautiful Creatures” back one day to Valentine’s Day, in keeping with the film’s intriguing blend of magic and romance. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Directed by Richard LaGravenese from his own screenplay, “Beautiful Creatures” is adapted from the hugely successful novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Sales of the book, which was already a runaway bestseller, have been exploding in anticipation of the film’s release. Fans of the novel have been eagerly awaiting the screen adaptation, which is also generating interest from those who have not yet even read the book.

“Beautiful Creatures” tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan, a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena, a mysterious new arrival. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town. But as the tie between Ethan and Lena strengthens, they become tangled in a dangerous web of spells and secrets from which there may be no escape.

The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Academy Award® winner Jeremy Irons (“Reversal of Fortune”), Oscar® nominee Viola Davis (“The Help,” “Doubt”), Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann, and Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson (“Howard’s End,” “Sense and Sensibility”). Rounding out the cast are Eileen Atkins, Margo Martindale, Zoey Deutch, Tiffany Boone, Rachel Brosnahan, Kyle Gallner, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Sam Gilroy.

The film was produced by Erwin Stoff (“Water for Elephants”), Academy Award® nominees Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson (“The Blind Side”), Molly Mickler Smith, and Oscar® nominee David Valdes (“The Green Mile”). Yolanda T. Cochran served as executive producer, with Steven P. Wegner co-producing.

Alcon Entertainment presents a 3 Arts Entertainment/Belle Pictures Production, “Beautiful Creatures,” to be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company. “Beautiful Creatures” has been rated PG-13 for violence, scary images and some sexual material.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Joyful Noise" is Joyful Indeed

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 55 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Joyful Noise (2012)
Running time: 118 minutes (1 hour, 58 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for some language including a sexual reference
PRODUCERS: Joseph Farrell, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove, Michael G. Nathanson, and Catherine Paura
EDITOR: Kathryn Himoff
COMPOSER: Mervyn Warren


Starring: Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, Dexter Darden, Courtney B. Vance, Jesse L. Martin, Angela Grovey, Andy Karl, Dequina Moore, Paul Woolfolk, Kirk Franklin, and Kris Kristofferson

Joyful Noise is a 2012 music-driven film and Christian-theme drama from Todd Graff, the director of Bandslam. Joyful Noise stars Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton as rivals in a small church choir that is competing in a national singing competition.

The story is set in the small town of Pacashau, Georgia. Pacashau is going through some hard economic times, but the people take pride in Pacashau Sacred Divinity Choir. For quite a few years now, the choir has made it to the regional finals of Joyful Noise, a national amateur singing competition for church choirs.

The choir recently suffered a tragic loss. Now, G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton), a patron of Pacashau Sacred Divinity Church, faces off with the choir’s newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah), over the choir’s direction as they head to the Joyful Noise regionals. To make matters more complicated, G.G.’s wayward grandson, Randy Garrity (Jeremy Jordan), is back in town, and he becomes immediately attracted to Vi Rose’s daughter, Olivia (Queen Latifah). As internal dissent begins to threaten the choir, can faith and determination combined with young talent keep the choir singing God’s praise? Will the choir win the Joyful Noise nationals in Los Angeles?

Joyful Noise is strange in that writer/director Todd Graff seems to have fashioned not one movie, but several mini-movies put together to form one patchwork film narrative. At its heart, Joyful Noise is two things. The first is a teen romance featuring former childhood friends reunited in the throws of teen angst. Surprisingly, although Olivia is black and Randy is white, this is not an interracial love story. Their race/skin color never comes up as an obstacle in their relationship or as a problem for other characters. Joyful Noise’s second identity is that of a modern dustbowl drama about a rural, small town suffering the deprivations of what is essentially our modern version of the Great Depression, except that we call it the Great Recession.

The problem is that the love story and the town-in-recession story never come together; normally, one would affect the other, but they remain separate, and not quite equal. They’re like two different dramas sharing the same stage.

Meanwhile, there are these other dramas competing for space. There is the Vi Rose/G.G. cat fight that goes on too long, although the script doesn’t really provide enough to convince me that they should be mad at one another. There is the marital discord between Vi Rose and her husband, Marcus Hill (Jesse L. Martin), which is well written and perhaps should have been at the center of this movie. Instead, it seems like a tacked-on subplot. There is some kind of conflict between G.G. and Pastor Dale (Courtney B. Vance), and while Graff drops hints about it, he largely ignores it.

Of course, the movie is supposed to be about Pacashau Sacred Divinity Choir’s quest to get to the Joyful Noise nationals in L.A., but Graff often loses that behind all the other melodramas. Still, it is the music and singing that make this movie soar. At this point in the review, dear reader, you probably think that I didn’t like Joyful Noise. Quite the contrary: this movie is made of parts that don’t always fit, but I love it because the great music brings it all together and turns Joyful Noise into something that tugs at my heart.

Joyful Noise is Tyler Perry + Hallmark Channel holiday special + Glee. I love the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies, and Joyful Noise seems to put a gospel theatre spin on that. Although this is not a Christmas movie, it felt like Christmas-time to me, as I watched these characters come together to make things good for one another in really bad times. As for the acting, it’s mixed, although Queen Latifah has a screaming-fit scene with Keke Palmer that could pass as a pitch for an Oscar nomination. But Joyful Noise is about the noise and it is joyful. I want get that soundtrack.

6 of 10

Friday, July 06, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Chernobyl Diaries" Opens Midnight May 24 2012

More Than 1,300 Theaters across North America to Open “Chernobyl Diaries” at Midnight on Thursday, May 24

New film from producer/co-writer Oren Peli, who terrified audiences with his groundbreaking thriller, “Paranormal Activity,” takes audiences on an “extreme” tour inside the quarantined area near Chernobyl

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures starts Memorial Day weekend early by opening the new film “Chernobyl Diaries” at midnight on Thursday, May 24th in over 1,300 theaters in 184 U.S. and Canadian markets. Die-hard Oren Peli fans who want to be the first to take an “extreme” tour of the forbidden area surrounding the infamous Chernobyl reactor can kick-off the holiday weekend by seeing the movie at the stroke of midnight on Thursday.

“Chernobyl Diaries” is an original story from Peli, who first terrified audiences with his groundbreaking thriller, “Paranormal Activity.” The film follows a group of six young vacationers who, looking to go off the beaten path, hire an “extreme” tour guide. Ignoring warnings, he takes them into the city of Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, but a deserted town since the disaster more than 25 years ago.

After a brief exploration of the abandoned city, however, the group soon finds themselves stranded, only to discover that they are not alone…

Brad Parker makes his feature film directorial debut with “Chernobyl Diaries.” The screenplay was written by Oren Peli and Carey Van Dyke & Shane Van Dyke, based on a story by Peli. Peli also produces, with Brian Witten. Richard Sharkey, Rob Cowan, Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Allison Silver, Milan Popelka and Alison Cohen serve as executive producers.

The film’s cast includes Devin Kelley, Jonathan Sadowski, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Jesse McCartney, Nathan Phillips and Dimitri Diatchenko.

Alcon Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment and Oren Peli/Brian Witten Pictures present, an Oren Peli/Brian Witten Pictures production, “Chernobyl Diaries.” The film opens on May 25, 2012 and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

The film has been rated R for violence, some bloody images and pervasive language.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Beautiful Creatures" Begins Shooting in New Orleans

Filming Underway on Alcon Entertainment’s “Beautiful Creatures”

Richard LaGravenese directs his adaptation of the best-seller.

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Principal photography has begun on Alcon Entertainment’s “Beautiful Creatures,” based on the first novel in the best-selling series by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl. Oscar® nominee Richard LaGravenese (“The Fisher King,” “P.S. I Love You”) directs the film from his screenplay adaptation.

The film stars Alden Ehrenreich (“Tetro”), newcomer Alice Englert, and Academy Award® winners Jeremy Irons (“Reversal of Fortune”) and Emma Thompson (“Howard’s End,” “Sense and Sensibility”); Oscar® nominee Viola Davis (“The Help,” “Doubt”); and Emmy Rossum (TV’s “Shameless”).

A hauntingly intense, supernatural love story set in the South, “Beautiful Creatures” is about two star-crossed teenage lovers: Ethan (Ehrenreich), a local boy, and a mysterious new girl, Lena (Englert), who uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.

The film is being produced by Erwin Stoff (“Water for Elephants”), Academy Award® nominees Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson (“The Blind Side”), Molly Smith (“Something Borrowed”) and Oscar® nominee David Valdes (“The Green Mile”).

The behind-the-scenes team includes Academy Award®-winning director of photography Philippe Rousselot (“A River Runs Through It”), production designer Richard Sherman (“Gods and Monsters”), editor David Moritz (“Jerry Maguire”) and Oscar®-nominated costume designer Jeffrey Kurland (“Bullets Over Broadway”).

Shooting in and around New Orleans, “Beautiful Creatures” is a presentation of Alcon Entertainment and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Joyful Noise" Soundtrack Has Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah and More

“Joyful Noise” Soundtrack to Be Released January 10, 2012

Soundtrack Features New Music Performed by Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah, Kirk Franklin, Keke Palmer and Others

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WaterTower Music announces the release of the soundtrack to Alcon Entertainment’s and Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Joyful Noise,” a funny and inspirational story of music, hope, love and renewal, which opens in theatres January 13, 2012.

This musically driven story brings together the sounds of gospel, pop, country, rock and R & B with multiple performances by Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and Oscar® winner Dolly Parton (“Transamerica,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Nine to Five”), Grammy, Oscar®, and Golden Globe Award winner Queen Latifah (“Chicago,” “Hairspray”), and BET and NAACP Award winner Keke Palmer (“True Jackson VP,” “Akeelah and the Bee”). The soundtrack to “Joyful Noise” includes these performances, including renditions of memorable songs originally recorded by a wide range of artists: Chris Brown, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Sly & the Family Stone, Usher, and Stevie Wonder. Additionally, the soundtrack boasts recordings of the three original songs Dolly Parton wrote for the film, “He’s Everything,” “Not Enough” and “From Here to the Moon and Back.”

The collection also includes tracks by some of the finest acts in gospel and R&B. Grammy winner Kirk Franklin wrote and takes the vocal reins on his jubilant new song “In Love,” and award winning gospel vocalist Karen Peck creates harmonic gold on “Mighty High.”

Five-time Grammy winner and 10-time Grammy nominee Mervyn Warren (“Dreamgirls,” “The Preacher’s Wife,” “Sister Act 2”) produced and arranged all songs on the “Joyful Noise” soundtrack. Warren has written arrangements for the likes of Quincy Jones, David Foster and Whitney Houston, and was a member of acclaimed a cappella group Take 6. He is also a recipient of a Soul Train Award and has been recognized by the NAACP Image Awards, Dove Awards, and Stellar Awards.

The “Joyful Noise” soundtrack will see its release at both physical and digital retail on January 10, 2012.

Track List:
1. Not Enough - Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah

2. Man In The Mirror - Keke Palmer

3. Maybe I'm Amazed - Jeremy Jordan and Keke Palmer

4. In Love - Kirk Franklin

5. Fix Me Jesus - Queen Latifah

6. From Here To The Moon And Back - Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson and Jeremy Jordan

7. I'm Yours - Keke Palmer, DeQuina Moore and Angela Grovey

8. Mighty High - Karen Peck

9. That's The Way God Planned It - Ivan Kelley, Jr.

10. Higher Medley - Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, Andy Karl, Angela Grovey, and DeQuina Moore

11. He's Everything - Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, Andy Karl and DeQuina Moore

12. Joyful Noise Suite - Mervyn Warren

Oscar® nominees Queen Latifah (“Chicago,” “Hairspray”) and Dolly Parton (“Transamerica,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Nine to Five”) star in Alcon Entertainment’s and Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Joyful Noise,” a funny and inspirational story of music, hope, love and renewal.

The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choir has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Parton) thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old. Shaking things up even more is the arrival of G.G.’s rebellious grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan). Randy has an ear for music, but he also has an eye for Vi Rose’s beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer), and the sparks between the two teenagers are causing even more friction between G.G. and Vi Rose. If these two strong-willed women can put aside their differences for the good of the people in their town, they—and their choir—may make the most joyful noise of all.

Starring with Latifah and Parton are Keke Palmer (“Akeelah and the Bee”), Courtney B. Vance (“Extraordinary Measures”), Jeremy Jordan (Broadway’s “Bonnie and Clyde”), and Kris Kristofferson (“Dolphin Tale”). Rounding out the main cast are Dexter Darden, Angela Grovey, Paul Woolfolk and Jesse L. Martin.

Todd Graff (“Bandslam”) directed “Joyful Noise” from his original screenplay. The film is produced by Oscar® nominee Michael Nathanson (“L.A. Confidential”), Joseph Farrell, Catherine Paura, and Oscar® nominees Broderick Johnson and Andrew A. Kosove (“The Blind Side”). The executive producers are Timothy M. Bourne, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere, with Yolanda T. Cochran and Steven P. Wegner serving as co-producers. Five-time Grammy Award winner Mervyn Warren composed the score.

Alcon Entertainment presents a Farrell Paura Productions/O.N.C. Entertainment Production, “Joyful Noise,” being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. The film opens nationwide on January 13, 2012. This film has been rated PG-13 for some language including a sexual reference.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Dude, Where's My Car?" Makes Dumb Funnier Than it Should Be

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 66 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)
Running time: 83 minutes (1 hour, 23 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for language and some sex and drug-related humor
DIRECTOR: Danny Leiner
WRITER: Philip Stark
PRODUCERS: Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Gil Netter, and Wayne Rice
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Stevens (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Kimberly Ray


Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Garner, Marla Sokoloff, Kristy Swanson, David Herman, John Toles-Bey, and Hal Sparks

I planned never to see Dude, Where’s My Car?, figuring my initial curiosity to be a sign of intellectual weakness. After seeing Seann William Scott in Bulletproof Monk and really digging his performance, my intellect further weakened, I decided to seek out some of his other films and came across Dude, Where's My Car? again. Scott co-stars in this outlandish comedy with Ashton Kutcher, who came to prominence in the television series “That 70’s Show.” Whatta you know: this turned out to be one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.

Jessie Richmond (Kutcher) and Chester Greenburg (Scott) wake up one morning to find Jessie’s car missing, and they have no memory of what happened the night before except for the wild and crazy things people tell them that they did. At first, Jessie and Chester are excited and proud of the calamity and craziness they allegedly committed, but in time they come to be frustrated that they got so wasted that they can’t remember anything. And they need their memory to find the car, which is the key to a lot of weird trouble for them. They owe a transvestite strip dancer a suitcase full of cash, and people claiming to be aliens are looking for an important, universe-endangering object. Losing the car was just the beginning; you have to see the film to believe how hilarious the adventure to find the car gets.

I’m sure this film was cynically conceived and produced to cash in on the youth movie craze. Film studios figure that if they make movies starring familiar young faces from TV and pad the story with jokes about sex, bodily fluids and functions, teenage jargon, twentysomething slang, and general crassness, they’re bound to make a mint, if not in theatres then in home video and television. It’s a can’t-lose option: marrying the lowbrow, the dumb, the rude, and a bit of cultural decay.

This time the studio got lucky and the movie turned out way funny. I’d rather believe that this was a happy accident, but regardless this is funny, in the vein of Dumb and Dumber, accept that Jessie and Chester, for all their dimwittedness, tend to be a little smarter than their adversaries. You can root for these guys, by awed by their occasional show of smarts, laugh at them, and with them. Dude, Where’s My Car? comes close to being the perfect dumb-but-funny movie. Don’t take it seriously, and you’ll laugh your proverbial ass off. Don’t be stuck in the mud; see it and laugh like a madman.

7 of 10

Friday, August 19, 2011

Negromancer New Bits and Bites for August 19 2011

Stuff I found interesting:

Deadline has the details on anti-Muslin toad, Congressman Peter King's plan to launch an investigation into Kathryn Bigelow's Bin Laden Film.


Remember Hong Kong Phooey, the 1970s Hanna-Barbera animated series about a mild-mannered janitor-dog who is really masked crime fighter, Hong Kong Phooey?  There has been talk about a movie version going back to the early 1990s (that I remember).  I think the success of The Smurfs film means we'll be seeing more live-action/animation films made of old Saturdamy morning series.

Well, Eddie Murphy will be the voice of Penry the mild-mannered dog in Alcon Entertainment's live-action/animated Hong Kong Phooey.  For those who don't know, the late great Scatman Crothers was the voice of Penry.  Entertainment Weekly has some details.


Variety reports that Disney is filling out its Summer 2014 schedule with three pictures:  There will be a Marvel Studios movie May 16.  Two weeks later, a Pixar film arrives on May 30.  The second Marvel picture arrives on June 27.  The films are unnamed, but Variety reports that Marvel has a number of projects in development, including a Captain America sequel and an Avengers spinoff.


Deadline has an exclusive:  After finishing Prometheus, a kind of prequel to his 1979 classic, Alien, director Ridley Scott will return to another of his sci-fi classics.  Deadline is reporting that Scott has signed on to direct and produce a new installment of Blade Runner, with Alcon Entertainment, producing with Alcon partners Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. Alcon apparently gained control of the Blade Runner franchise earlier this year.  There are conflicting reports about whether Harrison Ford, the star of the original Blade Runner will return, with some stating that he won't.


Huffington Post reports that Will Smith is working on a double comeback.  I don't think Smith needs to come back from anything, but let's humor them for the sake of this story.  Smith is working on his first album since 2005.  He hasn't been in a film since 2008's Seven Pounds, but he is working on "Men in Black 3."  Also, Shawn Levy is trying to get Smith for a remake of the 1966 science fiction film, Fantastic Voyage.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Dolphin Tale" Begins Production with Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd

Press release:

“Dolphin Tale” is Underway

Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick, Jr. and Ashley Judd Lead the Cast in the Inspiring True-Life Story

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Principal photography has begun on Alcon Entertainment’s “Dolphin Tale,” inspired by the remarkable true story of a courageous dolphin named Winter and the compassionate people who banded together to save her life.

The film stars Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”), recording artist and actor Harry Connick Jr., award-winning actress Ashley Judd, and music and movie legend Kris Kristofferson. The main cast also features young actor Nathan Gamble (“Marley & Me”) and newcomer Cozi Zuehlsdorff, as well as the actual Winter, who plays herself in the movie.

“Dolphin Tale” is being directed by Charles Martin Smith (“Air Bud”) and produced by Alcon Entertainment’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew A. Kosove (Oscar® nominees for “The Blind Side”) and Richard Ingber. Robert Engelman and Steven P. Wegner are serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Karen Janszen, Noam Dromi, Charles Martin Smith and Jordan Roberts.

In announcing the start of production, producers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove stated, “The real Winter has served as an example of courage, perseverance and hope to people around the world, and we’re hoping that the movie about her extraordinary rescue and recovery will also inspire, as well as entertain, audiences everywhere.”

Producer Richard Ingber added, “We are very excited to be filming ‘Dolphin Tale’ at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the very place where her story unfolded. And we are also thrilled to be working with Charlie and our amazing cast. But, without a doubt, Winter is the one who has captured all our hearts. She is a star in every sense of the word.”

Collaborating with Charles Martin Smith behind the scenes are director of photography Karl Walter Lindenlaub (“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”), editor Harvey Rosenstock (“Lottery Ticket”) and costume designer Hope Hanafin (“[500] Days of Summer”).

“Dolphin Tale” is being filmed on location in Florida, including Clearwater Marine Aquarium, whose motto is “Rescue, Rehabilitate and Return.”

Slated for release on September 16, 2011, “Dolphin Tale” will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: Christopher Nolan's "Insomnia" Remake Offers Good Performances

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 2 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

Insomnia (2002)
Running time: 118 minutes (1 hour, 58 minutes)
MPAA – R for language, some violence and brief nudity
DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
WRITER: Hilary Seitz (based upon the screenplay by Nikolai Frobenius and Erik Skjoldbjaerg)
PRODUCERS: Broderick Johnson, Paul Junger Witt, Andrew A. Kosove, and Edward L. McDonnell
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Wally Pfister (director of photography)
EDITOR: Dody Dorn

CRIME/THRILLER with elements of drama

Starring: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Martin Donovan, Hilary Swank, Paul Dooley, Nicky Katt, and Maura Tierney

Christopher Nolan, the director of the fantastic Memento, follows his breakthrough masterpiece with Insomnia, a remake of a 1997 Swedish film of the same title. Which is better? One is foreign film, and the other is big budget Hollywood production; although the plot is basically the same, they’re two different films.

Al Pacino is Will Dormer, a famous and an acclaimed homicide investigator with books to his credit. He and his partner Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan) are dispatched to Nightmute, Alaska, a town where the sun doesn’t set during the summer, to investigate the shocking murder of teenage girl. While in pursuit of the killer (Robin Williams), Dormer makes a horrible mistake (which he later learns the killer witnessed) and he compounds his error by covering it up. Suddenly, Dormer engages himself in a terrific juggling act. He has to deal with the killer, a wily fellow. Also, a bright, young detective, Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry), is assigned to investigate the crime scene of Dormer’s “error,” and there are stars in her eyes, as she’s a huge fan of his. Further complicating matters, the lead, local detective, Fred Duggar (Nicky Katt) is a young stud who doesn’t like the big city investigator sniffing around his territory.

Pacino is good, and Robin Williams is very good. The film seems to be about the invasion of the societal demands, influence, power, and roles into the personal space of individuals - what they believe and desire to be their roles, needs, and responsibilities. The constant flood of daylight causes Dormer to lose sleep, and the lack of sleep causes his world to blur. Suddenly, his desire to solve the case is in conflict with his checkered past, with his errors in judgment regarding this case, and with his sense of right and wrong and crime and punishment. Williams plays it quiet; his character’s conceit is his wish to control the outer world the way he controls and manipulates the inner worlds of his creativity. There’s a nice test of wills and battle of sanities between Pacino and Williams' characters that could have been lost in the glare of their star power – credit to Nolan for keeping these bright lights in check.

However, I really liked the supporting roles. Donovan’s Hap Eckhart is a nice counterweight to Pacino’s Dormer; Dormer’s high wattage as a famous investigator simply does not faze Eckhart, a by the book, straight laced cop. Donovan correctly plays the character so that Eckhart immediately reveals the cracks in Dormer’s armor, so we know that Dormer’s not so perfect even if that is the public perception of him. Nicky Katt stares Pacino in the eyes and doesn’t blink; his character Duggar keeps Dormer and check so that when Dormer runs amok, he doesn’t completely control the investigation, even if his activities complicates it.

Hilary Swank is all good. Her character Ellie, in a sense, mirrors the victim, except that she survives her mentor and might become a better policeman for it. Perhaps, she won’t be as famous, but her quality and honesty will likely surpass his. She’s the quiet wild card in this movie, and really, she’s the axis. In a world of shifting realities, half-truths, lies, and masks, she strips away the facades to reveal the bare bone facts.

While not great, Insomnia is better than a lot of hackneyed thrillers. Nolan continues to prove that he is already a great director on the strength of just a few films, and the photography by Wally Pfister (Nolan’s partner in crime on Memento), from the opening panorama to the claustrophobic interiors, is gorgeous and perfectly sets the tone. Besides Nolan’s work, this film is certainly worth seeing for its performances, which include one of Robin Williams’s less manic, but still good, performances.

6 of 10


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Warner Bros Announces "Something Borrowed"

Warner Bros. Pictures Press Release:



BURBANK, CA - May 26, 2010 - Production has begun in New York on Alcon Entertainment's romantic comedy "Something Borrowed," starring Ginnifer Goodwin ("He's Just Not That Into You," HBO's "Big Love"), Academy Award(R) nominee Kate Hudson ("Almost Famous," "Nine"), Colin Egglesfield (TV's "Melrose Place"), Steve Howey ("Bride Wars") and John Krasinski (TV's "The Office," "It's Complicated").

Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a talented attorney at a top New York law firm, a generous and loyal friend, and, unhappily, still her engaged best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson) is constantly reminding her. But after one drink too many at her 30th birthday party, perpetual good girl Rachel unexpectedly ends up in bed with the guy she's had a crush on since law school, Dex (Colin Egglesfield)...who just happens to be Darcy's fiance. When Rachel and Darcy's lifelong friendship collides with true love, it leads to unexpected complications and potentially explosive romantic revelations.

Krasinski plays Ethan, who has been Rachel's constant confidante and sometimes conscience, and who has been harboring a secret of his own. Howey plays Marcus, an irrepressible womanizer, who can't keep his mind out of the gutter or his hands off any girl within reach.

"Something Borrowed" is being directed by Luke Greenfield ("The Girl Next Door"), from a screenplay written by Jennie Urman, Jennie Snyder and Jordan Roberts, adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Emily Giffin.

The film is being produced by Alcon Entertainment principals Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, who just earned a Best Picture Oscar® nomination for "The Blind Side"; Molly Smith ("The Blind Side," "P.S. I Love You"); two-time Oscar®-winning actress Hilary Swank ("Million Dollar Baby," "Boys Don't Cry"); Pamela Schein Murphy ("Purple Violets"); and Aaron Lubin ("The Groomsmen"). Ellen H. Schwartz ("The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement") is serving as executive producer.

Collaborating with Greenfield behind the scenes are director of photography Charles Minsky ("Valentine's Day"), production designer Jane Musky ("The Bounty Hunter"), editor John Axelrad ("Crazy Heart"), and costume designer Gary Jones ("Valentine's Day").

"Something Borrowed" is shooting entirely in New York, with locations in New York City, the Hamptons and on Long Island.

Slated for release in Summer 2011, "Something Borrowed" will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.