At first glance “We Are Your Friends” may look like a shameless attempt for Hollywood to jump on the popularity of EDM (that stands for electronic dance music for everyone out there who remembers when it was called house or techno). Movie history is littered with terrible (and a few not-so terrible) films trying to make a buck off the trendy offerings of disco, punk, hip-hop, grunge and even good ol’ fashioned rock n’roll. While you can’t discount that potential marketing element in the film’s financing, director and director Max Joseph and his co-screenwriter Meaghan Oppenheimer have significantly larger aspirations. In fact, they have some teaching to do. Before we dive into that intriguing prospect, however, let’s meet the “Friends” in question.
There are a number of films from the 2015 Cannes Film Festival that have stuck with me over the past few months. Denis Villeneuve's "Sicario" (which will hit theaters in September), Jia Zhangke's "Mountains May Depart," Gaspar Noé's "Love" and Todd Haynes' "Carol" immediately come to mind for one reason or another. The one film that I've actually been dying to see again, however, is Paolo Sorrentino's "Youth."
How good as 2015 been for moviegoers? This past year audiences have witnessed an opening act that included blockbusters such as “Cinderella,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Furious 7.” Hollywood followed that string up with summer goods such as “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Trainwreck,” “Inside Out” and “Jurassic World” (currently no. 3 all-time at the U.S. box office). And while we’re currently experiencing the annual cycle of late August dumps you won't even watch on an airplane, the movie gods may have saved the best for last.
Paul Weitz’s “Grandma” is the sort of movie that should grow on you. By the time it finishes you should be fully invested in the fate of Elle Reid, a woman attempting to help her granddaughter while also coming to peace with some of her own personal demons. Thanks to the always-impressive Lily Tomlin and a few key supporting performances it almost hits the mark. Again, "almost."
After the initial slate for the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival was announced last month there were many observers, including this pundit, who wondered of the annual September event had once again lost the battle of premieres to its Fall festival cousins. While debuting Ridley Scott's "The Martian," Jean Marc Valle's "Demolition" and Michael Moore's "Where Do We Invade Next" is nothing to sneeze at the fact some of the most anticipated films of the year are heading to Venice and Telluride first has to be a bit disheartening. Especially when it's your 40th anniversary. Never fear fans of the Great White North, Toronto always seems to land some eyebrow raising last minute additions and this year is no different.
She's almost done with "The Hunger Games" franchise. We "think" she's almost done playing Mystique in the "X-Men" movies. What's next? More "Joy" most likely.
Do you see that look on Cate Blanchett's face? Her expression conveys both hope and heartbreak and, in many ways, it's the signature moment of Todd Haynes' "Carol."
One of the more entertaining and buzzed about documentaries at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival is finally heading to a theater near you. "Finders Keepers" centers on a dispute over a mummified leg that was discovered in a grill purchased by Shannon Whisnant at a North Carolina auction. Whisnant's problem is that it turns out the limb's original owner, John Wood, is still alive and wants his foot back. That's a pretty humorous and almost too bizarre to be true scenario for any big screen doc, but there's significantly more to the story.
After revealing its centerpieces earlier this month, the Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the full slate for the 2015 New York Film Festival and the big news is Steven Spielberg is back. That's right, after debuting “Lincoln” at the fest just three years ago, America’s greatest living filmmaker returns with his latest thriller, “Bridge of Spies."
Bryan Cranston, Louis C.K., Helen Mirren, John Goodman and Elle Fanning? What's not to like about a movie with that incredible cast? Well, you're in luck because Jay Roach's "Trumbo" features all those talented actors and more. The historical drama is already set to debut at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival before its November release date and today distributor Bleecker Street released the first trailer, a significant improvement on the movie's "Imitation Game"-ish poster.