Travel back in time to a carefree Labor Day weekend in 1982, when The B-52s: Live At The US Festivalcomes to DVD and digital platforms on September 4th, from Shout! Factory. The performance features all five founding band members, and the film is dedicated to Ricky Wilson, who passed away 5 years after the US Festival performance. In brand-new interviews included in The B-52s: Live At The US Festival, band members Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, and Cindy Wilson talk about Ricky, and what he meant to their unique sound, along with memories of performing at the US Festival.
Dance this mess around with the all-time, good-time party band The B-52s in a wild and unforgettable live performance. This hour-long set, recorded at the inaugural US Festival in 1982, had the crowd dancing from start to finish, and was considered to be one of the best of the entire festival.
“It was hot as hell in the desert but as soon as we got going we had the audience dancing up a dust storm,” says Fred Schneider.
This rare footage shows off the joyous energy and unique spirit that has been a hallmark of their music and live performances for over 40 years. Packed with 13 hits and favorites from the group’s early years, including “Rock Lobster,” “Planet Claire,” Private Idaho,” and others, Live At US Festival is the first-ever live concert DVD release from The B-52s’ classic era, and a tasty slice of rock history that’s an absolute must-see for anyone who likes to party out of bounds!
About Shout! Factory: Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast entertainment distribution network which delivers culturally relevant programming, movie and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America and across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory owns and operates Shout! Studios, Scream Factory, Shout! Factory Kids, Shout! Factory Films, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory TV. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com.
About The B-52s: Selling over 20 million albums worldwide, The B-52s—Fred Schneider [vocals], Kate Pierson [vocals], Cindy Wilson [vocals], — have quietly impacted alternative music, fashion, and culture over the course of four-plus decades. They count John Lennon, Madonna, James Murphy, and Michael Stipe among their disciples. Panic! At The Disco, Blood Orange, The Offspring, Pitbull, Roger Sanchez, and DJ Shadow have sampled classics from the band’s discography as Seth MacFarlane’s FamilyGuy, The Simpsons, Sugarland, and more offered up covers of their own. They inched towards the forefront of the post-punk movement in America codified by 1979’s self-titled The B-52s. Not only did the record go gold, but it also placed at #152 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and #99 on VH1’s “Greatest Albums of All Time.” The gold-selling Wild Planet arrived hot on its heels in 1980. With Keith Strickland brilliantly filling the void in with music composition and live show guitar duties, 1989’s watershed Cosmic Thing elevated the B-52s to another galaxy altogether. It moved 5 million-plus units and spawned a string of Top 10 smashes in the form of the GRAMMY®-nominated “Roam” and “Love Shack”—which Rolling Stone lauded on the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS Directed By: Chris Foggin Starring: Daniel Mays, James Purefoy, David Hayman, Sam Swainsbury, Tuppence Middleton Runtime: 112 mins. Samuel Goldwyn Films
A hot shot London music agent named Danny (Mays) becomes entangled with some seaside villagers when he is ditched by his stag party buddies in Chris Foggin’s Fisherman’s Friends. Loosely based on a true story, the Fisherman’s Friends are a group of local musicians that Danny discovers singing sea shanties. Under peer pressure from his pals, Danny decides to ingratiate himself with the band in order to secure a record deal to take home. Along the way, he strikes up a romance with one of the group’s daughters and entrenches himself in local politics. With its picturesque setting, its city folk-country folk clashes and its romcom meet cute, Fisherman’s Friends has all the hallmarks of well, a Hallmark movie! Without the pesky Christmas baggage. Whether you’re on board with this style depends upon whether you’re up to this level of coziness and predictability.
The flimsy setup to get city boy Danny stranded in Cornwall happens after his clique’s bachelor party yachting excursion falls through. Once it becomes clear they won’t be embraced by the locals after their drunken paddle boarding lands them in need of rescuing from the town’s fishermen, the trio of Londoners hightail it out of there leaving Danny stuck as a joke. It’s a pretty drastic prank but seeing as it passes the movie over from a carload of annoying bro caricatures and into the wonderfully capable and more weathered hands of cast like James Purefoy and David Hayman, the brevity is welcome.
There is a real warmth to the Cornwall setting and Foggin loads his soundtrack up with the Fisherman’s Friends sea shanties to keep everything pleasantly humming along. Sam Swainsbury as Rowan, the youngest member of the band, particularly shines in some of his solos as well as in playing the owner of the town’s financially struggling pub. His plot line gives the movie some needed stakes where the Fisherman’s Friends’ musical dealings are concerned. Meanwhile, the less defined village characters all manage to get their quippy jabs in at Danny in ways that are sure to wring a smile or pleasant chuckle from most viewers. It’s also nice to see Daniel Mays take a turn at a contemporary leading role seeing as I’m primarily used to seeing him pop in and out of so many period blockbusters.
When the film veers from the musical talent into Danny’s romantic relationship with Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton), the daughter of Purefoy’s character, you do lose some of that momentum while awaiting the fate of the titular band. Not least of all because one senses this movie will inevitably end happily so the requisite romcom roadblocks feel all the more rote. That said, even if you find yourself drifting somewhat, the kernel of the real life underdog musicians’ tale is compelling enough and the soundtrack is buoyant enough to keep it all afloat.
This limited edition collectors’ set traces the decades-long evolution of Gamera, from the “friend of all children” in his more light-hearted earlier films, to the Guardian of the Universe in the groundbreaking 1990s reboot series, often hailed as three of the best kaiju films ever made.
COLLECTOR’S EDITION BOX SET CONTENTS Limited collectors’ edition packaging, housed in a large-format rigid box, fully illustrated by Matt Frank Casebound, fully-illustrated disc book containing eight Blu-ray discs High Definition (1080p) versions of all twelve films, with lossless original Japanese audio and a complete collection of English dub tracks, including classic American International dubs on the Showa-era films remastered from original MGM elements Hardback 130-page comic book including a full-colour reprint of the four-issue Gamera comic series originally released by Dark Horse Comics in 1996, and the first-ever English-language printing of the prequel comic The Last Hope by Matt Frank and Joshua Bugosh Perfect-bound 80-page book including a new retrospective on the series by Patrick Macias, an archive interview with Noriaki Yuasa by David Milner, kaiju X-ray illustrations by Jolyon Yates, Fangoria set reports on the Heisei trilogy by Norman England, and a viewers’ guide to the English-dubbed versions of the films Double-sided four-panel poster of “Gamera’s Map of Japan” in both Japanese and English Collectors’ artcards for each film, featuring new artwork by Matt Frank
DISC ONE – GAMERA THE GIANT MONSTER High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gamera the Giant Monster, with lossless original Japanese and dubbed English mono audio, and optional English subtitles Commentary and newly filmed introduction by August Ragone High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gammera the Invincible (Blu-ray premiere), the American theatrical version of the film, with lossless mono audio and optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing Remembering the Gamera Series, an archive featurette from 1991, including interviews with director Noriaki Yuasa, writer Nisan Takahashi and others Interview with Noriaki Yuasa, filmed by Jörg Buttgereit in 2002 Gamera Special, an hour-long best-of compilation supervised by Noriaki Yuasa in 1991 Alternate English credits Trailer and image galleries
DISC TWO – GAMERA VS. BARUGON / GAMERA VS. GYAOS High Definition (1080p) transfers of Gamera vs. Barugon and Gamera vs. Gyaos, with lossless original Japanese and dubbed English mono audio, and optional English subtitles Commentary on Gamera vs. Barugon by August Ragone & Jason Varney Commentary on Gamera vs. Gyaos by Stuart Galbraith IV Newly filmed introductions to both films by August Ragone High Definition (1080p) transfer of War of the Monsters, the shorter American edit of Gamera vs. Barugon, with lossless English audio Alternate English credits for both films Trailer and image galleries
DISC THREE – GAMERA VS. VIRAS / GAMERA VS. GUIRON High Definition (1080p) transfers of Gamera vs. Viras and Gamera vs. Guiron, with lossless original Japanese and dubbed English mono audio, and optional English subtitles Choice of three different versions of Gamera vs. Viras via seamless branching (72-minute Theatrical Version, 81-minute Director’s Version and 90-minute US Extended Version) Commentary on Gamera vs. Viras by Carl Craig and Jim Cironella Commentary on Gamera vs. Guiron by David Kalat Newly filmed introductions to both films by August Ragone New featurette with actor Carl Craig showing his souvenirs and props from Gamera vs. Viras Highlights from the G-FEST X convention in 2003, featuring Noriaki Yuasa and Carl Craig The 4th Nippon Jamboree, a promotional film for the Boy Scouts of Japan directed by Yuasa in 1966 Alternate English credits for both films Trailer and image galleries
DISC FOUR – GAMERA VS. JIGER / GAMERA VS. ZIGRA / GAMERA SUPER MONSTER High Definition (1080p) transfers of Gamera vs. Jiger, Gamera vs. Zigra and Gamera Super Monster, with lossless original Japanese and dubbed English mono audio, and optional English subtitles Commentary on Gamera vs. Jiger by Edward L. Holland Commentary on Gamera vs. Zigra by Sean Rhoads & Brooke McCorkle Commentary on Gamera Super Monster by Richard Pusateri Newly filmed introductions to all three films by August Ragone Alternate English credits for all three films Trailer and image galleries
DISC FIVE – GAMERA THE GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gamera the Guardian of the Universe, from a 4K restoration by Kadokawa Pictures Original Japanese and dubbed English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio, with optional English subtitles Commentary by Matt Frank Newly filmed introduction by August Ragone A Testimony of 15 Years: Part 1, the first in an epic three-part documentary interviewing cast and crew of the Heisei Trilogy Interviews with director Shusuke Kaneko and SFX director Shinji Higuchi, filmed by Jörg Buttgereit in 2002 Extended 90-min interview with Shinji Higuchi from 2001, focusing on the trilogy’s special effects Behind the scenes featurettes tracing the film’s production from announcement to release Alternate English credits Trailer and image galleries
DISC SIX – GAMERA 2: ATTACK OF LEGION High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gamera 2: Attack of Legion, from a 4K restoration by Kadokawa Pictures Original Japanese and dubbed English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio, with optional English subtitles Commentary by Kyle Yount Newly filmed introduction by August Ragone A Testimony of 15 Years: Part 2, the next part of the documentary interviewing cast and crew of the Heisei Trilogy On-set footage from the shooting of the film’s main unit and special effects filming Behind the scenes featurettes tracing the film’s production from announcement to release Alternate English credits “Lake Texarkana” comedic dub track Trailer and image galleries
DISC SEVEN – GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, from a 4K restoration by Kadokawa Pictures Original Japanese and dubbed English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio, with optional English subtitles Commentary by Steve Ryfle & Ed Godziszewski Newly filmed introduction by August Ragone A Testimony of 15 Years: Part 3, the final part of the documentary interviewing cast and crew of the Heisei Trilogy Newly filmed interview with Kaho Tsutsumi about the DNA Tokasatsu exhibition in Tokyo, by kaiju historian Edward L. Holland Behind the scenes featurettes tracing the film’s production from announcement to release Deleted Scenes The Awakening of Irys (Remix), a montage of behind-the-scenes footage and work-in-progress special effects footage Alternate English credits Spoof commentary by “Gamera” & “Soldier No.6” Trailer and image galleries
DISC EIGHT – GAMERA THE BRAVE High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gamera the Brave Original Japanese and dubbed English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio, with optional English subtitles Commentary by Keith Aiken & Bob Johnson How to Make a Gamera Movie, a featurette hosted by director Ryuta Tasaki Behind The Scenes of Gamera the Brave, an all-access on-set documentary The Men That Made Gamera, a documentary looking back at the series from start to finish, featuring interviews with cast and crew Opening Day Premiere, a featurette showing the cast and crew presenting the film at its first showing Kaho’s Summer, an interview with the film’s young star Special Effects Supercut, a montage of effects shots overseen by FX supervisor Hajime Matsumoto Trailer and image galleries
SRP: $179.95 Format: BLU-RAY SKU: AV275 UPC: 760137365983 Street Date: 08/18/20 Label: Arrow Video Run Time: 1174 mins Number of Discs: 8 Audio: STEREO Year of Production: 1965 Region Code: 0 Language: Japanese
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There’s been an unlikely-sounding rumor circulating around Hollywood in recent weeks, and if you hadn’t heard it before, you’ve just heard it in the title of this article Allegedly, Michael Keaton is in talks to return to the role of ‘Batman.’ Keaton is 68 years old. He hasn’t played Batman since “Batman Returns” in 1992. More importantly, someone else has the official job of being the DC Universe’s version of “Batman.” Could there be something behind this unexpected story, or is it nonsense? Let’s see if we can separate the fact from the fiction.
First of all, we know that Robert Pattinson is Batman. The former “Twilight” star won the role last year after Ben Affleck’s short and uninspiring time in the Bat-suit, and he doesn’t make his debut as the character until his movie “The Batman” comes out next year. It’s public knowledge that he’s contracted to more than one appearance as the character, and fans are already openly speculating about whether the timeline of the on-screen universe could be twisted enough to allow Pattinson’s Batman to come up against Joaquin Phoenix’s gritty and compelling version of the Joker in a film for the mid-2020s. Pattinson is a young, strong man, and won’t be giving the role of a lifetime up any time soon unless his debut in the famous costume is a box office bomb. That seems unlikely.
This Michael Keaton film, if rumors are to be believed, won’t have anything to do with the Pattinson films and won’t pollute the existing DC Comics timeline. In fact, it won’t even be a standalone movie in its own right. Instead, Keaton’s big comeback would be for a cameo role in the upcoming film “The Flash,” starring Ezra Miller as title character Barry Allen. Those of you who hoped that the trend for superhero movies might have come to an end after the last “Avengers” film hit the big screen are in for a disappointment. There are plenty more to come, and “The Flash” is just one of them. According to insiders who claim to have seen the script and are familiar with the project, it calls for an appearance by a senior Batman, accompanied by Michelle Pfieffer, who will apparently reprise her role as Catwoman from “Batman Returns” alongside the star.
If the thought of bringing back Keaton for a throwaway performance upsets you, don’t lose hope just yet. Look away now if you don’t want to see a potential spoiler, but apparently, this new “Flash” film will create an alternative reality within the DC Comics universe, allowing Keaton’s Batman to exist independently of Pattinson’s. Keaton would then appear as Batman in a number of other DC Comics projects, and may eventually get a new film as the fabled Caped Crusader in his own right. At this point, all of this is little more than speculation, but the news has been reported in so many different publications that it would be rational to assume that there’s at least some fire to go with all the smoke. One publication that’s gone a step further than all the others is the Hollywood Reporter, which claims that Keaton’s Batman will be a mentor figure to other superheroes right across the DC Universe, not dissimilar to the role Nick Fury plays in Marvel films.
The idea of an older Bruce Wayne or Batman is a fascinating one, and one that we’ve never seen explored on the big screen before. Presumably, he’d be disinclined to put the Bat-suit on unless the situation becomes excessively grim, but the concept of a Batman who has spent an entire lifetime fighting crime and is now headed for retirement is an interesting one. We’re even more interested in the idea of him having some kind of late-life domestic bliss with Selina Kyle, who will presumably also have said goodbye to her days of wearing a latex catsuit. The idea opens up a series of possibilities that couldn’t be explored within an ordinary “Batman” movie, and it’s original. Originality doesn’t come along often in superhero films, and so when it does, it ought to be applauded.
The fact that there’s been so much buzz among fans about the possibility of seeing Keaton as Batman again should be enough to confirm to DC that the idea is worth pursuing. Part of the appeal will be down to nostalgia. With few exceptions, the older “Batman” films are more widely appreciated by the public than the newer “Dawn of Justice” era films. While we won’t pretend that online slots websites are a perfect measure for this, if you checked one, you’d see what we mean. You’re highly likely to find Crime online slots based on “Batman Begins,” and the old Adam West “Batman” series. You’re far less likely to see anything featuring Ben Affleck’s face. The companies who make those online slots know which incarnations of Batman are likely to tempt people into spending their money, and if they know it, movie producers know it as well.
Keaton’s relationship with Batman over the years has been complicated. It’s been said of the character that it either makes your career or destroys it. Christian Bale’s acting career reached the apex of Hollywood after his “Batman” appearances. Val Kilmer’s was utterly destroyed. George Clooney got away with it because he demonstrated that he had a sense of humor about the dire “Batman” film he made, and Keaton seemed to disappear for a while after 1992. For the rest of the 1990s, he complained that the movies had painted him into a corner and made him typecast. Within the past decade, though, he’s had a late-career resurgence and even felt comfortable performing a pastiche of both himself and the character in 2014’s Oscar-winning film “Birdman.” If he’s entered into talks about becoming Batman again, it’s a sign that he’s finally at peace with the role and his own past.
DC probably wanted to keep this information under wraps, and they’ll be annoyed that it’s leaked, so don’t expect confirmation about Keaton’s involvement from them any time soon. Until we get solid news, excited fans will be projecting the Bat sign into the sky and hoping Keaton answers it.
YOU DON’T NOMI Directed By: Jeffrey McHale Starring: Elizabeth Berkley, Paul Verhoeven, Adam Nayman, April Kidwell Runtime: 92 mins. RLJE Films
My introduction to Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls was definitely by accident on some random childhood afternoon on a local network because my memories are of a hazy mishmash of ‘why does Jesse-from-Saved by the Bell looked Like That?’ and laughing at the crude 90s tech that they used to ‘paint’ dodgy cgi bras over very naked chests. So in tackling McHale’s documentary You Don’t Nomi, I knew I’d have to take another look. I don’t regret it as such but I was not converted into the cult that this doc’s trailer alluded to. That doesn’t mean You Don’t Nomi isn’t worth a look for the uninitiated. On its surface, You Don’t Nomi may appear a puff piece on something so-bad-it’s-good but it puts in a surprising amount of work to show not only Showgirls’s second life as a camp crowdpleaser but also how a critically reviled film evolves over time–even in the eyes of its filmmakers.
There is no better way to describe the 1995 critical reception to Showgirls than dog pile. It was brutal in that way that it becomes a sport unto itself to find the snarkiest pull quotes. It tanked Elizabeth Berkley’s transition from sitcom actress to the big screen and took the sexual thriller momentum that Verhoeven had in the US off of 1992’s Basic Instinct and sent him back to the more marketable sci-fi with Starship Troopers (Instinct was preceded by Total Recall and Robocop). The doc delves deep into Verhoeven’s career and finds parallels and themes that connect Showgirls back into his work in Europe before he escaped to Hollywood. Unfortunately the documentary did not manage to include modern interviews with any of the creative forces on the film but again, in diving into archived footage, the documentary exposes how Verhoeven and Berkeley in particular have decided over time to try and sell that they knew all along that their film was camp. As one of the speakers in the doc says, camp is “failed seriousness,” so I don’t really buy their attempt to control that narrative but as a storyline in the documentary, it’s very amusing.
Despite the box office flopping, Showgirls found a second life in midnight screenings, drag shows and an off-broadway musical. For me, Nomi hits its stride by zeroing in on the experience that the actress who played Nomi in the musical parody had and the difference it made in her life. Watching her account, as well as those of the drag hosts of sold out midnight showings I kept thinking about that speech from Pixar’s Ratatouille where critic Anton Ego says “the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.” -Hey if McHale can take a campy stripper movie seriously, I can defer to the wisdom of the cartoon rat movie. Even though I couldn’t relate to their obsession, I can certainly pinpoint pop culture hills I will die on and on that level I enjoyed hearing from such a well researched niche.
You Don’t Nomi is now streaming On Demand and digital, an additional review by Mike Gencarelli was posted earlier here
Note: Though the 2020 Festival was officially postponed due to ongoing pandemic precautions, online screeners and the fest’s press library meant we could still offer coverage of this year’s selections. Tribeca is also participating in the We Are One global film festival, whose streams are being uploaded through June 7th.
Every year the Tribeca Film Festival showcases a wealth of short films from across the globe in all different mediums. Where animation is concerned, the fest turns to acting legend Whoopi Goldberg to curate their lineup. Due to the unprecedented postponement of the festival in New York, I screened this collection from the comfort of my home and would like to highlight my favorites of Goldberg’s picks.
Personal Favorite: Beyond Noh
Patrick Smith’s 4 minute foray into every mask you could think of is mesmerizing. The setup is a simple black space with masks from every culture and time around the world rapid-fire shuffling through to a rhythmic drum beat. It’s so simple but so deftly made. This short doesn’t stick to just the fine arts either with detours through American Halloween masks, and the quite topical medical field to boot, it covers all the faces–err, bases.
Award Winner: Friends
Florian Grolig’s deceptively simple Friends took home the prize for Best Animated Short from the Tribeca Film Festival’s jury and it was well-deserved. It’s just two characters–one very small and one so large we only see its massive hand or foot for most of the runtime– interacting despite the challenges of their massive gap in size. For me, it’s the one that most celebrates the medium of animation. With its simplistic line work morphing through a blank white void accompanied by perfectly pitched breathing from its giant, the scope is clearly conveyed.
Most Star-Studded: The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Clocking in at 24 mins, Robin Shaw’s adaptation of Judith Kerr’s story is the longest of the program and starts very slow before evolving into something much more fanciful. We watch the cute morning routine of a British family ending with sending the father (Benedict Cumberbatch) off to work for the day while mother (Tamsin Grieg) and daughter (Clara Ross) are home to receive an unusual visitor. The titular tiger voiced by David Oyelowo politely invites himself to their afternoon tea and proceeds to scarf down the whole pantry. The animation on the tiger is utterly charming.
Historic and Beautiful: Kapaemahu
Directors Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hame and Joe Wilson delve deep into Hawaiian history to tell the tale of transgender healing spirits that are behind a landmark often passed by in Waikiki Beach. The use of native voices and music bolsters some gorgeous and warm animation as the tale transcends across time.
Additional program titles included “Umbrella” and “Grandad was a Romantic”, which both mine true stories for some lovely animation, and “Bathwell in Clerkentime” which is third in a series whose bouncy black and white animation couples with a soundtrack that may drive you as cuckoo as the birds it follows. (Note: “To Gerard” from Dreamworks artist Taylor Meacham was also selected however was not available to me in the press library at the time of the festival)
Among the sections I most look forward to each year at the Tribeca Film Festival are the comedy shorts. This year the lineup, titled collectively under “LOL” were presented online in lieu of the postponed festival. Here are my thoughts on this year’s program:
Personal Favorite: I Can Change!
Jim Jenkins’s plays with time travel creatively and with perfect deployment of brief special effects. John Hoogenakker stars as a groom who is gifted the ability to stop time and uses it ostensibly to “better” himself for his bride-to-bride. How? Well he freezes his bride and their friends in time at their wedding chapel while he disappears to the outside world for a blink of an eye and returns a whole new man having spent the time, for example, training to be a doctor. The simplistic way the “time travel” is achieved recalls some of the clever shortcuts something like Bill & Ted used–ie just stating their time travel intent means we immediately get to the consequences, sparing us the time trip. The pacing of the escalation in Hoogenakker’s jumps until the film taps into a big sci-fi finale is really fun.
Second Fave: Query
Jay and Alex spend nine minutes mulling over sexuality–both their own and its larger place in society–as they hang out. It’s nothing Earth shattering, but the natural rapport between the two leads (Justice Smith and Graham Patrick Martin) is really charming and it’s nice to see a pair of young guys just delving into their thoughts on the matter not in some overwrought or homophobic manner, but just chilling, and with enough friendly mocking to keep things funny. And to bolster this strong duo, you also get a brief run in with Call Me By Your Name’s Armie Hammer!
Overlong: John Bronco
Walton Goggins stars as a disgraced cowboy car pitchman John Bronco in a star-studded, but overlong mockumentary. I was excited for this one, generally always glad to see Goggins get to play over the top, but the film gets to the core of what the joke is with John Bronco relatively early and hammers on it over and over instead of advancing the plot. It’s 36 minute runtime could have been halved and achieve the same beats, though I understand why the filmmakers may have been reticent to cut any of the big cameos they got. Kudos for getting the MicroMachines pitchman (John Moschitta Jr) back on screen with his rapid-fire speech patterns though!
Additional program titles included the clever meet cute of One Last Heist–a romcom wrapped in a robbery from Canada, A Piece of Cake starring “Glow’s” Rich Sommer as a desperate dad and Egg which takes viewers from a simple diner and spirals it into a grand adventure.
Note: Though the 2020 Festival was officially postponed due to ongoing pandemic precautions, online screeners and the fest’s press library mean we can still offer coverage of this year’s selections while looking forward to getting back to the fest in the future! Check out all our TFF 2020 coverage HERE
10-Day Digital Festival, Produced and Organized by Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube, will Feature Programming from Festivals including Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival
Highlights Include Online Premiere of Ricky Powell featuring Natasha Lyonne and LL Cool J, Global Premiere of Third Eye Blind’s Motorcycle Drive By, Talks Including Francis Ford Coppola with Steven Soderbergh, Song Kang-ho with Bong Joon-ho, and Jackie Chan and a DJ set by Questlove
NEW YORK, NY– May 26, 2020 – Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube announced today the programming slate for We Are One: A Global Film Festival, which will feature over 100 films co-curated by 21 prolific festivals, hailing from 35 countries, in addition to talks, VR content and musical performances. The 10-day digital event will celebrate global voices, elevate films that have the power to create change and bring audiences from around the world together to create meaningful connections. Assembling some of the world’s most talented artists, storytellers and curators around a central effort to provide entertainment and offer relief in the form of supporting organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will run exclusively on YouTube May 29 – June 7 at YouTube.com/WeAreOne.
We Are One: A Global Film Festival will give audiences an opportunity to experience different cultures through an artistic lens – each official selection was handpicked for inclusion to highlight the singularities of each participating festival, while also providing a voice to filmmakers on a global stage. Many of these titles will have significant debuts at the festival, with programming consisting of over 100 films, including 13 world premieres, 31 online premieres, and five international online premieres.
A truly international festival, the programming will represent over 35 countries and will include 23 narrative and eight documentary features, 57 narrative and 15 documentary short films, 15 archived talks along with four festival exclusives and five VR programming pieces.
Notable film presentations will include Ricky Powell: The Individualist, a documentary about legendary street photographer Powell featuring interviews with Natasha Lyonne and LL Cool J; the online premiere of Eeb Allay Ooo!, a unique satire about professional “monkey repellers” and winner of the Mumbai Film Festival’s Golden Gateway Award; and the world premiere ofIron Hammer, a compelling documentary feature directed by Joan Chen about legendary Chinese Olympic volleyball star Jenny Lang Ping, a true trailblazer who forged connections across the globe. Audiences will have access to over 50 narrative and documentary shorts with exciting entries such as the world premiere of Japanese narrative short Yalta Conference Online [working title], created exclusively for the festival by Director Koji Fukada; the global premiere of the Third Eye Blind documentary shortMotorcycle Drive By, as well as the first short pieces made by Dreamworks Animation, Bilby, Marooned and Bird Karma. Episodic programming features the world premiere of Losing Alice, an Israeli female-led neo-noir psychological TV thriller andAnd She Could Be Next, a two part documentary series on the experiences of women of color running for office, including Stacey Abrams and Rashida Tlaib.
We Are One: A Global Film Festival will host a number of specially-curated talks, both archived from past festivals and brand new discussions, that will offer viewers a chance to revisit important moments in film. Talks will feature Francis Ford Coppola with Steven Soderbergh, Song Kang-ho and Bong Joon-ho, Guillermo del Toro, Jane Campion and Claire Denis. 360 VR selections will feature Emmy-nominated documentary Traveling While Black and Alteration, asci-fi narrative starring Bill Skarsgard, as well as additional titles with notable talent including John Legend, Oprah Winfrey and Lupita Nyong’o. There will also be special musical performances, including a 30 minute DJ set by Questlove.
“We are so excited to share the combined efforts of our festival partners and YouTube with the world this week,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “Together, we were able to curate a compelling slate of programming that succinctly reflects the subtle variations in style that make each festival so special. We Are One: A Global Film Festival will offer audiences an opportunity to not only celebrate the art of film, but the unique qualities that make each story we watch so memorable.”
“One of the beautiful things about films and other visual content is the ability to tell stories and bring people together, no matter where they live or where they’re from. This is a phenomenon we’ve seen at YouTube throughout the years but especially today, as people look to connect and be entertained,” said Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer, YouTube. “The programming coordinated by Tribeca Enterprises for We Are One: A Global Film Festival has that magical ability to transport viewers from all around the world to a special moment in time, through the unique lens that our esteemed festival partners bring.”
The global festival will include programming curated by and unique to the identity of all participating festival partners, including: Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), Jerusalem Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival.
“Cinema is not only a collective work, but also a shared experience. In these times of social distancing, the spirit of cooperation and a sense of community are needed more than ever before. Therefore, we are happy to participate in the We Are One initiative. We wish all those wonderful artists that their audiences will be able to see their work on the big screen again soon,” said the Berlinale Director Duo Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian.
“We are honored and happy to join We Are One, as a sign of friendship and solidarity for our friends of Tribeca, at the same time offering to the worldwide audience a taste of what we do in Venice in order to support new filmmakers concretely,” added Venice Film Festival Director Alberto Barbera.
True to its mission, We Are One: A Global Film Festival will seek to bring artists, creators and curators together around an international event that celebrates the exquisite art of storytelling. In doing so, it will aim to provide not only solace and entertainment for audiences during a time when it’s needed most, but also opportunities for these individuals to give back through donations to the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, UNHCR, Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders, Leket Israel, GO Foundation and Give2Asia, among others. Audiences will be able to donate to COVID-19 relief efforts through a donate button or link on every film page.
About Tribeca Enterprises Tribeca Enterprises is a multi-platform storytelling company, established in 2003 by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. Tribeca provides artists with unique platforms to expand the audience for their work and broadens consumer access to experience storytelling, independent film, and media. The company operates a network of entertainment businesses including the Tribeca Film Festival; the Tribeca TV Festival; and its branded entertainment production arm, Tribeca Studios.
About YouTube Launched in May 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch, and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube is a Google company.
About We Are One The global festival will include programming curated by and unique to the identity of all participating festival partners, including: Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), International Film Festival Rotterdam, Jerusalem Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, San Sebastián International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival.
All programming will be screened globally on YouTube at no cost. Audiences will be able to follow along via scheduling listed on official We Are One channels with a full festival schedule at www.weareoneglobalfestival.com.
THE TRIP TO GREECE Directed By: Michael Winterbottom Starring: Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan Runtime: 103 mins. IFC Films
Through no fault of its own, The Trip to Greece is arriving on VOD today with some extra baggage. Seeing as this release comes at a time when the world doesn’t know how and when we might resume the kind of care free international tourism that stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon enjoy, it’s hard to judge how this film might hit you. Is armchair tourism at this juncture escapism or masochism? At this point in the series, given this is the fourth time around with this specific formula, that might be the only factor in your decision making. As with their first three trips–starting in England the duo then hit Italy and Spain–the vistas are gorgeous, the food looks delicious and the impressions are plentiful. What sets this one apart, fittingly for ancient Greece, is the injection of some tragedy within the film’s “plot” separate from the context of its release. The result of this turn is a film that is more an admirable finale than the hilarious joyrides that its predecessors were.
The setup is slim, as always, with the comedians ostensibly working on some article while retracing the trail covered in The Odyssey from modern day Turkey to Ithaca. Ten years of Odyssey condensed into six days of jet setting. The structure sets their agenda but then Brydon and Coogan’s conversations go off the rails as needed. This time around, Coogan has recently received dramatic accolades for his portrayal of Stan Laurel in Stan & Ollie and a lot of their comedic tension comes from Coogan trying to emphasize his newly minted dramatic chops while Brydon firmly still categorizes his buddy as a comedian. If there were an Olympics for negging, these two would surely medal. The guys are hilarious at oneupmanship whether it’s picking up on a Mick Jagger impression and doing their own take or attempting to turn the the mundanity of a restaurant check into a game show round. In these sequences this series always hits its stride and credit must go to director Michael Winterbottom and his editor Marc Ricardson for often wringing another laugh out of a moment by just cutting on the right beat.
The film does do that shift for the dramatic though by adding in ominous black and white dream sequences rooted in Greek myth for Coogan and introducing a family health crisis as well. I haven’t been able to suss out if that part was based on something in Coogan’s actual life or entirely fabricated for the film but if the latter, it seems an odd choice. At one point they also take a detour to a refugee camp after coming across a former colleague of Coogan’s who’s based there. While it is, as I said above, admirable that this series of extreme-first-world tourism actually takes a moment to observe the realities of a host country, it comes off more as momentary lip service rather than genuine reflection. Eventually the back home problem for Coogan split the comedic duo apart for the remainder of the film much to its detriment. Where the pair end up does have the air of finality, which this installment supposedly is, so I understand the choice. Overall I enjoyed Brydon and Coogan’s competitive company as I always have, just wish that this finale could have focused more on the series’ strengths as it headed off into the sunset.
Note: The Trip To Greece was due to make its North American premiere as part of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival’s “Spotlight Narrative” slate. Though the 2020 Festival was officially postponed due to ongoing pandemic precautions, online screeners and the fest’s press library mean we can still offer coverage of this year’s selections while looking forward to getting back to the fest in the future!
Note: Inheritance was due to make its world premiere as part of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival’s “Spotlight Narrative” slate. Though the 2020 Festivalwas officially postponed due to ongoing pandemic precautions, online screeners and the fest’s press library mean we can still offer coverage of this year’s selections while looking forward to getting back to the fest in the future!
INHERITANCE Starring: Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Chace Crawford, Connie Nielson, Patrick Warburton Directed by: Vaughn Stein Runtime: 111 mins. Vertical Entertainment Not Rated
Early on in Inheritance, the will of deceased banker Archer Monroe (Patrick Warburton) is read out to his district attorney daughter Lauren (Lily Collins) and her congressman brother William (Chace Crawford). While the campaigning son takes a massive twenty million dollars, his sister “only” gets one million. If you think that’s the main source of strife in this family then oh boy, strap in because that difference barely scratches the surface of Lauren’s problems. Director Vaughn Stein’s new thriller releasing on VOD this week after having been a 2020 Tribeca Film Festival selection, takes a hard turn into its potential-horror setup but doesn’t fully embrace it with leads who can’t sell it.
The monetary discrepancy between Lauren and her brother quickly gives way to Lauren receiving her actual inheritance in the form of a mysterious key and a video from her late father urging her to keep the truth buried. Not to be too cynical but it’s pretty expected that a wealthy family like these Monroes–populated with bankers, lawyers and politicians–is going to have its share of skeletons in its closet. Stein’s film does this cliché one better by Archer leaving his daughter a full grown man chained up in a bunker. Thanks, dad. The bunker man is named Morgan (Simon Pegg) and seems to know everything about Lauren who desperately wants to know the whys and hows of Morgan’s disgusting situation. More than that, Lauren must face a crisis of conscious whether to heed her father’s will, especially in the middle of her brother’s re-election or release the bedraggled, pitiable Morgan with his trove of family secrets.
Simon Pegg has long been one of my favorite actors, whether in leading the “Cornetto trilogy” or popping up in larger fare like Star Trek or even better the Mission: Impossible series, but saddled in this film with the heavy wig and grime of Morgan’s imprisonment and, worse, a ropey American accent, and he is utterly wasted. The main tension in Inheritance should come from whether Lauren can muster enough pity for Morgan to release him or Pegg can be sufficiently menacing in his blackmail of the Monroes to achieve his ends. But in their contained scenes, the dynamic never coalesces into real tension. Where you’re expecting someone to actually strike, they just keep talking in circles. And I can’t underscore enough how badly Pegg’s US accent hobbles how threatening his character could have been. There are later parts in the film where I imagine Pegg was really having fun with it, but too much of the runtime for his character is leaden stuff. Collins, 31, for her part as a DA in Manhattan is much too young to hold such a role and comes off as someone playing dress up. It was hard to take either of them seriously in these parts.
For a movie where the crux of the problem is a man chained up in a basement, Inheritance is just overall way too bland. Outside of Pegg and Collins, the Monroe family and their posse come off as stock soap opera characters. Chace Crawford, so good on “The Boys,” is as ridiculous as a hot-shot congressman as Collins is as the DA. Ultimately their rich people problems–and secrets–aren’t as shocking as the film wants them to be.
Inheritance is available on DirectTV and releases on VOD on May 22nd
Giant Pictures has acquired the U.S. rights to the sci-fi/thriller VOLITION. The film will be released in theaters, on Apple TV, Prime Video and other Digital Platforms on July 10, 2020.
VOLITION is the feature directorial debut for Tony Dean Smith (Rakka), who co-wrote the script with his brother and producing partner Ryan W. Smith (Next Gen). The film stars Adrian Glynn McMorran (The Revenant), Magda Apanowicz (You), John Cassini (The Possession), Frank Cassini (Watchmen), Aleks Paunovic (War for the Planet of the Apes), and Bill Marchant (Godzilla). It was produced in association with Paly Productions and Smith Brothers Film Company.
“A great debut for the Smith Brothers, VOLITION is sure to deliver thrills and a mind-bending experience to sci-fans everywhere,” said Courtney Cox, Manager of Content Acquisitions & Marketing at Giant Pictures. “We are thrilled to be bringing it to digital platforms.”
VOLITION is a time-bending cerebral science-fiction thriller where a man afflicted with clairvoyance tries to change his fate when a series of events leads to a vision of his own imminent murder. Awarded as best feature at the Philip K. Dick Film Festival, among a slew of other awards and critical acclaim, VOLITION is a tightly-wound puzzle of a ride.
The deal was negotiated by Courtney Cox, Manager of Content Acquisitions & Marketing from Giant Pictures, and Smith Brothers Film Company and Paly Productions on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT GIANT PICTURES:
Giant Pictures is a boutique digital distributor based in NYC and Los Angeles, which is dedicated to elevating the digital experience. We work directly with filmmakers and rights owners to distribute movies and TV shows to VOD & OTT platforms in North America and worldwide. Giant is a division of Giant Interactive, an award-winning digital media and technology services company. Giant is an iTunes Preferred aggregator and encoding house. Recent movie and documentary releases include: ‘Love, Antosha’ (Dir. Garret Price, Sundance 2019), ‘Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.’ (Dir. Steve Loveridge, Sundance 2018), ‘In Reality’ (Dir. Ann Lupo, LAFF 2018, Austin FF 2018). Visit us at: www.giant.pictures
ABOUT PALY PRODUCTIONS:
Paly Productions, Inc. is a U.S.-based investment fund, focused on high-quality artistic projects for the world market.
ABOUT SMITH BROTHERS FILM COMPANY
Smith Brothers Film Company is the creative partnership of brothers Tony Dean Smith & Ryan W. Smith. As an independent film company, it produces high-quality, character- and story-driven film and television content for the global market.
Available in Theaters and On Digital Platforms on July 10, 2020
SOUTH MOUNTAIN Starring: Talia Balsam, Scott Cohen, Andrus Nichols Directed by: Hilary Brougher Runtime: 85 mins. Breaking Glass Pictures
Behind the stillness of a home in the rural Catskills is a wealth of roiling emotion beautifully realized in writer-director Hilary Brougher’s South Mountain. The feature, which debuts on DVD and VOD today stars Talia Balsam who gives an achingly vulnerable central performance.
On a summer evening, Lila (Balsam) is having a cookout with her family and friends as she preps for her daughters to leave her with an empty nest. And if there’s a subtle tension between Lila and her husband, Edgar (Scott Cohen), well that may be because Edgar is sneaking off within this very household to video call a mistress actively giving birth to his child under the guise of a “work call.” Yikes.
What’s remarkable about Brougher’s film is the situation has all the potential to wade into overwrought melodrama but it never does. Instead, Balsam plays Lila with a fragility that occasionally tips over into flashes of rage but remains thoroughly grounded. Cohen too, whose philandering intro really gives him an uphill battle with the viewers, manages to wrangle sympathy as Edgar in the sensitivity he brings to the more fraught scenes with Balsam. Their dynamic of him knowing it is over versus her not quite ready to let go is compelling.
The lovely performances are all given solid support from Brougher’s production and sound design which really evoke both the encroaching summer and Lila’s isolation. The lush greenery and rustic house are their own character which composer Herdis Stefansdottir subtly accents with a sparse musical score that knows when to take a backseat to the chorus of birds, insects and rumbling clouds. Ultimately, Brougher’s film achieves a beautiful balance between the permanence of Lila’s place in the mountain and the ever shifting circumstances of her life and most intimate relationships.
On September 22, 1994 the first episode of Friends aired on NBC, and since then the series, characters and its infamous taglines have become a global phenomenon. After 236 episodes and its ten season run on-air, the beloved series went into syndication episodes on a number of networks, and in 2015 Netflix acquired the exclusive rights to stream the original broadcast episodes; eventually becoming one of most watched shows on the platform, until the close of 2019!
So where have your “Friends” been, now that its 2020? According to Ross and Rachel, “We Were On A BREAK!” from streaming – but have no fear, you can still get all of your favorite original episodes commercial free on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD today! All individual seasons and compilation sets of Friends are available to purchase here: www.OwnFriendsTV.com. All seasons are also available to own at all major digital retailers; including iTunes, VUDU, Amazon Prime, and Google. DVD and Blu-ray sets can be purchased from all major retailers – including Amazon, Target and Walmart.
If it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month…or even your year…we are here for you with an amazing offer for you or your readers! In honor of the iconic series, and our #OwnFriendsTV campaign – we wanted to offer you or a lucky reader of choice a Blu-ray set of Friends: The Complete Series. This collector’s set is for the ultimate fan, and features over 110 hours of content – including all 236 original broadcast episodes, plus 20 hours of special features. All 10 seasons have been completely remastered in stunning 1080p high definition video with a 16×9 widescreen format and 5.1 audio. The Friends: The Complete Series Blu-ray box set is presented in highly collectible packaging consisting of a lenticular box cover, a hard-cover book that holds 21 Blu-ray discs, plus a 32-page episode guide!
The only way to get Friends: The Complete Series commercial free is on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD today! All individual seasons and compilation sets of Friends are available to purchase here: www.OwnFriendsTV.com. All seasons are also available to own at all major digital retailers; including iTunes, VUDU, Amazon Prime, and Google. DVD and Blu-ray sets can be purchased from all major retailers – including Amazon, Target and Walmart.
You can never get enough of Friends! Own them today – own them forever!
Whenever I see a film being released by IFC Midnight, it immediately gets my attention. “THE WRETCHED” is about a witch that moves in next door, definitely catches my interest. It is directed and written by Brett and Drew Pierce and stars John-Paul Howard and Piper Curda. It opens May 1st on Digital Platforms and VOD and is sure to be a real winner.
Here is the film’s official premise: Following his parents’ separation, a rebellious teenage boy, Ben, is sent to live with his father for the summer and work at the local marina in order to gain some form of discipline. The idyllic tourist town offers little solace for him, however, as he is forced to deal with the local, privileged teens and his father’s new girlfriend. Ben’s problems grow increasingly disturbing when he makes a chilling discovery about the family renting the house next door. A malevolent spirit from the woods has taken ahold of the parents and starts playing a sinister game of house, preying upon the children and wiping away any trace of their existence. Ben’s suspicions of the supernatural horrors go unheeded and he launches a perilous crusade in order to put an end to the skin-walking witch’s reign of terror.
The film has been getting rave reviews from critics across the net. After reading that premise and watching the trailer (see below) it doesn’t seem to be a big gamble for this film. While you watch you can also check out bob casino to not only win big with this killer film but also in real life. If you need more proof here are a few of early reviews:
“A polished, well-paced nightmare [with] a playfully Hitchcockian suspense approach… likable performances keeping us emotionally grounded.”
Dennis Harvey, VARIETY
“A viciously good time.”
Kristy Strouse, FILM INQUIRY
“In the vein of Disturbia or Rear Window with a dark fairy tale makeover. The witch is worth the price of admission alone.”
Meagan Navarro, BLOODY DISGUSTING
Here is a little bit about the filmmakers Brett and Drew Pierce:
The Pierce Brothers are the writing/directing team behind the zombie cult hit DEADHEADS. From childhood they have been obsessed with the horror genre, having grown up amid the production of Sam Raimi’s cult classic THE EVIL DEAD, for which their father served as the photographic effects artist. Previously, Drew Pierce has worked as an animator and storyboard artist on various projects such as “Futurama,” THE INTERVIEW, and THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS. Brett Pierce has worked in production as well, most recently in the development department on various reality shows for Netflix, History Channel and A&E. This is their second feature film.