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Elvis & Nixon review – the odd couple

12 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Kevin Spacey plays the president for laughs in a slight but enjoyable imagining of Elvis’s real life meeting with Nixon

Before the press show for this piece of pop history whimsy, the film’s distributors wheeled out a bespangled Elvis impersonator, but sadly failed to enlist a concomitant Nixon tribute act. With his scarecrow arms, vulture shoulders and feral facial expressions, the 37th president of the United States is as easily caricatured as the King. On screen, he’s been played by such luminaries as Anthony Hopkins in Nixon, Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon, and John Cusack in The Butler, all of whom had his trademark physical mannerisms down pat. Nor should we forget Bob Gunton, who brought more than a touch of Nixon to the role of Warden Norton in The Shawshank Redemption before starring in 1997’s Elvis Meets Nixon, the small-screen forerunner of this flimsy but fun cinematic folly. »

- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

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Movie Review – Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

20 June 2016 10:00 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016).

Directed by Roland Emmerich.

Starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, William Fichtner, Jessie T. Usher, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Brent Spiner, Joey King, Judd Hirsch and Deobia Oparei.

Synopsis:

Humanity won round one. But now, 20 years later, the aliens are back…and then some.

The President of the United States (Sela Ward) walks through a nuclear bunker, flanked by military officials and advisors on either side. It’s been 20 years since the War of ’96 (Independence Day: Resurgence’s name for the events of the first movie), yet despite Earth’s efforts to prepare for another attack, an invading alien force is descending upon the planet.

“The ship will touch down over the Atlantic, ma’am,” one of the high and tight haired men informs.

“Which part?” replies the President.

“All of it.”

It’s the best line in the film, and one delivered with utter straight-faced seriousness. »

- Oli Davis

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John Cusack: examining his recent straight-to-dvd movies

20 June 2016 3:53 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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John Cusack has made 17 films in four years. We've found the ones that have gone all-but straight to DVD and watched them...

John Cusack is a bit of a Hollywood oddity. There’s no pattern to the type of movie he will choose to do, so he’s always kept us on our toes. Sure, he’ll make a dumb action movie, but that will often afford him the chance to make a few smaller gambles later on. Up until the last few years he’s played the system very well, but recently his ethic appears to have, um, waned? A little?

Since the heady days of Say Anything and Sixteen Candles he’s come to represent a sort of slightly weird-looking, awkwardly charming, offbeat everyman that men aged 18-49 can look at and go 'me'” - which is fine. There’s a place for that, as »

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‘Cell’ Review Roundup: Critics Agree That The Stephen King Adaptation Is Unimpressive

14 June 2016 3:31 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Stephen King’s work is constantly adapted for the screen and it looks like critics would have preferred if his 2006 novel “Cell” hadn’t. Directed by Tod Williams and starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, the film tells the story of Clay (Cusack), a man who witnesses a scene of chaotic mayhem when an electronic signal turns hundreds of cell phone users into rabid killers. Desperate to find his estranged wife and son, Clay teams with a train driver (Jackson) to battle the horde of murderous “phoners” as the city descends into apocalyptic madness.

Bob Grimm of CV Independent wrote that the movie “is easily one of the worst adaptations ever of a King story.” He also criticized the leads acting and the editing, “Cusack seems pissed to be in this thing, while Jackson is clearly bored and seems resigned to the fact that he signed up for a stinker. Eli Roth was originally slated to be the director, and he left due to creative differences. Maybe he was arguing that a film like this should be crazy and even funny. This film takes itself a little too seriously, and boasts some of the worst editing you are likely to see this year.”

Read More: ‘Cell’ Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack Star In Stephen King Movie

Arts Bham’s Corey Craft gave it one and a half stars out of five describing the film as unimpressive. “There isn’t much of a satirical edge to this material, making it feel dull and heavy-handed; the humor is sparse and falls flat; and the horror mayhem, such as it is, is unimpressive compared to any number of basic cable horror TV shows” he writes. “And all this is even before the plot completely falls apart in the final 20 minutes.”

“The movie should have gone straight to voicemail instead,” says Consequence of Sound critic Nico Lang. Agreeing that the story is better read than seen, he says, “‘Cell’ isn’t nearly as luridly entertaining as it should be.”

Read More: James Franco To Star In Film Adaptation Of Stephen King’s ‘Drunken Fireworks

Patrick Cooper of Bloody Disgusting agreed with Grimm that the actors and the film lacked enthusiasm, “You’d think ‘Cell’ would be an entertaining ride. It’s not. It’s gratuitously grim and gloomy, with no real message to drive this misery home.” Adding, “‘Cell’ closes out on a finale that will justifiably frustrate most. The story packs absolutely no punch and the solid stable of actors look bored for most of he film.”

Cell” is available on demand and will see a limited Us release on July 8.

Watch the trailer below:

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Related storiesQuentin Tarantino Laughing Supercut: Amazing Video Shows Every Time a Qt Character ChucklesJames Franco To Star In Film Adaptation Of Stephen King's 'Drunken Fireworks'Stephen King's 'It' Casts Bill Skarsgård As Pennywise The Clown »

- Liz Calvario

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John Travolta: examining his recent straight to DVD movies

12 June 2016 2:24 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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We check out the John Travolta films that have been bypassing cinemas over the past few years...

In the days leading up to writing this article, which will cover a recent period in which he’s made a bunch of films that have quickly drifted to DVD or VOD, I had to stop and ask myself a genuine question: how do I actually feel about John Travolta?

The answer that rose from the depths of my coal-black, hell-bound soul was weirdly surprising. Brushing aside his personal life – which is not worth getting into here – I found I had nothing but good feelings surrounding his work as an actor.

I grew up with Carrie, Grease, Look Who’s Talking and perhaps his best film, Brian De Palma’s Blow Out. I also grew up with some of his clunkers, like the Look Who’s Talking sequels and 80s concept comedy The Experts. He’s been acting since before I was born, so he’s always been in the background of my pop culture landscape – working solidly for more than 40 years.

Over those decades, his catalogue has defied explanation. He seems to unapologetically pick whatever he feels moved to be a part of regardless of criticism and, goddamn it, there’s something inherently admirable about that. Unlike, say, Bruce Willis, he doesn’t seem happy with doing just a couple of days work on a shoot in a smaller part; more often he will choose to be the star, or at least have equal-ish screen time – even if the project isn’t boasting a huge budget or a big name director. When Pulp Fiction thrust him back into the mainstream, he was still picking up stuff like Phenomenon and Michael in the following years.

I can confidently say that I’ve never seen the man actively 'phone in' a performance and even when he’s overcooked it, there’s usually a decent reason. I mean, if you find yourself on the set of Face/Off going up against The Cage, you’re gonna need to fight fire with fire. Even in Battlefield Earth, he was at least trying.

But in the last half decade we’ve found ourselves in a deeper Travolta trough than we’ve ever been in before. His films aren’t quite cutting the mustard in the industry like they used to and, after a run of flops that have seen him drift back into television with an impressive turn as Robert Shapiro in The People V. O.J. Simpson, I find myself wondering 'will Travolta ever be big business again?'

So, I took a look at four of the films that Travolta’s worked on in the last few years - each of which has effectively gone straight to DVD (save for a few days in a cinema) - to see if anything’s slipped under our radar that needs a boost…

The Forger (2014)

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 7% IMDb Rating – 5.7/10

In The Forger, John Travolta is a man serving a prison sentence who makes a call to get out of it early so he can spend more time with his dying son. In exchange for help with bribing the judge to release him early, John’s expected to help forge a Monet for his erstwhile crime boss, played by Hell On WheelsAnson Mount.

As the film casually flits between the forge/heist story and the bonding relationship between John and his son, it’s a testament to director Philip Martin - who comes from a TV background where he’s learnt his trade by helping to bring Prime Suspect and Wallander crime stories to life – that it isn’t a complete disaster. In someone else’s hands, it very well could have been.

Instead, The Forger has a delicate touch and a lot of the shots are interesting and unexpected without being jarring. It flows very smoothly and there’s an undercurrent of genuine love stemming from Travolta’s performance. After losing his own son, making a film about losing a son might have been cathartic and definitely quite close to the bone. I don’t want to read too much into Travolta’s choices, because that way madness lies, but it does really come across as though he cared about this one.

The Forger’s family scenes - with Travolta’s son Tye Sheridan and father Christopher Plummer - play really well, and while the tone of these scenes doesn’t gel with the heist elements of the plot, there’s good stuff here.

Overall, there’s not quite enough substance to sail the whole thing smoothly down the river, but it’s not bad by any stretch and the reviews have been a little harsh on what is actually a perfectly average film. No, you won’t watch it again, but neither will you probably regret watching it in the first place.

Criminal Activities (2015)

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 47% IMDb Rating – 5.8/10

Hoo boy, that title. That’s the worst title. I can’t imagine anyone involved could have wanted it. It’s maybe the most generic title I’ve ever seen. It’s so bad that even when I picked up the DVD, looked at the cover and saw that Michael Pitt (Hannibal, Boardwalk Empire) and Dan Stevens (The Guest, The Guest, The Guest) were Travolta’s co-stars in this, I still felt like I was drowning in the beigeness of it.

The film itself - Jackie Earle Haley's directorial debut - is an unfortunate mess. The plot, such as it is, involves Michael, Dan and the rest of the lads from their childhood gang borrowing money from a mob boss (Travolta) to invest in some sure-fire stocks that immediately collapse, leaving them out of pocket and in John’s. To pay off the debt, he wants them to kidnap a guy, because that guy’s friend kidnapped someone else. It’s convoluted and makes little sense, due to the fact that there’s a big twist coming at the end which will clarify most, if not all of it.

The actors are doing wayyy too much in the film - directed by an actor who clearly wants the actors to have room to act - and therein lies the fundamental problem. Apart from a great turn by Edi Gathegi (Gone Baby Gone, X-Men: First Class, Crank) it’s impossible to point a finger at anyone else in the cast and say 'yep, you, good job' because there’s just too much going on.

The twist is actually decent, but everything leading up to it is a headache. Working on a low budget, most of the scenes are dialogue-heavy, arduous and reliant on excessive coverage – so what you end up with is a film where a load of dudes sit in a room together and shout and swear at each other a lot. I wanted to take that final twist aside, buy it a drink, hug it, and reassure it that it deserved better.

I’m afraid to say there’s not much here to recommend, which is ironic given that it’s had the most positive reviews of the bunch.

I Am Wrath (2016)

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 13% IMDb Rating – 5.2/10

I Am Wrath is the worst film of these four by a long chalk.

Here, John stars as a man who decides payback is needed when his wife (Rebecca de Mornay) is killed before his eyes. That’s really all there is, plot-wise. See, it turns out he’s a man with a very particular set of skills and yada yada yada off he goes.

The script - written by Paul 'nope, nothing you’ve heard of' Sloan - is so very, very bad. I am going to tell you how bad it is, so you don’t think I’m just whistlin’ Dixie here:

During his wife’s funeral, John tells the priest that he’s an atheist after the priest gives him a bible in his time of need. Later, Travolta flings this bible across the room angrily. He then stops, pulls a full Joey Tribbiani 'smell-the-fart', slowly approaches the discarded bible, picks it up and reads a line about wrath with the dumbest revelatory expression on his face as the music builds. He sees this as a sign that he should become wrath, despite his earlier insistence that he thinks religion is total garbage.

Later, when asked who he is, Travolta looks determinedly into a mirror and says “I am wrath” – he said the name of the movie you guys! Holy shit. Honestly, I could not believe how hackneyed the whole thing was, not to mention bizarre - the film regularly abandons its serious 'violence begets violence' tone whenever John’s Bff Christopher Meloni turns up, suddenly becoming a jokey buddy comedy.

This was hard to get through. Please avoid it at all costs, for there is nothing here to keep you warm at night.

Killing Season (2013)

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 11% IMDb Rating – 5.4/10

De Niro and Travolta – together at last?

Well, the opening sequence gives us a bit of background on the reason we’re all here. Something bad happened during the Bosnian War that will bring our two main dudes together for some serious vengeance. The sequence is sepia, because past, and ohhhhh god, here comes the present…

It’s at this point that we discover that John is going to attempt an Eastern European accent. It is Not Good. It is not John Malkovich in Rounders, but it is Not Good and we are stuck with it for the duration.

His facial hair during this first scene is also completely ridiculous. I can’t adequately describe how bonkers it is, but try to imagine a werewolf that can only grow stubble carefully shaving a circle into its face. It’s a relief to find that they decided to tone this down for the rest of the film - he looks more like he’s wearing a black chinstrap from then on.

Despite the accent and the questionable chin beard, it’s a lot easier to buy Travolta as a man on a mission of vengeance during Killing Season than it was during I Am Wrath. He’s obviously jazzed to be working with De Niro and he’s knuckled down to bounce off him, keeping it low-key and making an effort not to overdo it.

As a result of this equilibrium, we also get a glimpse of a pre-Meet The Parents De Niro - which is very much welcomed, sweet lord - and the two men head into the second act ready to take each other on, hunt each other down and resolve those Bosnian sins of the past in the most violent way possible.

The script - by proposed Tomb Raider reboot scribe Evan Daugherty - occasionally stumbles, but is solid enough. The direction is fine. It’s fine. It’s probably Mark Steven Johnson’s best film (but when his other major films are Daredevil and Ghost Rider, that’s not exactly a gush) and as the two leads hunt and trap each other, a lot of Predator love oozes out of the frame. Unfortunately, this is not Predator, but you could do worse on an evening than to sit through this instead (if you don’t own Predator).

…Oh my god you guys. We should totally watch Predator right now.

Until next time, and until the next rebirth of Mr Travolta, I bid you adieu.

Next time: the straight to DVD movies of John Cusack

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See related  Bruce Willis: examining his recent straight-to-dvd movies DVD & Bluray Feature Movies Kirsten Howard John Travolta 14 Jun 2016 - 05:16 The Forger I Am Wrath Criminal Activities Killing Season »

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Stephen King's It Finds Its First Loser's Club Bully

10 June 2016 3:52 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

After languishing in development for many years, New Line Cinema is finally moving forward in the right direction on the long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King's It. Bill Skarsgard recently came aboard to portray the iconic clown Pennywise, with Jaeden Lieberher playing the leader of The Losers Club, Bill Denbrough. Today we have word that one of The Losers Club's main enemies has been cast, with Owen Teague (Bloodline) coming aboard to play one of the primary bullies.

The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Owen Teague has signed on to play Patrick Hocksetter, who is part of a group of bullies who torment The Losers Club. Hocksetter is said to be a psychopath who keeps a refrigerator full of the animals he has killed. None of the other bullies have been cast yet, but that may change soon since this cast is coming together swiftly.

The other members of The Losers Club will be played by Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs and Jeremy Ray Taylor, but their specific characters have yet to be identified. The story will be split into two movies, with the first centering on the young kids of The Losers Club as they must face their fears and defeat the evil clown Pennywise. The second movie will feature the same characters reuniting as adults who must put down this creature again, even though none of them remember the first encounter.

Andres Muschietti (Mama) is directing from a script most recently written by Gary Doberman. Andres Muschietti stepped in to replace Cary Fukunaga back in July, after he left the project due to creative differences. We reported last May that the movie will be shot in New York City, but another report from February revealed that the adaptation will be R-rated, with shooting now set to begin in California at some point later this year.

Roy Lee is producing alongside Barbara Muschietti, Dan Lin, David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith. It actually marks the second Stephen King adaptation for Owen Teague. The young actor stars in Cell, alongside John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson and Isabelle Fuhrman. He also plays Nolan Rayburn on Netflix's critically-acclaimed series Bloodline, which just debuted its second season on the streaming service last week. »

- MovieWeb

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New to Streaming: ‘Midnight Special,’ ‘A War,’ ‘The Treasure,’ ‘Le Amiche,’ and More

10 June 2016 6:32 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

The Boy and the Beast (Mamoru Hosoda)

Two worlds collide once young Kyuta (Shôta Sometani) and warrior Kumatetsu (Kôji Yakusho) meet in Mamoru Hosoda‘s The Boy and the Beast. The former was recently orphaned after his mother’s death (she had divorced his father years ago and her family refuses to get in touch with him), currently working his way towards becoming a solitary street »

- The Film Stage

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Stephen King's It movie adds Owen Teague

9 June 2016 12:15 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Bloodline actor Owen Teague joins cast of Stephen King's It.

Owen Teague has been added to the cast of Andrés Muschietti’s (Mama) two-part remake of Stephen King’s It, which is being produced by New Line Cinema.

Stephen King published It in 1986. It told the story of a group of kids who are tortured by an ancient evil called It. It steals kids, including the younger brother of one of the Losers Club, leaves them dead and disappears for a generation. The former Losers Club members come together as adults to take It on.

Teague, who plays the son of Ben Mendelsohn on Bloodline at Netflix , will play Patrick Hocksetter, the leader of the group of bullies who torment the kids who are taking on Pennywise the Clown, and who call themselves the Losers Club. Hocketter is a psycho who falls under the sway of the »

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Violent Behavior Spreads in First Clip from Film Adaptation of Stephen King’s Cell

8 June 2016 12:36 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Heads bash, teeth gnash, and fists flail when a deadly cell phone signal overtakes an airport in the new clip from Cell, starring ohn Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, and co-written by Stephen King (based on his 2006 novel of the same name).

Saban Films and Lionsgate will release Cell on Ultra VOD on June 10th, followed by a theatrical and VOD release on July 8th:

Stephen King’s best-selling novel is brought to terrifying life in this mind-blowing thriller starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. At the Boston airport, Clay (Cusack) witnesses a scene of chaotic mayhem when an electronic signal turns hundreds of cell phone users into rabid killers. Desperate to find his estranged wife and son, Clay teams with a train driver (Jackson) to battle the horde of murderous “phoners” as the city descends into apocalyptic madness.”

Based on King’s unflinchingly violent 2006 novel of the same name, »

- Derek Anderson

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Bruce Willis: examining his recent straight-to-dvd movies

6 June 2016 7:22 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Most Bruce Willis movies right now seem to head to DVD almost immediately. We've gone through them, in search of a gem...

It’s not exactly clear when Bruce Willis went from being a big star whose name filled seats and sold tickets to being a guy whose name you see on the cover of so many direct-to-dvd and VOD outings (albeit ones that sometimes get a week or two in a cinema, in essence to promote the VOD release), but I’d like to go out on a limb here and say that Kevin Smith’s mouth might be to blame.

During one of his filmed Q&A sessions that ended up winging its way to eager fanboys and girls like myself on DVD back in the late oughts, Smith talked at length about what it was like to work on the much-anticipated fourth instalment of the Die Hard franchise, »

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10 Best Movies and TV Shows to Stream in June

1 June 2016 5:00 AM, PDT | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

School's out, birds are singing and the sun hangs high in a cloudless sky — time for the streaming junkie to retreat to the safe confines of the great indoors, safe from harmful non cathode rays of light. Those who think of summer as a season of sand and surf may feel a slight twinge of guilt while hunkering down for that eighth consecutive episode or triple feature. But as a wise man once said, you're not hardcore unless you live hardcore — so get going on Episode Nine, people. And with »

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The Player

30 May 2016 5:08 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Robert Altman's murder tale reeks of insider access and Hollywood hipster Bs; its main claim to greatness is its fifty-plus star cameos. It may no longer seem as smart as it looked in 1992, but they don't make 'em any slicker than this. The Player Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 812 1992 / Color /1:85 widescreen / 124 min. / Available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date May 24, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Gallagher, Brion James, Cynthia Stevenson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lyle Lovett. Cinematography Jean Lépine Original Music Thomas Newman Written by Michael Tolkin from his novel Produced by David Brown, Michael Tolkin, Nick Wechsler Directed by Robert Altman

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Robert Altman's filmography is undergoing what looks like a full retrospective through Criterion; even the 1975 title Nashville came out not long ago. This very successful later picture marks a revitalization of the director's career. It's sort of a Kafkaesque spin on Hail, »

- Glenn Erickson

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Interview: Ric Addy, Owner of Chicago’s Shake, Rattle & Read, on Closing the Business

19 May 2016 7:35 PM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – The term “throwback” is bantered about with such regularity these days that it loses its meaning. An authentic throwback, however, is the eclectic pop culture store “Shake, Rattle & Read,” which closes its doors at the end of business Saturday, May 21st, 2016. The outlet, an Uptown neighborhood mainstay, has been owned by the same family for 50 years. Current owner Ric Addy is ready to say goodbye to all that.

Ric Addy is a throwback retail hustler, riding the shock wave of the changes to the Uptown neighborhood since taking over the store from his sister in 1986. He began in the record store business, when the wax platter was the music delivery system of choice. After gaining experience from Rose Records downtown, and the Record Exchange in Evanston (Illinois, north of Chicago), he decided to take over the “Book Box” location his sister had run since 1966. For the last 30 years, through »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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John Cusack To Suffer From "Misfortune"

17 May 2016 7:02 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

John Cusack is in advanced negotiations to star in the wild-chase thriller "Misfortune" for Radiant Films International and Envision Media Arts.

Cusack plays a sharp, quick-witted businessman who starts a new life after embezzling a client's money. Separated from his cash in the middle of the wilderness, he will do anything to get it back from the three young friends who happened upon it.

Lucky McKee ("The Woman," "All Cheerleaders Die") will direct from a screenplay by Jared Butler and Lars Norberg. Lee Nelson and David Buelow will produce.

Source: Radiant Films »

- Garth Franklin

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John Cusack in talks to join 'Misfortune'

16 May 2016 1:08 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Plus: Martin Scorsese to Ep Uncut Gems; Xyz Films sells I Kill Giants; and more…

John Cusack is in advanced negotiations to star in the chase thriller Misfortune for producers Lee Nelson and David Buelow of Envision Media Arts. Radiant Films International has introduced the project to buyers in Cannes.

Lucky McKee will direct from a screenplay by Jared Butler and Lars Norberg about an embezzler who gets locked in a battle of wits with three youngsters when he loses his cash in the wilderness.

Brazilian producer Rt Features, in conjunction with Sikelia Productions, Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff have closed financing on Josh and Benny Safdie’s Uncut Gems. Plot is being kept under wraps. Rt Features and Elara Pictures will produce Uncut Gems with Sikelia’s Scorsese and Tillinger Koskoff serving as executive producers. The Safdies recently wrapped production on crime drama Good Time starring Robert Pattinson. Wme Global »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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John Cusack in talks for 'Misfortune'

16 May 2016 1:08 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Plus: Martin Scorsese to Ep Uncut Gems; Xyz Films sells I Kill Giants; and more…

John Cusack is in advanced negotiations to star in the chase thriller Misfortune for producers Lee Nelson and David Buelow of Envision Media Arts. Radiant Films International has introduced the project to buyers in Cannes.

Lucky McKee will direct from a screenplay by Jared Butler and Lars Norberg about an embezzler who gets locked in a battle of wits with three youngsters when he loses his cash in the wilderness.

Brazilian producer Rt Features, in conjunction with Sikelia Productions, Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff have closed financing on Josh and Benny Safdie’s project. Plot is being kept under wraps. Rt Features and Elara Pictures will produce Uncut Gems with Sikelia’s Scorsese and Tillinger Koskoff serving as executive producers. The Safdies recently wrapped production on crime drama Good Time starring Robert Pattinson. Wme Global secured financing and represents worldwide rights »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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John Cusack Revs Up For Chase Thriller ‘Misfortune’ – Cannes

16 May 2016 12:07 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

John Cusack is in advanced negotiations to star in Misfortune, a chase thriller for which Radiant Films is handling overseas rights at Cannes. The pic will be directed by Lucky McGee with Lee Nelson and David Buelow of Envision Media Arts as producers. Cusack will play Miller, a sharp, quick-witted businessman who has left everything behind, including his family, to start a new life after embezzling a client's money. All had been going according to plan until he becomes… »

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Cannes: John Cusack Joins Thriller ‘Misfortune’

16 May 2016 11:34 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

John Cusack is in advanced negotiations to star in the chase thriller “Misfortune” for producers Lee Nelson and David Buelow of Envision Media Arts.

Radiant Films International is selling the project to international buyers at the Cannes Film Festival.

Lucky McKee will direct from a screenplay by Jared Butler and Lars Norberg. McKee co-directed 2008’s suspense thriller “Red,” starring Brian Cox and based on Jack Ketchum’s novel, and horror film “May,” released by Lionsgate.

Cusack will portray a quick-witted businessman who leaves everything behind, including his family, to start a new life after embezzling a client’s money. All had been going according to plan until he becomes separated from his cash in the middle of the wilderness, where three young friends happen upon the lost fortune.

“We are thrilled to be working with a talent such as John Cusack,” said Radiant topper Mimi Steinbauer. “He is perfect for »

- Dave McNary

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John Cusack to Star in Lucky McKee’s Thriller ‘Misfortune’

16 May 2016 11:11 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

John Cusack is in advanced negotiations to star in Lucky McKee’s thriller “Misfortune,” it was announced Monday by Mimi Steinbauer, president/CEO of Radiant Films International. Jared Butler and Lars Norberg wrote the script, which will find Cusack playing Miller, a quick-witted businessman who leaves everything behind, including his family, to start a new life after embezzling a client’s money. Everything had been going according to plan until he becomes separated from his cash in the middle of the wilderness. Three young friends happen upon the lost fortune, and a desperate and violent Miller will do anything to get his money back. »

- Jeff Sneider

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Barfoed, Schonnemann launch The Lot with 'Crying Sun'

11 May 2016 10:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Film about Danish journalist and her Syrian fixer will start shooting in February 2017 in Turkey and Morocco.

Danish writer/director Kasper Barfoed and producer Michel Schonnemann are launching production company The Lot by developing a feature film based on Danish journalist Puk Damsgaard’s bestseller Under A Crying Sun.

The journalistic autobiography is about the relationship between Danish journalist Damsgaard and her local fixer Nour during the start of the Syrian war.

The shoot for the $3m feature is planned for February 2017 in Turkey and Morocco. Casting has started in Denmark and Los Angeles, and the Danish Film Institute is supporting development.

The project marks Barfoed’s sixth feature; he had a huge hit in Denmark in 2015 with football story Summer of ’92 and past credits include The Numbers Station starring John Cusack.

Barfoed said: “Under A Crying Sun is a suspenseful, personal and deeply heartbreaking story about dreams, ideals and the desire for freedom. It’s a book »

- wendy.mitchell@screendaily.com (Wendy Mitchell)

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