18 items from 2015
Last season, Fox touted Sleepy Hollow as a hit series of the 2013-14 season and gave it an early renewal. How are things looking a year later, as we come to the end of the second season? Should the series be cancelled or renewed for a third season?
A supernatural police drama, Sleepy Hollow follows Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), a patriot who was killed 230 years ago. He finds himself resurrected in modern day and partners with a female police lieutenant. Unfortunately, the Headless Horseman has also returned. The cast includes Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones, Katia Winter, Clancy Brown, John Cho, and Richard Cetrone.
Sleepy Hollow debuted in September of 2013 to a very healthy 3.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 10.1 million viewers. The ratings dropped quite a bit over the course of the season -- hitting a low of a 2.2 in »
If you thought Mindy was the biggest flibbertigibbet in the Lahiri clan, may we re-introduce you to her younger brother, Rishi?
This week’s Mindy Project brings back Dr. L’s feckless sibling, who’s dealing drugs and making a mess of his life in San Francisco. But the super-frustrating Rishi helps Min come to an epiphany regarding her academic future, and that epiphany keeps her in New York, so we’ll give him a pass.
Read on for a review of “Lahiri Family Values.”
California, Here We Come »
Written by Paul Weitz
Directed by Paul Weitz
Director Paul Weitz (About A Boy, American Dreamz) has tailor-made Grandma to showcase the strength of comedy legend Lily Tomlin. As poet Elle Reid, her wry personality has an overpowering screen presence that is entertaining, but comes at the expense a talented supporting cast that is made to funnel all attention back to her. The fact that Tomlin came out of the closet late in life adds depth to her portrayal of a woman who absolutely owns her success and sexuality. Elle’s teenage granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner of Electrick Children) comes to Elle in desperate need of terminating an unwanted pregnancy and so ensues a quirky, caustic road trip to procure enough money to get it done.
Elle verbally bulldozes old friends, family, and lovers for the money. Proudly uncouth, she barely flinches while she »
- Lane Scarberry
The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) Film Review, a movie directed by Isao Takahata, and starring Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, Beau Bridges, James Marsden, Oliver Platt, Hynden Walch, Dean Cain, Daniel Dae Kim, George Segal, John Cho, and Emily Bridges. With the [...]
Continue reading: Film Review: The Tale Of Princess Kaguya (2013): Beautiful, Engaging, & Underwhelming »
- Derek Sun
Alchemy has acquired all North American distribution rights to Mora Stephens' political thriller "Zipper," starring Patrick Wilson opposite Lena Headey, Ray Winstone, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cho, Dianna Agron, Christopher McDonald, Alexandra Breckenridge and Penelope Mitchell. The purchase represents Alchemy's second 2015 Sundance Film Festival buy, following their early pick up of the Nicole Kidman drama "Stangerland." Wilson stars in the film as Sam Ellis, a hotshot federal prosecutor on the cusp of a bright political future whose one-time experience with an escort turns into a growing addiction that threatens to destroy his life, family and career. "'Zipper' is a sophisticated political thriller anchored by Patrick Wilson's riveting performance as a man battling a burgeoning sexual addition," said Bill Lee, Alchemy's CEO. "We're excited to bring this gripping film to audiences everywhere." Alchemy VP of Acquisitions Jeff »
- Zack Sharf
Star Trek 3 (really, Star Trek 13) is well into development now that Simon Pegg and Doug Jung are writing the script with Justin Lin (Fast and Furious) in the director’s chair. It’s believed that the story put forward by Roberto Orci has now been pushed aside, but that’s not 100% confirmed.
According to our friends over at Film Divider, Paramount were looking to have a “Bryan Cranston-like role” as the main villain. So much so that they now want Cranston for the part and the actor has had “brief discussions” with the studio about the project. Of course, Cranston is an actor that has been rumoured to be the villain in various pictures over the past year or so, so take this with a pinch of salt.
In other Star Trek 3 (13) news, it looks like there will be not one, not two but three new female characters added to the line-up. »
- Luke Owen
Indie distributor Alchemy has snapped up North American rights to Mora Stephens' political thriller "Zipper," a 2015 Sundance premiere starring Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey, Ray Winstone, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cho, Dianna Agron, Christopher McDonald, Alexandra Breckenridge and Penelope Mitchell. Co-written by Stephens and Joel Viertel, "Zipper" will hit theaters and VOD later in 2015. Here's the synopsis: Sam Ellis (Wilson) is a man on the rise — a hotshot federal prosecutor on the cusp of a bright political future. But what was meant to be a one-time experience with an escort turns into a growing addiction threatening to destroy his life, family, and career. In a relatively strong Sundance for female-directed films, "Zipper" garnered mixed reviews upon its Park City premiere, though CraveOnline calls it "The grown-up thriller of the year," akin to David Fincher's "Gone Girl." The Guardian says there are elements to admire »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Just as sex scandals are pretty much as old as politics themselves, as long as we've had films, we've had cinematic depictions of sex scandals, usually serious and sometimes comedic. Whether filmmakers have had to be coy about the nature of the scandals -- see "The Best Man" or "Advise and Consent" -- or whether filmmakers have been able to directly tear sex scandals from the headlines -- see "Primary Colors" -- the ground has been fertile. Fortunately -- Unfortunately? -- sex scandals just keep coming along and we keep lapping them up, from Eliot Spitzer to John Edwards to Anthony Weiner. Bringing the genre to Sundance this year was "Zipper," a largely straight-faced approach to a plausibly finger-on-the-pulse topic, which falls flat because of a middle act in which the drama spirals into dated addiction craziness. When it's a political thriller, "Zipper" is respectably acted and presented and has some merit. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Cargo will represent international sales at the Efm later this week. Alchemy brokered the deal with CAA and Cinetic on behalf of the film-makers.
The Orchard brokered the deal for Finders Keepers with Wme Global and plans a theatrical and digital release in 2015.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
“Zipper,” a ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, has sold North American rights to Alchemy.
The film will be released in theaters and on-demand later this year. As the title suggests, the film is about an Eliot Spitzer-esque politician who can’t keep it zipped, leading to all sorts of headaches. In Variety, critic Geoff Berkshire offered a mixed appraisal, calling it, “tawdry but cripplingly self-serious.”
Alchemy is the new moniker for Millennium Entertainment, which rebranded after CEO Bill Lee and Virgo Investment Group partnered to acquire the company’s catalog and distribution operations from a group of investors.
Alchemy vice president of acquisitions Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal with CAA and Cinetic on behalf of the filmmakers. Cargo Entertainment will be handling international »
- Brent Lang
Zipper is a dark political thriller that examines the tendency of men in power to succumb to their more base desires. The film is a return of sorts for writer/director Mora Stephens whose last film Conventioneers was back in 2005.
Produced by Darren Aronofsky, Zipper has Patrick Wilson as a rising-star attorney who finds himself tempted to stray from his marriage to his wife (Lena Headey) by a seductive intern (Dianna Agron). To quell this overt office affair, he instead looks to internet escort services to make a more “transactional” relationship with these women. He soon finds himself addicted to the service and forced to come to terms not only with the legality of his behaviour but its affect on his burgeoning political career.
Cineplex spoke with Wilson and Agron while they were in Sundance to promote the film, along with other members of the strong cast including Richard Dreyfuss, »
- Jason Gorber
Following a potential political sex scandal through the eyes of the politician, “Zipper” plays like an odd hybrid of “Shame” and a season-long subplot on “House of Cards.” Tawdry but cripplingly self-serious, the second feature from Mora Stephens (a full decade after her little seen, and also politically themed, debut “Conventioneers”) benefits from Patrick Wilson’s committed star turn. Still, the awkward end product would inevitably struggle in theatrical venues, making it more advisable to play to the base and go straight to VOD and premium cable.
Federal prosecutor Sam Ellis (Wilson) is on the fast track in national politics. He’s got it all: high-profile career success, good looks, charm, a well-connected and shrewdly strategic wife, Jeannie (Lena Headey), and a clean-cut image as someone who wants to punish the bad and protect the good. Sam even rejects the advances of comely intern Dalia (Dianna Agron) when they share »
- Geoff Berkshire
Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they acquired worldwide rights to Grandma. The film, written and directed by Paul Weitz, premieres Friday at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and stars Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox and Sam Elliott. Grandma is produced by Andrew Miano, Weitz, Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis and Terry Dougas and executive produced by Stephanie Meurer, Dan Balgoyen and Danielle Renfrew Behrens.
In Grandma, Lily Tomlin is Elle Reid. Elle has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when Elle's granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing $600 before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.
The deal was negotiated by Wme Global and Alex Kohner of Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman. Michael Barker and »
Sony Pictures Classics announced late last night that it has acquired the worldwide rights to "Grandma," in a deal reported to be worth roughly $2 million. Premiering Friday at Sundance, the film stars Lily Tomlin as sharp-tongued poet Elle Reid, who breaks off a four-month relationship with her girlfriend (Judy Greer) and traverses L.A. to scrounge up the $600 her granddaughter (Julia Garner) needs for an abortion. Directed by Paul Weitz ("About a Boy"), the film also features Marcia Gay Harden, Sam Elliott, "Orange is the New Black" stalwart Laverne Cox, John Cho, and the late Elizabeth Peña, in one of her final screen roles. The news marks the latest milestone in Tomlin's resurgence, 40 years after her career-defining role in Robert Altman's "Nashville." The 75-year-old actress is slated to appear with Jane Fonda in Netflix's highly anticipated comedy "Grace and Frankie," which debuts May 8. Early notices for »
- Matt Brennan
“What I enjoy about it is we have a laugh,” the actor said. “We want to make sure it’s embedded in there so having Simon write it is the perfect fit.”
- Luke Owen
The 2015 Sundance Film Festival kicked off last night in Park City, Utah, and runs until January 30, when the fest will end with the world premiere of Grandma in a Closing Night Gala screening on Friday, January 30. Deadline has the first clip from director Paul Weitz's latest project, which features comedy legend Lily Tomlin squaring off against rising star Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars, The Stand) in a foul-mouthed exchange.
The story centers on self-described misanthrope Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin), who has her protective bubble burst when her 18-year-old granddaughter, Sage (Julia Garner), shows up needing help. The two of them go on a day-long journey that causes Elle to come to terms with her past and Sage to confront her future. This scene shows how Elle tries to get Cam (Nat Wolff) to come up with some cash, since it appears Cam got Sage pregnant, with Elle »
Chicago – This Thursday marks the beginning of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and yours truly will be in attendance to cover the fest for HollywoodChicago.com. Last year, the Park City, Utah event introduced the world to its 2014-defining sensations like “Whiplash” and “Boyhood”.
Those titles followed in the paths of indie landmarks such as “sex, lies and videotape,” “Clerks,” “Hoop Dreams,” “American Movie,” “Memento,” “Frozen River,” “Winter’s Bone,” and “Fruitvale Station,” among many others.
In pursuit of new favorite films for a new year, I’ve composed a relatively solid schedule so that I can devour as much diverse Sundance goodness as possible. Narratives, documentaries, white supremacists, nasty babies, Neil Hamburger, Chiwetel Ejiofor, stolen cop cars, and much, much more are all in play. But with hopes that everything I witness is the next “Boyhood”-like zeitgeist, I’ll be sure to report back here on what’s worth, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Oh, Selfie, how little we knew you. Earlier this week, Hulu aired the 13th and final episode of the show following ABC's cancellation after six episodes. We were essentially watching a zombie. The brilliant Phil Maciak called it “necro-streaming” — the show didn’t know it was already over. Unfortunately, right around the time that it was canceled, another strange thing happened: Selfie found its center. Not unlike Eliza Dooley’s (Karen Gillan) own evolution, what started as a shallow conceit with a cringe-inducing title started to show off real charm and chemistry between leads Gillan and John Cho, who played Henry Higgs.And while most freshman cancellations go unnoticed and un-mourned, Selfie whipped up enough passion in its short time for fans to circulate a petition first asking ABC and then Hulu (you can still sign it!) to save the show. Part of the reason was historic — Selfie was the »
- E. Alex Jung
18 items from 2015
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