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Released in 2008, ‘The Rocker’ is a comedy film that was written by Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky. It is based on a story by Ryan Jaffe and was directed by Peter Cattaneo. It is about a rock band called Vesuvius who is about to make it big. The one problem they face is they are told to replace the band’s drummer, Robert ‘Fish’ Fishman, with the nephew of the record company. Fast forward twenty years and the band is enjoying huge success while their original drummer is living a normal life. The movie stars Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Josh
10 Things You Didn’t Know About 2008 Movie The Rocker »
- Nat Berman
Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, J.B. Smoove, and Vanessa Bayer also star in the story of local Pennsylvania polka legend Jan Lewan. The movie is based on the Joshua Brown and John Mikulak documentary, “The Man Who Would be Polka King,” which detailed Lewan’s rise and fall after persuading fans to invest in a Ponzi scheme, which landed him in jail.
Producers are David Permut, Stuart Cornfeld, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson, Wally Wolodarsky, Jack Black and Priyanka Mattoo. Production companies are ShivHans Pictures, Red Hour Film, Permut Presentations, and Electric Dynamite.
Dennis Harvey gave “The Polka King” a strong review at Sundance: “One of those conspicuously talented comics »
- Dave McNary
26 June 2017 8:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
The feature is based on the documentary The Man Who Would Be Polka King from directors Joshua Brown and John Mikulak, which follows Grammy-nominated polka sensation Jan Lewan, who ended up running a Soviet souvenir-based Ponzi scheme that landed him in jail.
Black stars as Lewan and also acted as a producer under his Electric Dynamite banner. David Permut, Stuart Cornfeld, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson, Wally Wolodarsky and Priyanka Mattoo also produced.
- Rebecca Ford
Netflix has taken global rights to Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky’s comedy biopic The Polka King starring Jack Black as local Pennsylvania polka legend Jan Lewan. Deadline hears that Netflix paid seven figures for the movie, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January. A deal has been in the works since the movie premiered at Sundance. A streaming date has not been determined yet, but Polka King will hit Netflix before the end of this year. No word on… »
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul”: Yup, the experience of watching this movie is right there in the title. Unconscionably overlong while offensively appealing to the lowest common denominator of filmgoers, this film would appear to lack a single reason to exist. It’s been five years since the “Diary” trilogy came to a close with “Dog Days” — a touching finale of a franchise written by the versatile Maya Forbes (“Infinitely Polar Bear,” “Monsters vs. Aliens”). The book had seemed to be literally closed on this one. And for good reason. Compelling artistry always knows where (and when) to. »
- Sam Fragoso
Having starred in a wide range of both high-profile blockbusters and more character driven dramas, it’s safe to say that Zoe Saldana is one of the most sought after actresses working in the industry today. Last year saw her team with Oscar-winner Ben Affleck for Live By Night, an action packed crime thriller, set in the Roaring 20s amidst an underground network of gangster-run speakeasies. To mark the release of the film out on Digital Download now and available on Blu-ray™ and DVD from May 22, we’ve rounded up her six most essential performances.
Avatar is widely recognised as a visual extravaganza and a box office behemoth, having taken the spot of highest grossest film of all time from James Cameron’s previous film Titanic. However, its stunning effects and epic story would not have landed with audiences nearly as much without compelling performances at the centre, and »
- The Hollywood News
Let's hear it for the writers!
The Writer's Guild of America held their annual awards show on Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, where Barry Jenkins' Moonlight, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Donald Glover's breakout series, Atlanta were among those recognized for their achievement of the written word.
Read on below to see the full list of winners.
Television And New Media Winners
The Americans, Written »
The Writers Guild Awards and the Academy writing nominees always don’t line up; many films are ineligible. This year, those included Oscar-writing nominees “Lion” and “The Lobster.”
This year, the WGA and the Academy differed dramatically. While the WGA deemed “Moonlight” and “Loving” as Original Screenplays, the Academy considered both as Adapted; only “Moonlight” landed a nomination.
At the WGA, as at the BAFTAs, Barry Jenkins’ script for “Moonlight” competed for the Original Screenplay Award against both Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea” and Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land.” Unlike the BAFTAs, Jenkins emerged the winner over Lonergan, a sign of strength for “Moonlight,” which is nominated for eight Oscars.
However, in the Oscars’ Original Screenplay contest, lauded playwright and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lonergan (“You Can Count On Me, »
- Anne Thompson
The Writers Guild Of America, West and East held simultaneous ceremonies on both coasts on Sunday night.
Key categories appear below. For a full list of winners, click here.
Film Winnersoriginal Screenplay
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Welcome to the first, hopefully annual, Weekend Warrior Sundance Awards, where I go through the couple dozen movies I had a chance to see over the course of the past week and pick some of my favorite things.
I ended up seeing roughly thirty movies in total, only walking out of a couple (that won’t be mentioned), and overall, it was a generally decent Sundance, although only a few movies really stood out and will be remembered later in the year when we start talking about next year’s Oscars.
Oddly, I missed many of the movies that won actual awards at Sundance, so I’ve decided to give a few of my own.
Most Literal Use of a Movie Title
1. Beatriz at Dinner (starring Salma Hayek as a Mexican healer named Beatriz who is invited to stay for dinner at »
- Edward Douglas
Kudos to Jack Black for trying new things. The actor seems to be on a mission to expand his comedic (and dramatic) palette with interesting turns in smaller fare like Bernie, The D Train and now The Polka King. Written and directed by Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky (also responsible for recent Sundance flick Infinitely Polar Bear), the film tells the true story of Jan Lewan, famed Polish polka singer and Ponzi scheme scammer in Pennsylvania (try saying that five times fast). Based out of a novelty store in Hazleton, Jan wraps himself up in the American Dream. Playing everything from weddings to county fairs and other senior citizen-heavy venues, his polka fanbase grows as he continues to expand the number of band members, much to the chagrin of friend and band clarinetist Mickey (Jason Schwartzman).
Jan is a untenable ball of ambition, determined to become rich and famous while remaining well-loved by all. »
- Dan Mecca
Plot: The true story of Jan Lewan (Jack Black), a Pennsylvania Polka sensation who ran a $5 million ponzi scheme, to the complete ignorance of his wife (Jenny Slate) and best friend/ band-mate (Jason Schwartzman. Review: The Polka King is so strange a tale, it could only be based on fact. Were it not, people would have written-off Maya Forbes (Infinitely Polar Bear) and Wallace... Read More »
- Chris Bumbray
There are three things you can always count on: death, taxes and that any movie with Jason Schwartzman playing a clarinet can’t be all bad.
The Polka King, a return to Sundance for Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky after Infinitely Polar Bear, is definitely wacky, perhaps even a little zany, but as the pre-title card and closing credits photos remind us, this is based on a true story. That fact serves as a considerable engagement engine, as this is the type of story where, if someone told it to you, you might say, “Man, they ought to make a movie about that!”
Continue reading »
- Jordan Hoffman
One of those conspicuously talented comics who nonetheless can be tricky to cast, Jack Black has rather surprisingly found some of his best big-screen roles portraying liberally dramatized versions of real people, à la “School of Rock” and “Bernie.” (No, “Drunk History” doesn’t count.) Featuring Black’s most eccentric true-life character yet, “The Polka King” amply plays to its star’s strengths, yielding a hilariously tough-to-believe biopic that should easily prove one of the bigger commercial breakouts of Sundance’s 2017 edition.
Co-directors Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky’s affectionately farcical comedy is based on a loopy 2009 documentary about Jan Lewan, a colorful Polish émigré turned “Polka King of Pennsylvania” turned convicted Ponzi-scheme felon. Perfectly cast down the line, this bizarre tale of the American Dream gone kitschily awry introduces Black’s Jan in 1990, when he’d be well on his way to realizing that dream, if only the finances would cooperate. »
- Dennis Harvey
22 January 2017 11:52 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Unbounded optimism is a great thing up to a point in The Polka King, Maya Forbes' feature version of the true story in which a flamboyant bandleader found himself swindling his aged fans out of millions. Jack Black, as the immigrant musician in question, finds a role that invites a great deal of Jack Black-ness, full of peppy showmanship and thickly accented dialogue. But even moviegoers with a strong tolerance for that shtick may be less than involved with this half-charming feature, which inspires some sympathy for its protagonist but not enough to carry the film. Commercial prospects are iffy, »
- John DeFore
If you think sex scenes may be awkward, you’re wrong. Just ask Jacki Weaver.
“It was fabulous! It was fantastic,” the Oscar-nominated actress told Variety about the sex scene she shares with Jason Schwartzman in the indie film “The Polka King,” which debuts Sunday night at the Sundance Film Festival.
Speaking at the Variety Studio at Sundance, Weaver, 69, opened up about the scene she shares with her Schwartzman, 36 — a movie moment that’s creating buzz around the annual festival in Park City, Utah.
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Jack Black jokingly compared the president to Sheen during an interview at the Variety Studio presented by Orville Redenbacher’s at the Sundance Film Festival where the actor was on hand to promote his new film, “The Polka King.”
After discussing the movie — in which Black plays the polka sensation Jan Lewan who ran a Ponzi scheme — the conversation turned to politics when Variety asked about the Sundance Women’s March and Trump becoming president.
“We’ve got to start thinking globally. We’re going to be working together, if we’re going to survive, if the human race, if this species is going to survive,” Black »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Although the 2016 season in film isn't quite over until the Oscars take place, 2017's newest and most anticipated films are about to usher their way onto the (screen) scene. The Sundance Film Festival has arrived! This year's festival consists of 113 full-length films coming from as many as 31 countries and debuting 36 first-time filmmakers. Those included in the lineup come from a whopping 13,782 submissions, 95 of which will be world premieres. And to save you some trouble (read: countless hours scrolling Rotten Tomatoes), we've rounded up the most eagerly awaited movies you're most likely to hear about postpremiere. How about that for upping your indie culture game? 1. Before I Fall Director: Ry Russo-Young Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Diego Boneta This is a book-to-film adaptation based on the 2010 novel of same name by Lauren Oliver. High schooler Samantha Kingston (Deutch) thinks she has it all, living life amongst her Mean Girls-esque clique, »
- McCall Minnor
The Sundance Film Festival has been the launching pad for some of the greatest indie films ever made. The likes of “Reservoir Dogs,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and last year’s “Manchester by the Sea” all got their starts at the mountainside festival. That track record of finding new talent and fresh stories is what keeps studio executives and fan lovers flocking to Park City. So as Sundance gets ready to kick off on Thursday, hope springs anew.
There are a number of films that are already generating massive buzz, sight unseen. They range from Oscar contenders to crowd pleasing comedies to ripped-from-the-headlines documentaries. If they live up to the hype, all of them should score big paydays. Here’s a look at the films that are most likely to spark all-night bidding frenzies.
Director: Dee Rees
Sales agent: Wme »
- Brent Lang
Bidding wars have already begun for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Buyers snapped up six titles in the days leading up to the fest, including one that A24 purchased sight unseen: David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story,” starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. Other movies acquired in the past two weeks are “Berlin Syndrome” (Netflix), “Call Me By Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics), “Casting JonBenet” (Netflix), “Cries From Syria” (HBO for television rights) and “Long Strange Trip” (Amazon).
Read More: Sundance 2017: Netflix, Vertical Acquire ‘Berlin Syndrome’
With 120 features playing at Sundance, there are plenty of hot titles remaining for acquisition executive, though it will be tough for any film to exceed last year’s $17.5 million purchase of “The Birth of a Nation” by Fox Searchlight, the biggest deal in the festival’s history.
Which movies are likely to have buyers lining up in the cold this year? Here are 14 hot »
- Graham Winfrey
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