19 items from 2015
A Kickstarter-financed Spike Lee Joint, Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus is a new kind of love story, one that centers on an addiction to blood that once doomed a long forgotten ancient African tribe. When Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) is introduced to, and then murdered with, a mysteriously cursed artifact by art curator Lafayette Hightower (Elvis Nolasco), he is uncontrollably drawn into a newfound thirst for blood that overwhelms his soul. Lafayette quickly succumbs to the ravenous nature of the infliction, killing himself, but leaves Hess a transformed man. Soon Lafayette’s wife, Ganja (Zaraah Abrahams), comes looking for her husband and becomes involved in a dangerous romance with Hess that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society. The couple marry, and Hess seems genuinely in love, while Ganja is genuinely in love with her new position, and not in »
- Tom Stockman
After a theatrical run in February Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, directed by Spike Lee, will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 26th, 2015. Also in this round-up: release details on a Fright Rags shirt for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and a trailer for The Man in the Shadows.
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus: Press Release -- "Anchor Bay Entertainment and Gravitas Ventures will release the Spike Lee thriller Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus on Blu-ray™ and DVD on May 26, 2015. The film previously hit theaters on February 13th after a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the production. It’s a reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s horror cult film “Ganja & Hess”, which played as a Critics Choice at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival; Spike Lee’s stylized thriller features an Original Score by Bruce Hornsby.
- Tamika Jones
Stars: Stephen Tyron Williams, Zaraah Abrahams, Rami Malek, Elvis Nolasco, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Joie Lee, Felicia Pearson, Jeni Perillo, Katherine Borowitz, Donna Dixon, Chiz Schultz, Lauren Macklin, Steven Hauck, Stephen Henderson, Rafael Osorio | Written and Directed by Spike Lee
The respected filmmaker hitting Kickstarter for help phenomenon seems to have died down over the last year or so but along with Zach Braff, Spike Lee was certainly one of the highlights of this short-lived trend. Shaking the virtual tip jar towards a great many people, myself included, he managed to get together a budget of just under $1.5 million, including a $10,000 donation from Steven Soderbergh and so presents us with Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, a somewhat surprise remake of 70’s indie flick Ganja & Hess. Even with my meagre donation, I think it was $10, it’s sad to say that I feel ripped off and I suspect most will.
The question »
- Ian Loring
The premiere of Mr. Robot may be over a month away, but BuddyTV has an exclusive look behind the scenes from the set this new series. Ben Rappaport shares his "day in the life of" album from his time playing Ollie, the on-screen boyfriend of Portia Doubleday's character.
Check out Ben reading his script, outside his trailer and hanging out with his co-stars, including Michel Gill, Portia Doubleday and Rami Malek. Then mark your calendar for Mr. Robot's premiere Wednesday, June 24 at 10pm Et.
Sneak Peek writer/director Spike Lee's comedy romance thriller "Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus", starring Stephen Tyrone Williams, Felicia Pearson, Rami Malek, Elvis Nolasco and Zaraah Abrahams, available on DVD and Blu-ray, May 19, 2015 from Anchor Bay Entertainment:
"...'Dr. Hess Green' (Williams) becomes cursed by a mysterious ancient African artifact and is overwhelmed with a newfound thirst for blood.
"He however is not a vampire. But soon after his transformation he enters into a dangerous romance with 'Ganja Hightower' (Abrahams) that questions the very nature...
"...of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society..."
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus"...
- Michael Stevens
Read More: Review: What is 'Mr. Robot,' and Why Did It Win the SXSW Audience Award? USA has just released a new 30-second promo for "Mr. Robot," the 10-episode thriller series from creator Sam Esmail ("Comet") about an anti-social computer programmer who is recruited by a mysterious hacker group to take down society. Rami Malek ("The Pacific") stars alongside Christian Slater ("The Adderall Diaries'), Portia Doubleday ("Her"), Carly Chaikin ("Suburgatory") and Martin Wallström ("Easy Money III"). The trailer features a short pull-quote from Indiewire's TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller, who called the pilot "one of the fest's most surprising and intriguing series" in her review of the SXSW 2015 premiere. "Mr. Robot" won the 2015 SXSW Episodic Audience Award, and was an official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival. The show premieres Wednesday, June 24 at 10pm on USA. Read »
- Becca Nadler
USA Network hopes to amp up word of mouth and tune-in for for its renegade hacker drama “Mr. Robot” by making the pilot episode widely available through streaming and VOD sources nearly a month before its linear premiere.
The NBCUniversal cabler is also targeting Hispanic audiences with the show that stars Rami Malek as a It whiz who is recruited by an anti-establishment org to bring down the corporation he’s supposed to protect.
“Mr. Robot” will roll out May 27 on nearly two dozen partner sites, ranging from cable VOD and TV Everywhere platforms to iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Google Play and PlayStation to IMBb.com, Crave Online, TheVerge.com and latina.com. USA Network president Chris McCumber said the goal is to make it widely available to the millennial demo, a key target for the show. The elaborate pre-launch plan underscores the importance of the June 24 linear premiere of “Mr. Robot” to USA, »
- Cynthia Littleton
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
(Xbox One, PS4, PC)
This first person shooter releases May 5 and is one of the most exciting in the genre for 2015. “Wolfenstein” is a longstanding franchise so we know it will be worth playing not to mention “The Old Blood” is a standalone prequel to a previous release and critically acclaimed game in the series, “The New Order.”
“It is the year is 1946 and the Nazis are on the brink of winning World War II. In an effort to turn the tide in the Allies’ favor, B.J. Blazkowicz must embark on an epic, two-part mission deep within Bavaria. Part one of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves – pits Bj Blazkowicz against a maniacal prison warden as he breaks into Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to steal the coordinates to General Deathshead’s compound. In part two – The Dark Secrets of »
- Sarah Sommer
Premiering June 24, the techno thriller stars Rami Malek (The Pacific) as Elliot, a cyber-security engineer by day/vigilante hacker by night who is recruited by the leader (Christian Slater) of an underground group to destroy the very firm, E Corp, he is paid to protect. The regular cast also includes Portia Doubleday (Mr. Sunshine), Carly Chaikin (Suburgatory) and Martin Wallström.
Netflix’s upcoming series The Get Down has cast its four lead roles. The hip hop drama, set in New York in the 70s, has tapped Shameik Moore, Justice Smith, Skylan Brooks, and Tremain Brown Jr. to star in the series. Moore, who will soon be seen on the big screen in the Sundance feature Dope, will be playing Shaolin Fantastic, while Smith, who is in this summer’s Paper Towns, will play Ezekiel. Brown Jr. will make his acting debut on the series by playing Boo-Boo, while Brooks, who was one of the two leads in The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, will play Ra-Ra.
Netflix describes The Get Down thusly.
The Get Down focuses on 1970s New York — broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped — dying. Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Need for Speed didn't exactly set the box office on fire last year, taking in just $43.5 million domestically. But if three Chinese studios have their way, they will start production on a sequel later this year. Video game publisher Electronic Arts is teaming with Chinese companies China Movie Channel Program Center, Jiaflix Enterprises and 1905 Pictures, the same three companies that co-produced Transformers: Age of Extinction with Paramount, to make Need for Speed 2. The follow-up will be shot in China and feature the nation's actors taking on "significant roles," according to Variety, although the sequel doesn't have a writer or director locked in yet.
While Need for Speed underperformed domestically, it still pulled in $159.7 internationally, $65 million of which came from China alone. Overall, Need for Speed took in $203.7 million worldwide from a $66 million production budget. Here's what China Movie Channel Chairman Yin Cao had to say about the sequel in a statement. »
It’s time to get your summer Suits pressed and ready. USA Network has announced the upcoming summer premiere dates for new seasons of its hit legal drama, spy series Graceland, and comedy Playing House, among other returning series. Additionally, USA also revealed the premiere dates for new series Complications (starring Jason O’Mara and Jessica Szohr) and Mr. Robot (starring Rami Malek and Christian Slater). Check out USA’s full summer schedule below: Tuesday, June 2: Chrisley Knows Best Season 3 at 9 p.m. and Royal Pains Season 7 at 10 p.m. Thursday, June 18: Complications (new series) at 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 23: WWE Tough Enough at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 24: Suits Season 5 at 9 p.m. and new series Mr. Robot at 10 p.m. Thursday, June 25: Graceland Season 3 at 10 p.m. Tuesday, August 4: Playing House Season 2 (episodes of the series will be available a week before their »
- Chris King
The cabler also announced pilot orders for a pair of offshoots of Chrisley Knows Best — one, a late-night talk show hosted by patriarch Todd Chrisley, the other a series in which Todd tags along with his college-bounds kids — and that WWE’s SmackDown will join its lineup in early 2016.
The summer premiere dates are as follows:
USA Network is doubling down on WWE, bringing “SmackDown” over from Syfy next year as part of an effort to hike the volume of live programming on NBCUniversal’s flagship entertainment cabler.
The move of “SmackDown,” a slew of development projects, new programs featuring the Chrisley clan and summer scheduling announcements were unveiled Tuesday morning at USA Network’s press upfront gathering held at 30 Rock’s Rainbow Room.
USA Network president Chris McCumber made it clear in his presentation that the cabler is shifting the focus of its original programming to court a millennial audience. He noted that the generational shift of millennials now making up the largest component of the 18-49 audience is well under way. USA’s new shows are built around stories and characters that exhibit “bravery, optimism, self-reliance and hope” — all themes that resonate with millennials, per McCumber.
Alex Sepiol, USA’s senior VP of scripted programming, »
- Cynthia Littleton
Long gone are the summers filled with reruns of favorite shows. Also, is the notion that summer replacement shows are "not good enough" for the fall. Some of today's most popular shows are those that premiere in the summer.
USA network announced its summer line up during its annual Upfront presentation which includes two new drama series: Mr. Robot and Complications. Mr. Robot, (a terrible name for hopefully a much better series), is described as a techno-thriller starring Christian Slater and Rami Malek. Malek plays a young programmer recruited by Slater to join an underground hacker group. Complications is created by Matt Nix (Burn Notice) and stars Jason O'Mara (Life on Mars) and Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl).
S’Blood: Lee’s Facsimile of Bill Gunn an Odd Satisfaction
Surprisingly, after the failure of his 2013 remake of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy, provocateur Spike Lee’s latest, the Kickstarter funded Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, is also a remake, a modernization of Bill Gunn’s 1973 classic Ganja & Hess, a film tenuously positioned within the spectrum of Blaxploitation. Lee initially explained that the film was about blood addiction and not vampires, with early conversations indicating that this had nothing to do with the likes of Blacula. But those familiar with Gunn’s brilliant and strange (if somewhat compromised) original film will see his stamp all over it, directed with uneasy disconnect from Lee. It’s an odd, sometimes off-putting film, but it strikes a distinctive, addictive chord, generating a particular scent that will draw you down its path. Though Lee expressly wishes the focus of the film to be about »
- Nicholas Bell
The 2015 SXSW Film Festival will be running from March 13th through March 21st in Austin, Texas and the first wave of selections were announced today to get attendees excited for all the amazing films coming our way next month. And while horror fans have to wait until next week for the announcement of the Midnighters slate, here’s a look at some of the genre-related titles already revealed amidst SXSW’s other film categories for this year.
Narrative Feature Competition
Director/Screenwriter: J. Davis
The story of two brothers: one who’s devoted to his family, the other who’s obsessed with the Manson Family. Cast: Jay Duplass, Linas Phillips, Leonora Pitts, Tobin Bell, Adam Chernick, Davie-Blue. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Alex Garland
- Heather Wixson
Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in TrainwreckPhoto: Universal Pictures With Sundance just wrapping up and Berlin starting up in a few days, we are now immersed in the year-long barrage of film festivals. One such festival in South By Southwest. A few weeks back they announced the first seven films of their program, including the opening night film Brand: A Second Coming. Today, they have revealed the rest of the features to be shown in March (except for the midnight program), and some of it has me very excited. The bigger titles announced do not do much for me. Paul Feig's Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy, and the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart starrer Get Hard leave a lot to be desired in terms of anticipation, as does a work in progress cut of Judd Apatow's latest film Trainwreck. I'm guessing an Apatow work in progress is probably around three and a half hours. »
- Mike Shutt
South by Southwest, the multi-faceted film, music and technology festival held annually in Austin, TX will feature such upcoming films as Paul Feig’s Spy, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, and Ondi Timoner’s Russell Brand profile Brand: A Second Coming as headliners in this year’s film festival lineup.
SXSW runs from March 13 to 21 in Austin and is now in its 22nd year. Variety has details of the 145 films and 100 world premieres bowing at this year’s festival. Brand, as previously reported, will be the festival’s opening night film.
Other notable titles on the list are the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, a rough cut of Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, the directorial debut of 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland, Ex Machina, and a new comedy by Michael Showalter, Hello, My Name is Doris.
On the small screen, »
- Brian Welk
19 items from 2015
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