13 items from 2015
Written & Directed by Benson Lee
South Korea/China, 2015
Director Benson Lee’s film, Seoul Searching, is a semi-autobiographical story about a summer camp for the teenage children of Korea’s emigrants during the mid-eighties. Lee has a clear love for and understanding of the 80’s teen movies that inspired his film, and he packs Seoul Searching with all the debauchery, angst, and political incorrectness of its genre predecessors.
In the early 1980s, the Korean government created an outreach program meant to establish a cultural bond with gyopo (foreign born Korean teenagers). The government decided to foot the bill for summer camps (based in Korea) where gyopo would visit in order to establish cultural ties with their parent’s homeland. Seoul Searching begins with a motley crew of teenagers from around the globe stepping foot on Korean soil for the first time. Amongst the group of misfits are Sid »
- Victor Stiff
John Gemberling (Broad City), Jessy Hodges (Hindsight), Milana Vayntrub (CollegeHumor Originals) and Justin Chon (Sin City Saints) are set to co-star opposite Echo Kellum in Comedy Central pilot Overanalyzers. Bryan Poyser has been tapped to direct. Created by Brian Schacter, Overanalyzers follows the misadventures of a diverse group of friends (Gemberling, Kellum, Hodges, Vayntrub and Chon) in their mid-twenties as they navigate the fast-moving technological and cultural… »
Ten years ago, the Internet-famous duo behind Smosh were teens hanging out in the Sacramento suburbs making funny videos and song parodies just for the hell of it, and sharing them with friends on this new site called YouTube.
Today, Smosh is a multimillion-dollar enterprise, counting more than 30 million subscribers across its six YouTube channels, and encompassing merchandise, comics and game apps. The guys are on the vanguard of a trend Hollywood is eyeing closely: They’re starring in “Smosh: The Movie,” a slapstick-y caper in which Hecox and Padilla teleport into different YouTubers’ channels in a quest to delete an embarrassing video of Anthony. The comedy is set for digital release July 24, after a red-carpet premiere in Los Angeles and fan screening in Anaheim, Calif., timed for the annual VidCon online-video confab.
“It’s something that the fans really wanted, »
- Todd Spangler
The latest film led by online video stars is Man Up, and as of May 28th, it is available through Video On Demand. The film, which stars Kevin Wu as a slacker who must learn how to become a dad and Justin Chon as his crazy best friend, can be purchased for $9.99 or rented for half that price.
In Man Up, announced in March 2015, Martin (played by Wu, who is known as KevJumba on YouTube) must quickly mature after his girlfriend (Galadriel Stineman) reveals she is pregnant. Off the Dock, a digital studio run by production company Lakeshore Entertainment, produced the film, and Supergravity Pictures, a recently-launched studio that works with YouTube stars, handled distribution. Chon, whose film roles include Twilight, directed.
- Sam Gutelle
“Lucas and Moore have written a funny and heartfelt script about women and the challenges of motherhood,” said Mann. “I am thrilled to be working with them on this film, and to collaborate for the first time with Block Entertainment and Merced Media.”
Block added: “When we read Lucas and Moore’s script we knew it was a hit and a global female comedy »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Evan Peters is taking a room in Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story: Hotel. Also included in our latest round-up are details on The Girl in the Photographs, starring Kal Penn and executive produced by Wes Craven, as well as recently revealed photos from Fox's Scream Queens.
American Horror Story: Hotel: Ryan Murphy announced on Twitter today that Evan Peters has officially joined the cast of FX's American Horror Story: Hotel. Peters, a frequent American Horror Story actor, joins a cast that includes Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson, Wes Bentley, and Chloë Sevigny.
This season, Evan Peters will be waiting for you in Room 64. #Ahshotel
— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) April 24, 2015
The Girl in the Photographs: Press Release -- "Los Angeles, CA (April 23, 2015) – Al-Ghanim Entertainment (Age), a specialty financing and production company founded by Kuwaiti industrialist Nawaf Alghanim, has announced today that Kal Penn »
- Derek Anderson
Beverly Hills production studio Lakeshore Entertainment is eying the digital space. The company that has produced films like Million Dollar Baby and Crank has launched Off the Dock, a studio that will work with digital content creators on film projects.
The first project on Off the Dock's slate is Man Up, a project created, written, and directed by Justin Chon. Chon, best known for his role in Twilight and his vlog and sketch-based YouTube channel, will star as a swoopy-haired weirdo who must help his friend, played by Kevin "KevJumba" Wu, get ready for life as a father. A trailer is available on the YouTube channel of Supergravity Pictures, which will handle Us distribution of the film.
By launching Off the Dock, Lakeshore is jumping on the recent trend of feature films led by YouTube and Vine stars. AwesomenessTV recently announced its plan to cast digital influencers in an upcoming film called Shovel Buddies, »
- Sam Gutelle
“We are excited to blend Lakeshore’s knowledge and skills gained from its 20-year track record of traditional filmmaking and distribution with the new world of digital influencers,” said Lakeshore CFO Marc Reid. “We think each world can elevate the other.”
Off the Dock will finance, produce, acquire and distribute “digital influencer-led content.” The announcement comes on the heels of Lakeshore disclosing plans to expand its slate through a co-financing deal for 12 movies with Vine Alternative Investments Group.
“Man Up” is written, directed and stars Chon along with YouTube personality Wu, widely known as “KevJumba.” Kinetic Films produces “Man Up,” which follows a pair of 19-year-old buddies forced to prepare for the unexpected arrival of a baby fathered by Wu’s character. »
- Dave McNary
Lakeshore Entertainment, which earlier this week unveiled plans to boost its film production pipeline, is targeting the YouTube generation with a full-service digital studio.
Off The Dock will finance, produce, acquire and distribute digital influencer-led content in a bid to free up the fiercely guarded disposable income of Millennials and their younger Generation Z counterparts.
“We are excited to blend Lakeshore’s knowledge and skills gained from its 20-year track record of traditional film-making and distribution with the new world of digital influencers,” said CFO Marc Reid. “We think each world can elevate the other.”
Man Up centres on two 19-year-old friends who are forced to prepare for the unintended arrival of a baby.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Photographed by Johanna B Kelly, the film's Australian production designer.
Visual effects maestro Douglas Trumble, sound designers Wylie Stateman, Richard King and Per Hallberg and editor Joe Hutshing (whose credits include Oliver Stone.s W. and Savages and Cameron Crowe.s upcoming Aloha) have mentored Kassab.
The feature debut of Us writer-director Ted Marcus, the film follows students at an elite boarding school who take a stand against government corruption and demand radical action when the over- leveraged Us economy implodes.
The cast includes Liam Aiken (Ned Rifle, The Killer Inside Me), Connor Paolo (Mystic River, Gossip Girl, Revenge), Justin Chon (Twilight, 21 and Over), Chanelle Peloso (TV.s Incredible Crew, Zapped) and Godfrey (Louie, Soul Plane, Zoolander »
- Don Groves
Park City, Utah – This is the last batch of Sundance reviews I’ve got to offer. A tad late, but I couldn’t let these films go uncommented on, especially with their special offerings for those who seek them out. I hope that each of these films finds an audience.
Aside from “Listen to Me Marlon” (which will be debuting on Showtime soon), I have also recommended both of these films for the third annual Chicago Critics Film Festival, the next fest for your radar, which takes off May 1-7, 2015 at the Music Box Theater.
Nonetheless, below are reviews for documentaries “Listen to Me Marlon” and “Pervert Park,” along with a take on a personal favorite, the narrative film “Seoul Searching.” After that, you’ll find a brief recap of my Sundance experience, along with very brief words on a few other movies I saw.
Listen to Me Marlon
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
If you can get past the wobbly execution and the gentle groaner of a title, “Seoul Searching” delivers a sweetly engaging tribute to classic John Hughes movies and a refreshing glimpse into the secret life of the Asian teenager. Inspired by Korean-American writer-director Benson Lee’s experiences at a 1986 summer camp in Seoul, where he and some 200 other kids spent a summer learning about their heritage, this “Bibimbap Breakfast Club” ricochets from hormonal hijinks to tear-soaked melodrama to inevitable romance in endearing but wildly uneven fashion. Fortunately, its heart is always in the right place even when the camera isn’t, and as a calling-card showcase for its very appealing cast — and an upbeat tribute to the awesomeness of the ’80s in general — it should find an enthusiastic niche audience in limited-theatrical and VOD release.
As one of the few films to put Asian youth culture front and center since »
- Justin Chang
The Toronto-born child of Korean parents who left their homeland in the 1960s returns to Sundance after 1998 selection Miss Monday with a unique spin on the teen movie genre based on his own experiences.
Seoul Searching takes place in the South Korean capital in 1986 as a cosmopolitan gaggle of high school students born to expatriate Korean parents arrive for summer camp to reconnect with their roots.
Wme Global and Preferred Content represent world rights. The film screens for press and industry on January 23 followed by the public world premiere in Premieres on January 30.
What was the inspiration for the story?
It’s based on a personal experience of mine that took place in 1986. My parents were from Seoul »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
13 items from 2015
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