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Film Review: ‘Friends and Romans’

Film Review: ‘Friends and Romans’
A comedy about refuting expectations that never deviates from formula, “Friends and Romans” squanders charismatic star Michael Rispoli in a leaden mess that elicits nothing but eye-rolling groans. Populated by Italian-American actors most notable for filling out the ranks of various gangster films and TV shows, director Christopher Kublan’s dramedy finds a pigeonholed thespian trying to break free from his dead-end career as an extra in organized-crime fictions by staging a one-night-only theatrical Shakespeare production. While its portrait of people striving to be more than they are — or presumed to be — affords some genial uplift, this indie’s theatrical prospects will probably be limited to the tiny niche of moviegoers who can’t get enough “Godfather”-related gags.

Operating from the premise that Don Corleone impersonations are the height of hilarity, Kublan’s film (co-written with Rispoli and Gregg Greenberg) opens with Staten Island native Nick DeMaio (Rispoli) at an audition,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Danish Girl' Trailer #2 Shows Eddie Redmayne's Amazing Transformation

  • MovieWeb
'Danish Girl' Trailer #2 Shows Eddie Redmayne's Amazing Transformation
Earlier this year, rising star Eddie Redmayne took home his first Oscar for playing Stephen Hawking in the critically-acclaimed drama The Theory of Everything. The actor's new film The Danish Girl may give him a chance to join elite company like Tom Hanks and Katharine Hepburn by winning Oscars in back-to-back years. While we still have a few months to wait and see if he'll even be nominated, you can take a look at new footage from The Danish Girl in a new trailer.

Inspired by the true story of Danish painter Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) and his California-born wife (Alicia Vikander), this tender portrait of a marriage asks: What do you do when someone you love wants to change? It starts with a question, a simple favor asked of a husband by his wife on an afternoon chilled by the Baltic wind while both are painting in their studio.
See full article at MovieWeb »

'The Danish Girl' Trailer Transforms Eddie Redmayne Into a Woman

  • MovieWeb
'The Danish Girl' Trailer Transforms Eddie Redmayne Into a Woman
Watch Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander in the official trailer for Focus Features' The Danish Girl. From Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper, and based on the book by David Ebershoff, the love story opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, November 27th, and in additional cities in December. The drama will be opening in limited release against Creed, Victor Frankenstein, The Good Dinosaur and The Night Before.

The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Einar and Gerda Wegener (Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander), whose marriage and work are cast into the unknown when Einar begins a groundbreaking journey to become one of the world's first transgender women, Lili Elbe. This tender portrait of a marriage asks: What do you do when someone you love wants to change? It starts with a question, a simple favor asked of a
See full article at MovieWeb »

Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl To Be Released November 27th, 2015 For Awards Season

Working Title FilmsThe Danish Girl, directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables) and starring Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, Les Misérables) and Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair, Anna Karenina), will be released domestically by Focus Features in exclusive engagements in New York and Los Angeles beginning Friday, November 27th, 2015, and by Universal Pictures International overseas. Focus CEO Peter Schlessel made the announcement today.

The Danish Girl is the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Einar and Gerda Wegener (being portrayed, respectively, by Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander), whose marriage and work are cast into the unknown when Einar begins a groundbreaking journey to become one of the world’s first transgender women, Lili Elbe.

The Danish Girl has been adapted into a screenplay by BAFTA Award nominee Lucinda Coxon, based on the novel of the same name by David Ebershoff.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Andy Garcia and Raymond De Felitta on twisting the crime genre in 'Rob the Mob'

  • Hitfix
Andy Garcia and Raymond De Felitta on twisting the crime genre in 'Rob the Mob'
Miami - We've so often seen Andy Garcia performing in an Italian-American gangster guise – from “The Untouchables” to “Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead” to, of course, his Oscar-nominated breakout role in “The Godfather Part III” – that it's easy to forget the Havana-born actor's Cuban heritage. Or perhaps not so easy in Miami, Garcia's hometown from the age of five. Back in town for the Miami Film Festival premiere of his new film “Rob the Mob,” Garcia is greeted with a collective roar of affection by the local crowd packing out the city's spectacular Gusman Theater; earlier that day, when we meet for a chat in the Standard Hotel restaurant, he has the breezy assurance of a man who knows his way around. His old high school, he points out, is a short distance down the street, while a number of his films have played the festival
See full article at Hitfix »

Miami Film Review: ‘Rob the Mob’

Miami Film Review: ‘Rob the Mob’
Two decades after serving as semi-light relief for Big Apple newspaper editors in the heady days of the John Gotti trial, the richly improbable story of Tommy and Rosemarie Uva gets lively, compassionate treatment in the latest likable effort from practised East Coast portraitist Raymond De Felitta. Though the film reunites De Felitta with Andy Garcia, the star and producer of 2010′s “City Island,” the spotlight is ceded to sparky younger stars Michael Pitt and Nina Arianda as a Bronx-reared Bonnie and Clyde who hit on a novel, elegant and inevitably ill-fated get-rich-quick scheme: holding up and cleaning out Mafia social clubs, knowing their victims would keep the law out of it. Graced with good humor, seamy period texture and a particularly sensational turn from Arianda, this otherwise unassuming pic – premiered at the Miami Film Festival – opens in limited release on March 21, and should do its best business in ancillary.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Exclusive Clip from Rob The Mob Starring Michael Pitt, Ray Romano, and Andy Garcia

  • Collider.com
We here at Collider are debuting an exclusive clip from director Raymond De Felitta’s upcoming crime drama Rob the Mob. Based on a true story, the film stars Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire) and Nina Arianda (Midnight in Paris) as a couple who, while brazenly stealing from mob-run social clubs in New York City, stumble upon something that puts them in grave danger and makes them the target of both the mob and the FBI. The film also stars Ray Romano, Andy Garcia, Michael Rispoli, and Griffin Dunne. Hit the jump to watch the clip. Rob the Mob opens in theaters on March 21st. ComplexEmbed.Application.initialize({cId: "RjMHd3azrIbsXNqo_LPBnL10dFLo2BkN",adSetCode: "67a3ff9d3a842ae818bb9de1badc5b0",site: "collider",kw: ""});Please enable Javascript to watch this video Here’s the official synopsis for Rob the Mob: Michael Pitt (“Boardwalk Empire,” Seven Psychopaths), Tony
See full article at Collider.com »

Exclusive: Michael Pitt in Poster for March Release Drama 'Rob the Mob'

  • Indiewire
Exclusive: Michael Pitt in Poster for March Release Drama 'Rob the Mob'
Director Raymond De Felitta, whose 2006 drama "Two Family House" won the Sundance Audience Award, returns with another crime film, "Rob the Mob," which stars Michael Pitt (who recently appeared in the Sundance hit "I Origins") and up-and-comer Nina Arianda ("Tower Heist" and "Midnight in Paris"). The film is to be distributed by Millennium Entertainment in North America and is scheduled for a March 21, 2014 release. Below is the official synopsis: "Rob the Mob" is the true-life story of a crazy-in-love Queens couple who robbed a series of mafia social clubs and got away with it…for a while…until they stumble upon a score bigger than they ever planned and become targets of both the mob and the FBI. Andy Garcia, Michael Rispoli, Samira Wiley and Ray Romano also star.
See full article at Indiewire »

Bravo Orders De Felitta Drama Script From Warner Horizon Set In Crash Of ’08

  • Deadline TV
Exclusive: Bravo continues to invest in its move back to scripted drama series, ordering a script from Warner Horizon Television for a one-hour drama series from writer/director Raymond De Felitta (City Island, Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story, Café Society, Two Family House) set during the Wall Street crash of ’08. In Down Dog, a female hedge fund trader in New York finds her business and personal life going in the tank. Needing an outlet to calm her anxieties, she turns to yoga and finds inner peace via the teachings of a mysterious male yoga teacher. Together they create a worldwide self-help/religious movement, called “Humble Tiger.” The NBCUniversal-owned cable net also recently ordered a script from Warner Horizon based on Charles Dicken’s A Bleak House.
See full article at Deadline TV »

Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story to be Featured on Dateline NBC

At 7:00 pm (check local listings) this Sunday, Dateline NBC will air a special report featuring the Tff 2012 documentary, Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story. Placing first in Criticwire's recent mid-year lists of Top Documentaries of 2012 and the Top Festival Premieres of 2012, this documentary by versatile filmmaker Raymond De Felitta (City Island, Two Family House) richly deserves the attention. It is also fitting that an NBC news show is featuring the film. In 1965, filmmaker Frank De Felitta produced a documentary for NBC News about racial tensions in Greenwood, a small town on the Mississippi Delta, during the height of the Civil Rights movement. While many African-Americans in the town were afraid to meet with the crew, one man threw aside caution and spoke to the camera. Booker Wright - owner of a restaurant called Booker's Place and a well-known waiter ...
See full article at Tribeca Film »

Tribeca Film Acquires North American Rights To Booker.S Place: A Mississippi Story; 4 Films To See Video-On-Demand Release

Tribeca Film will release The Giant Mechanical Man, Death Of A Superhero, and Sleepless Night nationwide via video-on-demand during the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 18.29. The films are each an official selection of the Festival and feature notable actors such as Jenna Fischer, Topher Grace, Malin Akerman, Tomer Sisley, Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Tribeca Film also announced it has acquired North American rights to Booker.S Place: A Mississippi Story, rounding out its selection of titles to be released during the Festival. Booker.S Place is a riveting documentary offering a wholly original perspective on the Civil Rights struggle through its subject, Booker Wright. The film is directed by Raymond De Felitta and produced by eyepatch productions, the independent in-house production company of Ogilvy & Mather, New York. The deal was negotiated by Nick Savva, Director of Acquisitions for Tribeca Film, and Steven Beer of Greenberg Traurig, Llp, on
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Tribeca Fest Announces Simultaneous VOD Premieres For ‘Sleepless Night,’ ‘Mechanical Man’ & More; ‘Death of a Superhero’ Poster

  • The Film Stage
As is customary of most festivals these days, we’ve been informed (via Deadline) that four Tribeca titles will see a spring VOD release through Tribeca Film. In this grouping, we can look forward to Death of a Superhero (which we loved at Tiff), The Giant Mechanical Man, Sleepless Night (my most anticipated of the lot), and Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story — all of which festival director Geoff Gilmore feels “embody the exceptional artistry and personal resonance that filmmaking at its finest can provide.” The lattermost of those will begin its VOD run on April 26th, while the other three can be expected on various platforms beginning April 17th.

You can read a synopsis of these four films below:

Booker’S Place: A Mississippi Story, directed by Raymond De Felitta. (USA) – World Premiere in Tff’s Spotlight section. In 1965, filmmaker Frank De Felitta made a documentary for NBC News
See full article at The Film Stage »

DVD Review: Fine Cast Adds Substance to Contrived ‘City Island’

  • HollywoodChicago.com
Chicago – There are many reasons why “City Island” shouldn’t work. It’s entirely contrived, from one end of the script to the other. Every gargantuan misunderstanding in the film has been spawned by festering lies, the kind that sitcoms have thrived on since the beginning of television. Yet what works in a 23-minute TV sketch often becomes tedious and exasperating when stretched to feature length.

This quirky indie comedy from writer/director Raymond De Felitta (“The Thing About My Folks”) aims to be the “Love Actually” of sitcom contrivance, balancing various misconceptions and outrageous twists until they erupt in a shrill expulsion of cathartic revelations. Like so many quirky indies, the film centers on a dysfunctional family, The Rizzos, where each member is secretly living a double life, mirroring the dichotomy of their town’s name, City Island, a small fishing community defined by De Felitta as the Hamptons of the Bronx.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Christopher Walken Survives on "$5 a Day," Cassavetes With a "Machine Gun," and More New DVDs

  • IFC
Christopher Walken Survives on
A look at what's new on DVD today:

"$5 a Day" (2008)

Directed by Nigel Cole

Released by Image Entertainment

A refugee of the bankrupt Capitol Films, this dramedy starring Christopher Walken as a raconteur who claims he's able to live a full life on the titular Lincoln bill is finally seeing the light of day after premiering at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. Alessandro Nivola co-stars as his son who drives him to New Mexico when he falls ill. Sharon Stone and Amanda Peet are along for the ride.

"2:22" (2008)

Directed by Phillip Guzman

Released by Inception Media Group

A quartet of thieves scheme to rob a boutique hotel on New Year's Eve, but find out that what's waiting for them on the inside is even colder than the snow-caked streets outside. Just as he did for his 2006 crime thriller "Played," star/co-writer Rossi called upon famous pals Gabriel Byrne and Val Kilmer
See full article at IFC »

New Poster For ‘City Island’ Released

  • The Flickcast
We haven’t covered the new comedy City Island much here at The Flickcast so far, but with a potentially great cast like this and direction by Raymond De Felitta (Cafe Society, Two Family House), we’re going to start. To kick thing soff we’ve got the brand new first poster for the film. On it, you meet the cast, which includes Andy Garcia and Juilanna Margulies, and get a bit of insight into the secrets these characters may have.

The film, which was also written by De Felitta, centers on the Rizzos who are, according to the studio: “a family that might get along a lot better if only they could tell each other the truth.” Of course, hilarity ensues when a person shows up and Vinnie (Garcia) character has to finally tell the truth and explain to his wife (Margulies) who this new person actually is: his illegitimate son.
See full article at The Flickcast »

Tobey Maguire is a Prisoner of Love

I can’t help think that, besides board game movies, game show movies are the next big thing, with Slumdog Millionaire already having set the precedent. Now Pajiba is reporting that Tobey Maguire is planning to produce and star in a film called Prisoner of Trebek, which is based on the real life story of a man who attempts to master Jeopardy but ends up falling in love. This is the extent of their description: Not much more is known about the film, except that it will be a heartstring-playing pic with elements of a Charlie Kaufman film. Mark Gordon (Saving Private Ryan, 2012) is producing, and the search is on for directors. A couple of names have been mentioned, including Goran Duric (The Wristcutters) and Raymond De Felitta (Two Family House), but they’re really looking for an A-list director to take on the project. Hopefully they can get the
See full article at Beyond Hollywood »

'City Island' locks up three

'City Island' locks up three
Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin are joining Andy Garcia and Steven Strait in the indie family comedy "City Island."

Garcia plays Vince Rizzo, a Bronx prison official who realizes that an inmate (Strait) is his secret love child. His efforts to become his guardian lead to comic complications. Margulies plays Rizzo's wife, Arkin plays a teacher in his acting class, and Mortimer plays a fellow student he befriends.

Garcia's daughter Dominik Garcia-Lorido plays his onscreen daughter, and Ezra Miller also stars.

Raymond De Felitta's Medici Entertainment, Garcia's CineSon, Lucky Monkey Pictures' Lauren Versel and Zachary Matz will produce "City," which began shooting this week on location in the eponymous Bronx fishing neighborhood where the story is set.

De Felitta directed "The Thing About My Folks" and the sleeper period indie "Two Family House."

Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group packaged the project and is repping domestic sales.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Filmcatcher.com bows for indies

Filmcatcher.com bows for indies
More Toronto fest news

Toronto fest reviews

NEW YORK -- Writer-director Alan Hruska, producer Alan Klingenstein and marketing executive Pete Taylor have launched independent film Web site Filmcatcher.com.

The site will feature forums, indie film news and a digital storefront to purchase movies. The destination is launching this week with coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Taylor, CEO of the new site, was formerly vp services at Donnelley Marketing and chief technical officer at Princeton Review. Hruska wrote and directed indie films "Nola" and "The Warrior Class", and Klingenstein is the founder of Filbert Steps Prods., for which he produced the films "Forever Fabulous" and "Two Family House".

The site's acquisitions, sales, distribution and operations will be headed by indie film veterans Marie-Therese Guirgis, Al Cattabiani, Andrew Herwitz and Cristina Garza.

Cattabiani was CEO of Wellspring Media and is the president and founder of film and TV distribution company 409 Entertainment. Guirgis, who will be an acquisitions consultant at Filmcatcher, was formerly senior vp acquisitions and distribution at Wellspring.

Chiklis turns to big screen with 'Happy'

Marking his first foray into film since his Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning turn on The Shield, Michael Chiklis is set to star in the indie Make Someone Happy for director Raymond De Felitta and Echo Lake Prods. The big-screen dramedy is set in the blue-collar community of City Island, N.Y., and centers on a dysfunctional, working-class family whose lives are turned upside down by the surprise arrival of the father's (Chiklis) son from a previous relationship. De Felitta (Two Family House) also penned the screenplay. Echo Lake's Doug Mankoff and Andrew Spaulding are producing the project with a start date pegged for spring.

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