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Film Review: ‘My All-American’

Film Review: ‘My All-American’
Based on fact but mired in cliches, “My All-American” pays respectful tribute to U. of Texas football legend Freddie Steinmark (1949-71) with the sort of on-the-nose sincerity that transforms biography into hagiography. It’s not easily categorized as faith-based entertainment, despite repeated references to Steinmark’s daily mass attendance and a heavily dramatic scene involving prayer. But it likely will play best with audiences for whom football in general, and college football in particular, is a kind of secular religion, complete with its own set of martyrs.

Written and directed by Angelo Pizzo, whose past credits as a screenwriter (“Hoosiers,” “Rudy,” “The Game of Their Lives”) define him as a specialist in inspirational sports sagas, “My All-American” traces Steinmark’s short but eventful life — from his salad days in his native Denver to his impressive performances as a safety for the storied 1969 Ut Longhorns football team.

There is a single
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Callow Way – Why Football And Film Don’t Mix

This week, Neil Calloway looks at why soccer movies tend to bomb at the box office…

The timing could not have been better; name recognition could not have been higher, it was the perfect time to release a film about an organisation that dominated the headlines for the past few weeks. It doesn’t always work out like that, though, and United Passions, the film telling the story of FIFA, made a miserly $918 dollars during its opening weekend. That’s not a typo. That’s nine hundred and eighteen dollars. Turns out there is such a thing as bad publicity.

In fairness, the film was only released on ten screens, but a screen average of just over $90 does not bode well for a film that cost somewhere between $25 and $32 million dollars, with FIFA itself putting up around $17 million of the budget. On a limited release elsewhere in the world (as well as FIFA,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Wes Bentley opens up about drugs past

Hunger Games star says he's been given 'second chance' at film career after period of spiralling substance abuse

Hunger Games actor Wes Bentley has revealed he spent years out of the spotlight through heroin addiction after finding himself overwhelmed by the expectations following his early success in the Oscar-winning American Beauty.

Bentley, who was 20 when he filmed his role as a troubled teenager in Sam Mendes's tragic tale of suburban tristesse, subsequently found himself presenting at the Oscars while being hailed as a young Christian Bale. It was all too much, too soon, he has told the Hollywood Reporter in a new interview, and he turned down opportunities to work with directors such as Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, Ang Lee and Tony Scott as his life spiralled out of control through substance abuse.

"I put up such a wall that I didn't even go and meet with these great directors,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Gerard Butler Is Such A "Dynamo"

  • Dark Horizons
Gerard Butler will star in the soccer-themed WW2 true story tale "Dynamo" at Riviera Pictures, FlynnPictureCo. and Pathe.

Based on the novel by Andy Dougan, the story deals with 'The Death Match', a landmark soccer game that took place in occupied Ukraine between a starving local soccer team and a ‘super team’ of Nazi players during World War II.

Butler will play Nikolai Trusevich, the all-star goalie who ultimately inspired the entire battered city of Kiev.

Eli Richbourg adapted the screenplay and talks with potential directors are underway. Shooting will take place in Europe in 2013.

The project should be familiar stuff to Butler who also starred as goalie Frank Borghi in 2005's "The Game of Their Lives". That film dealt with the true story of an underdog U.S. soccer team who won the World Cup in Brazil in 1950.

Source: Deadline
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Bush Frontman Gavin Rossdale Shoots Scenes For Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring'

  • The Playlist
Bush Frontman Gavin Rossdale Shoots Scenes For Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring'
With cameras now rolling on Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring," it seems casting is continuing as smaller roles get filled, although in this case, a pretty big name is lending his face to the movie.

Bush frontman, Mr. Gwen Stefani and part-time actor Gavin Rossdale was snapped by paparazzi (via Rumor Fix) shooting scenes for the upcoming film. As you know, we've had a flip through the script, and given he's being carried away in cuffs, we're pretty certain he's playing Ricky, a sleazy club promoter who helps the young thieves who are raiding the homes of stars to fence their loot. This isn't Rossdale's first time on a movie set, as he's taken roles both on the big and small screen popping up in "Constantine" and "The Game Of Their Lives" and doing stints on TV shows like "Criminal Minds" and "Burn Notice." We suppose this is another
See full article at The Playlist »

83rd Academy Awards® Orchestra to be conducted by William Ross

Ross, who conducted for the 79th Academy Awards, will conduct the 83rd Academy Awards® and is a prolific composer, orchestrator and arranger with work in feature films and television as well as the music recording industry. He has arranged music for artists including big names including the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Sting, Bette Midler and Kenny G. Ross's scores include “The Tale of Despereaux,” “The Game of Their Lives,” “Ladder 49,” “Tuck Everlasting,” and orchestrations for dozen of others like Robert Zemeckis' animated "The Polar Express,” Lilo & Stitch,” Stuart Little” and Academy Award®-winning “Forrest Gump.”
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

83rd Academy Awards® Orchestra to be conducted by William Ross

Ross, who conducted for the 79th Academy Awards, will conduct the 83rd Academy Awards® and is a prolific composer, orchestrator and arranger with work in feature films and television as well as the music recording industry. He has arranged music for artists including big names including the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Sting, Bette Midler and Kenny G. Ross's scores include “The Tale of Despereaux,” “The Game of Their Lives,” “Ladder 49,” “Tuck Everlasting,” and orchestrations for dozen of others like Robert Zemeckis' animated "The Polar Express,” Lilo & Stitch,” Stuart Little” and Academy Award®-winning “Forrest Gump.”
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Michael Cudlitz and Bryan Cranston to Star in The Grief Tourist

  • Filmofilia
Vision Entertainment Group has partnered with Suzanne De Laurentiis Productions to produce a new mystery thriller titled the The Grief Tourist. A disturbed and troubled soul, Jim Tahana, retraces the footsteps of serial killers who fascinate him as his hobby. His dark obsession with past killers soon becomes his reality and leads viewers on a menacing and horrific journey inside his twisted mind.

Cast for the film include Michael Cudlitz (Southland, A River Runs Through It, Grosse Point Blank, Running Scared, The Negotiator) and Emmy Award Winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad).

Vision Entertainment Group founders and producers Zachery Bryan (Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Game of their Lives (opposite Gerard Butler), Held For Ransom (opposite Dennis Hopper)), and Adam Targum writing/producing credits include Fox’s “Standoff,” CBS’s “Eleventh Hour” and “CSI:ny” as well as the feature film, “The Good Student,” team up with Suzanne De Laurentiis “10th & Wolf,
See full article at Filmofilia »

Bryan Cranston and Michael Cudlitz Take on The Grief Tourist

Only one day removed from his third consecutive Emmy win, Bryan Cranston (TV’s Breaking Bad) is now attached to star in the mystery thriller The Grief Tourist alongside Michael Cudlitz (TV’s Southland). Per the press release, the film revolves around Jim Tahana, a troubled man whose hobby is retracing the footsteps of the serial killers who fascinate him. In addition to The Grief Tourist, Cranston is also appearing in a slew of upcoming films including: Nicholas Winding Refn’s (Bronson) Drive, Tony Kaye’s (American History X) Detachment, and another starring role in the thriller Leave.

The Grief Tourist is directed by Suri Krishnamma (New Year’s Day) and was penned by veteran actor Frank John Hughes (who also wrote the above mentioned Leave). Hit the jump for the full press release.

Here’s the press release:

Los Angeles, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ — Vision Entertainment Group has partnered with Suzanne
See full article at Collider.com »

Bryan Cranston and Michael Cudlitz Join The Grief Tourist

  • MovieWeb
Bryan Cranston starring in The Grief Tourist Vision Entertainment Group has partnered with Suzanne DeLaurentiis Productions to produce a new mystery thriller titled the The Grief Tourist. A disturbed and troubled soul, Jim Tahana, retraces the footsteps of serial killers who fascinate him as his hobby. His dark obsession with past killers soon becomes his reality and leads viewers on a menacing and horrific journey inside his twisted mind.

Cast for the film include Michael Cudlitz, (Southland, A River Runs Through It, Grosse Pointe Blank, Running Scared, and The Negotiator) and Emmy Award Winner Bryan Cranston, (Breaking Bad).

Vision Entertainment Group founders and producers Zachery Ty Bryan, (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Game of Their Lives, Held for Ransom) and Adam Targum (Fox's Standoff, CBS's Eleventh Hour and CSI: NY as well as the feature film, The Good Student) team up with Suzanne DeLaurentiis (10th & Wolf, Soul Fire Rising,
See full article at MovieWeb »

World Cup sensation Paul the octopus becomes celluloid cephalopod

Deep-sea psychic who shot to fame for his uncanny football predictions is subject of film The Murder of Paul the Octopus

World Cup heroes make easy subjects for stirring cinema, be they real-life (The Game of their Lives, Zidane, The Miracle of Bern) or, usually more lucratively, fictional (Goal!, Sixty Six, Mike Bassett: England Manager). And now it seems the big star of this year's contest is to follow suit, for production has already wrapped on The Murder of Paul the Octopus, a fictional take on the eight-limbed beastie whose knack for predicting the match outcomes won him worldwide fame.

The film, a co-production between China Film Group Corporation and Beijing Filmblog Media Company, was shot over the past few weeks in South Africa using a body double, owing to the indisposition of the real Paul, who has gone into retirement. Release is scheduled for August. According to Sky News,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

'Little Red Wagon' pic finds director

'Little Red Wagon' pic finds director
David Anspaugh has signed to direct the inspirational tale "Little Red Wagon," based on the story of 12-year-old Zach Bonner, an advocate for homeless youth.

Patrick Sheane Duncan ("Mr. Holland's Opus") is writing the screenplay about Bonner, who as a 7-year-old used his wagon to collect water and supplies in Tampa, Fla., for victims of 2004's Hurricane Charley. A year later, he formed the Little Red Wagon nonprofit to help underprivileged kids.

The film is being funded by the John Templeton Foundation through the Philanthropy Project and will be produced in association with Anonymous Content. Launched in 2007 through a Templeton Foundation grant, the Philanthropy Project is a nonprofit that uses the moving image to inspire citizen philanthropy.

Producing are the Philanthropy Project's Michael Guillen and Anonymous' David Kanter, with Barbara Kelly and Anonymous' Steve Golin as executive producers.

Principal photography is expected to begin in the spring as Bonner launches
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

David Anspaugh Signs on to Direct Little Red Wagon

  • MovieWeb
Award-winning director David Anspaugh (Rudy, Hoosiers) has finalized an agreement to direct Little Red Wagon, a feature film written by Patrick Sheane Duncan (Mr. Holland's Opus) and inspired by the true story of 12-year-old homeless youth advocate Zach Bonner. Funded by the John Templeton Foundation (Templeton.org) under the auspices of its Philanthropy Project, and produced in association with Anonymous Content, the film is executive produced by Steve Golin of Anonymous Content and Barbara Kelly and produced by Philanthropy Project's Dr. Michael Guillen, a best-selling author and three-time Emmy winner known for his 14-year post as ABC News science editor, in partnership with David Kanter of Anonymous Content.

Principal photography is expected to begin this spring, coinciding with Zach Bonner's "March Across America" - launching in Tallahassee on April 7 and culminating in Los Angeles in September - to raise awareness and funds for homeless children in America.

"Little Red Wagon is an inspiring,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Rossdale's Soccer Dreams Shattered

  • WENN
Gavin Rossdale turned to rock `n' roll after a knee injury wrecked a promising professional soccer career.

Gwen Stefani's husband, who starred in 2005 soccer movie The Game Of Their Lives, was once handed a trial at top London team Chelsea.

But his sporting dreams were never realised because of a knee injury.

Rossdale went on to find fame as the frontman of Bush, but is still a huge soccer fan, and hopes his son Kingston, who celebrates his second birthday next month, will take up the sport.

'Crossing' docu will screen for subject in North Korea

'Crossing' docu will screen for subject in North Korea
Next week in Pyongyang, James Joseph Dresnok, a U.S. Army soldier who in 1962 fled into North Korea, will see and critique Crossing the Line, British director Daniel Gordon's documentary of his life in the world's newest nuclear state, the docu's executive producer said at the AFM.

"Dresnok's health is good. He will see the film next week and send a letter out to let the filmmakers and the world know his thoughts on the film," said producer Paul Yi, who sold the film this week for six figures to France's Pretty Pictures at the American Film Market.

Word of the Crossing screening for Dresnok came from British co-producer Nicholas Bonner, who spoke to Yi over the telephone when he emerged from his latest trip into the isolated stronghold of dictator Kim Jong-il. Kim last month oversaw communist North Korea's first nuclear test, putting the rest of the world on high alert.

Dresnok, a Virginia-born orphan who for years starred as an American villain in Pyongyang propaganda films, has long suffered from a heart condition due to heavy drinking and smoking in his chosen home, an isolated and poverty-stricken capital cut off from the rest of the world.

"When we finished shooting the film, Dresnok was in the hospital and we weren't sure if he was going to make it out. Now we know he's alive," Yi said. Dresnok will likely watch Crossing on DVD with the state film crew that helped Gordon make the film, Yi said,

As with producer-director Gordon's two previous North Korea documentary films, Crossing may also have a public screening in Pyongyang or air on the state's single television channel, Yi said.

"We're not quite sure what the authorities' reaction to 'Crossing' will be," Yi said.

Crossing, which premiered at the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea last month, will get a theatrical release in France, where Pretty also plans to distribute it in a box set with Gordon's previous North Korea documentaries The Game of Their Lives and A State of Mind. It was presold to Cinequanon in Japan and the Dongoong Arts Center in South Korea.

Taormina puts 'Batman' in play at fest

Taormina puts 'Batman' in play at fest
ROME -- Seven films, including Warner Bros. Pictures' Batman Begins, will make their European bows at the 51st Taormina Film Festival, which kicks off Saturday in Sicily and runs through June 18. Six other features set for either their European or world premieres in Taormina's Ancient Theater were announced Monday night at a news conference in Rome. The premieres include Do You Like Hitchcock? by Dario Argento, Le Couperet by Costa-Gavras, Schatten Der Zeit by German director Florian Gallenberger, The Shadow Dancer by Brad Mirman, Incautos by Spanish director Miguel Bardem, The Games of Their Lives by American director David Anspaugh and a documentary about Italian screenwriter Sergio Amidei by Italian directors Ettore and Silvia Scola.

Stewart Has Heart Procedure

  • WENN
British actor Patrick Stewart has undergone a heart procedure to widen an artery. According to his publicist Kelly Bush, the 64-year-old X-Men star went in for an annual physical last Monday, when doctors detected a blood-flow problem and recommended "pre-emptive angioplasty" to head off any future ailments. Bush says the procedure was a success and Stewart is now resting before returning to work in the next few days, where he plans to finish the upcoming movie The Game Of Their Lives. He will also start voice over work on animated series American Dad. However, Stewart's recovery forced him to miss a planned personal appearance Saturday in Toronto, where he was set to visit a Canadian sci-fi festival.

Rossdale in play for Crusader 'Game'

Rossdale in play for Crusader 'Game'
With Gwen Stefani poised to make her big-screen debut in Martin Scorsese's Aviator, her husband, Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, is following her lead by inking to star in Crusader Entertainment's The Game of Their Lives. The project, being directed by David Anspaugh, is based on the book by Geoffrey Douglas. Adapted by Angelo Pizzo, it's the story of the American soccer team that, in a stunning upset, defeated England in the 1950 World Cup. At that time, the tournament barely registered on America's sports radar, so the United States sent a hastily assembled band of amateur and semiprofessional players, composed chiefly of working-class immigrants. Considered the underdogs, the Americans took on the seemingly unbeatable English side with surprising results. Rossdale, who has an extensive soccer background, will play English team member Stanley Mortenson. Wes Bentley stars along with Gerald Butler, Richard Jenik, Louis Mandylor and Jay Rodan. Crusader topper Howard Baldwin is producing with Karen Baldwin, Greg Johnson and Ginger Perkins. Rossdale is repped by Brillstein-Grey Entertainment. His other credits include The Chris Isaak Show.

Butler gauging 'Phantom' role

Butler gauging 'Phantom' role
He's not yet a household face, but Scottish-born actor Gerard Butler has been offered the starring role as the man behind the mask in helmer Joel Schumacher and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical feature The Phantom of the Opera. Butler, who most recently appeared in Reign of Fire, has not decided whether to take the role because he is fielding other offers, among them Crusader Entertainment's The Game of Their Lives. Meanwhile, Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries) and Emmy Rossum (Passionada) have emerged as the top choices to play Phantom's female lead, Christine. Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group is producing the project, which goes into production in October. A domestic distributor has yet to come on board. Butler, repped by CAA, Jane Brand of ICM London and manager Alan Siegel, next stars in Paramount Pictures' Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and Timeline.

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