7 items from 2013
Whatever opinion one has of atheism won’t be changed, or even challenged, by “The Unbelievers.” This superficial documentary from first-time feature helmer Gus Holwerda follows scientists and avowed atheists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss on a supposed “rock ‘n’ roll tour” of media and public appearances. While every moment is captured with the reverence of a fawning fan, Holwerda’s star-struck approach neglects to shed new light on his subjects or even showcase their greatest hits. Perhaps it’s appropriate that any meaningful afterlife following limited theatrical engagements appears to be wishful thinking.
Evolutionary biologist and “The God Delusion” author Dawkins is the clear headliner, but theoretical physicist and “A Universe From Nothing” author Krauss gets a bit more screentime (he’s an executive producer, natch) as the two make a series of appearances both individually and together in the U.S. and Australia. A prolonged stretch Down Under »
- Geoff Berkshire
Of course, the idea of a biopic of one of rock 'n roll's filthiest, most colorful bands of all time, Mötley Crüe, is a great one. But getting it made is a whole other story. "Dirt" has been brewing for years, and at one point was going to be helmed by Larry Charles ("Religulous," "Borat"). But a variety of factors—the acquisition of MTV Films by Paramount, Charles's desire to make an appropriately Nc-17 movie about the band, his admitted dislike for the group—kiboshed the project and nothing was really heard about it since. But it looks like it's getting cranked back up to 11 once again. "Jackass: Bad Grandpa" helmer Jeff Tremaine is now tackling the tale of Vince Neil, Nikki Six, Mick Mars, and Tommy Lee. We're not even sure where to begin if you know nothing about the band, but their stories of debauchery are the stuff »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Im Global is selling international territories at the American Film Market. The project had been for sale at Cannes.
Redford and Bill Holderman are producing through their Wildwood Entertprises banner with Route One Films’ Chip Diggins. Route One is financing through its partnership with Union Investment Partners in South Korea. Exec producers are Route One’s Jay Stern and Russell Levine and Kim Young-Don of Union Investment Partners.
The project is adapted by Michael Arndt from Bill Bryson’s 1998 book “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail,” which recounts his attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine, with a friend.
- Dave McNary
A Sam Kinison biopic from director Larry Charles (Borat, Brüno, Religulous, Curb Your Enthusiasm) has landed Josh Gad as its star. Gad was an original Book of Mormon star, a part of the short-lived 1600 Penn, and he'll play Steve Wozniak in Ashton Kutcher's Steve Jobs movie. The Kinison flick begins in the eighties, "as he transitions from the family business of Pentecostal preaching and into stand up comedy in Hollywood," Deadline reports. Kinison died in a car crash in 1992, aged 38. »
- Zach Dionne
Hollywood has been trying to make a movie about stand-up comedian/ormer Pentecostal preacher/professional screamer Sam Kinison for years now, and today the project has taken two incredibly important steps forward. Deadline has learned that Larry Charles, the filmmaker behind movies such as Borat, Religulous and The Dictator, has been hired to direct the feature, while Josh Gad, the Tony-nominated star of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Broadway hit Book of Mormon, has been cast in the lead role. Based on the book Brother Sam by Bill Kinison (Sam's brother) and adapted by Rich Wilkes (xXx), the film will be titled Kinison and will begin in the early 80s as the comedian broke away from "the family business of Pentecostal preaching" and moved to Hollywood where he could start his career in stand up. By the mid-80s he was performing on Late Night with David Letterman and »
On the heels of its inclusion in the Toronto International Film Festival documentary line-up, "Finding Vivian Maier" is going to Sundance Selects. The distributor has acquired U.S. rights to directors John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s feature doc, which they produced with executive producer Jeff Garlin. Young filmmaker Maloof, 31, teamed up with amateur historian and film producer Siskel ("Bowling for Columbine," "Religulous"), who acquired an historic box of photos at a storage auction. "He was fascinated by the quality of the photos," says Tiff programmer Thom Powers, "and in his sleuthing found the woman who took them and uncovers one of the most extraordinary collections of street photography by a then unknown photographer." "Finding Vivian Maier"unearths the mysteries behind this woman, who was a nanny in the wealthy North Shore suburbs of Chicago. Maier’s secret world is unraveled slowly through her photo collections and interviews with those who knew her, »
- Anne Thompson
The Catholic League is mad as hell and they aren't going to take it anymore. Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time", has apparently made one too many jabs at the expense of Catholics, particularly priests, and the League has decided it's time for it to stop. In a letter to Glenn A. Britt, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner (HBO's parent company), Bill Donohue of the Catholic League demands that someone have "a serious talk" with Maher.
Donohue's letter reads in part:
There is no other entertainer in the nation who has repeatedly spoken about the Catholic Church, especially its priests, in more vile and obscene terms than Bill Maher. Vicious beyond belief, his remarks would be condemned – indeed he would be fired – if directed at any other demographic group. Over and over again he libels [sic] priests, portraying all of them as sexual abusers. And he does so with impunity. »
- The Huffington Post
7 items from 2013
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