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Exclusive: Jason Fuchs has been signed to write The Clock Without A Face for Paramount and Montecito Picture Company. Inspired by the children’s book, the film centers on the pursuit of the jeweled numerals stolen off a legendary ancient clock which legend has it gives the possessor the ability to control time. Fuchs, who last starred in Holy Rollers opposite Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Bartha and guested on ABC’s Pan Am, has been gaining traction in his writing career. He co-scripted the upcoming Ice Age: Contintential Drift and the Nick Cannon-produced Cinderella reimagining telepic Ragz for Nickelodeon. Fuchs has just been hired by Gold Circle to adapt the supernatural teen thriller Break My Heart 1000 Times, based on the Daniel Waters novel that will be published by Hyperion Books. Set nine years after an apocalyptic event that killed millions and left the world inhabited by ghosts, a »
- MIKE FLEMING
Who doesn’t love a good old true-life story? In particular, who doesn’t love a true-life story that involves drugs? And who doesn’t love a true-life story that not only involves drugs but also involves Hasidic Jews? On paper then, Holy Rollers would seem to have all the right ingredients to be a fun-filled, watchable romp. Unfortunately, things don’t play out quite so successfully.
Everyone’s favourite Social Networker Jesse Eisenberg stars as Sam, a Hasidic Jew living in Brooklyn with his family and amongst other members of the Orthodox community. Money being tight, he takes his friend Yosef’s (Bartha) advice and begins smuggling what he believes at first to be medicine into New York from Amsterdam. Sam quickly finds out that the ‘medicines’ are in »
- Jack Kirby
"Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians" took home the top honors and a check for $10,000 at ArcLight Cinemas' inaugural Documentary Festival. Over 150 films from across the States competed for the prize. The top ten finalists were selected by popular vote based on the trailers on the ArcLight Cinemas YouTube channel. The final ten were screened and judged by a panel including Rebecca Cammisa, Academy Award nominee for “Which Way Home;” Rhadi Taylor, Associate Director, Documentary Film Program at the Sundance Institute; Marjan Safina, board of directors for the International Documentary Association; and Gretchen McCourt, Festival Executive Producer. Here's the trailer for "Holy Rollers": Full release below: »
#33. Jack and Diane - Bradley Rust Gray If Bradley Rust Gray's drama horror romance is going to be included at the fest this year, it all depends on the kind of strategy Magnolia Pictures decides to employ. The distributor already has a strong relationship with the fest (previously providing titles such as Timecrimes and Troll Hunters) -- add that to the blogger buzz the pic has been receiving, the cast of young indie starlets in heat and the fact that Bradley's wife should also be at the fest with her latest means we can reasonably expect a Park City at Midnight showing for Jack and Diane. Gist: This revolves around the two women who meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. Diane’s charming innocence quickly begins to open Jack’s tough skinned heart. But when Jack (Keough) discovers that Diane (Juno Temple) is moving she pushes her away. »
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The idea of a Jewish ‘coming of age’ film doesn’t instantly evoke originality. The modern world, with its endless opportunities for Faustian cop-outs, is so at conflict with the teachings of the Tanakh, that such plots will always have a certain pertinence. What spices things up however, is when said plot is based on a true story involving large-scale drug smuggling.
Holy Rollers is about a young Orthodox Jew, Sam (Jesse Eisenberg) who is frustrated by the modest life that is being carved out for him. He is due to inherit his father’s small business and marry a girl who he doesn’t know. After talking to his friend Yosef (Justin Bartha), he gets involved in smuggling ‘medication’ from Europe to America for the high-rolling fallen Jew, Jackie (Danny Abeckaser). Of course, this medication is indeed ecstasy pills, and Sam gets quickly swept up »
- Rob Zak
Inspired by true events, Holy Rollers tells the story of how a group of Orthodox Jews ran a drug ring from Brooklyn that managed to send out over a million illegal pills to Amsterdam. The catch? The majority of these Jews had no idea what they were doing. In fact, they thought they were transporting ‘medicine’ to rich customers.
Set in 1998, we are introduced to the very Jewish society Sam Gold (Jesse Eisenberg) is at the heart of. Searching for a higher purpose than working for his father, Sam is unsure of his path and whether to train as a Rabbi. With Sam naïve about the world he inhabits, next-door neighbour Yosef (Justin Bartha) is his polar opposite. Manipulating this naivety and turning Sam into his puppet, when Sam finally realises what he’s been dragged into, it’s too little too late.
Antonio Macia’s script effortlessly handles the »
- Emma Thrower
Not just one film this week, an entire label. Since 2009, the BFI's Flipside offshoot has been digging up some of the lesser known titles of British cinema, some even too obscure to have even the cultiest of cult followings.
Now they are reissuing their first nine releases in dual format editions, containing both DVD and Blu-ray, so now there really is no excuse not to check out this rather wonderful imprint. There's Richard Lester's The Bed Sitting Room, a Spike Milligan-scripted post-apocalyptic comedy that sees Britain populated by a dozen or so oddballs after a nuclear incident. And there's Peter Watkins's stunning Privilege, which, for 1967, was ludicrously ahead of its time in predicting how packaged and cynical pop music was to become. These films were often made outside, or more accurately below, the major studios or even the established indies; director Lindsay Shonteff regularly remortgaged his »
- Phelim O'Neill
The film is inspired by real events in the late 90s when Hasidic Jews were recruited as mules to smuggle ecstasy from Europe into America.
Sam Gold (Eisenberg) is a naive young man from an Orthodox Brooklyn community reluctantly following the path his strict family has chosen. He's awaiting an arranged marriage and studying to become a rabbi.
Bad boy neighbour Yosef (Justin Bartha, The Hangover 1 and 2) senses Sam's resistance and propositions him to transport 'medicine for rich people' for his boss Jackie (Danny A. Abeckaser), an Israeli gangster.
Sam quickly demonstrates his business skills and Jackie instantly takes him under his wing. Newly exposed to the exciting and gritty drug-fuelled clubs of Manhattan and Amsterdam, Sam spirals out of control, experimenting with ecstasy and falling for Jackie's girlfriend Rachel (Ari Graynor, »
- David Bentley
To mark the release of Holy Rollers on DVD and Blu-ray 17th October, Crabtree Films have given us three copies of the movie to give away on Blu-ray.
‘Holy Rollers’ stars heavyweight performers BAFTA and Oscar nominated*Jessie Eisenberg (‘The Social Network’, ‘Zombieland’) and Justin Bartha (‘The Hangover 1 & 2’). Set between the bustling streets of New York City and Amsterdam, ‘Holy Rollers’ is a story based on true events about an innocent young man, Sam (Eisenberg) who is lured into a dark, seedy underworld and becomes involved in smuggling drugs. As the stakes get higher, Sam becomes ever more involved in these corrupt dealings, as he forgets his friends, family and values. Can Sam set himself straight before it is too late, or is the draw or money, woman and power too great…? With electrifying performances from both Eisenberg and Bartha and featuring Ari Graynor and Q-Tip, ‘Holy Rollers’ is an intense, »
Raindance Film Festival, London
Indie cinema means so many different things to so many different people, it's barely a useful category any more, but the sheer breadth of movies made under the studio radar here (nearly 100 features) can only be encouraging. At the opening end you get a resourceful Us sci-fi drama (the self-explanatory Another Earth, pictured); at the close, an offbeat Chilean slacker romance (Bonsai). And in between, everything from Balkan youth movies (Tilva Rosh is described as "Jackass meets Stand By Me") to gamblers for Jesus (documentary Holy Rollers) to top-notch Japanese ghost stories (Kaidan Horror Classics). There's a healthy British contingent, too, with 10 premieres including Simon Callow and Harry Enfield talking in rhyming couplets (Acts Of Godfrey) and black comedy Black Pond, starring Simon Amstell and Chris Langham.
Apollo Piccadilly, SW1, Wed to 9 Oct
Contrast/brilliance – North Yorkshire On Film, North Yorkshire
This is the sort of »
- Steve Rose
We got a brilliant first red band trailer for Jonah Hill’s next movie, The Sitter, back in August, which gave us a fantastic first look at the film, showing it to be really promising on the comedy front.
We’ve now got a new red band TV spot for the film to share with you, courtesy of Collider, and it’s just as brilliant as the trailer.
Granted, that’s partly because some of the things in this new TV spot are from that first trailer, but there’s also some great new stuff in there too, and it’s a good refresher for the film because that red band trailer came out at the start of August.
“When the world’s most irresponsible babysitter takes three of the world’s worst kids on an unforgettable overnight adventure through the streets of New York City, it’s anyone’s »
- Kenji Lloyd
Chances are you first laid eyes on former Verge designee Ari Graynor as a gum-snapping party girl in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, the breakout role that put the 28-year-old actress on Hollywood's radar back in 2008. Since then, she's continued to steal scenes in films like Youth in Revolt, Whip It, and Holy Rollers, but as she prepares for another big comedic year ahead of her (plus a run on Broadway), Graynor's ready to take her next big leap -- right into leading lady territory for the first time -- in the indie black comedy Lucky. »
The weekend before the final Harry Potter movie witnessed an extremely rare phenomenon: no new film opened in the UK with a screen count in triple figures. Leaving aside The Guard, which released in Ireland only, the top new entry is Terrence Malick's Cannes Palme D'Or winner The Tree of Life, which debuted with an impressive £406,000 from 75 screens, yielding a site average of £5,414. Best result was at London's Curzon Soho: £18,000.
Malick's last film, The New World, kicked off its run in January 2006 with £118,000 from an almost identical number of screens (77), so Tree of Life distributor 20th Century Fox should be pleased to achieve an opening of more than three times that figure. In 1999, The Thin Red line platformed on a single screen, and »
- Charles Gant
Although it sounds like the start of an old Jewish joke – did you hear the one about the rabbi and the drug dealer? – Holy Rollers is based on a true story. A young Hasidic Jew in 1990s Brooklyn, Jesse Eisenberg uses the social network of the orthodox community to smuggle ecstasy pills from Holland. Who's going to frisk a frummer? It's a surprisingly cool little film, not funny at all but rather seriously torn between the secular and the sacred, a conflict Eisenberg expresses with a neurotic intensity.
Jesse EisenbergDramaJason Solomons
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- Jason Solomons
The Tree Of Life (12A)
Successor to Kubrick's 2001 or extended perfume ad? Either way, Malick's macro/microcosmic take on life, the universe and family life makes most films look unadventurous. Beyond the head-trip "creation of the universe" sequences, it's largely Sean Penn's impressionistic reminiscence of his conflicted childhood, rendered in gorgeous imagery, with introspective voiceovers and a dreamy intensity.
The Princess Of Montpensier (15)
There's costumes and courtliness, but this 16th-century saga remains unstuffy. Sought-after Thierry's quest for self-determination is the focus, and the treatment is modern and immediate.
Those who saw Catfish will know where this teen's online relationship with an apparently nice boy is headed. But what follows is an exercise in parent-worrying technophobia. »
- Steve Rose
This is the Pure Movies review of Holy Rollers (2010) starring Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Bartha. Suki Ferguson writes that "Holy Rollers’ portrayal of drug-running and Hasidic Judaism does avoid the pitfall of documentary realism, but also avoids telling the story with confidence, commitment or authenticity." Holy Rollers takes a true story about a ring of Hasidic Jewish drug smugglers based in 90s Brooklyn and makes it into something much less interesting or amusing than it has any right to be. Such is often the case when filmmakers make movies about the idiosyncrasies of the drug trade: please see Saving Grace for the Brit-com, ganja-dealing widow version of this tale. »
- Suki Ferguson
The film is inspired by real events in the late 90s when Hasidic Jews were recruited as mules to smuggle ecstasy from Europe into the United States.
Sam Gold (Jesse Eisenberg), a young Hasid from an Orthodox Brooklyn community, reluctantly follows the path his family has chosen for him, awaiting a pending arranged marriage and studying to become a Rabbi.
A charming neighbour, Yosef Zimmerman (Justin Bartha), senses Sam's resistance and propositions him to transport 'medicine' for Jackie (Danny A. Abeckaser), an Israeli gangster and drug dealer, and his girlfriend, Rachel (Ari Graynor).
Sam quickly demonstrates his business skills to his boss, Jackie, who instantly takes him under his wing. Now exposed to the exciting and gritty worlds of the Manhattan and Amsterdam nightlife, Sam begins to spiral deeper into their detrimental lifestyle, experimenting with »
- David Bentley
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
It goes without saying that this indie curio, which hit Stateside over a year ago, has only earned theatrical distribution in the UK as a result of Jesse Eisenberg’s post-Social Network hubbub. While hardly mounted with the most robust or interesting frame, Holy Rollers is certainly a unique look at a small group of Hasidic Jews living in late-90s New York. Its strengths, though – namely the performances and cinematography – are heavily qualified by an oft indifferent script which doesn’t do the subject’s strangeness the full measure of justice.
Unquestionably, this is The Jesse Eisenberg Show from minute one, playing one of his more interesting and complex characters here – less Mark Zuckerberg and more The Squid and the Whale’s Walt – a conflicted young man named Sam, trying to do right by his family and his faith, by living up to the life they have made for him, »
- Shaun Munro
Have you heard of the joke about the Hasidic Jew that flew to Amsterdam to buy a plane load of drugs to sell on the suburban New York streets? No? Well you’d be forgiven to think that a joke may have been the originally thought behind Holy Rollers but it is one that is actually based on real events.
Mark Zuckerbe… I mean, Jesse Eisenberg stars in his follow up to the Oscar mad The Social Network (even though it was filmed and released in the Us over a year ago) again plays a character based on a real life person who is also a good business man but instead of, arguably, creating one of the most influential inventions in Facebook, he distributes one of the most, illegally, loved inventions of the 20th century, drugs.
Eisenberg plays Hasidic Jew, Sam Gold, whose family has steadily toiled through life and »
- Paul Koren
Holy Rollers never successfully shakes off one crucial pre-viewing assumption, inspired by the puntastic title, but sustained by the set-up. This is a low budget indie flick starring Jesse Eisenberg as an awkward New Yorker, who gets embroiled in a massive drug smuggling operation, maintained by Hasidic Jews. In other hands, this could be a fish out of water, coming of age comedy, maybe with some gross-out and stoner overtones. But actually, Kevin Asch's debut feature is the polar opposite. It's a tragic crime drama, with ambitions of being a modern religious fable.
Holy Rollers' roots are in reality, being based on the true story of the ecstasy smuggling ring, which fooled airport security in the late 90s by hiding pills in the traditional dress of Hasidic Jewish travellers. »
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