7 items from 2013
by Terry Keefe
Hi folks: I'm not usually one for blatant self-promotion, but a feature I co-produced and helped develop over a number of years is premiering at the Montreal World Film Festival in August, and I'm very proud of it so you're getting a post. It's called The Red Robin and stars Judd Hirsch (Taxi, Damages, Maron, Independence Day), C.S. Lee (Dexter), Ryan O'Nan (The Iceman, the Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best), Jaime Ray Newman (Red Widow, Supernatural), Caroline Lagerfelt (Gossip Girl), and Joseph Lyle Taylor. It was written and directed by an old friend and creative collaborator, Michael Z. Wechsler. The story is a psychological thriller which can be best be described as The Celebration meets The Manchurian Candidate, about a dying, famed psychiatrist (Hirsch), who also did mysterious work for the CIA during the Cold War. On his deathbed, his youngest adopted son (O'Nan) accuses his father »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Musical comedies are so tough to pull off that hardly anyone tries anymore. Part of the reason "The Blues Brothers" has maintained its appeal over the years is that it fuses numerous successful ingredients into a satisfying whole: It hits the right comedic beats along with musical ones, often simultaneously. Such an outlandishly entertaining package hardly correlates with rigid studio formulas, which is why the musical comedy has migrated to the indie sector. Last fall, "Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best" followed a trio of musicians on an inoffensively familiar road trip, but "The History of Future Folk" (which opens in Los Angeles this week, but has already been released in New York and various digital platforms) does a greater service to this under-appreciated form by taking it to a new level of innovation. It's the first feel-good hipster alien invasion musical comedy. "The History of Future Folk," a microbudget Brooklyn-set »
- Eric Kohn
Lightning Entertainment, the Santa Monica-based sales, production and distribution company, has acquired international rights to the hit South by Southwest Film Festival comedy, Gus, starring Michelle Monaghan (Source Code, Gone Baby Gone) Radha Mitchell (Olympus Has Fallen, Silent Hill) and Michael Weston (Fox’s “House,” HBO’s “Six Feet Under”), it was announced today by Robert Beaumont, President of Lightning.
The film, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival to rave reviews in March, marks the feature film debut of Jessie McCormack, who directed from her own script.
McCormack is also a producer alongside Kathryn Himoff, Kevin Fitzmaurice Comer and Erik Van Wyck. The film is executive produced by Richard N. Gladstein (Finding Neverland, The Cider House Rules, The Bourne Identity). The deal was negotiated by Lightning Entertainment’s Joseph Dickstein and ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmakers. ICM Partners represents Monaghan and Mitchell and is also »
- Michelle McCue
Feature Ivan Radford 25 Feb 2013 - 07:00
In the wake of the Oscars, Ivan looks at the year's nominees, and argues that it's time the Academy changed its music categories...
It’s February. People are talking about John Williams. It must be Oscar season again. And this year, it’s a fairly traditional bunch: Alexandre Desplat, John Williams, Thomas Newman and Dario Marianelli are all familiar faces on the ballot sheet, with only Mychael Danna offering a relative shot of fresh blood.
So, is it time the Academy Awards introduced a few more changes to its music categories?
Back in the 1930s, Best Music (Scoring) was the award composers coveted, a gong given out to pre-existing musicals and brand new work alike. In 1938, the music prize was split into two: Original Score and Scoring, allowing new work (Korngold's The Adventures Of Robin Hood) to be rewarded while still celebrating the wealth »
Chicago – Amiable charm compensates for scattershot laughs in Ryan O’Nan’s directorial debut, “Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best.” There’s an undercurrent of tangible warmth that reverberates beneath O’Nan’s awkward assemblage of quirky gags and self-consciously clever dialogue. Though I spent much of the film on the fence, it eventually won me over.
There are few things more thrilling to watch in a film than two strangers connecting through their shared passion for music. That’s what happened in John Carney’s 2006 masterpiece, “Once,” as Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová brilliantly portrayed the spontaneity of an unrehearsed musical performance—allowing the Oscar-winning tune, “Falling Slowly,” to organically unfold before the audience like a blooming flower.
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
A similar sort of magic occurs about a half-hour into “Brooklyn Brothers,” as mismatched duo Alex (O’Nan) and Jim (Michael Weston) start to perform a tune while driving to their next gig. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best Alex (Ryan O’Nan) is booted from his band, dumped by his girlfriend and fired from his job singing songs dressed like a dayglo moose, and he has no idea what to do next. Luckily, a stranger named Jim (Michael Weston) does, and soon the two set out on a multi-city tour singing original songs backed by a selection of children’s musical instruments/toys and learning the value of friendship and being true to yourself. O’Nan also wrote and directed this low-fi gem, and the result is a sweet and funny look at lives in flux. It also features a handful of incredibly catchy songs that may have you checking Amazon or iTunes for availability. (Yes, there is an album.) You’ll find yourself smiling through most of »
- Rob Hunter
Ryan O'Nan is taking a page from Lena Dunham's book in his personal indie drama Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best. As writer, director, and star of the film, O'Nan depicts the lives of the unmotivated twenty-something losers that have begun to define a generation (similar to those Girls on Dunham's show). O'Nan plays Alex, a self-proclaimed loser, who loses his two jobs and his latest band gig, which is enough to make anyone want to give up.
But inspiration arrives in the form of Jim (Michael Weston) who is a fan of Alex's musical talents and convinces him to go on a cross-country road trip. He has gigs lined up across the country, ending with a big battle of the bands-style competition in California. Alex's mellow personality is the perfect foil for Jim's zany one, and the quick addition of the charming Cassidy (Arielle Kebbel) gives the gang enough »
- John Keith
7 items from 2013
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