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With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
Where a lot of recent Eastwood pictures (Changeling, Hereafter, even Jersey Boys) contain patches of awkwardness, American Sniper — particularly in its war sequences, which Joel Cox and Gary Roach edit with white-knuckle precision — exhibits a riveting level of control. This may just be the result of well-matched material (a character study about a born-and-bred cowboy nicknamed “the Legend” could hardly be more »
- TFS Staff
Starz announced today it has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to The Family Fang, and is planning a significant 2016 theatrical release through Starz Digital, its multi-platform releasing team.
A comedic family drama directed by Jason Bateman (Bad Words) The Family Fang stars Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole, The Hours, Moulin Rouge!); Bateman (The Gift, Horrible Bosses, “Arrested Development”), and co-stars Academy Award-winner Christopher Walken (Jersey Boys, Catch Me If You Can, Wedding Crashers) and Maryann Plunkett (“House of Cards,” Blue Valentine, The Squid and the Whale).
The film was well received by critics and audiences at its recent premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Based on the best-selling novel by Kevin Wilson, The Family Fang was written by David Lindsay-Abaire.
Following the theatrical release, The Family Fang will have an on-demand release, and an exclusive TV premiere on Starz. The deal was »
- Michelle McCue
Starz has snapped up all U.S. distribution rights to the Jason Bateman-directed family drama The Family Fang with plans of a 2016 theatrical release through its multiplatform label Starz Digital. Following a theatrical play and home entertainment release, Family Fang will play exclusively on Starz. Family Fang premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was in the mix among those titles that would eventually land acquisition. Bateman’s feature directorial debut Bad Words … »
A month after it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, Starz has purchased U.S. rights to Jason Bateman’s dark comedy “The Family Fang” and is planning to release the film theatrically in 2016, Variety has learned.
As part of the deal, Starz Digital will handle the dramedy’s digital, on-demand, and theatrical rollout. Starz’s Anchor Bay division will oversee the home video roll out following its theatrical run, and the film’s television premiere will take place on the Starz premium cable network.
“The Family Fang” is adapted from Kevin Wilson’s 2011 comic novel of the same name and stars Bateman and Nicole Kidman as siblings who reunite with their performance artist parents (Christopher Walken, Maryann Plunkett). A weekend of family dysfunction takes a detour after the parents suddenly go missing. The film is Bateman’s second as a director, following 2013’s “Bad Words.”
In a favorable review in Variety, »
- Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh
"We need more movies about dysfunctional families like we need more movies about the tortured inner lives of artists," begins Variety's Justin Chang, "which is all the more reason to be unexpectedly grateful for The Family Fang, a sharply drawn portrait of a dysfunctional, tortured artistic family that speaks affectingly to the troubled legacy that all parents inevitably bequeath to their children." Jason Bateman's followup to Bad Words stars himself, Nicole Kidman, Christopher Walken, Maryann Plunkett, Jason Butler Harner and Kathryn Hahn—and we're collecting reviews. » - David Hudson »
Already watched all of September's HBO Now/HBO Go releases? Never fear! A whole new crop of movies is headed to the streaming service in October. American Sniper, Focus, and Taken 3 are among the latest films, and in honor of the spookiest month of the year, there are a ton of horror movies. The Purge: Anarchy and The Pyramid are among the scariest offerings. Take a look below to find out what's coming and what's leaving! Saturday night premieres: Oct. 3: American Sniper Oct. 10: Focus Oct. 17: Taken 3 Oct. 24: Bad Words Oct. 31: The Purge: Anarchy Oct. 31: The Pyramid Original programming highlights: Oct. 4: The Leftovers, season two Oct. 9: Magnífica 70, series premiere Oct. 17: Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo Other notable movies coming on Oct. 1: 28 Days Blazing Saddles Blood Diamond Brick Burn After Reading House on Haunted Hill License to Drive »
- Maggie Pehanick
When a few hundred films stop by the 40th Toronto International Film Festival (289, to be exact), it’s certainly impossible to cover everything, but we were able to catch about 90 features (along with dozens of shorts) — and, with that, it’s time to conclude our experience.
We’ve rounded up our top ten films screened during the festival, followed by a list of the complete coverage, and stay tuned over the next months (or years) as we bring updates on features as they make their way to screens. One can also click here for a link to all of our coverage, including news, trailers, reviews and much more. As always, thanks for reading, and let us know what you’re most looking forward to in the comments below.
88:88 (Isiah Medina)
What has set cinema back — both from the perspective of those who make, and those who write about it »
- TFS Staff
Dear Danny,Generally (and melancholically) speaking, I’m in the process of wrapping up my Tiff experience. Literally speaking, however, I’m sitting before a flatscreen in the Bell Lightbox Theatre’s lobby, seeing Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton for the second time in a row. Brother Sicinski in his essential Wavelengths report has astutely written on this singular 30-minute whatsit by Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, and Galen Johnson, though I couldn’t resist adding my own appreciative two cents. You’ve heard the story: Paul Gross aims to promote Canadian patriotism with his Afghanistan War would-be blockbuster Hyena Road, a project dismantled by Maddin in a remarkable, psychedelic behind-the-scenes documentary/demolition job. Presenting himself as broke, livid and roasting under the sweltering Jordanian sun, Maddin posits his role as “a Trojan horse inside a Trojan horse,” his hallucinatory camera turning the arid landscapes and squid-equipped actors of »
- Fernando F. Croce
The Family Fang provides fuel for a future auteur study of its director Jason Bateman: haunted by his past as a child actor, his work in front of and behind the camera frequently explores the effects of childhood on adults as they struggle to move through life. Explored in Arrested Development, his directorial debut Bad Words, this summer’s The Gift, and even Juno, this theme has never been sharper than in The Family Fang. In a refreshing take on material that in another hands might have seemed pedestrian or cheap, Bateman has crafted an effective portrait of a dysfunctional family that’s not entirely unlike the Bluth Family. Rabbit Hole playwright and screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire adapts David Wilson’s novel with a rich emotional precision and as funny as it is, the material takes the absurdity seriously.
Nicole Kidman and Bateman star as Annie and Buster, the adult »
- John Fink
Plot: An estranged brother and sister (Jason Bateman & Nicole Kidman) reunite after their performance artist parents (Christopher Walken & Maryann Plunkett) disappear. Review: The Toronto International Film Festival has been an excellent showcase for Jason Bateman's talents. While The Family Fang is likely too tough to classify to spark the bidding war that resulted in Bad Words landing one of the... Read More »
- Chris Bumbray
This was not the 40th edition of the “Festival of Festivals” that Toronto was hoping for. The 2015 Toronto International Festival began with legal issues forcing the Aretha Franklin concert documentary “Amazing Grace” to cancel its opening night slot and has pretty much ended with the withdraw of the Amber Heard drama “London Fields” after director Matthew Cullen took the film’s producers to court claiming (among other things) that they re-edited the film without his input. Considering how weak the world premieres were overall this year it was par the course for a festival’s whose opening weekend was colder and rainier than in recent memory. Granted, There were certainly a lot of good movies that screened at the fest this year, but almost every single one of them debuted somewhere else. That’s not good for an event that considers itself one of the premier film festivals in the world. »
- Gregory Ellwood
Sucked Dry: Bateman’s Portrait of Idiosyncratic Family Fails to Resonate
Actor Jason Bateman makes his sophomore directorial outing with the high profile The Family Fang, based on the bestselling novel by Kevin Wilson and adapted for the screen by famed playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole, 2010). With a prolific cast at his fingertips, Bateman’s film becomes another entry in the dysfunctional family melodrama genre, filled with idiosyncratic, quirky characters and their colorful tics. We’ve seen a wide range of these ‘talent’ families throughout literature and cinema, from J.D. Salinger to Wes Anderson, and Bateman concocts a contemporary blend of something that feels a little bit like Tamara Jenkins’ The Savages mixed with Running on Empty (1988). Though not without some instances worthy of merit, the film unfortunately feels a bit hollow, lacking in any real emotional depth. Curiously, we’re never made to care or feel for this rather odd family, »
- Nicholas Bell
Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, Bad Words, which premiered at Tiff two years ago, was a movie that kept its audience at arm’s length, featuring a difficult protagonist and an absurd premise. And yet, it was a film that, shocking and off-putting at first, grew on me. Now, upon viewing his sophomore directorial effort, The Family Fang, it’s beginning to look like this gradual onset of appreciation for the work is a defining quality of his filmmaking.
That seems fitting: Bateman himself seems like something of a late bloomer, an actor who really found his form after twenty years in the business (granted, he started out very young), and has only recently ventured into feature film directing. Similarly, as a screen presence, Bateman’s is a persona that is moderately likeable at first, but it’s only after sitting and watching him for a while that it dawns »
- Darren Ruecker
The actor is back with his second effort as director, and the first real indication the promise audiences sense in him may never be fulfilled
The received wisdom about Jason Bateman is that his work is unworthy of him. That this is an actor of great sympathy and sardony, who gamely makes the most of parts in movies that are beneath him. He was in Toronto last year with This is Where I Leave You, a film that, like Horrible Bosses and The Change-Up and The Switch and countless others, finally played out like a cry for help.
He was also here a couple of years ago with his first attempt to save himself: directorial debut Bad Words, in which he played a man who uses a loophole to register for – and triumph at – a spelling bee competition. It was mucky and bitter: a little predictable, but shot through with »
- Catherine Shoard
Jason Bateman is getting better and better at directing. Working with an adaption of Kevin Wilson's novel, by screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire ("Rabbit Hole”), this is his second movie behind the camera. He rounds up a great ensemble of actors (himself included) to deliver a funny, sensitive, and layered piece of work. It's an original story about the thin, squiggly, line between art and life, comfortably swaying between comedy and drama. To call "The Family Fang" an improvement on Bateman’s debut "Bad Words", would be an understatement. A dysfunctional structure and some bizarre plotting stop the film from reaching greatness, but never from being endearingly satisfying. The Fang family unit is really, really strange. As seen in the opening sequence, they're pranksters who practice experimental public performance art. The first one we see, to give you an idea, is a young boy walking into a bank with a gun »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
There’s no denying that there was a massive crowd at the Black Mass premiere, where stars Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, and Dakota Johnson rocked the red carpet at the Elgin theatre. Johnny Depp’s big comeback performance as Whitey Bulger is already receiving rave reviews, likely to put the actor back on track after misfires such as Mortdecai and The Lone Ranger. With an impressive ensemble cast and an intense true story about South Boston’s most violent criminal, Black Mass is one you’ll want to catch when it hits Cineplex theatres on Friday.
Speaking of impressive ensembles, another important screening occurred tonight. Rachel McAdams -- coming off a huge day after her Doctor Strange casting news -- Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Liev Schreiberattended the premiere of Spotlight at the Princess of Wales theatre. This is another true story, also taking place in Boston, about »
- Adriana Floridia
We need more movies about dysfunctional families like we need more movies about the tortured inner lives of artists, which is all the more reason to be unexpectedly grateful for “The Family Fang,” a sharply drawn portrait of a dysfunctional, tortured artistic family that speaks affectingly to the troubled legacy that all parents inevitably bequeath to their children. Following his raucous and foul-mouthed directorial debut with “Bad Words,” Jason Bateman shows marked progress and deepening maturity as a filmmaker with this cleverly structured but never arch or mechanical adaptation of Kevin Wilson’s 2011 comic novel, with Bateman and Nicole Kidman nicely inhabiting one of the more tender and persuasive brother-sister relationships in recent movie memory. With its rich vein of melancholy and intricate but entirely accessible narrative layers, “Fang” will require shrewd distributor positioning to sink its teeth into the arthouse market; solid critical response and cast names should help. »
- Justin Chang
Jason Bateman‘s “The Family Fang,” which premiered on Monday afternoon at the Toronto Film Festival, is another Tiff film that walks the line between drama and comedy to crowd-pleasing effect. Far less broad and gleefully offensive than Bateman’s directorial debut, 2013’s “Bad Words,” the film is a sometimes awkward but often winning family story that veers between dramatic scenes delivered by Nicole Kidman and Bateman, and the eccentric comic stylings of Christopher Walken, who steals every scene he’s in as a performance artist who used his kids in a series of elaborate public provocations. “This is not ‘Bad Words, »
- Steve Pond
Jason Bateman isn’t going to quit his day job anytime soon. However, his focus at the moment is more on directing than acting. “The Family Fang” is his second Toronto outing behind the lens (“Bad Words” bowed in 2013). Producer Nicole Kidman, who was keen on “Bad Words,” tapped him to helm and co-star in “The Family Fang,” which also features Christopher Walken as a performance artist who goes missing along with his wife (Maryann Plunkett). The film has its world premiere Sept. 14.
What fueled the transition to feature film directing?
As an actor, you only get to work 15 minutes an hour; as a director you’re fully immersed. It’s incredibly more complex and challenging and I love it. I’m sort of a glutton for work and to direct something that I’m acting in feeds the vein.
Are you pleased with the film?
It’s been a »
- Kathy A. McDonald
A couple of new key release date announcements today starting with the Ewan McGregor as Jesus & The Devil project "Last Days in the Desert" which Broad Green Pictures has acquired for the United States and is planning an early 2016 release.
Meanwhile the collapse of Relativity Studios has seen the studio quietly pull three titles - "The Disappointments Room," "Before I Wake" and "The Bronze" - from its calendar with no dates currently set. [Source: Variety]
Men and Chickens
Drafthouse Films has bought North American distribution rights to Anders Thomas Jensen's comedy "Men and Chicken" starring Mads Mikkelsen. The film will have a limited theatrical release in North America in 2016.
The story centers on two brothers who, through meeting their long-lost family, also discover a horrible truth about themselves. [Source: Variety]
Untitled Cop Comedy
- Garth Franklin
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