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Andy Fickman Boards Comedy ‘Tension Ring’ for Robbins Lane Entertainment (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Andy Fickman Boards Comedy ‘Tension Ring’ for Robbins Lane Entertainment (Exclusive)
Andy Fickman will direct the romantic comedy “Tension Ring,” the debut feature of the newly formed Robbins Lane Entertainment, Variety has learned exclusively.

“Tension Ring” marks the launch of Robbins Lane Entertainment, from Seth B. Fass and Scott Prisand. The shingle is named after the pair’s elementary school in Syosset, Long Island.

Fickman will direct from a script he wrote with Marnie Alexenburg and Kristen Gura Fickman. Inspired by a true love story, “Tension Ring” follows a New York stock broker who enlists the help of his girlfriend’s eccentric father to pull off the engagement of a lifetime — but quickly realizes the alliance could ruin everything.

The project is set to film in New York in early 2019. Fass and Prisand will produce with Fickman’s Oops Doughnuts, with Betsy Sullenger also producing. The film will be executive produced by Robert Leary of Vineyard Point Productions.

“We are thrilled
See full article at Variety »

15 Great Directorial Debuts By Actors

  • The Playlist
It feels like it’s rare to find an actor who doesn’t at some point in his or her career get the urge to direct. Even stars barely out of their teens discuss the desire to direct in interviews (some even get around to it: “Submarine” actor Craig Roberts premiered his first film “Just Jim” last year at the age of 24, and former child star Xavier Dolan was only 20 when he made his first). Sometimes the results are terrible, as anyone who saw Mark Ruffalo’s “Sympathy For Delicious” or Ryan Gosling’s “Lost River,” to name but two recent examples, would tell you. Read More: 10 Strong Directorial Debuts From Actors-Turned-Directors But sometimes, such films are terrific. And with “Miles Ahead,” Don Cheadle’s pretty decent first film as director, hitting theaters on Friday (read our review), Nate Parker’s “Birth Of A Nation” storming Sundance, and the news
See full article at The Playlist »

Review: Ryan Gosling's Striking But Only Fitfully Interesting 'Lost River'

This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. There's no bigger way for a movie star to paint a giant target on their back than by stepping behind the camera. More often than not, an actor making their directorial debut gets to do more or less whatever they want, and without anyone telling them no, the results can be indulgent and self-serving — there are more films like Mark Ruffalo's "Sympathy For Delicious" than Charles Laughton's "Night Of The Hunter." And far be it from Ryan Gosling to upset that particular narrative. The "Drive" star's first feature as director, "Lost River," premiered in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes and has seemingly already passed into Croisette legend as a "Southland Tales"-style disaster. That's not entirely unfair, as the film is an indulgent mess and then some. But it's not a dull mess, and
See full article at The Playlist »

Cannes Review: Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Starring Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan & Matt Smith

There's no bigger way for a movie star to paint a giant target on their back than by stepping behind the camera. More often than not, an actor making their directorial debut gets to do more or less whatever they want, and without anyone telling them no, the results can be indulgent and self-serving—there are more films like Mark Ruffalo's "Sympathy For Delicious" than Charles Laughton's "Night Of The Hunter." And far be it from Ryan Gosling to upset that particular narrative. The "Drive" star's first feature as director, "Lost River," premiered in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes, and has seemingly already passed into Croisette legend as a "Southland Tales"-style disaster. That's not entirely unfair, as the film is an indulgent mess and then some. But it's not a dull mess, and this writer at least found some pleasures to salvage from it, mostly of the audio-visual variety.
See full article at The Playlist »

Tribeca: Posturing Bank Robbing Beauties in "Electric Slide"

More from Nathaniel at the Tribeca Film Festival

Electric Slide

There's something about the Killer Films logo, that has me rooting for the film that follows every time. Christine Vachon's company has shepherded so many confrontational and interesting indie films and voices into the arthouse over the years that it has both a nostalgic pull And an edge, and those things rarely come conjoined. 

Electric Slide, about a bank robbing loser in 80s Los Angeles, definitely has the confrontational edge part though it's not what you might call "interesting". The only likeable characters are way on the periphery (Vinessa Shaw is engaging despite very little to do as a furniture store employee) like the pretty bank tellers who really sell their brief moments of victimization and carnal attraction to Eddie. But as a film it's intensely narcissistic, less concerned with what you think of it, than what pose it's
See full article at FilmExperience »

Niko Nicotera & David Labrava Upped To Regular On ‘Sons Of Anarchy’

Niko Nicotera (Sympathy For Delicious) and David Labrava have been promoted to regular for the seventh and final season of FX’s Sons Of Anarchy. Nicotera has recurred for the past two seasons on the Kurt Sutter-created biker drama as Samcro member Ratboy Skogstrom. Real-life Hells Angels member Labrava plays Happy, who in Season 6 became Sergeant-at-Arms for the mother chapter of the club. Sons Of Anarchy is FX’s highest-rated series ever, and the Season 6 closer scored a season-finale record with 5.2 million viewers. Nicotera, repped by Pakula King & Associates and manager Nicolas Bernheim, next will be seen in feature The Purge: Anarchy. Related: Kurt Sutter Talks ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ At ATAS Event
See full article at Deadline TV »

Daniel Escobar, 'Lizzie McGuire'. Actor, Dies At 49

Daniel Escobar, who was best known for playing a teacher on Lizzie McGuire, died last Friday in Los Angeles from diabetes complications. He was 49.

Daniel Escobar Dies

In addition to his recurring role on the Disney Channel series, Escobar reprised his character alongside Hilary Duff in the 2003 Lizzie McGuire movie. Escobar also had a recurring role on the ABC comedy Dharma & Greg as a waiter named Lorenzo.

Adam Lamberg and Jake Thomas, who costarred with Escobar in Lizzie McGuire, both took to Twitter to express their sadness at learning of his passing.

I am deeply saddened to hear about Daniel Escobar passing. He was a kindhearted, generous person. Rest in Peace.

Adam Lamberg (@AmigoLambergo) December 18, 2013

I'm very sad to hear about Daniel Escobar's passing. He made us laugh with his role as theater teacher "Mr. Escobar" on Lizzie McGuire

Jake Thomas (@SirJakeThomas) December 18, 2013

Escobar’s long list of TV
See full article at Uinterview »

Richard Gere is Living in the Past in Andrew Renzi’s Feature Debut; Sundance Lab “Franny” Shoots in October

He has been on our radar since he produced Alistair Banks Griffin’s Two Gates of Sleep (2010) and mounted his writing-directing projects in the Sundance preemed shorts The Fort (2012) and Karaoke! (2013) (here is one of our two interviews with the helomer), Deadline reports that Richard Gere has boarded Andrew Renzi’s directorial debut – a Sundance Writers’ Lab project that will begin lensing in October, Franny will potentially film Philadelphia where the original screenplay is set. We’re looking forward to more casting announcements for the roles of the young couple. The producer army begins with Treehouse PicturesJustin Nappi and Kevin Turen (All Is Lost), TideRock Media’s Thomas B Fore and Jason Michael Berman (Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents) and Big Shoes Media’s Jay Schuminsky are producing. Magnolia Entertainment’s Shelley Browning and Michael Diamond serve as executive producers alongside Soaring Flight ProductionsRuth Mutch and Qed evp of international sales John Friedberg.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: Open Road

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 21, 2013

Price: DVD $Tba, Blu-ray $Tba

Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Camilla Belle (Father of Invention) looks for a new life in drama movie Open Road.

Belle plays Angie, a free-spirited Brazilian artist who leaves her past behind her to journey around the country in search of happiness. Along the way, she makes a connection with an aging drifter, a handsome cop and his sympathetic sister. As Angie learns to care for her new friends, she’s torn between the freedom of her nomadic life and the joy of becoming part of a community that loves her.

The coming-of-age film was directed by award-winning Brazilian director Marcio Garcia and also stars Andy Garcia (City Island), Juliette Lewis (Sympathy for Delicious), Colin Egglesfield (Something Borrowed) and John Savage (Bereavement).

Open Road wasn’t screened in theaters in the U.S., debuting on DVD and Blu-ray instead.

Both
See full article at Disc Dish »

Best of Fest: Sundance 2013′s Top 20 New Voices

  • IONCINEMA.com
Yesterday, Jordan M. Smith, Nicholas Bell and I highlighted our Top 10 New Faces (strictly in the acting domain) of 2013′s Sundance Film Festival and while that list was pretty much a consensus, our Top 20 New Voices (fiction/non-fiction/short scribes, directors and full-out filmmakers/producers) was an amicably, yet hard fought deliberation process and then ranking of who we think the future will shine most bright…in other words, if these people were Wall Street stock options — we’d put our money behind them. Enjoy the mini profiles and adjoined praise.

#20. Sophie Goyette

Part of the pair of Canadian-based, female auteurs to make a pit stop in Park City (the other being Sarah Polley) French-Canadian filmmaker Sophie Goyette and her 2012 Tiff showcased short film Le Futur Proche demonstrates that there is plenty more raw talent and a pulse from Quebec. Here we find a pilot dealing with loss, suppressing his
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: Hyde Park on Hudson

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 9, 2013

Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $34.98

Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Bill Murray (Get Low) plays U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson, a movie that’s part love story, part drama, part comedy.

Rated R, Hyde Park on Hudson is centered around the weekend in 1939 when the English King (Samuel West, TV’s Mr Selfridge) and Queen (Olivia Colman, The Iron Lady) visited the home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in upstate New York.

During the first-ever visit of a reigning British monarch to America, Fdr juggles international affairs with the complications of his wife (Olivia Williams, Anna Karenina), mother (Elizabeth Wilson) and mistress, his distant cousin Margaret “Daisy” Suckley (Laura Linney, Sympathy for Delicious).

Directed by Roger Michell (Morning Glory), the film was written by Richard Nelson (Ethan Frome).

Hyde Park on Hudson was screened in limited theaters, grossing $5.6 million. But it
See full article at Disc Dish »

‘Girl Next Door’ Director Luke Greenfield Set For Action Comedy With ‘Kids Are All Right’ Writer & Drama ‘Last Bachelor’

Back in 2004 Luke Greenfield showed promise with the better-than-it-should-have-been sex comedy The Girl Next Door, but since then we’ve been waiting for the director repeat that same magic. Unfortunately his last effort, Something Borrowed, fell prey to all the generic rom-com trappings he avoided in his previous feature. He’s now looking for his next feature and has lined up two possibilities, Variety reports.

With the connective tissue being Mark Ruffalo, producer of his directorial debut Sympathy for Delicious, Andrew Renz, has linked up with Greenfield for the dramedy The Last Bachelor, which “follows a single man in his late 30s who drops everything to seek out his soulmate. When he finally meets “the one,” he finds himself behaving as if he had a ticking biological clock.”

Then the other project, just receiving a polish by Stuart Blumberg, scribe of Ruffalo’s The Kids Are All Right (coincidence? I think not.
See full article at The Film Stage »

[Now Streaming] Your ‘Dark Shadows,’ ‘God Bless America,’ and ‘Hick’ Alternatives

Each week within this column we strive to pair the latest in theatrical releases to worthwhile titles currently available on Netflix Instant Watch. This week we offer alternatives to Dark Shadows, God Bless America and Hick.

Tim Burton brings the peculiar tale of the Collins clan to the big screen. Johnny Depp stars as Barnabas Collins, a long-imprisoned vampire unleashed on the 1970s, where he discovers a colorful batch of dysfunctional descendants. Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter co-star.

Prefer camp with your macabre?

Dark Shadows (1966) Check out the cult classic that started it all. Originally conceived as a moody melodrama, this groundbreaking gothic soap found success following the introduction of tormented vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid). From there the Collins family regularly crosses the paths of ghosts, werewolves, and witches. Oh my.

Edward Scissorhands (1990) Or revisit Burton and Depp’s first collaboration, the tale of a modern Frankenstein’s monster with scissors for hands.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Orlando Bloom and Djimon Hounsou Cast in South African Crime Tale ‘Zulu’

Orlando Bloom and Djimon Hounsou Cast in South African Crime Tale ‘Zulu’
It seems like Orlando Bloom‘s comeback is going to start…any…minute…now. He took a couple years off, and then did a film that there was reason to anticipate (Mark Ruffalo’s Sympathy For Delicious) and a few other projects that were destined to be baby steps back to public awareness more than anything else. (Main Street, The [...]
See full article at Slash Film »

2012 Sundance Predictions: James Ponsoldt's Smashed

#59. Smashed - James Ponsoldt An integral part of the indie filmmaking scene, when not contributing to Filmmaker Magazine helmer James Ponsoldt (pictured above) appears to be busy mounting his next project and five yearsafter his breakout debut Off the Black (a Sundance entry in 2006) we now have his sophomore pic - a dramedy featuring Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul along with Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Look for Smashed to grab a U.S Dramatic or Premieres spot. Gist: Co-written by James Ponsoldt and Susan Burke, this is the story of a married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober and begins attending AA. Producers: Jennifer Cochis (Douchebag), Jonathan Schwartz (Like Crazy) and Andrea Sperling (Sympathy for Delicious)(Ioncinema.com Preview Page // IMDb Link)  
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Sympathy For Delicious Blu-ray Review

The long-in-development directorial debut of Mark “the Fourth Avenger” Ruffalo, Sympathy For Delicious tells the story of a gifted DJ who’s fallen on hard times in the wake of an accident that’s left him confined to a wheelchair. Living out of his car, relying on the charity of a do-gooding priest (Ruffalo), things are pretty bleak for Delicious D (that’s his name!) until he finds that he has the power to heal the sick with a laying on of hands—a power that cannot be applied to his own devastating malady. Further embittered by this cruel twist of fate, D nonetheless offers his healing hands to the downtrodden masses of the streets, but it isn’t long before an opportunistic indie rock band offers him a second shot at stardom if he’ll exploit his gift on-stage for a lucrative music/evangelism fest called Healapalooza. But does
See full article at Collider.com »

Blu-Ray Review: Well-Acted ‘Sympathy For Delicious’ Feels Too One-Note

Chicago – An intriguing, highly unusual premise is brought to life by fine performances in “Sympathy for Delicious,” but the film’s aim to inspire is undercut by the shallowness of its one-note characters. Scene after scene veers between a genuinely absorbing morality play and a feature-length “Touched by an Angel” episode riddled with f-bombs.

I suspect that the picture was awarded a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival in part because of its offscreen story regarding the 20-year friendship between first-time director Mark Ruffalo and screenwriter/star Christopher Thornton. Their arduous journey toward bringing this indie production to the screen was clearly a labor of love, and the film is an impressive achievement on numerous levels. It just has the tremendous misfortune of centering on one of the most insufferable protagonists in recent memory.

Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0

Thornton is a fine actor and proves here that he’s more
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Juliette Lewis Signs On To The Contemporary Noir 'Blood Or Water'

What exactly happened to Juliette Lewis? Once positioned to be quite the serious actress in films like Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” and the indie drama “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” Lewis has been pretty much absent from major roles in the acting world for the past few years (or more). Sure, she has shown up in some enjoyable character turns in comedies like “Whip It” and “Old School,” and put in time in dramas like "Conviction" and "Sympathy For Delicious," but it seems she's mostly been making a go of it with her punk band Juliette and the Licks. Anyway,…
See full article at The Playlist »

This Week in DVD & Blu-ray: Win Win, The Beaver, Blitz, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

 Hey everyone! Here's this weeks choices to watch!

Win Win 

Paul Giamatti headlines writer/director Tom McCarthy's comedy drama centering on a beleaguered attorney and part-time wrestling coach who schemes to keep his practice from going under by acting as the legal caretaker of an elderly client. Mike Flaherty (Giamatti) thinks he has discovered the perfect loophole to keep his practice in business. But his brilliant plan hits an unexpected hitch when his client's troubled grandson shows up looking for a place to stay. With his home life in turmoil and both of his careers in jeopardy, Mike quickly realizes that he'll have to get creative in order to find a way out of his current predicament.

This movie is what I call a Dramedy. It has some really funny parts but is definitely a drama. This movie is very real and to these characters nothing comes easy, which
See full article at GeekTyrant »

New Blu-ray and DVD Releases: August 23rd

Rank the week of August 23rd’s Blu-ray and DVD new releases against the best films of all-time: New Releases Blitz

(Blu-ray & DVD | Nr | 2011)

Flickchart Ranking: #9439

Win Percentage: 51%

Times Ranked: 215

Top-20 Rankings: 5

Directed By: Elliott Lester

Starring: Jason StathamPaddy ConsidineAidan GillenZawe AshtonDavid Morrissey

Genres: Crime • Crime Thriller • Police Detective Film • Thriller

Rank This Movie

The Beaver

(Blu-ray & DVD | PG13 | 2011)

Flickchart Ranking: #5199

Win Percentage: 52%

Times Ranked: 858

Top-20 Rankings: 6

Directed By: Jodie Foster

Starring: Mel GibsonJodie FosterAnton YelchinJennifer LawrenceZachary Booth

Genres: Comedy Drama • Drama • Psychological Drama

Rank This Movie

Win Win

(Blu-ray & DVD | Nr | 2011)

Flickchart Ranking: #2107

Win Percentage: 61%

Times Ranked: 2455

Top-20 Rankings: 6

Directed By: Thomas McCarthy

Starring: Paul GiamattiAmy RyanBobby CannavaleJeffrey TamborBurt Young

Genres: Comedy Drama • Drama • Sports Comedy • Sports Drama

Rank This Movie

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

(Blu-ray & DVD | PG13 | 2011)

Flickchart Ranking: #5643

Win Percentage: 49%

Times Ranked: 725

Top-20 Rankings:
See full article at Flickchart »
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