THE HUMBLING Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 13 days ago

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Lately, it’s become a Hollywood staple for a bunch of old guys to get together and make movie about aging to acknowledge that career-halting trait that they all share. Most of these movies are disposable efforts like The Expendables or Last Vegas that are more embarrassing than invigorating. Thankfully, three more guys just got together to do it again and delivered something truly inspired and special. It helps that two of them are behind-the-camera talent in Barry Levinson (Diner) and screenwriter Buck Henry (The Graduate), and then the movie hits an even higher level thanks to their onscreen muse being Al Pacino. Together the trio have created The Humbling, a dark comedy about an aging artist that is a genuine return to form rather than a retirement plan publicity stunt. Hit the jump for all the juicy details explaining why.

THE HUMBLING Trailer: The World Is a Stage Featuring Al Pacino, Greta Gerwig, and Charles Grodin

by     Posted 15 days ago

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The first The Humbling trailer for director Barry Levinson’s (Rain Man, Wag the Dog) upcoming comedy has landed online.  Based on the novel of the same name by author Philip Roth, the film stars Al Pacino as a retired stage actor in decline who strikes up an affair with a “flirtatious lesbian” (Greta Gerwig) while staying at a secluded country house in Connecticut.  The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival to rather mixed reviews, and indeed this trailer is a bit of a mixed bag itself.  There are portions of the film that look incredibly funny and the cast is phenomenal, but the romance aspect between Pacino and Gerwig’s characters feels off and a little strange (the “turning a lesbian” storyline again, really?).  There’s no denying the talent of this cast, though, and I still find myself curious to see full film.

Watch The Humbling trailer after the jump.  The film also stars Dianne Wiest, Kyra Sedgwick, Dan Hedaya, and Charles Grodin.

First ROCK THE KASBAH Image From The Film’s Set Shows Off All-Star cast

by     Posted 50 days ago

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It looks like we now have our first image from the set of director Barry Levinson’s new movie Rock the Kasbah.  In the film Bill Murray stars a music manager who goes on the USO tour to Afghanistan with his last remaining client.  Once there, “he finds himself abandoned, penniless and without his passport and discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice who stows away with him back to Kabul to compete on the popular television show The Afghan Star, Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol.”

Rock the Kasbah also stars Kate Hudson, Bruce Willis, Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel and Scott CaanMitch Glazer (The Recruit) wrote the script.  I really like the idea of a $20 Million budget comedy with an original scenario and a cast like that.  It feels like the kind of mid-budget comedies Hollywood made up until 2008 or so.  It’s sort of a shame that the kind of material that used to be considered a mainstream “popcorn flick” would practically be considered limited-release/VOD film in this current climate.  I’m glad this film is getting better treatment (at least on the budget side of things).  Hit the jump for a better look at the Rock the Kasbah image.  Here’s hoping we hear more from Open Road on this one soon.

Bill Murray to Star in Barry Levinson’s ROCK THE KASBAH; Jared Harris Joins MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. as Official Synopsis Is Released

by     Posted 1 year, 15 days ago

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Bill Murray is poised to team up with Wag the Dog and Rain Man director Barry Levinson on the aptly named Rock the KasbahThe Wrap reports that Murray will lead  the pic, which centers on a music manager who goes on the USO tour to Afghanistan with his last remaining client.  Once there, “he finds himself abandoned, penniless and without his passport and discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice who stows away with him back to Kabul to compete on the popular television show The Afghan Star, Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol.”  QED is producing the film, which boasts a script by Mitch Glazer (The Recruit, Magic City).

Hit the jump for a familiar cast addition to Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. along with an official synopsis for the film.

First Full Trailer for MUHAMMAD ALI’S GREATEST FIGHT Starring Christopher Plummer, Benjamin Walker, and Frank Langella

by     Posted 1 year, 22 days ago

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HBO has released the first full trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) new film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight.  The pic focuses on Muhammad Ali’s refusal to go to Vietnam and the court battle that ensued, centering on Justice Harlan (Christopher Plummer) and his clerk, played by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Benjamin Walker.  Ali’s is portrayed using archival footage, as the majority of the film involves the internal debates between the justices and clerks who faced an incredibly tough decision at a tumultuous time for America.  There’s certainly plenty of conflict to draw from, but I’m interested to see if Frears can keep the film engaging given its limited scope.

Hit the jump to watch the full trailer.  The film also stars Frank LangellaDanny GloverBob BalabanEd Begley Jr.Barry Levinson, and Pablo Schreiber.  Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight premieres on HBO on October 5th.

Johnny Depp to Play Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger in BLACK MASS; Barry Levinson to Direct

by     Posted 1 year, 227 days ago

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Johnny Depp is attached to play notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in Black MassBarry Levinson will direct with a scheduled May start date.  Cross Creek bought the rights to the 2001 book Black Mass, but Mark Mallouk had to write a new ending when Bulger was captured in June 2011 after spending more than a decade on the FBI Ten Most Wanted List.  Bulger featured heavily in the South Boston organized crime scene in the 70s and 80s, but maintained a reputation as a “modern-day Robin Hood” among some of the locals.  The synopsis makes it clear this will be a sympathetic portrait:

BLACK MASS tells the true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.  However, after the Feds closed in on their targets, they double crossed Bulger and ultimately prosecuted him, along with his partner in crime and the original FBI agent working with him.

Check out our interview with producer Brian Oliver for more on the story and hit the jump for the press release with all the details.

Creepy First Trailer and Poster for Barry Levinson’s Found Footage Horror Film THE BAY

by     Posted 2 years, 12 days ago

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The first trailer and poster for director Barry Levinson’s (Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam) found footage horror film The Bay have landed online.  The pic centers on a small Chesapeake Bay town where an unprecedented biological disaster is unleashed from the bay’s waters.  The trailer plays like a cross between Paranormal Activity and Contagion, with a little Dawn of the Dead thrown in for good measure.  The jump to the found footage genre is an unexpected move from Levinson, but the horror film actually looks pretty affecting.  In the place of fake jump scares and “shadow ghosts” prevalent in most found footage pics is a real, tangible terror that wreaks havoc on the city.  Fair warning, if bed bugs and such give you the creeps, you may or may not be slightly terrified by this trailer.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  The film stars Will Rogers and Christopher DenhamThe Bay will be available in theaters and on iTunes on November 2nd.

What’s Filming Where, Including IRON MAN 3, DJANGO UNCHAINED, THE TOMB, ENDER’S GAME and More

by     Posted 2 years, 113 days ago

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You’re driving down the street, and it’s suddenly blocked off.  You notice these weird yellow signs with nonsensical letters or numbers.  There’s unusual glow lighting up a neighborhood you can’t usually see from your house.  What you might have here is a film company shooting in your town.  It happens a lot, and you never know where they might pop up…until now.

The following is a semi-comprehensive list of films currently shooting, what they’re shooting, and where they’re shooting.  We’ll be telling you where you might get to see the very famous, the kinda famous and (if all goes well) the soon-to-be famous. While we can’t list every single movie, television show, or student film in production, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what the heck is going on where all those people are buzzing about.  Want to know where in the world are Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, Woody Harrelson, and Leonardo DiCaprio? Hit the jump for more.

THE NATURAL Director Barry Levinson to Helm Hank Aaron Biopic

by     Posted 2 years, 167 days ago

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The story of Hammerin’ Hank is coming to the big screen.  Variety reports that producers Mike Tollin and Glenn Rigberg have acquired the rights to baseball great Hank Aaron’s life story.  Furthermore, they’ve set The Natural director Barry Levinson to helm from a script by Adam Mazer (Empire State).  The story will be based on Howard Bryant’s book The Last Hero: The Life Story of Henry Aaron and “will follow the right fielder’s chase of Babe Ruth’s home run record from 1972 to 1974.  Spoiler alert: Aaron finally eclipsed Ruth’s record with his 715th home run in April of 1974. Hit the jump for more.

Production on GOTTI: IN THE SHADOW OF MY FATHER Put on Hold?

by     Posted 2 years, 346 days ago

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We have no official confirmation from producers, but right now it looks like the infamous Gotti family biopic may be sleeping with the fishes.  Showbiz411 is reporting that all work on Gotti: In The Shadow of My Father, which began pre-production in New York last month, has been halted due to a lack of funding.  It’s unclear how much ‘work’ was actually completed on the controversial mob movie, but without a way for producer Marc Fiore to pay the film’s big name principals, word is that director Barry Levinson may not be able to hit his January start date.  Gotti: In The Shadow of My Father was set to star John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Ben Foster, Al Pacino and Lindsay Lohan.  Hit the jump in case you need a refresher on any of the drama.

MODERN FAMILY’s Eric Stonestreet to Play Fatty Arbuckle in HBO Film THE DAY THE LAUGHTER STOPPED

by     Posted 3 years, 27 days ago

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The actor has already won an Emmy for his fantastic work as one-half of one of the funniest gay couples on TV in the ABC comedy series Modern Family, but now Eric Stonestreet is taking on another gig that could likely end up snagging him another golden statue. Stonestreet is attached to play legendary silent-film star Fatty Arbuckle in The Day the Laughter Stopped, a new TV movie set up at HBO from John Adams writer Kirk Ellis and You Don’t Know Jack director Barry Levinson attached to helm. Based on David A. Yallop’s book of the same name, the film chronicles the sudden and tragic downfall of Arbuckle’s career after facing false accusations of rape and murder. More after the jump.

Ben Foster Joins GOTTI: IN THE SHADOW OF MY FATHER, Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick to Star in STEP UP 4

by     Posted 3 years, 47 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Ben Foster has joined the ever-changing production of Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father. The Wrap reports that Foster is set to play John Gotti Jr. The project has been through some rather public ups and downs, with Joe Pesci most recently suing the producers because he claims he gained weight for a role that was eventually cut. Barry Levinson is directing, and last we heard he was retooling the script. The cast includes Al Pacino, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, with filming set to begin in January in New York.

Additionally, newcomer Ryan Guzman and So You Think You Can Dance contestant Kathryn McCormick are set to star in the fourth installment of Step Up, which bears the undeniably genius tentative title Step Up 4Ever 3D. Scott Speer is directing the Miami-set movie from a script by Jenny May. The story centers on people who dance-fight in Miami. In 3D.

BBC America Announces First Original Scripted Drama Series COPPER

by     Posted 3 years, 52 days ago

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We’ve already journeyed into the historical Five Points neighborhood of New York City in Martin Scorsese’s fantastic film Gangs of New York, but now BBC America will venture even deeper in the same location and time with their first original scripted drama series called Copper. Tom Fantana (Oz) and Will Rokos (Southland) co-created the series with filmmaker Barry Levinson (Rain Man) and executive in charge of Mad Men, Christina Wayne, executive producing the series which follows a young Irish cop in the Five Points Irish neighborhood of New York City in the 1860’s where he must navigate the unruly and sometimes violent currents of his immigrant neighborhood, while simultaneously interacting with uptown Manhattan high society and the emerging black community in Harlem. Honestly it sounds like a series set in the heart of Scorsese’s film, and that sounds fantastic. Production will begin later this year and the series will premiere on BBC America next summer, so stay tuned as this project develops.

Barry Levinson to Direct Al Pacino in THE HUMBLING This Fall Before Shooting GOTTI: THREE GENERATIONS

by     Posted 3 years, 100 days ago

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Director Barry Levinson, who’s been busy putting together the large-scale mob flick Gotti: Three Generations, has decided to shoot another film this fall before commencing production on Gotti. Levinson will reunite with his You Don’t Know Jack star Al Pacino (who’s also set to star in Gotti) in an adaptation of Phillip Roth’s novel The Humbling. The film centers on a famous retired stage actor in decline who moves to upstate New York with a much younger woman, resulting in his reinvigoration.

Deadline reports that the plan is to shoot The Humbling this fall, with Levinson currently working on filling out the rest of his cast. He co-wrote the script alongside Buck Henry and Michal Zebede. Levinson recently took over directing duties on Gotti: Three Generations after Nick Cassavetes left the project. He and his Bugsy co-writer James Toback are now giving Gotti a page-one rewrite, and while the cast could change once the script is finished, he’s very keen on Pacino and John Travolta starring in the film. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of Phillip Roth’s The Humbling.

Lindsay Lohan Might Not Be in GOTTI: THREE GENERATIONS After All

by     Posted 3 years, 129 days ago

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As of now, the confusion regarding Lindsay Lohan’s status in director Barry Levinson’s Gotti: Three Generations is rivaled only by the confusion regarding her life in general. Back when Nick Cassavetes was still directing, Lohan was in talks to play Gotti’s daughter, Victoria. Then, after Cassavetes’ departure, she dropped out of the film for a hot minutes only to rejoin the project as Gotti Jr.’s wife. Flash forward to the present, and TheWrap reports that Lohan is probably on the outs once again. In an exclusive with Levinson, the director states that “She’s possibly not (in the film) because she’s got her issues, and we also got to write the script, and then we’ll see where it is.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the oft-publicized actress…

Regardless of Lohan’s inclusion, Gotti: Three Generations will almost definitely star John Travolta as John Gotti Sr. and Al Pacino as crime family underboss Neil Dellacroce. Levinson also confirms that the film will most likely be in front of cameras by the end of the year.

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