DRAFT DAY Review

by     Posted 14 days ago

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I like football, and judging by the mammoth TV ratings, so does most of America.  I’m not sure what it says about us as a society that we celebrate what’s arguably the most violent major sport*, but to be fair, plenty of fans also get caught up in the details.  Like most sports, second-guessing is part of the game, and the guessing game is in full force in the NFL Draft.  It’s where the indentured servitude of the NCAA gives way to players actually getting paid, but no one knows if a player is going to be a bang or bust.  Unfortunately, Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day may have the fiery setting, but the movie has trouble finding the spark.  It’s fun to go inside the offices of NFL teams, but the energy is lost in a listless protagonist and tiresome subplots.  Although it does manage to score at the end, the film is a tedious drive down the field.

First Trailer and New Images for James Brown Biopic GET ON UP Starring Chadwick Boseman

by     Posted 42 days ago

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Universal has released the first trailer and some new images from director Tate Taylor‘s (The HelpJames Brown biopic Get on Up.  Cradle-to-grave biopics have a tendency to turn stale rather quickly and they almost all drone on for far too long, but this trailer markets Get on Up as a colorful, high-energy look at Brown’s life, inhabited by actor Chadwick Boseman.  In between all the funk and celebration is a strong dramatic undercurrent focusing on Brown’s mother (played by Viola Davis), and these kinds of scenes are where Taylor excelled in his debut feature The Help.  Boseman did a swell job playing Jackie Robinson in last year’s 42, so I’m interested to see how the actor inhabits the larger-than-life Brown.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to check out the images.  Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter, Jill Scott, and Dan Aykroyd co-star.  Get on Up opens August 1st.

Bill Hader Is a TRAINWRECK; Chadwick Boseman in GODS OF EGYPT; Kate Hudson, Danny McBride, Shia LaBeouf & Zooey Deschanel in ROCK THE KASBAH

by     Posted 84 days ago

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Take a look at the latest casting news below:

Hit the jump for more on each story.

Watch 4 Clips from Ivan Reitman’s DRAFT DAY Starring Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, and Denis Leary

by     Posted 84 days ago

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Summit Entertainment has released four clips from Ivan Reitman‘s upcoming sports drama Draft Day.  The film stars Kevin Costner as the Cleveland Browns General Manager, who unexpectedly trades for the top overall pick in the draft, which is only 13 hours away.  As the clock winds down, he must figure out how to use his prized possession while also dealing with headaches from his personal life.  Clips are usually released closer to the release date, but Draft Day doesn’t open for a few more months.  However, with football season winding down, Summit is giving the film a big push.  In addition to these clips, they’ve also released a TV spot that will air during the Super Bowl pre-game.  Whether the movie sticks in the minds of football fans by the time April rolls around remains to be seen.

Hit the jump to watch the clips.  The film also stars Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Josh Pence, Chadwick Boseman, Sean Combs, Sam Elliott, Terry Crews, Arian Foster, Ellen Burstyn, and Frank LangellaDraft Day opens April 11th.

First Look at Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in Biopic GET ON UP

by     Posted 103 days ago

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The first image from the upcoming James Brown biopic Get on Up has landed online.  The pic serves as The Help director Tate Taylor’s second directorial feature, and the filmmaker tapped 42 star Chadwick Boseman to portray the Godfather of Soul.  Get on Up likely won’t shy away from the saltier aspects of Brown’s life, as Taylor told EW, “As I dug in and started to discover more about him, the good and the bad, I loved the reasons he was often bad and I loved the reasons he was good.  I love that he would stop at nothing to keep reinventing himself so he could stay current, and as a result he changed music.”  The director was inundated with offers for a wide-range of projects after the success of the Best Picture Oscar-nominated The Help, but he instead held out and chose to make Get on Up.

Hit the jump to take a look at the first image, which also features Craig Robinson.  Production is currently underway in Mississippi with a supporting cast that includes Viola Davis and Octavia SpencerGet on Up opens August 1st.

42 Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 239 days ago

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I love baseball movies.  To be honest, I love sports movies as a whole, but baseball movies in particular (it is perhaps needless to say that I love the games).  Alas, sports movies are a mixed bag in terms of quality.  One area in which baseball movies often find success is in tapping into the historic and/or mythic elements of the game itself.  42 does exactly that, delving into Jackie Robinson’s breaking of baseball’s color barrier in 1947.

42 Star Chadwick Boseman to Play James Brown in Biopic; Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Nelsan Ellis Eyed for Supporting Roles

by     Posted 241 days ago

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Producer Brian Grazer has been trying to make a James Brown biopic for over a decade.  Tate Taylor (The Help) signed on to direct and produce late last year, and Mick Jagger came to produce and lend his music cred, but there was no obvious candidate to play the Godfather of Soul.  One black actor surfaced in the last year and proved he could carry a period biopic: Chadwick Boseman.  Boseman played Jackie Robinson in 42, which premiered in April to solid reviews and went on to gross nearly $100 million domestic.  Variety reports Boseman was identified as the top choice weeks ago, but Universal and Imagine Entertainment needed to sort out the budget before an offer could be made.  Now, Boseman is Brown.

Another report suggests Taylor is eying a few members from the Help cast—Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis—for supporting roles.  More after the jump.

Production Begins on Sports Dramedy DRAFT DAY; Sean Combs and Terry Crews Join the Cast

by     Posted 1 year ago

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Summit Entertainment and OddLot Entertainment announced today that production has begun on director Ivan Reitman’s sports dramedy Draft Day.  The film takes place within the span of one day, the day of the NFL Draft, as Kevin Costner plays a general manger who has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick.  As the day’s events unfold, “he must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL.”

Filming is underway in New York, where the production will shoot some scenes at the actual 2013 NFL Draft.  Once that is complete, filming will move to Cleveland.  The ensemble includes Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Ellen Burstyn, Frank Langella, Josh Pence, Rosanna Arquette, Timothy Simons and 42 star Chadwick Boseman, and the start-of-production press release notes that Terry Crews and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs have also joined the cast.  Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes the entire cast listing.

Jason Sudeikis and Rose Byrne to Lead Romantic Comedy TUMBLEDOWN; 42’s Chadwick Boseman Closing in on DRAFT DAY

by     Posted 1 year, 5 days ago

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Here’s the latest casting news:

  • Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses) and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) are set to star in indie romantic comedy Tumbledown.
  • 42 star Chadwick Boseman is closing in on a key supporting role in Ivan Reitman’s football-oriented drama Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.

Hit the jump for more on both projects.

42 Review

by     Posted 1 year, 13 days ago

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Football may currently be the most popular sport in America, but baseball will always be “America’s Pastime”.  It was our first widely popular sport, and it contained both the best of our abilities and the worst of our perceptions.  Segregation in baseball was never official.  It was an unwritten rule agreed upon by the owners and “enforced” by the commissioner.  Baseball, in its rules, is a pure sport, but in its practice, was tainted by institutional racism.  Jackie Robinson didn’t just break the color barrier in a sport; he completed the greatness of America’s Pastime. He is a transformative figure, and in 42, writer-director Brian Helgeland pays complete and utter devotion to Robinson’s legend.  Strangely, despite his attempt to paint Robinson’s accomplishment as a mythic battle between good and evil, the story never feels larger than a TV movie.

Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford and Director Brian Helgeland Talk 42, Getting Involved in the Film, Jackie Robinson’s Influence and His Portrayal in the Film

by     Posted 1 year, 13 days ago

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The sports drama 42 tells a story of heroism and achievement that forever changed the game of baseball.  When trailblazing Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) signed Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) in 1947, he broke Major League Baseball’s infamous color line, shocking both the public and the other players.  Tested in a way that seemed insurmountable, Robinson demonstrated such tremendous courage and restraint, instead letting his talent on the field win over the fans, his teammates and the world.

During a press conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford, along with writer/director Brian Helgeland, talked about the influence of Jackie Robinson in both his own era and today, what made them want to be a part of this film, how much involvement Rachel Robinson (Jackie Robinson’s widow) had, and how they hope the positive portrayal of African Americans in this film will inspire other filmmakers.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.  

7 Clips for Jackie Robinson Biopic 42 Starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford

by     Posted 1 year, 30 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released seven clips from the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, led by Chadwick BosemanHarrison Ford co-stars as Branch Rickey, the general manager who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball by signing Robinson to the Dodgers.  It’s a curious performance by Ford, who wraps a thick dialect around such mouthfuls as:

“Someday you’re going to meet God.  And when he inquires as why you didn’t take the field against Robinson in Philadelphia, and you answer that it’s because he was a negro, it may not be a sufficient reply!”

Since we are withholding judgement until we see the full context of the performance, let’s focus on the fact that the period piece photography is sharp, and Boseman looks to be a charasmatic lead.  Christopher Meloni, Ryan Merriman, Brad Beyer, Judy Tylor, Jon Bernthal, Nicole Beharie, and T.R. Knight co-star.  Directed by Brian Helgeland, 42 opens April 12.  Watch the clips after the break.

45 New Images from Jackie Robinson Biopic 42 Starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford

by     Posted 1 year, 33 days ago

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We have over 40 new images from director Brian Helgeland’s Jackie Robinson biopic 42 to share with you today.  Starring Chadwick Boseman (Persrons Unknown) in the lead role, 42 tells the story of Robinson, the first player to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier by signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Harrison Ford co-stars as Branch Rickey, the MLB exec who signed Robinson into the minors and ushered him along to the pros.  Also starring Nicole Beharie, T.R. Knight, Christopher Meloni and Toby Huss, 42 opens April 12th.  Hit the jump to see 45 new images from the film along with some behind-the-scenes shots. 

New Trailer for Jackie Robinson Biopic 42, Starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford

by     Posted 1 year, 104 days ago

Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for writer/director Brian Helgeland’s real life drama 42.  The film chronicles how Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boesman) and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) worked together to eradicate segregation in baseball in 1947.  This longer trailer does a nice job of selling the film as more thrilling and exciting than your typical cradle-to-grave biopic (again enhanced by Jay-Z), but I think the first trailer popped a bit more.  The performances look impressive and I like the visual aesthetic that Helgeland has settled on, so here’s hoping we’re in for an engaging iteration of a truly powerful story.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer, and click here to watch a new featurette.  The film also stars Christopher MeloniJon BernthalAlan Tudyk, and John C. McGinley.  42 opens on April 12th.

New Featurette for Jackie Robinson Biopic 42 Starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford

by     Posted 1 year, 107 days ago

Warner Bros. has released a rather fascinating featurette for the upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic 42.  Written and directed by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential), the film chronicles how Robinson (Chadwick Boesman) and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) worked together to eradicate segregation in baseball in 1947.  In addition to showing off new footage from the film, the featurette includes interviews with the cast and crew, as well as Robinson’s wife Rachel and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, about Jackie Robinson’s effect on the game and the culture of baseball in the 1940s.  We also get a close look at Ford’s rather distracting wig and fake eyebrows.

Hit the jump to watch the featurette.  The film also stars Christopher Meloni, Jon Bernthal, Alan Tudyk, and John C. McGinley42 opens on April 12th.

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