We’re coming to the end of the line for the 2015 edition of Sundance, with most press leaving either today or tomorrow—and most of the stars and talent having long since departed—which leaves a bit of that feeling when the lights are suddenly turned back on at the end of the party, leaving everyone still there looking around like they just woke up from a long, twisted dream. In keeping with the metaphor, let’s pull out the broom and start sweeping up the debris with a sampling of quotes—and tweets—that help to encapsulate the 2015 Sundance experience.
Philly’s brand new—and only—LGBT film festival, qFLIX, has announced the dates for its second season.
They’re kicking things off a little earlier this year, on July 7th, with an apt “Summer in the City” theme. Sticking to tradition, organizers Thom Cardwell and James Duggan say the itinerary of screenings will be complemented by panel discussions, after-screening Q&As, meet-and-greets with cast members, and some special parties and receptions. All films will be screened in Center City, but there’s still no word on what those films will be.
Concussion follows Dr. Bennet Omalu (Smith), the forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of football-related brain trauma in a pro player and fought to bring awareness to the public. In his search for the truth, Omalu, a total outsider to pro football, takes on the sports industry’s status quo. His studies on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), prompted the NFL to take brain-related injuries seriously. CTE was cited in the suicides of former NFL stars Junior Seau and Dave Duerson.
Concussion will go up against a handful of other films set for a Christmas Day release, which, according to Movie Insider are Dirty Grandpa (starring Zac Efron, Robert De Niro and Wilmington’s Aubrey Plaza), Monster Trucks (Rob Lowe), The Revenant (Tom Hardy, Leonardo DiCaprio) and David O. Russell’s Joy (Jennifer Lawrence and maybe even Smith’s fellow Philadelphian Bradley Cooper).
The Internet lost its mind today when 20th Century Fox released the first trailer for Fantastic Four. The film is described as “a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team. It centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.”
Snowstorm duds are the best kind of duds: Many of us still get a snow day from work and we don’t have to worry about shoveling our sidewalks. What you can do, however, is stay in your PJs all day and watch movies. To help you take advantage of your day off, I asked Philly Mag staffers to share their favorite snow-day movies and TV shows that you can watch for free on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. Here’s what I got:
American Sniper, starring Jenkintown native Bradley Cooper as real-life Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, takes the number one spot over the weekend once again, giving it a box office grand total of $200 million. Insiders say the film is on course to becoming the highest-earning war movie in history. The current record-holder is Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, which took in $216.5 million in 1998.
While the film continues to rack up dollars, it’s also racking up some controversy. Deadline reports that a civil rights group has seen a rise in violence against Muslims since the film’s release, and they have contacted Cooper and director Clint Eastwood for help. More:
Washington, D.C.-based civil rights organization, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, has written to Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper outlining an escalation in threats made against Arab and Muslim Americans since the release of American Sniper, and asking for their help to “reduce the hateful rhetoric.” In a letter dated January 21, ADC President Samer Khalaf wrote, “A majority of the violent threats we have seen over the past few days are (the) result of how Arabs and Muslims are depicted” in the film. Khalaf says the group is in receipt of “hundreds of violent messages” from moviegoers, many of which have been made on social media. …
Despite the box office heat and critical accolades, there has also been criticism in the international media of the film’s perceived whitewashing of Kyle’s actions.
The ADC said it believes Eastwood and Cooper could “play a significant role in assisting us in alleviating the danger we are facing.” Wrote Khalaf, “Your visibility, influence and connection to the film would be a tremendous force in drawing attention to and lessening the serious dangers facing the respective communities.”
Khalaf also noted that the ADC is working with the FBI and police to address the threats. He told Reuters this weekend that there was no sense in calling for a boycott of the film. “People are going to see the movie. If we boycott it, it will only cause people to want to see it more.”
This weekend, the new Jennifer Lopez thriller The Boy Next Door is set to stalk theaters worldwide. The film plays like an erotic Lifetime movie, but with lots of violence and sex. In any case, the biggest selling points are the two gorgeous stars—especially Ryan Guzman, even though he plays a character on the brink.
This got me thinking, who are some of the sexiest male psycho killers that have terrorized the movie screens in recent years. These characters are supposed to make your blood run cold, but instead you need to call an ambulance from the hot flashes. Let’s take a look at five of the sexiest psychopaths that have headlined the silver screen in recent years.
Ryan Guzman, The Boy Next Door
In honor of The Boy Next Door, which opens in theaters this weekend, we kick off the list with its star Ryan Guzman. If you’ve seen the trailers for the movie, you know Guzman—a former dancer—and J.Lo get hot and heavy during a scandalous sex scene. Sadly, the boy goes psycho soon after, but those abs still glisten and the ass shots are aplenty. The movie may never reach the heights of Fatal Attraction (or Swimfan), but at least it’s giving women and gay men what we all came to see: sweaty Ryan Guzman fixing a carburetor in a dirty white t-shirt.
Every year, Academy Award nominations produce at least one “group of death” involving a hyper-competitive category with many worthy candidates. Arguably, one of the toughest this year is in the Best Actress tilt, which offers up perennial populist fave Reese Witherspoon (Wild), audacious Brit Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), and relative newcomer Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). But the two early frontrunners are clearly French actress extraordinaire Marion Cotillard, for her role as a wounded, suffering wife and mother in the Dardenne Brothers brilliant Two Days, One Night; and longtime indie darling Julianne Moore, who plays the titular character battling early-onset Alzheimer’s in Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s Still Alice. The two women give absolutely scintillating performances the films, both of which open in Philly this weekend. They’re so good in their respective roles, it’s difficult to imagine either of them losing out on a statue, so how do we break it down? Let’s go to the tale of the tape!
Last week, a campaign called #SelmaForStudents offered thousands of tickets for young people in Philadelphia to see Selma, the Ava DuVernay-helmed film that chronicles Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts to organize a march from Selma to Montgomery in order to secure civil rights for African Americans. The project was such a success that the City of Philadelphia—with the help of corporate and individual sponsors—has come up with additional funding to provide 3,000 more tickets for students this weekend.
Sylvester Stallone is back in the City of Brotherly Love (see!) and he’s calling for backup. Heery Casting, a local casting agency, is seeking locals from all walks of the life to join the cast of the latest Rocky spinoff, Creed. Over 5,500 extras will be featured in the film, which finds Rocky playing mentor to the grandson of his nemesis Apollo Creed.
“Philadelphia will be a prominent character featured within the movie,” says Jason Loftus, casting director and partner at Heery. In efforts to bring the city’s diverse and unique personality to life, the agency is seeking background performers from all corners of the city. Last week on CBS Philly, casting director Diane Heery explained, “We’re going to show parts (of Philadelphia) that haven’t been shown before. We want to see people from the neighborhoods … because that helps tell the story and helps paint the picture.”