Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Sunday, April 20, 2014, 1:44 PM
Filed Under: Movies
Rihanna arrives at the Roc Nation 2014 Pre-Grammy Brunch Celebration on Friday, Jan. 25, 2014 in Los Angeles. The Barbadian singer will be the voice of Tip in DreamWorks Animation's new film, 'Almost Home.' (Photo by (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Rihanna will add on to her entertainment conquests this November when she stars as the voice of Tip in DreamWorks Animation’s newest film ‘Almost Home.’

‘Almost Home’ is an alien-themed animation based on the book ‘The True Meaning of Smekday’ by Adam Rex. The popular children’s book is about a group of extraterrestrials called ‘Boovs’ who have conquered Earth. Rihanna’s character, a feisty teenage girl named Tip, must work with a rogue ‘Boov’ to save the planet.

Pop’s favorite bad gal has been on a roll in the last year becoming the newest face of Balmain’s Spring 2014 campaign, CFDA Fashion Icon Award recipient and a record-breaking recording artist, second only to The Beatles for most million-selling singles in the UK.

POSTED: Friday, April 18, 2014, 11:30 AM

We’ve still got about two months to wait until the release of Clint Eastwood’s take on the career of 60s rockers the Four Seasons, Jersey Boys, hits theaters. With the first trailer released this week, though, we got out first look at the fictionalized version of Frankie Valli and company, and it seems promising. 

Actually an adaptation of a Broadway musical of the same name, Jersey Boys appears to be as much about the music as it is about the men who made it, touting a number of classic Four Seasons tracks throughout, including “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Sherry,” “Who Loves You,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” Because, after all, as the trailer explains, “everything started with a sound that became a sensation—but every legend has a beginning.” 

The trailer, for the most part, shows that beginning, with John Lloyd young as Frankie Valli, Erich Bergen as keyboardist Bob Gaudio, Michael Lomenada as bassist Nick Massi, and Vincent Piazza as lead guitarist Tommy DeVito. The best part, though, is the quick look we get at Christopher Walken as gangster Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo. 

POSTED: Thursday, April 17, 2014, 10:21 AM

Here in the US, we won’t get a full look at the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2 until May 2. The UK, however, got a special early release, and along with it an odd post-credits scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past featuring our first glimpse at former Mauckingbird Theatre actor Evan Jonigkeit as Toad.

More accurately, it features Jonigkeit as Toad doing battle against William Stryker alongside fellow heroes Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Havok (Lucas Till). Lucky for us, US theaters will have the same preview once Amazing Spider-Man 2 drops stateside.

Still, though, it’s strange that the X-Men teaser, a Sony Film, appears at the end of Spider-Man, out via Fox. As it turns out, we’re not getting a crossover any time soon, but rather director Marc Webb clearing up some contract negotiations. As per ScreenCrush’s explanation:

POSTED: Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:46 AM
From 'We Could Be King'

Philadelphia films, and filmmakers, are well represented in the lineup of features and documentaries screening at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival , which began Wednesday, April 16 and runs through April 27.

Already generating lots of buzz is Judd Ehrlich’s We Could Be King, about the 2013 closing of Germantown  High School and the struggles and changes faced by students in its football team as they try to assimilate with their arch-rivals at Martin Luther King High. Ehrlich’s film, which has its world premiere at Tribeca on April 23, was funded with support from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation’s “Sports Matter” campaign, which supports youth sports in communities around the country. We Could Be King will screen on ESPN2 April 26.

Tomorrow We Disappear, premiering Saturday, April 19, was shot in Delhi and tracks a group of slum-dwelling magicians, puppeteers and acrobats threatened with eviction by developers. The documentary comes from Philly natives and Penn alum  Jimmy Goldblum and Adam Weber.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 2:01 PM

Kickstarter may have refused to help them fundraise, but as the makers of upcoming Kermit Gosnell TV movie, Gosnell, know, there are many ways to get funded. And celebrity endorsements alongside a wildly successful IndieGoGo campaign are chief among them.

Filmmakers Phelim McAleer, Magdalena Segieda, and Ann McElhinney are currently on top of a $2.1 million IndieGoGo campaign for their documentary, the biggest fundraiser for a TV or film project in the site’s history. The celebrity endorsements that have come along with it, perhaps not surprisingly, have helped, with messages of support coming from Justified’s Nick Searcy, and Kevin Sorbo and wife Sam.

“He killed hundreds of babies, perhaps thousands, in a 30-year killing spree,” Searcy says in his video. “In his clinic, babies were born breathing, moving, crying, and then he’d stab them to death. And he did it again, and again and again. This is a story that needs to be told. No one wants to talk about it, because the details are too damaging to certain political agendas.”

POSTED: Thursday, April 10, 2014, 3:00 AM

One night in 2002, Eric Bresler found himself presenting his first offbeat clip show to about 40 people on the top floor of the now defunct Astrocade at 10th and Ridge in North Philly. Part music venue, part arcade, and part living quarters, Astrocade served as the perfect laid back, creative space for Bresler to germinate what would eventually evolve into the Cinedelphia Film Festival, which kicks off its second year running at PhilaMOCA today.

“That was the template I followed more than 10 years later,” Bresler says. “I came from the DIY world of Philly punk. That’s how I learned event planning, and I never lost those anti-establishment roots.”

If nothing else, “anti-establishment” is perhaps the best description of Bresler’s Cinedelphia to date. After all, as an event, it is the antithesis of big name film festivals, and, by extension, the theaters they inhabit and movies they promote. In that sense, Cinedelphia is every bit as punk rock as the roots from which it springs—wholly and completely alternative.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 10:40 AM
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler speak onstage during the 71st Annual Golden Globe Award at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Comedy super duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are set to team up again for the upcoming comedy, The Nest, giving us a warm, fuzzy feeling not felt since their 2008 hit, Baby Mama. Rejoice, Philadelphians, and be glad. 

Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore will take over directing duties for the project, which revolves around adult sisters (Fey and Poehler, of course) who throw a final party at their parents’ house just before it’s sold. Queue maturity, lesson-learning, and so on.

Fey is set to produce via her own Little Stranger Inc. brand, while Poehler will executive produce. Universal, which also distributed Baby Mama, will put this one out—a good move, considering Fey and Poehler’s last team-up brought in some $60 million in the US. 

POSTED: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 11:51 AM

Imagine a world in which Ryan O’Neal, James, Caan, or Burt Reynolds nabbed Sylvester Stallone’s role as Rocky in beloved series, knocking everyone’s favorite Hollywood mush mouth from the hearts and minds of Philadelphians everywhere. Scary, right?

As it turns out, that could’ve been Stallone’s fate, had he accepted the offer producers made to buy his script for Rocky for a cool $300,000—about a million dollars in today’s money. Describing himself on Monday’s episode of the Today Show as “pretty broke” at the time, Stallone actually had about $100 in his bank account when he got the offer.

“They wanted every celebrated actor at the time,” Stallone said on Today. “And big-name directors, when they found out I wanted to be involved, they scattered, ran for the hills.”

About this blog
Consider our Movies blog your essential guide to new movies and classics, interviews with filmmakers and stars, news and views on the latest screen trends, reviews and the occasional rant.

Nick Vadala
Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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