Back in April, Philly docu-film maker Don Argott reminded me of the romantic comedy that he and life-work partner Sheena Joyce directed. Starting Wednesday, August 19 the film hits select theaters.
Lensed throughout Center City, Slow Learners, starring Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), Sarah Burns (Enlightened), Kate Flannery (The Office) and Veep co-stars Reid Scott and Kevin Dunn, is the first film from Philly's MilkBoy Entertainment — the cinematic offshoot of MilkBoy Studio — and its co-producers Jamie Lokoff and Tommy Joyner.
"They had a fun, solid script and we were looking to break into scripted narratives, so it was a win-win," said Argott in spring, ahead of screening at Tribecca Film Festival.
"The initial idea for this project is not what we ended up shooting. In fact, we spent about a year developing that story when our co-producer Tammy Tiehel Stedman brought us this script." says Lokoff of a direction that he and partner Joyner long wanted to pursue.
The movie, which has Judd Apatow romantic comedy tones, follows highschool friends and co-workers Jeff (Adam Pally) and Anne (Sarah Burns) as they try to reinvent themselves into sexy risk-takers.
Though they chose a script that was seemingly easy to film, the planning for Slow Learners started 5 years ago and it took until May of 2014 to begin shooting. "There are just so many moving parts that you have to nail down...and until we were shooting it wasn't anyone's full-time job, so that contributed to the time-table stretching out," says Joyner.
With July 31's opening of another Mission Impossible film – this fifth one a Rogue Nation filled with high-flying, deep-diving, white-knuckle action work - its uber-star and producer Tom Cruise has finally taken to the talk show circuit.
This comes after much speculation as to why he didn't start the publicity machine moving sooner (word has it that Cruise frankly didn't feel like fielding Scientology questions connected to HBO's Going Clear).
Cruise left the heavy lifting of doing early interviews to his little-known MI:RN co-star Rebecca Ferguson.
As former British Secret Service agent 'Ilsa Faust,' Ferguson is, in her own words, "a formidable counterpoint to everything Tom's 'Ethan Hunt' is," she says in a low, light-as-whipped-crème voice. "He's truly met his match in Ilsa."
Sean S. Baker’s film Tangerine made its world premiere to audiences in January at Sundance. The film finally opens in Philadelphia on Friday, July 24 at the Ritz at the Bourse for a short week.
Shot entirely on an iPhone 5s, Tangerine tells the story of best friends Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), two transgender women of color living in Los Angeles.
The film begins on a hazy Christmas Eve morning at Doughnut Time, a doughnut shop home to pimps and prostitutes. Rella discovers her boyfriend has been cheating on her while she was in prison. After finding out this shocking news, we follow the women as they traipse around Hollywood Boulevard looking for answers and looking for work. The film also follows an Armenian cab driver who is hiding a secret.
If you live in Philadelphia, are over 35 years of age and the name "Tayoun" comes up, you think of Ed Tayoun's legendary Old City nightclub/restaurant the Middle East and onetime First District Councilman Jimmy Tayoun's Philadelphia Public Record newspaper.
If you're younger, you've been exposed to another pair of Tayoun brothers – Philly musician/educators Billy and Joe Tayoun. The keyboardist and percussionist, respectively, play the authentic folk songs of Lebanon and beyond with the Mid-East Ensemble and modernist Middle Eastern rock group Barakka.
If you just happened to miss Barakka, you've surely been witness to The Roddenberries, the Star Trek tribute band that the Tayouns are a part of with members of the Peek-a-Boo Revue and filmmaker/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Geller.
Philadelphia film director, multimedia provocateur, Scrapple TV CEO and painter Marc Brodzik is an endlessly fascinating chap whose work as a movie maker ranges from doing various jobs with this city's original Gyro Advertising crew for the kitschy hyper-sexualized Bikini Bandits series, to more serious matters like the plight of Central Pennsylvania coal miners
Through his Woodshop Films banner, Brodzik's VICE TV-like escapades include looks at outsider locals such as Hello My Name Is Darren's Darren Finizio and murderous hardcore punk Sam "Sammytown" McBride.
Elizabeth Banks has had some pretty great weekends of late.
The actress co-stars in Love & Mercy about the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, which was released on June 5, the same date that first photos from the blockbuster Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (in which she appears) dropped. That same weekend, her directorial debut, Pitch Perfect 2, accumulated $250 million internationally since its May 15 release (the number 1 film in America at that time).
This weekend, not only was it announced that the production company (Brownstone) she shares with her husband Max Handelman is gearing up to produce Pitch Perfect 3 (yes, they were amongst the producers of the other two as well), but word has it that Banks also has chosen her next directorial effort: Victoria Aveyard's YA novel Red Queen – think Cinderella spliced with Game of Thrones – for Universal. Then there's Magic Mike XXL, the Channing Tatum film which opens this weekend. Yes, she's in that film as well.
Mare McKeever, philly.com
Prepare yourselves for what may be a hilarious and terrific spin on the notoriously naughty film that took box offices worldwide by storm earlier this year.
Funny guy Marlon Wayans is teaming up with writer and producer Rick Alvarez for “Fifty Shades of Black,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“We're excited to be back in business with IM Global doing our comedic remix of this movie. Sex and comedy go hand-in-hand and I'm looking forward to having fun with this project. It’s amazing when a film of this caliber comes along begging to be made fun of. I’m really happy to be doing what I love with people I love to do it with. That double entendre was intentional," Wayans tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Molly Eichel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Wayne native Abbi Jacobson and comedy partner Ilana Glazer, the stars of Comedy Central's brilliant Broad City, have sold an untitled movie to Twentieth Century Fox. Bridesmaids director Paul Feig is attached to produce.
While Glazer and Jacobson are not attached to star, nor is Feig attached to direct, it's the first foray into film for the comedic duo, who play outsized versions of themselves on the hit Comedy Central show.
Feig is a champion of female comedians and is set to helm the upcoming all-female Ghostbusters reboot, starring Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon.