Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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.”

POSTED: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 11:09 AM

When beloved Jersey boy James Gandolfini passed away in June of last year, he left a vacancy in the entertainment world that likely will never be filled. Still, though, we have one final film to look forward to from Gandolfini: The Drop, which released its first trailer this week.

Dealing heavily with the Brooklyn gangster underworld, The Drop features Gandolfini opposite Noomi Rapace and Tom Hardy, the latter of which plays the bartender to Gandolfini’s bar owner. The pair allow criminal cash to flow through their bar, serving as a “drop” location for Brooklyn’s seedy underbelly. That is, until a stickup upends the whole enterprice, throwing Gandolfini and his loved ones into a hellish, criminal nightmare.

Shutter Island, Mystic River, and Gone Baby Gone writer Dennis Lehane penned the source novel, so expect this one to be similarly gritty—especially given that Lehane has worked on episodes of The Wire and Boardwalk Empire in the past. At one point in the trailer, Gandolfini says,  “When I walked into a place, people sat up straight, they noticed. I was respected; I was feared. And that met something.” So, let that set the tone for you.

POSTED: Monday, March 31, 2014, 10:42 AM

If nothing else, director Susanne Bier’s Serena proves that even movies with Hollywood megastars get stuck in development hell now and again. But with it’s 18-month post-production process recently wrapped, we’ve finally gotten a sneak peek at stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in what appears to be a 1930s Depression-era epic.

The new images of Serena come from unlikely sources, including a Hunger Games fan site and production designer Richard Bridgland’s official site. Given the number of images release combined with the choices of stars and locales shown off in them, we probably can expect a premiered date for this one soon—and finally. 

Serena follows Cooper and Lawrence as their characters, George and Serena Pemberton, attempt to establish a timber empire in the mountains of North Carolina. The full synopsis, as per a press release for the film: 

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 12:35 PM

As a movie with more than its fair share of outlandish scenes, Rocky IV is widely considered to be the most surreal Rocky movie in the series—and not the least because of the “Happy Birthday Paulie” robot. As it turns out, though, that robot was initially invented not to shepherd beers to Paulie, but to help treat autism in children. 

Invented by International Robotics founder Robert Doornick, the robot—dubbed Sico—was designed to give us more insight into autism, which in the 1980s was extremely under-researched. As we know now, Sylvester Stallone’s son, Seargeoh Stallone, is autistic, which is what brought Sico to the Rocky IV set in the first place. As Trivia Happy explains: 

“The story begins in the 1980s, when Doornick appeared on a talk show to promote his robot and discuss the work he'd done with autistic children. At that time, the disorder was even more enigmatic than it is today, and the idea of robotic treatment was literally years before its time. Still, Doornick believed, and still believes, that robots could communicate with autistic children more easily than people, in some circumstances. After the show aired, Doornick received an unexpected call. 

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 10:51 AM

Yesterday, news outlets lit up with word that Philly favorite Bradley Cooper maybe, could, possibly take over Harrison Ford’s role as adventurer Indiana Jones in the fifth installment of the series pitched by Frank Darabont. The internet determined that was a lie.

Producers have since come out of the woodwork to deny the Cooper rumors, which the Latino Review published earlier this week. That, of course, is notable because Latino Review also fingered Cooper as Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy. So, pretty good track record for them, but this past “exclusive” has been dismissed as “ridiculous.”

As per Frank Marshall, a producer on all four previous Indiana Jones films:

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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
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