Thursday, April 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 11:20 AM
HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 29: Actor Daniel Franzese arrives at the Premiere Of Anchor Bay Films' 'I Spit On Your Grave' at the Mann Chinese 6 in Hollywood on September 29, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

It’s been nearly 10 years since Tina Fey dropped Mean Girls on the masses, its characters more or less instantly entering our pop culture psyche thanks to their angst and relatability. Daniel Franzese portrayal of Damian—Janis’ gay best friend—often tops that list, with the then-closeted actor putting on an inspiring out-and-proud act. 

Franzese has since come out, releasing yesterday an open coming-out letter to his beloved Mean Girls character that is as thoughtful as it is touching. During filming, Franzese says he was terrified of playing Damien on screen, crediting Tina Fey’s writing of the character with making him “a character we laughed with instead of at.”

Some highlights below:

POSTED: Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 10:34 AM

Bethlehem’s Just Born candy company may soon make its way to the big screen thanks to their beloved Peeps candy and Detroit Rock City director Adam Rifkin. And, if we’re lucky, it’s going to be a “Lego Movie-style family epic.”

Rifkin optioned the film and TV rights to Peeps recently, and Just Born has already accepted his pitch for the Lego Movie-style film he’s hoping for. The plot reportedly will revolve around a lost little Peep that becomes separated from his friends at a Peeps diorama contest and must find his way back before the contest begins. So, basically, Homeward Bound with candy instead of dogs. 

As Deadline explains, the Peeps movie idea came from Rifkin watching his kids building a diorama like what will be in the film:

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.

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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