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Rock Documentary ‘Hired Gun’ Gets One-Night Screening Event From Fathom (Exclusive)

44 minutes ago

Vision Films and Fathom Events are partnered for a one-night showing on June 29 at several hundred North American locations for the rock documentary “Hired Gun: Out of the Shadows, Into the Spotlight.”

The feature-length documentary, which focuses on the key performers who back up the stars, premiered at the 2016 SXSW Festival and has also screened at the Glastonbury Festival, Calgary International and Noise Pop.

The film, directed by Fran Strine, is being touted as covering similar ground as 2014’s “20 Feet from Stardom,” which won the Best Documentary Academy Award, with details of the highs and lows of touring life, the demands of session schedules, and the dedication required to play backseat to some of rock’s most iconic musicians.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support and feedback received throughout our festival run,” Strine said. “‘Hired Gun’ is about musicians whose DNA are all over the music and tours we love, »


- Dave McNary

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Jacqueline Bisset to Star in Drama ‘Journey to Miyakojima’ (Exclusive)

1 hour ago

Jacqueline Bisset has been cast in the lead role in the family drama “Journey to Miyakojima,” which will begin filming in Japan in October.

French helmer Slony Sow is directing from his own script. Paul Hoppe is the producer and Nick Kambayashi is executive producing. Aun Entertainment and Licri are the production companies.

Bisset will play a quietly ailing family matriarch and NBA team owner who is hoping to reunite her shattered family at a serene island off the coast of Okinawa, thousands of miles away from home. She persuades her granddaughter, whose eating disorder is escalating, to take up residence at a  guesthouse on the island — where its beauty, a chance meeting with a treasure hunter, and a century-old shipwreck heal their wounds.

The cast includes Akira Emoto, Eriko Takeda, and Mari Natsuki.

Bisset stars in “L’Amant Double,” a Palme d’Or contender at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, »


- Dave McNary

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Music Box Lands Chavela Vargas Documentary for U.S., Plans October Release

1 hour ago

Music Box Films has bought U.S. rights to the documentary “Chavela” and plans an October theatrical release, Variety has learned exclusively.

Chavela,” directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, follows the life of the iconic singer Chavela Vargas, who ran away from Costa Rica to Mexico City in her early teens and began singing in the streets. She became successful during the 1950s and challenged mainstream Mexican morals, by her life and her art, especially by singing searing love songs originally intended for men wooing women.

She also became a muse to  filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. Vargas died in 2012.

Chavela” premiered in February at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the second place Panorama Audience Award. Jay Weissberg said in his review for Variety that the film was “a justifiably laudatory love letter to a woman whose voice drew forth a song’s every emotion, and whose life as »


- Dave McNary

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Japan Box Office: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Opens Strongly Ahead of Golden Week

1 hour ago

Beauty and the Beast” opened on top of the Japanese box office last weekend, with Disney distributing on 773 screens. For the three -day period beginning April 21, it made $12.5 million on 951,000 admissions. This beats the three-day total of megahit “Frozen,” which finished in Japan with $231 million.

The score also bodes well ahead as Japan heads into Golden Week, a period between late April and early May studded with public holidays.

Debuting at number four was the second half of “March Comes in Like a Lion,” a Keishi Otomo two-parter about the coming-of-age of a young Japanese chess champion. Released on 295 screens by Toho and Asmik Ace, the film recorded $1.2 million on 96,000 admissions for its opening frame. This was some 11% down from the first instalment, which bowed in March.

Of the top ten, six films were animations, while three others were live-action movies based on anime or manga properties.

Related storiesKorea Box »


- Mark Schilling

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Korea Box Office: ‘Fate of the Furious’ Wins Quiet Weekend

3 hours ago

The Fate of the Furious” remained on top of the South Korean box office in its second weekend, comfortably beating the new releases. Accounting for 57% of the total weekend box office, the Upi release earned $5.12 million from 682,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday, extending its total to $18.9 million after two weekends.

Megabox’s local comedy “Daddy You, Daughter Me” and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” respectively held their second and third positions. “Daddy” earned $1.16 million for a total of $3.77 million from after two weekends. “Beauty” earned $774,000 for an accumulated total of $36.3 million since its March 16 opening.

Suffering a drop of 62.6%, Showbox’s local crime actioner “The Prison” slipped to fifth. It earned $223,000 for a total of $20.9 million after five weekends.

Two Thursday (Apr. 20) newcomers, “Power Rangers” and “The Shack” landed in fourth and sixth, respectively. Locally distributed by Next Entertainment World, “Power Rangers” earned $434,000 over four days. “Shack” earned $202,000.

Related »


- Sonia Kil

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Film Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

8 hours ago

The word “Marvel,” as in comic books or movie studios, has become a foundational term of our culture. Yet you could sit through almost every one of today’s comic-book movies and not find a whole lot to marvel at. That’s where “Guardians of the Galaxy” came in. In an era of overstuffed, taped-together blockbusters, it was supremely funny, exciting, and well-made — a rock ‘n’ roll space opera, spectacular yet lithe, without a stray shot or sequence out of place, and with a wildly caustic yet devotional interplay among its motley crew of renegades that recalled the original 1977 “Star Wars” (obviously its chief influence). The film wielded the machinery of big-budget franchise filmmaking and trumped it at the same time. So the question of what “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” can do for an encore isn’t really, “Can it top the first film?” It’s more like, »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘I Am Heath Ledger’

10 hours ago

If there is any one image you take away from “I Am Heath Ledger,” it’s that of Ledger staring into the camera, spinning it around and around, creating his own sort of impromptu Dv-selfie version of the swirling-camera Pov dance duets in “Saturday Night Fever” and “Carrie.” The shots are emblematic for a couple of reasons. Ledger, as we learn, was always filming and photographing things, including himself and his friends; it was part of his compulsion to make art, to filter his experience through a vast array of lenses. The bounty of images he left behind is a testament to that creative hunger. Yet the fact that he got off on filming himself so much makes its own statement. “I Am Heath Ledger” is a portrait of the artist as an angelic young narcissist, a self-conjured celebrity image-maker. He was always pushing himself to the next level, which is why, »


- Owen Gleiberman

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SAG-aftra Board to Ask Outside Counsel to Review Misconduct Allegations

12 hours ago

The national board of SAG-aftra will ask outside counsel to review recent allegations of alleged misconduct by the union’s leaders.

The board, in a statement passed unanimously on Sunday, also blasted the United Screen Artists Committee for making the allegations.

Variety reported exclusively on Friday that former SAG president Ed Asner and eight other SAG-aftra members made the accusations in a “letter of demand,” and promised to file a suit if the policies are not corrected in 45 days.

The letter of demand said that the amount of member money that’s allegedly being withheld is in the area of $1 billion.

“What appeared to be the improper handling of One Hundred and Fifty Million Dollars of monies held in trust is now approaching at least a Billion Dollars, spread out among internal accounts, as well as such entities as Sound Exchange, Afm & SAG-aftra Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, and a »


- Dave McNary

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China Box Office: ‘Furious 8’ Drives Off With Second Weekend

13 hours ago

The Fate of the Furious” drove off into the distance in its second weekend at the Chinese box office, far ahead of holdovers and a slew of new releases.

It clocked up $53.4 million, for a cumulative score of $318 million after 10 days. That was despite its screen count being reduced by approximately a fifth to 120,000 sessions per day.

“Furious 8” continued to dominate China’s 400-odd IMAX screens, where it earned $4.5 million over the weekend. That gives it an IMAX China score of $23.2 million in 10-days, with 10 more days to play on the giant screen circuit.

Opening in second place with a score of $11.0 million was “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” which got to play over 40,000 sessions per day. In third place was new release Chinese romantic comedy “Mr Pride Vs Ms Prejudice,” which played an average pf 32,000 sessions per day and earned $7.29 million over the weekend. Including previews, it stands on $9.86 million. »


- Patrick Frater

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