Posts

Showing posts from August, 2013

What to see at the 2013 Rome International Film Festival

Image
By this time next week, the 10th annual Rome International Film Festival will be underway in Northwest Georgia’s signature city. If you will remember, last year’s festival offered us several great films and shorts , from Haiti water documentary “ La Source ” and Danny Darst biography “ American Songwriter ” to strong narratives like “ Born & Raised ” and “ Heathens and Thieves .” This year, nonfiction takes the spotlight again, with several prime spots in the lineup—including both opening and closing night films—belonging to documentaries. In preparation for next week’s festivities, we’ve highlighted nine films and two shorts you might already recognize from Georgia’s film festival circuit. Events kick off next Thursday evening, September 5th at 7PM and wrap up late on Saturday, September 7th. Check out our guide after the jump! Opening Night Film:  Paper Clips To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Rome International Film Festival, the opening night presentation is a screening o

Review: "Lee Daniels' The Butler" (***)

Image
Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker star in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” has a lot going for it. Its sheer ambition is almost overwhelming. Added to that is a cast that includes, but is not limited to, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Robin Williams, James Marsden, John Cusack, and Jane Fonda. Directed by—you guessed it—Lee Daniels (“Precious,” “The Paper Boy”), the film is a fictionalized telling of the real-life White House butler, Cecil Gaines. It’s a much more mainstream movie than the director’s previous works but is still able to pack a few punches. The film is a bit uneven and sometimes feels rushed. Its scope is huge and often scarifies exposition for a quick history lesson. The heart of the movie lies with Cecil and his relationship with his family. After Cecil’s horrific childhood on a cotton farm and climbing higher and higher on the ladder of servitude, his hardworking nature and his desire to provide a good life for his children end up

More set photos from "Kill the Messenger" shoot in Atlanta, "Resurrection" TV show set in Cartersville

Image
Base camp at the Atlanta Civic Center.  Photo: @ “Kill the Messenger” wraps production this week, but has spent the last several weeks filming in various spots around Metro Atlanta. During the last week of shooting, filming took place at the Marriott Marquis hotel at Peachtree Center. Base camp for this shoot was set up at the nearby Atlanta Civic Center. We are thankful to have received one shot, albeit a blurry one, of star Jeremy Renner leaving his trailer. Check it out after the jump. Also, upcoming ABC series “Resurrection” has been filming near Emerson and Cartersville. The show stars Omar Epps, Frances Fisher, Kurtwood Smith, Devin Kelley, Samarie Armstrong, Mark Hildreth, Matt Craven and Landon Gimenez. We stumbled onto base camp and one of the sets along the Etowah River. “The Red Road,” another upcoming TV series starring Jason Momoa, Tom Sizemore, Martin Henderson and Julianne Nicholson has also been filming near Cartersville and White. Check out photos of where “Resurrectio

Sidewalk Film Festival kicks off with "Lil Bub & Friendz" (***)

Image
A throng of film fans and cat ladies gathers outside Birmingham’s famed Alabama Theatre. Though my father hails from Alabama, my time spent in the Yellowhammer State consists mostly of quick hours passing though or day-trips for weddings, funerals and hikes. It doesn’t make any sense, however, to cover Georgia’s film festival circuit so thoroughly but ignore a colorful and highly revered festival in our neighboring state—and at that, only two hours away! I’ve glanced at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival (now more commonly abbreviated to the Sidewalk Film Festival) in years past, but this is the first time I’ve ever paid it much attention. Now in its 15th year, Sidewalk is a well-oiled machine that spans across Birmingham’s large and heavily masoned downtown. Six main venues, ranging from the beautiful Alabama Theatre and smaller theaters like the Carver to First Church Birmingham and the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Panel discussions, ‘Sidetalks’ and parties also bring in the crowd

Atlanta-filmed comedy "A.C.O.D." to hit theaters October 4th

Image
After filming in Atlanta last spring and premiering at Sundance this past winter, we’ve waited a while to hear what release fate awaited Stu Zicherman’s “A.C.O.D.”. The film stars Adam Scott and features a terrific supporting crew in Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, Amy Poehler, Jessica Alba, Jane Lynch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clark Duke. As Carter (Scott) tries to build a truce between his long divorced parents (Jenkins and O’Hara), the stress that comes along with such a difficult task pushes him towards his childhood therapist, Dr. Judith (Lynch), who has written a book about ‘adult children of divorce’—even using Carter as an anonymous reference. In Atlanta, “A.C.O.D.” filmed in Castleberry Hill, Midtown and Buckhead, while also shooting scenes in Decatur and at Lake Lanier. The film hits theaters on October 4th. Check out the trailer after the jump.

The Goods: Cate Blanchett's 10 Best Performances

Image
With Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” continuing to expand in theaters across the country, more and more people have been knocked upside the head with Cate Blanchett’s latest performance—in a good way, of course. Having built an impressive film career upon her start as a classically trained thespian, Cate has earned a reputation as both an actor’s actor as well as a full-fledged A-list headliner. Her work ranges from Australian theater and independent features to Spielbergian blockbusters and ensemble work under international auteurs. Her diversity has proved as useful as her magnetic screen presence; her beauty and poise magnified by a talent we have yet to see the boundaries of. Obviously, we are pretty big fans around here. We’ve ranked our personal lists and tallied up the totals for a top ten countdown of Cate Blanchett’s best performances. 10. JANE WINSLETT-RICHARDSON in  “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” In “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” Cate plays Jane Winslett-Richardson

Exclusive photos from "Kill the Messenger" Cartersville set

Image
Period cars parked on set at Red Top Mountain State Park. Photo: Skip Hammerman “Kill the Messenger” is the latest high profile movie to film in Metro Atlanta in recent weeks, alongside “Blended,” starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Helmed by popular television director Michael Cuestra (“Dexter,” “Homeland,” “Six Feet Under”), the film is based on the true story of Gary Webb, a reporter for the San Jose Mercury-News during the 1990s who exposed the CIA’s involvement in importing cocaine into California to fund the Nicaraguan Contra rebel army and subsequently became the target of a smear campaign that drove him to suicide. Jeremy Renner stars as Webb with an all-star supporting cast that includes Andy Garcia, Rosemarie DeWitt, Barry Pepper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael Sheen, Robert Patrick, Oliver Platt, Michael Kenneth Williams and Paz Vega as well as familiar Atlanta actors Rhoda Griffis and E. Roger Mitchell. “Kill the Messenger” has filmed at numerous l

Savannah doubles as 1970s New York in new "CBGB" trailer

Image
Alan Rickman and company star in “CBGB” One of the more non-traditional Georgia productions of the last year is writer-director-producer Randall Miller’s “CBGB.” Based on the (in)famous club of the same name (short for C ountry, B lue G rass, and B lues ), the film follows Alan Rickman as club-founder Hilly Kristal from CBGB’s early days in 1973 through its rise as the central venue in the burgeoning punk movement. The film was shot in Savannah, with some necessary exteriors shot in New York City—where the club was located in The Bowery. A sprawling cast of up-and-comers play various real life figures of the punk scene, including Malin Akerman as Debbie Harry, Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome, Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop, Joel David Moore as Joey Ramone and Mickey Sumner as Patti Smith. “CBGB” hits theaters on October 11th, but perhaps equally as important—the soundtrack is available October 8th. Check out the trailer after the jump.

11 films to see at the Sidewalk Film Festival

Image
I’ve spent plenty of time over the last two years talking about Georgia’s film festival circuit, which is much more expansive than many people realize. Full of rich content, insightful filmmakers and valuable networking opportunities—I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to explore Georgia’s film festivals! But now I’m branching out. In two-and-a-half weeks, I’ll be attending the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, Alabama (also known as the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival). Taking place across six different venues in downtown Birmingham, Sidewalk has earned an impressive reputation over the last several years as a vibrant and lively festival with impressive programming to boot. As much as I am looking forward to the fest, I’m equally excited about spending time in such a cool community. I will be reviewing films from the festival in the coming weeks, but be sure to follow us on Twitter  and Facebook  for more complete coverage. After the jump, check out eleven films—jus