IFC’s ‘Stardust’ Brings Magic Of David Bowie, ‘Zappa’ Docu Explores Life Of Experimental Rocker – Thanksgiving Specialty Preview
As we step into the long Thanksgiving weekend at a time when the box office is struggling and more emphasis is placed on streamers for new products, there are still titles making theatrical debuts in the digital cinematic landscape as people move away from their tryptophan caused by turkey recover haze. It all starts with three films that feature a trio of artists who made a significant impact on pop culture.
IFC Films will present the David Bowie picture Stardust, directed by Gabriel Range, starring Johnny Flynn (Emma, Wolken von Sils Maria) as legendary glam rocker as well as Marc Maron (Glow, Sword of Trust) and Jena Malone (The Neon) publish demon, inherent vice).
Written by Range and Christopher Bell, Stardust (not to be confused with the 2007 fantasy picture of Matthew Vaughn) is not a complete cradle-to-grave biography. Instead, it sheds light on Bowie's life at a significant moment in his career - before he became the icon he was destined to be. In 1971, 24-year-old Bowie took Mercury Records publicist Ron Oberman (Marron) on his first road trip to America to find out the world wasn't ready for him. The film offers a behind-the-scenes look at the moments that inspired the creation of Bowie's first and most memorable alter ego, Ziggy Stardust (hence the title), and marked the turning point that cemented his career as one of the world's musical icons.
Stardust opens in select cinemas and on request on November 25th. Check out the trailer below.
From glam rock by Ziggy Stardust to the experimental music by Frank Zappa. Magnolia Pictures will debut the documentary Zappa, directed by Alex Winter, in theaters and on demand on November 27th.
The documentary, which celebrated its world premiere in October at the Camden International Film Festival and played at DOC NYC, offers the audience access to the trust of the Zappa family and to all archive recordings. In doing so, Winter (a celebrated filmmaker you might know from the Bill & Ted franchise) explores the personal life behind the title motif's groundbreaking and unconventional music career, which was influenced by the avant-garde and never shied away from the political turmoil of time.
Zappa includes appearances by Frank's widow Gail Zappa and several of his musical collaborators, including Mike Keneally, Ian Underwood, Steve Vai, Pamela Des Barres, Bunk Gardner, David Harrington, Scott Thunes, Ruth Underwood and Ray White.
Check out the trailer below.
Chances are that the poem “Don't Go Softly On That Good Night” was part of your English curriculum at some point in your education. Like it or not, you have Dylan Thomas to thank - and he is the inspiration for the film Last Call. K Street Pictures debuts today in select Orange County and Los Angeles theaters.
Last Call, written and directed by Steven Bernstein, plays Rhys Ifans as the influential Welsh poet who was full of passion as he raged, loved and fought against the increasing darkness. The poet also gave us "Under Milkwood" and stories like "A Child's Christmas in Wales" and "Portrait of the Artist as a Puppy". Last Call begins in New York City on Thomas' last tour in 1953; the tour that was supposed to save him from ruin. He had a reputation for drinking a lot and playing around, but all of this has been forgotten as the audience is fascinated by his poetry recitals. One day at the local White Horse Tavern he drank 18 double scotches and named each one after his life experience. Soon his fantasies, memories and an uncertain present merge into a wild, surreal farewell to the world.
Rodrigo Santoro, Romola Garai, Tony Hale, Zosia Mamet, Philip Ettinger and John Malkovich also star in Last Call. Check out the trailer below.
From a happy LGBTQ vacation with rom-com, to American life through the eyes of an Appalachian family, to war dramas and an AI comedy, the streaming section has a good mix for your Thanksgiving entertainment at home.
Clea DuVall steps behind the camera for Happiest Season, the perfect holiday film for the start of the season. The Hulu image takes the traditional elements of a Christmas movie and modernizes the story with some weird charm and love. When Abby (Kristen Stewart) is asked by her friend Harper (Mackenzie Davis) to come home with her to meet her family. Abby sees this as a big step in their relationship and tells her BFF John (Dan Levy) that she plans to propose this during the family's annual Christmas dinner.
All is well until Harper Abby admits on the way to her parents' house that she kept their relationship a secret from her family. Instead, Harper told Abby that she was her orphaned roommate. Abby picks one up for the team, but when it's shoved back in the closet she asks the friend she thought she knew.
The happiest season was scheduled for a theatrical release on November 25th - that was earlier. Hulu acquired the US rights to rom-com from Sony Pictures so that they could give it to the masses via the streaming platform.
The film was written by DuVall and Mary Holland, who also appear in the film as Harper's free-spirited, off-center sister. It also features an adorable ensemble of Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Burl Moseley, Victor Garber, and Mary Steenburgen.
Ron Howard's adaptation of J.D. Vance's memoir Hillbilly Elegy has an awards season. The film is based on a bestseller, directed by Howard, and features high-profile actors Glenn Close and Amy Adams in roles that require a "makeunder" (Hollywood loves that sort of thing). All are ingredients for Oscar bait.
The story was written for the screen by Vanessa Taylor and follows the aforementioned J.D. (Gabriel Basso), a former Marine from South Ohio and current law student at Yale. He is about to land his dream job when a family crisis forces him to return to the house he tried to forget.
Upon his return, J.D. manage the complex dynamics of his Appalachian family, including the volatile relationship with his mother Bev (Adams), who struggles with addiction. Driven by memories of his grandmother Mamaw (Close), the resilient and whip-wise woman who raised him, J.D. the indelible impression of his family on his personal journey.
In his review of the film, Deadline's Pete Hammond said, “The book's polemics are there, but much less obvious than Howard’s attitude does what the best films do: focus primarily on the humanity of the characters, flaws and everything. The director, who has only looked at family issues a few times before, really has an overview of how to dig into that issue. "
He added, “Fans of the book as well as those who haven't read it will see a movie that gets to the heart of what makes family an integral and inescapable part of our lives. This film, which is very much about Vance, is likely to strike a chord that goes well beyond its personal history. "
Hillbilly Elegy has been released in select theaters and is currently streamed on Netflix.
Also on Netflix's Thanksgiving bulletin board is Matthew Michael Carnahan's war drama Mosul, which falls on the streamer on November 26th.
The feature was inspired by Luke Mogelson's 2017 piece for New York's "The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS". Carnahan wrote the film based on the true events of the elite team at Nineveh SWAT, a breakaway police force that waged a guerrilla operation against ISIS in a desperate battle to save their hometown of Mosul.
After the inexperienced Iraqi policeman Kawa (Adam Bessa) was rescued from a terrible gun battle by the SWAT team in Nineveh, he was quickly accepted into the rogue squadron, a group of 10 brothers in arms led by the wise Major Jasem (Suhail Dabbach). Under constant threat of attack, the unit embarks on a dangerous guerrilla operation determined to wipe out an enemy base and restore order to the lawless area.
The film was produced by Anthony and Joe Russo under their AGBO banner and premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year before it went on TIFF. It was originally acquired by 101 studios for a theatrical release, but like many titles, they had to spin. Netflix eventually acquired the film and is now streaming this week.
In the AI comedy Superintelligence, Melissa McCarthy plays Carol Peters, a simple woman with a basic life - all of which will determine the fate of the world. When she comes across an all-powerful super-intelligence that takes the form and voice of James Corden, she becomes her case study as the most average person on earth.
At first she freaks out (like everyone else), but it doesn't take long before she uses super intelligence to make her life better while she reveals what happens to her best friend Dennis (Brian Tyree Henry) and hooks up again with one old flame joins, George (Bobby Cannavale).
Directed by McCarthy's real-life husband Ben Falcone (who appears in the film) and written by Steve Mallory, Superintelligence was originally slated to hit theaters on December 20, but that changed because of the pandemic - yes, you guessed it.
"We shot the film for New Line and Warner Bros. and there are different challenges in the way people watch films, how and where they watch them on different platforms," Melissa McCarthy told Mike in a Deadline interview Fleming Jr .. "We were all prepared to open at the theater, and Ben was the one who said this would be better for HBO Max. What a way to reach out to large numbers of people and get into amazing company too." will. It seemed like a win-win situation. "
She continued, “We have two young children and have been thinking about how we watch movies. Super intelligence is PG, and we've been thinking about how we watch these movies with our kids. We still go to the theater and we love to go to the theater. I would cry if this ever went away. But we watch a lot of movies at home, and so do a lot of people. This just seemed like an exciting new way to introduce it to a lot of people. "
Superintelligence will make its streaming debut on HBO Max on November 26th.
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