Movies in Theaters This Friday, September 5, 2014: The Identical, Frontera, and More
While I thought last weekend’s Labor Day line-up was weak, this weekend definitely takes the prize…if you can call it that.
There is only one release and it is still relatively unknown. Titled The Identical, the Christian musical tells the story of two twins (Blake Rayne in a duel role) separated at birth. That premise makes it sound a little more interesting than the end result. However, it does have some names that have me excited, like Ray Liotta (Field of Dreams) and Ashley Judd (Dolphin Tale).
This isn’t the only musically-themed movie of the week, though, as God Help the Girl is also releasing but in limited theaters.
The only other movie seemingly worth mentioning is Frontera – a movie I didn’t even have on my radar before today. It’s worth mentioning, again, because of the cast that includes Eva Longoria (ABC’s Desperate Housewives), Michael Pena (Shooter), and Ed Harris (Gone Baby Gone).
The rest of the limited releases are Innocence, Last Days in Vietnam, The Longest Week (which stars Olivia Wilde and Jason Bateman), Memphis, The Remaining, and Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It.
There you have it! Have a great weekend!
THE IDENTICAL tells the compelling story of twin brothers unknowingly separated at birth during the Great Depression. DREXEL HEMSLEY becomes an iconic 50′s rock ‘n’ roll star, while RYAN WADE (Blake Rayne) struggles to balance his love for music and pleasing his father. The Reverend Wade (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd) are sure their adopted son has been gifted and called by God to be a preacher. But Ryan challenges his parent’s vision for his life, and unflinchingly chooses to launch his own music career with his best friend (Seth Green). Encouraged by his wife (Erin Cottrell) and employer (Joe Pantoliano), Ryan embarks on an unpredictable, provocative path – performing the legendary music of Drexel Hemsley in sold out venues all across the country.
As the brothers destinies tragically collide, Ryan discovers that Drexel is his identical twin which leads him to question everything he’s ever believed about God, family and his own identity.
Set in the tumultuous Border area of Arizona and Mexico, Frontera follows the events that take place after a former Arizona Sheriff’s wife (Amy Madigan) is killed while riding on their Ranch property. It would appear a Mexican man (Michael Pena) crossing in to the US illegally is at fault. As former Sheriff (Ed Harris) and current Sheriff (Aden Young) search for answers, lives are changed forever and the facts as to who is really at fault in this tragedy are nearly as tenuous and complex as the issues and tensions between the people who live in this region on either side of the line.
God Help The Girl is a musical feature film, written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, lead singer of the group Belle and Sebastian. It was produced by Barry Mendel and stars Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray.
Stuart aspired to tell the story of “a better summer, or at least a summer when something happened. It happened to a boy and a girl and a girl in a city roughly the same size and population of Glasgow. Perhaps the canals were a bit grimier, the high-rise buildings taller, the streets emptier when you needed them to be, and the beat clubs busier than the ones around here. But on the whole the city was this one.”
According to Barry Mendel, “It’s a simple story – about the brief moment after you’ve realised what you want to do with your life, before your dream settles into becoming your job, when you’re filled with enthusiasm, meeting like-minded friends and the possibilities are endless.”
The film was shot, edited, scored and mixed in Glasgow over the course of 2012-2013 and will be released in cinemas around the world in 2014.
After the untimely death of her mother in a Montauck surfing accident, Beckett, 16, and her father, novelist Miles Warner, move to the city to begin a new life. Enrolled at the exclusive Hamilton preparatory school in Riverdale, Becekett finds first love and discovers that the school is run by a coven of beautiful and seductive women who perpetuate their fountain of youth by drinking the blood of virgins.
During the chaotic final weeks of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempt to escape. On the ground, American soldiers and diplomats confront the same moral quandary: whether to obey White House orders to evacuate U.S. citizens only–or to risk treason and save the lives of as many South Vietnamese citizens as they can.
Affluent and aimless, Conrad Valmont lives a life of leisure in his parent’s prestigious Manhattan Hotel. In the span of one week, he finds himself evicted, disinherited, and… in love.
A strange singer with God-given talent drifts through his adopted city of Memphis with its canopy of ancient oak trees, streets of shattered windows, and aura of burning spirituality. Surrounded by beautiful women, legendary musicians, a stone-cold hustler, a righteous preacher, and a wolf pack of kids, the sweet, yet unstable, performer avoids the recording studio, driven by his own form of self-discovery. His journey quickly drags him from love and happiness right to the edge of another dimension.
THE REMAINING is an action-packed supernatural thriller that addresses questions of life, love and belief against an apocalyptic backdrop. A group of close friends gather for a wedding, but the celebration is shattered by a series of cataclysmic events and enemies foretold by biblical end-times prophecies. The Remaining – Dan, Skylar, Tommy, Jack, Allison and Sam face a horrifying, uncertain future as they fight for their lives. Who will survive?
Mike Clattenburg, John Paul Tremblay and Robb Wells met in high school in the late ’80s. The three always had a strange and bizarre sense of humour, always playing practical jokes on people and getting into trouble. Clattenburg was the champion of practical jokes and used these situations to study people’s behaviours. Clattenburg started working for a local community cable channel and had his own show called “That Damn Cable Show” giving him a medium to express his off-the-wall sense or humour. Tremblay and Wells were huge fans of his sketch comedy and it gave them the bug to want to get in front of the camera as well. Clattenburg always involved his friends when he was starting out and suggested that Tremblay and Wells start experimenting with a video camera while passing the time in PEI running a pizza restaurant. The skits were crude and the sound was horrible, but it did serve as a good tool to improve on ideas and hone in on their acting abilities.
On a couple occasions Clattenburg, Tremblay, and Wells managed to get together and experiment with Clattenburg behind the lens. Once in a while they’d show the tapes to friends and although the friends thought they were insane, they did genuinely laugh at some of the material and from that point on they all had the entertainment bug.
It was now time to get serious so the three set out to make a short film for the Atlantic Film Festival. With no money, Tremblay travelling from PEI and Wells from Bangor, Maine, it was a long, tedious process. The payoff was the self-financed feature One Last Shot, filmed and directed by Clattenburg. He was presented the best cinematography award for his efforts while John Dunsworth received the best male actor for his initial portrayal of Mr. Lahey. For their roles in the film Tremblay and Wells were also showing early traits of Ricky and Julian. After seeing the audiences’ reaction Clattenburg, Wells and Tremblay immediately started talking about a new project. Busy working other jobs, they got together to brainstorm and eventually decided to shoot a mockumentary set in trailer park. With little money and a small crew, the film Trailer Park Boys was shot. While doing sound on the film, Mike Smith entered the mix and the loveable character “Bubbles” was born.
The film premiered at the Atlantic Film Festival and in attendance that night was Producer/Actor Barrie Dunn who immediately thought the movie and its characters would be a great premise for a television series. The next day Dunn drove to Sydney, Cape Breton to meet with Clattenburg who was there directing episodes of Pit Pony for CBC. That night, over diet colas at Smooth Herman’s, Dunn talked to Clattenburg about the possibility of making Trailer Park Boys into a television series. Dunn, Clattenburg, Wells and Tremblay collaborated on a proposal.
Dunn and Clattenburg flew to Toronto for initial meetings but had no luck. Driving down Eglinton Avenue discouraged, hungry and tired, they decided to pitch the idea to Showcase. The problem was they didn’t have an appointment with anybody and they had to fly back to Halifax the next day. They finally got in touch with Laura Michalchyshyn, Senior Vice President of Programming at Showcase, who probably now regrets answering her phone that day. Michalchyshyn, being the astute woman that she is, saw the merit in a low-budget, edgy mockumentary about dope-smoking, hard-talking trailer park boys. She kindly agreed to see the two and listened to their pitch. Shortly after, Michalchyshyn called Dunn to tell him Showcase would be interested in a first season of Trailer Park Boys episodes.
But they didn’t stop there and proceeded to get Mike Volpe drunk one night and forced him into a partnership to produce the series. The three also managed to sober up long enough to collaborate on other projects. Although they all still live on hot dogs, macaroni & cheese and chicken fingers, they have never been happier.
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