Post-Weekend News Roundup – April 6
It may have just turned to spring, but as far as the movie year goes, we are officially in the summer. Furious 7 earned an estimated $143.6 million at the box office, placing it in as the 9th biggest opening of all time. Since this is proof that you were at the theater this weekend watching the latest installment in the crazy action franchise, here are some news items you may have missed:
Manoel de Oliveira 1908–2015
As announced on April 2, legendary Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira passed at the age of 106. Most known for I’m Going Home, the man made films all the way to the end, with 8 shorts and features released after his 100th birthday. de Oliveira got his start in the 1930s with documentary shorts, with this first feature released in 1941. It really wasn’t until the 2000s, though, that he really hit his stride with films like I’m Going Home, Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl and The Strange Case of Angelica. He is an inspirational case that shows you are never too old to make amazing art. Richard Brody has a great remembrance of the filmmaker at the New Yorker.
Bob Odenkirk and David Cross Return to Sketch Comedy on Netflix
The biggest news for Netflix this weekend is the season 4 announcement of House of Cards, the weirdest news is the possibility of a Full House renewal, but the best news is the pseudo-Mr. Show reunion, first reported by Deadline. With Bob and David will get four, half-hour episodes and an “making of” feature. Odenkirk went on to star in a hit cable program, Cross directed his first feature this year, but the duo was better together with hilarious sketches like “Titannica,” “The Teardrop Awards” and “Mustmayostardayonnaise.”
Groundhog Day Is the Next Hollywood Hit Set for Broadway
It used to be that the biggest plays and musicals on Broadway would be adapted for big-screen Hollywood success, but recently the trend has reversed. The Evil Dead, Rocky, The Silence of the Lambs and Heathers have all made surprising turns to the stage. According to the Hollywood Reporter, cult comedy Groundhog Day will make the jump in 2017. A musical version of the Harold Ramis-Bill Murray collaboration may just work, though it is hard to see how you can present the quick-cutting jokes and intricate time loop without the use of editing. We do need a definitive song about that pesky Punxsutawney Phil, though, so that may be worth it.
Japan Rebooting Godzilla, Too
At the end of last year, Japanese production legends Toho announced that they were also working on a Godzilla reboot. Gareth Edwards’s film was met with mixed praise, but the film no doubt showed how much power the giant lizard monster still has on-screen. No plot details are set for the new Japanese version, but we now know that it will be directed by anime filmmakers Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, who are best known for films in the popular Evangelion and Titan series. A crazy, anime style action flick might be a great counter to the dower, character-based American film. The 29th version of Godzilla is set for 2016 and is expected to be released theatrically in the U.S.
Machete Will Kill Again… In Space
All good exploitation film franchises end up in space. Robert Rodriguez’s blood-soaked actioner Machete should be no different. The film that started as a spoof trailer in Grindhouse opened solidly before a sub-par sequel – taking Danny Trejo to kick ass in orbit may be the only thing that can save the franchise. In an interview with the Halloween Daily News, the immortal character actor confirmed that Machete Kills in Space will begin shooting this year. The film will be directed by its creator, Robert Rodriguez, and is rumored to co-star Mel Gibson and Lady Gaga, which makes sense given the setting.
Trailer of the Week: Amy
From the director of the amazing found-footage documentary Senna, the life and death of singer Amy Winehouse will be explored in Amy. Winehouse’s rise came quickly and was met with both popular and critical praise, but was marred by drug abuse and ultimately tragedy. The story of an unlikely star is set for a U.K. release on July 3. Check out the film’s first trailer below.