TIFF ’20 selection CONCRETE COWBOY arrives next month on Netflix! See this new Trailer!
When fifteen year-old Cole (Caleb McLaughlin) is expelled from school in Detroit, he is sent to North Philadelphia to live with Harp (Idris Elba), his estranged father. Harp finds solace in rehabilitating horses for inner city cowboys at the Fletcher Street Stables, a real-life black urban horsemanship community that has provided a safe haven for the neighborhood residents for more than 100 years. Torn between his growing respect for his father’s community and his reemerging friendship with troubled cousin Smush (Jharrel Jerome), Cole begins to reprioritize his life as the stables themselves are threatened by encroaching gentrification.
Cole (Caleb McLaughlin from Stranger Things) has been expelled from his Detroit school for fighting. With nowhere else to go, his mother drives him to stay with his Dad, Harp (Idris Elba), for the summer in North Philadelphia. Cole does not really know him, and is not aware that Harp spends his time caring for the horses with other local cowboys at the stables down the street. With few options available, Cole starts working at the stables during the day and spends his nights hanging out with his drug-dealing friend Smush (Emmy-winner Jharrel Jerome).
My central issue with Concrete Cowboy is how exhausting and longwinded it feels. Does Staub want to focus on Harp, his fellow riders and the urban cowboy subculture they are a part of, or does he want to focus on the strained relationship between Harp and Cole? Or should the focus be on Cole and Smush’s friendship and the dangerous path it is leading towards? The Film never seems content enough to settle on one through line, and spends far too much of its 111-minute running time jumping between all three of these Subplots and the assortment of intriguing but underdeveloped characters that populate them. Worse, Staub shoots the Film with handheld, digital cameras and no tripods. So no matter what is happening in the scene, the camera is always shaking and never steady. It is certainly an eclectic choice for a Film like this, but it makes watching it an increasingly frustrating experience.
Concrete Cowboy is an admirable debut feature from Co-Writer/Director Ricky Staub. He tells a story about a subculture few of us were aware of previously, and he strives for authenticity in every frame. The story is personal and his direction reflects that. Elba is not the lead here, but he is just as rock solid and dependable as he always is – and he looks wicked riding a horse (is there anything he cannot do?). McLaughlin holds his own against him and does a great job as the Film’s Lead. He digs down deep into Cole’s psyche, playing into his confused, emotionally fragile state with ease. He is keenly aware of the expectations the audience has of him as a Child Actor in one of their favourite Netflix series and is all too pleased to subvert and flip them around entirely.
As the Credits roll, we are treated to brief talking head clips from the real life cowboys starring in the Film discussing the challenges that urban development and gentrification have created for them. The clips are far too short, but their words are fascinating and illuminating. I found myself immediately much more interested in what was happening, and then really disappointed when they ended so quickly. Why this was not the immediate and only focus of the Film?
Universal Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win Advance Passes to see CATS. Screenings take place as follows:
Screenings: Wed. Dec 18
TORONTO // Cineplex Yonge and Dundas @ 7:00PM
VANCOUVER // Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver @ 7:00PM
MONTREAL // Cinema Banque Scotia Montreal @ 7:00PM
CALGARY // Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas @ 7:00PM
EDMONTON // Scotiabank Theatre Edmonton @ 7:00PM
Synopsis: Oscar®-winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables, The Danish Girl) transforms Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-shattering stage musical into a breakthrough cinematic event.
Cats stars James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and introduces Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward in her feature film debut.
Featuring Lloyd Webber’s iconic music and a world-class cast of dancers under the guidance of Tony-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, In the Heights), the film reimagines the musical for a new generation with spectacular production design, state-of-the-art technology, and dance styles ranging from classical ballet to contemporary, hip-hop to jazz, street dance to tap.
The film also stars Robbie Fairchild (Broadway’s An American in Paris), Laurie Davidson (TNT’s Will), hip-hop dance sensation Les Twins (Larry and Laurent Bourgeois), acclaimed dancer Mette Towley (featured in videos for Rihanna and Pharrell Williams’ N.E.R.D.), Royal Ballet principal dancer Steven McRae, and rising-star singer Bluey Robinson.
Universal Pictures presents a Working Title Films and Amblin Entertainment production, in association with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group. Cats is produced by Debra Hayward, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Tom Hooper. The screenplay is by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot, Rocketman) and Hooper, based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot and the stage musical by Lloyd Webber. Cats is executive produced by Lloyd Webber, Steven Spielberg, Angela Morrison and Jo Burn.
One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, the stage musical “Cats” received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981, where it played for 21 years and earned the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical. In 1983, the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and ran for an extraordinary 18 years. Since opening in London in 1981, “Cats” has continuously appeared on stage around the globe, to date having played to 81 million people in more than fifty countries and in nineteen languages. It is one of the most successful musicals of all time.
See the Trailer:
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Universal Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to give readers a chance to win Advance Screening Passes to see FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW!
Screenings take place Wednesday, July 31 @ 7:00PM TORONTO // Scotiabank Theatre Toronto MONTREAL // Scotiabank Theatre Montreal VANCOUVER // Cineplex International Village EDMONTON // Scotiabank Theatre Edmonton CALGARY // Cineplex Eau Claire Market Cinemas
After eight films that have amassed almost $5 billion worldwide, the FAST & FURIOUS franchise now features its first stand-alone vehicle as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their roles as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw in FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW.
Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Johnson), a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s FURIOUS 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down.
But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister — these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.
HOBBS & SHAW blasts open a new door in the FAST universe as it hurtles action across the globe, from Los Angeles to London and from the toxic wasteland of Chernobyl to the lush beauty of Samoa.
Directed by David Leitch (DEADPOOL 2) from a story by longtime FAST & FURIOUS narrative architect Chris Morgan and a screenplay by Morgan and Drew Pearce (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-ROGUE NATION, IRON MAN 3), the film is produced by Johnson, Statham, Morgan and Hiram Garcia. The executive producers are Kelly McCormick, Dany Garcia, Steven Chasman and Ethan Smith.
See the Trailer:
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Universal Pictures Canada release FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAWFriday, August 2, 2019.
Eight episode series TURN UP CHARLIE, the passion project of People Magazine’s reigning Sexiest Man Alive, Idris Elba, is that ray of light we need amidst out winter doldrums. The American production filmed in the UK, surfaces on Netflix in March.
The Comedy centers on former one hit wonder-turned-DJ, the titular Charlie (Elba), who still is figuring it out in life, sharing a living space with his aunt. Struggling to make ends meet, he encounters a change of luck when his best friend David (JJ Field) and wife Sara (Piper Perabo) return from the U.S. and entrust him as the nanny of their problematic daughter Gabrielle (Frankie Hervey). Charlie just may have find his soul mate in tough-talking Gabrielle, who inspires him with the honesty he needs to hear to get his life in order. In the meantime, we get laughs at the expense of Elba‘s self-deprecation.
This is Idris Elba like you’ve never seen, getting a challenge in lighter fare, giving the real-life DJ and Musician a chance to stretch his wings in showing us a different side to his creativity. Both Charlie and Gabrielle grow in different ways from one another and to be honest, it is a quick watch making these eight episodes highly-digestible. We even foresee the series going a bit further and Perabo‘s Sara gives Turn Up Charlie a sense of familiarity that is warm. Keep your eyes peeled for some cameos including Craig David!
Learn more about TURN UP CHARLIEhere. It streams Friday, March 19, 2019 on Netflix.
It’s day four of the Sundance Film Festival and we are in full flight!
There were many Premieres once again tonight in Park City. I Think We’re Alone Now takes place during an apocalypse where a recluse feels the threat of companionship when finding out there is a second survivor. It stars PeterDinklage and Elle Fanning. BLAZE is the reimagining of the life of Blaze Foley who was the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas Outlaw Music Movement. It is written and directed by Ethan Hawke and stars recent Golden Globe winner SamRockwell, Edgar Arreola and Alia Shawkat. Come Sunday follows pastor Carlton Pearson during a crisis in faith where he risks everything when he questions the Church Doctrine, it is based on true events. It stars Chiwetel Ejifor, Jason Segel and Danny Glover. The Happy Prince is set during Oscar Wilde’s final days. It is starring, written and directed by a long-absent Rupert Everett and stars Colin Firth and Emily Watson. The Miseducation of Cameron Post takes place in 1993 and follows a girl who is sent to a Conversion Therapy Centre when she is caught kissing another girl. It stars Chloë Grace Moretz and Sasha Lane. And Piercing which is a twisted love story about a married man who goes away on a business trip with the intent of murdering a prostitute, who also has plans of her own. It stars ChristopherAbbot and Mia Wasikowska.
Down on Main Street in Park City, there were tons of stars out getting lunch, attending parties and press stops. Some of the stars spotted out on the street were Joan Jett, Idris Elba, Debra Messing, John Cho, Joel McHale, Chloë Grace Mortez and more. It was also a special day for Bill Skarsgård (It), who is at the Festival with Assassination Nation, he received the IMDb StarMeter Award.
This wraps-up the first weekend of the Festival. But there is still an entire week ahead with more stars coming into Park City and plenty more Films to be screened.
See some stars out and about today! Hover cursor left and right to navigate slideshow:
Mr. Will x eOne Films want to give Readers a chance to attend an Advance Screening of MOLLY’S GAME, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut.The Screening takes place in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax, Ottawa and Victoria on Monday December 18th at 7:00PM. Can’t make it? We also are offering a special Prize Pack with Molly Bloom cards from the set of the Film plus Run-of-Engagement Passes at a later date. Stay tuned for that.
MOLLY’S GAME stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom – Colorado Olympic-class skier turned high-stakes poker princess. Also starring Idris Elba, Kevin Costner and , the film dives into the elusive world of elite poker that caters to Hollywood royalty, sports stars, and business titans. Molly finds herself attracting the wrong kind of attention when she inadvertently engages members of the Russian mob at her table. Her streak comes to a grinding halt when she’s arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents.
See the Trailer:
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Former Olympic hopeful Molly Bloom was always the smartest woman at the table. Molly ran poker games on both coasts and made millions catering to rich, elite men who thought nothing of losing six figures in a single night. Filmed in Toronto, Molly’s Game asks us to feel empathy for a woman whom Writer/Director Aaron Sorkin clearly feels none.
As the Movie opens, Molly (Jessica Chastain hiding under thickly applied make-up) is being arrested by the FBI. Her lawyer (Idris Elba) suggests that she tell the unedited story of her time setting-up high stakes poker games for the rich, famous, and unsavoury of both LA and New York. Unwilling to betray her personal code of ethics, Molly refuses. Instead, Molly tells us the story of her boss (Jeremy Strong), Player X (Michael Cera), and all the people she met on her way down.
The audience is expected to like Molly because she has a strict moral code which only slips due to ongoing daddy issues. (This is unambiguously explained by daddy himself, Kevin Costner, in an unneeded Third Act scene.) A worthy hot ticket if only for the cast, I’m calling Sorkin’s bluff and declaring Molly’s Game a weak ace.
eOne Films will screen Molly’s Game at TIFF ’17 at the following times:
Friday, September 86:00 p.m. Elgin Theatre Saturday, September 911:00 a.m.Elgin Theatre
Sony Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to give Toronto + Vancouver Readers a chance to see first Stephen King‘s highly-anticipated THE DARK TOWER.
Screenings take place Wednesday, August 2, 2017 in Toronto at Cineplex Yonge-Dundas and Vancouver at Scotiabank Theatre.
Not in Toronto or Vancouver but still in Canada? We’re also giving away official THE DARK TOWER Prize Packs which include T-Shirts and Tattoos!
There are other worlds than these. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world’s most celebrated authors, makes its launch to the big screen. The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.
See the Trailer:
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Sony Pictures Canada release THE DARK TOWERFriday, August 4, 2017.
20th Century Fox has just released the new Trailer for what well could be an Award Season highlight, THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US.
Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Hany Abu-Assad and stars Academy Award winner Kate Winslet and Golden Globe winner Idris Elba.
See the Trailer:
20th Century Fox Canada release THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN USFriday, October 20, 2017.