“The Kinks” Anthology Set Targets November 18 Release

It was September 10, 1964 when The Kinks took the world by storm with their #1 hit “You Really Got Me,” and to celebrate its 50th anniversary, BMG/InGrooves is releasing a 5-disc, remastered box set. The Anthology 1964-71 contains over 100 songs from the band, which include the tracks “Stop Your Sobbing”, “All Day and All of the Night”, “Till The End of The Day”, “A Well Respected Man”, “Sunny Afternoon”, “Dead End Street”, “Waterlook Sunset”, “Picture Book” and “The Village Green Preservation Society”.

The collection also includes rare demos, session outtakes, alternate mixes, liner notes, interviews, and over two dozen unreleased recordings. The Anthology 1964-71 comes out November 18, and fans can pre-order the set on Amazon via this link: http://bit.ly/kinksanthology.

Anthology 1964-1971 (BMG/InGrooves)
Anthology 1964-1971 (BMG/InGrooves)

The Anthology 1964-71 is part of a series of reissues and collections spotlighting the seminal band. Last month featured the release of a 2-disc version of The Kinks’ 1970 effort Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One and the 1971 soundtrack album Percy. More releases are expect to continue through 2015.

‘Fort Bliss’ Spotlights The Daily Struggles of Military Life

Michelle Monaghan delivers one of her finest performances in Fort Bliss, a drama about a single mom and U.S. Army medic (Monaghan) who is trying to reconnect with her five-year-old son. Her commitment to her job and country has led to an extended tour of duty in Afghanistan, and though absolutely commendable and downright honorable, her sacrifice has wreaked havoc on her personal life.

Directed and penned by Claudia Myers, Fort Bliss takes an even eyed look at Maggie Swann’s (Monaghan) difficulties at adjusting to civilian life as well as reconciling that another deployment is on the horizon. Fort Bliss also features a stellar supporting cast that (including Ron Livingston, Emmanuelle Chriqui, John Savage, and Gbenga Akinnagbe) gives the narrative an added level of creative gravitas.

The film’s anchor, however, lies in its ability in portraying military life in a realistic fashion.  “The idea of being believable as a soldier for me, is incredibly daunting,” says Monaghan, whose previous credits include HBO’s True Detective and Trucker.  “We took every action we could to ensure that we did the best that we could and make it as truthful (as possible) and from a soldier’s perspective.”

Michelle Monaghan in Fort Bliss - Phase 4 Films, CR: Facebook
Michelle Monaghan in Fort Bliss – Phase 4 Films, CR: Facebook

In the following audio clip, Michelle Monaghan talks about receiving feedback from military vets and their families on Fort Bliss, which won Best Narrative Feature at the GI Film Festival.

Fort Bliss is now playing in New York and Los Angeles and is also available on VOD.

Oscar Watch: “A Most Violent Year” Fights Through 1980s New York

 

Big news today regarding this year’s Oscar watch, as A24 has announced that its highly anticipated flick A Most Violent Year is set for a December 31 release in New York and Los Angeles. The movie goes wide in January 2015, and A24’s decision signals that the Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac feature may be an awards race player.

Clocking in at 110 minutes, A Most Violent Year centers on an immigrant (Isaac) who is doing whatever it takes to keep his family safe, sound, and prosperous in 1981 New York City. The teaser trailer, which has just been released, Isaac resembling a young Al Pacino in a narrative that could have been directed by late filmmaker Sidney Lumet – the craftsman behind such Big Apple crime dramas as Serpico and Prince of the City. The man behind the camera is J.C. Chandor, who previously directed the first rate flicks All Is Lost and Margin Call.

A Most Violent Year Poster - A24
A Most Violent Year Poster – A24

Will A Most Violent Year rack up its share of Oscar nods, or will it get lost in the shuffle? Tell us what you think below!

Benjamin McKenzie Braves “Gotham” Sans Caped Crusader

We’ve witnessed the Caped Crusader’s origin story with the Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins) and Tim Burton (Batman) features, and with the new Fox series Gotham another hero’s background will come to light. Benjamin McKenzie, TV alum of the acclaimed series Southland, plays Detective James Gordon, a lawman bent on restoring a crumbling Gotham into a shiny and livable metropolis.

Like McKenzie, Gotham cast member Donal Logue (he plays Detective Harvey Bullock) has had his share of success on television and received his share of praise for the gone too soon TV series Terriers. Both Southland and Terriers needed their share of exposure to the audience, but with Gotham the hype machine is definitely on full blast. Logue understands that he and McKenzie are in a very good place with Gotham.

“We’ve done work we’re really proud of, we’ve been in these things that have been like real family. But no (I’ve) never stepped into a situation where you didn’t have to fight and try to explain, ‘this is what or show is about and it’s called this.’ So to have that functional wave to sit on already – it’s crazy. Even when they were talking about the casting and there was a rumor that I was Gordon or whatever – my friends were like ‘dude you have to check out the internet.’ People (were) just waiting for information about who’s going to be on the show and who’s doing what.”

Click on the media bar below to hear Benjamin McKenzie explain why Gotham is not just for Batman fans:

Blu-Ray Today: Elizabeth Olsen & Dakota Fanning Are “Very Good Girls”

Next week (September 23 to be exact) marks the Blu-ray and DVD release of Very Good Girls (Well Go USA, 91 minutes, R), a coming of age drama headlined by Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla, Kill Your Darlings) and Dakota Fanning (The Motel Life).

Naomi Foner, best known for as the screenwriter for Running On Empty (she also penned the underrated Halle Berry/Jessica Lange drama Losing Isaiah), makes her directorial debut with Very Good Girls. The feature, which centers on New York based best friends (Olsen, Fanning) who aim to lose their virginity by the end of summer.

Very Good Girls (Well Go USA)
Very Good Girls (Well Go USA)

Everything should be hunky-dory, but when both of them have eyes for the same guy (Boyd Holbrook), their relationship suffers the requisite strain. Very Good Girls also stars Peter Sarsgaard, Demi Moore, Ellen Barkin, and Richard DreyfussSpecial features on the disc include interviews with Foner, Olsen, and Fanning.

With such films as Martha Marcy May Marlene, In Secret, and Oldboy, Elizabeth Olsen has displayed ample dramatic chops (she recently landed the role of Hank Williams’ wife Audra Mae in the biopic I Saw The Light). And with Very Good Girls, Olsen has found her way through the coming of age drama. Still, Olsen has much narrative ground to cover, and one area she wants to explore are romantic comedies.

In the Soundcloud bar below, Elizabeth Olsen explains why she’s not on the top of the romantic comedy list. It’s surprising given her talent that casting agents and directors wouldn’t throw romcoms her way, but she gives a great explanation:

John Leguizamo Profiled in “American Masters: The Boomer List”

The documentary American Masters: The Boomer List premieres on PBS Tuesday, September 23, and the documentary has director/photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders spotlighting 19 boomers from this highly influential generation.

One of the interviewees is John Leguizamo, an actor whose diverse career includes acclaimed on man shows and such standout films as Carlito’s Way, The Counselor and, more recently, Chef.

In the documentary, Leguizamo talks about the scant projects that were offered to himself and fellow colleagues Benicio del Toro and Luis Guzman (Leguizamo and Guzman starred together in Carlito’s Way).  “If there is a really great Latin role, it didn’t go to us,” Leguizamo said during the interview. “It went to, you know, Al Pacino or De Niro. I just knew that Latin people were really funny. My family was really funny to me. And we had incredible stories to tell. Where is that on TV? Where is that in movies? Where is that in plays?”

John Leguizamo in American Masters: The Boomer List (CR: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)
John Leguizamo in American Masters: The Boomer List (CR: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

Even though showbiz has its share of challenges, Leguizamo pushed through and has carved out a successful acting career. During his Chef interviews John Leguizamo explains how “cooking is like acting.”

“You have to really pay attention – be in the moment. There is a generosity that happens in cooking because you’re nurturing. I think acting when it has that the generosity and you’re giving instead of trying to take, it’s the best acting you’ll ever see.”

To hear Leguizamo’s full answer, and why Chef is an analogy to the film business, click on the Soundcloud bar below:

Along with Leguizamo, Samuel L. Jackson, Billy Joel, David LaChapelle, and Maria Shriver are among the 19 subjects featured in American Masters: The Boomer List.

Connie Britton Talks “This Is Where I Leave You” & Adam Driver Collaboration

Based on Jonathan Trooper’s bestselling novel, This Is Where I Leave You centers on four adult siblings (Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver) who return to their childhood home after the father passes away. Forced to live together for a week, they must set aside their differences and eventually comfort each other through this tragedy. Shawn Levy, whose previous credits include The Internship, Date Night, and A Night at the Museum, is the director.

This Is Where I Leave You is an accurate title for the movie’s production process, as co-star Connie Britton (she plays Driver’s well to do girlfriend in the feature), appreciated the picture’s close knit collaboration among the cast and crew.

“One thing that was noticeable about this movie was, and I think for Shawn Levy in particular, this was really a very important movie for him. He was very passionate about because I think he has also done a lot of big budget movies where there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen and a lot of agendas. This felt more like we were being entrusted with this gem and were able to let the creation of it happen right then and there.”

In the audio clip below, Connie Britton (Nashville, Friday Night Lights) talked about Adam Driver and how she almost worked with him, Lena Dunham and producer/writer Jennifer Konner on Girls.


Pixies “Ring The Bell” With Aspiring “Hey” Filmmakers

One of the many elements of the Pixies’ longevity lies in their ability to follow their own path, even if it’s to the beat of a different drummer. The proverbial stick women in this case are Lital Mizel and Adi Frimmerman, the directors behind the Pixies music video “Ring The Bell.” The duor are best known for lip-synching and dancing to the Pixies song “Hey” back in 2005, and that video has gained over 34 million YouTube views.

When they finally met the band during a June Pixies concert in Israel, Frimmerman and Mizel offered to make another video clip featuring the band’s music. Putting your best foot forward is usually a good idea, and their request led them to directing “Ring The Bell.”

The video, which is available for viewing at Radio.com, has two girls (Mizel and Frimmerman) collecting various throwback items such as VHS tapes and boomboxes.

Ring The Bell Music Video - YouTube
Ring The Bell Music Video – YouTube

“We were born in the eighties and grew up during a time of rapid technology changes,” said Frimmerman. “We got the idea to make a clip about our nostalgic longing for the things that had been replaced and the childhood memories that were attached to them. We also felt connected to the ‘Generation-y’ characterization of those eighties-nineties lost kids who hold on to their memories of the past in a fast-changing, anxiety filled world.”

“Ring The Bell” is featured on Indie Cindy, the Pixies’ first new album in over 20 years. The second leg of their tour with touring bassist Paz Lenchantin begins September 27 with a stop in San Diego, California (Humphreys). Tour dates are below:

9/27  Humphreys, San Diego, CA

9/28  Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA

9/30  The Masonic, San Francisco, CA

10/02   Revolution Center, Boise, ID

10/03   INB Performing Arts Center, Spokane, WA

10/05   MacEwan Hall, Calgary, AB  CANADA

10/06   Shaw Conference Center, Edmonton, AB  CANADA

10/07   TCU Place, Saskatoon, SK  CANADA

10/09   Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, MB  CANADA

10/11  State Theatre, Minneapolis, MN

10/12  Orpheum Theatre, Madison, WI

Here’s the 2005 “Hey” clip which put Lital Mizel and Adi Frimmerman on the map:

Janina Gavankar Gets “Buff” For ‘The Mysteries of Laura’

Debra Messing headlines the new series The Mysteries of Laura, as she takes on the role of Detective Laura Diamond, a skilled police officer whose daily dexterity is also pushed to the limits with her two unruly sons. Janina Gavankar also stars in the TV series as Meredith Bose, a detective who isn’t the most likable colleague in the NYPD.

“Meredith is what the homicide detectives that we hung out with in New York City -she’s what they call a ‘buff,'” said Gavankar, whose previous TV work includes recurring roles on True Blood and Arrow. “Which is somebody who takes their job maybe a little too seriously. She both looks up to Laura and is absolutely aggravated by her, because in Meredith’s opinion she works twice as hard as long every day as Laura and gets half the recognition – if that.”

During our interview with The Mysteries of Laura co-stars Gavankar and Laz Alonso (he plays Laura’s partner Detective Billy Sands), Gavankar elaborated on her “nerd-based” work process as an actress, singer, and a musician.

Also, if you’re a fan of True Blood, you may enjoy this post last week from Gavankar’s Twitter feed:

The Mysteries of Laura’s special preview airs September 17 at 10/9c (NBC).

Kingdom of Heaven: Ultimate Edition Blu-Ray Ready for October

 

Director Ridley Scott’s director’s cut of his vastly underrated epic Kingdom of Heaven was previously just available on DVD, but thankfully 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has corrected that omission. On October 7, the Kingdom of Heaven: Ultimate Edition Blu-ray, which features the director’s cut, the director’s cut roadshow version, and the original theatrical version, will be available for purchase by eager consumers (including myself).

The Kingdom of Heaven’s director’s cut is one of Ridley Scott’s finest hours as a filmmaker. With more time to work with, Scott delves deeper into Balian’s (Orlando Bloom) backstory, thus making Balian’s transition from a wide eyed blacksmith to a brave warrior in the Crusades much more believable (the theatrical version gives Balian’s journey a much more forced and truncated feel).

Kingdom of Heaven: Ultimate Edition (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Kingdom of Heaven: Ultimate Edition (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)

The nine hours worth of Special features on the ultimate edition include: an introduction from Ridley Scott, Roadshow commentary with Orlando Bloom, Ridley Scott, and writer William Monahan, world premiere footage, and numerous featurettes.

During the interviews for Sympathy for Delicious, I asked Orlando Bloom about his experience working on Kingdom of Heaven, and he talked about how the epic will stand the test of time.

“It was amazing to work on the film and the director’s cut is – I really think it puts (epic films) to bed. It was amazing and I loved it. It’s funny, I think Ridley had that experience with Blade Runner . . . and I think Kingdom of Heaven will stand the test of time in many ways…

To hear Orlando Bloom’s full answer regarding Kingdom of Heaven, click on the media bar below (Juliette Lewis is also heard in the clip):