There was a time when Rob Reiner was, hands-down, one of the five best directors working in Hollywood. From the mid-80s to the mid-90s, Reiner helmed some of the best movies I’ve ever seen, including The Princess Bride, Stand by Me, The American President, and A Few Good Men. Then he disappeared from the ranks of Hollywood’s top directors. LBJ looks like he’s back on his game, and it also looks like a perfect role for one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors: Woody Harrelson. You need a LOT of personality to begin to be able to capture who Lyndon Johnson was. He was a complex, contrary, outrageous lion of a man. The film looks to focus on his finest hour, which was the continuation of the work begun by Kennedy on the Civil Rights Bill after JFK was assassinated. Even with Johnson’s swing (and few have ever walked through Congress with more), shoving that bill through was a monumental achievement. That Harrelson, who is coming off his best comedic role since Cheers in last year’s Edge of Seventeen, and the psychotic Colonel in War for the Planet of the Apes, to slip into the skin of this giant of a man, shows his astounding range. I’m really rooting for this when it opens November 3, 2017. Continue reading LBJ Trailer #1 (2017) *Woody Harrelson in a Powerful Presidential Biopic*
A second trailer is out for the post-assassination look at former First Lady Jackie Kennedy. Starring Natalie Portman, Jackie, has been getting stellar advance reviews, and the role seems tailor made to deliver another Oscar nomination for Portman. Jackie also stars Peter Sarsgaard, John Carroll Lynch, Max Casella, John Hurt, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup. Jackie opens in theaters on December 2, 2016.
Natalie Portman looks like she’s got another Oscar-level role upcoming in Jackie. The biopic will focus on Jacqueline Kennedy in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination in 1964. This seems a perfect fit for Portman, and she bears a striking resemblance to the former First Lady. The film also stars Peter Sarsgaard, John Carroll Lynch, Max Casella, John Hurt, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup. Jackie opens in theaters on December 2, 2016.
If Parkland received a theatrical release, it couldn’t have lasted more than a week, and that’s a shame because this movie about the events on the ground during the chaos of President Kennedy’s assassination deserves attention and I hope it will receive a second life on Netflix and Amazon. Continue reading Movie Review: Parkland (2014)
Oscars. That was the first thing that went through my mind after I watched the first trailer for The Butler. The cast is phenomenal as is the scope of the story they’re telling, covering over thirty years of Presidential history through the eyes of a White House butler who served eight US Presidents. I have to say, some of the casting is really strange. Alan Rickman is Reagan? Liev Schrieber is LBJ? John Cusack is Nixon? Also, if the film was the Academy Awards powerhouse it appears on this first look to be, why is it being dumped in August? It’s certainly an interesting film to keep an eye on for late summer. The Butler is scheduled for release on August 16, 2013. Official synopsis below:
The Butler tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family. Forest Whitaker stars as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, and many more. Academy Award nominated Lee Daniels (‘PRECIOUS’) directs and co-wrote the script with Emmy-award winning Danny Strong (‘GAME CHANGE’).