An Actor Prepares. Named after Stanislavski’s classic book on acting, this new Steve Clark-directed film stars Jeremy Irons as Atticus Smith, a legendary actor who hasn’t given up on his hard partying ways, nor is he ready to have his career put out to pasture. Despite suffering a heart attack at an after party in his honor, Atticus is still determined to be healthy enough to make his daughter’s Annabelle (Mamie Gummer) wedding. But his doctors won’t clear him to fly, leaving him no choice but to drive cross country with his son Adam (Jack Huston). The two haven’t spoken to each other in years, with Adam being everything that Atticus wasn’t – a devoted husband and father. As the two reluctantly make the trek, they encounter many emotional and physical hurdles along the way – and quickly realize that they have a lot more in common than they think. Irons, who has built a dynamic career in dramatic roles, is having a blast playing the hard living, ego-driven Smith. Huston also is solid, playing straight man – and voice of reason – to Irons’ antics. Clark makes the most of the American landscape, using it as a backdrop to the various stages of a father-son relationship on the mend. It’s a breezy comedy that serves as a nice coda to the summer movie season. An Actor Prepares opens this weekend. You can also go to www.gravitasventures.com for more information.
Destination Wedding. Dracula co-stars Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves reunite for writer/director Victor Levin’s latest feature. They play Lindsey and Frank, two socially awkward people who meet while traveling to a wedding in California. Along with being decidedly anti-social, they quickly find out that they hate the trip, the wedding, the bride, groom and most of all, each other. It doesn’t help that the other guests want no part of them, essentially leaving them stuck with each other during their stay. As their jabs and swipes at each other continue, contempt morphs into attraction and they must decide to follow their hearts or their heads. Ryder and Reeves have fantastic chemistry together as two people pulled together by their mutual disgust at everything, flexing comedic chops that have been under used in their recent projects. Levin wonderfully captures the California countryside while taking well placed shots at the destination wedding concept and everything that comes with it. Ryder and Reeves are both in the midst of creative and cultural second winds, and this will certainly build on their legacies. Destination Wedding opens nationwide this weekend.
Henry Rollins: Keep Talking, Pal. The punk/hardcore icon makes the transition from frontman to stand up in this new Showtime special. Recorded live in Portland, Rollins manically discusses hanging out with RuPaul, things he’s done to gross out audiences, run-ins with David Bowie and Ozzy Osborne and much more. Anyone who has read his books or watched his IFC series knows that Rollins is an amazing storyteller and with this special he reinforces that to the max. Henry Rollins: Keep Talking, Pal is available now on Showtime and on the Showtime app. You can go to www.sho.com for run times and more information.
Holy Waters by Aruba Red. In 2014, singer-songwriter Aruba Red – who had quickly become a formidable presence on the independent British music scene – decided to take a break. During those four years, she underwent a personal and creative transformation: She lost her dad, legendary bassist, singer-songwriter Jack Bruce, gave birth, got out of a ‘decade long toxic situation’ and centered on her own happiness. Her re-entry into music began when she released a cover of Cream’s ‘We’re Going Wrong’, which coincided with an all star benefit concert featuring her material from her father’s career. It eventually led to this new 5 song EP, with songs such as ‘Goddess Vibes’, ‘No Light’ and the title track perfectly chronicling her spiritual and creative rebirth. Resolution and resolve are themes that run throughout the set, with elements of rock, pop, reggae and electronics supporting AR’s robust vocals. As she ascended in during the early part of her career, the talent and the promise was always apparant. Now we are seeing it in full bloom. A much welcomed return. Holy Waters by Aruba Red will be available August 31st on Itunes. You can also go to www.arubaredmusic.com for more information.
Festivault. As more film festivals become launchpads for some of the year’s most anticipated movies, a common problem has emerged: the ticket demand is always higher than what the space can accommodate. This new site remedies that, giving fans access to films without ever having to leave your home. All you have to do is go to the site, see what festival is available, sign up for a Fest Pass (which runs from $20-40) and, for as long as the run of the event, you’ll have access to at least 95% of the films on your computer. Now you don’t have to hop on a plane or make extended road trips to get the scoop on the next classic or blockbuster. It’s all available at your fingertips. A perfect solution to any true fan of cinema. Go to www.festivault.tv for more complete information.
New York City. Summer Double Features. At the height of Hollywood’s Golden Age, theaters would present double features as a way to give moviegoers more bang for their buck. Studios soon caught on, producing ‘B’ movies (often featuring actors who are on their way up – or down) to help anchor the package. As the summer quickly draws to a close, Film Forum is bringing back the concept, but featuring classic films. It will feature a twin bill of Martin Scorsese gems (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver); New Hollywood mavericks Hal Ashby and Paul Mazursky (The Landlord, Next Stop Greenwich Village); Classic Noir by Carol Reed (The Third Man, Odd Man Out); two films that capture 80s downtown counterculture (After Hours, Desperately Seeking Susan) and much more. It’s a great way to rediscover and recapture an integral part of the movie going experience. Summer Double Features will be at Film Forum through September 11th. You can also go to www.filmforum.org for a complete schedule, tickets and additional information.
Los Angeles. John Williams: Maestro Of The Movies. Jaws. Star Wars. E.T. Jurassic Park. Indiana Jones. Harry Potter. All of the films became classics due in large part to the sweeping scores of John Williams. To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of his Hollywood Bowl debut, Williams and David Newman will conduct The Los Angeles Philharmonic through some of his best known works, which will also supplemented with clips from many of the movies mentioned here. It’s a perfect way to pay tribute to a cinematic iconoclast. John Williams: Maestro Of The Movies will be at The Hollywood Bowl August 31st through September 2nd. You can also go to www.hollywoodbowl.com for tickets and additional information.
Chicago. The Chicago Jazz Festival. While its reputation as an epicenter for the blues is well known, Chicago also has been a huge supporter of jazz dating back decades. The annual Chicago Jazz Festival will spotlight some of the best jazz artists, past and present, with free shows at Millennium Park. Artists scheduled to appear include Ramsey Lewis, Dianne Reeves, Kurt Elling, and Maceo Parker, among many others. With cool sounds and hot grooves, it’s a great way to close out the summer. The Chicago Jazz Festival will be at Millennium Park through September 1st. You can also go to www.cityofchicago.org for more information.