In 1967, the arrest and beating of an African-American taxi driver by a white cop sparked a riot that killed 26 people, caused millions in damage and led to a mass exodus from the beleaguered city of Newark. These racism in America impacts were easy enough to identify. But when documentary filmmaker Kevin McLaughlin begins Riot by stating that, "The week changed the world forever for everyone who lived there," he's also referring to subtleties that weren't so easy to spot - yet had far-reaching consequences.
Tate Donovan landed his first major film credit alongside John Cryer and Demi Moore in the 1984 comedy No Small Affair. He followed the introduction up with larger roles in Space Camp, Clean and Sober and Memphis Belle. Off those successes, Donovan co-starred in his first leading role with Sandra Bullock in Love Potion No. 9, and has built a career that has kept him busily bouncing between films such as Swordfish and The Pacifier and TV stints on Friends, Ally McBeal, The OC and Damages. In June, he follows up his 2010 Broadway run on the Southie based drama Good People with something that he tongue-in-cheek considers contemporary.
Long before Tim Robbins (as Andy Dufresne) endured the injustice and indignity of Shawshank Prison and turned the tides on his duplicitous, righteous jailers, Clint Eastwood engineered his own real life Escape from Alcatraz in the 1979 prison break film.
Anatomy of a Murder says a lot about how much things have changed in America since it was made in 1959 and makes for a very interesting study in the vast difference in sociological perspective. At the same time, the reluctant charm of Jimmy Stewart holds up as well as ever and still finds no actor today who can carry a movie by simply asserting uncertainty.
The front cover of the DVD case for What Just Happened declares, “laugh out loud funny.” Sorry, the 2009 Barry Levinson film starring Robert De Niro as a big wheel Hollywood movie producer does not live up and appears to have no inclination to even try. But don’t move on, that’s because the Art Linson penned comedy refuses to settle and lets the punchlines play out as if the double-take doesn’t just apply to the titular character’s downfall.
Five years ago, Michael Ricigliano had an idea for a mob movie script, and decided he never wanted to lament what might have been. Taking care of his part from his basement as a Long Island lawyer, the old adage of who you know got him to the next step. “I think he read my script more as a courtesy to our mutual friend,” said Ricigliano of Federico Castelluccio, who played Furio on the Sopranos cast. Of course, being able to write what he knew proved the most important factor in forever keeping any regrets at bay.