Steven Spielberg’s WEST SIDE STORY Shares First Look of Ariana DeBose as “Anita”

Excited to share the first look at “Anita”.

See her light up the big screen in #WestSideStory on December 18, 2020.

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An adaptation of the original Broadway musical, WEST SIDE STORY explores young love and tensions between rival gangs the Jets and the Sharks on the streets of 1957 New York. The cast also includes Ansel Elgort (Tony); Rachel Zegler (Maria); Ana Isabelle (Rosalia); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke); Curtiss Cook (Abe) and Academy Award®-winner Rita Moreno, who plays Valentina and also serves as one of the film’s Executive Producers. The film is now in production for Twentieth Century Fox and The Walt Disney Studios.

WEST SIDE STORY is produced and directed by Steven Spielberg from a script by Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner. The film has been adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway musical, which was written by Arthur Laurents with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and concept, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Tony Award®-winner Justin Peck will choreograph the musical numbers in the film. Also leading the production are Tony Award®-winning producer Kevin McCollum and Academy Award®-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger.

The film’s music team includes renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who will helm the recording of Bernstein’s iconic score; Academy Award®-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (Anastasia) who will be arranging the score for the new adaptation; Tony Award®-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Broadway’s Fun Home and Thoroughly Modern Millie), who will be working with the cast on vocals; and Grammy®-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (Beauty and the Beast, Chicago), who will serve as executive music producer for the film.

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@Thisfunktional #MovieReview: BABY DRIVER

Written by Jesus Figueroa (@Thisfunktional)

The fast-paced “Baby Driver” develops a great story quickly, makes use of every scene and captivates from the opening scene on.

The music can drive the movie on its own, but have characters develop and evolve through out the movie helps to get the audience invested in the plot.

Writer-directed Edgar Wright said that this was a story he had been wanting to tell for many years and it all started with music.

The diligent research he did made the story based on actual reality, but the pacing was driven by the beats of the songs.

The soundtrack helped him develop what would happen to each character and continue moving the story forward scene after scene.

Actor Jamie Foxx, who plays Bats, said he kept the music going between sets because it was important for the story, important for how the characters would react on screen and it made a difference when actors would need to hit queues.

Although the the cast have been on numerous sets for different projects, Actor Ansel Elgort, who plays lead character Baby, found the entire experience unique because everyone was committed to making this story exactly what Wright would be proud of.

Elgort also said that coming off “Baby Driver’s” set and onto his next project was difficult. He was able to play music between takes to keep the mood. His co-stars would look at him funny for playing music between takes as well.

After months of playing Baby and wearing headphones, with the scene’s music and sound effects playing, Elgort needed some time to decompress.

Actress Lily James paired up with Elgort well and was thrilled to play off of Elgort.

James brings out a vulnerability in her character which shows the trust she had in Elgort.

The movie seemed to be written for Elgort to star in, James said.

Actress Eiza Gonzalez and Jon Hamm play complimentary character which are only complete when they are together, and most of the time when they are on screen they are touching.

Gonzalez was interested in the fact that none of the characters tell their own back story, they each tell a bit of each other’s back story.

Hamm thought that by Wright doing that he was able to create the myth of each character and make Baby more of a legend, which works to bring compassion and some level of curiosity.

‘BABY DRIVER’ Screening #Giveaway | #babydriver #movies

A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

Continue reading “‘BABY DRIVER’ Screening #Giveaway | #babydriver #movies”

Movie Review: THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT

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After what seems like the longest year ever, the third film installment of The Divergent Series was finally released!!  Allegiant is the film adaptation of the first 1/2 of the third novel of the same name written by Veronica Roth.  As announced, the second (and final) 1/2, titled The Divergent Series: Ascendant, will be released in March 2017.

SYNOPSIS: After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four beyond the wall that encircles Chicago, to finally discover the shocking truth of the world around them.

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As a reader of the novels, I’m one of those who search for differences in the films.  Many of you might have done the same for the second installment, Insurgent, where there were quite a few noticeable changes.  The same applies for Allegiant, but they actually work!

Despite a few minor character changes and several landscape differences between the film and novel, I actually enjoyed this one. Perhaps a bit more than Insurgent!  The escape scene was probably my favorite and was definitely a bad ass way to escape a horrible situation.  The world beyond the wall wasn’t at all what I imagined because I’d read the novels beforehand.  The world was described as an abandoned city with crumbled buildings, much like what the group has been used to.  In the film, however, the world is a toxic waste land that rains red, tinting the ground.  They’re rescued by members of the Bureau, where they’re taken for detoxification, which also wasn’t part of the novel.

Allegiant focuses on the genetic material of those involved in the experiment with the factions, along with those in failed experiments in other major cities. People were placed in these experiments to try and “heal” damaged genes in order to create those who are genetically pure, like Tris.  After discovering information regarding her mother and where she came from, Tris begins to trust David (Jeff Daniels), the director of the Bureau, despite Four’s warning not to.  When he discovers what the Bureau is actually up to, they try to erase him.  In an attempt to gain his sister’s trust again, Caleb tells her that Four has gone back to Chicago to try and stop the impending war between Evelyn and the factionless, and the group called the Allegiant, spearheaded by Johanna.

When someone betrays the group, Tris, Four, Caleb and Christina try to figure out who they can actually trust while finding a way to save the city they’ve called home, and expose the secrets held at the Bureau.

That being said, I thought this was a good installment!  Divergent is still my favorite of the three, but this one had great special effects, an abundance of bad assery, and a TON of Four!  The production value was great, considering the majority was filmed in front of a green screen.  Acting was great, and I’m still happy with the way this franchise was cast.  This film sets everything up for the fourth and final installment, and I can’t wait to see how they do it!  Just keep an open mind to the changes in the films.  There are always changes when a novel is made into a film, so just remember that it’s still the characters we know and love!

The Divergent Series: Allegiant was released in theaters on March 18, 2016.  Check it out and let me know what you thought!

 

Official Site
Facebook: Allegiant
Twitter: Allegiant

‘ALLEGIANT’: Trailer

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Hey everyone!  So…I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for this release!  I admit, I read all of the books and then went FIVE TIMES to see Divergent in the theater lol. I think they’ve done a great job bringing Veronica Roth’s story to life, and I’m loving the trailer for Allegiant.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

SYNOPSIS:  Beatrice Prior and Tobias Eaton venture into the world outside of the fence and are taken into protective custody by a mysterious agency known as the Bureau of Genetic Welfare.

 

ALLEGIANT is set for release on March 18, 2016

Official Site – Allegiant

The Divergent Series: Allegiant Official Teaser Trailer is here!!!!

The Divergent Series: Allegiant Official Teaser Trailer is here!!!!

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Hey everyone!!

If you’ve been following news about the film releases, you already know that Allegiant was going to be broken down into two parts.  Allegiant was the third and final book of the series, so the fact that we get an extra movie out of the deal is fine by me!  It was announced this week, however, that the next two films will not be titled Allegiant Part One and Allegiant Part Two.  Instead, it will be Allegiant and Ascendant!

In any case, see below for the official teaser trailer for the latest installment of the Divergent Series: Allegiant!  Let me know what you think!

 

Movie Review: INSURGENT

Insurgent

Directed By: Robert Schwentke

Story By: Veronica Roth

Screenplay By: Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman and Mark Bomback

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Jai Courtney, Mekhi Phifer, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Daniel Dae Kim, Keiynan Lonsdale

 

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With a new director on hand for this sequel to Divergent, I was a bit wary of how Insurgent would hold up. We’ve seen film franchises switch directors before (Harry Potter) and those films have different feels to them. After watching Insurgent, however, I can honestly say I’m pleased with the result. Robert Schwentke, who also directed The Time Traveler’s Wife, took the world that Veronica Roth envisioned and Neil Burger, the director of Divergent, created visually and simply built upon it. We got to see more of the other factions, as Tris, Four, Caleb and Peter seek a temporary safe haven while devising a plan to find the rest of the Dauntless members to help take down Jeanine.

Summary: Insurgent begins with Tris, Four, Caleb and Peter trying to adapt to life in Amity while Eric, Max and Jeanine’s other minions uncover a box inside the Prior home in burnt down Abnegation. This box can only be unlocked by a Divergent who is able to successfully complete sim trials from each faction. As they begin testing for divergence, Peter attempts to hand Tris, Four and Caleb over to Eric, but they escape Amity and head for the city. They jump onto a train in the escape and quickly discover that the train is overrun with Factionless, who have no sympathy for the fugitives…until Four reveals that his name is Tobias Eaton. He’s taken to the leader of the Factionless, Evelyn, who turns out to be his mother (and believed to have been dead). She wants an army, but Four doesn’t trust her, even though she informs them that the remaining Dauntless members have sought refuge at Candor. Four, Tris and Caleb set out for Candor to find them, but Caleb decides he’s not cut out for it and claims to head back to what’s left of Abnegation. Jack Kang, leader of Candor, agrees to perform trials to prove their innocence under the influence of truth serum. Four is absolved of all guilt, while Tris is forced to come clean about killing her friend, Will, in order to save herself. Everyone in Candor is shot by Jeanine’s minions with a serum that attaches itself to their bodies and Four is forced to battle Eric. They gain the trust of Candor and everyone realizes Jeanine had been lying to them about the attack on Abnegation. When the serum activates and forces Marlene to step off a ledge, plunging to her death, Tris makes a choice to surrender to Erudite in order to save the others. Loyalties are questioned and she’s forced to complete the sim trials, with action packed sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat. Once the box is unlocked, it reveals a message from the founders informing everyone that their world/faction system was an experiment and that Divergents were proof that the system worked. The woman invites everyone to venture outside the wall so they may rejoin society. Jeanine demands that the box be buried and that Tris and Four be executed, but the Dauntless/Factionless army arrives and they take Jeanine and her minions into custody. Upon releasing the video to the public, all of the factions gather and head for the wall to see what awaits beyond it. Evelyn faces off with Jeanine in the closing scene.

For those viewers who have read the books, you will definitely notice some significant changes in the film adaptation. For one, Tris doesn’t struggle with holding a gun as she did for most of the novel. The mystery box was also a major plotline which doesn’t exist in the novel, so fans that have seen the trailer might have been a bit confused. After seeing the entire film, though, I have to admit that this was a decent change! Viewers have to keep in mind that some plotlines need to be changed in order to keep the film at an appropriate length while keeping the main idea of the story intact. Despite the addition of the box, there are small details from the novel that they kept in the film, which definitely saves it from being a flop. With the addition of several characters who weren’t introduced yet in the Divergent film, we have the luxury of seeing a cast that has a great deal of chemistry with one another. Each actor plays their character to perfection, especially considering our ideas of the characters from the books. For those who are loyal fans of the series, try to keep an open mind to the changes made in the film. I tend to be disappointed when this happens, but, in this case, I think they handled the changes well and everything flowed nicely. Give it a chance!

Production value was great as well. On occasion, the special effects weren’t the greatest, but as a whole, the bigger budget for Insurgent paid off. The soundtrack, for me, was a bit lack luster compared to that of Divergent, but with everything else going on, it didn’t take away from the film in any way.

As a fan of the books and the first film, I definitely give this sequel a 5 out of 5 stars. – Kristin (@kristin0409)

Insurgent hits theaters on March 20 in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D formats.

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