Matt writes: In celebration of Roger Ebert’s 76th birthday on June 18th, Chaz Ebert shared a video (embedded below) of her late husband’s extraordinary speech, which he delivered on April 4th, 1994. The speech was broadcast as part of Colorado Public Television’s “11th Hour” series, a program dedicated to recording the words of wisdom left by distinguished individuals for future generations. Here is an excerpt…
“What is a good way to develop the qualities of empathy, curiosity and compassion, to walk for even a short time in someone else’s shoes? At least in my own life, art has been the best way. Through books and movies, through plays and songs, and all the other arts, I have been able to learn about and identify with people who are not myself. Art is of course many things, but I believe it’s most important role is to give form to emotion and then communicate it from one person to another. We will always be trapped within ourselves, but we can however usually understand how those closest to us feel—our relatives, the people we’re married to, our families. We can identify with them, but what about the others? What about those born to other tribes? I believe art is the closet we can come to understanding how a stranger really feels.”
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Blaze (2018). Directed by Ethan Hawke. Written by Ethan Hawke and Sybil Rosen. Starring Ben Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Kris Kristofferson. Synopsis: The life of musician Blaze Foley. Opens in US theaters on August 17th, 2018.
The Domestics (2018). Written and directed by Mike P. Nelson. Starring Tyler Hoechlin, Kate Bosworth, Sonoya Mizuno. Synopsis: In a terrifying post-apocalyptic world inhabited by gangs divided into deadly factions, a husband and wife race desperately across the countryside in search of safety and must work together as they are pushed to the breaking point in order to survive. Opens in US theaters on June 28th, 2018.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018). Directed by Susan Johnson. Written by Sofia Alvarez (based on the novel by Jenny Han). Starring Lana Condor, John Corbett, Noah Centineo. Synopsis: A teenage girl’s secret love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her love life. Debuts on Netflix on August 17th, 2018.
The Old Man & The Gun (2018). Written and directed by David Lowery (based on an article by David Grann). Starring Elisabeth Moss, Robert Redford, Casey Affleck. Synopsis: Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Opens in US theaters on September 28th, 2018.
Three Identical Strangers (2018). Directed by Tim Wardle. Synopsis: New York, 1980: three complete strangers accidentally discover that they are identical triplets, separated at birth. Opens in US theaters on June 29th, 2018.
How It Ends (2018). Directed by David M. Rosenthal. Written by Brooks McLaren. Starring Theo James<span class="itemprop" itemprop="name" <theo="" james, Forest Whitaker, Kat Graham. Synopsis: A desperate father tries to return home to his pregnant wife after a mysterious apocalyptic event turns everything to chaos. Debuts on Netflix on July 13th, 2018.
Zoe (2018). Directed by Drake Doremus. Written by Richard Greenberg. Starring Léa Seydoux, Ewan McGregor, Rashida Jones. Synopsis: Two colleagues at a revolutionary research lab design technology to improve and perfect romantic relationships. As their work progresses, their discoveries become more profound. Debuts on Amazon Prime on July 20th, 2018.
Skate Kitchen (2018). Directed by Crystal Moselle. Written by Crystal Moselle, Jen Silverman and Aslihan Unaldi. Starring Kabrina Adams, Tom Bruno, Thaddeus Daniels. Synopsis: Camille’s life as a lonely suburban teenager changes dramatically when she befriends a group of girl skateboarders. Opens in US theaters on August 10th, 2018.
Welcome to Marwen (2018). Written and directed by Robert Zemeckis. Starring Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger. Synopsis: A victim of a brutal attack finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet to help him through his recovery process. Opens in US theaters on November 21st, 2018.
Tau (2018). Directed by Federico D’Alessandro. Written by Noga Landau. Starring Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, Gary Oldman. Synopsis: A woman is held captive in a futuristic smart house and hopes to escape by breaking into the computer programs that control the house. Debuts on Netflix on June 29th, 2018.
Creed II (2018). Directed by Steven Caple Jr.. Written by Sylvester Stallone and Cheo Hodari Coker. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Sylvester Stallone. Synopsis: Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, newly crowned light heavyweight champion Adonis Creed faces off against Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago. Opens in US theaters on November 21st, 2018.
The Meg (2018). Directed by Jon Turteltaub. Written by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber (based on the novel by Steve Alten). Starring Jason Statham, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose. Synopsis: After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible. Opens in US theaters on August 10th, 2018.
Billionaire Boys Club (2018). Directed by James Cox. Written by James Cox and Captain Mauzner. Starring Taron Egerton, Kevin Spacey, Emma Roberts. Synopsis: A group of wealthy boys in Los Angeles during the early 1980s establish a ‘get-rich-quick’ scam that turns deadly. Opens in US theaters on July 17th, 2018.
Night Comes On (2018). Directed by Jordana Spiro. Written by Jordana Spiro and Angelica Nwandu. Starring Dominique Fishback, Tatum Marilyn Hall, Lovie Marie Allen. Synopsis: Angel LaMere is released from juvenile detention on the eve of her 18th birthday. Haunted by her past, she embarks on a journey with her 10 year-old sister that could destroy their future. US release date is TBA.
Like Father (2018). Written and directed by Lauren Miller Rogen. Starring Kristen Bell, Seth Rogen, Kelsey Grammer. Synopsis: A workaholic woman who is left at the altar takes her honeymoon trip anyway with her overachieving father who left her mother because he believed his family was holding back his career. Opens in US theaters on August 3rd, 2018.
Nobody’s Fool (2018). Written and directed by Tyler Perry. Starring Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Whoopi Goldberg. Synopsis: A woman who gets released from prison and reunites with her sister, who discovers she is in an online relationship with a man that may be “catfishing” her. Opens is US theaters on November 2nd, 2018.
Alpha (2018). Directed by Albert Hughes. Written by Daniele Sebastian Wiedenhaupt. Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Natassia Malthe, Leonor Varela. Synopsis: A story of survival set 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age. Opens in US theaters on August 17, 2018.
A Star is Born (2018). Directed by Bradley Cooper. Written by Bradley Cooper, Eric Roth and Will Fetters (based on the screenplay by Dorothy Parker, Alan Campbell and Robert Carson). Starring Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott. Synopsis: A musician helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral. Opens in US theaters on October 5th, 2018.
Chatting with John Travolta
Matt writes: John Travolta recently spoke with me about his roles in “Grease,” “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The Devil's Rain” and his new movie, “Gotti.” Click here to read our full conversation.
If I Had an Emmy Ballot
Matt writes: Our TV expert, Brian Tallerico, reveals his annual list of the shows and actors he would nominate on his Emmy ballot (special shout-out to the wonderful Peyton Kennedy on Netflix’s “Everything Sucks!”). Click here for the full article.
Anything Goes (1936). Directed by Lewis Milestone. Written by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse. Starring Bing Crosby, Ethel Merman, Charles Ruggles. Synopsis: A young man falls in love with a beautiful blonde. When he sees her being forced onto a luxury liner, he decides to follow and rescue her.
A Gentleman at Heart (1942). Directed by Ray McCarey. Written by Harold Buchman and Lee Loeb. Starring Cesar Romero, Carole Landis, Milton Berle. Synopsis: A bookie takes over a bankrupt art gallery and falls in love with a beautiful blonde.
The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (1990). Directed by Don Mischer. Written by Jerry Juhl, Sara Lukinson and Bill Prady. Starring Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson. Synopsis: While The Muppets prepare a tribute to the late Jim Henson, they learn about the life and career of the renowned puppeteer/film maker.