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May 2019

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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FILM!

Aladdin

Disney’s Aladdin opens May 24th

Aladdin

  • By Kenne Hoffman
  • Photo Courtesy of Disney

It’s a whole new world from director Guy Ritchie and Walt Disney Pictures as they bring the shining, shimmering, splendid world of Aladdin to life. In 1992 Robin Williams voiced the role of the Genie in the Golden Globe and Oscar-winning animated version. The 2014 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical followed. Based on the Arabic folk tale One Thousand and One NightsAladdin (played by Mena Massoud – Final ExamRun This time) is the tale of the charming diamond in the rough Aladdin/Prince Ali and the courageous, self-determined Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott – The Martian, Terra Nova). This live action film version stars Will Smith (Men in Black, Fresh Prince of Bel Air) as the Genie.

Screenwriter and composer Alan Menken has co-written several new songs with Pasek & Paul (the multi award-winning songwriters of La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen) for the re-telling of this Disney Classic. A re-worked rap using the melody version of “A Friend Like Me” has been created to showcase Smith’s vocal talents.

The kindhearted street urchin known as Aladdin and the power-hungry Grand Vizier Jafar (Marwan Kenzari – The Mummy, Ben-Hur) vie for the magic lamp that has the power to make one’s deepest wishes come true.  Aladdin was shot in the beautiful Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan, providing a hundred thousand things to see. Get your tickets early!

Aladdin” hits theaters May 24th.

Booksmart

Booksmart opens May 24th

Booksmart

  • By Michael Jacobo
  • Photo Courtesy of Annapurna Pictures

Who in their senior year of high school wished they had partied more? I for one wish I had actually studied more. But the former is the perfect movie narrative; no one wants to see young kids study, they want to see them take jello shots and how they do with their first keg stand. Now, these types of stories have been done before, but Olivia Wilde promises to deliver a different approach to the genre this month.

In her directorial debut, Booksmart follows two female best friends whom on their last day of high school, struggle to make up for lost time. Hilarity ensues. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, my final pitch is this: it’s Ladybird meets Superbad. That’d surely do it. Starring as our two heroines are Kaitlyn Denver (Short Term 12, Last Man Standing) and Beanie Feldstein (who was in Ladybird and is Jonah Hill’s little sister!). Rounding out the cast are Jason Sudeikis and Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, and Billie Lourd (Scream Queens).

What Wilde has apparently done is delivered the typical run of the mill teenage flick, but one that’s an ode to our teenage years with a bittersweet touch. Because actually, we should be worried if on the last days of high school we think we hadn’t done enough, because we are never going to get a chance to relive those days again.

Booksmart” hits theaters on May 24th.

THE INTRUDER

The Intruder opens May 3rd

THE INTRUDER

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of SONY PICTURES

With his latest flick, screenwriter David Loughery (Lakeview Terrace) has revitalized a familiar design to the psychological thriller — the young couple who moves into their dream house, blissfully blind to the monsters hiding and the nightmares about to wreak havoc. In Cold Creek Manor, a young Dennis Quaid (Fortitude) played that very home owner, and now he comes lurking out of the shadows to play the monster itself in The Intruder.

The film follows Scott and Annie Howard, married professionals who wish to get out of the Big Apple for a quiet place in Napa Valley. They purchase the perfect villa from Charlie Peck, the seemingly sweet owner with the irresistible charms of Dennis Quaid. But as Scott and Annie settle in, they learn from the locals that Charlie’s sweet disposition has a sinister lining ever since his wife killed herself with a shotgun. It becomes all too clear that although Charlie has moved out, he has not moved on. Obsessed with taking back everything life has stolen from him, Charlie stalks the house and harasses the couple with nocturnal intrusions about to blow up into a bloodbath.

Director Deon Taylor (Traffik) coaxes chilling performances out of Meagan Good (Shazam!), Michael Ealy (Being Mary Jane), and Joseph Sikora (Power), but watching Dennis Quaid’s terrifying descent into madness is what makes The Intruder a real thrill.

The Intruder” hits theaters on May 3rd.

The Hustle

The Hustle opens May 10th (Starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson)

The Hustle

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of MGM

Get ready for The Hustle, a new comedy starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson! Based on the 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin (which was itself based on the 1964 movie Bedtime Story starring Marlon Brando and David Niven), The Hustle has Hathaway and Wilson playing scam artists, one low rent and the other high class, who team up to take down the dirty rotten men who have wronged them. In the summer of 2016 it was announced that MGM was developing this female-centric remake of Scoundrels and only Wilson was attached at that time. In early 2017 the working title of the film was revealed to be Nasty Women, a reference to the ‘nasty woman’ comment Donald Trump directed at Hillary Clinton during one of their campaign debates. And Hathaway had come aboard to co-star.

The screenplay is by Jac Schaeffer, perhaps best known for the film TiMER (2009) which she directed. The Hustle, directed by Chris Addison, also stars Alex Sharp (Tony Award-winner for his performance in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Tim Blake Nelson (Lincoln, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs),Ingrid Oliver (of the British comedy duo Watson & Oliver), Emma Davies (the ITV soap opera Emmerdale, the Channel 4 mini-series Mosley), and Danish comedian Casper Christensen. Scam artists, teaming up and taking down, righting wrongs … this sounds like my kind of movie!

The Hustle” hits theaters on May 10th.

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