New Trailer for Bill Simmons' Excellent 'Music Box' Doc Series on HBO
November 3, 2021
"This is your world. You can do whatever you want to do." You don't want to miss these! HBO has revealed another official trailer for the superb music documentary HBO collection called Music Box. Developed and produced by Bill Simmons, co-creator of the very popular 30 for 30 doc series on ESPN, this new Music Box series takes us back through music history with distinct documentary films. The first one already opened - Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage about the 90s music festival. And a number of others just premiered at the 2021 Toronto Film Festival. They're set to stream on HBO this fall: Jagged debuts on November 18th, Don't Try to Understand debuts on November 25th, Listening to Kenny G debuts on December 2nd, Mr. Saturday Night debuts on December 9th, and Juice Wrld: Into the Abyss debuts on December 16th. I've already seen a few of these docs and they're SO damn good, some of the best doc films out of any I've seen this year. The Kenny G one especially really won me over. All six of these films are worth watching.
Teaser Trailer for Bill Simmons' 'Music Box' Doc Film Series on HBO
July 26, 2021
"One Sonic Series, Six Singular Films!" Time to open up the Music Box. HBO has unveiled a teaser trailer for a new collection of six documentary films debuting this fall on HBO called Music Box. Developed and produced by Bill Simmons, co-creator of the very popular 30 for 30 doc series on ESPN, this new Music Box series takes us back through music history with six distinct doc films. The first one already debuted this past weekend - Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage about the 90s music festival that turned into a complete disaster (watch the trailer here). There's five more films featured in the Music Box line-up, about: Alanis Morissette and her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill; rapper DMX and his "inner demons in the final years of his life"; beloved musician Kenny G and his musical brilliance; the untold story of disco master Robert Stigwood; and a look at the life of hip-hop star Juice WRLD. I'm always down for hearing crazy stories from the past, and digging into the lives of musicians to examine why they are so talented and so appealing.
Trailer for HBO Music Doc 'Jason Isbell: Running With Our Eyes Closed'
March 22, 2023
"I won't be satisfied unless this album is an accurate representation of where I am as a person." HBO has revealed an official trailer for the music documentary Jason Isbell: Running With Our Eyes Closed, one of the latest offerings in exec producer Bill Simmons' Music Box series for HBO. Intimately shot and revealing the inner workings of a major artist, the documentary is a unique film about a talented singer – Jason Isbell. As the four-time Grammy winner connects the dots from his childhood in rural Alabama to battling alcoholism during his time with the band Drive-By Truckers, to the current state of his marriage, he acknowledges the crucial part that music has played in his life, the outlet it provides for his artistry, and the comfort it brings him in times of difficulty. It's described as an intimate look at life, love, and perseverance. Running With Our Eyes Closed is highlighted by candid interviews with Jason & Amanda Pearl Shires and his musical peers including musicians Chad Gamble, Sadler Vaden, Jimbo Hart, Derry DeBorja, Patterson Hood, producer Dave Cobb, and manager Traci Thomas. This seems like it's meant mainly for fans of Isbell.
Official US Trailer for 'Casablanca Beats' Moroccan Hip Hop Musical
August 11, 2022
"Hip-hop IS an art form, ma'am." Kino Lorber has revealed an official US trailer for an indie film from France & Morocco titled Casablanca Beats, which first premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival last year. This received pretty much nothing but negative reviews from everyone who dared to see through it. The film is a Moroccan hip hop musical that rips off School of Rock and sets it in the city of Casablanca instead. Anas, a former rapper, is employed in a cultural centre. Encouraged by their new teacher, the students will try to free themselves from the weight of traditions to live their passion and express themselves through hip hop culture. Starring rapper Anas Basbousi, plus an ensemble of kids: Ismail Adouab, Zineb Boujemaa, Meryem Nekkach, Nouhaila Arif, Abdelilah Basbousi, Mehdi Razzouk, Amina Kannan, Samah Baricou. I saw this in Cannes and was hoping it would be good fun, but it's such a mess of a film with bad performances throughout. Even if the raps are pretty good, that's pretty much all this little film has to offer.
Official Trailer for 'DMX: Don't Try to Understand' Music Doc on HBO
November 22, 2021
"My goal is to… be an inspiration to someone that I don't know." HBO has unveiled the official trailer for the music documentary film DMX: Don't Try to Understand, another one of the Music Box doc series offerings arriving this fall. This recently premiered at the DOC NYC Film Festival, and is debuting on HBO starting this week. "Turn your pain into words." Don’t Try to Understand, an original documentary, follows a year in the life of the late rapper as he worked to rebuild his career and reconnect with family and fans. The original title of this was Don't Try to Understand: A Year in the Life of Earl 'DMX' Simmons, following Earl "DMX" Simmons after he gets out of federal prison in 2019. "With an insurmountable debt owed to the IRS, an ever-growing family to feed, and immense pressure to return to the heights of yesteryear; the stakes couldn't be higher." If this is as good as the other documentaries in the Music Box series, it's a must watch.
Official Trailer for HBO's 'Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage' Doc
July 18, 2021
"We got off the bus and – 'something's not right.'" HBO is releasing this documentary in July this summer - check out the official trailer for Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage, made by doc filmmaker Garret Price (director of the Love, Antosha doc previously). How did an iconic celebration of harmony descend into mayhem? Woodstock 99, the first film in Bill Simmons' Music Box HBO series, examines how the festival collapsed under the weight of its own misguided ambition. This sounds much like the Fyre Festival some 20 years before the Fyre Festival. The film tells the harrowing and calamitous story of Woodstock '99, a three-day music festival promoted to echo the unity and counterculture idealism of the original 1969 concert, but instead devolved into riots, looting, and sexual assaults. Of course it did, because they were probably trying to make money not really put on a good show. This looks like one helluva doc about what went wrong & why.
Vibrant Full Trailer for HBO's 'Tina' Documentary About Tina Turner
March 10, 2021
"I had an abusive life. There's no other way to tell the story… Buddhism was a way out." HBO has debuted an official full-length trailer for a new music doc called Tina, profiling the legendary singer Tina Turner. This definitive documentary just premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last week, and arrives on HBO for viewing later this month. Rave reviews already! Made by the Academy Award-winning filmmakers behind the docs Undefeated, I Am Dying, and L.A. 92 previously. Featuring a wealth of never-before-seen footage, audio tapes, photos, and new interviews, including with the singer herself, Tina presents an unvarnished and dynamic account of the life and career of a music icon. Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, journalist Kurt Loder, playwright Katori Hall and Tina's husband Erwin Bach are among the interviews in the intimate documentary. This looks superb! The final shot is epic. "Get to know the woman behind the name."
First Teaser for HBO's 'Tina' Documentary About Singer Tina Turner
February 23, 2021
"I'm here for you." HBO has revealed the first teaser trailer for a new music doc called Tina, profiling the legendary singer Tina Turner. "Simply the best." This documentary will be premiering at the Berlin Film Festival in a few weeks, then will debut on HBO for streaming later in March. Made by the Academy Award-winning filmmakers behind the docs Undefeated, I Am Dying, and L.A. 92 previously. Featuring a wealth of never-before-seen footage, audio tapes, personal photos, and new interviews, including with the singer herself, Tina presents an unvarnished and dynamic account of the life and career of music icon Tina Turner. Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, journalist Kurt Loder, playwright Katori Hall and Tina's husband Erwin Bach are among the interviews in the intimate documentary. It's described as "the defining and inspirational record of one of the greatest survivors in modern music" by Berlinale. This is going to be good.
Universal & Judd Apatow Planning The Lonely Island Musical Comedy
August 7, 2014
Thanks to a jump start on "Saturday Night Live," the comedy hip-hop group known as The Lonely Island has become a viral sensation online. It all started with "Lazy Sunday" and has since spread to hilarious hit tracks like "Dick in a Box" and "I'm on a Boat." Now the musical trio formed by Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone are heading to the big screen in a currently untitled comedy at Universal Pictures with Judd Apatow on board to produce. All three of the members will star in the film, but the only story details known at this time are that it will be set in the music world, which makes perfect sense.
Review: Seth Rogen & Zac Efron Are Raucously Funny in 'Neighbors'
May 7, 2014
While Seth Rogen has made a reputation for being this irresponsible, weed-smoking, party-man of the people, at some point, that image along won't always work as the actor ages. Thankfully, the actor is keenly aware of this fact and has chosen to grow up ever so slightly with his latest comedy Neighbors. In the film, Rogen plays new parent Mac who, along with his wife Kelly (Rose Byrne), are struggling with being married a few years out of college with an absolutely adorable new baby girl. Despite being unable to partake in their friends' party lifestyle any longer, they do their best to settle into their new suburban house. All goes well until a fraternity, led by charming douche-bro Teddy (Zac Efron) moves in right next door.
Seth Rogen & Kevin Hart to Be 1940s Cops for 'Neighbors' Director
April 21, 2014
One week after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theaters, audiences will get to see the spectacular comedy Neighbors starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron. This writer has already seen the film, but our review won't be coming until closer to the release. But having already seen the film has me excited to hear news from SlashFilm that the comedy's director Nicholas Stoller (who also was at the helm of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the spin-off Get Him to the Greek) has another promising project lined up with Rogen and comedian Kevin Hart in the lead. The inclusion of Hart might have otherwise sullied our excitement, but the premise for this particular buddy cop comedy sounds far too fantastic to even worry about at this point.
Telluride 2013: Ritesh Batra's 'The Lunchbox' Charms with Food as Love
September 4, 2013
There's a surprisingly charming, crowd-pleasing Indian film playing the festival circuit right now that I had the pleasure of catching at the Telluride Film Festival. The feature debut of writer/director Ritesh Batra, the film is titled The Lunchbox and tells a heartfelt story of an aging, grumpy widower and his connection with a beautiful but neglected housewife through the food she makes for him. Before arriving at the festival I hadn't even heard of this film, and I met the director while attending a different screening before seeing his film. What I discovered was a gem, a delightful, heartwarming, smile-evoking film representing India well.
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