In what has been one hell of an election year, Jon Stewart is cutting through all of it with his biting political comedy Irresistible starring Steve Carell, Rose Byrne and Chris Cooper. The Focus Features film was originally set to hit theaters on May 29, but like all films impacted by the pandemic, it pivoted to PVOD and drops today.
Written by Stewart, Irresistible follows a Democrat political consultant (Carell) who helps a retired Marine colonel (Cooper) run for mayor against a Republican rival (Byrne) in a small Wisconsin town. This marks a reunion of sorts for Stewart and Carell, who was a recurring correspondent on The Daily Show between 1999 and 2005. The film is also Stewart’s latest outing as a feature film director. His first pic, Rosewater, was released in 2014 and told the story of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari who was accused and brutally interrogated by Iranian forces for being a spy.
Deadline’s Pete Hammond writes of Irresistible in his review: “Stewart has perfectly timed this film for our election season which in the Trump era promises to go into dark, dark places, but maybe Irresistible can do what the best satire does and make us look inward before it’s too late.”
Stewart produces the film with Lila Yacoub and Plan B Entertainment’s Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner. Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace and Natasha Lyonne also star.
Watch the trailer below.
The Oscilloscope Laboratories feature documentary, All I Can Say makes its debut in virtual cinemas, record stores, and music venues starting today. The autobiographical feature puts the spotlight on Shannon Hoon, the lead singer of the rock band Blind Melon, who died 23 years ago. Directed by Danny Clinch, Taryn Gould, Colleen Hennessy, and Hoon himself, the film is sculpted from the musician’s own footage, voice and music.
Blind Melon gained popularity in the ’90s alt-grunge era and is best known for their single “No Rain” which was accompanied by the music video starring the iconic Bee Girl. Hoon documented his life during this era, using a video camera as a diary. Against a pre-Internet ’90s landscape of politics and culture, Hoon documented everything from Blind Melon’s rise to fame to his creative process to his family and his struggle with addiction. The footage documents everything all the way up until a few hours before his sudden death at the age of 28.
All I Can Say debuted at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and features appearances by Hoon, his girlfriend and mother of his child, Lisa Sinha as well as Blind Melon band members Christopher Thorn, Brad Smith, Rogers Stevens, and Glen Graham. The docu is produced by Lindha Narvaez, Sam Gursky, and Taryn Gould. Executive producers are Eric Eisner (Long Strange Trip), founder and CEO of Double E Pictures; Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment; Ryan Kroft, Senior Vice President of Production & Development for Live Nation Productions; Danny Clinch; and John Beug.
Watch the trailer below.
Bora Kim’s House of Hummingbird starring Ji-hu Park, Sae-byuk Kim, Seung-yeon Lee and In-gi Jeong flies into virtual cinemas starting today in NYC at Film at Lincoln Center and in Los Angeles at Laemmle Theatres & CGV Cinemas.
House of Hummingbird marks Kim’s debut feature and is set in South Korea against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Seoul in 1994. The story follows a lonely 14-year-old Eun-hee (Ji-hu Park) who is ignored by her family and searches for a “sweet” connection, flying through life like a hummingbird — as the title of the movie suggests. She roams the neighborhood with her best friend, has her hand in romantic relationships with both girls and boys and is sent to the hospital with an unclear diagnosis. When a new teacher enters the picture, she becomes the first adult Eun-hee feels really understands her.
Executive produced by Alfre Woodard and co-directed by Danny Alpert, Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, the documentary No Small Matter dives deep into the often overlooked source of change in America: an early childhood education.
Opening in virtual cinemas today, the Abramorama explores education through and lays out the overwhelming evidence for the importance of the first five years, and reveals how our failure to act on that evidence has resulted in an everyday crisis for American families, and a slow-motion catastrophe for the country. The film features Sesame Street‘s Rosemarie Truglio and teacher & advocate Rachel Giannini.
Filmmaker Shola Amoo (A Moving Image) serves us his second feature-length film The Last Tree which follows Femi (newcomer Tai Golding), a British boy of Nigerian heritage who moves from his foster life in rural Lincolnshire to inner-city London to live with his birth mother.
In the semi-autobiographical story, we see him grow up into a teen (played by Sam Adewunmi) of the early ’00s and his struggle with his new environment as he adapts to the culture and travels down the path of adulthood. This journey includes going back home to Nigeria with his mum to find his Nigerian roots.
The film debuted at Sundance in 2019 before going on a festival run. The film also scored Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards. The virtual release will be followed by a digital and home-video release.
Also opening virtually this weekend is Brent Dawes’s family-friendly pic Jungle Beat: The Movie. The story follows a homesick alien after his spaceship crashes near a colorful African jungle. His new animal friends need to find a way to get him back to his ship and teach him about friendship and fun before his Space-Conquerer father can take over the planet. And for all you Natasha Bedingfield fans out there, the pic includes her new single entitled “Together in This.”