Andre Benjamin in the recent Hendrix biopic ‘Jimi: All Is by My Side’ For nearly two decades, New York-based film producer Peter Newman has been chasing Janis Joplin, developing scripts about her life, securing rights to songs she sang, collecting tales from old band members and former lovers, and lining up first one actress, then another, and then another, all of them determined to sing the Joplin blues. This year, music-loving moviegoers were given big-screen biographies celebrating the careers of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix (Jimi: All Is by My Side); None of them — not even the Clint Eastwood-directed Boys — have made as much money as producers might have hoped or expected, yet these films are only the first in a new wave of music biopics. Related: Chadwick Boseman Talks About Bringing the Funk in ‘Get On Up’ Love & Mercy, with Paul Dano playing the Beach Boys’ troubled genius, Brian Wilson, debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and will be in theaters next year;
It might seem like only yesterday that we took our seats for 2013’s “Iron Man 3,” “The Conjuring” and “World War Z,” but it’s time to do it again. The 2014 summer movie season kicks off this weekend with the arrival of the high-flying “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” The next few months at the cineplex have in store a fairly eclectic lineup of rollicking comedies, sci-fi extravaganzas, hopeful franchise reboots, indie darlings and, of course, plenty of superhero adventures. Really, when romances starring Shailene Woodley and Daniel Radcliffe share the season with Optimus Prime, Spider-Man and Godzilla, not even the sky’s the limit.
Of the many hats Clint Eastwood has worn over the course of his nearly six decades-long career in show business — yep, he nabbed his first acting gig 59 years ago — his status as a musician is perhaps the most pleasantly surprising (and at times a bit chuckle-worthy) to explore. His "Jersey Boys," the first trailer for which has just been released, is an adaptation of the popular, Tony-winning Broadway show of the same name, showcasing the rise and fall of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, a group known for some of the most unique vocal stylings ever to come out of the 1960s doo-wop scene. The film features John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, whom he portrayed in the Broadway production as well. The character is a young New Jersey native with a troubled past who links together with three others of his stature (Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergenn, and Michael Lomenda) to form the Seasons.
Well, so much for 2013. This past year had its cinematic ups (“Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Gravity,” “This Is the End”), downs (“Gangster Squad,” “A Good Day to Die Hard”), in-betweens (“Man of Steel,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”), and sweet surprises (“The Conjuring,” “Blue Jasmine”). It was a fun year , but 2014 is looking to be even more of a thrill ride, filled with franchise-friendly sure things, swing-for-the-fences passion projects, sleeper hits waiting to be discovered and, of course, a few (okay, a lot of) superhero movies. And we can’t wait to get started.