Category: Film

 

Summary: A former superstar High School basketballer is asked to return years later to coach the team that are now perennial cellar dwellers. In order to be any use to the team though he must try to overcome his alcoholism.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 5th March 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: 30th May 2020

Country: United States

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Screenwriter: Brad Ingelsby

Cast: April Adams (Betty), Ben Affleck (Jack), Justice Alan (David), Tom Archdeacon (Ethan), John Aylward (Father Edward Devine), Yennifer Behrens (Sofia), Chris Bruno (Sal), Rachael Carpani (Diane), T.K. Carter (Russ), Nancy Linehan Charles (Anne), Da’Vinchi (Devon Childress), Nico David (Ryan), Marlene Forte (Gale), Janina Gavankar (Angela), Matthew Glave (Coach Lombardo), Ememia Golfieri (Sarah), Layla Golfieri (Sarah), Melvin Gregg (Marcus Parrish), Cynthia Rose Hall (Nancy), Chieko Hidaka (Haley), Ben Irving (Bobby Freeze), Dan Lauria (Gerry Norris), Charles Lott Jnr. (Chubbs Hendricks), Hayes MacArthur (Eric), Al Madrigal (Dan), Chad Mountain (Pat),  Edelyn Okano (Denise), Jeremy Radin (Father Mark Whelan), Jeremy Ratchford (Matty), Will Ropp (Kenny Dawes), Shay Roundtree (Ken), Todd Stashwick (Kurt), Jayne Taini (Susan Norris), Eric Tate (Sully), Glynn Turman (Doc), Fernando Luis Vega (Sam Garcia), Sal Velez Jnr. (Miguel), Michaela Watkins (Beth), Brandon Wilson (Brandon Durrett)

Running Time: 108 mins

Classification: M (Australia)

 

 

OUR THE WAY BACK REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ The Way Back Review:

The Way Back should have been a straight up slam dunk to be one of my favourite films of this year. It had so many things that I enjoy in its corner – there is the fact that I adore sports movies such as Varsity Blues and Coach Carter and then there is the Ben Affleck factor. Yes, I am a huge Affleck fan and have been ever since I fell in love with Kevin Smith’s movies way back in High School.

But there is something that majorly goes wrong with The Way Back and that thing made me feel like I was driving a sports car but unable to get out of second gear. The most disappointing thing about all of that though is it is an error that I feel could easily have been solved with a simple re-write of the script.

At the very heart of The Way Back is a film that could easily have been an Oscar winner. Affleck (Argo) plays Jack Cunningham a man whose life reads like a character from a Bruce Springsteen song. During High School he was a basketball phenomenon and it seemed like his history was written in the stars – he was going to be one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Flash-forward a couple of decades and Jack is now a faded man who works hard and drinks himself into oblivion every night.

Jack is given a shot at redemption though when the Headmaster at the Catholic school he attended, Father Devine (John Aylward – North Country,) contacts him and asks him to take over the coaching duties of the school’s basketball team – a team that now dwindles at the bottom of the league and is largely known as a laughing stock to the teams they play against. Despite a lot of hesitation Jack accepts the role and while the skills are still there so is his alcoholism and his resentment of the world that causes outbursts and chronic swearing that worries Father Mark Whelan (Jeremy Radin – Shark Week) who is charged with watching over the team and Jack.

The Way Back should have left me on the same emotional high that Coach Carter left me on years ago. The difference is that with Coach Carter the film was filled with inspiring speeches by Samuel L. Jackson while the writer gave us, the audience, an opportunity to get to know the kids on the team. They were all given characterisation and the result was we all cared about them.

With The Way Back we never get that opportunity. Yes we are introduced to characters like Marcus (Melvin Gregg – Snowfall) and Brandon (Brandon Wilson – Beyond The Lights) but we are never given an in-depth introduction into what makes them the way they are until it is much too late. The result is for the most part I just saw them as teenagers with a bad attitude who were wasting their God given talent.

I felt it was the same for Jack as a character as well. I am sure that screenwriter Brad Ingelsby (Run All Night) thought it was cute and artistic the way he kept the true story of Jack’s secret from the audience, but to me it felt like the major flaw of the film. Most of the time I was frustrated that Jack was passing up the great opportunities that life had given him in order to simply just get drunk each night. That frustration would have been eliminated if he had given us glimpses of the emotional issues that made Jack the way he was instead of holding those cards close to heart before finally springing them on the audience.

The one thing that does save The Way Back and makes it worth a second viewing is the acting performance of one Mr. Affleck. I am not just saying this as a devoted Affleck fan, but he is in Oscar winning form here. He is totally believable as a former sports star who has hit rock bottom and he delivers some truly emotional scenes that do have an effect on you as you are watching them. Many actors would struggle to deliver the pure emotion that he can generate in a scene on his own fuelled by drunken outbursts but his work here was enough to cause a tear to well up in my eyes more than once. Affleck of course knew why his character was the way he was… we sadly didn’t.

I really got the feeling throughout the film that with Affleck in this kind of form this film could have Oscar-winner written all over it if only a few minor re-writes had occurred in order to make me care more about some of the characters at hand. This is one I will certainly re-visit though just to see Affleck deliver a full lesson in character acting.

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  The Way Back (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Way Back Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

Disney+ announced today that the popular scripted series, “Diary of a Future President” has been renewed for a second season.

From CBS Television Studios and I Can and I Will Productions, the show is executive produced by Gina Rodriguez along with creator Ilana Peña (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Keith Heisler and Molly Breeskin. Peña and Heisler are co-showrunners.

“Diary of a Future President” follows the adventures of Elena Cañero-Reed as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school on her journey to become the future president of the United States.

Series regulars include Tess Romero (“Blind Spot”) as Elena, Charlie Bushnell as Bobby, Selenis Leyva (“Orange Is the New Black,” “Murphy Brown”) as Gabi and Michael Weaver (“Here and Now,” “The Real O’Neals”) as Sam.

Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) will return as adult Elena, the future president of the United States, in a recurring guest starring role.

“Optimistic, heartfelt stories that inspire are fundamental to our content and creator Ilana Peña’s series delivers on these attributes in spades,” says Agnes Chu, senior vice president, Content, Disney+.

“Families around the world have fallen in love with Elena and the Cañero-Reed family and we are thrilled to bring Elena’s often hilarious and always meaningful journey through adolescence back for another season. It has been wonderful to partner with the extraordinary Gina Rodriguez to champion specific, diverse points-of-view and we look forward to seeing even more of President Cañero-Reed in this next chapter.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with Disney+ on a series that showcases strong women both in front of, and behind the camera.  They’ve been incredible champions of the show from day one,” said David Stapf, president, CBS Television Studios.

“Gina’s ability to shepherd projects with new and diverse voices, combined with Ilana’s effortless blend of comedy and drama with humour and sensitivity bring this wonderful coming-of-age story to life.”

The series has received a 10-episode order and will stream exclusively on Disney+.

 

Dark Matter Distribution today launched the website, trailer and poster for feature documentary The Leadership, following the announcement of the film’s world premiere in the 2020 Sydney Film Festival. Produced by multi-award winning Bunya Productions’ Greer Simpkin (Mystery Road, Sweet Country), The Leadership is written and directed by acclaimed documentary maker Ili Baré in her feature length debut.

 A global pandemic and the urgent crisis of climate change are showing us that we need to be guided by science more than ever before. At the same time, our world leaders have never been more scrutinised. The world is crying out for the best minds of our generation for solutions. But women are disproportionately excluded from both leadership and STEMM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Maths and Medicine). The Leadership reveals the systemic challenges and obstacles for women in STEMM and why it could have a profound impact on us all. 

In 2016, an ambitious leadership initiative for women working in STEMM fields called Homeward Bound was launched. As the maiden voyage of the pilot program set sail for Antarctica with the first 76 scientists on board, documentary maker Ili Baré and her small film crew joined the voyage to document the experiment ‘warts and all’. 

Filmed on location in Antarctica, Argentina, Indonesia, China, Australia, United Kingdom, France and United States, the film follows a handful of the scientists back to their homes and workplaces to reflect on their journeys post-voyage. 

 Director/writer Ili Baré said “When I boarded the ship to Antarctica in 2016 I had no idea what to expect. But as events unfolded on board I began to see the ship as a microcosm for a wider story about us all. And four years later, it is amazing to me that this film we have created about science, women and leadership feels more relevant by the day.”

Producer Greer Simpkin said “‘In a time of great change, director Ili Baré has delivered a complex and compelling film about the change we want to see. We are incredibly grateful to the Sydney Film Festival for bringing our film to audiences right now. Bunya is immensely proud of The Leadership and we congratulate Ili on her feature doc debut.”

 The Leadership screens in competition for Sydney Film Festival’s Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Best Australian Documentary. 
 
The Leadership is one of the 2016 cohort of Good Pitch Australia films alongside 2040, In My Blood It Runs, Ghosthunter, Dying to Live and Guilty. 

 

The Leadership is Produced by Bunya Productions in association with Screen Australia, Good Pitch Australia and Screen NSW.  Director/Writer: Ili Baré; Producer: Greer Simpkin; Executive Producer: David Jowsey.

 

The Leadership will release in cinemas nationally later in 2020 through Dark Matter Distribution and will be accompanied by a 3 year social impact campaign.

 

The new live-action Disney+ original movie, “Secret Society of Second-Born Royals,” will stream exclusively on the service starting Friday, July 17, 2020.

Below is a link to view the trailer for this cinematic movie that combines the allure of royalty with the action-packed adventures of superheroes-in-training.

Peyton Elizabeth Lee (“Andi Mack”) leads a dynamic ensemble cast of royal recruits who inspires audiences of all ages to forge their own destinies and tap into their inner superheroes.

“Secret Society of Second-Born Royals” follows Sam, a rebellious teenage royal who unknowingly develops superpowers from a genetic trait attributed only to second-borns of royal lineage. Second-in-line to the throne of the kingdom of Illyria, Sam constantly questions what it means to be royal and wants to create her own legacy. Unlike Sam’s picture-perfect older sister Eleanor who will become the next queen, Sam would rather rock out with her bandmate and best friend Mike at an illegal protest or ditch a royal engagement for a wild night out.

Fed up with her daughter’s misbehavior, Queen Catherine sends Sam to a summer boarding school where she and four other second-born royals – Tuma, Roxana, January and Matteo – discover they have unique super-human abilities and are invited to join a secret society with a longstanding tradition of covertly keeping the peace. With a new sense of purpose and a little help from their Secret Society instructor James, Sam and her fellow royal recruits must learn to harness their newfound powers and work together as a team before they can save the world.

Starring is Peyton Elizabeth Lee as Sam; Skylar Astin (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”) as James; Olivia Deeble (“Home and Away”) as Roxana; Niles Fitch (“This is Us”) as Tuma; Faly Rakotohavana (“Raven’s Home”) as Matteo; Isabella Blake Thomas (“Once Upon A Time”) as January; Elodie Yung (“Daredevil”) as Queen Catherine; Ashley Liao (“Always Be My Maybe”) as Eleanor; Noah Lomax (“Trial By Fire”) as Mike; and Greg Bryk (“Handmaid’s Tale”) as the villainous Inmate 34.

“Secret Society of Second-Born Royals” is directed by Anna Mastro (Marvel’s “Runaways,” “The Bold Type”) and executive produced by Zanne Devine (“I, Tonya”), Mike Karz (“Valentine’s Day”) and Austin Winsberg (“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”) with Juliana Janes (“Butter”) serving as co-producer. The teleplay was written by Alex Litvak (“Masters of the Universe”) and Andrew Green (“Hannah Montana”) and is based on an original story by Litvak, Green and Winsberg.

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals streaming from July 17 on Disney+

Australian animated film 100% Wolf is to be released on VOD platforms on the 29th May. The film was created by Australian company Flying Bark Productions and tells the story of a young werewolf who is surprised that on his 14th birthday he turns into a poodle.

Freddy the werewolf is voiced by actor and Triple J radio host Ilai Swindells and has a stellar supporting cast of Samara Weaving, Jai Courtney, Magda Szubanski, Jane Lynch, Rhys Darby and Akmal Saleh.

100% Wolf will be released on premium VOD on May 29th.

Successful author Veronica Henley finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late.

ANTEBELLUM is a terrifying new thriller from the producer of the acclaimed films GET OUT and US, and groundbreaking directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz (Bush+Renz) – an exciting new voice in filmmaking.

ANTEBELLUM is directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz and stars Janelle Monáe, Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Keirsey Clemons and Gabourey Sidibe

ANTEBELLUM is in cinemas August 20, 2020.

 

Actor-comedian Jamie Kennedy’s new stand-up comedy special Jamie Kennedy: Stoopid Smart will premiere exclusively on the #1 free streaming app Tubi TV on Monday, May 25, 2020.

Loved by audiences for his ‘90s classics Kickin’ It Old School and Malibu’s Most Wanted, Jamie Kennedy takes center stage in this one-hour installment directed by Kurt Kubicek. Stoopid Smart features Kennedy’s hilarious jokes about life as an unmarried man, being recognized in an Olive Garden, Alexander Graham Bell’s thoughts on sexting, and America’s most bizarre college majors.

The comedy special was filmed in Orange County’s REC ROOM when Kennedy embarked on a nationwide headlining stand-up tour.

To coincide with the release and his 50th birthday on May 25, Kennedy will participate in a CYA livestream HERE: https://www.cya.live/event/1970
Jamie Kennedy: Stoopid Smart will also be available on Amazon, iTunes and Digital platforms in June 2020.

 

Today, Disney+ and Walt Disney Animation Studios launched the new, 10-episode animated short-form series and soundscape experience, “Zenimation.”

Unplug, relax, and refresh your senses for a moment of mindfulness with Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zenimation” – an animated soundscape experience.

Whether it’s baby Moana being called by the ocean, Anna and Kristoff walking through an icy forest, or Baymax and Hiro Hamada flying over San Fransokyo, these iconic scenes become an aural experience like no other with the sounds of ocean waves, an icy forest and soaring flight.

“Zenimation” pays tribute to both the visual and sound artists who have created Walt Disney Animation Studios’ legacy of films. Created and edited by David Bess. From Walt Disney Animation Studios.

“Zenimation” is streaming now on Disney+.

 

Stan today announced the brand new series P-Valley will premiere on Sunday, 12 July only on Stan, with new episodes weekly — same day as the US. Stan also released two first look images and a new teaser trailer for the eight-part series.

Down deep in the Mississippi Delta lies an oasis of grit and glitter in a rough patch of human existence where beauty can be hard to find. This southern-fried, hour-long drama tells the kaleidoscopic story of a little-strip-club-that-could and the big characters who come through its doors—the hopeful, the lost, the broken, the ballers, the beautiful, and the damned. Trap music meets film noir in this lyrical and atmospheric series that dares to ask what happens when small-town folk dream beyond the boundaries of the Piggly Wiggly and the pawnshop.

Based on her play Pussy Valley, creator Katori Hall (The Mountaintop, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) serves as showrunner as well as executive producer.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am to be bringing this passion project into living rooms all across America,” said Hall. “For too long, exotic dancers have been dismissed and shamed, while their culture has been appropriated by the mainstream. This project moves past the blue lights and haze of the main stage, where dancers take to the air like super-sheroes, to the locker room and beyond, where these women—inspired by the dozens of dancers I’ve interviewed—live their lives unapologetically.”

The series also features an all-women director lineup, including award-winning music video director Karena Evans (Drake: Nice for What, SZA: Garden), who directed the premiere episode, as well as Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry), Millicent Shelton (30 Rock), Tamra Davis (Single Ladies), Geeta V. Patel (Superstore), Tasha Smith (Black Lightning), Sydney Freeland (Grey’s Anatomy) and Barbara Brown (Scream Queens).

P-Valley stars Brandee Evans (The Bobby Brown Story) as Mercedes, Nicco Annan (This is Us) as Uncle Clifford, Shannon Thornton (Power) as Miss Mississippi, Elarica Johnson (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) as Autumn Night, Skyler Joy (Ma) as Gidget, J. Alphonse Nicholson (Chicago P.D.) as Lil’ Murda, Parker Sawyers (Southside With You) as Andre, Harriet D. Foy (Elementary) as Pastor Woodbine, Tyler Lepley (The Haves and the Have Nots) as Diamond, and Dan J. Johnson (Underemployed) as Tyler. Chernin Entertainment also serves as Executive Producer.

P-Valley premieres 12 July only on Stan, with new episodes weekly — same day as the US.

Emmy Nominated and Golden Globe® Award-winning actress Tracee Ellis Ross has released the official music video to “Love Myself”. This is the first single to the upcoming film The High Note in which Tracee Ellis Ross stars in as recording artist “Grace Davis.”

Last week, Tracee Ellis Ross debuted “Love Myself” on Instagram Live to fans and friends including, Michelle Obama, Janelle Monáe, Lena Waithe, Sarah Paulson, Kerry Washington and her incredible mother Diana Ross.

Written by Australian Sarah Aarons [Alessia Cara, John Legend, Khalid] and Greg Kurstin [Paul McCartney, P!nk, Céline Dion], “Love Myself” is a pivotal song in the movie performed by Tracee Ellis Ross as “Grace Davis.” This notably marks the first time the actress has released a song, which highlights her dynamic voice as “Grace Davis” and sets the stage for both the record and the upcoming film. 

 Produced by GRAMMY® Award-winner Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins [Michael Jackson, Beyoncé], the 15-song Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features new recordings by cast members Ross and Kelvin Harrison, Jr. Beyond “Love Myself,” Ross delivers stunning performances of “Bad Girl, “Stop For A Minute,” “New To Me,” and a duet with Harrison, Jr. on “Like I Do.” Additionally, classics from Donny HathawayMaxine Brown, and Aretha Franklin as well as the single “Mind Over Matter” by Anthony Ramos round out the tracklisting.

The High Note, coming to Australian cinema soon, is set in the dazzling world of the LA music scene comes the story of Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross), a superstar whose talent, and ego, have reached unbelievable heights, and Maggie (Dakota Johnson), her overworked personal assistant.  While stuck running errands, Maggie still aspires to her childhood dream of becoming a music producer. When Grace’s manager (Ice Cube) presents her with a choice that could alter the course of her career, Maggie and Grace come up with a plan that could change their lives forever.