Category: Music / Musicals

Today, Disney+ announced FX’s “Pistol,” the limited series about the legendary Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, directed by Academy Award®-winner Danny Boyle, will premiere Tuesday, May 31 exclusively on Disney+ in Australia, under the Star banner. The premiere will feature all six episodes. 
Based on Jones’ 2017 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, “Pistol” was created and written by Craig Pearce and will be executive produced by Boyle, Pearce, Tracey Seaward, Gail Lyon, Anita Camarata, Steve Jones, Paul Lee, Hope Hartman and wiip. The series is produced by FX Productions.
“Pistol” is a six-episode limited series about a rock and roll revolution. The furious, raging storm at the centre of this revolution are the Sex Pistols – and at the centre of this series is Sex Pistols’ founding member and guitarist, Steve Jones. Jones’ hilarious, emotional and at times heart-breaking journey guides us through a kaleidoscopic telling of three of the most epic, chaotic and mucus-spattered years in the history of music. Based on Jones’ memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, this is the story of a band of spotty, noisy, working-class kids with “no future,” who shook the boring, corrupt Establishment to its core, threatened to bring down the government and changed music and culture forever.
“Pistol” stars Australian actor Toby Wallace as Steve Jones, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Anson Boon as John Lydon, Christian Lees as Glen Matlock, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious, Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde, Talulah Riley as Vivienne Westwood, Maisie Williams as punk icon Jordan, Emma Appleton as Nancy Spungen and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Malcolm McLaren.
Robust parental controls ensure that Disney+ remains a suitable viewing experience for everyone in the family. Subscribers can set access limits on mature content and create PIN-protected profiles alongside the already existing Kids Profiles to give parents and guardians peace of mind.

Disney+ has announced plans to introduce Sing-Along versions of beloved fan-favourite musicals, beginning with Walt Disney Animation Studios’ critically acclaimed film “Encanto” on Friday, March 18. On average, “Encanto” streamers have watched the film five times with the title accumulating over 180 million re-watches globally since launch. Disney+ subscribers really can’t stop streaming “Encanto!” The new Sing-Along version of the film will allow fans to further immerse themselves in the magic of the music from “Encanto.”
While watching the new Disney+ Sing-Along version of “Encanto,” subscribers can follow the on-screen lyrics and sing along to all their favourite songs from the movie including “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” “Family Madrigal,” “Surface Pressure,” “Dos Oruguitas” and more.
Subscribers can look forward to the release of additional Sing-Alongs later this year on Disney+ across a range of titles, including Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen,” “Frozen 2,” “Beauty and the Beast (1991)” and Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast (2017).”

Filmmaker Kevin James Barry has been a fan of legendary punk outfit The Briggs since he was a teenager, so who better than to make a doco about their reunion tour.

This week Dave Griffiths sat down with Kevin to talk about the resulting film – Gridlocked: On Tour With The Briggs.

You can take a listen to the full interview right here:

Summary:  An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  26th December 2021 (Australia), 9th December 2021 (Thailand), 10th December 2021 (UK), 10th December 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 2nd March 2022 (worldwide)

Country: USA

Director: Steven Spielberg

Screenwriter: Tony Kushner

Cast: Brianna Abruzzo (Sorella), Yasmin Alers (Lluvia), Kyle Allen (Balkan), David Alvarez (Bernardo), Yesenia Ayala (Clary), Denia Brache (Old Lady Maria), Andrea Burns (Fausta), Annelise Cepero (Provi), Andre Chagas (Jochi), Kyle Coffman (Ice), Harrison Coll (Numbers), Ben Cook (Mouthpiece), Curtiss Cook (Abe), Kevin Csolak (Diesel), Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke), Ariana DeBose (Anita), Jeaneete Delgado (Ili), Kevin Delgado (Manolo), Gaby Diaz (Tati), Kellie Drobnick (Mamie), Yurel Echezarreta (Sebas), Ansel Elgort (Tony), Julian Elia (Tiger), Myles Elrick (Snowboy), Leigh-Ann Esty (Gussie), Sara Esty (Tat), Mike Faist (Riff), Carlos Sanchez Falu (Pipo), John Michael Fiumara (Big Deal), Adriel Flete (Julito), Jennifer Florentino (Montse), Paloma Garcia-Lee (Graziella), Carlos E. Gonzalez (Chucho), David Guzman (Tino), Jacob Guzman (Tino), Jamie Harris (Rory), Garrett Hawe (Skink), Patrick Higgins (Baby John), Ana Isabelle (Rosalia), Mike Iveson (Glad Hand), Sean Harrison Jones (Action), Eloise Kropp (Dot), Lauren Leach (Karen), Jesse LeProtto (A-Rab), Melody Marti (Pili), Ilda Mason (Luz), Skye Mattox (Maxie), Iris Menas (Anybodys), David Aviles Morales (Anibal), Rita Moreno (Valentina), Juliette Feliiciano Oritz (Cuca), Edriz E. Rosa Perez (Jacinta), Adriana Pierce (Natalie), Brittany Pollack (Mack), Josh Andres Rivera (Chino), Maria Alexis Rodriguez (Isa), Savannah Renee Rodriguez (Young Girl Maria), Julius Rubio (Quique), Daniel Patrick Russell (Little Moly), Tali Ryder (Tessa), Jonalyn Saxer (Rhonda), Sebastian Serra (Braulio), Gabriela Soto (Conchi), Corey Stoll (Lietenant Schrank), Halli Toland (Sweden), Ricky Ubeda (Flaco), Tanairi Sade Vazquez (Charita), Jamila Velazquez (Meche), Isabella Ward (Tere), Richard Zayas (Chago), Rachel Zegler (Maria), Maddie Ziegler (Velma)

Running Time: 156 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)


David and Lee Griffiths’ West Side Story Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary:  A film version of the Broadway musical in which Usnavi, a sympathetic New York bodega owner, saves every penny every day as he imagines and sings about a better life.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  24th June 2021 (Australia), 18th June 2021 (UK), 11th June 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Available in all regions.

Country: USA

Director: Jon M. Chu

Screenwriter: Quiara Alegria Hudes

Cast: Marc Anthony (Gapo), Melissa Barrera (Vanessa), Stephanie Beatriz (Carla), Ilia Jessica Castro (Jessica From The Salon), Noah Catala (Graffitti Pete), Gregory Diaz IV (Sonny), Analia Gomez (Rosa), Ariana S. Gomez (Young Nina), Mateo Gomez (Alejandro), Leslie Grace (Nina Rosario), Ariana Greenblatt (Young Nina), Corey Hawins (Benny), Olga Merediz (Abuela Claudia), James Leyva (Valentina), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Piraguero), Patrick Page (Pike Phillips), Olivia Perez (Iris), Dascha Polanco (Cuca), Susan Pourfar (Hannah Hathaway), Anthony Ramos (Usnavi), Deliila Ramos (Cranky Vieja), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Daniela), Jimmy Smits (Kevin Rosario), Dean Scott Vazquez (Miggy)

Running Time: 143 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), PG (UK), PG-13 (USA)


David Griffiths’ and Lee Griffiths’s In The Heights Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee’s rating Out Of 5

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Film adaptation of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical about Evan Hansen, a high school senior with Social Anxiety disorder and his journey of self-discovery and acceptance following the suicide of a fellow classmate.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  9th December 2021 (Australia), 22nd October 2021 (UK), 24th September 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Stephen Chbosky

Screenwriter: Steven Levenson

Cast: Amy Adams (Cynthia Murphy), Mariana Alvarez (Mrs. G), Avery Bederman (Isabelle), Shane Berengue (himself), Gerald Caesar (Josh), DeMarius Copes (Oliver), Kaitlyn Dever (Zoe Murphy), Nick Dodani (Jared Kalwani), Hadiya Eshe (Cherise), Tommy Kane (Greg), Liz Kate (Gemma), Marvin Leon (Skye), Zoey Luna (Leila), Julianne Moore (Heide Hansen), Julia Chen Myers (Naomi), Danny Pino (Larry Mora), Ben Platt (Evan Hansen), Isaac Powell (Rhys), Swift Rice (Mr. Howard), Colton Ryan (Connor Murphy), Amandla Stenbeck (Alana Beck)

Running Time: 137 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), Pg-13 (USA)


David Griffiths’ Dear Evan Hansen Review:

Often when I talk to people about my passion for musicals they tell me the reason they don’t share that passion is because they find musicals old-fashioned and non-relatable. When they use that excuse to me in the future my response is going to be “have you seen Dear Evan Hansen?”

If you want something modern and relatable then look no further than Dear Evan Hansen. Set in a modern day High School the film follows Evan Hansen (Ben Platt – Pitch Perfect) a student who is battling severe mental illness to the point where he struggles to even talk to other people, let alone trying to make friends and settle into a regular High School routine.

Instead Evan spends most of his days trying to avoid social interactions while watching his crush, Zoe (Kaitlyn Dever – Booksmart) from afar. However things take a big turn when Zoe’s brother, Connor (Colton Ryan – Uncle Frank) commits suicide. His grieving parents, Larry (Danny Pino – Cold Case) and Cynthia (Amy Adams – Arrival), find a letter on his body addressed to Evan, but as they start grilling him for information about their son Evan finds that he is unable to tell them the truth – that the letter was one of his ‘therapy’ letters that he wrote himself that Connor stole from him.

I think the thing that impressed me so much about Dear Evan Hansen is that while it sticks true to its musical roots it has a deep story that takes the audience into an event where it is obvious that there is not going to be a winner. I think many will see that the film is in the musical genre and just assume that it is going to be light and fluffy – that certainly isn’t the case and in no way can this film ever be accused of making light serious subjects such as suicide and mental illness.

Based on a Tony Award-winning stage show Dear Evan Hansen is a film that engrosses its audience in a way that will divide people. From my point of view I could see why Evan chose the path that he chose after the letter was discovered. I knew that it would it was murky path filled with danger for him but I understood it. But I can also see why others watching this film will almost hate Evan for what he does… I mean basically let’s face it he is blatantly lying and catfishing a dead teenager’s family.

Director Stephen Chbosky (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) and screenwriter Steven Levenson (Fosse/Verdon) don’t try to protect Evan as a character. I’m sure at some point in the production of this film someone would have pointed out that the character and his actions might be viewed is apprehensible and perhaps something should be done to make him a ‘hero.’ That doesn’t happen though and in my view that makes this film so much powerful. To me one of the most powerful things about this film is the fact that as an audience you find yourself watching on being filled with suspense as you just know that the truth is going to be revealed at some time.

Musically the film also works. People have asked me to describe this film to them and I say it is pretty much Glee meets 13 Reasons Why. I thought I may struggle with the idea of people going through some of the darkest days of their lives and breaking out into song, but I didn’t. The songs match the film perfectly and if you stop and listen to the lyrics of tracks like Waving Through A Window and For Forever they only further enhance the emotions and feelings that the various characters are going through. In fact they become a valuable tool for the filmmaker to use to allow characters to reveal their inner thoughts to the audience.

Of course one of the biggest criticisms that has surfaced from people before they have even seen the film is the fact that 28-year-old Ben Platt plays a teenager here. I would be lying at times if it didn’t stand out at times throughout the film. At times it does look like there is a man-child attending a high school but Platt is so good in the role that you soon forget about it. The stars who steal the show here are Kaitlyn Dever and Amy Adams who are brilliant playing characters going through an extremely emotional event. I have said since first seeing Dever in Justfied that she is going to be a star and her performance here just further enhances my views on that. I found Dear Evan Hansen to be a strong and deeply meaningful film that explores some dark issues while taking its audience on an emotional journey. Sure the character of Evan and his action will divide audiences but isn’t that part of what cinema is meant to do – create discussions amongst its audience once the final credits have rolled?

Dear Evan Hansen might not be quite as powerful as Writing On Bathroom Walls but it is still an insightful and realistic look at what it is like for somebody to live with mental illness.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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From Director Gracie Otto (Under the Volcano, Bump) comes the first look at Seriously Red, a musical dramedy produced by Dollhouse Pictures and Robyn Kershaw, and distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Roadshow Films.

Seriously Red stars Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids, Insidious, Spy, Neighbors), Krew Boylan (Primal), Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire, Blue Jasmine) and Daniel Webber (The Dirt, Escape From Pretoria).

Currently in post-production, Seriously Red first look shows a dolled-up Boylan (Red) gazing at Bobby Cannavale (Wilson). Scripted by Krew Boylan, the film features music by Dolly Parton and many others and is scheduled for theatrical release in 2022.

Red (Boylan) is a vivacious and at times misguided red-head who pours herself a cup of ambition and trades her 9 to 5 career in real estate, for a life under the spotlight as a Dolly Parton impersonator. On her journey to success, Red has to lose herself in order to find herself because as Dolly Parton says, “Be yourself because everyone else is taken’.”

Director Gracie Otto said, “Seriously Red embodies so much of what I love about cinema, culture and music.”

“We have all worked incredibly hard, filmmaking is no walk in the park (especially during a pandemic) but we are stronger for it and I love my team and the ‘happening’ a film creates. It will always occupy a special corner of my heart” said writer and lead actor, Krew Boylan.

Seriously Red is produced by Jessica Carrera, Timothy White (I am Mother), Sonia Borella (Go!) and Robyn Kershaw (Bran Nue Dae). Executive Producers include Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids, Insidious, Spy, Neighbors), Danny Nozell (Dumplin), Jack Christian and Deanne Weir.

Homage of one of the most influential bands on the American East Coast, which inspired the rock scene – an emotional, tragically funny and sometimes noisy roller-coaster ride by a dysfunctional family – Dinosaur Jr.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  TBA

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, Germany

Director: Philipp Virus

Screenwriter: Philipp Virus

Cast: Lou Barlow (himself), Kim Gordon (herself), J. Mascis (himself), Thurston Moore (himself), Bob Mould (himself), Murph (himself), Henry Rollins (himself)

Running Time: 82 mins

Classification: 15 (UK)


David Griffiths’ Freakscene: The Story Of Dinosaur Jnr. Review: