Kurt-Russell-The-Battered-Bastards-of-Baseball

One of the year’s most fascinating documentaries, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, is coming exclusively to Netflix on July 11. Directed by Chapman Way and Maclain Way, it tells the story of the Portland Mavericks, an independent minor league baseball team created by Kurt Russell‘s father, Bing Russell. That’s Kurt above, by the way; he was on the team.

The Mavericks were hugely influential and extremely entertaining, as is the documentary. (We reviewed the film at Sundance; read that at this link.) Justin Lin is attached to produce a live action remake, directed by Todd Field.

Before that happens, though, you can see the full film on Netflix next month. Below, see the poster for the film. Read More »

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Made in America trailer

Ron Howard looks to Jay-Z and other performers to find the power of music in Made in America. The documentary (no relation to the Ted Danson/Whoopi Goldberg movie of the same name) finds Howard looking at the creation and execution of Jay-Z’s Made in America festival, which took place last year in Philadelphia. Not only does Howard spend time pointing a camera at the people organizing the fest, he shoots most of the performers, which included Jay Z (of course), Miike Snow, Janelle Monáe, Pearl Jam, Run-D.M.C., Santigold, Skrillex, Kanye West, D’Angelo, Dirty Projectors, and The Hives.

And so we get moments such as the bit when the organizers talk about how Skrillex has to perform from inside his spaceship, and then we see Skrillex in his spaceship. That’s cinema, folks. The film premiered at TIFF last year and aired on Showtime not long afterwards, but has been picked up for theatrical distribution in the US this year. Watch the Made in America trailer below.  Read More »

Beyond the Brick

The first ever Lego documentary, Beyond The Brick: A Lego Brickumentary, premiered earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival. Fresh off the hype and success of The Lego Movie, the film garnered very strong reviews and has now been picked up for worldwide distribution by RADiUS. Jason Bateman narrates and Daniel Junge and Kief Davidson direct. No release date has been set. Read More »

Dinosaur 13 trailer

The documentary Dinosaur 13 tells story that is first uplifting and then utterly infuriating. It’s a wild ride. The film begins with the 1990 discovery of a T-rex skeleton, nicknamed Sue, and follows the work of a group of semi-pro paleontologists who unearth and preserve the skeleton, only to have it taken from them by the highest US law enforcement agencies. You’ve seen the National Guard roll into a town in monster movies, but here, the Guard shows up to help the FBI take a long-dead dino from the people who found it. Check out the Dinosaur 13 trailer below. Read More »

Life Itself

“A vast, entertaining and thought-provoking look at Roger Ebert the man and icon.” That’s how I described Steve James‘ documentary Life Itself when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Now you can see some of that film for yourself.

Based on Ebert’s autobiography of the same name, the documentary tells Ebert’s life story via the framework of our own love of the movies. James, who is best known for Hoop Dreams, takes great care to specifically illustrate not only how Ebert changed the face of film criticism, but how he helped us all discover our own passion for the movies.

Magnolia picked up the film out of the festival and is bringing it to theaters and on demand on July 4. Now, the first Life Itself trailer has been released. Check it out. Read More »

Dictionary adds Catfish

When a little low budget documentary Catfish played at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, who would’ve thought the indie would change popular culture in the way that it has? Not only was the film was a critical and commercial success, but it spawned an MTV reality series that has been one of those shows that I rush to watch every week it airs — its surprisingly great. But thats the point, Catfish surprises in every way possible. The title of the film, which comes from an almost-completely unrelated story delivered late in the film, has been adopted in popular culture and now Merriam-Webster Dictionary is making it official — the dictionary adds Catfish definition inspired by the movie and television show.

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Palo Alto

James Franco has been an actor, a director, an author, a scholar, a painter, and an Instagram creepster. Now he’s going to be a documentary subject, too. First-time director Lisa Vangellow has been collecting footage for Franco: A Documentary since last June, and is now heading into the editing bay. More details on the project after the jump.

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Cate Blanchett Voyage of Time

Recently, Terrence Malick has been putting out new movies every year or two instead of every decade or so. But that doesn’t mean he’s rushing these newer projects. Case in point: His documentary Voyage of Time has been brewing for several years already, with Brad Pitt revealed as the narrator all the way back in 2009.

Now, as the film inches closer to theaters, Malick’s added another big name to the cast. Cate Blanchett will also lend her voice to the movie, which does nothing less than attempt to cover “the whole of time.” No wonder Pitt needed the help. Hit the jump for the latest details on this long-simmering film.

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