For a feature filmmaking debut starring a cast of relative unknowns, Not Fade Away has been drawing quite a bit of attention. Because the first-timer at the helm isn’t just anyone, you see — it’s Sopranos creator David Chase. If television today has shed its reputation as cinema’s lesser sibling, it’s because of high-quality entertainments like Chase’s beloved mob drama. Translating that knack for storytelling into filmmaking just seems like a natural next step.

And yet, if anything, Chase’s work in Not Fade Away actually emphasizes what the two mediums don’t have in common. In Chase’s hands, a premise that could’ve worked equally well for TV or film turns into a messy, meandering movie that feels like it should’ve been a 13-episode season of an HBO drama.

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Five years ago, David Chase ended one of the best television shows of all time, The Sopranos. Now he’s rolled that legacy into his first movie. Not Fade Away is Chase’s feature directorial debut and it’s a semi-autobiographical story about a group of young men in 1960s New Jersey attempting to form a rock band. Starring John Magaro, Jack Huston, Will Brill, Bella Heathcote, Brad Garrett, Christopher McDonald and James Gandolfini, the film is currently playing the New York Film Festival before its holiday release, December 21.

After the break, check out the nostalgic first trailer, packed with rock and roll, and read some of the early buzz coming out of the New York Film Festival. Read More »

A fresh batch of posters for three films on our radar have just hit the web. The ones for Allen HughesBroken City and Robert ZemeckisFlight both rely heavily on star power, which seems like a reasonable strategy when said stars include Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg, and Denzel Washington.

The pretty, snowy poster for David Chase‘s Not Fade Away, meanwhile, captures the heady feeling of youthful romance and rock n’ roll. Get a peek at all three after the jump.

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How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor made his feature writing and directorial debut with Happythankyoumoreplease. The film is charming and “cutesy” and while it won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival that year, I didn’t love it (the film was later critically panned, receiving a 40% on Rotten tomatoes).

Radnor’s second feature Liberal Arts premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and impressed me much more. The film stars Radnor as a 35-year old bookworm who develops a relationship with a College sophomore played by Elizabeth Olsen. The movie also features  Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, John Magaro, and Elizabeth Reaser. It was met with a long standing ovation at the premiere. Germain Lussier, who was at the festival with me, compared Radnor to Cameron Crowe. High praise, eh? Good enough to earn a quote in the official trailer, which is now online and can be consumed embedded after the jump.

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We’re months beyond stating the obvious fact that 2012 has a fantastic slate of movies. It goes without saying. What’s more interesting at this point are the films that may not be on people’s radars. The top of that list, for me at least, is the feature film directoral debut of Sopranos creator David Chase. For a while, the film was called Twylight Zones. It then went back to being untitled and now, it has its official title: Not Fade Away.

Not Fade Away, scheduled for release Oct 19, is an autobiographical film about a bunch of New Jersey kids in the 1960s who form a garage band and stars James Gandolfini, Brad Garrett, Christopher McDonald, Molly Price, John Magaro, Lisa Lampanelli and Jack Huston. Read more, and hear the song that inspired the title, after the jump. Read More »

The latest addition to the cast of Dexter‘s sixth season is a great one: Edward James Olmos has signed on to play “a brilliant, charismatic professor of religious studies.” Colin Hanks and Mos Def are other recent additions to the core cast of the show, which begins shooting on May 25 and will premiere in the fall, likely in mid to late September. Being the definition of a good sport, Mr. Olmos tweeted right after the news broke: “It’s true… I’m coming for you Dexter….” [Deadline]

After the break, the ever-great Richard Jenkins joins Elizabeth Olson in an indie, and we catch up with the extensive casting of Crooked House. Read More »

Four years have passed since The Sopranos cut to black and in that time, series creator David Chase has been laying low. He waited until last year to announce that he’d make his feature film writing and directing debut with an untitled coming-of-age, period rock drama and since then tiny bits of information have slowly formed a bigger picture. That picture is now as complete as it’s going to get as Paramount has announced the full cast for the film.

Once rumored to be called Twylight Zones, we recently learned that Sopranos star James Gandolfini and comedienne Lisa Lampanelli were part of the film, and Variety has now announced that the remaining cast includes Brad Garrett, Bella Heathcote, Christopher McDonald and Molly Price. Read who each actor is going to play, the full cast list and some quotes from Chase after the break. Read More »

While appearing on the Howard Stern Show on Sirius/XM Satalite Radio, comedian Lisa Lampanelli revealed that she had been cast in Sopranos creator David Chase‘s highly anticipated feature film project. The story has been kept under wraps, but Lampanelli gives us an interesting bit of info: she will be playing David Chase’s mother in the movie, because she believes this is a movie about Chase’s teenage years (I’m assuming that it might be inspired by his experiences, much like Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous).

EDIT: In fact, Paramount informs us that her character is an aunt, and that the mother is being played by Molly Price of Third Watch.

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