Archive for the ‘Movies, Videos, DVDs’ Category

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Don Meredith’s son working on new movie about his dad, “First Cowboys”

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Michael Meredith was, he says, the child of two nomads, two bohemians. During the late 1960s, when his parents were still married and living in Dallas, their frequent live-in guest was a songwriter named Willie Nelson, who sang a song his dad loved and would later immortalize on Monday Night Football by crooning it comically when the outcome was no longer in doubt. The release of “(Turn Out the Lights) The Party’s Over” also happened 50 years ago.

 

www.Dallas.com
by:   Michael Branberry

He will tell the story by focusing on his dad, who played from the team’s inception in 1960 through his ninth season, 1968, which also ended in a heartbreaking loss. The elder Meredith suffered devastating injuries, both physical and emotional, that belied his nickname, “Dandy.”

He and his mom lived in Italy and an ashram in India. He dotted the U.S. map, living in Fort Worth (her hometown), Houston and two places his dad lived — Beverly Hills, Calif., and Santa Fe, N.M.

He was, he says, the child of two nomads, two bohemians. During the late 1960s, when his parents were still married and living in Dallas, their frequent live-in guest was a songwriter named Willie Nelson, who sang a song his dad loved and would later immortalize on Monday Night Football by crooning it comically when the outcome was no longer in doubt. The release of “(Turn Out the Lights) The Party’s Over” also happened 50 years ago.

Read article in Dallas News here.  

Willie Nelson featured in “Honky Tonk Heaven”: The Legend of the Broken Spoke

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Broken Spoke Film

We don’t use the term legendary lightly here folks.  Our film features THIS incredible moment between Willie Nelson and songbird Kimmie Rhodes!

www.HonkyTonkHeaven.com

George Strait, Willie Nelson, Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, George Jones and Roy Acuff have all been regulars on stage at the world famous honky tonk, Broken Spoke. With fifty years under its belt buckle “the last of the true Texas dance halls” has endured rapid urban growth and skyrocketing rents due to the passion and hard work of its charismatic, tenacious owners.

More than a history of who played and when at this landmark venue, this documentary reveals a universal story about what it takes to maintain a family business in our increasingly corporate-driven society. Interviews include Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dale Watson, James Hand, Jesse Dayton, the Waco Brothers and Alvin Crow.

 

 

 

 

Farm Aid Presents: “Homeplace Under Fire”

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

www.modernfarmer.com
by: Andrew Amelinckx

Homeplace Under Fire:  The story of the grassroots work of American farm advocates and their 30 year fight to keep family farmers on the land.

About the Film

The Farm Crisis of the 1980s drove hundreds of thousands of family farmers into foreclosure. Yet, out of that crisis arose a legion of farm advocates who refused to stand idly by and watch their way of life be destroyed.

Ordinary Americans taught themselves extraordinary skills. As fellow farmers, farm wives, and rural leaders, they studied laws and regulations, started hotlines, answered farmers’ calls from their kitchen tables, counseled their neighbors, and went toe-to-toe with lenders – giving their all to keep their neighbors on the land.

Homeplace Under Fire celebrates these advocates and their remarkable work. Thousands of farmers are alive and on their land today because of them. As Willie Nelson has said, these advocates are the best of America.

Homeplace Under Fire was directed by Charles D. Thompson, Jr. and produced by Farm Aid in cooperation with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Willie Nelson Music in Movies

Saturday, August 12th, 2017


www.tvovermind.com

Willie Nelson is the kind of classic singer you either get tired of and stay away from for a long while or stick by through thick and thin without doubting him for a second. There’s really no middle ground here when you’re a fan of this man. He’s been making hits for longer than a good portion of us have been alive and has been popular for as long as anyone living can remember. Sure he got into some trouble for a while and had to make a comeback, but as of now he’s doing alright and still out doing what he loves to do. For a man to come through that many hardships and still find some joy in the passion that made him what he is today it’s inspiring to note that as bad things got he never let his fans down.

Here are just a few of the movies that have benefited from his songs.

5. The Scientist – The Judge

Robert Downey Jr. plays a successful lawyer whose father has just been convicted of running down a man with his truck. Upon heading home however he’s greeted with a very surly and unfriendly attitude as the tensions between him and his father heat up after years of not speaking to one another. Their issues are eventually put on the table but not completely resolved as he seeks to defend his father no matter how they feel about one another.

4. Midnight Run – Lawless

Lawless is essentially the story of three brothers that run a fairly successful alcohol distribution business in the back woods, far away from where the law sees fit to touch them. When problems begin to arise and their business starts to suffer however they eventually find the need to fight back. The only problem is that their enemies are bringing the big guns, as in hired lawmen and ruthless criminals that will stop at nothing to see them ruined.

3. Hello Walls – Legion

I couldn’t find the clip but I know that this song is used in the scifi film Legion in which God has finally tired of mankind’s wickedness and has sent the hounds of heaven to possess anyone and everyone they can in an attempt to cleanse the world and stop the birth of a young child that can bring humanity back to its senses. The only help that humanity will have until then is the archangel Michael, who has forsaken his place in heaven to protect the child from his heavenly brethren.

2. Good ol Boys – Dukes of Hazzard

What’s so great about this is that Willie actually starred in the remake of The Dukes of Hazzard along with Sean William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Jessica Simpson, and Burt Reynolds. He took the role of Uncle Jessie and made it a tad bit funnier than it had been in the past, which is to say that I don’t recall Uncle Jessie getting high in the barn using an apple as a bong.

1. On The Road Again – Shrek

Okay this one isn’t performed by Willie Nelson but it is his song. Shrek just seemed like a nice way to end this list, funny and touching but not too sappy.

Willie Nelson is going to be remembered throughout history as one of the greats.

Willie Nelson in “Barbarosa” (now available on BlueRay)

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017


www.
by:

REVIEW: “BARBAROSA” STARRING WILLIE NELSON AND GARY BUSEY; BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FROM SCORPION

BY JOHN M. WHALEN

It is only in the stories others tell about us, the legends they create, that we can achieve any sort of immortality. And even though the stories may not be completely true, it is better to keep them alive than to let them die. For when they die, we die with them. Such seems to be the theme of “Barbarosa” (1982), a sly, subtle film from director Fred Schepisi and screenwriter William D. Witliff, about two men on the run in the desert in Old Mexico. One is Karl Westover (Gary Busey), a young farm boy running from an old man who is determined to shoot him on sight in revenge for killing one of his sons. Karl insists it was an accident. The other is a legendary outlaw who has been at war for years with a Mexican family that gave him the name Barbarosa (Willie Nelson), which means Red Beard in Spanish.

No sooner do the two men meet than a Mexican with a gun charges Barbarosa. The grizzled, bearded outlaw stands calmly as a bullet marks his cheek and puts a hole in the brim of his sombrero. He coolly shoots and kills his assailant, a member of the Zuvalla family. Barbarosa explains he’s managed to survive by killing at least half a dozen male members of the Zuvalla family over the last 15 years. The two men—the farm boy and the outlaw—are in the same predicament, both hunted men. Barbarosa reluctantly decides to take the young, inexperienced fugitive under his wing and teach him the tricks of the outlaw trade.

The pairing of Busey with Willie is unusual casting to say the least, and watching them play off each other is quite a treat. The mercurial Busey, even then notorious for cutting up on the set, manages to keep himself in check long enough to make his farm boy turned outlaw believable, and Willy is just laid-back Willie, perfectly suited to play the laconic bandido.

One of the first things Barbarosa teaches him is how to kill a man with a gun. First, he says, point it like you’re pointing your finger. Second squeeze the trigger gently “like you’re holding your sore pecker.” Third: “Always stand still until you’re done shooting,” he explains. “Nothin’ scares a man more than for you to be standin’ still when you should be runnin’ like a spotted-assed ape.” Barbarosa is a font of such outlaw wisdom. When Carl tells him about his trouble back home, he says, “Well, the Mexicans got a saying – ‘What cannot be remedied must be endured.’”

Meanwhile back at the Zuvalla Rancho, Don Braulio Zuvalla (the great Gilbert Roland in his last film), after learning of the death of the man Barbarosa killed, selects another young member of the family to seek out and kill Barbarosa “Bring me his cojones,” he says. “Bring them to me on a stick.” Young Eduardo (Danny De La Paz) accepts the task, vowing not to return until he’s done as the don has asked.

Screenwriter Witliff, whose other work for the screen includes the “Lonesome Dove” TV series, “The Black Stallion,” and “Legends of the Fall,” slowly pays out Barbarosa’s backstory in small pieces as the action moves forward. It isn’t until midway through the film we hear the Don’s version of what happened between the two men. Barbarosa had been a Texas Ranger who saved the Don’s life and became a family friend but then married the don’s daughter without his consent. Barbarosa’s wife, Josephina, is played by Mexican actress Isela Vega, best known for playing Elita in Sam Peckinpah’s masterpiece “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia” (1974). Karl and his outlaw partner sneak into the rancho to give Josephina some money. Karl overhears the Don telling the assembled children the story, and learns that Barbarosa had cold-bloodedly shot off the Don’s leg at the knee, and slashed the throats of two of his sons. The Don says the once honey-colored beard was now red with blood. “Barbarosa!” one of the children cries. The Don tells them Barbarosa is the devil himself and as long as they live they must hunt for Barbarosa and one day finally kill him.

When Don Braulio later discovers Barbarosa within his hacienda, the two men face each other. “Damn you for all the misery, you’ve caused,” Barbarosa mutters. “All I ever wanted to do is be a part of this family.” Don Braulio tells him: “And are you not part of this family?” The bitter feud, the endless killing, has bonded the Don and the outlaw together forever.

The second half of the film deals with Karl’s problems with the old man who is gunning for him. Karl returns home to find his father and sister alone and in bad health. There is a confrontation with his pursuer and later Barbarosa shows up and the two team up once again. But young Eduardo is still in pursuit and there is a final showdown with Barbarosa. I won’t reveal the ending, except to say that before the film is over we learn Barbarosa’s version of what happened with the Zuvalla family and we come to understand the violence that happened so many years ago. By the end of the film, Karl has grown from naïve farm boy to experienced outlaw in his own right. The events that transpire at the story’s conclusion give him no choice but to become part of the legend of Barbarosa himself.

Scorpion Releasing has done an excellent job presenting the film in its first-ever wide screen release in the U.S. The 1080 p transfer to Blu-Ray displays the movie in its original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The picture is sharp and clear and does justice to director Schepisi’s fondness for long-distance shots of the Mexican landscape in which the characters sometimes appear as mere dots on the screen. The disc contains several bonus features, including interviews with Schepisi, and cast members Alma Martinez and Danny De La Paz. There is also a trailer and a separate audio track for listening to Bruce Smeaton’s music score. “Barbarosa” is highly recommended.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON

 

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Swing Vote” movie opens (August 1, 2008)

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

On August 1, 2008, the Kevin Costner movie “Swing Vote” debuted in theaters featuring cameo by Willie Nelson. Also in the movie: Kelsey Grammer, Larry King, Dennis Hopper and Richard Petty.

Willie Nelson filmed a scene for the Kevin Kostner movie “Swing Vote” at the Harn Homestead and Museum in Oklahoma City (www.harnhomestead.com). Willie was also in town performing in Last of Breed tour with Merle Haggard and Ray Price.

Cher Golding, executive director of the Museum, kindly sent pictures of Willie being filmed, and Willie posing with the staff at the museum.

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“Attached are a few photos of the shoot at the Harn Homestead Museum. Willie played ‘Always on my Mind’ in front of our Event Barn. After filming, he signed a few autographs and posed for photos with the Harn Homestead Museum staff.”

Cher L. Golding, Executive Director
Harn Homestead Museum
Oklahoma City, OK
www.harnhomestead.com

Willie Nelson, in “Pure Country; Pure Heart”

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

www.Hollywood.com

In ‘Pure Country: Pure Heart’ Ada (Kaitlyn Bausch) and Piper (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) are two sisters who love music and have grown up singing. They have big dreams of playing big shows, but unfortunately, their mom is keeping them grounded. Their father died while at war, so they decide to venture away to Nashville, without their mother knowing, in order to learn about him as well as his secret past as a musician.

In this trip, they find out more about their dreams and more importantly, themselves. Along the way, they come across some country music legends, including the one we have an exclusive clip of. Willie Nelson might better be known as a musician or a marijuana activist, but here he plays a role of the person he knows best himself. Willie told us that ““I really enjoyed performing in Pure Country: Pure Heart. It is a fun movie and the music is great. Watch with the whole family.”

‘Pure Country: Pure Heart’ is available tomorrow, August 1, 2017.

Woody Harrelson’s, “Lost in London” (with Owen Wilson, Willie Nelson)

Friday, July 28th, 2017

http://metro.co.uk
by: Rebecca Lewis

Woody Harrelson’s Lost In London is a whirlwind film-going experience – it was filmed in one single take and was live streamed in cinemas across the UK and the US as Harrelson and crew made the movie.

The movie is Harrelson’s directorial debut and it’s a brave – and risky – choice for an actor who has crossed over from indie films to blockbusters in recent years.

Based on an experience Harrelson had in early 2003, the film follows the actor playing himself as his night goes from bad to worse, including being thrown out of a club, a fight with a taxi driver, and an encounter with the police – and all in the back of his mind is the fact that he needs to get home because he’s visiting the Harry Potter set the next day with his daughters.

‘I always had an idea of shooting something in real time, long before it was possible,’ Harrelson tells Metro.co.uk.

‘I’m excited by the notion of capturing something – I’m from the theatre so it’s really kind of the merging of theatre and film – so I figured out how it was possible to capture it in real time, then the crazy, crazy thought I had was, “Jesus if I could capture this in real time, is it not possible to simultaneously stream it in theatres?”, which I found wasn’t possible, so I gave up on the ideas as there were too many technical problems.’

Eventually though Harrelson met Vicki Betihavas, a live producer, who confirmed that his dream was possible and set the wheels in motion.

‘It was a cool adventure, a challenge but very exciting.’

‘As much as I tried to forget [that night] it just stayed with me,’ says Harrelson of his decision to turn what was an ‘abysmal’ night into something good.

‘And sometimes your bad experiences do [stay with you] then the more I thought about it, the more I thought it could be funny so I wrote it up.’

It was easy to get Wilson involved, says Harrelson, but there was one scene he wasn’t too keen on.

At one point the pair enter in to a celebrity slinging match in bar, throwing insults back and forth at each other.

‘Some of it was a bit dicey,’ says Harrelson of the insults in the original script, ‘but it was a lot worse, I made it much worse and then Owen wanted to pull it back – I had another three pages of brutal stuff, but I think he was right to hold the reins.’

Lost in London – Official Trailer (2017) Woody Harrelson

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Harrelson admits there was ‘lots of rehearsing and making sure the cameras are in place, and the music, so there’s all these things we had to coordinate – I would have liked to have three months’ but Willie Nelson’s touring schedule meant it was impossible.

‘Willie Nelson is in it and he had a touring schedule he couldn’t shift so it had to be done by the end of January – in the end, I would have loved just to have one more week but it turned out pretty good,’ laughs Harrelson.

As for Wilson?

‘Owen I talked to early on and he was in,’ says Harrelson before revealing how exactly Nelson also ended up in the film: ‘But what happened was I called [Wilson] and he was at Willie’s and Willie said, “I know you’re doing this movie with Owen in it, why didn’t you invite me to be in it?”

‘I said, “you want to be in it?”, he said “yes”, so I said “consider it done, I’ll write it in!”‘

Lost In London is out in cinemas now.

 

“Songwriter”, with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson showing on Monday at Belcourt, in Nashville

Friday, June 30th, 2017

www.nashville.com
by: Jason Shawhan

Songwriter Is the Best Movie About Country Music — See It Monday at the Belcourt

The 1984 Kris Kristofferson/Willie Nelson film screens July 3 as part of Music City Mondays

Alan Rudolph’s Songwriter is one of the 10 best films ever made. It’s a musical that’s big on diegesis, a heist caper, a rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches epic, a whiskey-soaked and bawdy picaresque, and a deeply funny meditation on trying to leave your mark on a world that’s passing you by. There have been a lot of great films made on those subjects and circumstances, but Songwriter is a movie I love like family.

Most folks who still have chips on their shoulders about Altman’s Nashville don’t even acknowledge this film, as Songwriter’s portrayal of Nashville reduces it to a business center where art is an afterthought. Indeed, other than some second-unit shots, Austin, Texas, plays the part of Nashville as needed. And while Nashville remains the best film ever made about America, Songwriter is both the best movie about the mechanics of country music, and the best movie made by country musicians. Some aspects of the biz never change, and it’s in recontextualizing a lot of the hokier, traditional narrative elements that Rudolph and the cast make something truly special. 

Doc (Willie Nelson), caught on the horns of a bad deal, calls upon his old friend Blackie Buck (Kris Kristofferson) to unleash a caper of ’70s-thriller intricacy and ’80s-success-porn scope. Along the way, scores get settled, fortunes are won and lost, careers end with a whimper and launch with fireworks, and just about everybody has two or three killer songs. It’s awesome. Everybody loves Willie as a character actor, but here he really gets to put it all out there, the shaky swagger and the eternal humanist in an uneasy balance. 

Nelson’s then-manager Bud Shrake evolved the screenplay along the emotional and financial roller coaster that Nelson was going through at the time, and the end result is a film that anybody who’s been on the business end of a terrible deal can relate to. When he sings “Who’ll Buy My Memories” to Melinda Dillon — who brings heart and soul to the role of “the ex-wife” that could have been wallpaper in the wrong hands — it’s as devastating a moment as movies can give.

And damned if Kristofferson isn’t just as good, drinking and sexing his way across the country with a smile and a panoply of hits. The two together make a comic duo of irresistible goofy charm — Beckett via vaudeville — and they find the breezy in the brutal just as easily as they find the harsh in the hilarious. The rest of the supporting cast fits into this world effortlessly, with Lesley Ann Warren as ingenue/next big thing, Rip Torn as Machiavellian promoter and Richard Sarafian as the corrupt business honcho Rodeo Rocky. All take no prisoners with their performances.

What ultimately makes Songwriter the best film about country music, and the one I will recommend to anybody and everybody for as long as I live, is that you don’t have to give a shit about country music to love it. Really, you don’t. This is a textually rich film, one that gets better and funnier with each viewing. But if you love country music and the people who make it, there’s not going to be another movie that scratches those itches like this one does.

Email arts@nashvillescene.com

Willie Nelson in new movie, “My Cricket and Me”

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

www.popdust.com
by:  Thomas Burns Scully

“I think I’ve gotten quite good at casually telling people I’m going to be in a movie with Willie Nelson,” says Yarin Brosh, casually, on his upcoming role in a movie with Willie Nelson, “you know, just like that.” Yarin, a New York actor of Brazilian and Israeli descent, will be shooting later this year on My Cricket and Me, a film written and directed by Gabriel Barreto and Eliot Routh. The film will feature country music legend Willie Nelson in a pivotal role. “I can’t say a huge amount at this point,” clarifies Yarin, “but I can say that in one scene I’m helping a main character who’s just had a finger chopped off. Yeah. It’s that kind of a movie.” He laughs.

Gabriel “Cricket” Ramsey (Barreto) is a young documentarian who has decided to be the subject of his own film. He revisits his post-high school jaunt as a roadie for country music star, Buck Bonham (Nelson). But, an interview with Bonham goes wrong when Gabriel is forced to reconsider the extent of his debauchery that summer. Out on the road, he and his camera crew are faced with brutality, kidnapping, forced glass blowing and more, as they attempt to retrace the path he carved out that wild summer…

Nelson, the eighty-four year-old musician, personality, activist, and proud marijuana poster-grandpa is beloved all over the US. “He really is a quintessential American personality,” weighs in Brosh, “he taps into this unique vein of the USA experience, blending conscience with that Texan ‘can-do’ attitude, and wrapping it all up in that music of his.” Fitting then, that Nelson will be playing a role that is, essentially, himself. “I mean, who could do it better?” points out Brosh, voicing the opinion of most of the populace.

“The film is inspired by real-life experiences of Gabriel [Barreto]’s,” say Brosh, “He really was a roadie for Nelson.” Though reality was not as extreme as the film will be, the picture is indeed based on ‘Cricket’s time with Nelson in the early 2000s. “I really admire what he’s doing, using his own experience to tell a story,” says Brosh, “I’m happy to help him do that.” Of course, Brosh’s life is also far from dull. “Well, I’ve never toured with a country music star,” he says, “but I grew up abroad, between Brazil and Israel, and I’ve now lived in the States these six years… I feel like the most exciting thing about me is my acting work.”

Brosh is definitely a busy man, seemingly scattered to the four winds in terms of a performer’s life. “I came to New York first for the New York Film Academy, then I went to the Atlantic Theatre School,” he explains, “I’ve been working constantly since then. I did a play called Drunk Tank Off-Broadway, as well as a sketch show; I played an alien called Ramon who fed off people he found through dating apps in The Perfect Match, that was a fun one; and I’m currently slated for a bunch of projects: Genesis 22 at a mansion in Randall’s Island; Lights Across the Field with Brickabrack; an art installation at Unix Gallery with candy artist Peter Anton where I play a sugar addict; and, of course, Cricket.”

“I think they’ll come for the stars, but they’ll stay for Gabriel”

The indie film has even more pedigree than it would at first appear. Naturally, Nelson is a big draw, but the film also features Amy Irving (Barreto’s mother, and Academy Award Nominee), Paul Williams (renowned composer and musician who wrote Rainbow Connection, and voice of The Penguin in The New Batman Adventures), well-known film and TV actor Dave Shalansky (Divorce, Grey’s Anatomy, Nurse Jackie, Gilmore Girls and others), and music by indie-band Goolis. “It’s great to be being seen alongside all these incredible people,” say Brosh, “hard to believe I’m here, but quite happy to say I am.”

My Cricket and Me is sure to be popular on the festival circuit. With stars like Nelson and Irving on-board, it seems inevitable. “I mean, the world knows him already, which is cool,” say Yarin, “but I think they’re going to be really excited to get to know Gabriel and what he has going on. He’s kind of an untested property, but he’s in love with this project. I think they’ll come for the stars, but they’ll stay for him… And maybe a certain handsome EMT, who gets to be all heroic.” He laughs at his false bravado. “I just love getting to do what I do,” he says, without a unit of pretense, “and I’m glad I’m getting to be a part of project like this. It really feels like it’s going to go somewhere.”

Willie Nelson, Barbarosa

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Willie Nelson, “Red Headed Stranger” (available on VHS)

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Thanks to nephew Cody; he hooked up my VCR and I can finally watch The Red Headed Stranger again.

Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, in “Stagecoach”

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Honeysuckle Rose

Sunday, May 21st, 2017