Archive for the ‘Movies, Videos, DVDs’ Category

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

Friday, June 30th, 2017
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.


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

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
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

Woody Harrelson’s, “Lost in London” at Berlin Film Festival (with Willie Nelson and Owen Wilson)

Thursday, May 11th, 2017
by:  by Nancy Tartaglion, Diana Lodderhose

The Berlin Film Festival is just getting underway in the German capital, but buyers and sellers are already on the ground with most arriving late Wednesday to adjust to the freezing temperatures and, hopefully, warm up to deals. The weather can be counted on to be icy — the heat of the deals is another matter. As we reported earlier today, the independent sector is in uncharted waters as big new players muscle in, ready to splash out on worldwide rights from their very deep streaming-fueled pockets.

LOST IN LONDON – Director: Woody Harrelson. Cast: Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Willie Nelson. Loosely based on a crazy night full of real-life events, story follows Harrelson playing himself as he struggles to get home to his family. Bloom selling international. CAA repping domestic.

Read entire article about film festival.

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Academy Award® nominated actor Woody Harrelson will direct and star in an unprecedented live feature film event, “Lost in London LIVE,” on January 19, 2017. Harrelson, who wrote the feature film “Lost in London,” will also co-star with Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson. Ken Kao of Waypoint Entertainment will produce alongside Harrelson. This first-of-its-kind film event will screen live in U.S. movie theaters, giving audiences the unique opportunity to watch a film shot in real time.

Loosely based on a crazy night full of real-life events, “Lost in London” follows Harrelson, playing himself, as he struggles to get home to his family. Run-ins with royalty, old friends and the law all seem to conspire to keep Harrelson from succeeding.


“I’ve always loved theatre and film and wanted to find the best way to merge the two. When I decided to shoot this in real time I realized it wasn’t quite like true theatre because the one piece missing was a live audience. By broadcasting the film live as its being shot I hope to truly blend the excitement of live theater with the scale and scope of film,” said Harrelson.

Woody Harrelson, Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, on set for filming of “Lost in London”

Before filming, Woody ran the idea by some friends to get their thoughts…..

Harrelson wrote and will star in Lost in London, a live-streamed film, along with Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson—and all his celebrity friends think that’s a terrible idea.

It takes a lot to make a movie—a lot of drive, a lot of determination, a lot of money. Perhaps most of all, it takes a lot of time; the typical film shoot lasts weeks, and complicated blockbusters require months of work.

It takes a lot to make a movie—a lot of drive, a lot of determination, a lot of money. Perhaps most of all, it takes a lot of time; the typical film shoot lasts weeks, and complicated blockbusters require months of work.

It’s no wonder, then, that when newly minted Star Wars star Woody Harrelson told his celebrity pals that he’s planning to broadcast his new film—Lost in London, which Harrelson also wrote—live, as it’s being shot, he was met with some . . . skepticism, to say the least. Nice-guy Grammy winner Justin Timberlake declares the idea “fucking stupid.” Harrelson’s Hunger Games protégé Jennifer Lawrence calls this “by far the worst” idea he’s ever had. Jesse Eisenberg is totally on board with the project . . . until he learns that the man behind it is his fellow magician, and not Woody Allen.

You’ll see all these famous faces and more in the exclusive video above, which is, of course, a clever exercise in reverse psychology. The live-streamed film in question, which also stars Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson, will screen in select theaters via Fathom Events on Thursday, January 19.

Willie Nelson featured in new movie, “Pure Country: Pure Heart”

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels co-stars with Willie Nelson in WWE Studios’ “Pure Country: Pure Heart”

BURBANK, Calif – Kick up your boots and get ready to sing your heart out as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and WWE Studios bring you a touching, tune-filled, All-American tale of family in “Pure Country: Pure Heart” on Aug. 1, 2017. Featuring country music icon Willie Nelson, Tony Award nominee Laura Bell Bundy, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels in a feature-length film filled with both new and popular songs, “Pure Country: Pure Heart” is priced to own on DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital HD. The DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack are available exclusively at Walmart.

Directed by Damon Santostefano (“Another Cinderella Story,” “Three To Tango”) from a script by New York Times best-selling author Holly Goldberg Sloan (“Angels in the Outfield,” “Made in America”), “Pure Country: Pure Heart” is the newest installment of the adored “Pure Country” franchise and also stars Kaitlyn Bausch (“One Life To Live”), Cozi Zuehlsdorff (“Dolphin Tale,” “Dolphin Tale 2”), Amanda Detmer (“Final Destination”), Dara Sisterhen (‘Dog with a Blog,” “Switched At Birth”), Mathew Barnes (“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”), Myra Turley (“Flags of Our Fathers”), famed singer-songwriter Ivan Neville and Ronny Cox (“Deliverance,” “Total Recall,” “Robocop”). “Pure Country: Pure Heart” is produced by Hunt Lowry (“Pure Country 2: The Gift,” “A Time to Kill,” “A Walk to Remember”) and executive produced by President of WWE Studios, Michael Luisi “(Fighting with My Family,” “Oculus,” “The Call”).

The DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD release of “Pure Country: Pure Heart” will include the all-new original movie, as well as exciting enhanced content featuring a music video with Willie Nelson, interviews with the cast, behind-the-scenes featurettes and more.

“Pure Country: Pure Heart” is the moving, music-driven tale of teenage sisters Ada and Piper. Upon discovering a letter about their late father, a Marine who died in Iraq, they leave rural Tennessee and hit the road secretly in search of the truth about the man they never knew. As they uncover his past as a budding country music star, the sisters find their own voice, beginning their journey as singers/songwriters.

Filmed on location in the heart of country music capitols New Orleans and Nashville, “Pure Country: Pure Heart” boasts 23 songs, curated by music supervisors Frankie Pine (Nashville, Mozart in the Jungle) and Mandi Collier (Nashville, Secrets and Lies), including 16 new songs making their debut in the film.

Among the featured songs are Willie Nelson’s beloved “We Don’t Run,” Laura Bell Bundy’s all-new “Grass Ain’t Greener,” the Ronny Cox penned-and-performed “Silver City,” and a bevy of songs from award-winning country-music songwriters – including Trent Dabbs & Jabe Beyer, Jon Kenzie, Maren Morris and Dallas Davidson & Natalia Starzuynski. The songs are performed in the film by Bausch, Zuehlsdorff, Barnes, Bundy, Cox and Nelson. WaterTower Music will release the “Pure Country: Pure Heart” soundtrack on Aug. 1.

“‘Pure Country’ is a wonderful, heartwarming franchise with proven success,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President Family & Animation Marketing. “‘Pure Country: Pure Heart’ pulls you in with its music and engaging story about love, loss and dreams.”

This is the third film in the “Pure Country” series. Other titles include “Pure Country” and “Pure Country 2: The Gift.”


* Music Video: “We Don’t Run”
* Pure Country: You’ve Got to Have Heart
* Me Oh My-Meemaw’s PecanPie!

Willie Nelson featured in new movie, “Pure Country: Pure Heart”

Monday, April 24th, 2017

If you prefer entertainment with a heavy dose of country — I’m talking to you, Nashville fans — you’re going to be all about this new movie. Pure Country: Pure Heart, the third installment in the Pure Country series, is the story of teen sisters who head to Nashville to learn more about their late father, a Marine who died in Iraq. When they uncover his secret past life as a musician, they are inspired to follow their own dreams of becoming singer/songwriters. It’s got everything: a great country soundtrack, a Nashville setting (naturally), and Willie Nelson! Yep, the country legend has still got it. Not only is he one of the stars of this movie, his new album God’s Problem Child comes out April 28, a day before his 84th birthday.

In addition to Nelson, the film stars Legally Blonde Broadway star Laura Bell Bundy, along with Kaitlyn Bausch and Cozi Zuehlsdorff as the sisters Ada and Piper. Watch the trailer to get an exclusive first peek at the movie and a taste of the soundtrack, which features 16 new original songs.

Two screenings of Pure Country: Pure Heart will take place at Stagecoach Country Music Festivalon April 28 and April 30 in Indio, CA, where stars Willie Nelson along with Bausch and Zuehlsdorff will be performing. It will be available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD on Aug. 1.

Willie Nelson featured in music history documentary: The American Epic Sessions

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017
by:  Jon Blistein

Jack White, Elton John, Nas, Taj Mahal and more will explore and recreate one of the most pivotal moments in American music history in the new three-part documentary, American Epic, and the feature-length film, The American Epic Sessions. American Epic premiered at Sundance and will air on PBS May 16th, 23rd and 30th, while The American Epic Sessions will air June 6th on PBS. A massive American Epic Sessions soundtrack will arrive May 12th via Third Man Records, Legacy Recordings and Columbia.

American Epic will chronicle a period of monumental change for the music industry. As director Bernard MacMahon explains in the trailer, in the Twenties, record companies feared that radio was about to become the dominant player in the music industry, so they ventured across the country with the first electrical recording rig in search of new artists and markets. While none of these machines survived, audio engineer Nicholas Bergh managed to reassemble one from its original parts, and his rig was used to record all the music for the accompanying film, The American Epic Sessions.

“Some of the people who were just incredible heroes of mine first recorded on those machines in the Twenties,” Taj Mahal says in the trailer. “To be to go all the way back and come through this portal again, in this lifetime, is phenomenal!”

White and producer T. Bone Burnett helmed The American Epic Sessions which will feature performances from the Alabama Shakes, Beck, Avett Brothers, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Steve Martin, Edie Brickell, Rhiannon Giddens, Raphael Saadiq and more. The 100-song soundtrack will boast a mix of these new recordings, as well as archival recordings from the Twenties and Thirties.

An American Epic companion book will be published May 2nd via Touchstone. In the book, MacMahon and producer Allison McGourty will offer a behind-the-scenes account of their travels as they searched for long-lost recordings and people who witnessed these early sessions. The book will include unseen photographs and artwork, as well as contributions from Taj Mahal, Nas, Willie Nelson and more.

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Willie Nelson, “Barbarosa”

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Thanks, Phil Weisman, for sharing these cool photos from “Barbarosa”, my favorite Willie Nelson movie.


“Waiting for the Miracle to Come”:

Thursday, February 16th, 2017
by:  Beville Dunkerley

Willie Nelson’s “Luck, Texas” — the Old West film set that sits on a corner of his sprawling Hill Country ranch — is opening its saloon doors to Hollywood once again. Waiting for the Miracle to Come, a fantasy adventure flick starring the country icon in one of its lead roles, will be filmed in the same Lone Star spot built for 1986’s Red Headed Stranger, with production set to begin in March.

Written and directed by Australian filmmaker Lian Lunson, Waiting for the Miracle to Come is about a young girl, played by fellow Aussie Sophie Lowe (Beautiful Kate, Adore), who finds a letter from her late father directing her to a goldmine in a remote area of the California desert. That’s where she meets two retired vaudeville stars, played by Nelson and acclaimed British actress Charlotte Rampling (Stardust Memories, The Duchess). In their talks, the couple enlightens the girl, an aspiring trapeze artist, to findings more valuable than gold.

“I wrote this script for Willie Nelson; his presence and stillness as an actor is unlike anyone else,” says Lunson. “And growing up I always wanted to be Charlotte Rampling, so bringing these two icons together on screen is a dream come true for me.”

Joining Lunson on the film’s six executive producer credits is legendary U2 lead singer, Bono, who will also write a song for Nelson to sing on the movie’s soundtrack. Lunson has a history with both musicians: She wrote and directed the 1997 documentary, Willie Nelson: Down Home, and she featured Bono in her 2005 documentary, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man. (In fact, Waiting for the Miracle to Come is titled after Cohen’s haunting ballad, “Waiting for the Miracle.”) Nelson and Bono’s pairing is a reunion decades in the making. The rock star wrote “Slow Dancing” for the country crooner back in 1989. They also recorded the song together for U2’s 2011 Duals album.

The 81-years-young Nelson has somehow balanced nonstop touring with an impressive acting career. He made his feature film debut in 1979’s The Electric Horseman and has since starred in such blockbusters as Honeysuckle Rose, Barbarosa, Wag the Dog and The Dukes of Hazzard. The “Luck” set has remained in tact since Red Headed Stranger, the film based on his classic concept album of the same name. Robert Redford was originally set for its leading role but pulled out, making way for the country star to log one of the most memorable performances of his second career.

Woody Harrelson, Willie Nelson, Owen Wilson in first movie ever broadcast live (TONIGHT!) #LostinLondon

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Find a theater near you where it is playing.


Willie Nelson, C’est Magnifique

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

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