|MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEYTHE GENTLEMENTRAILER|
Matthew McConaughey took some time out of his social isolation to surprise a group of senior citizens in his home state of Texas. The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living center asked the Oscar-winning actor back in September to host their weekly bingo night, and McConaughey finally made good on that request by hosting this week’s bingo night on video chat via The Independent. The actor appeared on camera with his wife and children and called out the numbers during the group’s game. McConaughey is also quarantining with his family in Texas.
“Ever play virtual bingo with Matthew McConaughey?” the Enclave wrote on social media. “You'd be a whole lot cooler if you did! The residents at The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living got to play virtual bingo with Matthew McConaughey and his family! Thank you to Matthew, his wife Camila, and his mom Kay for hosting our residents for a few rounds of virtual bingo! Our residents had a great time playing, and they loved talking with Matthew about his family heritage and his favorite drink.”
McConaughey most recently starred in the Guy Ritchie action film “The Gentleman,” which STX Entertainment recently made available on digital platforms on VOD early to help ease quarantines across the country. The actor is also spending his time social distancing by launching a new web series on his social media platforms called “McConaughey Takes.” The first episode debuted April 6 and finds the actor looking back at his famous romantic-comedy “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” McConaughey credits his chemistry with co-star Kate Hudson for making the film a blockbuster, and the actor says to this day “How to Lose a Guy” remains the movie that gives him the most residual money.
McConaughey is far from the only A-list talent spending his quarantine making surprise video conference calls. David Fincher made headlines last month for giving a video masterclass in filmmaking to 450 students at the United Kingdom’s National Film and Television School. The school has also live-streamed sessions with talent such as “Knives Out” composer Nathan Johnson and “1917” and “American Beauty” director Sam Mendes.
Birds of Prey and The Gentlemen are joining the flock of movies getting released on video-on-demand early. On the heels of Universal making the game-changing move of announcing the same-day theatrical and digital release of Trolls World Tour, Warner Bros.’ Birds of Prey and STXfilms’ The Gentlemen will be made available for purchase on digital platforms next week, months earlier than the films were anticipated to be released on VOD.
Variety reports that Birds of Prey will be available for digital purchase on March 24, months earlier than its anticipated video-on-demand release. The film is expected to cost $19.99 to buy on platforms such as Amazon and iTunes. It will be available for rental in April. While STXfilms has not yet confirmed the early VOD release of The Gentlemen, Fandango reports that the Guy Ritchie-directed crime caper will also be available for digital purchase on March 24.
Films are usually available to buy digitally about 74 days after they first arrive in theaters, at the earliest, followed by digital rental and home video releases two weeks later. But Birds of Prey will be available only 46 days after its initial theatrical release it opened February 7 while The Gentlemen will be available 60 days after it hit theaters January 24.
With Birds of Prey and The Gentlemen still playing in some theaters, the move might have come as a surprise, but the coronavirus pandemic has theaters and exhibitors hard, closing multiplexes in multiple states, including New York, Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended last Sunday that public gatherings with more than 50 people be canceled for the next eight weeks, which has dramatically affected box office sales.
Universal was the first studio to make the drastic move that many were predicting would happen, after most major theatrical releases were delayed due to coronavirus concerns. The studio announced Monday that Trolls World Tour would be available to purchase digitally the same day it was expected to hit theaters, with the studio’s other titles still playing in theaters — The Invisible Man, Emma., The Hunt — also available to purchase early on demand. In response to this news, Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan remarked on Twitter, “I would not be opposed to putting Birds of Prey on VOD earlier.” Looks like she got her wish.
I would not be opposed to putting Birds of Prey on VOD earlier. https://t.co/TrKynikHLx
— Cathy Yan @CathyYan March 16, 2020
Birds of Prey got unfairly overlooked when it hit theaters, raking in $177 million worldwide to date — by no means a bad number, but disappointing compared to Warner Bros.’ past DC movie releases. Now that it will be available...
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below: