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‘Eurovision Track Contest: The Story of Hearth Saga’ overview: A hilarious parody

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The annual Eurovision Track Contest is a fever dream like no different. A 50-ish-country competitors to create the most effective tune, in previous years it has featured scary horror masks, a Russian quantity saluting grandmas and a German ode to Genghis Khan. A whole lot of tens of millions of individuals watch, and hardly any of the songs ever make it onto American radio. (This yr’s contest was COVID-canceled.)

It’s an occasion so absurd that we now have a Will Ferrell film about it.

His “Eurovision Track Contest: The Story of Hearth Saga” is a very humorous sendup of the present that famously gave us “Waterloo” by ABBA in 1974, and now provides us a yr’s provide of loopy. The Netflix movie is essentially the most fulfilling music business parody since Christopher Visitor’s people satire “A Mighty Wind.”

Hearth Saga is an Icelandic duo — Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) — that performs the native pub within the tiny city of Húsavik. Lars, who has dreamed of Eurovision glory since childhood, checks out new songs like “Volcano Man” there, however the drunks gained’t have it. “Play ‘Jaja Ding Dong’!” they shout at him of their most well-liked native ditty.

However because of a collection of madcap accidents, Hearth Saga turns into Iceland’s contest entry, advancing to the following stage of the competitors in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Iceland is a pointy decide for Ferrell and co-writer Andrew Steele. The nation has by no means as soon as gained Eurovision in its 64-year historical past, and its 364,000-strong inhabitants makes them roughly the scale of Tampa, Florida.

Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams star in “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.”
Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams star in “Eurovision Track Contest: The Story of Hearth Saga.”Elizabeth Viggiano/NETFLIX

The nation has additionally develop into a reasonable trip spot for Individuals, who’re studying about its infinite quirks. Half of its residents imagine in magical elves, for instance, and there’s an “incest prevention” cellphone app because of the probability that romantic companions within the island nation is likely to be associated.

Lars and Sigrit are sometimes requested in the event that they’re brother and sister.

“We’re most likely not,” Lars replies.

The mischievous little elves make a cameo, too.

Director David Dobkin’s film will not be a takedown, although, with a narrative that’s sweeter than anticipated. As Lars and Sigrit get their first style of fame, their bond is strengthened by the glitzy world of showbiz. A significant impediment comes when a maybe-metrosexual Russian pop star, Alexander Lemtov (Dan Stevens), tries to mattress Sigrit. The hilarious Stevens, shedding his “Downton Abbey” fineries, appears to be like like a mixture of Yanni and Salt Bae.

Lars can be at all times out to please his grumpy pop, Erick (Pierce Brosnan), who needs he’d quit his foolish musical aspirations and be a part of the household fishing enterprise.

How surprising {that a} long-haired Icelandic townie, who warms up in full-body Spandex whereas utilizing a Shake Weight, can be the function to floor Ferrell. With the assistance of Iceland’s extra reserved angle, Ferrell seems a efficiency that’s extremely amusing however by no means extreme. McAdams, who’s at all times welcome in comedies, is so actual and type that her perception in Lars makes us imagine in his completely insane goals, too.

The largest stars right here, although, are the songs. “Volcano Man,” Stevens’ “Lion of Love” and “Within the Mirror,” carried out by Demi Lovato, all embody that distinctive Eurovision mixture of catchy hooks and wacky performances. And, throughout a sequence that appears born of an acid journey, Ferrell, McAdams, Stevens and actual Eurovision winners sing a medley of Cher’s “Consider” and Madonna’s “Ray of Mild.” One in every of these upbeat tracks may very well be your music of the summer season, or sumar in Icelandic.

Dan Stevens hits the stage in a scene from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.”
Dan Stevens hits the stage in a scene from “Eurovision Track Contest: The Story of Hearth Saga.”John Wilson/NETFLIX

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‘Soiled Dancing’ sequel with Jennifer Gray confirmed by Lionsgate CEO

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Lionsgate is increasing two of its key franchises, with a fifth “John Wick” film and “Soiled Dancing” reboot.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer revealed the strikes on Thursday afternoon in the course of the firm’s convention name with Wall Avenue analysts following the studio’s launch of quarterly earnings, which got here in above estimates.

Lionsgate revealed in July that “Soiled Dancing” star Jennifer Gray was collaborating with the studio on an untitled dance film through which she’s going to star and govt produce. However it refused to say if the mission was tied to the 1987 hit “Soiled Dancing.”

Feltheimer stated throughout Thursday’s name that it was certainly a “Soiled Dancing” film.

“And to disclose one of many worst stored secrets and techniques in Hollywood, we’re happy to verify that Jennifer Gray will each govt produce and star in a brand new ‘Soiled Dancing’ film for Lionsgate from ‘Heat Our bodies’ director Jonathan Levine,” he stated. “Will probably be precisely the sort of romantic, nostalgic film that the franchise’s followers have been ready for and which have made it the biggest-selling library title within the Firm’s historical past.”

Lionsgate had introduced final yr that it had scheduled “John Wick 4” for Could 21, 2021, following a powerful opening for “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.” Feltheimer stated the studio has moved “John Wick 4” again a yr and is planning to shoot it again to again with a fifth installment.

“We’re additionally busy getting ready scripts for the following two installments of our ‘John Wick’ motion franchise, with ‘John Wick 4’ slated to hit theatres Memorial Day weekend 2022,” he stated. “We hope to shoot each ‘John Wick 4’ and ‘5’ again to again when Keanu turns into accessible early subsequent yr.”

Feltheimer additionally stated Lionsgate has been transferring to get again into manufacturing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the urge for food for recent content material at an all-time excessive and choices for shoppers dwindling because of the international shutdown, we made it a strategic precedence to be one of many first main studios again into manufacturing,” he stated. “Over the previous 5 months, we’ve put collectively a considerate technique to restart manufacturing with protocols to greatest guarantee the security of forged and crew.”

“We not too long ago started manufacturing on the thriller/horror movie ‘The Satan’s Gentle’ in Jap Europe, and we’re gearing up bodily manufacturing to start capturing a number of different movies over the following two months, together with ‘The Insufferable Weight of Huge Expertise’ starring Nic Cage,” he stated. “These efforts put us in a powerful place to capitalize on a market brief on provide.”

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Tony Award winner Brent Carver useless at 68

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Brent Carver, the Broadway actor who gained a Tony Award for his main flip in “Kiss of the Spider Girl,” died this week, his household stated in a press release Thursday. He was 68.

“Our household is sharing information of Brent Carver’s passing on Aug. four at residence in Cranbrook, BC, his birthplace and favourite place on Earth,” the assertion stated. “His love of performing was matched solely by his zest for all times and lifelong devotion to household, mates and treasured pets.”

Though Carver acted across the US and Canada because the 1970s, the Canadian actor made waves on Broadway within the ’90s showing in oddball musicals with powerful subjects.

In John Kander and Fred Ebb’s “Spider Girl,” the sinewy actor performed a homosexual window dresser imprisoned in Argentina, and in “Parade” he took on the function of Leo Frank, a Jewish man who was lynched in Georgia in 1915.

Having additionally carried out in lots of Shakespeare performs with Canada’s Stratford Pageant, Carver’s final main New York function was as Friar Lawrence in “Romeo and Juliet,” starring Orlando Bloom.

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‘John Wick 5’ confirmed to movie proper after fourth installment

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Keanu Reeves is again within the back-to-back sequels sport with “John Wick 4” and “5” aiming to movie consecutively subsequent 12 months.

On right now’s Lionsgate earnings name, the studio’s CEO John Feltheimer stated, “We’re additionally busy making ready scripts for the following two installments of our ‘John Wick’ motion franchise, with ‘John Wick 4’ slated to hit theatres Memorial Day weekend 2022.  We hope to shoot each ‘John Wick 4’ & ‘5’ again to again when Keanu turns into accessible early subsequent 12 months.”

The sequel, “John Wick 4,” is presently scheduled for Might 27, Memorial Day weekend.

“John Wick” has turn out to be such a giant motion franchise for Lionsgate, not simply in its world franchise B.O. by means of three motion pictures of $584.2M, however there’s a Starz “John Wick” TV sequence The Continental which is trying to premiere someday following the fourth film.

Presently, Reeves is capturing “Matrix 4” for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow in Berlin, Germany. Reeves shot “Matrix: Reloaded” and “Matrix: Revolutions” (elements 2 and three of that franchise) again to again from March 2001 to August 2002.

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