Jewtopia (2012) - News Poster

(2012)

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How ‘Icarus’ Turned a Standup Comic Into an Investigative Journalist With a Netflix Deal

Actor-turned-documentarian Bryan Fogel literally delivered the print of “Icarus” to Sundance 2017 at 8:00Am; the film premiered at 10:00Am. By the end of the screening, “Icarus” was in the midst of a bidding war that was eventually won by Netflix for $5 million.

Fogel is an unexpected documentarian, to say nothing of an investigative journalist. He started out in Hollywood as a standup comic and actor, but found early success as the creator of a hit Coast Playhouse and Broadway play, “Jewtopia,” which he grew into a touring company, a book, and a movie. He eventually came up with the “Icarus” documentary as his next career move.

As a racing cyclist, Fogel thought he could create a “Super Size Me” movie about doping in sports — injecting himself in the butt with steroids to prove how easy it is to evade detection, as Lance Armstrong did for years. Instead, he stumbled
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

How ‘Icarus’ Turned a Standup Comic Into an Investigative Journalist With a Netflix Deal

  • Indiewire
Actor-turned-documentarian Bryan Fogel literally delivered the print of “Icarus” to Sundance 2017 at 8:00 am; the film premiered at 10 am. By the end of the screening, “Icarus” was in the midst of a bidding war that was eventually won by Netflix for $5 million.

Fogel is an unexpected documentarian, to say nothing of an investigative journalist. He started out in Hollywood as a standup comic and actor, but found early success as the creator of a hit Coast Playhouse and Broadway play, “Jewtopia,” which he grew into a touring company, a book, and a movie. He eventually came up with the “Icarus” documentary as his next career move.

As a racing cyclist, Fogel thought he could create a “Super Size Me” movie about doping in sports — injecting himself in the butt with steroids to prove how easy it is to evade detection, as Lance Armstrong did for years. Instead, he stumbled onto
See full article at Indiewire »

Icarus review – Netflix doping scandal doc is flawed but fascinating

Filmmaker Bryan Fogel stumbles upon state-sponsored doping in a sometimes clunky, but unquestionably revelatory documentary

Few filmmakers have stumbled upon documentary gold in quite as fortuitous a fashion as Bryan Fogel, the man behind this revelatory account of Russia’s state-sponsored doping program. Primarily a playwright (he wrote an off-Broadway comedy called Jewtopia), Fogel is also a keen amateur cyclist and, in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal, set out to prove just how easy it was to evade cycling’s creaking testing system by competing chemically enhanced in the same prestigious amateur race that he had struggled in the year before. The plan was to boost his best time, pass with flying colours through the urine tests required of all competitors and broadcast the results in muckraking documentary form.

Related: Icarus film finds more than Greek tragedy in Russia doping scandal | Sean Ingle

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Movie Review: In Icarus, a filmmaker injects himself into the shady world of sports doping

  • The AV Club
Bryan Fogel’s Netflix documentary Icarus tells such an eye-opening story that it almost doesn’t matter when the storytelling itself gets a little sloppy. An actor and playwright best known for the comedy Jewtopia, Fogel is trying his hand at feature-length non-fiction filmmaking for the first time with Icarus, and he just happened to stumble onto the kind of relevant, ripped-from-the-headlines scandal that investigative journalists spend years trying to dig up. What starts out as a Super Size Me-esque stunt—with Fogel injecting himself with performance-enhancing drugs to compete in an amateur cycling race—becomes a wider-ranging exposé of doping in organized sports. And then it takes a darker but in retrospect inevitable turn, as the filmmaker’s foray into the shady world of PEDs brings him into contact with a network of Russian scientists who’d rather not get caught on camera.

There is at least one
See full article at The AV Club »

‘Icarus’ is an Alarming Look at Russia’s Secret Doping Operation — Sundance Review

  • Indiewire
‘Icarus’ is an Alarming Look at Russia’s Secret Doping Operation — Sundance Review
Icarus” starts out as one kind of movie, and then becomes a much better one. At first, director Bryan Fogel seems intent on making the sporting world’s answer to “Super Size Me,” by subjecting himself to performance-enhancing drugs to see if he can avoid detection. But then he stumbles into shocking revelations about Russia’s massive doping conspiracy and the scenario gets dark, gripping, and altogether more important.

The jarring shift doesn’t quite rescue the movie from uneven storytelling and murky research, but “Icarus” undoubtedly succeeds at emphasizing the shocking nature of Russia’s cover-up — and the dangerous reverberations it has for a key whistleblower.

That would be Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the antidoping laboratory chief who eventually fled to the United States and leaked information about Russia’s tactics for burying its athletes’ use of performance-enhancing drugs to a group of New York Times reporters in early 2016. Fogel
See full article at Indiewire »

'Icarus': Film Review | Sundance 2017

'Icarus': Film Review | Sundance 2017
Playing like a gonzo Laura Poitras film, Jewtopia star and co-writer Bryan Fogel's first documentary pulls back the curtain on the man who was both the facilitator and whistle-blower of Russia's massive sports doping program. Having the good doctor front-and-center to reveal how he pulled off the staggering deception (just as two of his former colleagues happened to die “unexpectedly”) is the kind of major “get” that occasionally transforms a documentary into an event. But while Icarus technically doesn't break any news, it certainly scores many points by showing a diabolical wizard so surprisingly laying his secrets on...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

‘Icarus’ Sundance Documentary Director Was Scared When Exposing Russian Olympic Doping Scandal

‘Icarus’ Sundance Documentary Director Was Scared When Exposing Russian Olympic Doping Scandal
Bryan Fogel had created a nice cottage industry when he wrote, directed, and performed in the romantic comedy “Jewtopia.” He took the stage play from Los Angeles to New York, then directed the feature film version released in 2013.

Admittedly “desperate not to go through the rest of life as the ‘Jewtopia’-guy,” though, Fogel turned to his youthful passion of bicycle racing for his next project. Now he’s the force behind the documentary film that helped break one of the biggest sports stories of recent years, even before becoming one of the buzziest titles at the start of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Icarus,” set to screen Friday morning as part of the U.S. documentary competition, started as a kind of “Super Size Me” for athletes. Amateur cyclist Fogel planned to explore the impacts of performance-enhancing drugs, by doping himself, and use film to tell about how the chemicals changed him.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bring On the Bidding Wars: 14 Movies That Could Sell Big at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

  • Indiewire
Bidding wars have already begun for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Buyers snapped up six titles in the days leading up to the fest, including one that A24 purchased sight unseen: David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story,” starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. Other movies acquired in the past two weeks are “Berlin Syndrome” (Netflix), “Call Me By Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics), “Casting JonBenet” (Netflix), “Cries From Syria” (HBO for television rights) and “Long Strange Trip” (Amazon).

Read More: Sundance 2017: Netflix, Vertical Acquire ‘Berlin Syndrome’

With 120 features playing at Sundance, there are plenty of hot titles remaining for acquisition executive, though it will be tough for any film to exceed last year’s $17.5 million purchase of “The Birth of a Nation” by Fox Searchlight, the biggest deal in the festival’s history.

Which movies are likely to have buyers lining up in the cold this year? Here are 14 hot
See full article at Indiewire »

Dawn Patrol movie review: total wipeout

A repulsive and disgustingly manipulative roundrobin of revenge that veers from softcore porn to an emotionally ignorant parody of a family drama. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Dawn Patrol is not the action adventure thrill ride about surfers that it would like you to believe it is. It has nothing to do with either the 1930 or 1938 films of (nearly) the same name about World War I fighter pilots. But it does hope that you will grant its central character some of the automatic sympathy that comes with a soldier’s uniform, because that’s how it introduces us to the “plight” of John (Scott Eastwood: Fury). He is in a desert somewhere — we are clearly meant to infer that it’s Iraq or Afghanistan — wearing Marine fatigues and being held captive by a woman
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Return to Sender movie review: yes, return to sender

For almost the entire running time of this movie, we have no idea what it is about. What is it trying to say? What sort of story is it trying to tell? I’m “biast” (pro): love Rosamund Pike

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

In my head I’m calling this film What Is This I Can’t Even: The Movie. It works at least as well as the blandly generic and not even really apropos Return to Sender, which describes a tiny section of the second act that then resolves itself and has no further bearing on the story. In fact, the bearing it does have on the story hardly makes any sense at all, not on the level of plot, character, or theme. Not that the plot, characters, or putative themes make any sense on a whole-movie level,
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

"Jewtopia" Survives its Exodus from Stage to Screen

If you’ve never heard of the play that inspired the film, no one could blame you for having a little bit of apprehension heading into a film called Jewtopia. The film’s name alone makes you wonder if it’s going to be an incredibly offensive onslaught of anti-semitic one-liners or a comedy created by and knowingly winking at anyone who’s ever lived or observed Jewish life in America. It’s a comedy staple that’s become increasingly common over the years, with the guilt-tripping mothers, a mandatory career path of lawyer, doctor, or media mogul, and many other overly familiar stereotypes. Jewtopia plays them all up, but in a way that’s simultaneously repetitive and fresh. It doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the best performances for Joel David Moore or Ivan Sergei, or that they’re backed by Tom Arnold, Jon Lovitz, Jennifer Love Hewitt,
See full article at JustPressPlay »

What should be on the Oscar shortlist for best song?

The longlist for the Best Song category in the Oscars has been announced – so what should make the cut?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the longlist of songs for its Best Original Song Oscar in 2014, ahead of the nominations for the shortlist on January 14.

The list features 75 songs written for movies over the last year, with artists including Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, U2, Coldplay, Kings Of Leon, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and M83 all making the grade. Pharrell is included for his hit Happy, currently in the top 5 of the UK charts, which appears in Despicable Me 2, and other animated films make up a large proportion of those selected: Epic, Turbo, The Croods, Planes, Escape From Planet Earth and Monsters University all also get a mention.

The Great Gatsby, with its bold and incongruous soundtrack of modern musicians, gets five mentions for songs by Jay Z,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Review: Terrible Off-Broadway Adaptation 'Jewtopia' Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt

  • The Playlist
One gets flummoxed when forced to discuss something like “Jewtopia,” the existence of which we’d all like to disavow. Based on the sort of off-Broadway play best suited to people who hate theater, this embarrassing cocktail of racial obliviousness nonetheless has amassed a considerable cast of established names to sully themselves for the sake of gags that would be booed out of the writer’s room for a Chuck Lorre sitcom. So it’s got that going for it: if you like moderately big names regardless of the context, then “Jewtopia” merits a hearty recommendation. The thoroughly unlikable Ivan Sergei is Christian, a dim-witted son of an army dad (Peter Stormare, inexplicably continuing to play American southerners) who harbors a fetish for Jewish girls. His reasoning, that he wants the theoretically-controlling shishka bride to control and adjust every part of his life, is maybe the least offensive racial stereotype that peppers his stew.
See full article at The Playlist »

There's Ignorance Aplenty in Jewtopia, But No Laughs

There's Ignorance Aplenty in Jewtopia, But No Laughs
In Brian Fogel's new romantic comedy Jewtopia, mixed signals are the order of the day, both from the characters to each other and from the movie to the audience. When redneck plumber Christian O'Connell (Ivan Sergei) finally gets Alison Marks's (Jennifer Love Hewitt) phone number, he hopes it will end the nine years he's spent mourning the Jewish college girlfriend who broke up with him because of his religion. Alison, the rabbi's daughter, loves Christian's Nascar jacket, which she mistakes for an indication of his sense of humor. In fact, Christian just likes Nascar. He also likes Jewish women. What should make viewers skeptical, besides Christian's fetish for Semites, is that despite living in Los Angeles, he appears only to know one actual Jew—his childhood best friend...
See full article at Village Voice »

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