HBO’s latest TV movie releases this month feature some familiar faces and some exciting new ones. Robert Pattinson is back in the spotlight in ‘Robbie’s World,’ a touching tribute to the music industry and its fans. Meanwhile, the Masters of Sex star Jessica Biel plays a strong character in the provocative comedy, ‘The Package.’
Here’s a breakdown of the key plot points of these exciting new films.
‘Robbie’s World’: The Music Industry
‘Robbie’s World’ highlights the intimate and sometimes dangerous world of a rock star. The movie follows the rise of a musician (played by Robert Pattinson) in the ‘70s and his struggle to maintain a healthy relationship with his bandmates (played by Justin Timberlake and Harry Styles). Director Craig Johnson brings a fresh perspective to the storied music industry, giving the story greater depth and intimacy.
“The film looks gorgeous, and I think it’s a fresh take on what it means to be a rock star,” Johnson said. “I think rock stars are a fascinating bunch, and they’re such a dynamic species. Not only do they want women but also want to have fun. Yet, at the same time, they have to project this very tough image. I think that’s such a funny contradiction.”
The director also talked about the unique challenges of making a movie about the music industry.
“There are so many stories that could be told about the music industry, but to be able to tell this specific story, it required a lot of research and a lot of talking to people. To be able to make this movie, I had to find a way to penetrate this world. I had to find a way to understand how music works, how it is made, and how it is sold. I think that’s what made this film such a special and unique project for me,” he said.
‘The Package’: A Tale of Modern Day Love
‘The Package’ is based on the novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ by E.L. James and brings the dark side of romance to the big screen. The movie starts off hot and heavy but then gradually slows down as the story unfolds. Biel and co-star Scott Eastwood play Dr. Stefanie Stevens and John Galway, a married couple working at a pharmaceutical firm who develop a new drug that promotes happiness. The only problem is that the drug has unexpected and often dangerous side effects.
“It’s a love story about modern day love in a way,” producer Dany Garcia said. “We wanted to make something that felt really good and relevant to millennial women. This story was written in such a way that speaks to young audiences, and that’s what we were aiming for.”
The chemistry between Biel and Eastwood is undeniable, and it’s clear that the filmmakers put a lot of effort into making their characters realistic and relatable. The actor talked about the emotional and physical challenges of performing the extramarital affair that is at the center of his character’s arc. He also talked about what he brings to the table as an actor, comparing his skills to other leading men.
“I think for me the more subtle elements of performance just come naturally,” he said. “You’d be surprised how much an actor’s body language and tone of voice can change the meaning of a word, a phrase, or a sentence. I think that’s what makes acting such a powerful art form. You can take any scene and make it your own, change it, and give it a new perspective just by using your imagination and training.”
Biel went on to say that she sees her character’s arc as a “battle of the sexes,” adding that “women are starting to reclaim their power and see men as a threat rather than an authority figure.”
“I think that there is still a large amount of society that looks down upon relationships or that is wary of them,” she said. “I think that there is almost a war on marriage, and I think that women are starting to see that men are not the enemy, and that they can be quite complementary.”
The writer of the original story, EL James, said that she hopes that her novel will “bring to a close” the debate over “whether or not love can make you feel happy.” She adds, “I think that when you have a romance, even if it’s a bad relationship, you can feel happy because you are connecting with someone you love. That’s what I believe.”
‘Masters of Sex’: The Feminist Challenge
‘Masters of Sex’ is a biopic about the pioneering sex researchers William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson. The film focuses on the intimate relationships that formed as a result of their studies, which examined the human sexual response. It stars Michael Sheen as Masters, who famously conducted a kissing experiment with Virginia Johnson (Linda Chavel). The film also stars Christina Hendricks as Johnson and Caitriona Balfe as Masters’ second wife, Ania.
Critics are comparing the movie to the popular TV series ‘Mad Men’ and its depiction of the 1960s, but it actually diverges from its period setting in many ways. Instead, the film uses current events and cultural references to comment on the nature of sexuality in the modern era. While many may consider the movie a comedy, it is actually a scathing critique of gender roles and the double standards that still exist today.
“Masters of Sex’ is very funny and very irreverent, but at the same time, it has a very strong and complex point of view,” co-writer and star Paul Feig said. “It definitely straddles that line.”
The writer of ‘Mad Men,’ Matthew Weiner, said that while he recognized the value of depicting culture and historical events in drama, he felt that the choice to use the ‘Mad Men’ look and settings was a mistake. Instead, he said, “I would have liked to have seen a film about the period that looked more like a ‘Bourne Identity,’ ” referencing the classic ‘Bourne’ series of spy films.
The film opens with a disclaimer that explains, “The characters in this movie are fictitious and not intended to be satirical or satirical characters.” But even fans of ‘Mad Men’ may have trouble recognizing some of the people and places in ‘Masters of Sex.’ Although many of the story lines and characters are fictional, the film does draw from real events, including the historic bombing of Darwin, Australia, in 2002 and the murders of celebrities such as Sharon Tate and Elizabeth Taylor.
The makers of the film say that they wanted to create a movie that would appeal to as many people as possible and would give an honest depiction of a very complex topic. They also want to promote feminist and social causes in a way that is entertaining and accessible to the general public.
“We certainly don’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings or causes by making a funny movie about them,” co-writer and director Jonathan Sobel said. “But at the same time, we want to have fun with this topic and get people thinking and talking about it.”
The film is scheduled to be released on April 13.
What Are Your Thoughts On These Movies?
What are your thoughts on these movies? Are they something you’ll watch and remember? Or will they just be another one of those movies that you try to forget as soon as possible? Let us know what you think!