What do Bully, For Greater Glory and Project Yellow Sphere have in common?
Well, other than the fact that all three are entertainment projects, not too much. But news about each was delivered to my inbox this week, and so now I’m blogging it forward to you.
The Bully Project
You may have already heard about Bully (www.thebullyproject.com), a new documentary being brought to the big screen by The Weinstein Company which brings a face to bullying—a problem the studio says “transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders.”
The 94-minute film follows the lives of five bullied pre-teens and teens during the course of the 2009-2010 school year. Sundance and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, who reveals his own experience being bullied in middle school inspired him in the making of this film, says the primary goal was to capture bullying on camera. And the only way he and his producing partner Cynthia Lowen knew to do that was to imbed themselves at a school for the length of an academic year.
“We look at this film as a very rare opportunity to capture the public’s attention on this issue that affects every community,” he says. “And while we have their attention, we intend to provide information and resources to help, both in the short term and the long term.”
Parents should be aware that Bully is being released without a rating. That means experiences including young students being violently punched or shoved, a 14-year-old girl brandishing a loaded handgun, a 16-year-old who comes out as a lesbian, discussion of children committing suicide following bullying, foul language and other disturbing content will be shown as documented in Bully's five stories.
Originally the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave Bully an R-rating. In protest, a grassroots campaign was launched to call for Bully being lowered to a PG-13 rating, and celebrities such as Johnny Depp and Demi Lovato voiced their support. Ellen DeGeneres and Justin Bieber also signed a petition of 500,000 signatures to lend their names to the cause so that a lowered rating would allow for more kids to be granted admittance to see the film. And recent Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep also brought awareness when she co-hosted a special screening of the film last week in New York City with David Boies, one of the two attorneys responsible for overturning Proposition 8 in California.
Despite this star-studded rallying and the backing of petitioners, though, the MPAA refused to lower the rating from R to PG-13 and so the studio has announced it will release the film as unrated. Bully hits theaters in select cities tomorrow, March 30, 2012, and Crosswalk.com will run a full review of the documentary next week in the Crosswalk Movies channel.
For Greater Glory
Raise your hand if you remember studying about the Cristero War in history class? I don’t either. But reading more about the upcoming film For Greater Glory got my interest piqued, and I studied up on this uprising against the Mexican government by Roman Catholics who were being persecuted for their faith in the 20th century.
The time was the early 1920s and it was a battle royale between Government and Church. A new Constitution had been recently put in place with a policy of religious intolerance which basically gave the State the power to determine the number of churches and priests in the country, denied clergy the right to vote, prohibited churches from owning real estate, etc. As a result and in protest, militias of secular and religious people united in order to fight Mexico’s administration in this violent civil war.
Bringing the true story of this revolution to the big screen in For Greater Glory is Director Dean Wright (a leading Hollywood effects guru who worked on blockbusters including Titanic and The Lord of the Rings trilogy), along with a cast including Academy Award® nominee Andy Garcia, Golden Globe winner Eva Longoria, Oscar® Lifetime Achievement recipient Peter O’Toole, Bruce Greenwood and Catalina Sandino Moreno.
For Greater Glory will be released in theaters on June 1, 2012 and as of now will be rated R. For more information, and for a mini history refresher course, visit www.forgreaterglory.com.
Project Yellow Sphere
Now . . . the inner teenage boy in some us might have thought the name “Project Yellow Sphere” had something to do with yellow snow. Or warm water, for that matter. But all sophomoric giggling aside, I’ve done a little digging and found out that neither is the case when it comes to today’s last entertainment entry.
Project Yellow Sphere (www.projectyellowsphere.com) is a new . . . um . . . project. That’s yellow. And there’s a sphere involved. An official statement on the project’s site reads:
“What is Project Yellow Sphere . . . This data is currently classified. Due to a Freedom of Information Act request by DIGCORP, this content will be released for limited public review on 4.1.2012.”
Before DIGCORP releases its finding, though, I did a little digging myself. Rumor has it there’s a short film involved that will appeal to the retro ‘80s geek in all of us (hmmm, arcade games anyone?), and there’s also some leaked footage and some special investigation news coverage about it here.
But who’s behind all of this yellowness? Steelehouse Productions, a film and video production company out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, that has done work for a whole host of recognized brands including Hasbro, Big Idea (VeggieTales), Honda and Sonic.
“Where and how a generation views their entertainment has changed,” explains Steelehouse Productions’ Executive Creative Mark Steele. “Steelehouse is launching a creative and fan-friendly Web channel that meets that change head on—engaging the modern audience where it lives. It will afford us a space of our own for the of-the-moment storytelling to an audience that knows who Steelehouse is and what sort of quality and entertainment to expect from us.”
Interested parties are encouraged to log on at 12:01 a.m. C.T., this coming Sunday morning April 1, for the big reveal of Project Yellow Sphere. Steelehouse promises that whatever it is, it will be “a-MAZE-ing!” And I, for one, hope that’s no April Foolin'.