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Memorable Movie Moments…

Today’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to 1978, for the excellent cinematography in a film called Days of Heaven. Written and directed by 3x Oscar nominee Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life), Days of Heaven is an American epic that follows a young couple, Bill and Abby, during the Expansionist era in 1916. Moving from Chicago to Texas in search of work, the two become involved in a scheme to have Abby marry a wealthy farmer who is close to death in order to gain his fortune. This, of course doesn’t go according to plan and so a dramatic conflict of jealousy and deceit ensues, loosely based on a backstory that first appeared in Alexander DumasThe Three Musketeers.

Starring Richard Gere (An Officer and a Gentlemen, Pretty Woman), Brooke Adams (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Dead Zone), and Sam Shepard (Swordfish, Black Hawk Down), the film received Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Music – Original Score. Although it failed to win any of these awards, Days of Heaven did receive the Oscar for Best Cinematography for Nestor Almendros. Continue reading

‘The Peanuts Movie’ Opening In Theaters Nationwide This Friday

October may have slowed down in terms of big releases as we came closer to Halloween, but with November comes a new month of big releases, and this week will see no shortage of such films this Friday. The first new release on the list is the upcoming modern rework of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and their gang of Peanuts, appropriately titled The Peanuts Movie. Coming Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Animation, and from Horton Hears A Who and Ice Age: Continental Drift director Steve Martino, the new movie finds everyone’s favorite underdog Charlie Brown and his best pal Snoopy in an all new adventure, as Charlie tries to make a good impression on the new girl moving in next door, and Snoopy continues in his quest to shoot the Red Baron out of the sky. All of the timeless Peanuts characters from the mind of author Charles Schulz are back in new 3D fashion, with a touch of the classic anime-style that brought the Peanuts to our home television-screens growing up. An all new cast also provides voice-overs for the animated characters, including Noah Schnapp (Bridge of Spies) as Charlie Brown, Alexander Garfin (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) as Linus, Hadley Belle Miller (Branson the Sitcom) as Lucy, Noah Johnston (Monsters University) as Schroeder, and Peanuts veteran, Bill Melendez (A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, A Charlie Brown Christmas), returning to provide the voice of Snoopy. Given the production studio’s approach in remaining loyal to the classic Peanuts animation style, while simultaneously adapting it for modern filmmaking, I think fans of the Peanuts and those of the new generation will both be pleased by how this one turns out. The trailer is available here on MADE. Be sure to see it in 3D on big screens across the country this Friday, November 6th.

New Big Screen Adaptation of ‘Goosebumps’ With Jack Black Opening In Theaters Today

Those of us who grew up in the 90s (which is pretty much all of us) remember watching the popular television adaptation of author R.L. Stine‘s short story collection, titled Goosebumps. Now, 20 years later, a feature-length film adaptation of the popular series is opening in theaters across the country today. Starring Jack Black (School of Rock, Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny) as R.L. Stine, himself, the film, simply titled Goosebumps, follows a young urban teenager who moves to a small town and meets the real R.L. Stine. As it turns out, the monsters in Stine’s stories are real, and he has spent his life protecting his readers from them by entrapping them in his book, hence the reason behind his madness. All that is thrown into havoc, however, when our young city dweller shows up and unintentionally releases the monsters and they begin to terrorize the town, leaving it up to Stine and his new teenage acquaintances to stop them. The film is directed by Rob Letterman (Shark Tale, Gulliver’s Travels) and penned by screenwriters Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After, Jack the Giant Slayer), and writing partners Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, Big Eyes). Appearing in the supporting cast are actors Dylan Minnette (Let Me In, Prisoners), Odeya Rush (The Odd Life of Timothy Green, The Giver), Ryan Lee (Super 8, This is 40), and Oscar-nominee Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone, Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). The trailer is available here on MADE. Also opening in theaters today are the films Truth, All Things Must Pass, and Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. Enjoy the weekend!

New Thriller From M. Night Shyamalan ‘The Visit’ Now Playing In Theaters

It seems like we’ve gone a long time without seeing a scary movie from M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs) open on the big screens, but a new thriller from the iconic writer/director is opening in theaters across the country today. This will be his first feature film since 2013’s After Earth; he most recently served as executive producer for the television series Wayward Pines, after writing a couple of episodes for After Hours. He also has an undisclosed project that is still in the early production stages. The new release is titled The Visit and follows two siblings on a visit to see their grandparents, but things turn very strange and the trip proves to be everything but an ordinary trip to grandma’s house. Leading the cast as the two kids are Olivia DeJonge (The Sisterhood of Night, Polarized) and Ed Oxenbould (Paper Planes, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day), with actors Deanna Dunagan (Running Scared, Dimension), Peter McRobbie (Spider-Man 2, Lincoln), and Kathryn Hahn (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Step Brothers) making up the supporting cast. Shyamalan screened the movie at ComicCon in San Diego and received positive reviews from audiences there, who report a really crazy twist in pure M. Night Shyamalan style. I’ll just say it’s about time. The trailer is featured above. Enjoy the weekend!

‘Terminator Genisys’ Opening In Theaters Nationwide This July 1st, 2015


You have probably noticed all of the new TV-spots for the upcoming Terminator Genisys movie, the long-awaited 5th installment in the series that began with writer/director James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) in 1984. While we did just see an installment several years ago with Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, The Prestige), the big appeal for this Terminator movie is that it will bring the series back to the familiarity of the story-line: futuristic cyborg (reprogrammed by the resistance) is sent back in time to ensure the survival of Sarah Connor, whose son, John, is the leader of the human race against intelligent machines after Judgement Day. It will also see series veteran Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator, Total Recall) back in his original role as the cyborg-assassin, but this won’t be simply a case of re-making the original. Instead, director Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World) and writers Laeta Kalogridis (Alexander, Shutter Island) and Patrick Lussier (Scream, Drive Angry) will follow the terminator and Kyle Reese as they venture along a parallel time-line to Cameron’s original film (think Back to the Future: Part 2, but with Arnold instead of Marty McFly!). You may have noticed that modern-day Arnold gets into a hardcore fist-fight with his younger self at the end of the trailer…pretty cool shit! The supporting cast will see Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones, Dom Hemingway) as Sarah Connor, Jai Courtney (A Good Day To Die Hard, Divergent) as Kyle Reese, and Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, The Great Gatsby) as John Connor, with Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man, Whiplash) also making an appearance. The trailer is here on MADE, be sure to catch this one on the big screen on July 1st!

MADE Review: ‘Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’

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Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) saw a limited theatrical release back in November 2014, but now you can catch it on the big screen once again as the film is experiencing a special re-release having received 9 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), and Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu). Actors Michael Keaton and Edward Norton both deliver excellent performances, but Emma Stone really deserves a lot of credit for this one; her performance as Keaton’s attention-depraved daughter recovering from time in rehab is easily her best yet, and she definitely makes the jump from pretty-face roles to serious and talented actress, much like Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in American Hustle last year. Director Inarritu’s stylistic approach to the storytelling is also incredibly unique. Rather than cutting from scene to scene to show story progression and time-lapse, he transitions one scene to the next by having characters walk into the current scene or camera view, and then follow that new character into the next scene using the same single camera view, giving the film a sort of real-time flow while covering the course of several days. Birdman has also earned Inarritu and co-writers Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo an Academy Award-nomination for Best Screenplay and Emmanuel Lubezki a nomination for Best Cinematographer. So if you get a chance try to see this one before it leaves theaters again. It’s definitely worth your time.

Director Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes’ Opening This Christmas Day


Despite the fact that The Interview will no longer be showing in theaters this Christmas Day, movie-goers will still have plenty of flicks to choose from for their holiday-fix. Among the new releases is the latest film from iconic writer/director Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas), Big Eyes, starring Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Bastards, Django Unchained) and Amy Adams (Man of Steel, American Hustle). The film follows the story of American painter Margaret Keane. Keane is known for her use of “big eyes” in her portrayals of women and children, who often appear in a sad or depressed demeanor. Keane and her husband, Walter, had sold many of her paintings during the 1960s under Walter’s name, but following the couple’s divorce in 1965, Keane announced that she was the true artist, and the couple began a string of legal battles that eventually ended with a 3-week trial and Keane being awarded $4 million in damages. Screenwriting team Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, Man on the Moon) wrote the story and penned the script for Burton. Check out the trailer here on MADE. The movie opens Christmas Day.

‘Birdman Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance’ Opens October 17th In New York And L.A.

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Although most of us won’t have the opportunity to see this one unless we’re in New York City or Los Angeles, it is still a project worth bringing to your attention. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel, Biutiful) released a new film at this year’s Venice Film Festival titled Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. The film features an all star cast lead by Michael Keaton and also featuring Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts. The story follows an actor who, at the height of his career, portrayed an iconic superhero (Birdman) and now must overcome his eccentric ego in order to reclaim his seat in the spotlight by taking a role in a Broadway play. Inarritu directed the film from a screenplay written by himself and screenwriters Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo. Birdman has already seen several additional releases in the United States, including the Telluride Film Festival in August and the New York Film Festival, Hamptons International, and Philadelphia International Film Festivals earlier this month. Chicagoans will get a chance to see it on the 18th as part of the Chicago International Film Festival, but a nationwide theatrical release has not yet been announced. Stay tuned for more information.

Color Version Of Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’ Will Be Aired On Paramount-Owned Epix Network

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Nebraska not only made up for its $17 million production budget, it also secured six Oscar nominations at the Academy Awards last year, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Bruce Dern), and Best Director (Alexander Payne). The movie was filmed entirely in black-and-white and featured actors Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk, and Stacy Keach, working from a screenplay by Bob Nelson. Now Paramount will be airing a color-version of the film on their television network Epix this Sunday, August 10, 2014. Apparently Payne had had to make a color-version of the film that he never intended to release, but did so because of contract stipulations in certain countries that accepted only color pictures. Nebraska is the story of an estranged son (Will Forte) and his developing relationship with his alcoholic father (Bruce Dern) as they journey from Montana to Nebraska in order to claim a $1 million sweepstakes prize. Check out the trailer here on MADE, then be sure to go out and rent a copy for yourself, and remember, if you’re not a fan of black-and-white, the color-version airs on Epix this Sunday…check your local listings!

Matt Smith And Aaron Williamson Joining ‘Terminator: Genesis’

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The next installment in the Terminator series will not only bring back Arnold Schwarzenegger as the futuristic cyborg killer, it will also feature a new all-star cast including Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, and J.K. Simmons, and now Doctor Who regular Matt Smith and Marine veteran turned bodybuilder Aaron Williamson will also be joining the cast. Smith’s role is still unknown at this point, but Williamson, who has lent a hand on numerous Hollywood projects like The Butler and Django Unchained, will also take a role as a T-800 cyborg just like Schwarzenegger. The official plot of the movie is still being kept under-wraps, but according to a recent article from HitFix it may involve a double parallel where we see the original story-line from James Cameron’s 1984 blockbuster as well as the new story playing out in the same time and place, so a bit like Back to the Future: Part 2 where you have two Marty’s with two objectives. The film will also include Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Jai Courtney (A Good Day To Die Hard) in the roles of Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, the two protagonists of the original movie, and will be penned by Laeta Kalogridis (Alexander, Shutter Island) and Patrick Lussier (Dracula 2000, Drive Angry). Director Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, The Sopranos) is already in the process of shooting the film, and Paramount has scheduled the release for July 2015.