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This Week In Film History…

On September 6, 1967, a documentary titled Don’t Look Back opened at an old ramshackle theater in San Francisco. It was hard to imagine why this old pornographic movie theater had a line of people extending out the door and around the corner, but once you found out it was about Bob Dylan, it was no surprise at all. The September 6th release was the first large-scale screening of the film that documented Bob Dylan and company’s whirlwind 1965 European tour. Joining him on tour were the likes of artists like Joan Baez, Donovan, and Allen Ginsberg, along with the standard parade of press, crew, police, fans, and everything else that came to epitomize Rock n’ Roll in the 1960s.

Bob Dylan, in particular, was an iconic figure in his own right. He had risen to fame in the early-60’s folk scene in New York City’s Greenwich Village, developing his own songwriting skills and capturing fans around the world with songs like Blowin’ in the Wind, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, and The Times They Are A-Changin,’ his so-called early “protest era” catalogue. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

This week’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to Steven Spielberg‘s shark-attack nightmare: 1975’s Jaws. This movie is the reason why all of our parents are afraid to go into the water. Jaws was Steven Spielberg’s breakout movie. It won 3 Oscars for Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Music, and was also nominated for Best Picture. All that, however, came with an extremely stressful production and a brutal film schedule that ended up expanding from 55 to 155 days. Needless to say some recognition from the Academy was definitely warranted.

One of the biggest problems was actor Robert Shaw (From Russia with Love, The Sting). Though he was respected as an actor, he was in a heavy battle with alcoholism. This caused high tensions on the set, especially with fellow actor Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mr. Holland’s Opus). Shaw would have a drink between takes, but according to lead actor Roy Scheider (The French Connection, All That Jazz) it only took one before he was already off the wall. This caused him to totally flop the initial take of the USS Indianapolis scene, which is today’s Memorable Movie Moment.

During the scene, Quint (Shaw) describes the events surrounding the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945, which carried the first operational atomic bomb for the invasion of Japan. In the initial take, Shaw decided that, since the scene was at night and the men were supposed to be drunk anyway, he would drink and do the scene. Unfortunately he was so drunk that nothing in the performance could be used. The story goes that Shaw was so ashamed he went to Spielberg to ask for another take, and the next day he delivered this stunning performance sober, and all in one take. Continue reading

New Indie Drama ‘Captain Fantastic’ Seeing Limited Theatrical Release This Weekend

A new independent drama starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, A History of Violence) is seeing a limited theatrical release this Friday. Written and directed by Matt Ross (The Aviator, Silicon Valley), Captain Fantastic tells the story of a man who raises and home schools his six children in the countryside. After his wife commits suicide, however, they are forced to move into the city, and he soon discovers the children are not prepared for the realities of life in the city. The film won Un Certain Regard Award for directing at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and also took home the Golden Space Needle Award at the Seattle International Film Festival. Starring in the film are actors George McKay (Defiance, Pride), Samantha Isler (Sean Saves the World, Dig Two Graves), Annalise Besso (Standing Up, Oculus), Nicholas Hamilton (Long Shadows, Strangerland), Shree Crooks (Ray Donovan, American Horror Story), Charlie Shotwell (The Comedians, Shot Down), and comedic vets Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman, Sahara) and Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers, Parks and Recreation). Continue reading

New Trailer For Upcoming Tupac Biopic ‘All Eyez On Me’ Now Available

The first trailer for the upcoming Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me is now available online. Co-written by Ed Gonzalez (Creating a Convincing Cop Story, Street Kings 2: Motor City) and Jeremy Haft (Grizzly Mountain, Empire), the film chronicles Tupac’s life from his childhood to the night of him untimely and highly controversial death that coincided with the murder of rival rapper Notorious B.I.G. six months later. Starring in the lead as Shakur is Demetrius Shipp Jr., who is making his debut appearance. Appearing in the supporting cast are The Walking Dead co-stars Danai Gurira (Mother of George, The Visitor), and Lauren Cohan (The Boy, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice), as well as Kat Graham (Addicted, The Vampire Diaries), and Jamal Woolard as Biggie Smalls/Notorious. You might recognize Woolard from a previous biopic; the actor also portrayed Biggie in the 2009 biopic Notorious from director George Tillman Jr. All Eyez On Me is expected in theaters this November 11th, but we’ll definitely be seeing some additional trailers coming out soon. Enjoy the new trailer here on MADE.

New Extended Trailer For Disney’s Upcoming ‘Pete’s Dragon’

Disney is continuing to replenish its classic animated line-up with a new live-action adaptation of the 1977 feature Pete’s Dragon. Co-written and directed by David Lowery (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), the new film is led by Oakes Fegley (This Is Where I Leave You, The Truth About Lies) as the young orphan Pete, whose best friend just so happens to be a big green dragon named Elliot. Leading the rest of the cast is The Help and Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard, who is joined on screen by Karl Urban (The Bourne Supremacy, Star Trek), Wes Bentley (American Beauty, Interstellar), Oona Laurence (Southpaw, Lamb), and Oscar-winner Robert Redford (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men). Screenwriter Toby Halbrooks, who has worked on a number of projects with director Lowery, co-wrote the film, which doesn’t appear to feature the all-too-memorable Gogans or the crazed and crooked Dr. Terminus. The trailer looks like it’s going to turn into a really heavy, emotional movie, like Disney tends to do these days, but I’d say it will probably still be worth the watch. The new movie opens in theaters this August 12th. Watch the trailer here on MADE!

First Teaser Trailer For Upcoming ‘Pete’s Dragon’ Remake Now Available

A few months back we heard the first whisperings of an upcoming remake of the 1977 Walt Disney classic Pete’s Dragon, and now we have the first teaser trailer for the new movie, which is due out in August. Writer/director David Lowery (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) adapted the original S.S. Field story with co-screenwriter Toby Halbrooks (Robots Are Blue, Dig) about a young orphan named Pete who goes on extraordinary adventures with his friend, a giant dragon named Elliott. Leading the cast are actors Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help, Jurassic World), Robert Redford (All The President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Karl Urban (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Bourne Supremacy), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games, Interstellar), Craig Hall (King Kong, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), and Oakes Fegley (This Is Where I Leave You, Prism) as young orphan Pete. This will be the third Disney remake that’s due out this year, at least that we’ve been watching. The first is the new adaptation of The Jungle Book from director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef) coming out this April, and the second is the The Legend of Tarzan from director David Yates (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince), starring Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds), which is due out in July. The trailer for the new Pete’s Dragon is available here on MADE. Look for more updates on these three movies coming out soon.

New Trailer For ‘Suicide Squad’ Now Available

The latest trailer for the upcoming Suicide Squad movie was released this week, giving fans a much closer look at the group of maniacal killers that are recruited by the government to carry out black-ops missions in exchange for reduced sentences. Writer/director David Ayer (Training Day, Fury) assembled an all-star group of actors for the line-up, including Will Smith (Independence Day, I Robot), Jared Leto (Requiem for a Dream, Dallas Buyers Club), Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus), Joel Kinnaman (Safehouse, Run All Night), Viola Davis (The Help, Prisoners), and Jai Courtney (Divergent, Terminator: Genisys). There’s not much I can really say; everything looks really well done, including the acting, and it looks like we’ll see more by way of real action stunts than overdone CGI effects. Check out the trailer here on MADE; the movie comes to theaters August 5th.

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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 Documentary ‘All Things Must Pass’ Opening In Theaters Tomorrow

A new music documentary titled All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records is opening in theaters across the country tomorrow. The project was written by documentarian writer/producer Steven Leckart (In Deep Water, The Anti-Mascot), and was directed by Colin Hanks (Orange County, King Kong) in his first full-length feature directorial feature. Featuring interviews from music and film industry stars like Chris Cornell (Man of Steel, The Avengers), Chuck D. (American Gangster, Pineapple Express), David Geffen (Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice), Dave Grohl (21 Jump Street, The Wolf of Wall Street), Elton John (The Lion King, American Hustle), Bruce Springsteen (Jerry Maguire, The Wrestler), and many more, the film chronicles the rise and fall of Tower Records. Tower Records was a worldwide record store chain founded in the early 1960s by Russ Solomon, which rose to success as one of the iconic record sales companies in the music industry, only to file for bankruptcy in 2006 with the birth of the internet, or so many have claimed. The film analyzes the true nature of the conglomerate’s downfall, and highlights its importance on the music scene during the 1960s and 70s, and even into the 80s and 90s. Several documentaries have been released in recent years regarding the steady decline of the recording industry and production of vinyl records. Most notably has, perhaps, been Dave Grohl’s directorial project called Sound City (2013), chronicling the story of the tape-based recording studio in Van Nuys, California that was finally forced to shut down with dawn of the digital age. I’m guessing All Things Must Pass will be equally matched in demonstrating the struggles of the music industry in the digital age, and should be well worth your time if you’re a fan of documentaries or late twentieth century music, so be sure to check it out!

New Biographical Drama ‘Truth’ Opening In Theaters This Friday

The new biographical drama Truth, which details the 60 Minutes episode in 2004 that investigated President George W. Bush’s military service, and the subsequent criticism that led to news anchor Dan Rather and his producer Mary Mapes loosing their jobs and effectively ending their careers, is opening in theaters this Friday, October 16th. Screenwriter James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man) will be making his directorial debut with Truth, which he also adapted from Mary Mapes book. Starring in the two title roles are Oscar winners Robert Redford (All The President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and Cate Blanchett (The Aviator, Blue Jasmine), with Topher Grace (In Good Company, Interstellar), Dennis Quaid (Vantage Point, The Day After Tomorrow), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, Get Him To The Greek), Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek, I Robot), and Dermont Mulroney (About Schmidt, The Grey). The trailer is available here on MADE. Given the talent backing up this screenplay I would expect that this will definitely be worth seeing. Enjoy!