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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

Today In Movie History…

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Today in movie history, revered editor and sound engineer Walter Murch was born in New York City in 1943. Murch first gained momentum in the film industry working with Oscar-winner Francis Ford Coppola on his film The Rain People (1969) before going on to work with George Lucas on THX1138 (1971) and American Graffiti (1973). He then furthered his professional relationship with Coppola working on films like The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Conversation (1974), the latter which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. His first major contribution to film came on Coppola’s iconic Vietnam drama, Apocalypse Now (1979), for which he won his first Oscar. Murch used a multi-track recording system to create new sounds that invoked both physical tension and psychological drama against the back-drop of Coppola’s war epic. Murch went on to serve as both sound and picture editor for numerous films, winning double Oscars for The English Patient in 1996 for Best Editor and Best Sound Editor. His work with Coppola continued throughout his career, working on films like The Godfather Part III (1990) and Tetro (2009); he also received a double Oscar-nomination in 1990 for The Godfather Part III and Ghost with Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg. Continue reading

New Trailer Available For ‘Captain America: Civil War’

With the summer movie calendar quickly drawing near, new trailers are starting to fill up television spots and the pre-feature trailers at the movie theaters in abundance. One such trailer is the second for the highly-anticipated Captain America: Civil War, which will open on big screens on May 6th, 2016. The new movie follows the story-line established with Avengers 2, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this time finding the Avengers split between leading members Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), who disagree over new sanctions that the government wishes to install in order to monitor the team of heros and “prevent any further widespread damage or casualties” as a result of their efforts. As expected, the movie is loaded with the all-star cast of familiar faces, including Scarlett Johansson (Lucy, Hail! Caesar) and Jeremy Renner (American Hustle, The Bourne Legacy). Continue reading

New Tina Fey Comedy ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ Opening In Theaters This Friday

A new wartime comedy starring Tina Fey (30 Rock, Sisters) and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus) titled Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is opening in theaters this Friday, March 4th. The film is an adaptation of author Kim Barker’s novel The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, about a journalist during her time reporting in the war-ridden Middle East. Screenwriter Robert Carlock (Friends, Saturday Night Live) adapted the book for directing partners Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris, Crazy Stupid Love). Co-starring in the film are actors Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hot Fuzz), Alfred Molina (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc, Spider-Man 2), Christopher Abbott (Martha Marcy May Marlene, A Most Violent Year), and Billy Bob Thornton (Monster’s Ball, Armageddon). This one first seemed like a pretty strange comedy for Tina Fey to take on, but judging from the latest trailer, it does look like a pretty promising piece of screenwriting, so I guess we’ll just have to see this weekend. The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’ Opening This Christmas Day

Now that the Star Wars bubble has burst, it’s time to look forward to this week’s Christmas Day releases. The first up is one we’ve been waiting for since last Christmas, when a version of the script was leaked and writer/director Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained) was urged to file a lawsuit over the incident. The Hateful Eight is the eighth writing/directing project from Tarantino and is another Western outing that takes place in post-Civil War Wyoming, where a group of bounty hunters are forced to seek shelter from a blizzard, only to find themselves in a game of betrayal and deception. This time out, Tarantino’s stylistic approach to filmmaking will be backed by a full score from Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone, whose last Western-film score went to 1975’s A Genius, Two Friends, and an Idiot, but he is more famously known in the Western genre for his contributions to films like A Fistful of Dollars (1964), The Good The Bad and the Ugly (1966), and Once Upon A Time in the West (1968). Starring in the new film are actors Jennifer Jason Leigh (Road to Perdition, The Machinist), Channing Tatum (22 Jump Street, Foxcatcher), Kurt Russell (Stargate, Death Proof), Walton Goggins (Predators, Sons of Anarchy), Zoe Bell (Grindhouse, Oblivion), and Oscar-nominee Bruce Dern (Monster, Nebraska), along with Tarantino regulars Samuel L. Jackson (Basic, The Avengers), Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), and Michael Madsen (Free Willy, Kill Bill Vol. 2). The film will be getting a limited release in theaters this Christmas Day, owing to Tarantino’s decision to present the film on 70mm projection screens before the nationwide expansion on January 16th. If a theater near you is showing this one on Christmas Day I would definitely give it some consideration; anything Tarantino is always great, and throw Morricone into the mix and probably got one of the best Westerns that’s hit the big screen in a while, so enjoy!

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Shatters Box Office Records In Opening Weekend

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens proved to be more than just the return of one of the most loved film franchises of all time. It was also the highest-grossing opening weekend movie of all time. Beginning with a $57 million haul on Thursday night, the film went on to make an estimated $238 million domestically in the first three days of release. The opening also brought in another $279 million in international ticket sales, putting the worldwide box office opening at a grand total of $517 million. Jurassic World was the last to set the record earlier this year with $208.8 million. Force Awakens also set the record for the highest opening single day and Friday release at $120.5 million, and the highest December opening weekend record set by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at $84.62 million in 2012. Needless to say, Disney is about to cash in a big fat check. Be sure to check it out in theaters this Holiday season.

‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ Now Playing In Theaters Nationwide

After months and months of anticipation, fans can finally rejoice! As of today, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is now playing in theaters nationwide, and if you haven’t already secured a ticket, you might have to wait at least a week or two before braving the storm of people waiting in line out the door. Director JJ Abrams (Mission Impossible 3, Super 8) took leave of his Star Trek obligations in order to direct the film, which reunites original stars Mark Hamill (Commander Hamilton, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), Harrison Ford (Blade Runner, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc), and Carrie Fisher (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, The Blues Brothers) with an all new generation of actors, led by Daisy Ridley (Blue Season, Scrawl), John Boyega (Junkhearts, Imperial Dreams), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year), Domhnall Gleeson (Unbroken, Ex Machina), Adam Driver (While We’re Young, This Is Where I Leave You), and Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey). The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi Oscar-winning screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist) worked on the new project’s script with director Abrams and fellow Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3), about a new threat to peace and justice in the galaxy that occurs 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi concluded. Little more needs be said; all I ask is that you not be an asshole and spoil the plot for everybody in ear-shot of your conversations! Enjoy.

New Amy Berg Documentary ‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’ Opening In Theaters Friday November 27th

A new music-documentary from director Amy Berg (West of Memphis, An Open Secret) titled Janis: Little Girl Blue is opening in theaters this Friday, November 27th. The last we heard news of this project was back in October, when it was to be headlined (among other contenders like Trumbo, Black Mass, and Spotlight) at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was an Offical Selection winner. The film also received Official Selection at this years Festival de Rio and BFI London Film Festival. Featuring Cat Power (V for Vendetta, Boyhood) as the narrator, the film takes a close look at the life of blues/rock-n-roll star Janis Joplin and her roll as a woman and key figure in the Rock-n-Roll movement through personal letters she wrote to friends, family, and fellow musicians. A barrage of home-movies, interviews, and documentary footage accompanies the letters read by Power to give us a touching and intimate look at the life of the twentieth century icon. If you’re a fan of Joplin’s, classic rock, blues, or the 60s in general, I would definitely recommend seeing this one if you can. For other great concert footage of Joplin, check out Woodstock: The Director’s Cut, which documents the famous Woodstock Music Festival held in the summer of 1969 and featured some of the most popular artists of the time, including Jimmy Hendrix, Joan Baez, The Who, Santana, Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Arloo Guthrie, Sly and the Family Stone, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash, among many more. Enjoy!

New Dramatic Comedy ‘Burnt’ Opening In Theaters In New York and Los Angeles Today

A new “dramedy” titled Burnt from director John Wells (August: Osage County, Shameless) is opening for audiences in New York City and Los Angeles today, with a nationwide expansion expected in the next few weeks. The film comes from a film adaptation of a story by Michael Kalesniko (Private Parts, Iron Sky) by screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke), centering around a chef who, after ruining his career with drugs and eccentric behavior, returns to London in an attempt to make a comeback by opening a restaurant capable of receiving three Michelin stars. Actor Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) stars as chef Adam Jones, with actors Sienna Miller (American Sniper, Foxcatcher), Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Basterds, Rush), Ricardo Scamarcio (My Brother is an Only Child, Loose Cannons), Omar Sy (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Jurassic World), Emma Thompson (Love Actually, Saving Mr. Banks), Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1), and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man From UNCLE). The film is expected to be a semi-biographical story based around the life of Gordon Ramsey (Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Knightmares). The trailer is available here on MADE. Look for the nationwide expansion to your area in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy the weekend!

Director Jerry Jameson’s ‘Captive’ Opening In Theaters This Friday

A new drama from director Jerry Jameson (Airport 77, Magnum PI) titled Captive is opening in theaters nationwide this Friday. Based on the novel An Unlikely Angel by Ashley Smith, the film tells of her 2005 encounter with Brian Nichols, who showed up at her apartment in the middle of the night and held her hostage for seven hours before letting her go and turning himself into authorities for murdering four people. Starring as Smith is Kate Mara (127 Hours, Fantastic Four), and Golden Globe winner David Oyelowo (Interstellar, Selma) as Brian Nichols. Making up the supporting cast are actors Mimi Rogers (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Lost In Space), Michael K. Williams (Gone Baby Gone, 12 Years A Slave), and Jessica Oyelowo (Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland). The book was adapted for the screen by Brian Bird (The Last Sin Eater, The Confession). The trailer is available here on MADE. This one should prove to be a pretty intense watch, but with David Oyelowo included in the line-up it should turn out to be a pretty good one. Enjoy!