Tag Archives: and

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Is A 1980s Cinematic Nostalgia Trip

WARNING – SPOILERS!!! Pac Man, Back to the Future, and Blade Runner are only a few titles that make up the 1980s cinematic nostalgia trip in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, now playing in theaters. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One follows a young man named Wade Watts who lives in a dystopian United States in 2045. Humanity, as Wade knows it, is plagued by a failing economic system, an ominous corporate-governing body, and a tainted outdoor environment, all the result of an energy crisis caused by global warming, corporate greed, and the depletion of Earth’s fossil fuels. Since the real-world is no longer a pleasant place to spend your time, Wade, like most people, spends his days in the OASIS, an interactive virtual reality comprised of games and puzzles from every video game, movie, book, or television show made primarily between 1980 and 1990, although there are a few exceptions. The OASIS is the mind-child of James Halliday (obviously Cline’s own doppelganger) who, prior to his death, left a hidden Easter Egg inside the OASIS that, if found, provides the winner with his massive fortune and control of the corporation running the OASIS, and that’s where Wade’s (or Parzival as he is named in the OASIS) story begins. Continue reading

Will Disney’s Bid For Fox Properties Mean Another Monopoly For The Cable Industry?

disney fox merger

Walt Disney Pictures has come a long way from making full-length animated features like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and Peter Pan. In the 21st century, the company has reinvented itself with live-action blockbusters like Pirates of the Caribbean, state-of-the-art computer animated films like Cars and Frozen, and adaptations of children’s literary classics like Roald Dahl’s The BFG and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (out in theaters this March). In recent years, Disney has expanded into more lucrative markets like comic book blockbusters (ie. Marvel comics) and, of course, the Star Wars franchise. The latest Star Wars entry, The Last Jedi, hit the $1 billion mark in worldwide box office sales barely three weeks after its US theatrical release. With a plethora of material to work with, and plenty of money coming in, one would think Disney is far passed its tipping point, but that might not be the case at all. Continue reading

North American Box Office Earnings Down Despite ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Opening

the last jedi

The wait is over! Fans of the Star Wars saga are flooding movie theaters across the country today as The Last Jedi makes its nationwide debut. Following 2015’s The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi picks up roughly 30 years after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and finds a new band of heroes struggling to defeat the evil First Order. But unlike The Force Awakens, which was written and directed by JJ Abrams, The Last Jedi takes on a much darker tone, diving further into character backgrounds and bringing to light the tragic fate of Luke Skywalker and his failed Order of Jedi Knights. That means fans will get to see much more of Mark Hamill in the new film but, given the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, can also expect to see some beloved characters get killed off in the telling. Thus far most critics are hailing writer/director Rian Johnson‘s installment in the series, which is said to be entirely his own, despite what Abrams may have set up with in the previous film. Although The Last Jedi is expected to launch with a worldwide box office haul of roughly $425 million, it will likely not be enough to match the North American Box Office earnings record for 2016. Continue reading

Harry Dean Stanton Gives His Last Great Performance In New Drama ‘Lucky’

Harry Dean Stanton, the legendary character-actor who’s appeared in countless Hollywood productions, passed away on September 15th at the age of 91. Stanton got his start taking small roles in television productions like Bonanza, Rawhide, The Fugitive, and Gunsmoke in the 1950s and ’60s. He has since appeared in more than 100 films, including Cool Hand Luke, Kelly’s Heros, The Godfather Part II, Alien, Escape From New York, Repo Man, Pretty in Pink, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Green Mile. Now fans will have one more chance to see him in his first (and last) leading role since 1984’s Paris, Texas in what should prove to be a touching tribute.

Lucky is a drama from actor-turned-director John Carrol Lynch (Gran Torino, The Founder) that follows Lucky, a chain-smoking atheist and World War II veteran who must come to grips with his own mortality. The script comes from screenwriters Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja, and reunites Stanton with Twin Peaks creator David Lynch. Also appearing in the film are actors Ron Livingston (Office Space, Band of Brothers), Tom Skerritt (Top Gun, Steel Magnolias), James Darren (Gidget, The Guns of Navarone), and Yvonne Huff. Check your local listings for showings in your area, and if you’re not in the mood for killer clowns or Tom Cruise, make this one your go-to for the weekend. And of course, rest in peace Mr. Stanton!

Phil’s Last Stand

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Phils
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Location: 2258 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago
Hours: Sun: 10:30AM-10PM, Mon-Tue: 10:30AM-Midnight, Wed: 10:30AM-2AM, Thur-Sat: 10:30AM-4AM

Chicago’s hot dog game is on another level; red hots, char-dogs, grilled or raw onions, Chicago style toppings or old school style, poppy seed bun or plain, NO KETCHUP; it is it’s own madness. Last weekend we were out late in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood and decided to stop by Phil’s Last Stand to finally find out what all the hype’s about. {2:00am, Saturday}: Upon entering, the place was full of all sorts of Chicago’s finest, everyone from drunken college kids, fed up locals; and yes the odd bum or two. Classic atmosphere at any Chicago stand around bar close, the interior was packed but the picnic table filled patio was pleasantly vacant. Both the burgers and the hot dogs were awesome, and like my friend Blanco said, “This place doesn’t give a fuck about fries”; they literally filled the entire basket around the hot dogs. Phil’s easily earned it’s spot within my top 5 hot dog stands in the city, good food, decent prices and they offer more space than the average stand. If you’re ever in West Town or the Ukraine Village on an empty stomach, i’d highly recommend a stop here; you wont leave hungry.

Third Actor To Portray James Bond, Roger Moore, Passes Away at 89

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Earlier this week, Sir Roger Moore, the third actor to portray Ian Fleming’s British Secret Service Agent, James Bond, passed away at the age of 89. Moore died after a brief battle with cancer at his home in Switzerland, according to his family members. The actor first achieved fame with lead television roles in series like Maverick and The Saint in the 1950s and 60s. His first outing as James Bond came with 1973’s Live and Let Die, the second Bond novel by author Ian Fleming. Moore’s appointment to the role came after Sean Connery returned for one additional film (Diamonds Are Forever) following actor George Lazenby’s dismissal from the the part. He would then go on to star as Bond in an additional six films throughout the remainder of the 1970s and up until 1985’s A View To A Kill. Continue reading

Stephen King Adaptation ‘The Dark Tower’ Opening In Theaters This August

Author Stephen King is making a big cinematic comeback in 2017. A new adaptation of his 1986 horror-classic It is opening in theaters this September, and is expected to be a two-part installation with the second film following soon after. Before It hits theaters, however, another Stephen King adaptation will see a nationwide release in the form of The Dark Tower. Based on the final novel in his eight-part series, The Dark Tower, the film follows a man named Roland Deschain, the Last Gunslinger, who faces off with the Man in Black, Walter O’Dim, in an effort to stop him from destroying the Dark Tower, a mystical building that serves as the center of all universes. In writing the series, King drew inspiration from several sources, including the Arthurian Legend, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and the American West. Continue reading

Special 20th Anniversary Screenings of Luc Besson’s ‘The Fifth Element’ Showing This May

In 1997, writer/director Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Family) released his cult sci-fi classic The Fifth Element, featuring an all-star cast led by Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Pulp Fiction), Milla Jovovich (Dazed and Confused, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Chris Tucker (Friday, Rush Hour), and Ian Holm (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Day After Tomorrow). Set in the 23rd century, the film follows a cab driver in New York City whose life changes when he inadvertently picks up Leeloo. After being contacted by a strange priest, who informs him of Leeloo’s importance in defeating a great Evil, the three of them embark on a mission to save Leeloo and the universe at large.

The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound Effects/Editing and, over the years, has developed a massive cult following. It also furthered the career of Milla Jovovich, who went on to star in such films as Zoolander and the Resident Evil film series. As a special 20th Anniversary celebration, The Fifth Element will be playing in select theaters across the country on May 14th and 17th. Showtimes and locations for Minneapolis, Chicago, and Cincinnati are available below, but you can search for screenings in your area by zip code right here at the Fathom Events website. Be sure to make it out for the special occasion!

Minneapolis, MN – May 14th:

• Southdale Megastar 16 – 400 Southdale Center, Edina, MN 55435-7020, 2:00pm and 7:00pm

• Rosedale 14 – 850 Rosedale Center, Roseville, MN 55113, 2:00pm and 7:00pm

• Arbor Lakes Megastar 16 – 12575 Elm Creek Blvd N, Maple Grove, MN 55369-7407, 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Minneapolis, MN – May 17th:

• Showplace ICON at The West End – 1625 West End Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416, 7:00pm

• Southdale Megastar 16 – 400 Southdale Center, Edina, MN 55435-7020, 2:00pm and 7:00pm

• Rosedale 14 – 850 Rosedale Center, Roseville, MN 55113, 2:00pm and 7:00pm Continue reading

May the Fourth Be With You….Happy Star Wars Day From MADE

For those die hard fans of the Star Wars film series, May 4th is always a special occasion. It was on May 25th, 1977 that A New Hope, the first ever Star Wars film from writer/director George Lucas made its theatrical debut. The event marked the beginning of a new phenomenon in modern cinema, and changed the way movies were made and even thought of from then on. Drawing from inspiration from early space adventure serials, George Lucas envisioned a modern space epic using classic themes and archetypes that would forever change the movie-going experience. His company, Industrial Lights and Magic, which would go on to create Pixar Animation in the 1990s, created new methods for special effects that gave movie-goers an experience never before seen on film. To celebrate this special fan day, here is the latest trailer for the next installation in the film series, The Last Jedi, which will feature original actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher as Luke and Leia Skywalker, along with new vets Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Adam Driver, and Domhnall Gleeson. Enjoy, and May the Fourth Be With You!

*Update – this article originally stated that A New Hope was released on May 4th, 1977, hence part of the reasoning behind “May-the-Fourth Day.” A New Hope actually hit theaters on May 25th of that year, just in time for Memorial Day Weekend. My apologies for the inaccuracy!

Remembering Acclaimed Director Jonathan Demme 1944-2017

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Acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Demme, know to most for directing The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, passed away last week at the age of 73. Known for his personal approach to filmmaking, Demme left behind an extensive portfolio of work, ranging from documentaries, independent films, cult remakes, and blockbuster dramas. His early work dates back to 1970s satire films like Fighting Mad and Handle with Care. Melvin and Howard made the director a household name in 1980, and Mr. Demme went on to direct a number of films and documentaries before making history in the early 1990s with Silence and Philadelphia. Both were box-office successes and culturally significant films that touched on a number of highly debated issues. Continue reading