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Watch The Star Wars Saga In “Machete Order” Before ‘The Last Jedi’ Opens This Friday

As you are no doubt aware, the next installment in the latest Star Wars trilogy, The Last Jedi (Episode VIII), is opening in theaters nationwide this Thursday, December 14th at midnight. Whether or not it will be a frame-by-frame remake of The Empire Strikes Back (1980), like The Force Awakens and A New Hope (1977), has yet to be seen, but fans will undoubtedly be packing theaters to capacity from Friday until well into the New Year. If you already have a ticket for opening weekend, then let us know what you think. If not, however, you can still get your Star Wars fix by taking a brief (and by brief, I mean roughly 12-14 hours) refresher course with watching the series in “Machete Order.” Let me explain.

The Machete Order was first suggested by a fan of the series named Rob Hilton in preparation for the release of 2015’s The Force Awakens. According to Hilton, the machete order is a more effective way of watching the previous films, particularly for young viewers who are not familiar with the series. Obviously, with seven feature-length films and an eighth coming out this week, knowing where to start to get the full experience can be an overwhelming ordeal. Should you begin with the original trilogy and work your way up, or should you start with 1999’s The Phantom Menace and proceed chronologically? Continue reading

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

Alden Ehrenreich To Star As Young Han Solo in New Spin-Off Installment

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According to Deadline, actor Alden Ehrenreich (Blue Jasmine, Hail Caesar!) has officially signed on to star as young Captain Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off from Walt Disney Pictures. Ehrenreich beat out a number of A-list names for the role, including Miles Teller, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, and Emory Cohen. As with all upcoming releases from Disney/Lucasfilm, no actual details have been released on the plot, and no news about supporting cast members is yet available. The script will be written by Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan (In the Land of Women, The First Time). Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) are expected to direct the feature. We’ll be bringing you further news as it emerges. If you can’t wait for a new space movie to see, check out the third installment in the new Star Trek series, Beyond, starring Chris Pine (Unstoppable, Into the Woods) and Zachary Quinto (Tallulah, Snowden). Enjoy the weekend!

MADE Review – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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We wanted to give it a little time so that nothing would be spoiled for anybody, but if anyone is reading this that hasn’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, I suggest you either stop reading or be prepared for plot spoilers! To begin with, this was easily the best Star Wars film since Return of the Jedi was released in 1983. Director J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Star Trek: Into Darkness) brought legitimate filmmaking back to the series with this film, which looks more like old-fashioned Star Wars than anything we saw come from George Lucas in the early 2000s. His stylistic approach to filmmaking was the perfect merging of special effects and on-set principle photography, made better with the appearance of props and effects that appeared in the original film, such as the targeting view attached to the gun in the Millennium Falcon. The screenplay, written by Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi writer Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Bodyguard), was also much better in terms of actual dialogue on the part of the actors, but the overall story imitated that of Jurassic World earlier this year, in the sense that it read almost as a mirror image of the original Star Wars in 1977, with the updated story-line in play, of course. Abrams also did a great job of resurrecting the original Star Wars universe by bringing back a lot of the old designs and symbols representing the Rebel Alliance and the Imperial Star Fleet. I also have no complaints regarding the new lineup of actors. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega had a perfect chemistry between them, and Oscar Isaac did great as the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron. Adam Driver, however, as both the bad guy AND Han Solo and Leia’s son, was not necessarily bad, he was simply miscast, and Abrams didn’t do him any favors by taking off his helmet and showing his face. And if you are wondering about Luke Skywalker, he was pretty much absent the entire movie. He literally showed up for a few seconds at the very end, having evidently pulled a “Yoda” and gone into hiding after Han’s son decided to pull an “Anakin” and join the Dark Side. Needless to say we won’t really know what Luke’s deal is until the next movie in 2017, which will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the original release in 1977. All in all, it was a great movie and gave us some glimpses into the upcoming films and how the characters will continue to develop. Some stories were closed, but many more were opened, and now we have to wait another two years to find out what happens next. Stay tuned.

‘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 Trailer Available For ‘2oolander’ In Theaters February 2016

Reactions by fans to the news that there would be a second Zoolander was pretty mixed, although it didn’t necessarily come with any real surprise considering Hollywood insists on banking on 20-year-old franchises these days. Nevertheless the rumors were true and production has been underway for sometime now, with the upcoming release for Zoolander 2 scheduled for February 12, 2016. Ben Stiller (Meet the Parents, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) and Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers, Midnight in Paris) are reprising their roles as fashion models Derek and Hansel, whose careers are now threatened by a new company attempting to put them out of business. Ben Stiller is once again behind the director’s chair, working from a script by himself and original Zoolander screenwriter John Hamburg (Along Came Polly, I Love You Man), along with Justin Theroux (Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2) and Nicholas Stoller (Yes Man, Get Him To The Greek). Actors Christine Taylor (The Wedding Singer, License To Wed), Will Farrell (Old School, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), and Billy Zane (Back to the Future, Titanic) are also returning to reprise their roles from the original film, along with newcomers Benedict Cumberbatch (12 Years A Slave, The Imitation Game), Olivia Munn (Magic Mike, The Newsroom), Kristen Wiig (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The League), and Penelope Cruz (Blow, The Counselor). Personal politics aside, the trailer does look pretty promising, though perhaps a bit overdone, and seeing Benedict Cumberbatch as a cross-dresser is definitely a step outside of his usual realm of acting, so maybe it will make for a decent Valentine’s date. Only time will tell. The trailer is now available here on MADE. Enjoy the weekend!

New Full Length Trailer For ‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ Now Available

With the release date for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens drawing ever nearer, fans and movie-buffs alike are jumping for joy with the release of the new full-length trailer. Written by director J.J. Abrams (Armageddon, Super 8) and Oscar-winning screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back) and Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3), the film picks up 30 years after the fall of the Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi (1983) and finds the heros of the Rebellion facing a new evil that has risen again. Starring in the film are original Star Wars actors Mark Hamill (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Kingsman: The Secret Service), Carrie Fisher (The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally), Harrison Ford (Blade Runner, The Temple of Doom), Peter Mayhew (A New Hope, Revenge of the Sith) as Chewbacca, Kenny Baker (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones) as R2D2, and Anthony Daniels (Droids, I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle) as C-3P0, who will be joining a new generation of actors including Domhnall Gleeson (Unbroken, Ex Machina), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year), Gwendoline Christie (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay), Daisy Ridley (Blue Season, Scrawl), Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Adam Driver (What If, This Is Where I Leave You), and John Boyega (Junkhearts, Imperial Dreams). The movie is due out in theaters this December 18th. Enjoy the new trailer!

Don Cheadle’s ‘Miles Ahead’ Closing This Year’s New York Film Festival

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Writer/director Don Cheadle playing trumpet as iconic musician Miles Davis.

We’ve been waiting for some time on more news of Don Cheadle‘s upcoming directorial debut Miles Ahead. The last news we had heard was that Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Crash) was still seeking financial support for the film, and from what we now know, I guess he got what he was looking for. The film is currently in the post-production stages and official news now reports that Miles Ahead will be the closing film for this year’s New York Film Festival, which will be celebrating it’s 53rd Anniversary this year. Obviously legendary musician Miles Davis, whose career gained much of its momentum in New York City, is the focus of the film, and Cheadle, who co-wrote the screenplay, will be starring in the lead role opposite Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere, Addicted) and Ewan McGregor (Big Fish, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith). The New York Film Festival takes place between September 25th and October 17th this year. A full list of films will be forthcoming soon, but Back to the Future and Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk will be the festival opener on September 25th, so if you happen to be in the big apple this fall, consider stopping by and seeing one of the films that are playing. Enjoy!

Actor Tommy Lee Jones Joins Matt Damon In Cast Of Upcoming ‘Bourne’ Sequel

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Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones will be joining Matt Damon in the upcoming fifth installment in the ‘Jason Bourne’ series, thus far only titled Bourne 5. Captain Phillips and Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass will be returning to helm the project, which will also star series veteran Julia Stiles (The Bourne Supremacy, Silver Linings Playbook), Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Hidalgo), and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.). Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass will be writing the film along with returning Bourne screenwriter Christopher Rouse (The Italian Job, The Bourne Ultimatum), but no details regarding the plot are known at this time. Producer Frank Marshall (Indiana Jones-Raiders of the Lost Ark, Back to the Future) will produce with Jeffery Weiner under Captivate Entertainment. Stay tuned for more news!

This July Marks 35th Anniversary Of AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’

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35 years ago, hard-rock group AC/DC was forced with a tough decision: rock-on or unplug. The band had just seen it’s most successful release to date with ‘Highway to Hell’ in 1979, but the success was followed by the tragic death of lead singer Bon Scott. The Young brothers, Angus and Malcolm, who had always provided the music to Scott’s lyrics and melodies to make up the group’s catalogue, decided to persevere and days after Scott’s funeral was held, the two began writing new material for the next LP, ‘Back in Black‘. Before the band could enter the studio, however, a new frontman and lyricist had to be found, and the brothers finally landed on singer Brian Johnson, who came into the studio with a fresh energy, despite the enormous pressure of taking over as lead for a band that had already established a large fan-base. In spite of all that, the album turned out to be a huge success. Johnson’s collaborations with the group on ‘Back in Black’ produced several big hits for the band, including the title track and ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’. The album, itself, made it all the way to the No.1 spot in the UK charts and No.4 in the US. What could have been the end of AC/DC turned out to be their comeback hit, and the band continued to work with Johnson for the rest of their on-going career with albums like ‘For Those About To Rock We Salute You’, ‘The Razor’s Edge’ and their most recent release ‘Rock or Bust’.