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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

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. Continue reading

‘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). Continue reading

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!