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This Week In Movie History…

August 15th is a very significant date in the history of film…for two reasons. We’ll cover them here in order by date, but both are, no doubt, some of the most memorable advances in movies and storytelling.

On August 15, 1934, director Christy Cabanne (The Mummy’s Hand, Scared to Death) released the first audio-visual film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte‘s famous novel Jane Eyre. Excluding the popularity of the novel, the film was part of a series of classic-literary adaptations produced by Monogram Pictures between 1933-1934. Four classic 19th-century novels were all made into big-screen adaptations that featured sound, a new technology for the era. The novels were Oliver Twist, Black Beauty, Jane Eyre, and The Moonstone. Cabanne was well-known at the time as a silent film director, but was also beginning to indulge in sound-projects. For the movie, which only runs a total of 62 minutes, the studio recruited actors Colin Clive, best known for the role of Dr. Frankenstein in the original 1931 James Whales’ classic, and newcomer Virginia Bruce (Born to Dance, The Invisible Woman) to star as Jane Eyre. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Adele Comandini (Beyond Tomorrow, Three Smart Girls) to adapt Bronte’s novel for the film (which admittedly must have been a challenge considering Jane Eyre runs for a total of 38 chapters with 400+ pages in most publications).

Also on August 15th, but in 1979, Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, The Conversation) released his world-renowned masterpiece, Apocalypse Now. The film is famous not only for its cinematic brilliance, but also for its whirlwind of a production Continue reading

British Actor Alan Rickman Has Died Of Cancer At The Age of 69

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Golden Globe winning actor Alan Rickman has died after a fight with cancer at the age of 69. The British actor was famous around the globe for his roles as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, and as villain Hans Gruber in the original Die Hard, opposite Bruce Willis. Having worked as an actor, writer, and director, Rickman was a veteran of both the stage and screen, appearing in such Broadway productions as Private Lives in the West End and in films including Galaxy Quest, Love Actually, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler, Dogma, Sense and Sensibility, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. His absence from the world of acting and filmmaking will sorely be missed in the years to come.

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’ Now Playing In Theaters Nationwide

After the limited release that took place on Christmas Day, writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight is now playing in theaters nationwide. Starring Samuel L. Jackson (Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Avengers) Kurt Russell (The Thing, Escape from New York), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Road to Perdition, The Machinist), Walton Goggins (The Green Mile, Sons of Anarchy), Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), Michael Madsen (Free Willy, Kill Bill Vol. 2), and Bruce Dern (Django Unchained ,Nebraska), the film takes place in post Civil War Wyoming, where a group of bounty hunters become trapped in a lodge during a snow storm and end up having to survive both the storm, and each other. Tarantino worked with Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone (The Good The Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon A Time in the West) on the new project, Morricone’s first Western film score since the mid-70s, making Hateful Eight the first film of Tarantino’s to feature an all-out theatrical score and not simply a soundtrack. Those that were lucky enough to catch it in theaters last week have reported nothing but great reviews, so even if you’re not a Tarantino or Western-genre fan, I would definitely put this one on your list. The trailer is available one more time 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!

Catch This Week’s Limited Release Features In Your Local Listings

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening in theaters nationwide tomorrow, you can expect movie theaters to be jam-packed this weekend with old and new generation fans alike. There are, however, a number of smaller, independent projects coming out this weekend that we like to take the time to shine the spotlight on. The first is a new war drama titled Son of Saul (originally Saul fia) from writer/director Laszlo Nemes (The Counterpart, The Gentlemen Takes His Leave), which received excellent recognition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Taking place in the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, in 1944, the film follows a prisoner who attempts to find redemption by saving a boy he adopts as his son from the furnaces of the camp that he has been forced to subject many of his own people to. Starring in the film are actors Geza Rohrig, Levente Molnar (Morgen, Our Big Time), Urs Rechn (Eight Miles High, The King’s Surrender), and Todd Charmont (The Last of the Mohicans, Strangers). Next up are a couple of action-thrillers, the first in the form of the French film The Lady in the Car with the Glasses and Gun from director Joann Sfar (Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, The Rabbi’s Cat), and the second a new action flick with Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Lucky Number Sleven) titled Extraction. Lady in the Car is an adaptation of the latest novel by Sébastien Japrisot about a secretary who steals her bosses car to go joyriding, only to discover she is now the prime suspect in a murder case after a body turns up in the trunk of the car. Extraction is a low budget action film from director Steven C. Miller (The Aggression Scale, Under The Bed), co-starring Kellan Lutz (Twilight, The Legend of Hercules) and Gina Carano (Fast & Furious 6, Deadpool), that follows the son of a captured CIA operative who decides to initiate his own rescue mission after the government refuses to conduct a rescue operation. The last release is a new documentary Noma My Perfect Storm featuring award-winning chef Rene Redzepi, who discusses her success with her Copenhagen-based restaurant (Noma) and her personal philosophy on the culinary arts that has contributed to her success. All of these sound like they’ll be pretty promising, so if you’re looking for a nice Star Wars alternative this weekend, check your local theater listings for showtimes for these features. Enjoy!

New Trailer Offers Sneak-Peak Footage For Upcoming ‘Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice’

A new trailer has just been released for director Zack Snyder‘s upcoming Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film will be the follow up to Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013), with Henry Cavill (Stardust, The Man from UNCLE) and Oscar-nominee Amy Adams (American Hustle, Big Eyes) reprising their roles as Superman and Lois Lane, and introducing Ben Affleck (The Town, Argo) in the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne. Honestly, it already looks terrible, but I’ll let you judge for yourself. In preparation for Warner Bros/DC Comics big screen production of Justice League, which is expected in theaters in 2017, the film will also introduce Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7) in the role of Wonder Woman (with an independent Wonder Woman movie also expected in theaters in 2017) and Jason Momoa (Conan the Barbarian, Bullet in the Head) in the role of Aquaman. And yes, there will be an independent Aquaman movie coming out in 2018, along with The Flash, who will be played by Ezra Miller (We Need To Talk About Kevin, The Perks of Being A Wallflower) and may be making a brief appearance in this movie. In other words, once Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out, it’s right back to milking the comic books. Also staring in the film are Oscar-nominees Diane Lane (The Perfect Storm, Unfaithful), Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire), Jessie Eisenberg (The Social Network, Now You See Me), and Laurence Fishburne (Apocalypse Now, The Matrix), and Oscar-winners Holly Hunter (The Piano, Oh Brother Where Art Thou?) and Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune, Die Hard with a Vengeance). Oscar-winning screenwriter Chris Terrio (Heights, Argo) and David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel) wrote the script that finds Batman and Superman at arms with each other while a more deadly force is steadily rising and Washington is up in arms about the presence of “super-heros” in our modern society. Considering Snyder is returning, and the impressive number of Oscar-winners working on the film, it will still more than likely be a pretty good movie. I don’t know who decided to hire Ben Affleck as Batman, but let’s just try our best to look passed it. Enjoy the footage.

Toronto International Film Festival Headliners ‘Trumbo’ and ‘Spotlight’ Opening In Theaters This Friday


Movie-goers will have no shortage of great movies to see this weekend. Friday will not only have the chance to see The Peanuts Movie and the new James Bond installment, Spectre, but fans of festival-circuit films will also be able to see two major picks from this years’ Toronto International Film Festival. The first is the biographical drama from director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) with Golden Globe winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) titled Trumbo. The film follows the famous screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who along with 300 other writers and filmmakers in Hollywood was blacklisted by the federal government during the Red Scare era of the American 1950s. Trumbo is, perhaps, one of the more interesting cases; he continued to write scripts under anonymous surnames while he was blacklisted and even won Oscars for his work on Roman Holiday (1953) and The Brave One (1956). Making up the supporting cast are actors Diane Lane (Unfaithful, Man of Steel), Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey), Louis C.K. (Louie, American Hustle), Elle Fanning (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Maleficent), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, Argo), and Michael Stuhlbarg (Pawn Sacrifice, Steve Jobs), in a script adpated by John McNamara (Jericho, Aquarius) from the book Dalton Trumbo by author Bruce Cook. The second Toronto International Film Festival contender opening in theaters this week is also a biographical drama titled Spotlight. This film comes from Oscar-nominated writer/director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, Million Dollar Arm) and chronicles the investigative journalist team at the Boston Globe that uncovered the scandal in the Catholic Church revolving around child molestation and cover-up deals within the Archdiocese. Co-written by screenwriter Josh Singer (Fringe, The Fifth Estate), the film stars Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island, The Avengers), Michael Keaton (Batman, Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers, Midnight in Paris), Liev Schreiber (Defiance, Salt), John Slattery (Mad Men, Flags of our Fathers), and Stanley Tucci (Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Hunger Games), and also received high marks at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Either of these will make great picks to see on the big screen, so be sure to get to the movie theaters in the next week or so to see them while they are still available! The trailer for Trumbo is available here on MADE.

New Comedy With Bill Murray ‘Rock the Kabash’ Opening In Theaters This Friday October 23rd

A new comedy from Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Bandits) is opening in theaters this week. Titled Rock the Kabash, the film stars comedy veteran Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Lost in Translation) as a music-industry manager who discovers the voice of a young talent while on tour in Afghanistan and accompanies her to Kabul to participate in Afghan Star, a popular talent-reality show in the Middle East. Screenwriter Mitch Glazer (Scrooged, The Recruit) is behind the script, which features Leem Lubany (Omar, From A to B), Zooey Deschanel (Elf, Yes Man), Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Pulp Fiction), Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, The Skeleton Key), and Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, This Is The End). This will be Levinson’s first directorial release since 2014’s The Humbling with Al Pacino (The Godfather, Scarface). The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!

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!