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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

This Week In Movie History…

On July 18th, 1986, writer/director James Cameron (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Avatar) brought director Ridley Scott‘s original characters back to the big screen in the first sequel to Alien, appropriately titled Aliens. Lead actress Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters, Working Girl) returned to reprise the role of Ellen Ripley, who after the original was discovered in cryogenic sleep in her escape craft and returned to Earth. After communication is lost with colonists investigating Ripley’s claim of aliens on the moon, she and a rescue crew are sent on a mission to investigate the moon and discover if there are any survivors, or if Ripley’s outrageous claims are true. Aliens would go on to win two Oscars, doing even better than its predecessor. The film won for Best Sound Effects and another for Best Visual Effects; it also received another four nominations for Best Actress (Weaver), Best Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Music. Appearing alongside Weaver are actors Carrie Penn, Michael Biehn (The Terminator, The Abyss), Paul Reiser (Beverley Hills Cop, Whiplash), Lance Henriksen (Damien: Omen II, Savage Dawn), and Bill Paxton (Twister, Apollo 13). Continue reading

Producer Ridley Scott Will Not Direct ‘Blade Runner 2’

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Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner (1982)

With Exodus: Gods and Kings opening in theaters December 12th, director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Robin Hood), will be turning more attention to his upcoming release with Matt Damon, The Martian. It was also announced earlier this year that the director would return for a follow-up to his iconic sci-fi film Blade Runner (1982), but now it seems that he will only be serving as co-writer and producer for the project. It’s been rumored that Michael Green (Green Lantern) will also be writing the script and that original writer Hampton Francher will not return. Harrison Ford is also expected to reprise his original role of Rick Deckard for a portion of the film, but there has been no news of any other returning roles. Blade Runner received two Oscar nominations in 1983 for Best Set Decoration and Best Visual Effects, and was praised among various film societies that year including the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the London Critics Circle. Ridley Scott is not only working on wrapping up The Martian, but also serving as producer or executive producer on more than fifteen upcoming film or television projects, so one can understand why he might not want to step in or even be able to fit filming into his schedule, but seeing as Blade Runner is one of his most memorable films, this kind of comes as a big surprise. Hopefully a worthy director will step in to pick up the mantle. Stay tuned.

Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ Will See Theatrical Re-Release In UK


In the times before George Lucas created Star Wars, and Star Trek saw it’s theatrical debut, iconic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, whose genius shines through in projects like The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, and Full Metal Jacket, envisioned a philosophical journey through time and space in a film called 2001: A Space Odyssey. Released in 1968 and blending classical orchestral arrangements to visually stunning effects, the film set a new standard for all science-fiction and space adventure films to come, winning an Oscar in 1969 for Best Visual Effects and receiving three additional Oscar nominations for Best Director (Kubrick), Best Writing/Screenplay (Kubrick and author Arthur C. Clarke), and Best Art Direction (Set Decoration). 2001 begins in the times of pre-history and spans all the way to futuristic colonized space, where astronaut Dave Bowman must embark on an epic journey to Jupiter in the hopes of discovering the origins of humanity and our place in the ever-expanding universe. The story was initially loosely based on a short story of Aurthur C. Clarke‘s titled The Sentinel, which Kubrick and Clarke then expanded upon and simultaneously wrote the film screenplay and the novel that was published shortly after the film was released. While Clarke’s novel speaks in more direct tones to explain the philosophy behind the story, Kubrick’s film is more famously known for it’s enigmatic style of story-telling, relying heavily on visual interpretation and utilizing extremely light amounts of dialogue. Since it’s release, 2001 has become known as a modern cinematic masterpiece, and with director Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar coming to theaters this November (Nolan has referenced 2001 a number of times making Interstellar), audiences in the UK will get to experience Kubrick’s film on the big screen once again. Check out this new trailer for 2001, and if you haven’t seen it and don’t plan on taking a European vacation anytime soon, definitely go out and rent it. You won’t regret it!