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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!

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.

New Drama ‘Concussion’ With Will Smith Now Playing In Theaters

The new drama titled Concussion with Will Smith (Independence Day, Men in Black) is now playing in theaters nationwide. Smith stars as Dr. Bennett Omalu, the pathologist who discovered CTE after studying pro-football players and the longterm effects of receiving multiple concussions from standard game play. Writer/director Peter Landesman (Parkland, Kill the Messenger) wrote the film to explore Dr. Omalu’s discovery and the attempts of the National Football League to keep it all under wraps, based on a GQ article titled Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Co-starring in the film are actors Alec Baldwin (The Departed, The Good Shepard), Albert Brooks (Taxi Driver, A Most Violent Year), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights, Jupiter Ascending), and David Morse (The Green Mile, The Hurt Locker). Director Quentin Tarantino‘s new western The Hateful Eight is also available in certain theaters, so if you can be sure to check this one out as well while it’s still on big screens. Enjoy!

‘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 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!

Leonardo DiCaprio To Star In Martin Scorsese’s Upcoming ‘Devil In The White City’

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H.H. Holmes, electrical appliances, Hershey’s Mile Chocolate, and the world’s first Ferris Wheel (pictured above) were some of the highlights of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Goodfellas) will once again be teaming up with his Wolf of Wall Street and The Departed star Leonardo DiCaprio for an upcoming adaptation of author Erik Larson‘s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. The book tells the story of “America’s first serial killer,” H.H. Holmes, who during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair is believed to be responsible for the murders of at least 27 people. Holmes was hanged in 1896 for his crimes of building a hotel (now famously known as The Murder Castle) in which he would prey and torture his ‘guests’ before finally killing them, all the while disguising himself as a doctor. Although he confessed to 27 murders, the actual total is believed to be in the hundreds. During his trial, Holmes stated that he could not help his position in life as a serial killer, and that the “Evil One” was present at the bedside when he was born and stuck with and influenced him for the rest of his life. DiCaprio actually acquired the rights to the book/film six years ago, and since then production has been on hold until a solid director and writer could come onboard to fully adapt the project. Screenwriter Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Captain Phillips) is expected to adapt the book for the big screen. Stay tuned for further news updates!

MADE Review: ‘A Most Violent Year’


If you haven’t had a chance to go and see A Most Violent Year yet, you should be aware of what you’re walking into before you go. While the movie, itself, is really well done, and, in my opinion is a very good movie, if you’re expecting a big violent mafia flick, you’re going to be extremely disappointed. Writer/director J.C. Chandor‘s screenplay was very well written; he conveys the themes of the movie very clearly and the plot allows for a refreshing look of the hardworking American immigrant and the belief in strong family values. But as far as violence goes, the movie is definitely lacking, especially considering the title is A Most Violent Year, which really only relates to 1981 when the story takes place, one of New York City’s most violent years on record. Other than that it felt like the same story could have been put into modern times and it still would have made sense. All that aside, the acting performances by Golden Globe nominees Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (The Help, Interstellar), and also that of supporting cast members Albert Brooks (Taxi Driver, Drive) and David Oyelowo (Lincoln, Selma) are outstanding, and Chandor’s filmmaking is exceptional and well deserved of recognition. So if you go in expecting more of a Coppola (The Godfather)-like movie as opposed to a Scorsese (Mean Streets, Goodfellas) or DePalma (Scarface, The Untouchables)-like movie, I think you’ll really enjoy it. Here’s the trailer one more time.

J.C. Chandor’s ‘A Most Violent Year’ Now Playing In Theaters Nationwide


J.C. Chandor‘s new crime-drama A Most Violent Year is now playing in theaters nationwide, and with a Golden Globe nomination already secured, it looks like a pretty great watch. The story takes place in 1981 New York City, the most violent year in the city’s history, and follows an immigrant couple as they struggle to protect their family and business from the impending violence and corruption of the New York streets. Starring as Abel and Anna Morales are Golden Globe nominees Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (The Help, Interstellar), along with David Oyelowo (Interstellar, Selma), Alessandro Nivola (Face-Off, American Hustle), and Albert Brooks (Taxi Driver, Drive). Chandor wrote and directed the film himself, his first since his last 2013 project All Is Lost with Robert Redford. The trailer for A Most Violent Year is here on MADE. I’m definitely recommending you go and see this one, so put it up towards the top of your list with Selma and American Sniper.

JC Chandor’s ‘A Most Violent Year’ Now Playing In Theaters


Writer/director JC Chandor‘s new drama A Most Violent Year is now playing in theaters. Starring Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (Lawless, Zero Dark Thirty), the film follows an immigrant couple in 1981 New York City who work effortlessly to protect their business and children during the most violent year in the city’s history. The film also stars David Oyelowo (Interstellar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), who will also be appearing next month as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, and Albert Brooks (Taxi Driver, Drive), who is currently lending his voice talents to the upcoming Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory, expected in theaters June 17, 2016. Watch the trailer for A Most Violent Year here on MADE, then be sure to catch it in theaters…it WILL BE the last new release of 2014!!

‘Star Wars: Episode 7’ Cast Officially Revealed

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Director J.J. Abrams has finally released the official cast list for the long-anticipated seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise, which will follow George Lucas’s original trilogy. Returning from the original series are actors Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), as well as the droid characters Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker (C-3P0 and R2-D2), who have appeared in every Star Wars film since the original in 1977. Peter Mayhew will also reprise the role of Chewbacca, Han Solo’s Wookie co-pilot. Among the new generation of actors joining the space saga are John Boyega (Junkhearts, Half of a Yellow Sun), Daisy Ridley (Blue Season, Scrawl), Oscar Issac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Robin Hood), and Adam Driver (J. Edgar, Lincoln), although their respective roles are still unclear at this point. Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, True Grit), and veteran actor Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist, Shutter Island) will also be taking roles in the new film. The film is scheduled to begin shooting next month, so production is truly underway now. We’ll keep an eye out for more news.