Despite the new World War II drama Darkest Hour now playing in theaters nationwide, “Who was Winston Churchill?” still sounds like a question you’re likely to find on one of those ‘the dumbing down of America has happened’ videos. While Churchill may not have been American, himself, his influence and importance in the events of the mid-20th Century cannot be overstated. Winston Churchill was elected Britain’s Prime Minister in 1940, a position he held throughout the remainder of World War II and again from 1951 to 1955. Before his career in politics he had worked as a writer and served as a member of the British Army. His election in 1940 came at a time when Britain’s, and indeed the future of the whole of Western Europe was uncertain. Hitler had been elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and, by the time of Churchill’s election, was already marching across France, pushing British forces to the shores of the English Channel, where the famous evacuation at Dunkirk took place (if you haven’t seen Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, I highly recommend it!).
With the United States still hesitant to enter the war effort in either Europe or the Pacific, the newly appointed Prime Minister was faced with the choice of either regrouping and rallying national support to continue the war effort against Nazi Germany, or agreeing to sign a peace accord with Hitler and the Axis Powers. As the United Kingdom stood at the brink of invasion, it was up to Churchill to persuade Parliament, King George VI, and the people of Britain that the war could be won and that it was worth fighting, an extremely difficult prospect considering the ever-growing influence of Nazi Germany and the reluctance of the United States to enter the war. Continue reading →
There are few interesting indie releases opening in local theaters this weekend, alongside Jordan Peele’s directorial horror debut Get Out. The first is a war-drama titled Bitter Harvest, starring Max Irons (The Host, Woman in Gold) and Samantha Barks (Les Miserables, The Christmas Candle) as lovers facing the oncoming Ukraine Genocide of 1932-1933 under Joseph Stalin. The film comes from director George Mendeluk and follows a young artists (Irons) as he works to save his love, Natalka (Barks), from being rounded up and executed as part of the death-by-starvation camps that would be made all the more famous during Hitler’s time in Nazi Germany during World War II. The script comes from writer Richard Bachynsky Hoover and co-stars Terence Stamp (Superman, Young Guns) and Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile). Continue reading →
This holiday season will see another Star Wars film dominating the release schedule. Unlike last year’s Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens, whose fan anticipation was the highest since Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace in 1999, Rogue One has already been plagued by script rewrites and unscheduled reshoots. This was in part owing to the lack of direct relevance to any of the original series characters, but also to fan polls that suggested disappointment with earlier plot lines. Nevertheless, production has pushed on and the second trailer for the new film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was just released this week. Rogue One is based on a story by John Knoll (Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi, Avatar) and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth), which was adapted to a script by Chris Weitz (About a Boy, The Golden Compass) and Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Ultimatum, House of Cards) about the Rebel Alliance’s plan to steal the plans to the Death Star, laying the grounds for the epic trilogy that follows with Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope (1977). Director Gareth Edwards (In the Shadow of the Moon, Godzilla) helmed the project with actors Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man), Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt, Casino Royale), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Jason Bourne), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), Alan Tudyk (I Robot, Dodgeball), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler). Oscar nominee James Earl Jones (Field of Dreams, The Lion King) is also returning to provide the voice of Darth Vader, whose presence in the film will likely hold the biggest intrigue for fans of the series. Check out the new trailer right here on MADE, and enjoy the weekend!
A new trailer is available for Disney’s first installment in their Star Wars spoof series Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is expected in theaters December 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards (In The Shadow of the Moon, Godzilla) and written by Chris Weitz (About A Boy, The Golden Compass), John Knoll (Avatar, Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi), and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth), the film follows members of the Rebel Alliance in an isolated attempt to steal the plans to the Death Star. Starring in the film are actors Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, The Hunt), Alan Tudyk (Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Donnie Yen (Blade 2, Ip Man), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniels’ The Butler). Also in theaters this weekend is the new first-person action-flick Hardcore Henry. Enjoy your weekend!
Director Justin Kurzel‘s new adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s Macbeth is opening in theaters this Friday, December 4th. The film features Oscar-nominated actor Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds, 12 Years A Slave) in the role of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s tragic Scottish Thane who murders his king in order to come into his kingdom and then watches his new empire unravel before his eyes. Co-starring as Macbeth’s ambitious wife is fellow Oscar-nominee Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Midnight in Paris), with Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, The Man from UNCLE), Sean Harris (Deliver Us From Evil, Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation), and David Thewlis (The Omen, The Theory of Everything) appearing in the supporting cast. Screenwriters Jacob Koskoff (The Marc Pease Experience), Michael Lesslie (Airlock or How To Say Goodbye In Space, Skirt), and Todd Louiso (Jerry Maguire, Thank You For Smoking). The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!
This holiday season is sure to be full of enough big releases to keep you busy until next Spring, especially with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Before Star Wars mania overtakes the holidays, however, there are a number of feature releases that will definitely be worth your time to go and see. One such release comes in the first week of December, a new dramatic war-adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s Macbeth from director Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders, The Turning). The classic tragedy of Macbeth, a Scottish Thane who kills his king after three witches prophesize his taking the thrown but who then becomes divided by his own ambition and paranoia, was adapted for the screen by writers Jacob Koskoff (The Marc Pease Experience), Michael Lesslie (Airlock or How to Say Goodbye in Space, Skirt), and actor-turned-writer Todd Louiso (Jerry Maguire, Thank You For Smoking). Starring in the lead as Macbeth is Oscar-nominee Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave, The Counselor), with Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Midnight In Paris), Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, The Man From UNCLE), Sean Harris (Deliver Us From Evil, Mission:Impossible-Rogue Nation), and David Thewlis (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Theory of Everything) included in the supporting cast. The movie will be opening in theaters this December 4th. Check out the trailer here on MADE.
A new documentary from Showtime Documentary Films, Listen To Me Marlon, will be opening in theaters nationwide this fall. As implied, the film takes a personal perspective on the life and career of 2-time Academy Award-winning actor Marlon Brando, narrated by Brando, himself, from hours of audio tapes from his personal archives. Writer/director Stevan Riley (Fire In Babylon, Everything Or Nothing) compiled Brando’s narrations along with hours of archival film footage of the actor with the help of co-writer Peter Ettedgui (Vigo: A Passion For Life, Everything Or Nothing). Brando is considered among many film historians and critics to be one of the greatest actors in history, give-or-take a few others. He is probably best known for his portrayal of the title role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, but his dynamic talents lead him to portray a vast array of characters throughout his career in films like A Street Car Named Desire (1951), Julius Caesar (1953), and On The Water Front (1955), the latter of which earned him his first Oscar. He won his second Oscar for The Godfather in 1972 but famously refused to show-up to accept it and instead sent a young Native American woman in his place, making a political protest against the persecution of Native Americans in the United States. Nevertheless Brando went on to star in such films as Superman (1978) and Apocalypse Now (1979), imbedding himself in American culture until his death in 2004. Listen To Me Marlon first premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and is scheduled to be shown at the Film Forum on July 29th in New York City, and then 2-days later at LA’s Landmark Theater before the nationwide release in the fall. We’ll keep an eye out for an official release date.
This week will see James Franco (Pineapple Express, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Jonah Hill (Superbad, The Wolf of Wall Street)’s new film, True Story, opening in theaters nationwide. The film comes from an adaptation of former New York Times reporter Michael Finkel (portrayed by Hill) by screenwriter Rupert Goold, and tells of Finkel’s relationship with one Christian Longo (Franco), a man awaiting trial in prison for the charge of murdering his entire family who had been reportedly hiding under Finkel’s identity. Goold is also in the director’s chair for this project, which also stars Oscar-nominee Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Theory of Everything). Watch the trailer one more time on MADE, then catch it in theaters this weekend!
The new film from Andy and Lana Wachowski, Jupiter Ascending, is now playing in theaters nationwide. Starring Mila Kunis (Ted, Oz:The Great and Powerful), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, White House Down), Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings:The Fellowship of the Ring, Game of Thrones), and Oscar-nominee Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables, The Theory of Everything), the film follows Jupiter (Kunis), a young woman living in Earth’s distant future who is the unknowing heir of a powerful cosmic dynasty and must travel into space with warrior Caine (Tatum) in order to stop an evil tyrant (Redmayne) from claiming her birthright. Directors Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix Trilogy) co-wrote the screenplay for the film (which is rumored to have been more than 600 pages long), which was originally scheduled for a June 2014 release, but considering the scale of the film and the necessity for minute detail in the special effects department, the film was pushed back to a February 2015 release. While the Wachowski’s made history with their groundbreaking special-effects work in The Matrix, some movie-goers who have already seen Jupiter warned me to watch it on a standard screen, and not necessarily in 3D, owing to the fact that the movie is so heavily reliant on blue-screen backdrops and digital effects. Anyway, you can watch the trailer here on MADE, and if you’re a fan of the Wachowski’s filmmaking, definitely make an effort to check it out.
The creators behind The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas are returning next month with a new project titled Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis (Black Swan, Ted), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, White House Down), and Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables, The Theory of Everything). The film takes place in a futuristic world in which the Queen of the Universe elects a young human woman for assassination in an effort to ensure her Reign will continue. The movie is written and directed by filmmaking siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski, and like The Matrix and Cloud Atlas, the visual effects look outstanding. As for how great a movie it will be as a whole, however, I’m not so sure. The Matrix movies were all pretty great, but Cloud Atlas wasn’t particularly well received by audiences owing to the fact that the story jumped around a lot and was harder to follow at times, but maybe this one will have a much smoother flow to it. We’ll find out February 6th. In the meantime you can watch the trailer here on MADE.