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This Week In Movie History…

On September 13, 1916, children’s author Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff, Wales. Although his career was focused mainly in print, Dahl’s career has made a significant contribution to popular film. The author is behind such classics as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches, and Fantastic Mr. Fox, all which have seen big-screen adaptations. His career in the film industry includes several screenwriting endeavors. He wrote an early script for the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, and another for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, although both of these scripts were later reworked by other screenwriters. As if his scripts being thrown out and reworked wasn’t enough to make him steer clear of the film business, Dahl also wrote the initial script for the film adaptation of his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Paramount Pictures, however, brought in a second screenwriter, David Seltzer, to write another version with the character focus falling on the magical chocolatier Willy Wonka instead of the young boy Charlie in Dahl’s novel. The title of the film was also changed to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to reflect the importance of the character. Continue reading

‘Independence Day 2: Resurgence’ Now Playing In Theaters Nationwide

The highly anticipated sequel to director Roland Emmerich‘s 1996 blockbuster Independence Day 2: Resurgence is now playing in theaters nationwide. Despite a failed effort to bring back Will Smith, who played one of the lead roles in the original film, the new sequel has gained much anticipation from fans of the original, who no doubt are excited to see veteran actors Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Bill Pullman (Spaceballs, While You Were Sleeping) reunite onscreen to fight aliens! Also returning from the original film are actors Vivica A. Fox (Juwanna Man, Kill Bill: Vol 1), Brent Spiner (The Aviator, Star Trek: The Next Generation), and Judd Hirsch (Ordinary People, A Beautiful Mind), who are joined by new lead Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games, Paranoia), and actors Jessie T. Usher (When The Game Stands Tall, Survivor’s Remorse), Joey King (Crazy Stupid Love, The Conjuring), Maika Monroe (Labor Day, It Follows), Sela Ward (The Day After Tomorrow, Gone Girl), and William Fichtner (Armageddon, Black Hawk Down). Despite popularity among fans, the film has not received good reviews from critics, who have called it “boring” and “loaded down with ’90s cheesiness.” Not sure how audiences will react or if they will agree with the critics, but I guess we’ll find out this weekend. Enjoy!

New Dramatic War-Thriller ‘Eye in the Sky’ Opening In Theaters This Friday

A new war drama from director Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ender’s Game) titled Eye in the Sky is opening in theaters nationwide this Friday, March 11th. The film is led by Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey) and features an ensemble of stars including Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Exodus: Gods and Kings), Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips, Hawaii Five-O) and Phoebe Fox (One Day, A Poet in New York), as well as the late Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Love Actually), who died just last month. Screenwriter Guy Hibbert (Five Minutes of Heaven, A United Kingdom) wrote the script about a military colonel commanding a drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, who becomes enthralled in an international debate over the morality, and the implications of modern warfare when a young girl enters the Kenyan kill zone where the operation is taking place. Although this will be his last full-length feature appearing in the flesh, Alan Rickman’s last official film will be the upcoming sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, titled Alice Through the Looking Glass, expected in theaters this coming May. The trailer for Eye in the Sky is available here on MADE. Check it out in theaters this Friday.

New Biographical Drama ‘Race’ Opening In Theaters February 19th

A new biographical drama called Race is opening in theaters nationwide this week, which follows the story of Jesse Owens, the Olympian who won four gold medals for track and field at the 1936 Olympics. Ownes’ performance went down in history, not only for his amazing skill, but also for the fact that his victory happened in Berlin, the heart of Adolf Hitler’s supposedly supreme Aryan Race. The film is directed by Stephen Hopkins (Lost in Space, The Reaping) from a script by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse (The Tonto Woman, Frankie and Alice) and stars Stephan James (Home Again, Selma), Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers), Eli Goree (Godzilla, The 100), Shanice Banton (Degrassi: The Next Generation, A Day Late and a Dollar Short), Carice van Houten (The Fifth Estate, Game of Thrones), Jeremy Irons (The Man in the Iron Mask, Die Hard with a Vengeance), and John Hurt (The Good Shepard, Robin Hood). Considering the ensemble cast and the profoundly positive message, this one might turn out to be one of the more impressive sports biographies recently released, but that’s no slate against Concussion, Foxcatcher, or 42. The trailer is available here on MADE. See it on the big screen this Friday. Enjoy!

New Coen Brothers Comedy ‘Hail Caesar!’ Opening In Theaters February 5th

The Coen Brothers are finally back on the big screen with a new comedy titled Hail Caesar!. Starring Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers, Iron Man 2), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, Foxcatcher), Ralph Fiennes (The Constant Gardener, Spectre), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street, Moneyball) and Coen regulars Tilda Swinton (Burn After Reading, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men, Men In Black 3), and George Clooney (Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, Ocean’s Eleven), the film follows a Hollywood ‘fixer’ who works for Capital Records in the 1950s and must deal with the disappearance of the studio’s biggest star before an upcoming release is ruined by the schemers behind the kidnapping. The film was co-written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen (in their usual fashion), and will be their first project together since 2013’s Oscar-nominated drama Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Carey Mulligan (Drive, The Great Gatsby), although they have written several films since then, including director Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. The trailer for Hail Caesar! is available here on MADE. Look for it in theaters this February 5th.

‘The X Files’ Returns To Fox Network This January 2016

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The truth is still out there! Fans of one of the most successful science-fiction series in history, The X-Files, can rejoice. Original writer/creator Chris Carter is bringing the series back to Fox for a 6-episode season that will air on January 24th. Returning from the original series are actors David Duchovny (Evolution, Californication) and Gillian Anderson (The Last King of Scotland, Closure) as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, with supporting cast members Mitch Pileggi (Basic Instinct, Sons of Anarchy) and William B. Davis (Numb, The Messengers) returning to reprise their roles as Walter Skinner and the ‘Smoking Man,’ respectively. This will be the first installation in the series since 2008’s The X-Files: I Want To Believe feature-length film, which found Mulder and Scully years after the show’s conclusion after the two had gone into hiding. Other cast members appearing in the new mini-series are Joel McHale (Community, Ted) and Robbie Amell (The Tomorrow People, Max). It is not yet clear whether or not there will be pending additional seasons after this one, but it has been labeled a ‘reboot’ season, so maybe there will be more X-Files in the near future. The original X-Files series is available on Netflix, so if you want to do some refreshing, consider watching some of the more important episodes. You can find a list of these on Wikipedia, and remember the first film takes place between seasons 5 and 6. Stay tuned.

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!

First Trailer For ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Now Available

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally opening in theaters this week, movie-goers are starting to look to the New Year to get their blockbuster fix. Over the last week we have seen new, full-length trailers for Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and X-Men: Apocalypse, which will bring the comic-movie circuit back to life after the Star Wars bubble finally bursts. This week, however, we have a new trailer for another sequel we have been keeping our eyes on, in the form of Independence Day: Resurgence. Original ID director Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow, 2012) is back with returning veteran actors Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Bill Pullman (Spaceballs, Lake Placid), Vivica A. Fox (Juwanna Mann, Kill Bill Vol. 1), and Oscar-winner Judd Hirsch (Ordinary People, A Beautiful Mind), leading a new generation of actors including Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games, Paranoia), Joey King (Crazy Stupid Love, The Conjuring), Maika Monroe (Labor Day, It Follows), and William Fichtner (Heat, Black Hawk Down). Picking up 20 years after the events of the original film, we find scientist David Levinson (Goldblum) and former President James Whitmore (Pullman) facing a new insurgence of alien visitors that will test the world’s new defense systems that were developed using the technology of the original invaders. Unfortunately for fans of the original, Will Smith will not be reprising his role, and instead the plot will focus on a new-generation fighter pilot (played by Hemsworth) named Morrison, but other than that the rest of the story looks (on the surface) pretty legitimate. As always, we’ll have to wait for the final product to know for sure. Stay tuned for further updates.

New Dramatic Comedy ‘Burnt’ Opening In Theaters In New York and Los Angeles Today

A new “dramedy” titled Burnt from director John Wells (August: Osage County, Shameless) is opening for audiences in New York City and Los Angeles today, with a nationwide expansion expected in the next few weeks. The film comes from a film adaptation of a story by Michael Kalesniko (Private Parts, Iron Sky) by screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke), centering around a chef who, after ruining his career with drugs and eccentric behavior, returns to London in an attempt to make a comeback by opening a restaurant capable of receiving three Michelin stars. Actor Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) stars as chef Adam Jones, with actors Sienna Miller (American Sniper, Foxcatcher), Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Basterds, Rush), Ricardo Scamarcio (My Brother is an Only Child, Loose Cannons), Omar Sy (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Jurassic World), Emma Thompson (Love Actually, Saving Mr. Banks), Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1), and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man From UNCLE). The film is expected to be a semi-biographical story based around the life of Gordon Ramsey (Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Knightmares). The trailer is available here on MADE. Look for the nationwide expansion to your area in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy the weekend!

Comic-Con 2015 Opens In San Diego July 9th-12th

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The annual Comic-Con festival is happening at the San Diego Convention Center this July 9th-12th. This year’s sponsors include Fox, HBO, AMC, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros., and Showtime, among others. Some of the more anticipated events include director JJ Abrams hosting a panel for the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is expected to be one of the biggest events (although it was just announced that no trailer will be presented), and director Quentin Tarantino hosting a panel for his upcoming film The Hateful Eight (it has not been announced which cast members will be joining him although rumors of Tim Roth and Michael Madsen have been going around the Comic-Con news circuit). AMC will also be revealing a new trailer for their upcoming Walking Dead spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead, which will be only 6-episodes long and follow a young couple who try to stay together when the shit hits the fan back at the beginning of the original series. New footage on director Zack Snyder‘s upcoming Batman Vs. Superman movie will also be displayed, and the panel will include actor Jesse Eisenberg (who will portray Lex Luther). For further guests and information you can check out Comic-Con’s website at the link below. Enjoy!

Comic-Con 2015