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Today Marks 50th Anniversary of Beatle’s ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

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Today (May 26th) marks the 50th anniversary celebration of The Beatle’s revolutionary album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The LP was the first released by the band following their retirement from touring after their final performance at Candlestick Park in 1966. Although The Beatles had already begun a steady transition from being a more traditional pop-rock group with albums like Rubber Soul and Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s has been hailed as their ultimate creative masterpiece, followed closely perhaps by 1969’s Abbey Road. Released at the beginning of the Summer of Love, it set a new precedent for what a rock and roll record could be. The concept behind the album began following the exhaustion the group experienced after the whirlwind of Beatlemania. Paul McCartney came to Lennon, Starr, and Harrison with an idea that they would record an all new album under an alternative persona, which would free them from the weight of being the Beatles and usher in a fresh wave of musical creativity. Sgt. Pepper’s not only ushered in a new era for the Beatles; it also marked the beginning of the psychedelic rock movement that would see new groups like The Doors, Pink Floyd, and Jefferson Airplane begin to climb the pop music charts. Now, 50 years later, Sgt. Pepper’s is known not only for its conception and importance to 60s rock (and music in general), but also for the history of its production. Continue reading

A Few More Memorable Entries From Sundance Film Fest 2017

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Sundance 2017 proved a huge success yet again. This year a number of impressive entries from a broad array of categories caught our attention, including Wind River, The Discovery, I Am Not Your Negro, Mudbound, and the outlandish comedy Wilson with Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. Now that the celebration is over and everyone in Hollywood is looking forward to the Oscars at the end of the month, here are a few more mentionable entries you should look for in theaters in the coming months. Continue reading

This Week In Film History….

In a historical week that also saw The Bridge Over the River Kwai released in 1957, Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961, director Don Siegel and actor Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry, Escape from Alcatraz) do their first work together on Coogan’s Bluff (1968), and Lars von Trier drive the film festival circuit wild with Breaking the Waves (1996), we have to recognize one of the sole reasons that any of these accomplishments were able to happen. On October 5th, 1864, Louis Lumière was born Besançon, France. Lumiere and his brother Auguste, would grow up to provide perhaps the most significant contribution to film as both an industry, and an art form. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

This week’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to director John Sturges‘ 1963 war-era classic, The Great Escape. Set in a POW camp in Nazi Germany, the film follows the true story of a group of Allied prisoners who sought to accomplish the biggest jail break ever conceived, scattering more than 200 Allied troops across the country in an effort to divert Nazi war efforts on finding and re-capturing the escaped soldiers. The Great Escape is famous for a number of reasons. It featured an all-star cast including Steve McQueen (The Cincinnati Kid, The Sand Pebbles), James Garner (The Rockford Files, The Notebook), Richard Attenborough (Jurassic Park, Elizabeth), Charles Bronson (Once Upon A Time In The West, Death Wish), Donald Pleasance (Halloween, Escape From New York), and James Coburn (The Muppet Movie, In Like Flint), several of which were actual POWs with the Allied Forces during World War II. It also set and broke a number of on-screen records, ranging from the scale of the production (an entire replica of a real-life German POW camp was built in which to shoot the film) to the impressive array of stunts. Continue reading

This Week In Film History…

On September 6, 1967, a documentary titled Don’t Look Back opened at an old ramshackle theater in San Francisco. It was hard to imagine why this old pornographic movie theater had a line of people extending out the door and around the corner, but once you found out it was about Bob Dylan, it was no surprise at all. The September 6th release was the first large-scale screening of the film that documented Bob Dylan and company’s whirlwind 1965 European tour. Joining him on tour were the likes of artists like Joan Baez, Donovan, and Allen Ginsberg, along with the standard parade of press, crew, police, fans, and everything else that came to epitomize Rock n’ Roll in the 1960s.

Bob Dylan, in particular, was an iconic figure in his own right. He had risen to fame in the early-60’s folk scene in New York City’s Greenwich Village, developing his own songwriting skills and capturing fans around the world with songs like Blowin’ in the Wind, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, and The Times They Are A-Changin,’ his so-called early “protest era” catalogue. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

This week’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to Steven Spielberg‘s shark-attack nightmare: 1975’s Jaws. This movie is the reason why all of our parents are afraid to go into the water. Jaws was Steven Spielberg’s breakout movie. It won 3 Oscars for Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Music, and was also nominated for Best Picture. All that, however, came with an extremely stressful production and a brutal film schedule that ended up expanding from 55 to 155 days. Needless to say some recognition from the Academy was definitely warranted.

One of the biggest problems was actor Robert Shaw (From Russia with Love, The Sting). Though he was respected as an actor, he was in a heavy battle with alcoholism. This caused high tensions on the set, especially with fellow actor Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mr. Holland’s Opus). Shaw would have a drink between takes, but according to lead actor Roy Scheider (The French Connection, All That Jazz) it only took one before he was already off the wall. This caused him to totally flop the initial take of the USS Indianapolis scene, which is today’s Memorable Movie Moment.

During the scene, Quint (Shaw) describes the events surrounding the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945, which carried the first operational atomic bomb for the invasion of Japan. In the initial take, Shaw decided that, since the scene was at night and the men were supposed to be drunk anyway, he would drink and do the scene. Unfortunately he was so drunk that nothing in the performance could be used. The story goes that Shaw was so ashamed he went to Spielberg to ask for another take, and the next day he delivered this stunning performance sober, and all in one take. Continue reading

New Drama ‘The Lobster’ Seeing Limited Theatrical Release This Friday

Foreign writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, Alps) has a new comedic drama seeing a limited theatrical release this Friday titled The Lobster. The film was won several awards at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and with nothing but positive review from critics and audiences, anticipation for an American release has been pretty high. Co-written with Lanthimos’ long-time collaborator Efthymis Filippou, the film is set in a future dystopian society, in which single individuals are taken to The Hotel in order to find a romantic partner within 45 days, or be transformed into wild beasts and banished to live in The Woods. Definitely sounds pretty strange, but that is Lanthimos’ style, so it’s actually not far off the mark considering his portfolio. Starring in the film are actors Colin Farrell (Phone Booth, Miami Vice), Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, The Fountain), Jessica Barden (Hanna, Far From The Maddening Crowd), and Olivia Colman (The Iron Lady, Locke), among a supporting cast including John C. Reilly (The Good Girl, Chicago) and Ben Whishaw (Spectre, In The Heart of the Sea). Check it out in theaters if it’s playing in your local area this weekend.

New Trailer For Upcoming ‘Jason Bourne’ Sequel Now Available

Sunday night saw a decent amount of new movie trailers played during the 50th celebration of America’s favorite athletic pastime, the Super Bowl. One of these new trailers was a new preview for the upcoming Jason Bourne installment that will reunite director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Captain Phillips) with original actor Matt Damon (The Departed, The Martian) in what will simply be titled Jason Bourne. The two will share writing credits with screenwriter Christopher Rouse (The Italian Job, Greenzone), who has also worked on The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Also returning from the original film series is actress Julia Stiles (The Omen, Silver Linings Playbook), who is joined by newcomers Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man from UNCLE), Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men, Lincoln), Vincent Cassel (Ocean’s Twelve, Black Swan), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Star Wars: Rogue One), and Ato Essandoh (Blood Diamond, Django Unchained). No details are yet available on the plot, except that Tommy Lee Jones plays the new CIA station chief attempting to track down Jason Bourne, who disappeared at the conclusion of The Bourne Ultimatum. The movie is expected in theaters on July 29th. Check out the new trailer here on MADE.

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!

New Full Length Trailer For ‘Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ Now Available

Last week fans were able to catch a sneak peak at a scene from the upcoming Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, due out in March 2016. The film is the follow up to director Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel and the precursor to Warner Bros./DC Comics upcoming Justice League movie, which will follow the next year in 2017. Most of the supporting cast from Man of Steel will be reprising their roles, including Henry Cavill (Stardust, The Man From UNCLE) as Superman, Amy Adams (American Hustle, Big Eyes) as Lois Lane, Diane Lane (Unfaithful, Trumbo), and Michael Shannon (World Trade Center, Revolutionary Road), with newcomers Ben Affleck (Argo, The Town) as Batman, Gal Gadot (Fast Five, Furious 7), Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Conan the Barbarian), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Zombieland), Holly Hunter (The Piano, Oh Brother Where Art Thou?), Jeremy Irons (The Man in the Iron Mask, Die Hard with a Vengeance), and Laurence Fishburne (Apocalypse Now, The Matrix) also joining the cast. The new trailer introduces the major players, including Eisenberg’s Lex Luther and a glimpse of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and also of the opposing relationship between Batman and Superman and the political storm surrounding crime in Metropolis and Gotham City. Check out the full trailer here on MADE, and as always, enjoy!