Tag Archives: Kong

This Week in Movie History…

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On September 30, 1948, actor Robert Mitchum (Story of G.I. Joe, Cape Fear) was released from prison following his charge of marijuana possession. Mitchum was an up-and-coming star in Hollywood. He had received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor two years earlier for his role in Story of G.I. Joe, and appeared in four feature films in 1947, including Pursued, Crossfire, Desire Me, and Out of the Past. He also worked with director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story) in a western film earlier in 1948 called Blood on the Moon. His recent string of success, however, only made his bust on September 1st that much worse.

Mitchum was found with actress Lila Leeds (Lady in the Lake, Wild Weed) and dancer Vicki Evans. With the 60s still more than a decade out, and public opinion towards marijuana still very much in the light of propaganda films like Reefer Madness (1936), the young actor feared the very public arrest would effectively end his acting career. It didn’t help that industry names like Howard Hughes (Scarface, The Outlaw), David O. Selznick (King Kong, Gone with the Wind), and the press constantly berated him during this period. But his famous bust that could have completely ended his career ended up doing just the opposite. Continue reading

‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1’ Now Playing In Theaters

Fans of the Divergent films, which are based on the books by author Veronica Roth, finally get to see the last chapter of the series on the big screen this weekend, or at least half of the last chapter. Like so many series-films have all done since the filmmakers behind Harry Potter split the final book into two movies, this final chapter, Allegiant, will also be split into Parts 1 and 2, with the second installment expected in theaters next year. Allegiant – Part 1 picks up after the conclusion of Insurgent, and finds the protagonist Tris Prior and Four trying to escape over the wall surrounding futuristic Chicago in order to discover what is hidden behind the other side. Insurgent director Robert Schwentke (FlightPlan, Red) returned to direct the new installment, working from a screen adaptation by Noah Oppenheim (The Maze Runner, Jackie), Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (Accepted, Exodus: Gods and Kings). Starring in the series are actors Shailene Woodley (The Descendants, White Bird in a Blizzard), Theo James (The In-between Movie, Underworld: Awakening), Naomi Watts (King Kong, J. Edgar), Octavia Spencer (The Help, Fruitvale Station), Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber, The Martian), and Zoe Kravitz (Dope, Mad Max: Fury Road). Watch the trailer one more time before you see the movie in theaters, and have a safe Saint Patrick’s Day weekend!

First Teaser Trailer For Upcoming ‘Pete’s Dragon’ Remake Now Available

A few months back we heard the first whisperings of an upcoming remake of the 1977 Walt Disney classic Pete’s Dragon, and now we have the first teaser trailer for the new movie, which is due out in August. Writer/director David Lowery (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) adapted the original S.S. Field story with co-screenwriter Toby Halbrooks (Robots Are Blue, Dig) about a young orphan named Pete who goes on extraordinary adventures with his friend, a giant dragon named Elliott. Leading the cast are actors Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help, Jurassic World), Robert Redford (All The President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Karl Urban (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Bourne Supremacy), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games, Interstellar), Craig Hall (King Kong, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), and Oakes Fegley (This Is Where I Leave You, Prism) as young orphan Pete. This will be the third Disney remake that’s due out this year, at least that we’ve been watching. The first is the new adaptation of The Jungle Book from director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef) coming out this April, and the second is the The Legend of Tarzan from director David Yates (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince), starring Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds), which is due out in July. The trailer for the new Pete’s Dragon is available here on MADE. Look for more updates on these three movies coming out soon.

New Documentary ‘All Things Must Pass’ Opening In Theaters Tomorrow

A new music documentary titled All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records is opening in theaters across the country tomorrow. The project was written by documentarian writer/producer Steven Leckart (In Deep Water, The Anti-Mascot), and was directed by Colin Hanks (Orange County, King Kong) in his first full-length feature directorial feature. Featuring interviews from music and film industry stars like Chris Cornell (Man of Steel, The Avengers), Chuck D. (American Gangster, Pineapple Express), David Geffen (Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice), Dave Grohl (21 Jump Street, The Wolf of Wall Street), Elton John (The Lion King, American Hustle), Bruce Springsteen (Jerry Maguire, The Wrestler), and many more, the film chronicles the rise and fall of Tower Records. Tower Records was a worldwide record store chain founded in the early 1960s by Russ Solomon, which rose to success as one of the iconic record sales companies in the music industry, only to file for bankruptcy in 2006 with the birth of the internet, or so many have claimed. The film analyzes the true nature of the conglomerate’s downfall, and highlights its importance on the music scene during the 1960s and 70s, and even into the 80s and 90s. Several documentaries have been released in recent years regarding the steady decline of the recording industry and production of vinyl records. Most notably has, perhaps, been Dave Grohl’s directorial project called Sound City (2013), chronicling the story of the tape-based recording studio in Van Nuys, California that was finally forced to shut down with dawn of the digital age. I’m guessing All Things Must Pass will be equally matched in demonstrating the struggles of the music industry in the digital age, and should be well worth your time if you’re a fan of documentaries or late twentieth century music, so be sure to check it out!

Studios Planning Trilogy To End With ‘King Kong Vs. Godzilla’

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Theatrical poster for John Beck’s 1962 production King Kong vs. Godzilla.

Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures are joining forces to bring a trilogy featuring the iconic big screen monsters Godzilla and King Kong together on the big screen. The process is already underway, with director Jordan Vogt-Roberts‘ (The Kings of Summer, Nick Offerman: American Ham) upcoming Kong: Skull Island as the first entry, expected in theaters this March. From there the studios, namely Warner Bros., will release a sequel to Godzilla, with director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Star Wars: Rogue One) hopefully returning to lead the project, followed by the grand finale that will likely see the two monsters battle it out or join forces against a new foe. Some concerns have been brought up about the comparable size of the two monsters. Edwards brought his Godzilla creature to an epic scale in the 2014 flick, but King Kong is supposed to be able to climb and hang from the top of the Empire State Building. The studios are sure, however, that they will be able to resolve this issue and the productions are, as of now, all set to move forward. We’ll keep an eye out for further news.

Josh Trank’s New ‘Fantastic Four’ Movie Now Playing In Theaters

Today the comic world will get the chance to redeem a classic comic film adaptation that was all but ruined with the original attempts 10 years ago with Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis. The all new Fantastic Four film from director Josh Trank (The Kill Point, Chronicle) is now playing in theaters, and fans everywhere are in high hopes that the new film will redeem the popularity of the series after a sequel to 2007’s Rise of the Silver Surfer never made it to the big screen. Making up the new group of heros are actors Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now, Divergent), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, That Awkward Moment), Kate Mara (Iron Man 2, Transcendence), and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, King Kong), with Reg E. Cathey (American Psycho, House of Cards), Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and Tim Blake Nelson (Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, Lincoln) joining the supporting cast. Director Trank wrote the screenplay for the new film with writers Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect), which sees the group of youngsters transported to an alternate dimension, strangely altering their physical compositions and providing them with abilities they will need to save the world from a former friend-turned-enemy after he followed them through the dimensional shift. The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!

Watch The New Trailer For ‘Pixels’ With Adam Sandler And Kevin James


You’ve probably started to see TV-spots for the upcoming comedy Pixels with Adam Sandler (Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy) and Kevin James (The King of Queens, Grown-Ups) on your flat-screens. We first caught wind of this project about a year ago when it was announced that Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye, True Detective) and Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent, Game of Thrones) would also be joining the cast, and with the movie still scheduled to open in theaters this July 24th, the crew is now full-swing in post production. Harry Potter and Home Alone director Chris Columbus is leading the project with a script from Timothy Dowling (Just Go With It, This Means War) and Tim Herlihy (Mr. Deeds, Grown-Ups 2), written from a short by Patrick Jean. If you’ve seen the TV-spots then you get the premise: video-game heros like Donkey Kong and Pac Man come to Earth as an alien species and begin to go “Godzilla” on the human race. Pretty hilarious idea; so much so that I think it may actually be worth seeing in theaters. Enjoy!

Oliver Stone’s New Biopic ‘Snowden’ With Joseph Gordon-Levitt Now Filming

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Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden in upcoming Oliver Stone biopic Snowden (2015).

Director Oliver Stone has presented some pretty controversial biographical films in his career, JFK, Nixon, and W. just to name a few. His latest project, again simply titled Snowden, about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is now filming with actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) in the lead role. More specifically, the plot follows Snowden from his time in the US Army in 2004 to his groundbreaking interview in Hong Kong with documentarian Laura Poitras (whose documentary film, Citizenfour, about that very interview, just won an Oscar for Best Documentary), during which he exposed top-secret NSA documents before fleeing to Russia for asylum. The script comes from two primary sources: author Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man and Anatoly Kucherena’s Time of the Octopus (Kucherena is Snowden’s Russian attorney), which were adapted for the film by Stone and screenwriter Kieran Fitzgerald. Included in the supporting cast are actors Shailene Woodley (Divergent, The Fault in our Stars), Scott Eastwood (Texas Chainsaw 3D, Fury), Nicholas Cage (Face-Off, Matchstick Men), Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard, Justified), Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story, Star Trek Into Darkness), and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, The Exorcism of Emily Rose). The film is scheduled for release Christmas Day 2015. Stay tuned for more news.

Upcoming Edward Snowden Biopic From Director Oliver Stone In The Works

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A new film on the life of Edward Snowden, the infamous whistleblower who leaked highly-classified documents from the National Security Agency to the press, is in the works from historical (yet controversial) director Oliver Stone (Platoon, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps). Stone and screenwriter Kieren Fitzgerald (The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez, The Homesman) are expected to adapt the script from author Luke Harding‘s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man, and Anatoly Kucherena‘s (Snowden’s Russian lawyer) upcoming memoir Time of the Octopus. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) is expected to take the lead role in the film, and recent news has actress Shailene Woodley (White Bird in a Blizzard, The Fault in our Stars) joining the cast in the role of Snowden’s girlfriend. The most recent film to be released on the Snowden controversy was the documentary film from Laura Poitras and Glen Greenwald, Citizenfour, which featured footage and material from Poitras’ interview with Snowden in Hong Kong. Stone’s new film is expected in theaters sometime in 2016, so we’ll keep an eye out for more news.

‘Fury’ Claims Top Spot At Box Office During Opening Weekend; ‘CitizenFour’ Opens To Limited Release

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The new World War II drama, Fury, with Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf opened last weekend and effectively knocked Ben Affleck’s Gone Girl from the top-spot to a close second. The film hit theater audiences with just under $24 million in opening weekend box-office sales alone, and the pace doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The highly advertised, but apparently unpopular animated feature The Book of Life with Channing Tatum only brought in $17 million, also falling behind Gone Girl‘s third week of release. This week will see another set of uninteresting features, including the Keanu Reeves action flick John Wick (no rhyme intended), and the new horror movie Ouija. There are some pretty interesting projects coming out, however, that will unfortunately only see limited releases. One of these include director Greg Araki‘s dramatic thriller White Bird in a Blizzard with Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, and Christopher Meloni, but the more intriguing release is the documentary Citizenfour, which features interviews with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong with documentarian and reporters Laura Poitras, Glen Greenwald, and Ewen MacAskill. “Citizenfour” was the alias used by Snowden when he contacted Poitras in 2013 via encrypted emails containing Snowden’s evidence of the NSA’s covert surveillance program. Wiki-leaks founder Julian Assange is also featured in the documentary. So if you don’t want to waste your money on another terrible movie about ghosts or featuring Keanu Reeves, put these down on your list. Other limited features to look out for include writer/director Justin Simien’s dramatic comedy Dear White People, the high school football drama 23 Blast, and directors Wai-keung Lau and Andrew Loo’s Revenge of the Green Dragons, a crime-drama following young men involved with the Chinese mafia in 1980s New York City. Enjoy!